Sara came up to casa de von-T yesterday and I took her on the "Tour de Misery" ride, retracing my steps from Saturday's really fun wet, cold & windy ride. She didn't seem to impressed or even interested, but I kept pointing out famous points of interests along the way. Where exactly I stopped to put on my wind vest. Where exactly I got blown off my bike. Where exactly I realized that my flimsy wind vest would not help protect me from the elements.... She played along, but I don't think she really thought it was quite as funny as I did. It was a good ride, nevertheless.
Excepting, of course, the rude drivers we encountered on the ride. I was so embarrassed regarding the lack of civility and courtesy the drivers in my area displayed that I felt it necessary to apologize to Sara for their behavior, more than once. We pondered what it is with people today that make them so quick to lean on the horn and drive recklessly. My initial response was that they must be SO UNHAPPY with their lives that they feel that lashing out at the first person that gets in their way is the only way to get back at life. I really find it amazing how patient drivers were in Spain when encountering a group of 8 cyclists, riding two abreast up a mountain, going 10 mph. Here in Baltimore, Sara and I had impatient drivers blasting their horns at us when we were riding at 20 mph, single file, hugging the white line. What's up with that? Why are Americans so angry, so impatient, so rude?
I pondered this again this morning driving to work when the vehicle next to me blasted his horn the nanosecond the light turned green. We were about 10 cars back from the light and traffic was moving. Did he expect everyone in front of him to floor it through the light so we didn't have to hit our brakes as we came up on traffic? I'm guessing that part of this has been caused by our "you can do anything" culture. We're brought up to believe that we can do anything, we can be anyone, we deserve it all. What society neglected to tell us is that you have to work for it to deserve it and you can't have it at someone else's expense. Automobiles don't own the road any more than bicycles do. We all have a right to use the road. We have to share. Did the drivers Sara and I encountered yesterday not take that lesson away with them when they graduated from kindergarten? Sharing the road does NOT mean sharing it when it's convenient for you. I can't tell you how many times I've been forced to the side of the road by vehicles, but when traffic is stopped and there's room for me to ride on the side (where they want me to ride), somehow it's unfair of me to ride there because they have to wait in the back-up.
I think society today needs to recognize that Life is not fair. My mother taught me that around about the time I was in kindergarten. All parents should teach their children this. Let's face it, Life is not fair. The strongest rider doesn't always win the race. The smartest person doesn't always get the best grade. The hardest worker doesn't always get the promotion. Life ain't fair. So slow down, share the road, be courteous to those around you. Your life is not worth more than the cyclists you're sharing the road with. It might just make you a happier person to realize that.