Tuesday, June 08, 2004

So I biked to work today.

For those who don't know, I live in downtown Cleveland, but work in Independence. It's actually not a bad route, I can take the Towpath Trail most of the way. It's, unfortunately, not the most direct route though. That is reserved for the highway. The advantage of where we live is that we are spitting distance from I-77, which goes straight into Independence. The disadvantage is this: that direct route, the highway one, well, there is nothing under it that is bike friendly. So, in order to get to work, I need to head a bit West, then a bit East..and finally West again.

I can't complaint too much though. The Towpath is beautiful at 7 in the morning. The birds are all out catching the worms that surfaced last night and the rabbits are all out (god knows why) around the trail. Of course, in addition to these lovely creatures, the geese are hanging about as well. Here's a little thing about me: I hate geese. It's true. They're foul, mean-ass-birds and they literally *line* the trail with shit. It's pointless to try and avoid it. You just go through and thank goodness that you don't have to scrape it off your shoe. They also hiss at me everytime I pass. Only the pacifist in me keep me from sticking my leg out and giving one of them a quick boot to the head.

But, the geese..or their shit, are not the bike's worst enemy. That is reserved for our fellow commuters. I've learned, from street biking most of my life, that there are three types of drivers when it comes to dealing with riders.

  • #1 - the Movers. These are the people who will shift lanes to avoid a bike. These people are my saints. If you are one of these people, I wish you a bountiful and happy life. You are good at sharing the road and probably play well with others.
  • #2 - the Skimmers - These are the people who move about a tire's distance to the left. They don't want to move for the bikes, but they also don't want to have a lawsuit on their hands when they slam into you. They move, but not without a little sigh of discontent. Sadly, even though I bike, *I* can be one of these people.
  • #3 - the Assholes. - There's no other way to put it. These are the ones who do-not-fucking-care that you are a human being sharing the road with them. They go, you move. They are bigger, so they "win". Any other option is unacceptable. These are also the people who cause bike accidents by clipping cyclists. To drivers like this (which, strangly, seem to have a population of 75% SUV drivers), I point to the $2.13 a gallon gas prices, using my middle finger - firmly extended.

All rants and bad feelings aside, biking into work gives me a great sense of accomplishment. I'm always more awake and alert when I bike in the morning than when I do not.