Thursday, November 17

Hang Up Your Phone and Walk!

I only have a cell phone because I have a family. I don't like phones in general, and specifically, I loathe having a device that connects me to the world at large at all times. Ages ago I considered buying a cabin surrounded by National Forest and my mother fretted over the fact that I would not even have the option of having a phone there. "You can't live without a phone!" she almost pleaded. Of course I could live without a phone. What about the scores of people who lived and died before Alexander Graham Bell came along? Well, they are dead I guess. But it was not the absence of the phone in their life that killed them; It was lack of adequate emergency care after the bear attacks.

Now onto my cycling related rant:

If you ride your bike while hanging onto a ten foot dog leash (attached to a dog, of course) on a crowded multiuse path...you should be horsewhipped in the town square. I'm not entirely sure that horsewhipping would be the most appropriate punishment to fit the crime, but it's the first thing that comes to mind.

If you are caught walking backwards on a multiuse path, in a curve, hanging onto a ten foot dog leash (attached to a dog, of course) that's spanning the entire path, you have absolutely no right to scream at the cyclist who tells you to watch your dog. Hang up your phone and walk!

Lady, I was going slow enough to stop. But you had absolutely no idea I was coming. Not my fault.

I'm really hating cell phones these days. Oh, they're great fun to use to put in a hard day of Angry Birds at the office. They're fantastic tools to facilitate ignoring the government official you have chosen to work with. But as a constant tether to the world outside your SUV they really detract from everyone else's commuting experience. Connect with reality by looking out the windshield for a change. Or watching the path ahead.

It's frightening to think that most people are so enthralled with the gadgetry included in their standard new car package, or the gadgetry they carry along with them into the car that they can't spare a nanosecond or two to perhaps PAUSE for the @#$%! stop sign!

There are laws after all...

Multiuse paths are perhaps an order of magnitude more dangerous than roads. And as a cyclist blazing home on a particularly exquisite Ramming Speed Friday I have to say I'm probably NOT the most dangerous thing moving out there.

Crowd of three ladies walking, cyclist calls out: "On your left!" and each of the three scatter to a different direction. Kinda like the three stooges, but with less comedic effect.

Young male cyclist stopped in a blind curve talking on his cell phone. Perfect place to take a break, man. You go ahead and block the path. I'll just take the creek. I didn't want to get home unbroken anyway.

And hey, if you're going to walk three large dogs alone along the greenbelt you should probably make sure all three are on ridiculously long leashes, and get them hopped up on some sugary dog biscuits or something for maximum effect. Those of us just trying to go somewhere will really appreciate it. There's no reason you can't control three dogs that combined weigh twice as much as you do.

What kills me is that you just can't escape it. On the roads its the moto-facsists; on the trails its your fellow MUP users. I am feeling so anti-social this week it's just not even funny. The dude "walking" his dog while riding his bike was the last straw. I wanted to chase him down and give him a serious talking to. And he looked at me like I was the one causing a problem as I had to swerve out of his way or risk getting tangled up in miles of leash.

The snow can't come fast enough! That'll weed out some of the crazies. I have assurances from Slipnot Tractions Systems that my new bicycle tire chains have shipped.

I do apologize for being a negative ninny. We're idling at Tuesday (when I initially drafted this piece) and I'm calling the week busted on account of humanity.


Biketopia!

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