Every once in awhile, I will read a blog post or news article about confrontations between cyclists and drivers. Nothing upsets me more that the blantant stereotypes and rash generalizations made by both sides. In typical Seattle passive-aggressive fashion, I usually complain about the ridiculous comments made by both sides and then navigate away from the page.
Not today. I made a post regarding the latest article that went a little something like this:
Hello. Let me introduce myself. I am a person. Just like you. I drive a car and I also ride a bicycle. But, I am a person first.
This topic of cyclists versus drivers comes up a lot and I will not condone the behavior of either party in the article. I will make this observation. Almost always, cyclists are also drivers, but drastically fewer drivers are also cyclists.
I encourage everyone to practice a little more grace. I will be the first to admit that before I rode a bike regularly, I would get annoyed by cyclists breaking the rules (and I still do); but now that I’m more knowledgable about cycling, there are a lot of things that may affect a cyclist’s behavior that drivers may not notice. These include hazards like parked cars opening doors and broken glass in the shoulder.
Before you get angry at a cyclist, I just ask that you would consider why they may acting in a certain way. And, to be honest, we all make mistakes. Again, spending more time practicing grace may be the best remedy.
I encourage non-cyclists to walk a mile in cyclists’ shoes, er uh, pedal a mile may be more appropriate? I think a change in perspective can go a long way.
I hope it is taken to heart by any who reads it. It was written with the upmost sincerity. I could have ranted about the extremely close calls I’ve had with cars or the unkind words that have been shoveled my way when on two wheels, but I didn’t. I hope I did a good job of staying above the fray while contributing constructive ideas to the conversation.