Monday, September 12, 2011

Why I Choose NOT to Bike, Mostly

There's been a lot of talk over the last couple of days about cycling, and cyclists on sidewalks, and related matters. It made me think about my own cycling habits, which are pretty much nonexistent these days.

Why, when given all the transportation choices available to me, do I invariably choose cycling LAST over everything else? Simply because it's a battle I'm not always prepared to fight.

Only when on my bike do I face the possibility of being honked at or yelled at, or worse, involved in a collision where I stand an enormous chance of being injured...all while I'm following the laws and riding like I should. Of course, I *could* ride on the sidewalk, as many people do, but I don't want to do that. It's illegal, and I am determined that *if* I'm going to ride my bike, I'm going to "do it right" and not be one of those law-flaunting cyclists that everyone loves to hate.

This isn't to say that I get abuse hurled at me EVERY time I ride my bike! Most drivers are respectful and can share the road nicely, and the vast majority of trips would end without incident. But even the possibility that I would have to face something like that when all I want to do is GET SOMEWHERE is enough to push me to leave my bike at home and walk, or take the bus, or drive. Every bike ride is a mental battle, and most days I'm not ready to put my game face on. I have enormous respect for those of you who DO get out there daily and fight, and I hope that someday I'll be strong enough to join you. But for now, I admit that I am weak, and my bike sits in the garage.

(And yes, I realize that using a war/battle analogy for such an inflammatory topic is maybe ill-advised. The battle in this case is mostly inside my own head.)

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