Monday, July 27, 2015

Close Encounters of the Fuji Kind

I just realized that I have never posted about a crazy Fuji encounter I had in the fall of 2012.

On a beautiful sunny day I rode a Bikes at Work trailer back to my friend's house from whom I had borrowed it.  The trailer was empty, and even though it was quite a distance (at least 20 miles I think), it was an easy pull.  Being empty, it also kept my reflective "FUJI CAZY" license plate in full view.  It is thanks to that license plate that I can even tell this story.

I was riding along Susquehanna Avenue, minding my own business (in the bike lane), when suddenly a car pulled over in front of me.  It was obvious the driver had something to say.  So, I slowed down, and prepared my defenses as my imagination began producing all sorts of scenarios.

He exited the driver's side door with a beaming smile.  Thankfully there was nothing to defend.  He immediately asked, "Why are you so Fuji Crazy?"  I couldn't believe it.  I was astounded, but its a pretty simple answer, so I matter of factly replied, "because I could find these older bikes inexpensively but they are a good, quality bike."  The conversation didn't really get much beyond that, but he took a quick pic, and gave me his card.

As he drove away with a friendly wave, I read his card... "president of Advanced Sports Intl."  which is the company that owns Fuji!

Turns out he knew my friend too.  It really is a small world after all.

Monday, January 27, 2014

Bud Light Salutes, Real American Drivers: Here's to You Mr. Head-Shaker of Disdain Driver

Today we salute you Mr. Head-Shaker of Disdain Driver.  
Its obvious you really know your stuff.
(You really know your stuu-uuuff.)
If you see a cyclist trying to "share the road,"
You're NOT going to like it, and everyone else is going to know it.
Nobody on the road is immune to your watchful eye.
Especially if they're not in a car.
(Get a car you idiot!)
But you don't revert to yelling or cussing.
Mr. Head-Shaker of Disdain Driver is too civilized for that.
(You're so civ-il-iiized.)
You just think those words, silently, in your head,
as you shake it back and forth at your victim.
(Thinking and shaking.)

Friday, April 12, 2013

Ride of Silence 2013

Here in Trappe/Collegeville, Pa, we're riding our 4th Ride of Silence.  You can see video of our ride 2 years ago on a previous post.

This year we are going to stay solely on Main Street between the two boroughs of Trappe and Collegeville.  We'll do about 3 loops up and down Main Street, with turnaround points in the parking lot of Congressman Gerlach's office in Trappe, and the other at the new kiosk in Collegeville at 3rd and Main.

The event is free, and please wear a helmet.  I'm not sure if we'll have any traffic control help or not. We will ride single file, and follow the rules of the road.  We will stop at the stoplights if they are red.  It will be okay if we are not as a complete group all the time.  With the ride occuring only on a mile or two of Main Street, we will be noticed.  PrintCopy in Trappe is making two banners that a couple of us can attach to our bikes to help others recognize what we are doing.  The ride begins at 7pm, but please be there by 6:30 for preparations (poem reading, application of arm bands, etc...).

Tuesday, March 19, 2013

You Can't Blame the Bike: A Road Bully is going to be a Road Bully

I was driving our car last Sunday on Main Street.  There was nothing unusual about how I was driving.  I was going the speed limit, staying in my lane, watching for others around me.  I prepared to make a right turn into a parking lot drive way, slowed down, maintained my line, put my blinker on in advance.  However, the driver behind me remained right on my tail as I did these normal (in fact required) things.  Not only that, but he crossed over into the other lane of traffic to pass me at the moment I turned, garnering a honk from the passing car!  Neither of us could believe his behavior I'm sure.  I couldn't restrain myself, I honked too.  As he passed, he was waving his hand up at me.  I don't think I saw the classic middle finger, but I wonder what kind of expletive he was speaking in hopes that I could read his lips.

I'm commenting on this because I was not on my bike.  I want to say that I usually only experience this type of driving behavior when that is the case, however, on further thought about it, I realized that I do in fact experience just as much driver hostility on our Main Street when I'm NOT on my bike!

What does this mean?  It means you can't tell me that I'm 'asking for it' when I'm out there on my bike because it happens even when I'm out there in my car.  The bike really has nothing to do with how others treat me on the road.

It is simply the ATTITUDE of other drivers toward my presence, my very existence, that puts me at risk most.  I am in the way, slowing them down.  In their mind, I don't have a right to be there (even in my car if I have to slow down to turn), and they want me to know how they feel.  So they put me and others at risk by using their car to be 'pushy.'

 Why are Road Bullies so mean?  Where does their impatience come from?  Why can't they just slow down and wait?  Why don't they realize the danger they put others in when they let their bad attitude control the way they drive?

There is no excuse for that kind of driving behavior, and the responsibility lies solely on the driver.  I truly hope my road encounters never get more intense than what I experienced the other day.