An open letter to my fellow road users

Dear People on the Road Lately:

“It is unlawful to harass, taunt, or maliciously throw an object at or in the direction of any person riding a bicycle; and
A person who commits the above offense is guilty of a misdemeanor and, upon conviction, must be fined not less than two hundred fifty dollars or imprisoned not more than thirty days, or both.
Every driver of a vehicle shall exercise due care to avoid colliding with any pedestrian or any person propelling a human-powered vehicle and shall give an audible signal when necessary. “
Source: S.C. Code Ann. §§56-5-3445; 56-5-3230

Sec. 26-37. – Bicycles.
No person in or on a public mall only shall:
(1) Riding in other than designated areas. Ride a bicycle other than on a paved vehicular road, street or path designated for that purpose.
– City of Greenville Ordinances, Chapter 26, Article II, Sec 26-37 (Code 1985, § 3-1-4; Code 1997, § 26-37)

(Not in South Carolina? Here you go.)

Phrased alternatively, do not yell at a bicyclist to “get off the road”, “use the $%&@! sidewalk”, swerve toward them aggressively, etc.

We are road users. We are sisters, brothers, mothers, fathers, offspring, teachers, students, business owners, neighbors, friends and spouses, and we’re taxpayers (don’t even start with me on that one). We’re fellow humans doing something different than you, not to be confused with your Mortal Enemy or someone you need to lecture.

We’re not going anywhere, and we’re not going to stop asking you: please be nice, and just try not to kill us. That’s literally all we’re asking of you.

(The fact that some cyclists run stop signs, get in your way, are hard to see, or generally piss you off has nothing to do with what I am talking about here. Don’t take out your road rage on the rest of us.)

 

Still too many words? DBAA.

 

Also, I’m getting really good at memorizing license plates.

 

Thanks,

 

That cyclist who yelled right back at you today

An open letter to my fellow road users

Happy New Gear

Because I do group rides with crazy people, we’re trying for 365 days of riding this year in 2017. Log at least 1 mile a day on Strava and be the last one standing for ultimate bragging rights (maybe by next year we’ll have worked out real prizes). And if you haven’t ridden yet today, you have just under 3 hours (EST) to join us!

Happy New Gear

Podcastaway

Winter break has finally arrived, and I’m catching up on crafternoons and favorite podcasts before heading off to Mexico for a week. One in particular that I’ve discovered recently and that has really sucked me in is Off Peak, a podcast about the transit system in LA.

Yeah, there’s even a part of me that says wow, how is that an entire podcast topic? But that’s kind of the point in a way, because there are these hidden worlds we would otherwise know nothing about, and although they’re all centered around LA, I’m nonetheless fascinated over here on the east coast. The most recent episode was “The First Woman Everything”, about a woman who achieved many firsts in the public transit realm. To be honest, it’s taken me a few weeks to get around to listening to it. But it blew my mind, and I highly recommend it (and the other episodes as well; another favorite is episode 2, “Roads Were Not Built for Cars”). Even though I read about alternative transportation all the time, I find myself constantly drawn in time and again by how transit is so deeply entwined with civil rights and social issues in our culture and history. Gives me lots of deep thoughts to ponder on my longer rides.

Of course if we’re talking podcast recommendations, I have to also plug the Joyride Podcast again in case you missed my previous post about getting to talk to Cat about bike commuting, and the Spokesmen podcast actually tipped me off to Off Peak in the first place. If you’re hibernating a bit this winter or otherwise looking for new podcast material, I’m also digging Undone, Radiolab and Revisionist History.

 

Podcastaway

Speak up, legs

Sometimes I can be kind of morbid. I woke up this morning, stretched, and my first conscious thought of the day was “wow this feels good. I’m glad I’m alive, one day I will be dead and I won’t be able to enjoy things like stretching.”

Which some people might find depressing, but it’s true. They say two things in life are inevitable, death and taxes. But you might be Donald Trump, in which case you can avoid paying taxes, which just leaves death. So at least until we hit the singularity, one day you will die.

…That escalated quickly. Sorry if you just wanted some ideas for bike commuter clothes or helmet suggestions. Those are coming soon, I promise.

But I saw this video today and well, damn. We live in these fabulous bodies that can do such amazing things, and now the fourth leading cause of death is that we aren’t using them.

So the next time I’m suffering up a long hill, I’m going to try to swear less, feel the burn, and laugh at myself a little. I won’t say “shut up legs”, more like “I hear you, but I’m going to use you while I can. Also, there is beer at the end of this, so go a little faster please.”

 

Ok, I’m done. Carpe diem, y’all!

 

 

Speak up, legs

#sorrynotsorry

Click to listen
When Cat and I recorded this podcast last week, we had no idea what kind of changes would happen in the world between then and airing. Thus in addition to our chat about living carfree, this episode includes an empowering call to action to be the change you wish to see. B(ik)e the change, if that’s your jam. But pedal onward, literally and figuratively, and don’t apologize for sticking up for the things you believe in. Sometimes being a rebel can be tough work. But it’s so worth it.

I hope you enjoy listening. I’m really proud to be on this week, and huge thanks to Cat for having me! 

#sorrynotsorry

Voting isn’t over

No, I’m not talking about the electoral college votes. And I’m not talking about what you did or didn’t do in a voting booth on Tuesday.

We vote every day, whether we are cognizant of it or not.

When you ride your bike instead of driving, you vote for clean air, clean water, energy independence, and better infrastructure. 

When you put your dollars in local businesses (local bike shops and beyond), you vote for Main Street, small business owners and in support of your local economy.

When we eat, we can vote for our local farmers, for the wellbeing of workers and animals, and for the environment.

When you speak words to others, it is the chance to vote for more love and compassion in this world, for understanding and tolerance. 

When we forgive, it is a vote for healing in ourselves and in those who have hurt us.

We are all human. Not one of us is perfect. But we each have so much power to make the world a better, kinder, cleaner and healthier place the second we decide to apply action to that which we hold most dear. 

So please, keep voting. Early and often. As long as you are on this side of the dirt, you have choices that matter. 
“You cannot get through a single day without having an impact on the world around you. What you do makes a difference, and you have to decide what kind of difference you want to make.”

Jane Goodall

Voting isn’t over