Monday, June 6, 2011

Unhappy Habits

Now that I’ve been spending more time on my road bike (and less time running), I’ve noticed a few annoying (and quite dangerous) habits exhibited by some local drivers. If you bike, feel free to nod your head and smile knowingly. If you drive, please don’t be one of these people.

#1 “The End-Around”: When a vehicle in your lane (ahead of you) swerves into the shoulder to go around a vehicle that is stopped to turn left.

No, the bike lane is not there so that you can get home in time for Wopner. Please just wait until the vehicle in front of you makes their turn. I promise it won’t take too long and it may save you the trouble of having to scrape me off your passenger side door!

#2 “The Stop Sign Stutter”:  When a vehicle hesitates across a stop line before entering your lane from a side street.

Stop lines (and signs) are there for a reason. Please stop (and look) before proceeding. Don’t roll across that line without stopping. Don’t make me have to guess whether or not you see me and whether or not you are going to chose to follow the rules of the road. Otherwise, you might need to replace your front driver-side quarter panel due to the bike-shaped hole in it!

#3 “The Cross Traffic Cut-Off”:  When a vehicle in the opposite lane makes a late (and often slow) left turn - directly into your path.

Yes, if you are turning at an intersection and I’m going straight - I have the right-of-way. I know that you think you can make because I’m not travelling as fast as a car, but when I have to slam on my brakes to keep from becoming your new hood ornament then you should have waited!

#4 “The Side Mirror Side-Swipe”:  When a vehicle (usually a truck) doesn’t give an inch when passing you on your left.

As a biker, I know I have to share the road with you – streets were certainly not paved for my enjoyment alone. But, could you please just give me a wee bit of wiggle room? Deep down, I know your big truck and super wide mirrors are just to compensate for your small genitals. But, that will afford me little comfort when I’m in traction!

#5 “The Lackadaisical Drift”: When a vehicle in your lane (or the other) slowly meanders from one side of the road to the other.

Yes, I know the text that Joey just sent you needed to be responded to immediately. Or, the sandwich you are eating just dripped sauce into your lap. Or, the cigarette you are smoking just burned a hole in your crotch. But, please maintain control of your vehicle at all times. Otherwise you’ll have a lot of explaining to do to the 4 children waiting for me at home!

So ends my bike rant – for now.


  1. What about the drivers of the Big Scary Trucks that lean on their air horns shortly before (or just before (or just as)) they pass you?

    Also, you wrote "sutter" instead of stutter.

  2. Anon - Thanks for the note. "Stutter" it is! And, thank you for something I hadn't thought of. Something to look forward to, I guess.

  3. In my tiny bit of road biking experience, I'm of the mindset that EVERY car is going to hit me for any of the above reasons you mentioned, and others not. It's quite scary. (And hey drivers, less cat calling is appreciated.)

    ~ your sister

  4. Yes. Biking in Maine does open a whole 'nother can-o-worms ...