The best part about this was I wrote it right after killing a truck with my bike

Edit: I hate going back and editing original, straight-outta-the-fingers thought, but… I did type this out after a fun night.  So I had to back up and at least polish up the typos.  I promise the rest is as pure and unadulterated as a new-born baby.

So a certain aspiring Texas A&M journalist wrote an “Opinion” article that actually turned out more like a petulant child’s whining in print.  I decided to respond.  Bear with me:

Let’s talk about roots.  Take it back. Waaaay back.  Remember kindergarten? It’s a German word: “Kinder” signifies child.

Now remember recess in kindergarten?  And how we were just learning the logistics of how to play well and get along with others?  We were just kids.  We made mistakes.  Teacher would call out: “Stevie!” A whistle would blow.  “Stevie, share the monkey bars, don’t push!”

Fast forward.  Here we are in university.  Uni: that’s Latin for one.  The whole purpose of coming to college is to learn to look past youir own nose.  To be able to live, learn and be productive as an educated mass that can create a solid unit, a community.

It is a happy dyadic coincidence that you can’t have a good university without diversity. It seems that to build any community and grow– be it the community of students, of college Station, of bicyclists, or of driver drivers, even a family can be considered a community– it’s pretty necessary to recognize our flaws and focus on our strengths, then come to a compromise.

There is no way short-sighted verbal foot-stamping and whining (and unnecessary bad-wishing) will solve anything.  And if that’s not the goal of this newspaper, or of this school, then Aggie community, you have failed me and yourselves.

So when it comes to this awkward sort of politics between bicycles and cars that’s becoming very apparent as a result of the growing environmental movement no doubt– let’s look both ways and then cross the street together, shall we?

First of all, let’s consider the idea of “roots” again.  Bicycles were were invented before cars.  Vehicles, we share the road but if you want to talk in terms of who always has the right of way as a chronological process, (and not just cause the law says so! Bush country.) there it is.  It’d be worth it to mention then that feet were invented way before the bicycle.  Cars < Bikes < Pedestrians in terms of who you are responsible for.  In exchange for allowing ourselves the luxury of dispelling gas into the air and of driving heavy, dangerous machinery daily, a promise to fellow commuters not to, oh, I don’t know, kill them, is fair enough.

I know there are some death-defying cycling going on, but don’t believe all bicyclists have a death wish.  I argue that drunk drivers fall better under that category and Lord knows we’ve got a lot of those.  Think about it: they pay bars and parking peters for their death wish.  And alcohol does nothing truly progressive for you in the long run.  Bikes get you places.  Literally.  Give me adrenaline over alcohol any day.

So as a bicyclist who commutes daily and enjoys her bike in general, I don’t really have a death wish, so please don’t treat me like a pawn in this “death game.”  Some of my friends like to show off a bit and bend some rules, I will admit, but we have the rsponsibility to watch out for foot traffic AND motor traffic.  I am aware of overly aggressive riding and I don’t condone it.  But I wouldn’t take it personally.  Part of the fun in biking is learning how to use your body in new ways. Personally if campus is buzzing, I try to ride  courteously– sorries galore if I run over your foot (and it only happened that one time, very slowly!) “excuse me”s or a precusored warning if I brush past you fast and close; I slow down at stop signs especially when its busy.  But pedestrians, I like leaping off the curb and all, but my wheels can only take so much.  Those on foot, please either practice talking on the phone while simultaneously walking or just be more attentive.  Cars and bikes are looking out for you.  And don’t dare think of chewing gum.

Also, please give a bit of leeway on the ramps.  Those are for things with wheels.  Step off the curb.  And be smart!  Stopping like a deer in headlights never works out in any situation.

Look.  No one’s got a deathwish.  If that were true, I could say aggressive truck drivers have a something-I-can’t-say-here but it also starts with a D and they run small.  We’re all just trying to get around town.  Hey, if you love your car because it gets you places and keeps you safe , excellent.  More power to you.  I like my bike because it’s emission-free, my thighs and calves look killer, I’m healthier.  Plus, the friends I’ve made because of it as well as the act of bicycling in general make me feel like a kid again every time I ride.  And pedestrians–your feet were made for walking, and that’s just what they’ll do.  Just make sure one of these days you don’t let them walk all over anyone else.

You’re going to suspect that I hug trees in my spare time (and I do, occasionally) but in the plaintive words of the infamous Rodney King:

People, can’t we just get along?

Advertisements

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s

%d bloggers like this: