Think of all of the annoying things that people do while driving. I can think of a lot. Then again I think I have road rage so a lot of the time I'm angry when I drive. Now what do all of those things have in common besides the fact that people are idiots?
These things are worse when you're on a bike.
Yesterday while biking home (which I'm officially doing 5 days a week now... go me), I encountered probably three things that made me think "God this is just as bad as driving." Now I live at the most 1.8 miles from work. I just Google mapped it. So I don't have that far to go. But man was I ticked off by the end of that 1.8 miles.
(Disclaimer: I was really irritated in general all day yesterday. I dropped my iPhone and shattered the glass, work is challenging right now, it's hot - you get the idea.)
There's nothing worse than when you feel you're driving at an adequate, sometimes even faster than usual, speed and yet there's still a guy that is just right on top of you. That won't go around, that won't slow down, that pretty much just sits in your mirror until you get out of his way. That guy sucks.
When that guy's on a bike, he sucks even more. This is because on a bike there is no rearview mirror. There is no way for you to know that he is RIGHT THERE. You don't have a single clue that somebody is three inches from your rear wheel because you can't see him. But he doesn't care. He's in straight Tour de France mode on the UC Davis bikepaths and is going to draft you like Tony Stewart trying to pass you on his way to the checkered flag. And yes that is a NASCAR reference that none of you will understand.
This guy then becomes...
Guy Who Passes You Going 80
So now the guy decides that he needs to get around you so here he comes, flying past you going 80 miles an hour. You know how Ricky Bobby and Cal do their patented slingshot move on the racecourse in Talladega Nights? This is like that except you have no choice but to be a participant. This is annoying on the highway mainly because it makes you roll your eyes and say "Ok dude, we get it." But on a bike? You instantly fear for your life. As I referenced in the point above, you can't see bikers behind you. You don't know that they're about to book it past you until they are 3 inches next to you flying by. What if I was about to move over so I could turn or something?
Cell Phone Guy
First although it can be done with only one hand (and sometimes no hands which I can't even believe people can do), bikes are made to be steered with two hands. When you're talking on the phone while riding your bike you don't steer correctly hence you don't ride in a straight line thereby turning me into either Tailgating Guy or Guy Who Passes You Going 80. And when it's just you two riding through a neighborhood in Davis, that's just awkward. Secondly, how are you pedaling your cruiser and having a coherent phone conversation? Aren't you huffing and puffing into the phone? Oh no? That's just me. Moving on then...
Sunday Driver Guy
The exact opposite of Tailgating Guy. No clue that anyone else exist out on the road, they're out for a lovely bike ride in the afternoon. Except it's Tuesday at lunch time, they're taking up the entire bike path, and they're riding at half the speed of a normal biker. I'm not saying you need to be sprinting down the path but come on. Just be aware of who's around you.
Is It My Turn? Guy
You approach a stop sign at the same time as another person. You stop, waiting for them to go. They wait for you to go. Now you're just staring at each other trying to telepathically get each other to make the first move. So you inch forward... but so does the other guy. Two minutes later, you floor it in the hopes that the guy won't floor it too and pass through the intersection. Infuriating? Yes. When you're on a bike? Confusing, slightly terrifying, and awkward. See, on a bike, you're not insulated in your automobile. So if you take the right of way away from someone, you then have to look at them and sometimes talk to them as you ride past. Also unlike cars, coming to a full and complete stop is a little more difficult when you're in full riding mode. So you're trying to roll through and balance but you can't figure out if the other person is going to go or not. The "approaching a stop sign at the same time as another bike" situation is now the most confusing thing to me.
Slowly but surely, though, I think I'm getting the hang of this whole bike riding thing. It's a little warm out right now but overall it's a good workout, gets me outside and is saving me a ton in gas money. I'll deal with what I have to to keep that streak going.