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Bicycles vs. Feet

October 19, 2013

I have something I need to confess. I’ve been holding it in for so long and it is time to let it go.

I am afraid of bicyclists.

I’m afraid of them and that fear brings on a sort of hatred of bicyclists. Don’t worry. I’m not going to shave my head or burn crosses on their lawn or anything. Maybe I should back up and try to explain the roots of my condition.

I have been, for most of my life, a walker. I am able to ride a bicycle or drive a car, but I prefer to walk. It is a natural pace, a natural motion for a human. No one ever gets walk sick. I have a car but I walk as much as possible. I don’t know if I can explain why I like walking so much. It puts one in an expansive state of mind. You can see the whole world but are moving at a pace that ensures you won’t miss anything. Birds chirp, insects buzz, people smile and make eye contact.

Of course, if you are walking on a sidewalk, cars tend to detract from the enjoyment. They are noisy and they stink but on the whole they are quantifiable. You can hear and see them coming from a mile away. They stick to the road and the rules of the road and you know what to expect from a car and a driver.

A bicycle, however, is silent. While you are ambling quietly along the trail admiring the colorful face a passing flower and smiling to yourself, there is a sudden rush and a streak of branded-color shoots out from behind you and a bicyclist shouts into your ear, “On your left!” It’s like having someone jump out in a Halloween mask and shout “Boo!” Bicycles are not confined to any one space either. Whether driving or walking, it is a mathematical certainty that you have been startled or angered by a bicyclist. They are unpredictable and no one likes to be surprised.

They carry themselves with a smug arrogance that is difficult to ignore. Of the three main modes of getting around, car, foot or bicycle, bicyclists are the only ones that require special clothing and gloves and alien headgear to get around. Unless you’re Alan Partridge or the Mr. Burns, chances are you’re not likely to don gloves and goggles to go motoring. The walker, likewise, needs no special equipment other than a pair of feet, preferably in a pair of shoes. Bicyclists, on the other hand must wear a second skin made of synthetic fibers that highlights every grotesque bulge. They must wear gloves. They must wear a helmet. Often times they are wearing wrap-around shades like they are Brian “The Boz” Boswell. Their insistent arrogance seems laughable, ironic. They ride around like Wells’ Hoopdriver and sneer at the snail-paced pedestrian. They pedal around on a device that is only slightly more sophisticated than a penny-farthing and treat motorists with derision. If you are dressed to get in an accident, then maybe you are not yet qualified to pedal a vehicle.

I guess you can tell how I feel about bicyclists. I know I said in the second paragraph that I had a hatred for them, but it is the sort of hatred a Huskies fan has for a Cougars fan or an England fan has for a fan of Germany (soccer not war). It is a rivalry. Walkers versus Bicyclists. I’m a Walkers fan (pedestrians not shortbread though I do like the shortbread as well). Maybe if more bicyclists used a bell instead of shouting in my ear…

There I got that off my chest. I’m going for a walk.


This is the tale of two happy feet

They liked to visit with the street

They liked to visit with the sidewalk

They liked to explore under trees

They liked to climb up and down stairs

And go places wheels will never be

2 Comments leave one →
  1. October 19, 2013 12:41 am

    they liked to fly but had no wings
    but still they soared on spinning rings

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