I haven’t ridden my bike to work in months. I’ve been using car2go, very rarely taking the bus, and mostly walking. (It’s just under 40 minutes walking, a bit faster if I grab the 16th street shuttle for the last few blocks.)
I stopped riding my bike because I was getting really frustrated with pedestrians, other cyclists, and drivers. Most of whom are lovely, but a significant minority of whom are terrible. And I just didn’t like starting and ending my day feeling angry. It had gotten worse as I had started going into work just a little later than I had before. At 7 am the roads are still fairly empty; the closer you get to 8, the more bozos there are.
I rode my bike this morning because I had a busy day on my schedule. (Though three hours of it just got canceled, which is why I have a moment to sit and write this.) Biking to work only takes about 15 minutes, and I wanted the extra time this morning.
On my way in, in the span of less than two miles, I shouted at four people:
- A woman on a B-cycle who genuinely startled me by whizzing past me on my right. (“You startled me! Usually we pass on the left!”
- A car who decided to pass me just as we came to a stop sign, meaning we arrived at the stop sign at almost the same time, and I was almost sure the car was turning right. “What are you doing?!”
- At a pedestrian who did that thing where he was waiting for me to go so he could cross but then stepped off the curb just as I passed him. “Too close!”
- At a pedestrian with her nose buried in her phone as she crossed an intersection. Three vehicles were waiting for her, as they should, but I wouldn’t trust my life to other people doing what they should in traffic. “You gotta look both ways!”
So. I think I’m going to stick with walking. Even though a 40 minute commute isn’t really my favorite, at least it’s 40 minutes of listening to This American Life podcasts instead of 15 minutes of hating everyone.