So, in an attempt to keep it on lighter terms rather than me just going off on a rant about EVERYTHING I find stupid when it comes to the sport of triathlon, I figured I should just say them individually as they come to my head. I’ll go more into detail and lead off onto smaller tangents as opposed to talking about everything that grinds my gears in one shot.
For my first rant I’d like to talk about drivers, alright?
Ok. I know and understand that there are people out there that are completely oblivious to the existence of cycling or even triathlons as a sport, just like there are people out there who think the moon is a huge elaborate government hoax, but come on. There are people’s lives literally on the line in front of you as you fly by them as if to play a game of who can get to closest.
Yeah, you, as a driver, are going to have to slow down a little for them and, yeah, maybe you’ll even change lanes for them, but what is the total time lost going around them? 15 seconds? 37 at most? Why in the hell can’t you honestly take those seconds to just relax? If you’re late going somewhere, the 30-some-odd seconds isn’t really going to make a difference – you’re already late. Jackass.
Futhermore, I can’t forget to mention all of the built up anger and sexual frustrations that come seaping out of every little pore on their body as they pass a cyclist. It is as if they’ve lost all their life savings in a gambling game and they feel like they have to release all their rage at that exact moment in time as they pass you. Even more so, it is as if they are angry that you have the time, ability, and mental fortitude to be outside doing something productive with your time that is actually beneficial to your health. Jealous? Maybe, ignorant? Yes to all.
Some, actually, almost everyone including athletes don’t know their own state laws. YOU SHOULD KNOW THEM! At the very least, skim through them enough to be able to help you out (or just have a friend who knows them). For example, I live in SC and within the driver’s hand book (you know the one you or your teenage child needs to read because they’re learning how to drive?) there is a page(s) exclusively dedicated to educating readers on the laws of the road FOR CYCLISTS!
The bottom line and final word is on pgs. 48-49 in the SC DMV Driver’s Manual. Here’s the link for your sake: http://www.scdmvonline.com/DMVNew/forms/driver%20manual.pdf
There are also many blogs, websites, and YouTube videos (RESOURCES!!!) out there that provide both athletes and drivers with information regarding the do’s and dont’s of “sharing the road”. Look, we both know the the only people who are semi-interested in this information are actual cyclists/triathletes, but I am a firm believer that knowledge is power. Start getting powerful, people! You know, to protect yourself and stuff.
I am also aware that some people are just assholes (yes, I’m talking about cyclists and triathletes, here) so all I can say to them is – Stop! It’ll help society out. You can’t be a one-sided prick in that you have to be curtious to the drivers around you and just obey the law. It’s so simple it works!
Another thing that erks me beyond extent while I am cycling and even when I’m driving is the amount of people who DO NOT USE THEIR BLINKERS! Is that the new thing? Like the new trendy thing out there for everyone to follow? That blinker is there so everyone around you is aware of your crappy driving and they know to watch out. Use it. Please!
I have had some really close calls with cars. I bike everyday! Of those close calls include the occurrence happening next to police officers and directly with police cars.
Example: The other day going down a fairly normal road with no traffic at all, some jack wagon speeds mighty close to me and as he is “SLOWLY” passing me, he yells out some pretty mean things. These were the types of things you don’t normally say at a dinner table such as, “Hope you die you f%#^ing faggot!” (Yeah, not dinner talk). I proceede to politely respond back with some well thought out argumentative language which included the infamous “Go (insert strong verb) Yourself!” – I got him good 🙂 He then drives away, cutting me off like a cyber bully logging off his computer. Not but 7 seconds after this a police car just passes by me as close as the other guy did just moments before like nothing had happened.
Not only did this officer clearly see me exchange words and hand gestures with the driver, but he also saw the guy cut me off. Yet, he clearly didn’t care. He just kept driving like nothing, like I wasn’t even there. Very pissed I was (yes, I am Yoda) that I would have loved to catch the first driver and let out my gambling debt frustration out on him. Regardless, it just so happens that officers of the law might not be fully educated on the SC Driver’s Laws, just as the other road users. If you have a opportunity to bring community awareness to your town and/or local police officers, do so, so they can have your back out there.
So the moral of the rant:
Know at least some of your state laws (aka get educated) and don’t be a prick 🙂