Wednesday, August 17, 2011

Dear Cyclist circling at the red light,

Don't worry.  It's okay.  There is something I know that you don't know and once I tell you, everything is going to be okay. The street, the blacktop, no matter how hot it gets during the summer in Chicago, will not turn to lava.  You can put your feet down and your shoe will not melt away.  You don't have slowly turn in circles waiting for the light to change, trying to keep your balance as you move slower and slower, blocking the sidewalk so pedestrians can't safely cross.  Just put your foot down.

You aren't even wearing clip in shoes.  You don't even have toe clips on your bike.  You are going to get stuck at the next light anyway, doing the same circle (maybe you are coordinated and circle clockwise at one red light and counter-clockwise at the next).  Do you accelerate that much faster when you don't stop?  In the grand scheme of things, are those few seconds that important?  Yes, I know I floor my car so I can be first at the next red light, too.

Maybe it's a game.  Each day you see how far you can get without your feet hitting the group. Maybe your goal is to get all the way home.  Maybe this keeps you entertained on your way home.  Maybe you should juggle bean bags while you are doing it so you entertain those of us in our cars stuck at the same light.

Maybe it's jealousy.  Maybe I want to sneak through the intersection when there is no cross traffic, even though the light is red.  Maybe every day I see you pass me, and while I might catch you by the next light, you leave me far behind, stopping every two blocks, taking forty minutes to go the seven miles home during evening rush hour.  Maybe the AC in my car is broken and its been 90 degrees with 90 percent humidity all summer.  Maybe I am stewing in my own sweat, hot air blowing at me, no breeze through the windows because I am stopped and watching you circle, circle, circle, your helmet, your sunglasses, your bike a modified grandma bike.

Crap, the guy behind me just honked because I'm watching you and now the light is green and I haven't moved.  You pedal away, your feet never hitting the ground. 

1 comment:

Jamie P said...

If there were a like button here I'd click it. But since there's not, I'll just say: I like your post.