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In which I give you a Two'fer
May 1, 2007

An Open Letter To Sidewalk Riders:

Being both an avid pedestrian and bicycling enthusiast, I can assure you that I have the utmost sympathy for those that think that bicycling in the street is scary. In some parts of town, it certainly is. However, there are very few excuses which can be used to ride ones' bicycle on the sidewalk. Ever. And they are:

  1. If you are using the sidewalk to get somewhere within a half-block range. I.E. a parking spot.

  2. If you are going in a direction opposite a one-way street (and that is iffy).

  3. If you are urban-cycling with a friend, and are going the speed of the walker.

  4. If it is very very late and/or there aren't any people around.

And that, friends, is it. If, in fact, you are on the sidewalk on your cruiser, or whatever other bike you may have, and you are going in the same direction as traffic on the street, and you are mowing down pedestrians, I have a problem with that.

There are rules and laws put into place for a reason, people. Learn them and use them well.
If you are coming up behind someone (indeed, on a sidewalk or elsewhere), you must call out your intentions to the pedestrian. Don't give pedestrians nasty looks when riding on a sidewalk. Sidewalks are roads for pedestrians! The road is supposed to be shared between motorized vehicles and, yes indeed, bicycles. Sometimes riding in these conditions suck, I know. But you cannot just make up your own rules and expect society to carry on in a civilized manner.

I say eff you and your cruising ass on the sidewalk. Get in the bloody road. I ride there, you ride there, and that way you won't knock me down when I'm instead using my feet alone to traverse the city, and I won't have to get a piece of rebar to stick in your spokes the next time I see you on my road, capice?


An Open Letter To Neo-Gutter-Punks:

If you are going to ask me for change to buy beer, that's cool. If you're going to ask me for change to buy food, I'll think you're lying, but I might give it to you. If you ask me for change for anything, however, please don't wear your iPod. Take it off and hide it in your bag or something. Panhandlers aren't supposed to have any money to begin with, see? There's the rub. If you ask me for change and you've got one headphone in your ear and your cellphone to the other ear, don't expect anything more from me but a dirty look, a "pfft" and maybe a middle finger. Learn how to do things proper - you may actually get somewhere in life if you do.