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Dave Spencer Doesn’t Understand Bicyclists’ Attitudes

Donjd2, Flickr

Okay, I would like to say something to the bicyclists of the world: “I’m sorry.” I’m not doing it out of spite, I can assure you. And I actually have to do it every single day. My livelihood kind of depends on it. Many others like me are in the same boat. But somehow I feel you’re not as angry with them as you are with me. I know some of you may think it’s wrong, but it really isn’t. And I promise you I’ll do a better job of understanding your position, but please try to understand mine. I AM NOT THE ONLY ONE WHO DRIVES A CAR!For a while now, I’ve noticed while out in my automobile that certain bicyclists—not all of you—have come to not appreciate either me or my car. When I approach one, I slow down. Always. When I see one at an intersection, I give the right of way. Hey I’m down with the two-wheelers. I love a good bike. Used to have one. In fact, I used to have several—well, not all at once, but you know what I mean. I’d have one now if my last one hadn’t gotten stolen. But lately, I feel the very act of driving my car has left me vulnerable to scorn. Not too long ago, I was driving in town—over on the west end—and I saw a bicyclist who had pulled over to the side of the street to get a drink of water. Well, when I passed, he glared at me and then I noticed in my rear-view mirror he was waving his arms and shouting something. Couldn’t hear him. Maybe he had a cramp, but he seemed to be looking right at me. And that behavior is an escalation from the general dirty looks I’d been receiving up to that point. Now, I know what one person will say when he reads this, and his name rhymes with Chad Benefield. He knows I like to drive fast. He relishes the notion that I’m a wildly reckless driver. But I only drive fast on the highway and never dangerously. And I’ve had a couple of wrecks, just like most humans who have licenses to operate a motor vehicle. But none of that has anything to do with the Anti-Dave Spencer Bicycle Brigade that seems to be forming. The other day I was out on Kentucky Highway 85 between Sacramento and Livermore. I came upon a pair of cyclists on a curvy hill. Clearly I couldn’t pass them; my sight distance was limited. So I slowed down behind them until we were all over the hill and around the curve. And then, with no oncoming traffic about which to worry, I gently went around them. As I did, the guy on the left flipped me off. So I give up. I really do. I know these people have SEEN cars before. Am I emanating some kind of an odor to which those who ride bicycles have an aversion? Couldn’t tell ya. I just know that I’m gonna have to suck it up and deal with the fact that no matter how genteel I am with future bicyclists I encounter in my daily travels, I’m going to run into a few soreheads who will wish I’d never gotten out of bed that day. I know now that I will likely never make them happy.

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