I walked through the door of the Jamestown Café, and the place went quiet. Everyone was gathered around one table, and I heard someone say, “You’re sure in the wrong place.” Standing in the door in my Lycra and cycling cleats, I suddenly felt like I had entered an old Western movie. A Clint Eastwood movie.
It seemed a good plan, take a ride into the mountains after work. After battling a strong headwind all the way up, I arrived in Jamestown at 7:15, tired and hungry. I needed something to eat before I rode the 20 miles home. The gathering of locals that I walked in on were discussing the perceived shortcomings of the new Bicycle Rights Bill. One gentleman had a copy of it clenched in his hand and was apparently reading the inflammatory sections to the crowd. Clicking up to the bar, I was ignored by all but the waitress who graciously set me up with a Power Bar, and covered the gap between my two bucks and the cost.
Being both an extrovert, and a long time cyclist (messenger, racer, commuter, enthusiast) I couldn’t help but join the conversation over the new cycling laws. We agreed that some cyclists needlessly impeded traffic to and from their mountain paradise. However, when I offered that, “Idiocy isn’t limited to cyclists,” there was general agreement.
As usual, when you meet people face to face, we found common ground and areas of agreement. People introduced themselves, and were kind, intelligent and gracious. I said goodbye to the group, and rode off with a fresh perspective.
Common sense and respect for others would make these regulations unnecessary. I encounter the transgressions of drivers frequently, but I also witness the arrogance of cyclists who impede and provoke traffic unnecessarily, and even treat their fellow riders with disdain. Let me just offer that your arrogance is unwarranted, as my friend Russ says, the good guys are all in Italy now.
There is plenty of room out there for everyone on the trails and the roads, all it requires is a little civility.