I'm not actively blogging here anymore. But if you got here because you were searching for something about bikes, you might want to check out my latest project, Vermont Goldsprints. In summer of 2014, I bought a used goldsprints racing setup and have made it a mission to get more bikes in more people's faces by putting on fun races in unexpected places. Come join me!
On Getting the Memo
To: Cyclists From: Matt Re: The meaning of "On your left." Recently, it has come to my attention that many of you have decided to employ this term while riding down the Riverside Bikeway. I do not think it means what you think it means. "On your left" means "Hi there pedestrian! I am approaching. I have noticed that I will be passing you soon and did not want you to be alarmed. I'll be occupying some of the four feet of path next to you momentarily, on your left, so please do not be alarmed or make any sudden moves in that direction." "On your left" does not mean: "I noticed that you have deigned to WALK on MY path, which is all mine, all eight feet wide of it. The four feet of path to your left is in no way satisfactory amount for me. Although there is no one coming in the other direction for at least 500 yards, I DEMAND that you jump to the grass on the side immediately, that I may continue unimpeded on my superior form of conveyance. I am not concerned with the fact that all path users in front of me have the right of way, nor that I must slow, nay stop if necessary to avoid hitting them." * Yelling it twice does not make it mean the above, either. I am as big an advocate of cycling as they come, and I live what I preach every day. Nevertheless, the sheer cluelessness and arrogance that populates our ranks is a daily frustration. Cyclists who break traffic rules, run red lights, pass cars on the right, etc. do nothing but create less and less of an expectation of predictable cycling behavior in the drivers that I encounter every day. That lowers the safety and consideration factors for me, and for all of us out there on bikes. Please distribute this memo widely, and especially to the young woman who spawned this frustrated blog post tonight. If you're reading this (yes, you- with your two flashing lights and Nantucket Red pants) I just wanted you to know that yelling at us on the path tonight was rude and inconsiderate- it made you and by association all other cyclists appear arrogant. Can't have that. *This memo is in no way meant to apply to those clueless pedestrians who walk four abreast or wander all over the path. They deserve a frustrated and loud "On your left," though to avoid confusion I would advocate for a simple "outta the way, you mook!" Please disperse this memo as widely as you see fit.