6.20.2010

Reformed Bicyclist


Take it from me: though I was once an uncaring sinner, I have now seen the light and mended my ways, and I urge you to do the same.

I speak, of course, in spiritual and eternal terms. But I also speak as a bicycle rider to other bicycle riders. In my impetuous days of youth, I zig-zagged through traffic, careened down sidewalks, ran red lights, and routinely went the wrong way.

But I realize now, in my more mature adult years, that reckless bicycling not only endangers myself, but sets back the cause of a more bike-friendly Philadelphia. After all, isn’t the typical attitude towards bicyclists one of disdain by both cars and pedestrians? Cars hate being cut off by and having to watch for errant bicyclists, and pedestrians resent when they have to share space with and avoid being swiped by bicyclists gone mad.

Having been chastened by more than one fellow bicyclist to remember that, by law, I am to obey the same laws as cars – stop at red lights, go the right way, don’t use sidewalks – I have decided to become a model, law-abiding citizen. And I urge you, if you get around on two wheels, to do the same. If we can all be more well-behaved, we just might get more traction from our fellow citizens on four wheels and on two legs to support our efforts to make Philadelphia more bike-friendly.

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