I followed a cyclist down Eastlake the other day. We yo yoed for a few miles as we both climbed and descended all the hills heading North. He passed me, I caught up, he pulled way ahead, I caught up again.
The only reason he kept getting so far ahead of me is he was running red lights. As in, not–even–a–question the light was red, it was R E D.
I found my frustration growing each time I caught up to him. He clearly wasn’t gaining any time by running lights. So, what’s the point? Not only is running lights dangerous, it’s one behavior that really pisses off drivers.
And one guy on a bike running red lights makes the rest of us look bad.
He almost negated the cheerful carefree feeling I usually experience when I pedal somewhere. I really wanted to catch him one last time and yell at him, he made me so angry.
Then I passed a chick on the University bridge riding an Xtracyle who gave me a fist pump. And another rider smiled at me at the North end of the bridge. As I approached the Ave, a couple pointed at my basket and grinned as I pedaled by.
And I realized it was my Fall basket decoration that was drawing all of the smiles.
By the time I got home, I was back to my happy place and I had (almost) forgotten about red light runner.
And I owe that to my tacky, plastic, leaf-decorated basket.
Hey, I was admiring your basket outside REI the other day. I don’t think it looks tacky or plastic! 🙂
I think it looks festive! I know what you mean about red line runners, they make me mad also.
Red light runners make me really mad too, and those who ride the wrong way on the street. Glad you were able to get your good feeling back by the time you got home. Nothing worse than a grumpy evening caused by those who don’t think of others.
Your basket makes me smile and I am only looking at a photo of it. I can only imagine my grin if I saw it in person!
I am struggling with my bad feelings about local bicyclists who don’t obey the laws. I definitely feel the “you are making us ALL look bad” thing and I tend to be harsh in my head about them (more so, I think, then the crappy car drivers). How much has your community done a public education campaign about drivers AND cyclists obeying the rules of the road? Here we have this amazing bike advocacy group, but even among the bicyclists there is a huge debate about the red light running– some feeling like it is bad for all, others feel like it is totally legitimate. However, I do know that folks who do not like bicyclists on the road ALWAYS point to the red light running and lack of rules following as a reason.
It never even crossed my mind before I became a real bike advocate(recent development). Talking to people at city hall and the downtown association about pushing more biking and walking has gotten me super sensitive to anyone behaving badly on bikes.
Dig the basket, Sara likes to collect big branches of fall leaves in her xtracycle 🙂