Sunday, August 29, 2004

idiot california drivers not necessarily in blue cars

Saturday dawned fair and warm, always a hopeful prelude to the weekend ...and a perfect excuse to get our fat butts out of doors and on the old, lovingly cared for Raleighs: a slightly modified Twenty folder (fairly stock except for aluminum rims on the recently rebuilt wheels), and the step-through Sprite w/basket (and much improved from its stock components, with much better wheels, alloy single crank, and the nicer aluminum Simplex derailleur ...I shaved a minor 10 lbs off the weight on that mod', a significant factor for a second-floor apartment dweller).

So off we went, to run our simple errands and burn some calories.

A trip to the library to drop off books, and a circle back past the post office (to mail a replacement CD with an original database application to an old - still satisfied - client from my Humboldt consulting days). Maybe eight miles or so in toto.

The library leg from Sac State to the corner of Northrop and Watt - via various low-traffic streets & lanes - was uneventful, pleasant, and well-shaded ...just your basically nice Saturday ride.

On the return leg of the ride, we had to cut down Morse to reach the Arden branch Post Office though, and for the left turn onto Arden, we chose to ride the proper and legal turn from the left turn lane, as all proper motorists would.

(There was already a waiting car that had tripped the signal light, and as the left signal light at the Morse & Arden corner is also the variant that allows opposing left turns, it was a convenient and legal choice for an experienced bicyclist to use ...and a choice that typically wouldn't confuse the densest of motorists.)

I made sure that I caught the attention of front car's driver so he'd know our intent to turn left with the traffic ...and when the green light turned, we swung wide through the intersection, and then transitioned to become sidewalk riders. (Arden, from Watt Avenue through to Cal Expo is just too dangerous a place to mix it up with motorists; I'm not too proud to carefully take to the sidewalks when it's the safest option, and most especially so when I'm riding with Wife).

The front car's driver was courteous, as was the driver in the opposing left turn, and we started to proceed uneventfully down the sidewalk toward the Arden Post Office, a few short blocks away.

I looked back to check on Wife (riding the Sprite), and as I did, I noted the young man in the blue car making one of the last of the left turns from Morse to Arden in that cycle of the signal, opening his window.

And immediately I hear some angry shouting, something about "Next time use the crosswalks" which comment I far more angrily and loudly reply with the di regueur "F___ off" in my best basso profundo voice, along with the proper stentorian single finger salute.

Geez. Little creep. I was actually hoping for the car to pull over into one of the many (and quite convenient) merchant parking areas.

And I was ticked for hours afterward. So much for a "pleasant and relaxing Saturday ride". The poor endorphine redux was overwhelmed with the after effects of berserker rage.

So ...the result of Saturdays ride is this new blog (I've been meaning to start one anyways).

...and an open letter to the appropriate Sacramento area motorists (particularly the little prick from Saturday who was still in diapers when I was watching my first son leave for college): according to California state traffic laws, bicyclists have the exact same rights and responsibilities as motor vehicles. Well, for non-restricted access freeways, at least (which type of road Arden obviously isn't numbered among).

A bicyclist is not - necessarily - a pedestrian on wheels.

But a twit anxious to publicly reveal the stunningly abysmal depths of their profound ignorance of traffic laws in re: said bicyclist is ALWAYS a moron.

And, likely, a life-long member* of the Two Inch tribe of males.

*Puns are always intended.

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