Monday, July 6, 2009

Pedestrian Pedestrians and The Vicious Cycle of Cyclists

Good 4th of July weekend? Hands and digits intact? Welcome back to work. Now get to earning back that hundred bucks you smoked on just-loud-enough-to-annoy-and-not-inspire-the-neighbors, discount fireworks that you shot off at 10:00 p.m. on Sunday, July 5th, when everyone was trying to ease out of the weekend on the couch with a decent movie. And on a(n) (un)related note, why are fireworks legal in most states, but psychedelic mushrooms are illegal across the board in all states? What's a more dangerous recreational activity? Gathering 50 people around a coffee can and launching explosive projectiles out of it? Or, eating a few caps, kicking back on the recliner, firing up some Kevin Mahogany through the headphones, and watching the ceiling fan dance for a few hours? 

The longer you run backwards, the more time you spend convincing yourself that you're making progress. 

That's really why I write this blog: to perhaps aid in slowing down the runaway machine of American illogic, irresponsibility, and ignorance. If I can get Rhode Island motorists to shape up and change their ways, then anything is possible (as if the 2004 Red Sox and the election of Barack Obama didn't prove that already). Maybe things are getting better, and I should lighten up . . . but then if I did that, I wouldn't be writing this post, and filling a temporary void for you, my loyal readers. 

So, critical by nature, I present yet another glorious nugget published in the Rhode Island Driver's Manual. On page 48, under section C, in the second bulleted list, in the third bullet, see the second sentence. I love this. This is vindication in a bottle. Sugar from Survivor says, "Get ready for the funkiest night of your life. Wait for it. Wait for it . . :"

"• If there are no sidewalks, pedestrians should walk on the left side of the road facing traffic."

Now light that coffee can and launch the rest of your fireworks, neighbor. 

There it is, in black and white. There will be no more shock when I blare my horn at you, your dog and your walking buddy as you hog my lane, conversing care-freely with your backs to my approaching car. WALK FACING TRAFFIC. This will allow you more time to not only dive into the woods as approaching garbage trucks barrel toward you, but more time to get into a single file with your dog and your walking buddy as I barrel toward you (more like soda can toward you).

Wow, page 48 of The Manual is a dense page! Your turn, bicyclists (unicyclists, you're off the hook, so, by all means, die juggling):

"Bicycle riders are given the same rights and must obey the same laws as drivers of motor vehicles. In addition, they should follow these rules:

• Bicycle riders should ride as close to the right of the road as they can do safely."

In other words, while riding a bike, pretend you're driving a very slow car, ride WITH traffic on the far right of the right lane, and ride as motor vehicles normally travel. Do drivers of motor vehicles normally drive on sidewalks? Well, maybe in Rhode Island, but hopefully only while failing a driving test, as Page 9 points out: 

"The following are reasons for immediate failure of a driving test:

• Leaving the designated roadway (driving on the sidewalk . . . "

So don't ride your bicycle on the sidewalk, people like the kid I yelled at on Thayer Street on Saturday! If you're scared to ride your bicycle on a busy street in Rhode Island (as I am, for if you haven't guessed, I don't trust R.I. drivers), then WALK! 

Back to Page 48, Section E.:

"• No more than two (2) bicycles may ride side by side."

Now this DOES NOT mean that you SHOULD ALWAYS ride side by side. It means that if you have keen cycling skills, and keen senses, you "MAY" ride alongside your biking buddy at times. You should infer that, should a vehicle approach from behind, you and your biking buddy should change your formation to single file, especially if a garbage truck is approaching from the opposite direction at the same time. You know what? Just always ride as if garbage trucks are simultaneously approaching you from opposite directions, and you won't hear me yelling at you as I pass by. 

Enjoy the peace.

1 comment:

  1. I like the word "keen." You use it twice in one sentence. Huzzah!