Saturday, January 26, 2008

loving and loathing bicycling in Miami

- Ample sidewalks
- Ample side streets to avoid main drags
- Trees, sunshine, shade
- Flatness

- Sidewalk-less arteries for which there are no alternatives (Blue Road)
- Lack of bike lanes, or rather, fear of using existing bike lanes due to Miami driver's inability to understand NORMAL lanes
- Drivers who assume that they need not pay attention on side streets
- Drivers who get unnecessarily angry for at having to apply pressure to their brake pedal

I got in my first (and hopefully last) screaming match with a car today. I was crossing a street from the sidewalk at an intersection. In his defense, I was going a little too fast, but the guy (in an SUV, not to play to bike vs. car stereotypes) didn't seem to have skidded to a stop and was just angry at having to slow down when he poked his head out of his window to start cursing at me.

Shouting ensued, he slowed down the car threateningly, at which point I realized that if I pushed this any further and he'd probably try to run me over.

The only reason I'm discussing this is to make sure I don't do it again. At some point between middle school and adulthood I started getting angry with stupid things, rather than smiling and being conciliatory when confronted with someone who is obviously taking the situation far too seriously. Friendliness is a better way to end conflict than shouting profanity across a busy street.

EDIT: Hey lookie here! Friend Adam mentioned in a bicycling article at New Times!

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