Smile As You Pass Me
I am a 300-pound woman who rides a beach cruiser back and forth to work five days a week. Like all cyclists, I get some pretty abusive comments from car drivers, but the most difficult thing about my daily commute is actually other bicycle riders.
Although not as vocally abusive as drivers, I must get a dozen sneers and dirty looks from other cyclists every day. I want you to know that I am not trying to block you and keep you at a pace that makes you want to tear your hair out. I am going as fast as I can, I am worrying about traffic, about being slammed by a door, and about you, behind me, wanting to get past.
Your encouragement would mean a lot to me - just a smile when we get to a light together, just a little patience and consideration when you pass me (which you all do) and some room for me and riders like me in the SFBC and the general cycling community.
I am writing this for all the large folk, slow folk, or folks in any way different from the healthy, young, white, male biker that has so come to represent this movement. It might help to think of us as your future.
When more and more of us are out on our bikes, smiling, having a good time, more and more of your average San Franciscans (including people of color, disabled folk, large folk, out-of-shape people, the whole gamut) will feel welcome into this movement and will perhaps consider putting aside their cars sometimes and beginning a bicycle commute.
Consider having us on your flyers, on your posters. We are on your side and deserve respect for getting our butts on the bikes and getting out there, against the pain and difficulty, the traffic, the car doors, the weather and sadly, sometimes you.
Dedicated Urban Bikeways (DUBs), such as the Duboce Bikeway, do seem to have a problem with accumulated clutter. So do streets, which is why the city has those trucks with the whirling circular brooms to clean the parking strips at designated times every week or so. Without them, the streets would quickly become at least as trashy as a DUB.
Considering current and upcoming DUBs, why don't we lean on the city to make scheduled DUB-cleaning rounds.
Don't bicyclists deserve the same cleaning equipment for bicycle infrastructure as car drivers get for streets?
Billy Ray Boyd See www.hunke.com/dub/default.htm
Please do not print any more anonymous letters in the Tube Times. If an SFBC member wishes to express an opinion to the bicycling community, please require the letter writer to sign his/her name to the letter. It's simply not proper for a letter writer to criticize others without identifying himself or herself.
While they can be frustrating, anonymous letters can present valid points from people who do not want to draw attention to themselves personally.
Doing My Part
Just want to thank the SFBC for making it easy on us members to contact political people in issues surrounding bikes. Without your including email addresses of these folks, I would probably not get involved. Because of you all, I do! Thanks.
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