I have no excuse but pure laziness. Yesterday evening was beautiful and the wind had even calmed down, but I didn’t feel like riding. So I dragged my feet until time dictated I use the car. Or so I thought. What I forgot about is rush hour traffic.
When I got to General Rees & Glenridge, the traffic was at a standstill. It took eleven minutes to go from General Rees to Lakemont — that’s 3/4 of a mile at a breathtaking speed of 4mph (at the speed limit it would have taken a little over a minute). Between that and looking for a parking space, the trip took me about 5 minutes longer by car than it usually does by bike.
But these were my thoughts while I sat in that traffic jam:
In the history of the world, has a cyclist ever caused a ten-minute delay to a motorist? Critical Mass doesn’t even cause a ten-minute delay! My friend ChipSeal was convicted by a jury of motorists (not his peers) of impeding traffic on a 4-lane Texas highway because he had the audacity to make them change lanes. If they were paying attention to the roadway well ahead of them, they would not have even had to take a foot off the gas pedal to change lanes. He broke no laws and not a single driver’s trip time was affected by his presence, yet they not only cited him, they arrested him!
The precedent set is that cyclists should be relegated to an inconsistent, debris-filled shoulder to avoid making motorists slow down for a fraction of a minute, at most… while motorists delay each other for fractions of hours.
A fund is being set up for ChipSeal’s appeal. I will post details when they are available. In the meantime, if you’d like to get involved, contact PM Summer.