I recently read that, if you want to know whether you really love someone, you should ask yourself, “Am I willing to take a bullet for this person?” That seems a bit extreme and too graphic in my opinion, but yes, I would say that if you’re willing to die for someone that’s proof you love them. Or you’re suicidal … But let’s not go there.
Back to bullets and dying, since this is a post about biking after all. What? You didn’t know that? Wait, I’m getting there.
If being willing to die for someone/something means you love them, then I definitely love biking. Every time I get on that bike I’m putting my life on the line. I’m not kidding. I’ve been hit twice. I’ve come close to getting hit many other times, and it’s getting worse by the minute with all the texting drivers out there. Still, I can’t imagine giving up my rides. I just … love them.
Now, just because I’m willing to die for the freedom to ride doesn’t mean I actually want to. I’d prefer not to die on my bike, thank you very much, you lousy drivers. That’s why I’m making it really easy for anyone to see me: I have a bright green bike, a backpack covered with a high-visibility reflective vest, and a red helmet. In other words, I look like a fool, but a very visible fool.
Still, I can’t tell you how many drivers treat me as if I were invisible. If I’m to die on my bike, chances are it will happen at this one specific intersection: NF Boulevard and EC Road. I was going to tell you the mechanics of traffic at that intersection but that would be too confusing and boring. For this story to make some sense, just keep in mind that I’m riding on NF Boulevard and I need to stay on it (most other drivers do) but there’s also heavy traffic making a right hand turn onto EC Road.
Here’s the problem: I do obey all traffic laws yet, as I come close to EC Road and getting ready to cross it, I get cut off by people who come from behind and make a right turn on that road. They pass me on the left then cut me off with just a couple of feet of clearance. That’s when I start swearing: I call them stupid idiots and such. I know, my potty mouth is out of control.
Yesterday though, I witnessed something incredible: a female rider was on NF Boulevard on the other side of EC Road, coming towards me.
- Mistake number one? She was riding against traffic.
- Mistake number two? She wasn’t wearing any high visibility clothing, no helmet either.
- Still, three cars slowed down to let her cross EC Road but she waved them away. The fourth car actually stopped for her, she graced the driver with a beautiful smile, and finally crossed the road.
I was speechless. What did she do better than I did? I wanted to know her trick for standing out to drivers. It took me half a second to realize that it wasn’t something she did, it was something she had. The drivers’ Cheshire cat smiles and their laser sharp focus on that part of her body just below her neck were a clear clue: it was her cleavage. She was wearing a nice, tight tank top and yeah, I won’t get into details, but use your imagination to create a traffic stopping cleavage. It was all that.
Needless to say, I don’t have that kind of asset. Don’t get me wrong, I’m cute in my own sort of goofy, androgynous way. I’ve had drivers slow down and be nice to me, but never four in a row! My brand of sex appeal has limited … appeal. More like a niche market than an universal audience. Acquired taste or not, I don’t use my figure to change traffic laws.
I have nothing against cleavage. I think women’s bodies are beautiful and I personally find Scarlett Johansson’s type sexier than Keira Knightley’s, let’s say. (Don’t read too much into that sentence. I’m still as straight as they come.) But, although I’m OK with admiring said cleavage, I’m not OK with giving it right of way. Especially if you’re cutting me off while staring at it. Just saying’.
End of rant. I’m going for a ride now. Watch out for me, pretty please.
P.S. Do you know how many fun and funny pictures you can find about biking? Tons, that’s how many, and they’re really good. Here are just a few.