Wednesday, October 01, 2008
How do they do it?
Most bike commuters—me included—are always raving about the benefits of riding to work. We act as if there isn’t a downside, but there is: It freakin’ ruins you for the days when you have to drive.
Yesterday morning, my daughter realized at the last minute that something she needed for school was in my wife’s car, which was several miles away in the parking garage of the hospital where she works. Now, I try to be a nice, understanding father. I have a great kid and she rarely causes this kind of disruption. But few things piss me off like an unplanned and unwanted drive from South Anchorage to Midtown at rush hour on a weekday morning.
The problem is, when you’re addicted to fresh air, exercise and bike paths, it’s painful to dive back into the inefficiency of crawling through a stream of brake lights. It’s downright infuriating.
I’ve said for years that I understand road rage. Hell, I understand parking lot rage. I wanted to scream like a maniac and put the gas pedal to the floor just to get out of the clogged maze of the school parking lot after dropping my daughter at the front door. Meanwhile, the lucky kids were rolling up, throwing locks around their bikes and walking inside as dozens of parents idled their cars in a stop-and-go procession toward the street.
What I don’t understand is how car people can sit in their vehicles and get angry at bicyclists riding to work.
Yesterday I sat in my car, looked at people on bikes and felt overcome with envy.