What's Wrong with America and How to Fix it:
Drivers who treat bicyclists as potential roadkill
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You haven't seen drivers killing bicyclists? Try riding a bicycle in a city like Bloomington-Normal Illinois where the population is over 100,000 and most of the people there seem to be sadistic, cruel, intolerant jerks and see what happens to you!
I've already had one broken arm because of these jerks! Some of these people who I feel would look better in a coffin or a body bag with 'remains unviewable' marked on it, like to pass you up (even if they have to break the speed limit to do so) then slow down and turn right in front of you expecting you to stop for them even though you're sometimes going up a hill or down one doing close to the speed limit. The brakes on bicycles are not as good as the ones on cars and I'm sure they know that. If it's been raining and the brake pads are wet on a bicycle, they have almost no stopping power! So, basically, many of us are forced to assume that they're trying to kill us intentionally! If we were little kids on tricycles, we'd be roadkill!
If they can't see guys who are over 6' tall on a big mountain bike in the daytime with all those reflectors and chrome on their bicycles, it's a sure thing they'll miss a little kid who's much smaller than we are!
Oh, and then there's the uptight and always in a hurry idiots driving down the road in their new cars or gas-guzzling SUVs, some talking on their cell phones with kids in their vehicles, totally un-aware, and un-caring about other bicyclists and pedestrians. About the only things these un-caring drivers seem to care about not wanting to hit on the street are other cars. After all, if they hit a bicyclists or a pedestrian really good and turn them into road kill, there's little chance that they'll be able to read and write down their license plate, but if they hit another vehicle, the other driver will more than likely chase after them if they don't stop. :-P
Anybody want to look to see if there's blood under the bumpers of some of the cars out there? Something tells me the odds are good you'll find some if you check enough of them... :-(
I don't know about anything legally I can do about these potential murderers (or maybe they already are) except maybe put a big boat horn on my bike (but officer, every time I read anything on bike safety they recommend getting a horn or a bell on your bike) and blowing it whenever a car gets within a few inches of me or pulls one of those stunts on me again, though I can think of a few illegal ones if I want to become a vigilante bicyclist (or would that be bicyclist vigilante?) like using a baseball bat, crowbar, a mace, calthrops (the idea for these have been around for over a thousand years. I think the modern equivalent is called jackrocks), machine gun, an e-m pulse gun or the ever-popular hand grenade. Besides, flipping them off or calling them names wouldn't really satisfy me. Hmm... maybe a heat-seeking missile. Nah, too big. Oh well, it's the thought that counts (even though it would've been fun to watch!). Okay, so I'm emotionally incapable of hurting others, but I almost wish I could sometimes. :-(
Another thing that may be good would be stickers like Y.T. used in the book "Snow Crash" by Neal Stephenson. But instead of things like "smooth move, ex-lax", they could say things like "UN-SAFE DRIVER!" or "LIKES TO RUN OVER BICYCLISTS!" or... "ASSHOLE!"
Of course, they have to be the very sticky kind that won't come off easily. Preferably, they'd have to be removed by a professional which would cost the driver a large sum of money. It's probably the only way to teach them a lesson, as the cops certainly won't do anything about these murderers or potential murderers unless they actually see them hit somebody. Don't believe me? Try going to a police station and complaining about a bad driver who hit you or almost hit you. See what happens for yourself. :-P
To those that are interested in why I am so upset at these humans, here is a brief account of what happened when I got my arm broke:
I was riding my bicycle back home and had an accident over in Normal Illinois. As I fell to the road in front of the car, I could hear the brakes of the car screaming in my ear as the front fender stopped a few inches from my face. At the time, I was thankful that the person was kind enough not to turn me into a speed bump, but I found out a few minutes later that kindness didn't seem to be what made her stop the car, it was more likely the possibility of spending time behind bars for killing me.
I slowly picked myself up off the road, feeling a little odd but not knowing the cause. I thought at first it was merely the shock of hitting the road so hard but of course it wasn't.
My left arm wasn't working and for some reason was hanging loose at my side and I couldn't raise it. I picked up my bicycle with my right arm and carried it to the side of the street and sat down with my back to the telephone pole. I thought that if I rested for a few minutes, I'd feel better.
I soon became aware that all of the cars along the right side of the road where I had fallen were still not going anywhere even though I was no longer in their way. One guy came up to me and told me he had called an ambulance for me. While he said this, a few other people gathered around staring at me. I told him I probably wouldn't need one and I just needed a few minutes to catch my breath. He told me I had a broken arm. I asked him how he could tell and he told me to look at my left arm. I did. A big white bone was sticking out of it in plain sight.
A cop eventually showed up and asked me if the woman had hit me with her car causing the accident. She had merely stood there this entire time staring at me and not saying a word. She was probably upset because my bicycle put a scratch in her car when it hit me. I was a nice guy and told the cop, "No, she didn't hit me." Besides, everybody knows the cops won't do anything about drivers who try to kill bicyclists or pedestrians. I think a lot of runners have this same problem...
Then she speaks her first words in my presence. She turns to the cop, smiles and says, "Oh good, my insurance won't go up then!"
I'm sitting on the ground with a propped-up broken arm with a bone sticking out of it and her only concern is how much she's going to have to pay for insurance. :-( And humans wonder why I think the way I do about them...
On Odin's day, March 26th, 1997 i.c.c. at 8:15 p.m. I got to meet yet another jerk.
This one was driving a silver car pulling out of the 'First Christian Church Disciples of Christ' (or First Christian Church if you go by the sign on that parking lot and the one on the opposing corner to it. You know, the property that was willed to the city as long as they use it as a park for the children to play in. That's what you get for trusting the government! I guess the city figured that it would be better to have a parking lot there (click here to see a picture of it) and the children can instead spend their time spraying graffiti on people's houses, traffic signs, walls of businesses, et cetera, maybe start smoking, hanging around with older children and young adults and being encouraged (or forced sometimes) to do drugs, increase their vocabulary of street slang, phrasing of swear words into sentences that'll offend (hurt) the ones that they're yelling them at the most and possibly even getting pressured into joining a gang, then convinced to participate in crimes such as delivering drugs because the law is harder on young adults than children, et cetera. But, I'm sure that the city of Bloomington is proud or their decision to turn their backs on the needs of the community and the children that're trying to grow up in it free of the fear of coming to a violent death, dying of a drug overdose or being arrested and put in a juvenile detention center, maybe taken away from their parents and put in a foster home. I wonder if 'noblesse oblige' means anything at all to them? Probably not, considering their actions) parking lot.
It pulled out of the parking lot on Lee street directly in front of me and turned South. The car would have hit me had I not instantly clamped on the brakes when I saw it pull out onto the street directly in front of me! Silly me, I thought that I had the right-of-way over a car pulling onto a street from a parking lot.
Now, I know that this person saw me! Those who know me know for a fact that I am not that easy to overlook, being over 6 feet tall! Especially on a big mountain bike moving at around 20 mph! The thing that really gets my tail in a knot is the fact that this was supposed to be one of those christians who are supposedly brought up to live by their 'Golden Rule'. You know, "Do unto others as you would have them do unto you"?
If this is an example of how christians behave, I'm switching over to Paganism!!!
So that's what kind of people go to that church eh? That says a lot about them! Now, if anyone asks me about that church and the people that go there, I can tell them!
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