Posted by: Miriam | 06/04/2008

Ridding the world of stupidity…

So I dont understand how people can be so ignorant sometimes. The other day I was coming home from work. It was a beautiful sunny day, one of those spring days where you are just thrilled to be out in the warm sun because its been soooo long.

So anyways, I come up to intersection #1, its got 3 lanes going E-W, 2 lanes going N and 3 going S, plus a bus lane that runs E-W between the lanes. Big. I’m waiting for the light with another cyclist, shes older on a more upright big squishy saddled bike, going for what looks like a recreational ride. The light turns and I roll through the intersection to the next stop, one block away. This one is 2 lanes in each direction and a 4 way stop. There are cars going S, N, and W. I wait for the car to go west. They sit there looking confused, so the cars going N & S go. I start to go, when this older woman blows by me w/o even looking around or pausing at this stop sign. Let me go back a bit, this 4-way stop is on the UofO campus. Near all the dorms. This equals a inordinate amount of bad/inattentive drivers in the area as well as higher congestion. Its not so smart to just speed through any intersection w/o looking around you, especially this one.

Few things irritate me more than fellow cyclists blatantly ignoring basic traffic laws. We are cyclist we are not exempt from them. When cyclist ignore traffic laws, we piss off drivers who are (for the most part) adhering them. The drivers then classify all cyclists based on the behaviors of the the few stupid ones. Later drivers interact with cyclists who are obeying traffic laws and treat us like we are not, or they dont respect our right to be on the road too.

So I roll up to this woman. I get her attention. She takes out an ear bud and acts all put off by having to do so. I tell her that she needs to stop at that intersection. (Note this is not something new for me, I will yell at other cyclists if they are being stupid, as well as cars and pedestrians if they being stupid too). She tells me with all seriousness that she doesnt have to stop at stop signs because she is on a bike. My jaw was on my handle bars. I probably looked like one of those cartoons. I was floored. I, of course, tell her she is wrong, and that she needs to re read the traffic manual if she is in doubt of this. She then tells me, “I am 56 years old and I know better than you do.” I tell her just because she is old does not make her wise, again that she is wrong, and I ride off (to the next stop light).

I feel like I’ve hit in the head with something, I’m just so dumbstruck at the sheer stupidity of the conversation.

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