Thursday, July 29, 2010

people aren't nice sometimes...

mileage: 7.5
total July mileage: 139.3

I left my house on my roadie with a giant shopping bag hanging from my hand and a somewhat negative attitude. I didn't really feel like doing anything this morning. But I decided that biking always makes me feel better, as does getting my money back for things I've bought that don't really fit (meaning I never wear them), so I headed out towards Nordstrom to return some stuff. It was so pleasant, riding down the street with little to no traffic at 10:30am. I got to Nordstrom and returned what I needed to. I also shopped around a little bit, but I didn't really need anything (who really needs anything from Nordy's?) and so I headed back to where I locked up my bike.

I unlocked my bike and reattached my handlebar bag. I stood there for a few moments, not really sure what I felt like doing. I got on my bike and started heading home, riding on the sidewalk for a block because of heavy traffic. The sidewalk was plenty wide, and I moved out of the way for pedestrians rather than making them move or getting too close. These two large women with mean looks on their faces looked disapproving at me as I approached. One of them mumbled something and I couldn't quite make it out, so I just smiled at them because like usual, biking even two miles had put me in a great mood. Then I realized just as I was passing them on the outer inch of the sidewalk what they were repeating over and over. "Not a bikepath. Not a bikepath. Not a bikepath!"

Seriously? This is Anchorage. There are very few actual bike lanes on our roads, and many drivers are outright aggressive towards cyclists in the streets. You can't share the sidewalk for a second with a cheerful cyclist who went out of their way to get out of your way? Why do people have to be so mean? I just don't get it. This is why I fully support the efforts of the Bicycle Commuters of Anchorage to make this a much more bike friendly city. In many cases, there is no alternative to riding on the sidewalk, no matter how mad certain pedestrians might get about it. What they don't realize is that most serious cyclists don't enjoy dodging pedestrians and "cruising" along at a snails pace of 7 mph which is usually required when trying to dodge the various obstacles found on a typical stretch of sidewalk in Anchorage.


  1. What's funny to me, is that for women of their size, they probably don't spend much time on side walks, or any walking areas in general. How dare you upset the fatties!

  2. They should probably ride a bike once in a while... improve their mood and their health. People are stupid. And super weird about things like bikes and dogs.... and I actually get more annoyed when people try to ride on the roads, I feel it is much more dangerous for them and the cars. So RIDE ON!

  3. I had a similar experience yesterday, but on the road in St. Louis. We were riding as far as safely possible over on the side of the (not at all busy) road, and a lady in a big minivan honked and gave us a dirty look as she drove by. Really? You maybe ought to thank me instead, because my tax dollars will probably be paying for your gastric bypass surgery, lady.

    I'm lucky to live in a very bike-friendly city; I hope that yours makes some strides, too!