Thursday, 23 April 2009

Je suis une chambre très magnifique
- sans clef.

Quite infrequently, but sometimes, I receive email from someone praising or pummeling something I've just written. You can too respond to what I've said, assuming you've come this far. The only reason I have deactivated the comments section here is because it is my diary, and though I have chosen to make it public, I prefer that the reader not be tempted by that which is not my diary. My address is still available somewhere in the right column, however, and if you have suggestions, I'll consider them.
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Background:
Most often when I approach an intersection riding on a bicycle path that runs parallel to the street I am on, the automobiles in the right-turn lane (to my immediate left) allow me my lawful right-of-way. They patiently wait without so much as inching into my lane. Not rarely, on the other hand, the motor vehicle operator does nudge his way into the bike path. Not much more seldom than that, they cut me off altogether, and, yes, even go so far as to take my path as their own lane several meters before the intersection.

This last scenario occurred this morning. The driver then proceeded to turn right, having already effectively cut me off completely. What he may or may not 've been aware of, however, is that I'd already jumped up onto the sidewalk in an attempt to regain a lane of my own and continued along my merry way, originally intending to go straight ahead. It is only because I backed off at the last second that I am not davidly purée sur la rue.

Assume two things:
1) The car driver had no intention of stopping, irrespective of either pedestrian traffic, or his awareness of my counterrogue behavior.
2) It would have been equally shortsighted of me to keep on pedaling, insuring a severe injury, if not death.

But assume a few other things as well:
-The city's plan to eventually move all of the bike paths that share sidewalks out onto the street might make drivers more aware of bicyclists so that they can yield as instructed, but it could also make drivers more aware of bicyclists so that they can turn right onto them anyway.
-One can't know for sure whether such maneuvering is intentional, but a bicyclist in a different mood might have had his right-of-way denied, only to give up his life to teach the driver a lesson.
-Someone reading this is thinking, but you should see what I've seen some of the bicyclists do!

Pop Quiz:
I've kept track of the last ten times that I have approached such an intersection simultaneous to an automobile. Five drivers yielded; two cut me off, but only by turning into my lane, subsequently yielding to the pedestrians in the crosswalk; one partially cut me off, but yielded to me when he saw I wasn't going to stop; and two fit the more detailed description above, though I didn't jump onto the sidewalk both times.

So, match the type of vehicle with the situations:
Five compact economy vehicles including one Smart Car; two station wagons; one delivery van, a Volvo; one Mercedes Benz; one BMW.

Answers:
-The five compacts yielded. Maybe they sympathize?
-The station wagons cut me off, but yielded to the pedestrians. Maybe they have children who cross the street?
-The delivery van stopped short of cutting me off. Maybe he's heard horror stories about how irresponsible we are?
-The Mercedes and the BMW both took my lane away and hugged the curb around the turn. Might that have something to do with a sense of entitlement?

Here's a first:
Imagine there finally not being any oncoming traffic so that you can zip into the drive-thru coffee joint, only to have to wait for this fucking cycler. Imagine trying to get back out onto the street turning left. I assume "Cahoona" thought they might get heavier business during rush hour. Good luck with that.
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[The following was originally at the beginning, but I've moved it to the end because it is stupid. The reason I didn't just delete it is to maintain diaretic integrity.]

It amazes me sometimes how willing the little guy is to be put in his place. More correctly put, that he is quick to champion intentionally obtuse notions that achieved intellectual heavyweight status for the likes of Buckley. It was his contemporaries on the opposite side of the so-called political spectrum, whose failure to challenge his puerile positioning for what they were, which led to politics being completely devoid of reason. That and, of course, politicians being bought and paid for. What else could explain why, when someone proposes something deliberately idiotic, his counterpart fails to call him on it, but instead declares something akin to: "Well, done, my good man, but I respectfully disagree."

So I think we are stuck with a lot of givens which are absurd on their face. The middle of the road citizen condemns his own, without considering the cause of that which he is condemning. Still more specifically, to consider the cause within the context of the overall problem. Meanwhile he gleefully champions the concepts of his oppressor.

I doubt too many of us have not heard by now the expression that goes something like "treating the symptoms instead of the illness", yet it seems to me that the majority of us are not aware of the illness at all, but are still quick to believe that we fully understand the treatment. A question for my fellow little guy: Why might that be?

Of course this question is only as valid as one considers my claim, vaque as it seems here, so either way, my question is easy to ignore.