There are always the good, the bad, and the ugly, of cycling, but this is a post about the bad and the ugly. As much as the bicycle has become romanticized in photography, blogs, magazines, and movies, it is not all as pretty as we all make it seem. Often times many of us use photos and share our pleasant experiences on bicycle, like the one above. After a commute, I find my hands or clothes are somewhat marked by chain grease or dirt. I'm sweaty, sometimes smelly, red in the face, cut or bruised on my feet, shins, or ankles, exhausted after carrying my bike up and down 3 flights of stairs (twice in a day), and frustrated about an encounter with a car, pedestrian, or cyclist.
Commuting should be easy breezy but it isn't always so. Everyday on my commute is a new experience and that's what makes bicycling fun. I've come to a point in my commute where I want things to just be a breeze but I can't always configure that into my routes, such is the nature of the road. The majority of the time I'm dodging pot holes, car doors, flipping off cat callers, practicing my bicycle etiquette by emergency breaking for pedestrians to illegally cross, looking back to signal to a motorist that I'll be merging into their lane because there's an obstacle in the bike lane, sharing a single lane with a car and pissing them off because I'm not going fast enough and waving "SORRY!" for being slow, the list can go on and on.
I know I'm not the only one who experiences this but there is nothing on my commute that get's my blood boiling more than when a cyclist who cuts corners, breaks laws, and is rude to motorist, cyclists, and pedestrians. Now, HERE'S MY RANT.... a lot of us are working too hard to get cyclists respect on the road and would appreciate it if people can just help us by giving a little respect to others because it really shouldn't be a shocking surprise for a pedestrian to cross the street and thank you for being "so kind" for letting them do so when it's their right of way, anyways. I don't know about the rest of America, but in California, we are upheld to the same laws as motorist. So the next time you run that red light and cut off a pedestrian, and piss the rest of us off that are worried for your safety, patiently waiting for the light to turn green for the rest of pedestrians to cross, I hope you someday realize you also have a responsibility to the safety of all those around you.
Cycling isn't always glamourous. It's sweaty, exhausting, and frustrating. Survival is always on our minds while the elements of nature and rules of the road work against us.