You know what? I don't think a little hardware between the legs means you're king of the road -- or king of the Sam Merrill Trail, from the Cobb Estate up to Echo Mountain and Mt. Lowe, to be exact.
Listen cyclists, when driving my car on city streets, I’m one of the good guys. I don’t get all huffy because your presence may add five minutes to my ETA. I don’t tailgate, annoy, intimidate or in any way detract from the pleasure of your ride. I won’t pass you until we’re assured of seven or eight feet between us. I don’t want you to feel threatened or bullied, to stop or jump off your bike to make room for me. Legally, on our roads, bicycles have the right of way, but I realize that means nothing unless the one driving two tons of steel agrees. Let it be known, I'm in the camp that agrees.
So how about a little love when you cyclists hit the trail? Or at least some common sense. And in case you don’t know it – they’re called hiking trails, not biking trails. But again, right-of-way means little when you don’t own the metal.
Maybe you harbor a resentment against all the bullying you get on the streets, so this is a case of trickle-down bullying, the way you intimidate hikers on the way up to and down from Mount Lowe.
Yes, you’ve got wheels. Yes, suddenly you’re faster and bigger than I am. But must you ride your bike up my butt to prove it? Do you really think, when we’re on a narrow stretch of trail, I should spatchcock myself against the side of the mountain to let you pass?
Well, it ain’t going to happen, and I don’t care what you call my mother. You are going to wait for me on the trail, as I wait for you on the road, to find an area wide enough to pass so neither one of us has to come to an actual stop.
Your personal best up the trail does not trump mine. Sorry. And even if I weren’t a serious hiker, I’d feel the same.
And you can br-ring-br-ring that stupid bell on your handlebars until the cows come home or somebody buys a Heath bar. You want to pass that badly on this narrow strip, then get off your bike and walk around me.
Coming down the hill, careening down the hill, you’re even worse. Dangerously worse. And as you know, it’s a game of chicken I can only lose. “Thanks,” you say, as I’m splayed against the cliff. You’ll never know what I say in return because you’re already gone, off to terrorize some family that thinks they’re out for a pleasant walk.
I’ve ceded my rights to Echo and Mount Lowe on weekends – I’m so outnumbered. But as for the rest of the week, perhaps you know me. I’m the one digging in her heels, trying to hold her ground .