The other way of stopping
By Gary Boulanger, US editor | Tuesday, September 2, 2008 9.54pm
The Police: Stewart Copeland, Gordon Sumner and Andy Summers rolling in Paris. Getty Images
Legend has it that when the Police were recording their 1980 album Zenyattà Mondatta, they were too preoccupied to write lyrics for the song The Other Way of Stopping, embarking on a tour in Belgium the day the record was finished. It appears, in our bike-riding existence, many cyclists are too preoccupied to obey basic traffic laws. But who's mainly to blame?
I live in a very bike-friendly part of the world, chock-full of designated bike lanes, a warm climate, and a seeminly tolerant community of motorists. Mountain View, California, like many communities around the United States, has its fair share of distracted SUV and mini-van drivers, but where I see the biggest disparity is with the cyclists who routinely ignore traffic signs however and whenever possible.
I'm not referring just to the racer boys and girls, either. Yes, our heart rate-monitored and GPS-equipped poseurs somehow think breaking the law takes a back seat to maintaining their training regimen. I've witnessed kindly grandparent types blowing through stop signs without a sideward glance. I regularly see bicycle commuters of all stripes turn right at a red light, circle the median, then take another right back into traffic, not blinking an eye or thinking twice about their actions. Sadly, most cyclists are quite narcissistic, somehow believing the world evolves around them. This paints a very negative picture for those striving to not only obey the rules of the road, but put bicycling in a good light in these days of rising fuel costs.
Yep, I'm coming off as a true goody two-shoes to some, but the negligence and selfish behavior exhibited by the majority of cyclists is what prompted this blog. It's time to stop and smell the roses, people. Regardless of your reason for riding, stopping at stop signs and stop lights is the law. Quit being a twit and set the proper example for your fellow cyclists, or God's gonna smite another kitten on your behalf.
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