Okay, so when I first started riding my bike on the road I was a very passive rider. I realized that I was the idiot who didn’t know anything about cycling. I did my best to stay out of everyone’s way: cars, pedestrians, other cyclists and even stationary objects (those seemed to suddenly pop up out of nowhere). I couldn’t even stop and get my feet off the pedals without falling over. I tried to find roads without a lot of traffic and I only road during times of the day when traffic was lightest.
Now I have no choice but to get out there and ride whenever I can and wherever I can. I actually enjoy riding and I am definitely more confident about what I am doing. I am even to the point where I get annoyed by the little things. Here is my list of the top ten things that annoy me. Obviously this is based on my personality so you may or may not agree, but feel free to comment and share what annoys you the most.
#10: Thinking you are prepared to ride for a certain temperature until you get on the bike and actually start pedaling. Lately, I have been underdressed for freezing wind. I think it will be fine after I ride for a mile or two, but then after 10 miles I realize that I should have gone back for warmer clothes.
#9: Realizing that you forgot something halfway through your ride. I almost always forget to bring tissues and I really need those during this time of year. My gloves are the tissue replacement so they are covered in snot by the time I am done with the ride.
#8: Dropping your water bottle mid-ride. Yeah, they don’t exactly make it easy to put your water bottle back in the bracket while you are trying to keep your eyes on the road. A few times I have had to stop and go back for a dropped water bottle (luckily they have managed to stay intact and avoid being run over).
#7: Following a nice road with a nice bike lane that suddenly ends and turns into a road with no shoulder. I have to make the last minute decision to either continue on and let cars go into the oncoming lane in order to avoid me or just turn around and find another bike-friendly road.
#6: Crappy roads. Bumpy roads are not good for biking. Cracks are hazardous and hurt my rear. And who had the idea to put manhole covers in the middle of the bike lane?
#5: Dogs without leashes roaming the neighborhoods. They may act like they are going to stay in the yard, but not when they see some fresh meat cruising by. Hey, if I crash into your dog it ain’t my fault. I was just trying to defend myself. The same goes for squirrels. They really do like to play chicken.
#4: Pedestrians that insist on taking up the whole width of a multi-use trail. Besides having to yell loudly, I usually have to slow down because of course it will be my fault if I crash into them.
#3: Drivers who insist on getting as close to you as they can even if no one is in the oncoming lane. Come on, how hard is it to move over?? I always give a wide birth to cyclists!
#2: Street sweepers that push the gravel and salt into the bike lane instead of all the way to the curb. Then drivers get upset if I am not riding in the bike lane because of all the rubble in the bike lane. Either I ride next to the bike lane or you get a rock flying from my tire to your windshield.
#1: Stoplights. Most stoplights are not bike-friendly. Meaning that if you sit at one of them for a very long time they will not change unless a car is present. This is soooo very annoying to me because people expect you to follow the rules of the road like a vehicle yet they force you to get off your bike to push a pedestrian button! Screw that, especially when I am in the left hand turn lane. I am not getting off my bike and walking over to the sidewalk just so I can get across the road. It is just my luck that I go through all of that trouble when a car suddenly pulls up out of nowhere and the light changes before I can even get back on my bike. I just stop and look both ways. If I don’t see any cops in sight, then I bike through the red light to get to the other side.