Monday, November 10, 2014

The Carsplainer

First of all, she was really trying to be nice, the lady who carsplained at me.

"Excuse me," she called. We were on East Walnut, waiting at the light to cross National. I was first in line, she was just behind me when she made contact.

"It's really hard to see you. You really need a reflector on the back of your bike," she called.

I calmly pointed to my rear reflector, telling her I already had one.

"Kid, that's not enough!" she replied. "It's really hard to see you. You need reflectors on the top!"

And, you know what? She was right. I did need to be more visible. I'm still not used to it getting dark earlier, and I stayed late at work. Cody called once he got home and realized I didn't have lights on my bike, offering to bring me some. I declined, even though I was wearing dark clothing because my ride is on wide, well-lit streets with low traffic volume.

The Carsplainer didn't know how tired I was. She didn't know how insulting I found her advice. She didn't realize I was technically street legal. She had no idea that every cyclist runs the risk of going unnoticed by motorists, no matter what time of day it is, and that's why it's so important to behave legally and predictably when sharing the road with motorists.

She really just thought she was being nice.

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