Cycling-Specific Commentary: Ride Safe!
If you regularly ride a bike, you know that people will say some weird stuff to you. Stuff they wouldn’t say if you were, say, walking. Or, let’s say, in a car.
This week, the phrase I kept hearing whenever I left my office with my bike in tow was “Ride safe!”
Me: “Have a good night!”
Other person: “You too. Ride safe!”
Normally I don’t pay attention to these things, but because so many people said it to me, I got to wondering about it.
Was I acting clumsy?
Did I look like I might pick a fight with someone?
Perhaps this week’s full moon made people worry about my safety?
Did they know something about the 15th Street bike lanes that I didn’t? (By the way, I’ve been routing around those lately.)
My conclusion was they said it for a couple of reasons:
1. As a variation of “Have a good night,” and
2. Out of genuince concern.
Most people know cyclists ride in the road (not the sidewalk, as some erroneously think they should) intermixed with cars and other traffic. Cyclists are more physically exposed than a person encased in a giant blanket of steel. We’re vulnerable on the road.
I don’t mean to over think it, but I find it odd that people make these kinds of comments to me only when I’m riding a bike. Being a pedestrian in this town has its own travails, as does being a (God forbid) driver or a Metro passenger. Safety is not a cyclist-specific issue.
The next time somebody says “Ride safe!” to me, instead of being tongue-tied or perplexed, I’m going to try to appreciate their concern, give them a smile, say “You too!” and ride off into the sunset. With my helmet on my
Can’t wait to get out with Felkerino this weekend for a ride or two. Ride safe, all, and have a great weekend.