Saturday, May 24, 2008

The Good Ship P.M.S.

I'm cranky, and nothing makes me feel better like a nice blog rant. So here are a few things that have been pissing me off lately:

1. Drivers. Why is it so &$#!*ing hard to get home alive these days? The more I commute, the more I can't wait to finally take my shiny new mountain bike for a spin way out in the woods, where I don't have to worry about every third car trying to run me down, which is it what it feels like, riding around town these days. And I'm not just talking about clueless people who don't see us--no, these are the super assholes, who buzz by just for fun (not surprised to see one was full of 20-something boys this afternoon), or jet out in front of us or cutting us off so they can get into their driveway (yes, the DRIVEWAY--they were 20 feet from home and STILL couldn't wait 5 seconds for us to go by). I'm also sick of sucking up exhaust at every stop light.

2. Smokers. Let me just get this memo out now. If you see me out and about and you are smoking, just know that I hate you. This would've been true BEFORE my mom took up residence in an urn on my bookshelf, but now it's worse. Guess what, no one actually uses those little 'smoking shelters' on campus. Nope, they smoke in front of the doors. I've just gotten in the habit of holding my breath when going in and out of buildings on campus. But what I'd really like to do is knock all those cancer sticks out of their mouths with a baseball bat. And if my aim is a little off--oh well.

3. FREE (BEER/ADMISSION). If I see one more event put FREE BEER in all caps or one more organization who tries to lure volunteers with FREE BEER, I might throw up in my mouth a little. I DON'T GIVE A FRAK ABOUT BEER. I hate beer (but not as much as smokers). How about getting original? Try FREE KOZY SHACK or FREE COLD STONE for a change. At least the beer, when it's offered, actually is free, as advertised. Some people need to go back and look up the meaning of the word free. Take the Carfree Cities conference for example. Everywhere I look, there are articles and ads about their "Free Public Day." So I went to pre-register and before Firefox could auto-fill my forms, they were telling me about the 'suggested donations.' FREE MEANS NO DINERO. If you want a suggested donation, then guess what, YOUR EVENT IS SLIDING SCALE.

4. Bike Racers. I didn't used to hang with the racing crowd much, but I've been a member of a team that is also a club for three years now, so I've gotten more exposure. By and large they're a good group, but a little single-minded when it comes to their bike use. It's not at all uncommon for a racer to drive three miles to the start of their race with their bike on their car. And then put that bike onto a stationary trainer to warm up.

&*&W$)#%&@#)%(*^)%(@*%^@)#*$&^@#)*&$^ (Censored, cause I couldn't think of a good enough way to express how stupid this is).

Hey racers--did it ever occur to you that you could actually use that bike to, you know, get around?

Of course not all racers are guilty of this, but there is definitely a mentality that is separate from the notion of bikes as transportation, or bike culture. This was recently illustrated by my own team, who practically leap to volunteer for any racing related event, but can't be cajoled, bullied or begged to help out with an amazing (nay, historic) event to try to take back neighborhoods *for people, NOT cars* that is happening next month. Maybe I should try offering them FREE BEER.


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