Wednesday, September 23, 2009

Dear Bus Driver

I'm generally a fan of buses. I think that you drivers are probably underpaid and have to deal with the tedium of driving the same route over and over again with little thanks from those who ride the buses. Buses are also often harried by impatient folk who don't want to get stuck behind them. But does that give you the right to mistreat a poor cyclist?

Yes, I realize you have a schedule to keep. And I know that bicyclists are slow, especially when grinding up a Fayetteville hill. And it's not so much that I mind being passed, especially given that most drivers wait until they can give me a wide berth before they pass me. But did you really have to scare me half to death?

Pushing up a steep hill is a lot of work when you're using your leg power. Often, that is distracting enough, since all my attention is focused on urging my body to keep pedaling and keep up a decent speed. I do try to pay attention to the cars on the road, and I stay to one side so they can easily pass me, especially since it's both foolish and dangerous to ride a bicycle on the sidewalks, especially Fayetteville's poorly maintained sidewalks. And no cyclist likes to feel that there is a line of impatient cars silently cursing her.

How would you like to be focusing on climbing the hill and suddenly feel and hear the swoooosh as a bus comes rolling by? How would you like to feel your heart stop as you realize that the bus is no more than a foot away, so close that the startling noise of a large vehicle passing you could possibly make you, say, fall down underneath that bus? How would you like to feel that while you did not fall and your stomach is flipping and your heart won't quit racing that you narrowly avoided a very messy end? All while trying to be environmentally-conscious and save money by not parking on campus?

You probably wouldn't like it much.

So, dear bus driver, please be kind to the cyclists out there. We will try to be kind to you when we're in our cars and stuck behind you or forced to make every stop along with you.


Kerry said...

AWWW I'm glad you didn't die!! That sounds terrifying.

Justin Ray said...

It makes me cringe how trains, cars, buses, bicycles, and pedestrians interact with each other in Boston. I've seen more than one bicyclist using the inches of road between solid yellow stripes as a lane. *shudder*

Donna B. said...

I know that feeling oh so well. The "it's sweeping by a foot away from me and if it decides to cut back toward the curb a smidgen too early I'll be crushed by the rear end" feeling. Semis and buses alike.

By the way, I vote brown on the Keen boots.