Friday, March 1, 2013


A Cherriot Bus in Salem.
As a cyclist, I ride in traffic every time I throw a leg over my bicycle.  As a human I also notice patterns in behavior.


I know people say stereotypes or profiling is bad. And in some ways I agree. But in a lot of ways I think it's part of our inherent makeup as humans. We are trained to notice patterns as a means of survival. If something tries to kill you once. An alligator, a tiger, an SUV, whatever. You'll be on the look out for something like that again. Noticing those things keep you safe.

But I also want to be clear that these patterns aren't a perfect science. I'm not saying every single one of these observations are true. They just feel true... Got it? Good. Lets move on.

It's hard not to notice how certain drivers and their vehicles seem to fit patterns.
For instance, why are Cherriot bus drivers consistently some of the most aggressive drivers in town, yet school bus drivers are some of the nicest? Is it because one is harped on about safety and the other is told to keep on a schedule (It's rhetorical. But I suspect that's the case.)?

I honestly don't get it.

In over ten years of riding a bicycles in urban and rural environments I can only think of one incident where I felt in danger while riding my bike because of a school bus.
Where if I think of Cherriot's, I couldn't count all the dangerous maneuvers and near misses on all my fingers and toes. It's ridiculous.

How high is your truck and how good can it mud!?
 There are lots of other vehicles that I look out for too.

The jacked up 4x4 pickup truck comes to mind. The pucker factor is always high if you hear the whirring of some Super Swampers coming up behind you on a country road.

Semi trucks are a mixed bag. Some are great. Always giving you extra room when able and passing a reasonable speeds. Other's fly by with about two feet to spare.

I wouldn't mind this set up.
 Any car with a bike rack is usually going to give you a wide birth. Part of the same tribe and all.

Watch out for crazy old people with RV's and no commercial driving experience. Sketchy...
People who drive hybrids really think of themselves as "earth friendly". So when they see you on the road they feel a kinship with you. However beware! They are the leading cause of "smug"  in the major metropolitan areas. Just saying...

Tuner cars will generally fly by you while you're riding and yell something out the window. Its usually hard to tell if its obscenities or encouragement. Or at the very least they stomp on the throttle so their fart pipe blares as they go by. But just like cars with bike racks, they seem to give you a wide birth. My guess is they don't want to dent or scratch their ride if they happen to hit you. Those ground effects don't just pay for themselves you know.

I'm know there are a lot more. But that's fine for now.

I hope you all have a good weekend. Until next time, thanks for reading!

Rubber side down,

Big E

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