This holiday season almost took a traumatic turn.
Instead of thinking about Christmas shopping lists and what else there is to do for the big holiday, I could have easily been drowning in doubt and self-pity and remorse. I was THIS close.
I was driving to the Ballard Sons of Norway hall last Thursday in a pouring rain. If you know the area at all, you go down 24th until you get just past the new QFC and make a left. There’s no turn arrow, so you have to dash between on-coming cars. Sometimes it’s busy, sometimes not.
That night it was fairly busy. It was around 6 o’clock, the tail end of rush hour and, with wipers going, I pulled into the turn lane to await my opportunity to head east. Now, cars are just a part of the challenge. Because just when you get a gap in the traffic, all of a sudden a pedestrian strolls into the crosswalk. There’s not enough room to turn, wait for them and then go. You have to wait until there are no cars and no one on either side of the street about to enter the crosswalk.
With my blinker going, I came upon the intersection. No cars. No pedestrians. Now, there was a car coming quite a bit down the road, but so that there wouldn’t be any question, I gunned it and made the turn.
I can still see the blur out of the left side of my car. Just before reaching the cross walk, a cyclist came racing through the intersection and I just barely missed him. I mean, by inches. I was going fast enough that if I had hit him, it probably wouldn’t have killed him, but it would have knocked him for a good loop. Maybe I wouldn’t have been able to brake enough and would have just driven over him.
At first, my heart was racing. “Oh my God, I almost killed someone!” Then I thought, “Wait a minute.” It was 6pm, which is dark around here and this complete moron didn’t have a single light on him.
Now, don’t get me wrong. I think it’s noble that people choose to ride their bicycles instead of driving a car. Good for you. But the elitist attitude that everyone needs to cater to them drives me up a wall. First off, bicycles are not licensed. You act like you own the road, but you’re not paying for it. Own a vehicle? Drive it. Want to peddle around feeling like you’re saving the earth, knock yourself out. But when the law requires you to stop at a red light and you don’t, when you’re supposed to be wearing a helmet and you aren’t, when you act like we’re not doing enough for cyclists and our greenie mayor is handing out 420 FREE bicycle lights to encourage more ridership at taxpayer expense, when you ride your cycle at night in the dark and expect cars to avoid you……
If you’re any of those, you’re a moron. An imbecile. An arrogant elitist that feels the world should bow down to you. That night, when I just barely missed hitting you with my car, that particular moment scared me to death.
All I can do is hope that I returned the favor. Get some friggin’ lights, night rider.