It’s a road, not a gymnasium

Now motorists are being scolded about getting in the way of people pedaling bicycles. They are being advised to give more elbow room to bikers. Calm down, cool down and slow down is the mantra propagated by those who enjoy riding their bikes on the road.  The media is full of stories on this subject lately.

Wait a minute. If you’re pedaling a bike, you get the hell off the road. Listen, those of us who drive cars do it because we are going somewhere. We’re going to work, going to appointments, going to the doctor’s office, going to a movie, going to a bar. We have a destination. We have a purpose. If you’re on a bike, either keep up or get the hell out of our way. If you can’t go 35 in a 35 zone, get up there on the sidewalk.

People riding down the highway on a bike are not going anywhere. They’re doing it for exercise and recreation. We don’t build roads for fun. They’re built for commerce. If you’re pedaling for recreation, haul your hyperactive sprocket to an empty parking lot and pedal around in circles. Or join a gym. Sign up for spinning class. That’s good exercise and you’re not getting in the way of people rushing to work in a car.

There are three important exceptions to these rules. First, in downtown Cleveland share the road with two-wheeled couriers. They tell me they are hit by cars an average of once a year. It’s a risk they take. These people have a purpose. They’re going somewhere with important documents.

My second exception is Brother James Spooner, C.S.C., the former principal and president of St. Edward High School. He’s a bicycle enthusiast and an old friend of mine. At least, he frequently has a purpose. He’s pedaling to work at Akron Hoban.

The third exception is my neighbor Dave Plachta. He pedals to work at NASA every day, rain, snow or shine. He has a purpose. Get the hell out of his way.

One thing I can say positively about bicyclists. I’ve need seen one texting or talking on a cellphone while pedaling.

That’s it for now. Honk if I’m driving too slow.

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