Smug, Self-Congratulatory Bit; Then a Minor Rant

January 17, 2007

I have to say I feel pretty good in one regard: I believe I have walked and run more miles this month than I have driven. Granted, I’m hardly driving at all in the new house, but still. As of today I’ve walked or otherwise foot-propelled myself about 55 miles since the 1st. I’ve been keeping track. The fact that work is about .65 mile from home gives me a nearly “free” 1.3 miles per day alone.

Now my minor rant. I was out for a long walk the other day after dark and was crossing the street at a quiet, uncontrolled*, neighborhood intersection when a bicyclist came zipping up out of nowhere and took a right turn into my path. He looked back and gave me that “I’m-on-a-bike-fuck-you” glare that I just bloody hate. I understand that bicyclists are doing the right thing, saving the earth, reducing congestion, etc., etc., but aren’t I, on foot, as well? This guy totally had the attitude like I was cutting him off, even though he was turning and I was going straight. What is with certain bikers and their holier-than-thou idiocy? OK, done!

Cheerful again!

* Having grown up in PDX I had no idea that uncontrolled intersections were unusual. In our quiet neighborhood areas, it is common for an intersection not to have any traffic control–stop or yield signs, whatever. You just have to approach carefully (I believe neighborhood speed limits are usually 15MPH) and pay attention to see if anyone’s coming. This tends to freak non-Portlanders out. Do they really not have this in other cities?


  1. Anonymous says:

    There’s some of those “free-for-all” intersections in Seattle too. They never freaked me out until I was learning to drive as a teenager. Now I love the freedom/challenge of the uncontrolled intersections.

  2. coulee says:

    It sounds as if the cyclist had the same attitude that drivers often have about cyclists: I’m bigger, you’re holding me up, so get out of my way!

  3. Anonymous says:

    By the way, SO jealous you can walk to work. I slog 20 miles each way to the ol’ INTC.

  4. Todd says:

    I used to live two blocks up the street from you and I have no idea where the uncontrolled intersections are. But I don’t drive a lot, either, so maybe I just never had to notice.

    And yeah, there are plenty of bike supremacists out there, and pedestrians don’t get enough respect in Portland. As one who regularly (tries to) walk the 3.7 miles to work most mornings, I’m aware of this.

    But I do my part for pedestrian elitism: every time I stand at 2nd and the western end of the Morrison Bridge, waiting to cross, I eagerly anticipate gloating (to myself) at the cars that so often run the red light there. Once, I slapped a particularly egregious transgressor’s car, as the walk sign had been green for a bit before he made it through. Then, when I thought I saw him pull over (obviously so he could conemplate killing me for touching his car), I got nervous and briskly made my way to work.

    Walking power!

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