They Are People

I often suspect that the biggest impact bike commuting has on people’s perspectives is through one’s acquaintances getting to know that one is commuting by bike. The usual reaction is that commuting by bike is dangerous. But why is it dangerous? Because people like them, people like those that one knows, drive dangerously. My mother, for example, once struck a pedestrian with her left mirror. Granted, the ped was walking on the road (not out of choice — the pavements were blocked by parked cars in driveways), but if she can have so little regard for the consequences of hitting a pedestrian that she clearly noticed, one can only imagine how she treats cyclists. The hope, then, is that having an acquaintance who commutes by bike reminds one that bike commuters are, in fact, living, breathing, humans, not just annoying obstacles that one should attempt to past as quickly as possible regardless of the obstacle’s safety. I would be satisfied if my parents drive with more consideration because of my bike commuting.

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