I bike to work every morning. Yes, I know you want me to shut up already, but I won't. Every morning, I wake up, put on my dorky Lycra tights, strap on my helmet and head out into the concrete jungle of moron drivers.
Believe me, this column is more than me whining about the same stuff you've heard from anybody who rides on two wheels. Every day, I deal with bad drivers, bad roads and all that stuff. But most of all, I just want you to notice me and all the other cyclists.
By nearly getting killed countless times on my commute, I've learned what my last words could be — they rhyme with "Rhesus mucking heist!"
Why do I ride everywhere? I don't think I'm better than everybody and want to brag all the time. I do it because I'm an epileptic and have only two choices:
1. I could ride mass transit, where I spend an hour listening to annoying people talking on their phones or hearing somebody's awful music. Or ...
2. I could ride my bicycle for an hour, listening to my audiobook and getting some exercise. I don't like risking life and limb for my 9-to-5, but using my leg muscles is the jolt of energy I need in the morning. It's like brewing coffee with Red Bull instead of water.
While cycling, I'm awake and focused the entire time. If I'm not, I'm in trouble. But even if I'm 1,000 percent aware of my surroundings and situation, that doesn't matter if others aren't paying attention.
I've almost been hit by rude drivers, ruder Uber drivers and incredibly douchey taxi drivers. Jerks don't use turn signals when turning — hey, I'm not a psychic. Or you've got loaders and unloaders that don't use warning flashers. And then there are the dumbasses who open car doors without looking behind them — we call that "dooring" in the cycling world.
I always see drivers texting, on Tinder and whatever else on their phones. I get it, sometimes you need GPS or to carry on a conversation, but please look at the road. Your Facebook status is not more important than my life.
Another odd thing is drivers wearing headphones. Am I the only person who thinks using Beats by Dre while operating a motor vehicle is a bad idea?
I know cyclists can be annoying. Drivers, walkers, pedestrians and even other cyclists hate cyclists. Heck, ages ago, the Colorado Daily editing staff wanted to start a "Drive Your Car Like a Bike Week" where you could run stop signs, go from sidewalk to street and scream at whoever you wanted. I supported that ... before I started riding every day.
I'm actually a boring cyclist. I stay to the right part of the shoulder. I don't have enough skill or a nice enough bike to zip in and out of traffic, but to my brethren on two wheels, please be careful! Get some flashing lights, shiny stuff and protection.
Drivers, there are a lot of cyclists out there. Please notice us. You don't have to like us or pat us on the back for reducing our carbon footprint or anything. But look in your mirrors. Use your signals. Take your eyes away from your phone.
Cyclists, let's break that awful stereotype and please wear an effing helmet. A helmet's a lot cheaper than a wheelchair.