Dear Guy at the Stop Sign: And Other People in Cars

Let me begin by saying thank you for seeing me on my bike.  Not everyone does, sometimes they’re talking on their cell phones, texting their buddies (yes this still happens), or munching on a tasty Big Kahuna Burger and sipping a satisfying beverage.  So, while I appreciate that you’ve seen me and taken a moment of your time to smile and signal acknowledgement of me on my bike, at this stop sign, you may want to consider the following.

First, the bike I’m currently standing on is considered in all 50 states and most other places in the world a vehicle, non-motorized, one each.  Legally this means I, as its current pilot and motor, am obliged to follow all the same traffic rules you’re obeying at the moment.  Plus a few more.  I’m going to follow these rules because they protect both of us.

Your hand signal, from inside the cabin of your SUV with tinted windows, is difficult to interpret.  I’m stopped at the same intersection you’re at, and you seem to be signalling me to cross this here T-intersection into a dead end; that’s the optimistic interpretation.  Or the pessimistic is that perhaps there’s a bug buzzing around the interior of your car.  I’m guessing its a fly or a gnat or potentially a mosquito, because if it were a bee or a wasp you probably wouldn’t be looking at me through your window.  Either way, I’m confused.

Which is why you should know that I can stand here on these pedals all day long, not moving.  Cyclists call this a “track stand”, and while it may look kind of funny to you, me standing here on this long-tail bicycle at a stop sign, never the less its a very useful skill to posses and I’m quite good at it.

So, please don’t think you’re doing me any favors by pulling up to the stop sign first and then waiting for me to proceed ahead of you.  I’m not going to move because its not my turn.  Its yours, please proceed.


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