I finally dusted off my bike and went for a ride yesterday, which felt great. Given the prevalence of the new Citibike docks all around the city, I've been thinking quite a bit about bike riding lately. I was trained as a very safe rider thanks to the AIDS Ride folks back in 2000, but I'm still not super-thrilled about riding in traffic. I prefer to get over to a bike-friendly area that is blocked to traffic (Central Park, West Side Highway) and ride around there instead of using my bike for commuting. As safe and cautious as I am, I think that drivers are still not accustomed to cyclists and I'd rather avoid them.
That said, they're about to be everywhere. I'm incredibly curious to see how this whole Citibike thing will work. I plan to try it out (with a helmet, of course) and see if it makes me more comfortable using a bike as a mode of transportation rather than a means of exercise. My two big hopes are that 1) drivers will start to get used to and respect cyclists who share the streets, and 2) cyclists will ride safely, respecting traffic laws. The latter is something I don't see as often as I'd like. I constantly see cyclists riding the wrong way down bike lanes, not signaling, blowing through traffic lights, wearing headphones, texting (are you fucking kidding me?!) as they ride, and riding on sidewalks. I truly hope that with an influx of cyclists, this changes, and if not, that cyclists are ticketed accordingly for traffic violations. The sooner we all learn to share the streets safely, the better.
* Thank you, Queen.