I was waiting at a red light to turn left along with five or six cars. Two cyclists, riding together, paused briefly at the front of the line, waited for a short break in the five lanes at rush hour, and turned left through a red light when there was a gap, in front of the waiting cars and the traffic coming from both directions. Congratulations guys, you are the latest nominees for the OSG Sad Little Monkey Award, and the first cyclists to receive this distinction.
|A sad little monkey, washed upon a rocky shore by the cruel tides of fate. An award for rude lawbreakers.|
If an automobile driver had done this, or a DART bus driver, I surely would have posted about it. Why should I not give equal consideration to blatantly rude and illegal actions by cyclists? This wasn't marginal, or questionable, it was blatant. I'm willing to accept that it was probably simply a thoughtless act, without much malice or feeling of entitlement. Something like this is probably not far from the truth:
|Probable actual cyclist dialog|
But that's not how the automobile drivers around me imagined it, I'm sure. In their seething, caffeine-fueled, pre-work stressed out, car-confined brains, they may have imagined it differently:
|Car drivers imagining the smug taunts of the lycra-clad|
Then, of course, there's my fantasy version of their dialog, one which would have rendered the Sad Little Monkey award unnecessary:
|...and then they turned back when it was safe to do so...|
In the OSG universe, realizing their error, they turned around immediately, and when it was safe to do so, rode back across the busy street, went to the back of the line waiting to turn left, and waited for the light like the rest of us. I'm not trying to be some sort of nitpicking legal eagle here. These are the motorists I ride with every morning, along with other cyclists and pedestrians from the neighborhood including kids headed to school, and I would prefer it if the drivers weren't pissed off at all cyclists. I do my best to work with these motorists, and it generally goes pretty well. But it doesn't take much to make them mad, or to make a bad impression, and these sad little monkey award winners sure aren't helping the rest of us.