Dr. Cykyl & Mr. Ryde

Pretty uneventful commute this morning. Everything was safe and sane and the most interesting thing I encountered being an elderly gent in full suit and tie — looking like someone straight outta Copenhagen — biking south on La Brea this morning as I was stuck on 4th behind a line of cars waiting for the green. I was hoping to catch him and get a nice image to share, but sadly I didn’t catch up with him until I got to Wilshire and by then he’d hung a right and was west and out of angle and range of any decent image my sunglasses cam could capture.

But I certainly caught this guy who made me sigh as he rolled the red at 4th and Normandie while I waited for it (click for the slightly bigger picture):


First things first: I love that this guy’s out there on his bike, using it to get from his A to his B. He is simply righteous and awesome because of that and I applaud him. And I award bonus points for having the brains to protect his brains. And furthermore, when I arrived at the intersection, he was even more righteously and awesomely stopped and considerately awaiting the green on the other side of the street.

Or so it seemed. Because in the blink of the Don’t Walk sign, the good Dr. Cykyl sudeenly turned into the evil Mr. Ryde and he ran it — you’ll note from the opposing traffic signal that the crosswalk counter was at 3 by the time he reached the above point. So for the sake of argument maybe it was at 5 or 6 when he commenced.

Dude couldn’t’ve waited all of one one-thousand, two one-thousand, three one-thousand, four one-thousand, five one-thousand six one-thousand? Clearly not.

But see here’s the deal from my hunched and curmudgeonly perspective over the handle bars. I am in no kind of second-shaving hurry when I’m on a bike. Certainly I’m not always ahead of schedule when I ride, but rarely do I saddle up intent on undertaking a trans-city time trial. Instead of aiming to get there as fast as humanly and illegally possible, it’s pretty much a given that I’ll get there when I get there. I’m on a freakin’ bike for crank’s sake.

Not to be the pot calling the kettle black, over the course of my life as a cyclist, I’m guilty of jumping a red or 200. But if I do so, it’s usually after some interminable wait at an intersection whose sensors won’t ever detect my bike and is devoid of any traffic, cross or otherwise. And honestly when I am seen committing such a violation, even if it’s by a motorist way up or down the street,there’s a twinge of embarrassment involved. Crazy, right?

I prefer “conscientious.”

Because showing my fellow travelers that some of us cyclists do obey the law and respect others’ right of way is worth far more to me than that 12th of a minute the fellow saved reinforcing the popular myth that cyclists don’t give a shit about the rules or how we look breaking them.