This is a response with a different view to Deanna Latendresse’s September 12, 2012 “The Coronado Video Game I Play Every Morning”.
Here is the video game I play every morning.
I wake up a bit early so I can start my day with a little exercise and time to myself. Grab my bicycle and out the driveway I ride. My video game now begins.
Riding down the street cars zip past me. Isn’t the speed limit 25mph on these streets? I must be wrong, the City must have changed the speed limit during the night to 40mph. I pedal on and see a driver flick a still burning cigarette onto the street. Hmm, isn’t that littering? Maybe not. I guess since it is on fire it can be considered biodegradable. I come up to a stop light. So many single person occupied cars sitting idle waiting for the light to turn green. Cough, cough. Thank goodness the coastal breeze will blow away all the exhaust.
I continue to ride towards a Coronado school. Wow, look at all the cars lined up outside the school. Don’t most of the kids live in Coronado? Why do they need to be driven to school? As I dodge the cars darting towards the curb to drop off kids I can’t help but notice the obesity of kids these days. I always thought the “freshman fifteen” referred to a student’s first year of college, not a student’s entire Elementary or High School career. I’m sure though it isn’t the fault of the kids or parents, or does it have anything to do with the Monster drink and Danish the kid is engulfing as they awkwardly climb out the car. I certainly don’t expect parents to have time these days to make their kid a bowl of oatmeal and pour a glass of juice especially when a stop at Starbucks is a must-do for mom’s or dad’s before heading to work. I ride on.
A few blocks later the driver-side door of a parked car flings open without warning. I slam on my brakes, my rear tire skidding across the pavement, my bike stopping only an inch from the open door. My heart racing, the driver glares at me. I remind the driver that under State law drivers are responsible for ensuring that it is safe to open the car door before doing so and liable for injuries and damage caused by the driver’s negligence. But from the huff of the driver and the response “I’m in a hurry” while walking away, I was left to wonder if the law is inapplicable when a driver is late for something. I collect myself and continue riding. Ahead I notice an oncoming car drifting into my lane getting closer and closer to colliding with me. Without options, I brace myself for the worst. At the last second, the driver peers up from the cell phone in hand and quickly steers the car back into the correct lane of travel. I ride on.
The residential street narrows with cars parked on both sides. I feel a car barring down behind me, impatiently unable to safely pass. I maintain my line and speed as I can practically feel the heat from the car’s engine warming my backside. The sound of the engine increases as the car roars past me only to get stopped at the intersection 200 feet ahead. I shake my head in disbelief as I ride past the car, deciding to turn onto another street hoping it isn’t the road the car will be traveling. Two intersections later, I come to a four-way stop slightly before the car at the stop sign to the left of me. After making my stop, I begin to pedal through the intersection as the right-of-way permits. The car to the left punches the gas pedal to get through the intersection before me. Maybe the right-of-way laws changed in favor of the vehicle which is the biggest. If that is the case then of course the 3,000 vehicle has the right-of-way over my 150lb body on my 20lb bike. I ride on.
Only a few more blocks before I get home, a car passes me honking its horn, with a fist shaking out the widow and the driver yelling “Get off the road you idiot”! Hmm… Maybe the driver is right, maybe I no longer have the right to be riding my bike on the street and instead all bicyclists should be relegated to riding on the sidewalks. Certainly would be much safer. As I continue on my morning’s ride I can’t help but wonder if as bicyclists I am the cause of so many of our society’s problems.
Once home, I make a bowl of oatmeal and pour a glass of orange juice while watching the morning news. But one story after another about rising gas prices, our eroding environment, and an overeating epidemic made me realize I am not the problem but instead a part of the solution although it is difficult for others to recognize this when they lack responsibility for their roles. I finish my breakfast as the news concludes with a final blurb on a bicyclist killed by a motorist an hour ago. I guess the video game for that bicyclist came to a permanent end, or as they used to say in the arcades, Game Over.
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