Pat Quinn signed a bill today that will guarantee him the votes of the nut-hugger-shorts-wearin'-crowd. My guess is he probably got a free lunch out of the deal as well. Now, I'm sure it wasn't as tasty and delicious as the all-you-can-eat-family-style funeral luncheons he's accustomed to chowing down on following his various appearances while paying honor to the fallen troops and working the veteran voting crowds. But, I'd lay odds it was organic--possibly vegan--more than likely, very boring and certainly, most definitely good for him.
In signing the "Share the Road Bicycle Law", the future former governor promises the bicyclist's rights are guaranteed. Bikers rights? What about mine--the member of the car driving crowd--trying to work my way around these jackasses, while managing to keep dear old Betsy on "my side" of the road?
These clowns have been on my list for years...and the month of July only brings out more of these yellow-shirt wearing idiots jonesing to be just like Lance. Newsflash--Armstrong is the king of clowns--ask Sheryl--ask Kate--ask the first wife and mother to his tribe--I'm sure their answers are the same as mine--clown, clown, and, yes, you guessed it, clown.
I came eye to beady eye with one of these knuckleheads this past Saturday. Sadly, my impressionable teen--the soon-to-be driver-was in the car taking all of my bad behavior in. The kid never listens to a thing I say--usually. On Saturday, had he a pen and notebook, my guess is he'd have taken notes.
Here I was driving east down 131st Street (if you're not familiar--it's a two lane hilly highway--), minding my own business planning my holiday grocery list in my head--what can I say--I'm a multi-tasker. I had just passed Our Lady of the Woods Church when my four eyes witnessed a bicycle scofflaw doing something Jesus would definitely NOT do.
There he was riding side-by-side with his lady--weaving between the roadway (i.e. the middle of MY lane) and gravel side of the road and back again. If that weren't bad enough, he had earphones on--not the small earbuds either--but big ass headphones--like the kind one might wear if he was in the profession of landing planes--not take a leisurely ride through town. Although, to be fair, one look at the "biker gear" he had on and you just knew this ride was probably anything but leisurely...this guy took his "sport" to the extreme.
As I got closer I gave the brakes a squeeze with my 8 1/2 EE as I headed toward the opposite lane of traffic to avoid this idiot. And, like my parents before me had always done, I layed on the horn as I passed this clown, looked him straight in his beady little eyes, and mouthed the "effin" part (I had children in the car) right before I screamed the idiot part. Got back in my lane and drove on.
Conversation in the car turned to me highlighting why I include bike riders on my "list" while I questioned why just because it has two wheels, why should the rider be exempt from following the simple rules of the road. These jerks were a menace...if you can't follow the rules-get off the road. Ahead there was a red light by the Lutheran Church. We stopped. As we were sitting waiting for the green light, I caught a glimpse of what was coming up behind me in my side-view mirror. Turn Green Damn It--Turn Green. No such luck.
Speedy Gonzales had apparently kicked it into high gear, was heading for us at top speed and was at my back bumper--now he was at my passenger side window--he bent his head in the passenger side window and through labored breaths asked me if I had an "effin" (he did not mouth this word) problem.
Actually buddy, I've got several. One--learn the rules of the road, if cars and motorcycles can't share a lane, what makes you think riding bikes side by side would be okay--Two--take off the flippin' headphones--Three--a helmet--with what looks like a street light sticking at least six inches past your nose--seriously??--Four--your goofy-assed-incredibly, way too incredibly too, too, tight shorts--(I pray you're married to the gal you're riding with, cause if this is a first date--it will more than likely be the last based on that outline)--Five--I would resort back to my first impression--you buddy, are an effin idiot.
One look at this yahoo and you knew his backstory. Hearing the sound of his "nasal-like" voice and you'd be convinced. I'd lay odds he was a child chubster who rode a Huffy while all the other kids on the block rode a Schwinn. Over the years he embraced his "thin" self...and took up a life of good, healthy living. Exercise of choice: BIKING. Based on the Huffy in his past, he decided to get all the latest and greatest equipment. Hey, the sky was the limit...and like most former chubsters/current health nuts, Speedy was probably one donut away from falling off the wagon when he turned his efforts toward his new found biking hobby and gave it 110 % of his effort. If only those "Schwinn riding" bullies could see him now...he'd show them.
Sadly, I never got past reasons one and two--the light turned green and traffic began to move--I skipped right to reason number five as I pulled away and let him know that I knew he was a complete idiot...that's when he shouted -- wait for it--wait for it -- he shouted in his highest nasal-like voice "EAT MY SHIT"--then he shouted it again--emphasis on the MY..."EAT MY SHIT". Worst of all?? Not only did he suffer from a high-pitched-nasal-emphasised-voice...but he was a "lisper".
Now I just wanted to pull over and ask this man--yeah--he was no youngster--at least forty something--perhaps knocking on fifty's door--one simple question. Who the hell says THAT?? I expected an Eff YOU...maybe a Kiss My Ass...Bitch would not have been a stretch nor unwarranted. But eat my shit--that's the best you can do?? Again, I ask, who says that?
I was not hungry, so I declined and drove on.
There are miles and miles of bike paths in the Palos/Orland/Tinley/Frankfort/Mokena/New Lenox area--why don't these clowns take advantage of those? Our streets are so over-taxed with cars/trucks/motorcycles...there is no room or reason for bicycles--especially the ones ridden by the hard-core bicycle enthusiasts. It's not like these riders are trying to get to work...nobody would keep his/her job let alone pride showing up and punching a clock wearing an outfit like that...and nobody punching a clock could afford equipment like Speedy was wearing/riding.
Amazingly enough, I woke this morning to news of the new bike law. Poor bikers want their rights recognized by this law--seems the cars are crowding them on two-lane highways while their bikes are in the car's lanes. Drivers face up to a year in jail and a $2,500 fine for such offenses.
I'm thinking about stocking up on Rules of the Road pamphlets to hand to bikers instead of honking next time. If you ride a bike on a road you share with me and Betsy I think at the very least, you should stop when I have to, signal turns as I do, and, for Pete's Sake--stay in your OWN lane--like I must. And if you can't follow these simple rules--head to a bike path where I don't have to be bothered by your complete ignorance.
If the future former governor would like my vote this fall, I'd ask him to consider this...instead of selling specialty license plates to pay for educating ME to be more aware of THEM...how about THEM buying a plate if they want to share the road with ME. Maintaining a plate would require THEM to prove their knowledge/rules of operating the "vehicle" they ride.
With the amount of Lance Armstrong Wannabes crowding the area roads--income from plate sales could be the answer to the state's economic woes. I think I'm on to something, Mr. Governor...pass a law like this--I'm not sure I'd buy you lunch, but I might consider giving you a vote.