If You Were Me

The other day I vented to an acquaintance about an issue that’s frustrated me this winter. However, this led to several more issues for me to be frustrated about.

If You Were Me

For a moment I actually felt bad for picking this battle.

But I knew this person. And if she were me, it would go like this.

If You Were Me

Yes, and drivers wouldn’t take this sort of response either.

So I made a resolution to speak up more. I don’t deserve to be treated as lesser than other commuters.


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  • Allan March 7, 2014   Reply →


  • Steve March 7, 2014   Reply →

    Well said! Cyclists are often treated as second class citizens, even though we do more to help the environment than most other road users.
    I get tired of being seen as a nuisance by car drivers, despite us reducing congestion and therefore improving their journey!

    • Mr Butts July 28, 2014  

      Right on….

      Yeah. I actually feel safer riding my bike in the winter than my car.

  • Kara March 7, 2014   Reply →

    Thanks so much for this! I’m encouraged to speak up more in Chicago, too. You always have the best messages (accompanied by some lovely drawings). Keep ’em coming! 😀

  • Joe March 7, 2014   Reply →

    Totally agree. Luckily, I can solve the problem by parking my bike locked to a table in a hallway right outside my office. As a biker, I always get the best winter parking place!

  • CPTJohnC March 7, 2014   Reply →

    I’ve been expressing my dissatisfaction with how cycling (and pedestrian!) facilities are being treated all winter, and for several years. Thanks for putting it so well!

  • scott March 7, 2014   Reply →

    It’s not much of an issue here because there are so few bike racks to begin with and finding secure parking is a chore with or without snow. Also, just watching the meter maid go by issuing tickets to all those cars parked outside my little workplace makes me appreciate the forces at work creating an equilibrium of some sort.

  • sheldon March 7, 2014   Reply →

    Same thing in Minneapolis. I just stopped at my doctor’s clinic. parking was plowed, sidewalks were clear. Bike rack hasn’t been shoveled out all year. On the other hand, all the bike parking at or local food coop is clear of snow and the bike racks in front of the coffee shop are useable.

  • Jon Webb March 7, 2014   Reply →

    Plus, they’re using those wheelbender parking spaces, so there’s only two good places to park, at the ends.

  • Raymond Paquette March 7, 2014   Reply →

    Completely agree. We have some decent bicycling infrastructure here in Western MA, and a fairly strong commitment on the part of local governments. Yet, they are still asking for volunteers to maintain the trails.

    I can remember any time that I was asked to maintain a section of street.

    • Tim March 8, 2014  

      *sniff* Stop, you’re breaking my heart. *sniff*

  • Fatima March 7, 2014   Reply →

    Here here! I have also seen innocent bike parking being plowed down by careless snowplows, so badly they become unuseable.

  • RW March 7, 2014   Reply →

    Thanks for making that point for all of us!

  • Cuter Commuter March 8, 2014   Reply →

    Thank you for sharing your perspective. I didn’t think of the other way around.

    My workplace shoveled the snow onto the front of the bike locker that I rent. Because it was 0F degrees that day, I didn’t bike in so I wasn’t vocal about it. But I will remember this the next time it happens and I will bring my bike to park inside the office.

  • Tim March 8, 2014   Reply →

    So, before you started riding your bike frequently, how would you have responded to the second set of complaints/responses?

    Shoe’s on the other foot now isn’t it?

    Maybe it’s time you accept that not everybody will see stuff the same way you do.

    In the mean time, ride your bike, and enjoy it.

    Either that, or move to where it doesn’t snow at sea level.

    Yes, there are some really nice places like that to live; just be prepared to make other concessions.

  • Kevin Love March 8, 2014   Reply →

    There are places where cycle infra is the top priority for snow clearing. And cars not so much. Here is a video of one example:


  • Ryan Grimm March 8, 2014   Reply →

    HEAR HERE! Hurts when it’s on the other foot, yes?

  • Libby March 8, 2014   Reply →

    This reminds me of why I walk to bus stops and train stops instead of driving a car or bicycle. I don’t have to find parking this way!

  • morlamweb March 9, 2014   Reply →

    This post makes me even more thankful for the bike parking at work. It’s covered and nowhere near the street so there are no problems with snow. I feel your pain with bike parking. I do stop for errands on te way to/from work, and most places lack bike parking, period. It’s sad that the ones who do offer bike parking couldn’t be bothered to maintain it in winter.

  • anniebikes March 11, 2014   Reply →

    I totally agree. It’s bothered me too and I wrote about it recently on my blog. What rankles me is that many cycling shops in our area do not even have racks for bike commuters in winter.

  • morlamweb March 12, 2014   Reply →

    I much prefer the bikeyface in the masthead to the one in this post. Fortunately, spring is coming, and hopefully soon, all this business about snow will seem like a bad dream. I do agree with your thoughts in the second drawing, especially the 3000-lbs in slippery conditions part. I remember biking home in a few snowstorms this winter. It was tough going, but I made it home, and I’d dare say people drove slowly near me as a courtesy to me. In contrast, when I drove slowly during a snow storm (as in, 20-25 mph on a 45 road), I was routinely passed by other drivers. And their actions did lead to some spinouts.

  • Paul Johnson March 12, 2014   Reply →

    I do find it highly amusing that QuikTrip, who uses unusually large gas bars as a loss leader, typically has four bike staples conveniently placed by the door they’re removing snow away from. If you can’t park a bike at a QuikTrip, it’s probably because it’s the lunch or dinner rush and everyone’s there anyway.

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