Viewpoint: A truce proposal for bikers, motorists and pedestrians

As someone who rides their bicycle on campus, I apologize to motorists and pedestrians.

On my way to campus, I bolt through six blocks of traffic, speed through three stop signs and hardly glance left or right the entire time. I’m already late for class because I overestimated my biking ability, so I’ll be going pretty fast.  If I have to get across Fountain Mall, I part the migration of students on the two narrow sidewalks like Moses parting the Red Sea.

Behind me, the path of my destruction can be seen in the skid marks of cars and dropped books of students. My headphones are in at full blast, so you shouldn’t bother honking or trying to get my attention.

Are you on a longboard? Better stay out of my way; you’re moving too slow! Is there another cyclist on the road? Instinctively, I start a middle-of-the-road, 12 mph race, ignoring walkers in our path or cars behind us.

Is that a moped? Those guys are cheaters! They don’t know how much work it is to ride a bike back and forth from class.  I don’t care if they get over 100 miles per gallon; my 200-calorie bike ride is better for the environment, right?

I know this is somewhat of an exaggeration, but cyclist, motorists and walkers definitely don’t get along. I honestly think riding my bike to school makes me a worse human being.  I don’t know for sure, but I would say that I have an extremely angry facial expression whenever I ride my bike to and from class.

I become hypersensitive of everyone else’s actions.  It makes me mad! I can’t keep living like this!

So, as a cyclist, I propose a truce with all pedestrians and motorists.  All we have to do is follow a few simple rules:

• Motorists, please just yield to bikes.  Yes, we understand that we are a huge pain.  We never signal our turns appropriately.  We randomly swerve into the middle of the road.  We have no sense of what is around us.  But if you see us, just keep that foot on the brake. We promise to get better.

• Cyclists, keep the headphones on low. Look around once in a while.  At least have the common courtesy to gradually slow down at an intersection.

• Cyclist and motorists, yield to pedestrians.  Ending up on someone’s hood is not a good way to start the day when you are walking to class.

• Pedestrians, just keep doing what you are doing. As a cyclist, the most annoying thing to run into (sometimes literally) is an indecisive walker.  If you see a cyclist coming your way, just keep walking in the same direction at the same speed. We see you, and we will go around you. I understand that I cannot speak for every cyclist on campus, but in general, we prefer to move out of the pedestrian’s way and not the other way around. And finally…

• Always yield to Brittney Griner.  Always.

Travis Taylor is a junior journalism major. He is a photographer for the Baylor Lariat.