…just wanted to say that I didn't mean to imply that you, as a former NYC bike messenger, were one of the rogue cyclists. I worked, and bicycled, in midtown and got to know some great bike messengers. I know they have to really hustle for a living. So do the food delivery bicyclists. And, just like motorists, some got their business done safely and others did it like maniacs.
Anyway, I hope you didn't take offense to my earlier comment.
No offense taken. When I was a rookie messenger I was a bit eccentric in my “moves,” but as I got older and depended more financially on my messenger income I soon relaxed my riding style. Mostly I liked to skid my rear wheel on certain turning maneuvers and sometimes see how far I could skid. Of course that wore down my tires quite a bit, so I did not want to spend $30-$40 unnecessarily. As of 1997, after my first rookie part time years (summers while in college), I never had any accidents with automobiles at all. In the past two years I had one “bump” with a woman while biking relatively slow down a street alongside the parked cars, but she stepped out without looking from between two parked box trucks. Even with disc brakes grinding to an immediate stop we managed to bump our foreheads. She was apologetic, but my primary reaction was to make sure she was ok. I ended up having a big bump on my forehead for a few days, and I am sure she did as well. Considering I worked as a messenger mostly full time for the better part of ten years in Manhattan and cycling was my primary mode of transportation, I would say my record was excellent.
However, I absolutely realize there are messengers out there, who ride rather recklessly. I will totally admit to cutting through red lights when no pedestrians or cars are crossing, but I have always seen speed-demon/rookie/young/aggravated cyclists rushing and yelling their way through red lights with streams of pedestrians and crossing motor vehicles. Personally, I tried to avoid uncalculated risks and always tried to give everyone else their right-of-way and common courtesy. I really came to dislike bikers, who were not respectful of others and ultimately gave me a bad name. I totally understood what you meant. Biking in NYC takes some natural confidence and aggressive riding, but egotism and aggression is NOT needed!
I had a hunch you were one of the smart cyclists.
I liked biking in NYC because I had to focus so totally on what I was doing. It completely cleared my mind of all the other clutter, almost like a meditation.
Safe riding to you too.
Re: Oh, Tone...
What gets me is the hippopotomi who waddle two and three abreast down the path by the river and you will ring and ring and ring and they won't move. And when you squeal to a stop right on their a@@s they are all, "Oh, that is what those bells were about?" Morons!
Bruce Alan Wilson
"The bicycle is the most civilized conveyance known to man. Other forms of transport grow daily more nightmarish. Only the bicycle remains pure in heart."--Iris Murdoch