Bless your hearts.

Now I can say whatever I want and you can’t be offended because I have blessed your poor, black, smog-filled, gasoline-reliant hearts.

I’m not sure how most of you passed your driving tests. I mean really, are you kidding me? Let me break something down for you: The gas pedal is on the right, the brakes are on the left. NOT THE OTHER WAY AROUND. Side view mirrors are to be used, they aren’t just for decoration.

You drivers might be wondering why I am writing to you, this being a cycling column after all.  I am directing this week’s column to you because nearly every time I ride my bike through downtown, I am almost killed. No, its not because I have terrible cycling skills. It’s because all of you trying to find a parking spot or leaving one seem to have tunnel vision and I happen to fall just outside of that tunnel. Your parking emergency should not send me to the emergency room. I ride in the right lane because that’s where I am supposed to ride, but even sharing that side of the road is getting treacherous.

This week, I was talking with a friend who has a child attending Chico Junior High. While picking up her son, she witnessed the aftermath of a hit-and-run. A confused cyclist and his friends tried, in vain, to make sense of the situation. The car who hit him not only drove off without taking responsibility, but also royally fucked up his bike. This was outside a school. Kids bike along our streets every day. In her three years as a Chico resident, my friend has seen four hit-and-runs. Her son’s best friend had his leg broken by an errant driver. It’s time you cars start slowing down and take a minute to realize that you are sharing the road with adults and children alike; all of  whom are trying to  get from point A to point B in one piece.

I have witnessed three car/bike accidents in the past year and all three times the cyclists were obeying traffic laws. I know way too many people who have sustained major injuries from bad drivers right here in “silver-rated” Chico.  What would Ed have thought of this?

It’s time this business stops.

We cyclists are just trying to get to work, enjoy the weather, run errands, make it to class on time and — what’s that other thing? Oh yeah, do something good for the environment. It may sound cheesy, but that’s the thing — we are kind of a cheesy bunch. We are lovers of life, enjoyers of this amazing planet, pedal-pushing, planet-saving, bike-lane-loving, wind-in-our-hair enjoying folks, and we just want to do the thing we love safely. While you are fighting traffic, we are taking in the scenery. And yeah, sometimes we think we’re better than those of you stuck in your death traps, but that doesn’t mean you need to try and kill us. I’m over it.

Drive better, or I’m going to start taking a cue from “Premium Rush” and my chain will not only lock up my bike, but will also double as a weapon of mass destruction directed at your side view mirrors. I mean, it seems like you aren’t using them anyway.