This is What I Wished For

Today was glorious in New York City. It was a very nice change from last week, which left us in an early summer swelter that made riding more of a chore than a joy. It was cooler today, and much nicer. Needless to say, something had to go wrong.

I had to buy a new hat, since the one I typically wear at work got dropped in the toilet. I’m… less than inclined to wear it now. I did so, and on the ride home from that stop was thinking about how much I hate it when people salmon on a one-way street. That led to me thinking about a utopian vision, wherein the police, drivers, pedestrians, and other cyclists were not always in conflict with each other. In this world, it would not instantly appear a bad thing when a cop stopped a cyclist for failing to follow the rules of the road. Unfortunately, we do not live in that world, and I find my anger with people who break the rules of riding overridden by the inherent distrust that a rider feels vis-a-vis the cops. This distrust, of course, is not something I have directly earned. In fact, for the most part, I’ve been well treated in the cases I’ve had to deal with them.

I don’t have to think too hard about the sociological reasons why that might be.

Digression aside, an irony occurred. Literally as I was thinking this, I came to a traffic light. It was red, but there was no traffic, so I rode through. I paid no mind to the fact that there was a police car first in line at that light. It turned, and I heard the siren.

Damn it.

In the end, there was no real trouble. I pulled over behind a parked car and the officer told me that I have to stop at red lights, just as a car does. This is true, and something that I know. He was very polite and let me go with just the admonishment, not even bothering to ask my name. I could only shake my head and smile at my good fortune.

Again, I didn’t have to think too hard about the sociology of it.

The lesson here is obviously one that we’ve all learned endlessly in our lives: be careful for what you wish. Also, be careful with your grammar.