I can't help but feel completely hopeless after some random person in a car calls me a bitch on my ride home today. Not to mention watching another car full of drunk women deliberately swerve at my friends and then at me the other night. A girl I was talking to today in class about cycling had no idea bikes were allowed to be on the road. I can't help but think it's pointless to try and change people's minds about bikes in this city. I love riding my bike and the happy things and awesome friends riding a bike has brought to me, but damn, it's scary sometimes. If I get hassled, me being a young girl on a bike, I can't imagine the kind of shit you boys get. Is this just Memphis? The South? What is so evil about a bike? The other night when Brett and I were riding through an intersection (with a green light) a woman in a car (stopped at the red light) was shouting as us, "REALLY!? REALLY!?", like she couldn't believe we were on bikes. I think that's the weirdest one I've gotten so far. She basically was implying, "you fucking dumbasses, why the hell would you ride a bicycle?". We all work so hard here in Memphis, trying to do the right thing for ourselves and our community by riding a bike, but the only reward we ever get is harassment. Riding by Republic Coffee about a week ago, someone on the patio shouted "This isn't Portland!". No it's definitely not even close to Portland, but what does that person get out of discouraging me from trying to make Memphis a cycling city? Who are we hurting? I'm perfectly content with loving bikes and knowing that some other people never will, but does that make me a bitch? Does that make me worth swerving at with a car? We deserve encouragement, recognition, and respect instead of blind and ignorant hatred. I usually don't let motorists get to me and definitely never let them see me bothered or just affected at all, but they have been persistently evil lately. I guess I should spend less time on the internet and more time riding, like Christina.
Christina over at bmorefixed is basically awesome. She, amongst tons of other girls out there riding, makes me feel better. I stole this from kteket's flickr, which is as equally awesome.