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December 04, 2010

bad influences

As the winter moves forward and the weather gets worse, I take the bus more often. While I love bicycling in the cold - the ice on the road, especially when it is covered with snow, scares the bejeezus out of me.

I love taking the bus for many reasons - the sense of community, the delicious exercise of walking to and from bus stops, it increases my punctuality and encourages patience when the bus isn't punctual. However, I do believe it makes me a worse automobile driver.

Bicycling on the other hand, makes me a better driver - though some call it "granny style" driving. I tend to go slower, I realize how blind I am in a car (as compared to on a bicycle), it makes me more patient and alert to my surroundings. However, after riding on a bus, I tend to drive like a bus driver - who totally rule the road. I've seen them tailgate, jump into traffic in front of cars, honk impatiently at cars ahead of them, only come to rolling stops at stop signs, and they run yellow and (just barely) red lights like mad - all in the hurried mad dash to get to the next stop. A bus driver, who is serving hundreds if not thousands of people every day and drives hours and hours so knows the capabilities of his vehicle, may be able to justify this type of behavior. I on the other hand, have no excuse - only inspiration to drive even less.