I’ve had this rant on my mind for ages, but never committed it to writing. Every time I leave the house, I’ll see something that reminds me that, “Oh yeah, I wanted to complain about this on my blog,” but then I get home and get distracted with other things. Today, I didn’t leave the house at all, but I did remember that texting and cycling annoys me, so here we go.
Why, oh, why do people do this? It’s both dangerous and annoying. We get it drilled in our heads time and time again that we shouldn’t text and drive but somehow it’s ok on a bike? The answer to that is that it’s not ok. If you do it, you suck. Are you in such a hurry that you can’t pull over to the sidewalk to write your message? Are you that hooked to your phone that you’re willing to endanger your own life and the safety of those around you? Are you even thinking about the consequences when you do it? If the answer to any of those questions is “yes,” you need to get your priorities straight.
To start with the less serious issue here, it’s annoying as hell for other people on the road. When you text and cycle, you bike like a drunk person, only much slower. Steering with one hand, holding a phone, typing on a touch screen, and pedaling are too many tasks to do at once, so it makes you meander across the road or lane. Plus, since your attention is elsewhere, you are slow. It’s hard for anyone cycling behind you to pass you, because you take up the entire lane. Everyone else on the road has to watch out for you, because you’re not watching anyone else on the road.
But to get more serious here, texting and cycling dangerous. Cycling is something that requires your full attention; drivers aren’t always looking out for you, so you’d better be looking out for them. If you’re texting, you can’t do that. You could get hit, and it would totally be your fault. On top of that, you’re also putting other people at risk. Bikes aren’t as large and powerful as cars, but you can still hurt someone if they dart out onto the road in front of you. Yes, they probably shouldn’t be doing that, but what if they’re a little kid or a pet? Sometimes, people and animals end up on the road when they shouldn’t be, so you should be watching out.
So, leave you phone alone for a while and keep your eyes and full attention on the road. If you need to text someone that you’re late or spend some quality time with Google Maps, pull over and do it off of the road.