get a bell for your bike, buddy. or some manners.

When I planned my exercise for the week, I scheduled a run with Rory tonight at the Greenway (to be clear, my days are not that full in the summer, I just am more likely to exercise if I’ve already worked it out on my calendar). I like running at the Greenway for several reasons: no cars, the bouncy wooden planks over the watery areas, the nature (most of it anyway), but mostly I like it because there are no cars to worry about. Don’t get me wrong, it’s not like I run on the road (I run on the killer sidewalk instead) but I like the peace and quiet of the Greenway and the peace of mind that you can’t get run over by a speeding car. Or truck. Or really big truck.

Prepared with some new tunes on my iPod (Graffiti6’s “Free” and Alex Clare’s “Too Close” to name a few) I was super excited. For some reason though tonight, it seemed that half of the over 50 men in Charlotte were on their bikes at the Greenway. And riding fast. And recklessly. I am usually annoyed at the families with a thousand kids all on their bikes taking up the path as they pedal along on their training wheels, but tonight I missed those kids. My annoyance was used this time for the AARP card-carrying men riding fast and in too-tight bike shorts and oversized tshirts. Sure, they all had the a look: the aerodynamic helmet (must have been why they were so fast), fancy bikes, bike shorts. There must have been a sale recently at a local bike shop targeting this demographic. The only thing they were lacking was a simple courtesy. They missed out the politeness of saying, “on the left!” as they approached. So my peaceful evening run turned into a Frogger-like game of staying as far to the right as possible and constantly checking over my shoulder for Lance Armstrong.

Once I did hear a bell behind me. I was expecting one of those annoying kids, I instead was passed by Mr. Rogers who politely rang it to signal his approach. Much appreciated, Mr. rogers… Your neighbors should take some tips from you.

To all the men hogging the Greenway and making me wish I was back on the sidewalk, when you take off your training wheels, trade them in for a bell. Read the signs that say, “SHARE THE GREENWAY” and “Announce your approach, pass with caution, don’t be an idiot”. The only thing I should be afraid of at the Greenway is your shorts as the pass me safely. On the left.