I started my morning with some 6:45 commute witness to idiocy. It's almost humorous at times, but it's also a sad state of affairs on an early morning when people should have their thinkers turned on.
Event one: I come up to a stop light, curb lane for me. Next block up has a parked car on it that effectively ends the lane, and is likely going to get towed soon. Center lane has a tan Nissan Murano pull up first to the light. Next to me, pulls up a gleaming white Porsche 911 Turbo. So I assume the Porsche is going to use that next 100m of lane to accelerate and slide over into the other lane to pass the parked car. If I were driving a Murano, I could see this too. However, Nissan Murano driver pins it off the line. Timing or fan belt squeals, there's lots of noise, and a little acceration. Porsche takes note, blips the throttle for all of about 1.5 seconds, which creates a relatively calm roar gets it up to like 70km/h in a blink of an eye, and the outcome that was destined to happen happens anyway - the Porsche calmly slides into the center lane, passes the parked car, and goes back to the curb lane, without looking dishevelled or breaking a sweat. The Nissan driver looks irate at the next lights. Irate at what? That his car couldn't out drag a 911 Turbo? That the lane use in that fashion was so logical? Or perhaps that he always wanted a 911 Turbo, and this just brought it that much closer to the surface of his conscious of not having one?
Second event: at the next block, we crossed a one way westbound, so traffic coming from the right. But there was no traffic, other than a dude on a bike. Loafers, no helmet, ipod in, old school road bike with a ultra stretched chain that was droopy. He saw no cars coming, but apparently he didn't see me, and just wheeled the corner and saw me only at the last second when he was joining my direction like a meter and a half in front of me. Next red light, he slows, weaves traffic and proceeds to cross. I catch up, and tell him "we're all in this together, and it helps if everyone follows traffic rules on bikes". He quips back "thanks boss", which of course is what I'd roughly expect for spouting off some free advice. We proceed, and next cross street is the train tracks. He starts weaving out, not capable of pulling off a track stand, not yet ready to go. Starts to go, chain skips, he sort of lunges forward but seems to avoid the balls to the stem move. I pass smoothly and say "you've got headphones in, no helmet, a malfunctioning bike, and aren't following traffic rules, you couldn't be doing this any worse if you tried... just remember the consequences of failing out here aren't getting a D on a test, they're worse." No response. I wonder if any of that will sink in. For the greater motoring perception of cyclists, and for this guy's longevity, I hope it does. I'm glad he's taken step one and got on a bike before 7am, but there's a few additional steps needed.