I do a fair amount of bicycle commuting, and I have more than my fair share of close calls. Unfortunately, most of them involve other people who are too busy doing everything else... other than driving or being aware of their surroundings.
I coined the phrase "ipod idiot" when I had two close calls on the same day while riding my bike home after work.
Riding down the bike path (downhill), I saw a pedestrian up ahead, so I started to ring my bell, as to not startle them as I passed. Well, as I got closer, I realized that the person was a "she", and that "she" had white ear buds growing out of her ears, so I kept ringing my bell as I got closer. But being in a different world, she apparently couldn't hear my warning. As I got even closer (slowing down now), she turned just as I was about to pass, and walked smack-dab in front of my bike. I quickly turned and slammed on my breaks, skidding to a sideways stop, almost hitting her. She finally noticed me and mumbled something under her breath, and kept walking. She had NO idea that she almost just got plowed into! All I could think about was the flat spots on my tires from skidding... and then I yelled out "IPOD IDIOT!" I'm sure she didn't hear me.
A woman in a car passed me (again, travelling down hill). As soon as she passed me, she turned right into a parking lot.. cutting me off completely. Again, lucky for me I have lightning-like reflexes and good brakes. So I was able to avoid getting run over. I decided to follow her until she parked. Not only was she "plugged in" to her ipod, she was also talking on her cell phone while driving (both illegal in California, by the way). Because I was pumped with adrenaline, I verbally let her have it. Unfortunately (or fortunately), she was still soo busy multi-tasking to take much notice, she barely had time to skip a beat and acknowledge me, or what she had just done. "IPOD IDIOT!", I yelled again!
I find myself yelling that a LOT lately, so I have decided to write about this and ask the following questions:
1. Am I the only one who's having near misses due to people being "ipod idiots"?
2. Does anyone else notice people walking around like zombies, with music playing (or blasting) in their ears?
3. Is it normal to walk with a group of friends, and all be talking to your "other", more important friends on your cell phone at the same time? Or texting while driving, walking, riding your bike, eating, using the rest room?
4. Have our lives suddenly become so important that we have to be connected 24/7 to our fanboys, telling them every time we find bellybutton lint?
5. Is the fast paced electronic age turning our society into disconnected, anti-social, techno-addicted droids?
6.. Or... have I simply become my parents?
Last Updated (Friday, 10 August 2012 05:00)