Now that the weather is warmer and things are green again let’s discuss a few things that for some reason must have stayed frozen in a block of ice somewhere during the polar vortex this winter.
First off: Dogs, kids, cats ... anything or anyone that can breathe and can’t really open a car door on their own. Now, for the most part, I’m talking to dog owners that take their pooches with them where ever they go. As much as I like having my boy, Dutch, with me on warmer days, when I have to make stops I have to leave him at home, much like I did with his older brother Max; if it’s over 60 degrees and the sun is out, you just have to leave them at home. They may not want to stay home because after all they would much rather be with you, but leave them home anyway. And here comes my annual pledge to you -- I’ll be giving away a busted car window to anyone who leaves their dog in the car on a hot day. I carry a small ball peen hammer with me so that I can follow through on my pledge. So please, don’t do it, because every time I bust a car window the cops come, I have to do paperwork and I’m training for an Ironman, I honestly don’t have the time.
Speaking of training ... there is something you should know. Since the weather is nicer, you’ll see an increase of people on the road running and biking. Now, I’m not just blaming the motorist here, because I’ve seen the runners and bikers not follow the rules of the road. So if you are running -- please run against the grain. In other words, you should be able to see the driver’s face as you are running or see the person texting while they’re driving while they are also drifting onto the shoulder of the road. Obviously, if there’s a sidewalk you should try and use it, but if not, please keep in mind it’s easier to avoid a car if you can see it coming.
Conversely, to you motorists, should you encounter a runner or walker while bombing around, please leave them some space. Most of you are really good about it, but a select few of you are, well, idiots (you probably don’t know who you are -- which is why I carry a small ball peen hammer when I run). Some of you motorists feel as though you pay taxes and when you’re on the road the road becomes yours. Well I’m here to tell you that it’s not entirely true -- in fact you both "own" the road and you both need to follow the rules and those rules don’t include flipping off the runner or yelling "Get off the road." I understand; sometimes the roads are narrow and you can get a little freaked out, but actually freaking out because someone is running on the road is really unacceptable and, frankly, a useless expenditure of energy.
As to bikes, I would like to first address the cycle enthusiast. Now, if you’re new to this experience you may want to ride against the grain like a runner. Don’t! It truly is a visual assault and you’ll most likely end up on the front of someone’s car and that will dent your new bike. Instead, ride with the flow of traffic. I know this is scary because people text while driving and aren’t really paying attention 100 percent of the time. But the rule is you must flow with traffic; there are reasons for that.
Motorists, I know not all of you like sharing the road with your eco-friendly brethren but you have to. And since you have to, there are rules you too must abide by. For instance, you must give a minimum of three feet between you and your rearview mirror (or whatever sticks out further). That three feet doesn’t start from the outer part of your right thigh as some of you may think. But if you have the room, give them more. If you think the paperwork is bad from me busting your car window because your dog is in your car, I’m here to tell you, you ain’t seen nothing yet! What the hell is up with that?