I’ve ridden a bike in New York for 11 years, and through that time it’s changed a lot.
It used to be almost no one was crazy enough to get out in the oblivious traffic and haul themselves around the city, just me, a bunch of bike messengers, and Michael Musto. In the last few years it changed a lot. First, there just started being more and more bikers on the streets, then Citibike changed the game by pouring thousands more bikers into the lanes.
Last year was rough, with the influx of traffic and the non-influx of rules about how everyone was going to drive. This year everyone’s gotten more used to it; the cars are not actively trying to run down bikers, and even the pedestrians are (generally) glancing up from their phones for a second before they step into the street. Then again, it’s can still be dangerous.
Today I was riding to the Williamsburg Bridge when a man let his beautiful black lab run into the street right in front of a biker. There wasn’t enough time for her to swerve and she ran right into the dog’s head, which swung to the right as the dog let out a loud yelp. I was directly behind them watching it all happen and had to hit my brakes so I would hit the dog next.
Everyone was alright, the dog and the bicyclist. The dog’s owner apologized to me which didn’t make any sense because I was really just a witness and not part of the accident. But one thing bothered me. The cyclist who actually hit the dog didn’t stop. If you hit something, a person or an animal, shouldn’t you at least stop and see if it’s alright before you continue on your way? The dog was alright, so there was nothing to do but she didn’t even stop.
Lets all promise to stop.