Monday, August 15, 2011
Mr. Manners (aka Julian Ayrs)...bike-riding road hogs must abide by rules of the road!
During the course of an interview the other night on Jay Leno, actor Jesse Eisenberg acknowledged that he is an avid bike enthusiast who prefers the two-wheeled mode of transportation to tool around Manhattan.
But, although liberating in many respects, the rising star of the just-released dark comedy - "Thirty Minutes or Less" - fessed up that riding a bike in downtown NYC could prove to be a risky proposition in a city running rampant with wild reckless drivers and thoughtless passengers exiting taxi cabs at whim and without warning in odd unexpected ways.
For example, one day as Mr. Eisenberg was about to fly by a taxi on the driver's side, a tourist flung open the door out-of-the-blue and blocked his path.
Suddenly, the charismatic actor found himself being hurling through the air, as his bike ceremoniously crashed into the car door.
"You'd think they would be required to exit on the street side," he mused, as Leno gazed on with a silly grin on his face.
"So, what happened? Did you have to exchange driver's licenses, and that sort-of-thing," Leno quizzed in so many words.
"I was too embarrassed to have been tossed into the street like that with the whole world watching," he uttered up in so many words.
"Oh, you're a great person to have an accident with. No lawyers, nothing," joked Jay.
Suddenly, I realized this was a subject for Mr. Manners to address at long last.
When I was a kid, after all, folks who rode bicyles cycled along with the flow of traffic on the street obeying the laws of the road (as was the case with Mr. Eisenberg).
Today, however, an inconsiderate gang of cyclists have actually taken over the sidewalks.
And, they've claimed the territory in dangerous ways.
Instead of riding in the direction of the traffic - at the curb - these selfish bike-riders elect to zip down the center of the sidewalk - literally expecting pedestrians to jump out of the way when they approach at high speeds.
But, there are worse scenarios to deal with than that.
If the cyclist goes against the flow - chances are - fhe pedestrian may not spy the speeding projectile coming from behind.
If the unsuspecting walker steps an inch or two left or right on the sidewalk, he or she may end up getting creamed!
Not a pretty sight!
The problem is aggravated by the fact that a large percentage of bicycle riders are irresponisble, too.
For example, few have installed a "bell" on their gleaming machines to prevent potential "crashes" from occurring with unwitting victims innocently strolling down the street.
The fact that a posse of bike owners have neglected to mount "headlamps" on the handlebars to facilitate night-riding has also begged the question.
Do the rules of the road apply to these bicycle road hogs?
According to Mr. Manners:
"In a civilized society - where cycling on two wheels is becoming more of a norm - bike-riders are required to be courteous to pedestrians - and motorists alike - and abide by the rules of the road."
For starters, installing a bell - or other warning device (shouting "heh you!" won't do) - is an absolute must.
A night "light" is also a prerequisite when a bike-lover opts to take a carefree cruise about the city environs after dark.
Of course, it goes without saying, that pedestrians have the right-of-way on sidewalks, and not the other way around.
I can't count the number of times a cyclist has whizzed by me (and other tourists on the strip) and rudely shouted:
"Get out of the way!"
Mr. Manners recommends the pedestrian faced with such a dilemma hold their ground.
It's easier for a pedestrian to step out-of-the-way last minute than a cyclist to swerve or stop on a dime to avoid a nasty crash.
You get my drift?