The Everyday Spooky
I am going to be honest here: I considered doing a contest or a funny story for Halloween, but I am just not in the mood.
After a few days back in the US, I have to admit that cycling here has required some major re-adjustment on my part. Having initially set out with the same relaxed attitude I'd acquired after only a couple of weeks in Vienna, I immediately experienced a "welcome home" reminder consisting of close-calls with doors flinging open, drivers refusing to yield when I have the right of way, the works. Cycling here is spooky. Having not ventured abroad for over a year prior to my recent trip, I guess I've managed to trick myself into forgetting that.
Once in a while I write about how much conditions have improved here in Cambridge and Somerville since I began cycling in Spring of 2009. But just as often I question myself: Have they really improved that much, or have I just become more aggressive, less sensitive, and more willing to accept risks in response to the reality of how (bad) things are? Probably a bit of both, and it's so difficult to see objectively. Coming back from Las Vegas a month ago, cycling in Boston seemed like paradise. Coming back from Vienna, it seems like a war zone.
While I maintain that I am "not an activist," of course I care about cyclists all over the world having safe and pleasant travel conditions. Everyday cycling should not be a scary experience, and some day I hope it won't be.