This is a guest post by Kendra Greaves, a professional aerialist, circus performer and avid biker who lives in and commutes around Philadelphia by bicycle.

Yay! It’s summertime. I’m so happy that you are outside biking, walking, running, rollerblading, walking with your kids, walking your dog…. whatever you might be doing. I have a few comments and suggestions to make everybody’s (mainly mine, I guess) journey more enjoyable.
Bike Path
First. This might seem simple, but for most people, this seems to be a concept unimaginable. Get out of the middle of the path. Not so hard, really. This counts no matter if you are biking or on foot. This is especially important if you have music blasting in your ears. If I am saying “on your left” over and over while I am stuck behind you on the narrow point on Kelly Drive where I can’t pass you, I’m going to eventually get pissed and ride up directly behind you and literally scream. I have had to do this a few times. It’s great you are running or biking slowly. Really. Your fat ass thanks you (but maybe you might want to not wear spandex just yet….). But if you are going at a snail’s pace and I have to get somewhere, or I am just sick of staring at your jiggling white thighs, I will scream at you until you hear me. Then I will most likely curse at you, and consider pushing you into the trees. Turn down your fucking music, or better yet, stay to the right of the path.

Which brings me to my second point. You are not from England, or Australia. I hear that South Jersey accent. I know you are from the tri-state area. So stay on the right side of the fucking path. Seriously. And when I glare at you because I barely miss hitting you, do not get mad at me. You know the rules of the road. Oh, wait…. you drive like an asshole too? My bad. I just assumed people who walk or drive can do it the proper way. I guess I was wrong.

That said – if there is a tiny narrow curve in the path (there are quite a few – some of them even have lines painted down the middle, and signs saying “go slow”), do not pass the person in front of you just yet. Because you can’t see who is coming in from the other side. Stay over as far as you can or you will probably get hit. You can wait an extra 8 seconds before you swerve out and potentially hit me, who is staying on the proper side and going slowly in tight areas. Because let’s face it, you aren’t going that fast anyway.

If I yell “on your left” and start to pass you, do not jump in front of me. You don’t have to move at all in fact. I have taken into account passing you by the time I tell you that I am. You’re fine.

Do not let your dog, horse, or small child lunge in front of my bike. If I do miss hitting them, I will narrowly miss them, and you will yell at me and get upset, and little Bobby will start to cry. Hold them. Hold their hand or their leash (leashes are for your dogs though, not your child). Get off your fucking Blackberry. Stop texting your friends. Pay attention to your kids. Otherwise they will wind up writing angry posts like this one in 25 years.

Please do not swing your fishing poles around. If one hits me again, I will take you and throw you into the river after I break your fishing pole over my thigh.

Do not walk three or four abreast. I don’t care how cool you and your friends are. You do not deserve to take up the entire path. It is not the Yellow Brick Road.

Look behind you and see if someone is approaching if you need to suddenly get to the left side of the path. Not so hard, but people never seem to do this. Likewise, if you suddenly must stop dead in your tracks, get over to the grass or something.

A few random bits I would also like to mention:

  • Spandex is not for everyone (I am repeating this because I feel strongly here)
  • Unless you are biking up Shurs Lane, keep your elbows straight when you bike. You look like and idiot. And you are going slow. It’s not helping you
  • Change your gears from time to time. I laugh at you when you are pedaling your ass off and not getting anywhere. If you don’t want to change gears, do what I do, and ride on a track frame
  • If you must listen to music, turn it down. Or just listen in your right ear
  • Wear a helmet

I’m sure that I can continue on here, but those are the major things that I would like to mention.

So please, be considerate so I can get back and forth between work and home without wanting to run someone over.