Now that law enforcement officials seem to have the red-light runner in tow, the pedestrian in line and the Georgetown car off the main streets, we have been asked by more than a few readers to focus on another menace of the thoroughfares: the scofflaw biker. And before we get bombarded with protests from indignant biking organizations, let's be clear that we're talking here about a suicidal minority of those who two-wheel it around town. Most bikers play by the rules, and more power to them.
But look who's alongside that car that ran through the red light: It's a biker, darting across the intersection and cutting a mini-slalom trail through the pedestrians in their crosswalk. Then it's up onto the sidewalk to brush by everyone who is walking. This is most dramatic when accompanied by a shrill whistle, bell or yell to jar the unsuspecting stroller.
Back on the road again, there's another cyclist doing an S-pattern in front of a line of cars that can't get by. (And, by the way, motorists should remember that the cyclist does have his right to a place on the street.) At one point, a motorist signals for a right turn, but a biker slips up along the right side of the car and just misses getting clobbered. It's a miracle that more cyclists aren't flattened this way every day.
Certainly somebody must be watching over that daring band of night riders who do a Lamont Cranston Invisible Act: no reflectors, no bright jacket, no helmet and, you might assume, no great love for living. They're particularly good at scaring the bejeebies out of motorists in residential areas, downtown alleys and Rock Creek Park.
Yes, biking can be good for you -- but those who press their luck or their "rights" may find it hazardous to their health. Those who cite equality with motorists should be prepared for equal treatment by the police too.