That’s not a good idea…

On my way to work today, I saw a woman riding down the road on her bicycle. Her two young children rode beside her on their own two-wheelers, and an even smaller child sat strapped into a seat behind her. One of the solo kids was still finding her cycling equilibrium and could barely hold her front wheel straight. They rode three abreast, filling one lane of a *gulp* five-lane road.

I’m still not sure what to make of this. As an occasional cyclist myself, I know that bicycles have the same road rights as automobiles in the State of Indiana. Other than a two-abreast statutory limit, this woman and her children were following the rules. If this was their only method of transportation to get from point A to point B, can I really fault them?

On the other hand, this early morning velo-endeavor just didn’t look safe: a family on bicycles, three wide, rolling and wobbling down a busy 5-lane road in a heavy traffic period. Add to it that even though this occurred within the city limits of a small town, the road itself is a state highway regularly used by 18-wheelers, delivery trucks, and impatient morning commuters. I shudder to think of the possibilities.

So maybe I do know what to make of this. As I turn this over in my mind, I am left with this rejoinder: just because you CAN doesn’t mean you SHOULD. The next time you wonder whether to do something, don’t just consider the ability or right to accomplish it. Consider also whether you ought to do it. That might make all the difference.

4 thoughts on “That’s not a good idea…

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  1. I am left many times wondering what people are thinking – and wishing i could slap some sense into them. I am mentally slapping the craziness of this as it is… scary…

  2. Please don’t assume this mom was out for a joy ride. It is very possible that this may have been her only means to transport her and her children on this particular day. I get the message you are trying to convey here but it seems you maybe making unfair judgement as well.

    1. Hi eame,

      Thanks for the feedback. I actually tried to address exactly this persepective in the second paragraph of the post, but I may not have made it apparent enough. Where I really think I failed here, however, is in using this incident as a springboard to broader thought. The bicycle scenario led me to consider the can vs. should argument and how I should weigh those against each other in my own activities each day. Unfortunately, I don’t think I did a good enough job making that connection, and several readers have stopped at the story itself rather than the introspection that I hoped would follow.

      I hope that makes sense. I do understand that circumstances sometimes necessitate making hard choices. I’m not sure I would have made the same one in this case, but as I said, that is beside my desired point.

      Thanks for reading. I do appreciate it, as well as the feedback. I hope you’ll keep visiting!


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