Why I Hate Center City Sips: An Open Letter from a Cyclist

Dear participants of Center City Sips,

We need to have a talk. I’ve managed to stay quiet all summer long but, with just two Sips nights left, I’ve officially reached my breaking point, so I’m going to come right out and say it: I hate you.

Okay, I guess “hate” is a tad strong—I don’t hate all of you. And no, this isn’t a rant from a health editor about how concerned I am for your drinking habits, what with alcohol consumption being linked to everything from cancer to cardiovascular disease. This is a rant from a person who rides her bike in Center City every day, and who, every Wednesday evening of the summer, has to contend with a lot of extra cars driven by people who seem to forget, temporarily, how to drive like civilized human beings.

You should know that I’ve come to dread my Wednesday evening commute with every fiber of my being, and I blame you for it. I understand that if you’re driving to Center City Sips, chances are high that you probably don’t live in the city, so you probably don’t know the streets and addresses as well as those of us who do. And Lord knows I’ve had my fair share of driving episodes in which I’ve gotten trapped in what feels like one-way-street hell. And yes, trying to find street parking in Center City, especially when it’s free, is sort of a nightmare. But flooring it around cars trying to parallel park, laying on your horn when other people aren’t moving fast enough for you, and texting your friends when you’re supposed to be watching out for me, riding on a bike next to you, simply isn’t helping the situation. Like, at all.

To the man in the black pickup truck last week who angrily zipped around a line of cars waiting to turn right on Sansom and almost ran me off the road in the process: I hate you.

To the woman in the blue mustang who, two Wednesdays ago, jumped a red light on Rittenhouse Square and almost ran me off the road: I also hate you.

To the moron earlier this summer who zoomed up behind me and laid on his horn while screaming out the window that BIKES SHOULD NOT BE ALLOWED ON THE STREET, GET OUT OF THE WAAAAAAY: I really hate you. (And by the way, doing that only makes me want to ride more slowly, so joke’s on you, buddy.)

I get that you’re all trying to get somewhere, and that your precious drinking time is ticking away while you circle around looking for parking. But guess what? I’m trying to get somewhere, too. And I’d prefer to arrive all in one piece, thank you very much.



Around The Web

Be respectful of our online community and contribute to an engaging conversation. We reserve the right to ban impersonators and remove comments that contain personal attacks, threats, or profanity, or are flat-out offensive. By posting here, you are permitting Philadelphia magazine and Metro Corp. to edit and republish your comment in all media.

  • I feel all of your pain. As a new and avid cyclist in the streets of Chicago, I have come across one too many drunk walkers, jay-walkers, cars that don’t care and horrifically enough, other cyclist who are texting and not paying attention. It’s a dangerous world out there. Stay safe and patient.

  • I dislike drivers every day of the year, Sips just makes it so much worse. And yes, laying on the horn will, without fail, make me go as slow as possible without tipping over.

  • HipsterHater

    I really hate hipster girls on bikes in a busy city

  • Kelly A

    Yes, because cyclists are NEVER a nuisance to the perfectly capable drivers on the road.

  • GC

    While cycling I have dealt with impatient drivers, people texting while driving and reckless drivers. However while driving I have also dealt with cyclists running red lights, not using hand signals to turn and riding in the middle of streets. It is a two way street. While there are plenty of courteous drivers and cyclists who do obey the rules of the road, there are always going to be the assholes on each side who cause problems for everyone.

  • Barb

    Come ride in Orlando, cyclists are target practice!

  • To the cyclist who ran a red light and hit me while I was walking down 15th St — I hate you. To the cyclist who made a left turn from a right hand lane in front of my car on 16th St — I hate you, too. There are plenty of rude car drivers (mainly driving taxis) in Center City, but at least they are aware they are driving 2,000 pounds of machinery. Cyclists, I’ve observed, seem to feel they can go anywhere at any speed and break any traffic law just because they are riding a bike.

  • Lyn

    And to the cyclists who ride on the sidewalks, as a pedestrian who uses her feet as her primary mode of transportation, you scare me!

  • Harris

    My complaint is about the cyclists. They never stop at stop signs or lights. Several times while walking my dog a cyclist ran through a stop sign totally ignoring that the stop sign even existed. They must believe they are immune to the same traffic laws as other vehicles.

  • Bill Lohse

    I drive in town every single day and for some reason the bike riders I see and I see quite a bit think they own the streets not one of them follows any of the driving rules and think they own the streets. Just need to let you know there are two sides on a coin.

  • Pamela S.

    Drivers are often careless. Cyclists may not always be considerate. And pedestrians frequently think they are invisible. Welcome to living in a city!