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.