I don't consider myself a scrooge, but Christmas isn't my favorite time of year.It isn't because I keep getting lumps of coal in my stocking or that Santa Claus never seems to bring me everything on my Xmas list. Unless I have some repressed memory that hasn't surfaced yet, I have good memories from my childhood of Christmas Day. But, I have to tell you that even with all the potential material gain, I am glad that Christmas comes only once a year.
Of course, this is a totally selfish feeling. It is always about me, anyway. But, where I live in Northern California you can ride your bike 12 months of the year and not have to go out dressed like the Michelin man. The problem is that starting the day after Thanksgiving, it seems like every person in Silicon Valley with a valid driver's licenses (and some here illegally without a license) take to the roads in search of Holiday cheer.
The mini-vans and SUV's start flocking to the malls, Christmas tree farms and holiday parties like the world will end on December 26th. The drivers have that look and grip on the steering wheel like they are on a mission to save the planet and nothing will stop them from accomplishing it. They drive like they are 30 minutes late for their next stop; speaking of 'stop', during the days before Christmas I think stopping at intersections is regarded as just a suggestion.
All this harried driving adds up to one thing. It is supremely dangerous out there for anybody on the roads with a vehicle weighing less than about 2500 lbs. Savvy cyclists ride super-defensively at this time of year. It just makes sense because, even if you have the legal right-of-way, the results of a car-bike collision will be much more serious for the two-wheeled driver.
So, my Christmas wish for all of you is to be careful out there. Look both ways twice before entering an intersection and even if you have the right-of-way, use extra caution. Hey, that's good advice for riding throughout the whole year.