Ah, the rainy season has begun. Truly, the best way to enjoy this weather includes hot chocolate and a comfy couch, or warm clothes and an umbrella. Every once in a while though, it is necessary to get your bike and forge ahead to that midterm or class that just absolutely cannot be missed. Unfortunately, I feel the need to attend most of my classes on a daily basis, rain or shine, and usually can bear the rain for that 10 minute stretch. Unless, of course, my path to class happens to involve a cigarette bum three bikes ahead of me.
I understand that a good chunk of America’s college students think that cigarettes relieve stress and that they can stop smoking whenever they want — yada, yada, yada. I was one of those people last year, until my boyfriend at the time decided that kissing me tempted him almost as much as kissing an ash tray. So for those of you on the bike path that do not have someone telling you that yellow teeth really do not bring out those pretty blue eyes, how about at least having some respect for the rest of us? Why is it that people think my location behind them on the bike path means that I am dying for a whiff of their second-hand smoke?
Now, sometimes it is possible to handle these smokers in the same manner as those twinsy bikers that always have to be directly next to one another: pass them. Unfortunately, (and this is quite the paradox, I know) many of these smokers seem to be long lost relatives of Lance Armstrong. Or maybe they just have a bike with more speeds than my beach cruiser. In any case, passing them generally proves impossible.
Instead, I propose an even easier solution that I think everyone can agree on: Those that choose to smoke should do so just a short five minutes after they originally intended. We attend college on one of the most beautiful campuses around, and there are plenty of places outside for you to take care of business other than right in front of me on the bike path. I know for a fact that, especially around finals time, the Davidson Library courtyard goes up in smoke almost every hour, on the hour. So find yourself a buddy at a stationary point and light up. The bike paths and their occupants will breathe easier when you do.