The McDonald’s Phenomenon

April 29, 2008 at 10:14 am Leave a comment

During my stint with training last year I started to notice something quite odd: every time I either ran or biked by a McDonald’s I found that I was getting cut off by cars either pulling into the parking lot or cars exiting the drive thru (e.g. pulling halfway out into the street and blocking both the sidewalk and the bike lane).  I never thought much about it–I figured it was just a silly coincidence based on the simple traffic flows into and out of McDonald’s–but the other day I found a post by another triathlete that lives in Illinois that experienced the same frustrating event (i.e. a car pulling out of the drive thru that almost ends with you flying over their hood and ruining your bike).

Today, it happened to me again on my run.  Right as I was running by, a guy (with a breakfast sandwich in his hand no less) almost hits me pulling out the drive thru.  I had to jump out of the way of the car just to avoid getting my knees taken out.  The worst part was that the guy didn’t even apologize–he looked mad at me for getting in his way.

This event got me thinking: what is it with the McDonald’s Phenomenon?  Is it simply a pure coincidence?  Is it that it happens everywhere, but I notice it more because it occurs in front of a landmark like McDonald’s?  Is it because I harbor some deep down feeling of superiority over people who choose to put that filth into their bodies while I, the superior one, am doing something healthy?  Or maybe, just maybe, it’s the exact opposite of this last idea: maybe these people are ashamed of what they’re eating and they want to hit me (and all other people who exercise) with their cars because I make them feel even guiltier about shoving down a triple cheeseburger at 10:30 in the morning as I jog or ride by.

This last theory is probably my favorite.  The thought of it made me chuckle a couple of times during my run.  

But, seriously though, I enjoy a bag of fries from McDonald’s when I’m hungover as much as anyone.  All I ask is that if you are going to go to McDonald’s, please look both ways before exiting and remember: that triple cheeseburger will still be there in five minutes, but you might not have a trailer to eat it in four months down the road if you hit me with your car.


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