01 August 2009

I'm sorry, were you expecting someone else?

Two people, one bike.

For a while I failed to identify them as such, because two people riding one bike (not a tandem, I should add) on Augusta Blvd. is such an exquisitely stupid concept that it simply did not register. But there it was: a guy pedaling a bike that was clearly too small even for himself alone, a girl hanging on behind him while balancing precariously on the back of the saddle.

I was in kind of a hurry, but I knew better than to try to pass them. First, motor traffic was such that executing a lane change wouldn't be entirely safe; second, they were (as you can easily imagine) careening crazily from side to side in the bike lane, the girl flailing her legs in all directions in order to maintain balance. Third, the way they sailed carelessly through every intersection meant that passing them would be pointless in addition to dangerous, since we'd only end up leapfrogging each other every block. And fourth, well, frankly I simply had no desire to be in front of them. I felt the same way as I'd feel about a driver who was obviously drunk.

All I could do was shrug and shake my head at all the motorists on the cross streets who glared at me as though riding a bicycle myself meant that I must condone such behavior. Someone's going to hit me because of them. Either someone is going to be too distracted by them to see me coming, or someone else is going to try to teach the next cyclist encountered (i.e., me) a lesson. But even worse were the people who looked at me like it was my responsibility, as Mr. Law-Abiding Cyclist, to do something about it. Yes, someone actually said that. And she actually called me that, too: Mr. Law-Abiding Cyclist. Since I can't possibly be a woman, riding my own bike by myself and all.

Oh, fuck you all.

If the two on the one bike noticed me tailing them, they didn't give any sign until they---thank the bicycle gods!---signaled to turn left. The girl turned around (the guy can't possibly have appreciated that) and yelled "That's a pretty helmet!"

Pretty helmet? First I'm a mister, and now some bimbo thinks I have a pretty helmet. [I told you, everyone thinks it's supposed to be pink now.] And on top of it all, it's raining. What a simply marvelous day I'm having. Well, I was going to mind my own business, but now that you've engaged me...

"You two are being morons."

"There's no need to start a war!"

It's not a war, it's a police action, thought my inner neocon warbird. What, you were expecting some sort of hippy?

"Get off the road before someone hits me because of you two!"

They did, but only because they had apparently reached their destination, where they probably proceeded to complain about that angry cyclist who tried to start a war with them, leaving me in the middle of an intersection full of drivers who were likely pissed off by the presence of yet another stupid hippy coming through on a bike.


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