Wednesday, June 27, 2007

road rage: 2-wheeler edition.

while waiting for a friend after work yesterday i witnessed a near-miss between a woman crossing the street and a delivery man on his bicycle. as the man screamed angrily at her as he whizzed past, i couldn't help but have a flashback to my own harrowing experience with an irate cyclist.

i had been in the midst of doing a walk to raise money for Multiple Sclerosis, crossing over the Brooklyn Bridge during the midway point of the walk. now i'll admit that i might have stepped from the pedestrian lane into the bike lane as i was walking, but the pedestrian lane is of a decent width, and it was only missy striding next to me, so at most i was maybe a hip's-worth into the bike path. not very much.

i suddenly felt something closing in behind me, and i heard a shout - "watch it!" as the biker flew past i sort of stumbled in to missy to move out of his way. and as he passed me he turned and screamed "rot in hell!"

rot. in. hell. was that really necessary? we were completely taken aback. i don't think anyone - exes, enemies, shouting homeless bums, anyone - ever told me to rot in hell. and to think, crazy cyclist even yelled this at me while i was wearing a pinny stating that i was there, only so slightly in his way, for a charitable cause. hmmph!

suffice to say i became a little wary of people on bikes after that. sure, i still am friends with people who bike (actually, two of the sweetest girls i know are avid cyclists) and i even attended the bicycle film festival (to see pee-wee's big adventure, of course), however i've seen one too many wrathful cyclist/pedestrian interactions to truly feel comfortable near anyone pedaling around on two wheels.


Tim said...

When I'm driving I *hate* cyclists. They get everywhere and annoy the hell out of me.

When I'm cycliing I *hate* motorists.

It's a funny ol' world, innit? "Rot in hell" is a tad harsh though. If only you'd had something you could've thrown at him!

Chuckles said...

I get rather vociferous about my rights when cycling. I even knocked on some cobag'z window when he kept honking at me and tried to force me off the road one rainy day. He freaked out and picked up his cell phone and tried to pretend he was on the phone. He was stuck at a light and I just said in a very firm voice, "Roll down your window. NOW." And then explained that I wasn't going to call the cops this time but that he was well in the wrong and the honking and flashing lights shit don't fly. He looked terrified. Pigfucker.

Mostly, I just stick to the center of my lane because it is safer than trying to let people pass you by riding to one side. That just gets you creamed.

missy&chrissy said...

good point tim - i should carry pebbles in my pocket for future run-ins with evil cyclists!

damn, chuckles...i was only wary of cyclists when i was in pedestrian-mode. now i will be when i'm in driver-mode too!

Chuckles said...

To be fair, I was obeying the law and he wasn't. He was flashing his lights and honking at me and trying to push me off the road with his car. He was lucky all I did was talk to him and not smash his taillights or call the cops.