Thursday, September 17, 2009

and this is why...

it's such an old subject,
every cyclist has a million stories
of misses, rude drivers, altercations,
and after a while,
you're as interested as listening to
another cyclist complaining,
as you are looking at your Aunts' vacation photos
for the third time....

We're all out on the road for one reason or another,
maybe you're picking up some miles on the legs,
trying to loose weight,
making a social or political statement,
maybe it's economical,
or not by choice,
or maybe you just like riding a bike.

I'm just worn out from the lack of respect,
or the intentional disrespect,
and ultimately
the total lack of responsibility.
This year seemed to be the year I'ld actually
yank someone out of their car.

Between the comments from my boss for commuting
and the daily incidents that I know may happen
while commuting to and from work,
it's a little stressful.
I guess I need to find an outlet...
But when you throw your leg over your bike,
and enter the street each morning,
do you think to yourself,


do to some idiot,
doing what idiots do.
And nothing will happen to them,
life will continue as usual.
Maybe there will be a little guilt,
maybe they will loose three points on the license,
and the insurance goes up a bit.

and this is why,
why I have such a hate for drivers,
and the car culture I grew up with.

Yesterday was another commute.
A few people in 'to big of a hurry',
a couple passing a little too close.
More than half way to work,
I finally pickup the bike lane (curbed shoulder).
A really narrow lane.
Eight inches on either side,
a curb on one side, and traffic doing 50 in a 40 to the left.

Approaching the light,
a Jeep rides the white line,
with a mirror inches from my shoulder.
Had I looked over my shoulder,
it'ld smacked me in the face.
I let it go to driver not paying attention,
andall of us are stopping at the light,
so I roll past, to the front of the intersection.

While I wait for the light I decide,
as I get across the intersection and get back into the bike lane,
if that Jeep 'buzzes' me, or comes a little too close,

(at 6'2" and 220 lbs, I'm capable of doing such to most,
but I have a hippie part that's not too confrontational)

The Jeep passes me with the tires on the white line,
mirror rushing past my shoulder.
I'm actually stunned. Seriously?
Then it quickly pulls back into the lane and centers.

"FUCKER! Give me some FUCKIN' room!"
I know yelling does nothing,
but everyone else knew.

The Jeep picks up speed.
I shift to the big ring and sprint.
To my luck (sometimes I get lucky, sometimes)
the Jeep turns into a mall parking lot.
I sprint more,
adreneline to where I'm shaking,
playing out how it's going down when
someone calls the cops and I'm pounding someone.

Will I get arrested?
What can I plee?
Community service?
I think it just might be worth it.

The Jeep is still three blocks ahead.
Will I even catch them?
I wasn't planning on sprints,
and the pot of coffee isn't helping.
Then the Jeep turns into the parking lot.
And pulls into a spot.
Turning into traffic while trying to not loose sight
I pull in on the other side of the lot.

Now what?
The adreneline chokes my words.

If it's a guy, I start in quick and hard on him,
scare him, and maybe it won't escilate to anything,
he sincerely apologizes, and I roll away, done.

If it's a girl, same shit, but maybe be less of a dick.
The point gets made, don't fuck with people with a car.

NO. It's a mom. Out shopping.
I doubt it's intentional,
almost hitting me twice within one block.

My hesitation allows her enough time to walk into the mall.
My opportunity is lost.

Then I realise,
maybe I can just leave a note.
Something to let her know just how close she came.

No paper in my bag,
but a couple duplicate photos I had made of the little man,
while we were in DC.

Maybe THIS will make it more PERSONAL.
Have a photo of my son,
and the next time you're careless on the road
think about how YOU might be RESPONSIBLE for a child growing up

The hippie side won this time.
It still took another half hour to cool down.
And no, I won't beat up someone's mom,
but she came damn close.
And I didn't remove her valve stem cores.
That was simply due to the adrenaline.

This is not how I want to be remembered.
A statistic.
An hassle to someone trying to get to work on time,
or to their shopping avdenture.
A claim on some idiot's insurance.


Mitch said...

Moms. Wiley. You would expect, since the collective IQ of Albany somehow manages to drop when school is back in session, that general douchebaggery would come from dude-bro college bound kids with blowout haircuts. But they are usually not a problem because they are pretty consistent in being wildly inconsistent and the blowouts and BMWs make them easy to spot and avoid.

Any experience with rude, unaware...generally dumb pedestrians? On several occasions people have crossed the street in front of me where, if I was a car, they would have waited. What is not to understand about a 160 pound mass going 20 miles per hour? THIS WILL HURT BOTH OF US A LOT!! Yesterday, a girl made eye contact with me, and then stepped off the curb...mere inches between being really pissed off and catastrophe.

Guess I just needed to vent too. Thanks. Love the blog. I'm interested to hear pedestrian stories, really, it seems to be a problem for me.

libertyonbikes! said...

thanks for commenting!
I thinkthe pedestrian behavior carries over into cars.
I've had people turn left in front of me through an intersection, and use a hand/finger signal that I should yield to them???

the walking into streets is really
a "either they stop, or they hit me and I sue them and get some $".

try swerving and yelling to yourself to scare them.

eye contact is like poker face,
if you see them YOU have to stop,
if they can't make eye contact with you, they'll wait.

I think...