Tuesday, October 20, 2015

Par For The Course

Something happened on my commute home yesterday that made me come to an important realization. Asshats happen. That being on two wheels or four - or three for that matter. Recumbents can be asshats too, not to mention toddlers with their snotty noses and dirty hands grabbing the handlebars on their pimped out tricycles...

What happened was funny - even in the midst of an intense moment. I was biking along 140th which is pretty much a straight shot with a clear line of sight for about a mile. I spotted a pedestrian who was attempting to cross at a crosswalk up ahead but noticed that none of the cars were stopping. Upon approaching her, I slowed down and motioned to the car behind me that they ought to stop - which they didn't.

30 feet ahead there's a traffic light where we both had to stop for a red light. Since I was standing right next to the car in question I figured what the hell, looked over and motioned for the driver to roll down his window. I didn't think he would but he did with the introduction phrase, "what do you want?" I asked if he'd seen the pedestrian who was trying to cross back there. The driver then yelled, while pointing his finger at me, "IT'S ALL YOUR FAULT!" I was like, say whaaaat? Or that was what I was thinking. Is he mentally unstable? Should I make a run for it? Then he went on to yelling "IT'S ALL YOUR FAULT FOR STICKING OUT YOUR HAND! IT'S YOU! YOU ARE TO BLAME!" All the while he kept pointing his finger at me to make his point.

I couldn't respond because my jaw was on the ground.

It's all your fault!

Yes, it probably should have been a scary moment, but it was just all too much so it turned around and I almost started laughing out loud, then thought better of it because it could trigger real crazy. All righty then, I thought to myself. The next thing that happened was that the driver flipped me off as the lights turned green, I reached for my cellphone to snap his photo (in case I would end up dead). My reaching into my pocket made him nervous, his eyes darted, making him almost miss the green light. He didn't peel off, but instead hesitantly drove off.

Weird. Very weird. I didn't get a picture, but I did get his license plate. So consider yourself warned should you encounter a green Toyota RAV4 with the license plate ACN 6476. Do not engage. Ticking bomb and all that.

Anywho, asshats are everywhere, it's par for the course. It's not like I haven't been in many near accidents while driving my car. The only difference is I feel a little more protected when in my car - being surrounded by metal and airbags and all that. On my bicycle I don't have an airbag.

That made me think of this:

Wouldn't this be awesome? I think it would be perfect. An impact triggered jacket that turns into an airbag in the shape of a ball. Maybe I can get a kickstarter for this?

I'm also thinking that bicycling has phases (yes, random. You're welcome).

  1. Ignorance
    • When one first starts out biking and is more concerned with oxygen deprivation and aching muscles to care about anything else, much less cars.
  2. Triumph
    • When one is starting to get into shape and one can actually bike up the hills instead of walking the bike, making a person fly high on their amazing achievements. When one is high, nothing else seem to matter - i.e. cars.
  3. Fear
    • When biking has become easy and the highs of triumph start to wear off and one starts taking notice of ones surroundings - like how pretty the sunrise is, how stunning the fall colors are, and - HOLY SHIT, those cars are going crazy fast!
  4. Calm
    • When one realizes that there's only so much one can do. No amount of blinkers or lights or reflector vests in the world can prevent an accident by a driver who isn't paying attention - even for just a tiny second.
  5. Alert and Chill
    • When cat-like reflexes and full knowledge of how ones bike handles can prevent accidents, not all, but most.
I'm in between 3 and 4 right now. I think 5 will take years to achieve. In the meantime I'll work on that inflatable jacket.

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