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Hoodlums

9 October 2008

So, you’re biking along a quiet residential street, enjoying the pattern of the autumn sun through changing leaves. You’ve had a headache all morning (not helped by the hours you’ve spent at the computer finishing up an electronic-editing project), but the mild exertion of biking, and the fresh outdoors air, is helping to clear your head.

You aren’t thinking about anything in particular, you are just being present in the Now.

“Try the SIDEWALK!!”

You lose your place in the Now as a car passes you, its passenger leaning out to shout at you.

Later, in the Should-Have-Been world, you would have replied, “Share the road!”

At this moment, in the Real World, you splutter, too surprised to say anything pithy, “But that’s not where bikes are supposed to ride!”

But the sedan is long gone by now, turning up ahead at the corner. They surely didn’t hear you.

Damn retirees, cruising the streets and harrassing innocent bicyclists.

Something ought to be done about them.

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8 Comments leave one →
  1. 9 October 2008 9:17 am

    Recently the Mistah and I were biking, and a pick-up truck drove by and screamed, “Get the fuck off the road, Asshole!” It was just shocking, not least because who knew rednecks live in Connecticut?!

  2. Peaceable Imperatrix permalink*
    9 October 2008 9:23 am

    When we lived in NC, the Consort would bike in to work, and people were nasty nasty nasty! Shouting, cutting him off (and he would bike Impera to preschool in our Burley!). One of his colleagues had a soda can thrown at her while she was biking in to work.

    Car drivers are meanies and don’t deserve to be on the road.

  3. 9 October 2008 12:30 pm

    You were in the right. Ignore the nasty people. Not worth worrying about. It’s a shame they spoiled your bike ride 😦

  4. 10 October 2008 4:32 am

    I have an old Western Flyer with an over-sized seat (not standard issue) and a basket that I moved from Texas with me. It needs tires.

    You’ve made me remember how much I enjoyed riding that thing with my (then) little girls and their father.

    Maybe I should get it fixed? I have one daughter here with me now and no city traffic in the boonies.

  5. Peaceable Imperatrix permalink*
    10 October 2008 8:20 am

    Mizmell: Yes, you should get it fixed! I’m enjoying my bike rides: it’s faster than walking, but uses nothing but human energy. I love hearing the sounds of the outdoors as I ride, and feeling and smelling the air.

    Of course, I get bike-wimpy as soon as it starts getting wet out. I don’t really like needing to bring a change of clothes. But at this time of year, it’s perfect.

    B: I wonder what goes through people’s minds sometimes — why do they think they can be so rude to strangers?

  6. 10 October 2008 8:56 am

    Oh my. That’s so sad and depressing. I ride my town bike to the villages about one mile in either direction for local errands and I’ve done over 1000 miles on my rode bike this year without incident. Maybe I should think better of my fellow central New Yorkers although my biggest fear is that a lot of ’em aren’t paying attention and just don’t see cyclists.

  7. Peaceable Imperatrix permalink*
    10 October 2008 3:13 pm

    I wouldn’t mind being ignored (although then I’d run the risk of being run over!)

    I just wish I didn’t have to choose between being run over and being harrassed. There has got to be a middle ground.

  8. 11 October 2008 2:47 pm

    In a little English county town, people are very nice to cyclists. I’ve been surprised at the courtesy shown to me by drivers. ‘Course, they don’t always see me, but they’re very apologetic when they nearly run me over.

    I’ve just bought wet weather gear, I’m going to keep this going for a second winter.

    Oh, and when I was in London for a few days, there were more cyclists around than ever before, especially at going to work/coming home times. Since I was a pedestrian, I had to keep my wits about me, because they take no notice of red lights – apparently it’s safer that way.

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