Thursday, August 09, 2007


My lips got a little chapped on the ride to work today, because I was drooling all over myself looking at the bike in front of me. It was a steel Cramerotti road frame with a carbon fork. Disc brakes. Fully decked out in Campagnolo. These are my recollections, anyway. They may be incorrect because I was getting a little light-headed at the time.

This bicycle's rider (whose name I didn't get; we only spoke for a couple of minutes) told me that he had been hit by a car a couple of weeks ago. More specific: he had been hit by a mini-van.

This is not a surprise to me, nor would it be a surprise to my friend P. He doesn't ride a bicycle, but he does a lot of walking in the city and he has noted that mini-van drivers are completely insane.

Fast-forward to a later section of my commute, after the Cramerotti and I have parted ways (sniff). I'm in a residential area at the intersection of two Designated Bike Routes. I'm turning left around a traffic-calming circle. A mini-van approaching from my right seems to be planning to just not slow down at all and basically run into me. So I turn my head and try to make eye contact with the driver. Sometimes people don't see you and looking at them sometimes helps. Well, the driver saw me alright. He was glaring at me.

Note: he looked like he was about twelve years old. I find myself thinking this about many supposed adults I see. I think it means I'm getting old.

So anyway, I take the lane and gear down a couple of cogs and start riding relatively slowly. Heh. Yeah, I know I'm an a**hole, but I can't help it sometimes. He manages to pass me but I catch up to him two blocks later (I geared up) at a four way stop. Get this: when I get there he is being honked at by the cross-traffic because apparently he didn't want to wait his turn. So in addition to possibly having something against bicycles, this twelve year old is also a pretty sh*tty driver in general.

Then I did something that I promised myself I would never do again. Since this mini-van was sitting right in front of me, I knocked on the rear window. Sometimes this escalates things quickly and dramatically (that's why I am never going to do it again, I promise!). People react all out of proportion when the outside world interacts with their automobiles. It's weird. But the mini-van just drove away.

Somehow, without even really trying, I managed to stay within one block of this guy for about seven or so blocks, before he turned right. Here I am, on my heavy bicycle with a container of chili and a thermos of coffee (among other things) in my panniers, and this arsehole-in-a-hurry can barely open a 10 second gap.

This anecdote needs some closure. A-ha: I sent a big loogey at the very next mini-van I saw. The End.

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