Bryant Street is also known as Bicycle Boulevard. It is blocked off at strategic points such that bicycles can traverse it's entire length but automobiles (in theory) cannot. Where there are cross streets the cars have a stop sign and the bicycles have the right of way in all but three places. The cars veer away from this unfriendly road and the bicycles yearn towards it's safety. When there is road work we bicyclists pour around the warning signs refusing to allow ourselves to be detoured away from our safe passage. So many of us are funneled towards this road where we feel confident that we see the same faces every day as we pedal towards our jobs and then pedal away from them.
I pay attention to the cars parked by the side of the road. I'm always watching for which one has a person inside who might open a door into my face or who might abruptly start their car and turn into me with disastrous results. The blue Mini with no rear bumper by the side of the road was easy to spot. It's driver had a dense mass of heavy, matted, white-boy dreadlocks. Dreds look pretty good on people whose forebears hail from Africa but they look bad on hipster assholes like this particular fellow. When I think back I see a guy with a horsey face and poops dangling from his scalp.
I was pedaling along at a good clip but I could tell just from the way this ancient Mini barfed to life that if I were passing the car too close on the left I'd get run over as he pulled out. I made room because I am smart like that. The Mini jumped forward in a cloud of greasy smoke.
I watched with interest. Poop-head was going pretty fast for someone who had about forty yards to travel before he encountered an obstacle, mainly a big metal post in the center of a very narrow bicycle-only road. Bicycles travel on the left or the right depending on which way they are heading. Cars do not fit.
The Mini slows and I brace for it to whip around and charge back towards me. There is no turn and I realize things are going to be a little interesting. Instead of turning Poop-locks rolls forward and positions his car to the right of the pole. He must be figuring that an old model Mini is a pretty small car. So small that it is effectively a bicycle.
He figures wrong. The mini wedges between the curb and the metal pole and starts to make a squealing noise. I'm reminded of Winnie the Pooh stuck in Rabbit's hole because he ate everything that wasn't nailed down and got too fat to make an exit. I'm reminded (unpleasantly) of slaughter-house footage and pigs.
My route is completely blocked by a stinky Mini driven by a jackass with poop-like hair dangling from his head. I bike on the left side of the pole (turns out there is plenty of room, I'd likely fit even with a tricycle) and then make way for the bicycle coming in the opposite direction. This bicyclist is not wondering why I am on the wrong side. He arches an eyebrow at the Mini and I shrug as if to say "there's no accounting for taste." It is at this moment where the Mini manages to fight it's way free and lurch forward. It continues on it's way up the street leaving only an evil-smelling brown pall in it's wake.