Tuesday, November 22, 2011

in which I (1) give away some lights and then (2) get harassed by a bicyclist

tl;dr Gave some lights away. Later, a different person tells me my light is no good (a lie) and congratulates himself for his public-mindedness.

My first night out with a set of lights to give away I struck out.  It was rainy and there were not many bicyclists and I was hoping that somehow I'd see that homeless guy again who had asked how much lights would cost. 

Night #2 was a different story.  The evening was clear and there were plenty of bicyclists.  I spotted two heading across Charleston and turning left onto Rengstorff.  One of them was riding a crappy/mid-grade mountain bicycle with zero lighting.  The traffic was crowded and he was pretty invisible.  I caught up to him at a red light.  I'm basically pretty shy so it took some effort but I squeaked out "hai!  bicyclist..."  The guy turned.  He looked to be late twenties.  I offered helpfully, "you don't have any lights."  The bicyclist smiled awkwardly and braced for middle-aged mom to lecture him.  I added "Want some?"

His face completely changed in that moment.  He could not believe his ears.  He stammered "Really?  Yeah, sure, that would be great!"  His friend could not believe his ears and said (somewhat jealously) "this is your lucky day, man!"  I got out the lights.  I handed them over.  I did not say "now you go get some lights and give them away" because you know something?  A gift is a gift.  Real gifts do not have strings.

So the light turned to green and he rode away holding the lights in his hand.  I obviously wanted to see them on the bike but I think he'll snap them on (they are the rubber band type) at the next good moment.

Now the second part of the trip home or, "What was super fucking annoying but also funny all things considered. "

The lights are long gone and I have met up with my Contraption Captain and now I am towing the bicycle wagon (sans child) the last leg of the way home.  Contraption Captain is feeling ill and we are catching up on our day and getting frustrated by the frigging ridiculous politics of Sparkle Pony's soccer league when a bicyclist slows down to tell me "you should change the battery in your back light.  It's dim."  Nodding smugly to himself he pedals off.  I say nothing and I am really proud of that.  Unfortunately I freak out to the Contraption Captain which was probably not so pleasant for the poor guy. 

Time to talk about my own lighting.  I have a headlight on my helmet so that when I turn my head at cross-streets I can be seen.  I have a headlight mounted on the front of my bicycle.  I have a nice strong red light on the back of my bike.  I have another red light on the back of the wagon.  At home I confirm what I already know, the wagon tail light looks aok.  It is fixed to a loop of fabric on
the wagon and is not perfectly straight but it is undeniably a bright red flashing light.

So why the fuck did that guy feel it was worth the breath to bother me?

1.  I admit I was bicycling side by side (in a bike lane) with my husband.  I think he had to slow down to go around us and it pissed him off.
2.  He is a pathological liar.
3.  The sperm in his nuts (from not getting any) has backed up into his brain and put pressure on his optical nerve.

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