Saturday, September 24, 2011

please don't talk to me.

I got this thing about certain bicyclists who ride in a certain way.  This thing is called I-Hate-You-You-Suck.  I'm not proud of this thing I have but it seems time to own up to it as for whatever reason I encountered a bunch of it this week.

The bicyclists in question are usually mediocre to slow.  If you figure that I am no bicycle racer and only ride about a hundred miles a week and that these are bicyclists I can smoke you get a sense for their performance.  It is not their speed that I loathe, however.  It's their rudeness.  Yes.  Rude.  Plenty of rude cars out there sure but I expect jack shit from cars.  I expect fractionally more from bicyclists and most of the time I get it and when I do not get this tiny bit more of non-rudeness I am not happy.

Situation #1.  I pass one of these on Bryant Street because these guys are (and they are almost always guys)...slow.  I'm going to name this particular guy DB short for Douchebag of course.  Because he's about as useful as a certain feminine hygiene product foisted off on the American female population to stuff up their vaginas . give them yeast infections, dry them out, and generally decrease their pleasure in sex.

The road ahead has a 4-way stop that is just outside of a school.  There are cars at this 4-way waiting and taking turns and crossing the intersection in an orderly manner.  When I get to the intersection I stop also and when it is my turn I continue through the intersection.

DB knows that stopping at intersections where people are waiting is for idiots so he just barrels on through.  "I hate you Douchebag" I think to myself.  "You fuck things up for the rest of us."  He's still behind me because no matter how many people he treats rudely at intersections well, he's still a slow lame bicyclist.

I approach another intersection to a far busier road.  This time I have a stop sign (as does Douchebag) and the cross traffic has the right of way.  I stop at the stop sign.  There are cars coming by so I pause and wait for a good opening in the traffic so I can cross the road and make my left turn and continue on my way.

DB knows that stopping is for pussies so before getting to the stop sign he heads over to the bicycle lane for traffic going in the other direction. Ah yes.  Problem solved.  No need to stop now because there is no immediate need to get across the street  Hopefully no bicyclists will come around the corner but cross that bridge when you come to it.  Just turn left into the bicycle lane.  The bicycle lane that is for people heading in the other direction but whatever, right?

I've now crossed the street in the more usual fashion and am heading up the road in the correct bike lane.

DB works his way out to the middle of the oncoming car lane.  A station wagon swerves around him. Now he is heading diagonally across the next car lane, he's on a collision course with me.  I pick it up (thankfully Douchebag is slow as ever) and he falls in behind me.  But of course red lights mean nothing to the Douchebags of the world so he breezes by me at the first one we encounter.  And the second one.  And (yes really) the third.  Each time I have to pass him because he is so s l o w.

At the fourth red  I want to turn a right but Douchebag (who plans to go straight) is blocking the entire lane.  I gently maneuver around him so I can take a right, and I'm glad I won't see this loser again for awhile at least.  That's when he says it. Or mutters it.  He meets my eye and offers a toad-like smile and says:


My face has the same expression that it takes on when I spot maggots in the compost.  I do not say anything at all.

What I think:

1.  don't talk to me.  Ever.
2.  is that your face or did your neck explode?
3.  you are such a shitty bicyclist.
4.  you are so goddamned rude I almost want to push you off your bicycle and throw it under a car.
5.  see #1

Monday, September 12, 2011

a first. a first for a second?

I know that history repeats itself.  I know I'll have more bummers with cars in a rush, more terrors with drivers texting and more wet seats from 16 wheelers bleeding over into the bike lane because they've been on the road for seventy three hours ....but I had not considered that I would have yet another run-in with this guy.

1.  Same maroon Prius (the colors of shit and death)
2.  Same spot, the right hand turn lane from Rengstorff onto Charleston.
3.  Same asshole move.  I'm in the lane for the right hand turn (because go figure, I want to make a fucking right hand turn) and this ugly motherfucker behaves as if I am invisible and nearly crushes me to death.
4.  Same moronic vanity plate.  HYBRIDE.  Oooo.  I tremble at your wit and your environmental generosity.

My memory is excellent which is why when Shit'N'Death turns into a parking lot I know he's blowing off the mild traffic at the red light on the corner.  He cuts across the parking lot and heads out the far side.  Douche.

So let's get a few things straight Mr. I-Drive-Like-a-Gangrenous-Testicle-on-Meth:

I don't like you.  You don't see me because I'm small and beneath your notice but I sure as fuck see you in your dumb ugly car.  That big roll of fat around your neck stippled with patchy beard looks like someone dipped a bagel in a vat of pubic hair.  You don't have a face so much as a neck that's exploded.

You're disgusting.  We all hate you and on some level?  I think you know it.  And that's why you're such a mean prick.


Chafed (marriage has not changed her entirely)

Honeymoon in Paradise

"Can you imagine a world without men?  No crime and lots of happy fat women." 
~Attributed to both Marion Smith and Nicole Hollander

I like guys.  If there were no men I wouldn't be fat or happy.  Men do interesting stuff like this --- my working theory is that girls/women just don't get horny enough to produce love songs using old appliances for instruments.  We need guys for such flights of delightful abandon.

...but can you imagine a world without cars? 

Yes.  Here's a hint:

It's full of (fairly athletic) happy bicyclists. 

The only cars (excepting ambulances and fire engines and other emergency vehicles) allowed would be visually interesting and their top speed would be five mph.  Seriously.

Who would live in such a place?  I mean, no cars?

Every year about 50,000 people spend a week in this place, and they pay money to do so because it is so gigantically awesome. 

I'll take Q&A now.

Q:  Wow, with all those bicyclists, there must be a lot of bad accidents. 
A:  Actually no.  It's so safe to bicycle without cars that no one bothers with a helmet.  Turns out the only reason for most bicyclists to wear a helmet is to give their head a little protection if they get creamed by an Escalade.

Q:  Bicyclists are such assholes.  I bet they're even worse about running stop signs.
A:  There are no stop signs.

Q:  They run red lights then.
A:  No red lights either.

Q:  What?  That's so damn dangerous!  You make it sound as if there are no road rules.
A:  There are no road rules.  No traffic lights and no stop signs and no problems.  Turns out that we only need all of that stuff because cars are gigantic disgusting hurtling death machines.  But thanks for playing.

Q:  So where is this supposed place?
A:  Black Rock City in Nevada. 

Yes.  I'm one of those people.  One of those miscreants who goes to Burning Man every year.  This is the post in which I out myself and in which I show why my Contraption Captain (now the Contraption Captain Husband, yay!) is one of the Contraption-est Captains out there. 

You see, some people go to Burning Man for the drugs, some for the parties, and some for the nudity and some go to extract their own DNA and put it into a cute necklace.  But plenty of us go for the bicycling.  You can ride anywhere in BRC and you don't need a helmet (unless you decorated it with Viking horns or rabbit ears and want to feel pretty) and you don't need to worry about being turned to paste by an over-zealous teenager in a Ford Explorer.

Q:  But isn't that thing in the desert? 
A:  Yes.  I'm sorry to say that cars have taken over most of the inhabited world and so this small ugly-car-free area is all that is left.  It's desert. 

Q:  What good is a bicycle in the desert?
A:  It's great!  Not so much road bikes but anything with fat tires is pretty solid.  Of course I'm a conscientious mom and the Contraption Captain loves a challenge so we take things to a new level.  Literally.  Our general around the playa vehicle is two stories of pedal-powered splendor.  The dirt track tires (free at any dirt track in case you're curious) are perfect for all playa conditions, soft wet or hard.  The top tier affords children an unparalleled view of all the best burns and all riders and passengers enjoy several layers of shade protection from the sun.  We got cup holders and a glove compartment and a portal first aid kit.  And of course every giant family tricycle needs tons of beautiful programmable LED lights to make it visible when we go out dancing.

Q:  What's it like to return from Burning Man?
A:  Not so great.  You can't see how cars are fucking up your life until you get a little distance from them.  On the playa the kids can just get on their bikes and ride around.  You don't need to worry when you cross the street.  You don't need to put gas in your car and you don't need to inhale fumes from all the cars around you.  It's one week of not worrying that a distracted person holding a cell phone will kill you.  It's one week of beauty.