Today was my day off, I didn't commute. I went for what I thought would be a pleasant (18°) ride in the country. Now I will humorlessly vent my frustration with the motoring public. During my average ride three things occur which cause me anything from extreme consternation to outright anger. Sometimes I'm, as they say "asking for it" (I am riding alone, sometimes at night, and dressed somewhat provocatively) today, I assure I was not. I was just riding along. Really.
I stop at a red light (I do that sometimes) and a shuttle bus for one of the suburban office parks turns through the intersection. The driver slows down as he's turning, makes eye contact with me, and holds up his middle finger. This was one the most infuriating things that has ever happened to me (yes, I lead a tough life). It was just straight up prejudice. He doesn't like "My kind" so he expressed unprovoked animosity at my very presence. I wanted to chase him down and inquire as to what his gosh darn problem was, but I was pinned down by traffic and a little voice inside me said "Hey...Hey Thom-Thom, you're a 165 pound weakling". I kept riding, angrily.
Hey Shuttle bus driver, you drive a shuttle bus to office parks in Waltham. You take Viagra before your hot date with your hand every Saturday night because your lifetime of lethargy and your no-physical-exertion-required job has left you with the circulation of Miniature Donkey Talk Magazine.
Almost too common to mention, but here I go. Riding with a tailwind down Route 20 heading back toward Weston. I had just pulled off into the mouth of a side street to let a Semi-Truck pass because he was having a hard time getting around me. My courtesy was repaid a moment later when a guy in a totally hot, white Pontiac Grand Am pretty much drove under my left elbow. Again, totally enraged, I went gunning for him, time trialing at 22MPH (44 X 17 on the fixed gear, what you going to do?) hoping to catch him at a light. This time the little voice didn't go off until after I had exhausted every possibility of finding him.
During my fruitless pursuit I actually passed the Weston Police station. If I went in there and told them "Hey, a guy just got out of his totally hot , white Pontiac Grand Am and chucked a very small rock at my head and missed". They would have undoubtedly taken to the street (Weston is a very quiet town, the most action Police there get are "Suspicious Person" calls regarding "people of the other races" out canvassing for environmental groups and the occasional report of a "Disoriented Squirrel") and hunted the guy down. Since he only took a swipe at me with a ton of white steel and incredible lameness he wouldn't be worth the effort.
Hey, white Pontiac Grand Am driver...I don't think I really need to go on.
Scary. So after getting rerouted by my belligerently, impotent idiocy I wound up rolling down Weston road into Wellesley. There are a few blind corners, a few little rollers and traffic tends to average about fifteen miles per hour over the speed limit. It is not my favorite road to ride on. Coming up over one of the small rollers one of those really aesthetically pleasing BMW X3 thingies blows by me going about 50 (in a 25 or 30), crossing the center line badly. This was good for me because they gave me some space, they did not, however give the oncoming car any room at all, sending them into the shoulder where they smashed through piles of ice and snow, blaring their horn as their children stared out the window wide-eyed.
As I rode along I thought "Wow, I just almost watched people die". This time, without even trying I caught up to the ugly little box-car at a light (you have to upgrade to the X5 to get a BMW which is faster than a fat guy on a bike). I pulled up alongside the driver's side
and for whatever reason, she opened the window. I saw that she had a teenager in the passenger seat and two babies in the back. She and the teenager were on their PDAs texting. I asked her where she was going in such a hurry that it warranted risking the lives of herself, her children, and the people in that oncoming car. She looked up from her PDA blankly and said that she had no idea what I was talking about. I told her what Iwas talking about (at this point the light had changed yet she sat there with a "lights on nobody home" expression on her face listening to my frothing lecture. Her tactic worked, my emotions transformed from rage to a kind of resigned terror. "Just be more careful" was all I said as I rode away.
Hey, lady in the BMX X3, I understand your problems are environmental. The people of Wellesley (or Weston) are much too preoccupied with the making of money, the spending of money (in your case your husband's money), and the planning for how their children are going to make money to allot any brain capacity to driving a car in a manner which doesn't resemble a two year old on a sugar crash running around smacking their head on every inanimate object in the house just before bedtime.
If nothing else I will sleep better tonight.
And yes, I took about nine billion self-portraits the day I rode to work and it was 5° out. I was pissed off, red, and kind of puffy. They come in handy.
The photo below has nothing to do with anything I'm talking about here today.