I biked to the gym last Wednesday to do a barbell class, which was so rad I can't even explain it to you, except for the fact that I was sore until yesterday. Seriously. It was so amazing. I am going to go tomorrow, too.
Anyways, the important thing for this story is that I biked there. It was a 5:30pm class, lasting an hour, and the second I staggered out of the gym, I realized I was losing daylight fast. So when I came to a super busy road while on my safe little sidestreet, it became apparent that waiting to cross would mean I'd eventually be biking in the dark, and as a person whose bike doesn't have any lights, and as a person dressed in gray, the exact color of both the twilight sky and the asphalt below, that wouldn't be a good thing.
So I pedaled down the busy road to then hook a right and travel down the even busier, bigger road, aptly titled Speedway. I was hauling some pretty decent ass, at least for someone who had just taken a barbell class for the first time in their life.
A few weeks before the triathlon I finally got out to do some street biking, to overcome my fear of riding with cars. And I'm glad I did. It's been about 20 years since I last rode on major roads (I had been riding with my dad back when I was like 12), and come on, man, cars totally kick ass when it's car vs. bike. But I wasn't too worried; I was focused more on beating nightfall than worrying about cars. Which now that I type it, sounds totally stupid.
Anyways, about two major intersections away from my turn off, I'm in the zone, pedal-pedal-pedal, when some stupid bitch SCREAMS bloody murder right as they zoom past me. How mean, how absolutely cruel, right? The rudest. Not so much. It made me jump, that's for sure, but I had a good grip on my handlebars and didn't so much as swerve. I kept my eyes focused ahead and I saw the car whose passenger had shrieked at me.
And here is where it gets worse: that horrible person turned around in her seat to see if I had fallen. On a busy road, three lanes going each way, she was hoping she had scared me enough to make me fall off my bike. I was so incredibly angry. Todd later reminded me that had I fallen, I could have fallen into traffic and been run over by a car. And while I was wearing a bike helmet, I don't know if that would have made much difference.
After she had turned to check on me, the car took an abrupt right turn off the road. I had sort of been looking forward to passing them during a red light, but now I was terrified they were waiting for me in the parking lot or something. Luckily they weren't, and I got home not only without additional incident, I also got there with sufficient light, although it was very close to nightfall.
It just makes me wonder about people. It makes me absolutely angry, and offended and more than a little scared for how monsters like that woman will treat my daughter and future children. Who does that? Who hopes to cause an accident on a busy road for some innocent, unsuspecting bicycler? Who has such little regard for others?
I can take the high road and hope she has remorse for it at a later date, or to thank God that I'm not someone low like her but I gotta be honest, a small, dark, vindictive part of me hopes they got a speeding ticket or the shit beat out of them or something. I realize this in some way lowers me to her level, but that's the honest truth.
I wonder too if listening to my ipod would have made a difference; would it have drowned out her scream, rendering her attempt even more impotent than it actually had been? I figured that riding on a busy street would require full attention. And I always thought constantly wearing earbuds and drowning out the world removed you from it in some way, cocooning you from interaction with others, in a negative way.
Now I am realizing that self inflicted isolation from this world can be a safety precaution, and that makes me sad.
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