Thursday, May 14, 2009
Bike to Work Day 2009
This is my 9th year biking to work, all nine of which have been in San Francisco. I can remember my first bike to work day back in 2000, I had to go six blocks to work on my old Kona Lava Dome commuter. Since then I've done a few crazy bike to work days, riding down to Palo Alto and attempting to hit all the energizer stations in the morning. I even rode a fixed gear for the first time ever to work on BTWD '03. This year I will remember the singular rider who, on BTWD, managed to take out his aggression on ANOTHER CYCLIST, namely me.
Bike to work day for me is the day I prefer to ride as slowly as possible, first b/c I really enjoy watching the mess of bicycles on the road, and I like to ride with the chill packs of riders who are also out for cruising. After going to the Cesar Chavez and Harrison Energizer Station, I decided to take Harrison north to work. While on Harrison I was passed by two cyclists who inevitably had to stop at the light at 24th St.
As I approached the light, the first rider, Mr. Awesome, was using all of his faculties to track stand at the light. Since I was going less than a mile per hour the light changed just as I got there and I rolled by his fancy display. About half way down the block, Mr. Awesome decides to show me how fast he could ride by passing me at full speed as close as he could get to me. Of course I was startled, and verbalized a "What the hell?" after he passed.
Using his awesome bike riding skill, he looks over his shoulder and gives me the finger. To which I replied, "You're the man." Of course, being the Man he was, Mr. Awesome, on his single-speed road bike and shiny new orange reflective Timbuktu bag, cycling cap under his helmet, which sat way back on his head as if to show off his 80's-style coif had to stop and wait for me to lecture me about queuing at a light.
"Don't you know anything about lining up?! Why would you pass me so I have to pass you again?," he whined.
I wrinkled my forehead, "So why did you pass me just now?" I inquired and started laughing, I mean it was pretty funny how Mr. Awesome was so worked up about my ability to ride slow enough to time a light. And this business about lining up? I was truly baffled, but Mr. Awesome was in such a panty-twist, I couldn't help myself.
"What's so funny? We don't need another douche bag on bike on the road," he continued to sob.
"You mean like yourself," I replied, which got a chuckle out of the other cyclist riding with us. Of course this did NOT help ease Mr. Awesome's awesomeness. "I don't know about 'lining up' but I just think passing close at speed is not safe, especially when you have the entire lane to go as fast as you want."
The other cyclist who was still cruising along with us tried to tell Mr. Awesome that it was not that big a deal. Mr. Awesome, at this point started into a rant using language not fit for my blog. He even went as far as to threaten to beat me up! I mean, really, you need to show how manly you are on a bike by beating me up?
At this point, I needed to get away from this psychopath before this ended up as a scene out of Never Back Down. I told him to ride safely and turned off at 20th. The rest of my ride was pretty chill, of course after my encounter with Mr. Awesome, nothing came close to his level of amazing, well except for the cyclist I saw getting scraped up into an ambulance at Van Ness and Market. I hope he is okay.
I can't wait for the commute home later. Should be great fun.