For instance, I yelled at a man in the street yesterday.
"You're the reason why people hate DC! Pull the stick out of your ass!"
And to think, all he did was ask for the time.
He didn't ask me anything actually. Instead, he decided to lecture me about bicycle etiquette.
"Bikes belong on the streets!" he shouted as I rode by him with plenty of clearance on a sidewalk adjoining Massachusetts Avenue between 17th and 16th Streets.
For those of you more in the know than I was yesterday, Massachusetts Avenue between 17th and 16th is a one-way leading east to west. I was going west to east, but I figured it was only a block, so I moved onto the sidewalk for three seconds -- a bike salmon habit I tend to avoid whenever possible because pedestrians are often more annoying than traffic.
But not as annoying as being squashed by an army of oncoming black SUVs exceeding the speed limit by several miles per hour. More importantly, my dying right now would be extra tragic as I still need to create a will that indicates I'd like to be cremated with my ashes spread among the bean crops of Nebraska. I want to be the fiber in the digestive tracts of future generations.
With that in mind, I didn't heed this man's demand, but instead simply nodded and kept riding upstream. And that was that...or so I thought.
But when I was forced to stop at a traffic light about 30 feet ahead (or 10 meters -- I look out for my European reader
"Bikes belong on the street! I know because I do it all the time."
I just looked at him, smiling and trying to tell him he was starting to get annoying (both just with my eyes).
"I do it all the time," he repeated.
"Because bikes don't belong on the sidewalks."
Now I was starting to get perturbed.
"Listen, I got it. I usually ride on the street, but if you'll notice, this is a very busy one-way street and because I don't want to die today I opted for the near empty sidewalk for a block. Sorry."
"It's a hazard."
"I understand that, but I really had no choice. Normally I'd agree with you."
"I never ride on the sidewalk and I bike all the time."
This guy was really giving me the business. But for what reason? When another cyclist -- a male -- rode up on the sidewalk behind us before swerving around the other side of this douche, I began to question his intentions. I don't think he was as concerned about spreading the gospel of bike safety as he was with simply trying to make a girl feel stupid. Ultimately, though, the joke's on him because I feel stupid all the time!
But luckily for him, I'm not so stupid that I succumbed to my urge to harm this man with my spoke nipples. Plus, before I had time to err on the side of hilarious violence, the light changed, so I rode off -- in the street now, as I was no longer bike salmoning. Yet, still this idiot couldn't drop it.
And that's when I stopped being nice.
"I'm not even on the effing sidewalk anymore!" I shouted and continued to ride. "Good God, you're the reason why people hate DC! Pull the stick out of your ass!"
Of course, I'm not sure how much of that tirade he heard, as I was pretty much shouting this like a crazy person from the other side of the traffic circle, but it's the thought that counts, right?
And on that note, I'm once again retiring this blog for a week as I skip town for the second time in a fortnight. I'll be bringing my tiny camcorder with me, though, so there may be another vlog coming on June 26 or so, which is when I return. But don't let that promise/threat stop you from coming back...
In the meantime, enjoy the hot-weather respite today. I'll be enjoying it all week from a cooler place -- both literally and metaphorically!