bg/ish: Great Way To Stay In Shape
Something happened to me last week on Friday after leaving work. Something that after some consideration I'd opted not to write about on this blog. For starters, although a completely true story, it was so far over the top I wasn't sure I could eloquently lay it all out here, and by Saturday night I'd told the story so many times that quite honestly, I was over it.
Then I saw this video posted on Bike Jerks this morning, and it brought the whole situation up in my mind again:
I wouldn't waste a whole lot of time watching that clip. It's essentially about a cyclist who has mounted some cameras on his bike so he can have evidence of chumps in cars squeezing him out. He yells a lot. Whatever. If only I'd had his camera setup on my bike last Friday...
* * * * *
I commute on a bicycle everyday in San Francisco. I've fallen once when my back tire lost traction crossing a MUNI track on Market. I've had several other close calls involving the MUNI tracks and "meat grinder" grates that are all over Market street. I've run pretty flush into the back of a car during a drunken mash up Market on Chinese New Year. (Sorry!) Too many times to count I've encountered cars who simply were not paying attention and as a result spiced up my ride with a bit of peril. And last week on Friday, my life was threatened by an angry driver.
I left work at 5 p.m. and headed towards home west on Market. I usually link up with my roommate on Market and 6th, so having just left work I headed down New Montgomery and had made it as far as Market and 3rd when the light turned yellow. I slowed. It turned red, I stopped. I was in the middle of the lane, which I have every right to. The driver of the car behind me took exception to my stopping, and started blasting me with his horn.
I turned around to see a bright red brand new Porsche being driven by some 40 something chump. I turned my bike around and rode up to the driver side window, and with the biggest sarcastic smile I could muster said to the driver, who had his window down, "What's up man, do I know you?"
"No, do I know you?" he shot back.
"Nope, but the way you were honking at me, I figured I must have known you."
"I was honking at you cuz you were in the middle of the fucking lane!"
"Oh! So you're in a big fucking hurry right?"
"I'll be in a hurry after I run your fucking ass over!!!"
"Really? So you're threatening me with vehicular..."
Before I could get the word out of my mouth, he shouted out, "...Homicide! Vehicular homicide!"
"Haha! You're hilarious. Go fuck yourself you cocksucker motherfucker!"
I circled back around as the light turned green. He floored his Porsche off the line, nearly swiped me, and narrowly missed hitting a car that was still crossing through the intersection.
I started my way down Market when another car pulled up along side me. The driver of the car shouted out to me, "Hey!"
I looked over at him, and he continued, "Don't be such a jerk!"
"Man, you have no idea what just happened back there, so go fuck yourself!"
"I ride a bike too y'know!"
At this point, my adrenaline is pumping... I'm so fuckin' pissed. I meet up with my roommate, and immediately start giving him the rundown of what had just happened. I was pretty charged up, and ended up getting separated from my buddy going through a red light. I made the left onto Valencia from Market, realized he wasn't behind me, and dipped into the shady little cul-de-sac, circling around and waiting for my roommate.
After maybe a minute, this red Porsche turns down Valencia, and into this same cul-de-sac. At this point, it's clear to me this guy is looking for me. So I pull up right in front of his car, look right at him and say, "You motherfucking piece of shit."
Dude jumps out of his car, and is screaming at me, "You want a piece of me!?!"
"Man, I said you were a fucking piece of shit! You threatened to kill me with your car!"
"That's because you're an asshole!"
"How am I an asshole?"
"Just because you're on a bike doesn't mean you can be an asshole and take up the whole lane!"
"So you threaten to hit me with your car?"
"Ya! And the next time I see you, I'm running you down! I'm fucking hitting you!"
"You aren't going to do shit. You aren't hitting anybody"
"It wouldn't be the first time!"
"You ain't shit! You ain't gonna do shit! So get back in your fucking car and go home!"
"I'll hit you and the cops won't even take me to jail!"
"You ain't gonna do shit!!! So get back in your fucking car, and go home!!!"
Going through my head were thoughts like, "smash his face with your U-lock" and "bring the pain to this fool, make him cry and spit up a cocktail of teeth and blood", you know, things of that nature. An angry bg however, remained a calm bg. My buddy had rolled up at some point during this exchange, and saw most of it go down. Oh and the chump got back in his car and went home.
Will I see this guy again? No doubt.
Am I worried about him hitting me with his car? Not in the least.
A car though, doesn't need to hit you to fuck with your shit. All he has to do is squeeze me out, cut me off, stop short in front of me, or swerve in my path. Do I think that he will try any of those shady maneuvers? Absolutely. And when he does, I'll survive, because I'm smarter than he is, and I'll be happy to report about a brand new red Porsche with some fresh dents and scratches.
Maybe some bike cams wouldn't be such a bad idea after all. As it is, we're Always Mashing / Never Not Mashing, so this probably won't be the last time.
I'm almost annoyed with myself for retelling this story, so let me just say, that portions of the Channel 6 Investigative Report clip above oh so gloriously reminded me of this classic Family Guy clip...
It's a great way to stay in shape.