Tuesday, June 30, 2009

Quota of villainy

Being the end of the month, I can only guess that several events from the past few days must be due to some kind of quota system, where certain folks begin reflecting upon the litany of the month's transgressions, tallying their misdeeds and scheming ways to set new personal records.

Yesterday, people were shooting fireworks at me. Cute, 2 ounce projectiles which may or may not end with a bang. No biggie. Annoying, but mostly harmless.

This morning, whilst cruising southbound on Quivira, I notice a blue VW New Beetle behind me. Nothing new here. Turn signal goes on. Beetle kind of changes lanes, but ends up straddling. I'm taking the center of the lane, so this guy is a very close pass. I'm approaching a red light, and wondering what exactly the driver is planning. Next to me now, as I drop my arm signalling a stop, he moseys on in to hog my lane, leaving me to retreat to the (thankfully empty) right turn lane. I pound on his door. He stares straight ahead. Light turns green and he's off. Meh.

As I slog up the Quivira viaduct all alone at 6:00 AM, the light at the apex of the climb turns red. There's a "T" intersection at the top of the viaduct. Soon, cars begin turning from this ramp, going north and south on Quivira. In my mirror, I spot a yellow New Beetle behind me a good ways, and see the motorist signal to change lanes. As I stop at the red light, more cars are flowing out into the intersection. The yellow Beetle doesn't stop, nor slow down. The lady just blew right through the intersection (which was thankfully clear at the moment) at 45 MPH as if she had a green light.

I'm calling it Attack Of The Beetles. I'll refrain from making the leap that New Beetle "Drivers" (if you can call what these two were doing "driving") are assholes, but they were batting a thousand this morning.

Then, I got this gem via email from Karen. I guess she's had a heck of a week as well.

Subject: Smacking a bum
Well it finally happened. Under the highway bridge around the corner from Boulevard brewery, a bum with his morning beer in a sack in his hand, he was drinking it. He stepped out of the bushes in front of me, it was a close call. I'm so polite, I said excuse me. I didn't hit him, but it was close.

Riding your bike to work is so exciting, who would want to drive a car. This and a gallon of paint, all in the same week.
I suppose by "Quota of villainy" I really mean "Quota of inattention" -- after all, I'd really just like road users to focus on the task of transportation (instead of ignoring vehicles that they're about to run off the road or texting the lady friends that they're on their way to a firey death Einstein Brothers Bagels) and be a little more careful. It's safer for everyone, and I'm talking to cyclists, joggers, and motorists alike.

Oh, the "Gallon of Paint" that Karen mentioned above was a real treat. A bucket of paint fell off of a truck in front of her and she rode through the mess it left on the roadway. This led to a squirrely ride over the railroad tracks and all kinds of tasty road debris sticking to the paint on her tires. Fortunately, nothing caused a flat.

More flags. I was trailing an older lady on a 1990s Trek 2100 most of the way on Turkey Creek trail.

I need a beer, darn it. Boulevard is a local craft brewer. All the beers I've bought from them have used twist-off caps (aside from smokestack series, which are 750ml bottles with a cork). Odd, then, that they use a pry-off cap when bottling their attempt at making a Boring Yellow Pilsner at a cheaper-than-usual price point.

Okay, this Pilsner's really not that bad, but it is kind of boring for a Boulevard beer. I'm not sure what I expected. It's definitely a beer to pair with more delicate flavors, or perhaps one to just crack open on a hot summer day after a good bike ride.


Anonymous said...

Must be something about VW Bugs. I was harassed by a guy last summer who was driving a bug. He pulled up next to me (no other traffic around) and started calling me every name in the book. There was no traffic, it was middle of the morning on a weekday. He was so angry he ran a red light and nearly go t-boned. I was actually hoping he'd get hit even though I know it's wrong to feel that way. Pretty bad when a grown man (driving a bug none the less) has to pull up next to a woman on her bike and give her crap.

Apertome said...

I haven't noticed a trend of New Beetle drivers being any better or worse than others, but anything is possible.

Most pilsners are rather boring, but refreshing, so no surprises there.

Anonymous said...

You drove a farking ice cream truck. You deserve this karmic revenge.

Sirrus Rider said...

I have to agree that there's something with new beetle drivers. I've come across two different types the 20 to 35 something woman who has a poor concept of avoiding road hazards (this includes bicycles) then there's the male drivers in the same age range who quite simply suffer from craniosphincter inversion. There just pricks by nature.

On my last commute I came across one of these. He refused to yield the lane to me and a literally passed me with 6 inches to spare. (Really too close for comfort.)

Deferr said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Deferr said...

Mmmm..... beer after a bike ride. That is a wonderful thing.

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