Monday, September 15, 2008

Jackhole, flickr, and Atala - or - enough of the youtube clips

So last week I'm riding downtown after work, say 4:54pm - yeah, I left early as it's a 14 or so mile ride, but I had to pay for that T-Serv I got after hours the weekend prior. Up ahead there's an intersection packed with cars from 3 directions, all with stop signs. I go up to the front on the sidelines, foot-down stop, and wheel through said intersection adjacent to a black SUV for a bit of protection - it was a cluster-fbomb of traffic, seriously. So this guy on my right decides he wants to meet me, perhaps ask me what type of grips I prefer. Instead of the usual Minneapolis handshake, this guy, perhaps still high off the "Drill-Baby-Drill" spittle of the GOP convention, decides he doesn't like the way I do things, guns his Lincoln in a rabbit start t-bone lunge at me before braking hard, me swerving into the adjacent lane in the interests of self preservation. He then passes me with his starboard window down letting me know his thoughts - you know, the usual things people in cars say when screaming out their windows at bicyclists. Of course he's accelerating away when he's doing this, making his wording garbled and my reply useless although not completely unanswered. What's that up ahead? Oh, it's just a red light, we see them all the time. I pull next to this guy, slowly swing my backpack around, casually grab my 35mm camera, take the lens cap off and ease it into my pocket, refit the backpack, and take a few shots of this guy through the now closed car window. Funny how vocal someone can be when they are running away but how quiet and content the same jack-hole is when confronted by the victim. Shit, this is the last guy in the world who might have thought anything was amiss on this fine afternoon - fine enough now to have the windows up and airco on, facing straight ahead with a bit of oh shit, why did there have to be a red light so close to that stop sign - and he was almost on the I-394 onramp where he could be tooling along at faster than bicycle speeds on his way out of this heathen metropolitan filthtrap.

So I decided to sleep on this for a few nights to let myself cool down. Six nights have gone by and this is what I've decided. Sure it's one-sided, but it's my oneside that counts.

Oh, and my workplace is blocking a ton of websites, flickr included - good god what the hell has this world come to?

In other news, check out Christof's new (to him) Atala single-speed. Nice? I can't see it during the day, but I remember it looking nice.

Some things in life are better than others, the trick is to find the balance that makes you happiest.


Me [LFoaB] said...

At first I thought he had a bicycle helmet in his lap [bizarre, but not unheard of with the Weekend Warrior/Lincoln Connie/Carbone set, ya know?] when I realized it was a reflection of yours off his window.

Or was he getting 'Noggin from a cycler, it was less than a "10" and that's why he dive-bombed the first cycler he saw [you]?

So many questions, So much rage.


Sara said...

that guy's just pathetic... for all the reasons you mentioned and the ones you didn't. Gosh - what is the world coming to, with so many people like this out there?

fxdwhl said...

what a dick. accountability makes their balls shrink when caught.

net clampdown at my work too. company wide email, then new blocked/monitored warning page while perusing, then more company wide emails. it's a pisser but i didn't realize how much time i wasted. sadly i see their point.

Jim Thill said...

Had a confrontation the other day in downtown Hopkins. On a Sunday afternoon, downtown Hopkins is a quiet, abandoned place. With my little girl on back, I pull up to the stop to turn left. The only other vehicle in sight, an SUV, pulls up beside, the driver rolls down the window and informs me that it's dangerous to ride a bicycle in the street. Then he pointed up and down the empty street with a sweeping motion of his pointer finger, and said "This here, it's for cars." Thanks for the advice, I replied. He then got defensive and started explaining that he's "just stating the facts." At that point, the light turned green, and he exerted his moral superiority and benevolence by granting me the privilege of turning first.

I thought the guy was a knuckle-dragger, and I didn't really enjoy the unsolicited lecture. But I did appreciate that he was able to share his feelings in a civilized, non-threatening way.

Antoine said...

I get the same thing happening down here in the Antipodes. I have a broken digital camera I might start carrying in my seat-bag, for just such occasions.

I'm not convinced the "look straight ahead and ignore them" routine is going to work when you knock over three Hells Angels while running a stop sign.

Jim K said...

You did the right thing by photographing this guy and flogging him in this forum. I had a similar, albeit less intense experience recently blogged here:

The Mpls police are very unlikely to do anything, you probably already know that. The Mpls City attorney might make a call to this douche-bag, if you have the energy and desire to pursue it. Glad to hear it wasn't worse.