Death by derailleur

Okay, so, being the karmic disaster courting sourpuss I am, I’ve thought for a long time that drivers’ license tests should include an IQ portion, along with a gauge of just how much common sense each potential driver possesses.

 

Granted, not that I haven’t done stupid shit while behind the wheel, not even including the uber-stupid coffee/radio/cell phone trinity I employ on an embarrassingly regular basis.

 

I’m talking about not actually paying attention to what’s going on outside the thousand-plus pound hunk of metal that is totally, and utterly, under your control.

 

Like looking out for cyclists.

 

Now, my bike ain’t all that, but no matter how heavy it might be, it does not even begin to come close to the potential for death and dismemberment every dumbass behind the wheel possesses each time they put their foot on the accelerator.

 

Yesterday’s ride reminded me of that, and after berating dumbass driver No. 999 I realized it’s hopeless, and before long I’m simply going to replace the frame pump with a shotgun.

 

Unfortunately, and it’s not even a full moon, it was pedestrians and other cyclists who were the recipients of most of my ire. Having tweaked a handful of old back injuries earlier in the week pretending I was Lance Armstrong in the Pyrenees, I was relegated to the relatively flat, geezer lands of the Schuykill trail, which is approximately 8 miles around and paved …

 

… thus making it fertile breeding ground for all manner of potential Darwin award winners employing various modes of transport – bikes, roller blades and, of course, feet.

 

Unfortunately, unlike the metal beasts I’ve grown accustomed to weaving around and (usually) avoiding, the human obstacle is not only far less predictable than the industrial behemoth, it feels pain.

 

And is breakable.

 

When some idiot steps in front of me I always think of the time when a fellow messenger (back in the day, y’all – I’m still a deskmonkey) hit a woman who stepped off the Market Street curb without looking … and ruptured her spleen. (In a rare show of SF cop coolness, the officer at the scene slipped a ticket into her handbag as they carted her away…)

 

Either way, there seemed to be an inordinate number of Sunday riders/skaters/walkers for a Thursday evening, and by the time I screamed at the trio of cyclists on Huffys riding three across to ” MOVE OVER” as I barreled toward them, my calm, soothing ride was just a figment.

 

Especially, after yelling at them to get out of the goddamned way, I heard them scream as they crashed into one another, novices unable to control their two-wheeled metal any better than idiots in cars …

 

… and I laughed.

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