The other day I had to make a long commute to the South Bay and I didn’t have time to take the more pleasant coastal route, but I did take the road bike. From East Hollywood to the South Bay is through the urban sprawlish LA that I can avoid on 90% of my commutes. I took my road bike cause I can easily hold 20 MPH, take the lane and not worry too much about busy roads.
On the way back I was on a wide, fast road and had to make a turn that is always tough for cyclists: when the left lane (of four) splits off. I took the lane and made the light, but sure enough someone is on their horn behind me. Keep in mind I’m hauling ass. They drive by and yell indiscernible obscenities and I respond with some. As is often the case, I catch them at the next light. I calm down (a little) and roll up to the drivers side window and before I could say anything she says, ‘This isn’t a bike lane, get out of my way!!’ I tell her I know there’s no bike lane, maybe there should be and I had no where else to go. And I add, ‘but see, I didn’t even slow you down. We are at the light at the same time.’ We have the slightly heated exchange any urban cyclist is familiar with. I don’t need to give the back and forth. The passenger even jumps in.
Then she says, ‘Are you married?’ I answer no and keep ranting to her about cycling, safety, etc, not quite processing the question. Then I look at her and she smiles and winks. What? The passenger laughs and say, ‘No you just didn’t!’ The light changes and as they roll away the driver says, ‘See you around.’
WTF. It’s not often I get totally thrown off by someone! It made me smile that the interaction completely changed. Maybe she’ll be nicer to cyclists in the future?
Then back in my neighborhood a woman in a car throws a half-full plastic fast-food soda container out of her window. I catch her at the next stop sign (of course) and tell her not to litter in my neighborhood.
-Mind your own business!
-It is my business, don’t throw your trash in my neighborhood.
-Fuck you, honky!
You can’t win them all.