OH MY. HERE COMES AN ACCOUNT FROM THE GREAT WHITE NORTH, SAN FRANCISCO’S MARINA DISTRICT. (THINK OF THE PLACE AS SAN FRANCISCO’S VERY OWN LITTLE SLICE OF MARIN COUNTY.)
LEAVE US BEGIN. TAKE IT AWAY, HELEN LOVEJOY / SUSAN DYER REYNOLDS:
OK, LET’S CHECK THE WICKTIONARY, YOU KNOW, JUST TO BE SURE: “A cause of misery or death; an affliction or curse.” CAUSE, YOU KNOW, I STILL DON’T KNOW WTF YOU’RE TALKING ABOUT, EXCEPTING FOR YOU NOT LIKING BIKES ON PAGE STREET, WHICH, BTW, IS A FUNNY PLACE FOR A RICH WHITE LADY FROM THE MARINA TO BE HANGING OUT ON A REGULAR BASIS. BUT ANYWAY.
Driving home one recent afternoon, I stopped at a four-way sign, looked all directions, and proceeded into the intersection. Out of nowhere, a bicyclist flew through the stop sign to my left, riding right in front of me, forcing me to slam on the brakes.
UH, YOU LOOKED BUT YOU DIDN’T SEE. MMMM…. PERHAPS THE CYCLIST WAS SURPRISED THAT YOU ACTUALLY STOPPED. I’D RECOMMEND A CALIFORNIA STOP INSTEAD OF THE WAY THAT YOU STOP.
I came inches from hitting him, but he didn’t notice. As he pedaled along the right side of the street, I pulled up next to his rickety bike, rolled down my window, and said, “You have to stop at stop signs just like cars do.”
RICKETY? I THINK THAT’S MEANT AS AN INSULT? NOW ACTUALLY, RICH WHITE LADY, I THINK BIKES ARE GIVEN MORE LEEWAY IN SAN FRANCISCO THAN CARS. KEEP THAT IN MIND THE NEXT TIME YOU VENTURE INTO THE HAIGHTS.
The scrawny, pale, twenty-something with thinning curly dark hair – wearing only Bermuda shorts, a T-shirt and, of course, no helmet – flipped me off and shouted a string of expletives.
SCRAWNY, PALE, THINNING HAIR? MORE DEETS! WE GOTS TO HAVE MORE DEETS!
I felt my Sicilian blood boiling as I kept pace with him.
“Why is it you think you’re exempt from the law?” Suddenly and without warning, like the snake that he was, Curly whipped his head around and spit at me from the passenger side.
SNAKES WHIP THEIR HEADS AND SPIT? OK FINE, RWL.
I was in the process of rolling up the window, so his wad of spit didn’t hit me. Instead, it bubbled slowly down the window of my just-washed car.
JUST WASHED? KELL DOMAGE!
I kept pace with Curly, rolling the window down part way again. “What you just did qualifies as battery in the state of California,” I yelled, “and you should be arrested for road rage.”
UH, NOT REALLY.
Curly laughed and flipped me off with both hands as he steered the bike with his knees.
UH, IRL? I DON’T THINK SO.
“What are you going to do about it?” he asked smugly. Curly sped up and so did I, pulling in front of his bike, and trapping him between my SUV and the car parked next to him.
UH, I THINK YOU’RE NOT SUPPOSED TO TELL PEOPLE STUFF LIKE THIS? I MEAN, YOU”RE NOT SUPPOSED TO PUT THIS KIND OF A STATEMENT INTO A NEWSPAPER, NO MATTER HOW PODUNK / PICAYUNE IT IS.
As he came to a screeching halt, I rolled the window down a couple of inches. What color he had in his pale face drained and suddenly the smug smile was gone. “Are you crazy?” he asked, his voice shaking.
YOU GO GIRL! YOU GO, YOU CRAZY RICH WHITE GIRL!
Any ability I had to be rational went out my spit-covered window.
HE DROVE YOU TO IT! JUST LIKE IN THE BURNING BED!
“If I was crazy I would crush you like a bug right now,” I screamed. “Fortunately for you, I’m not crazy – but the next person you spit at might be and they could run you over or pull out a gun and shoot you.”
Suddenly Curly was mute. Having made my point, and thinking maybe Curly learned his lesson, I rolled up the window and continued on my way home.
WOW, I THINK WE’RE GOING TO HAVE TO CUT THIS OFF. PICKING UP HERE:
More than ever, I believe it’s time to hold bicyclists accountable for their actions, and that means license numbers that are visible to cops, victims and witnesses – just like on the cars and motorcycles they share the streets with.
AND I THINK WE SHOULD HAVE PEDESTRIAN LICENSES – WHO’S WITH ME?
IN CLOSING, RICH WHITE LADY, YOU CRAY-CRAY.
AND NOT IN A GOOD WAY.
Tags: 2012, accident, Another bicyclist behaving badly, battery, bay area, bicycle, bicycles, bike, bikes, bmw, california, Columnist, crazy, cyclist, divisadero, glass, Licensing, marina times, newspaper, page, plate, REYNOLDS RAP, Rich White Lady, San Francisco, spit, spitting, street, Susan Dyer Reynolds, suv, Window, Writer