If You Can't Take the Traffic, Stay in the 'BurbsIt was beautiful today, one of a handful of truly beautiful days in 2007. Me and my man Martin got on the bikes and ate up the trails, winding 30 miles or so out into suburban Virginia.
There's nothing like having the sun on your arms and the wind in your face for a workout. Being in the gym is okay and all, but it always makes me kind of feel like I'm on a space station somewhere.
The ride itself was pretty uneventful, apart from this completely typical incident on the Key Bridge on the way home. I was riding over the bridge, slowly, on the wide pedestrian/bike lane. I was going slow enough to avoid freaking people out, and calling out to people before I passed, letting them know what was going on.
Then, all of a sudden, this woman on the opposite side of the path(walking back towards Arlington) took a hard right and jumped right in front of me. I yelled out as I braked -- she jumped out of the way a split second before I would have plowed into her. She shouted "fuck you, man!"
"No, actually, fuck YOU," I said. "You jumped in front of me!"
"Well SLOW DOWN," she shouted, loud. "There ought to be a sign up that says 'no bikes allowed!'"
Really. I think one that says "Watch Where You're Going," might be a better idea, or, simply, "No Bitches."
At that point, some kid in those stupid shoes with wheels in the heels could have dusted me. Speed was not the issue. The real issue at hand was that because I was on a bike, I was in the wrong.
This interaction is completely typical for cyclists in D.C. I'm not sure how it is in other cities, but here, you can't win. If that woman were driving when I was riding in the road, she'd be mad at me too. Drivers honk and shout at you to get on the sidewalk, and it's not like it's friendly or safe up there either.
There's one solution that keeps D.C. cyclists and Sunday pedestrians both happy though: when cranks like that lady stay in the suburbs where they fucking belong.