This weekend, my wife and I met up with three bicycle-insect creatures. I knew we were in for a treat when the first peeled off through two lanes of traffic without signaling.
The other two were heading in the same direction we were. I had plenty of time to contemplate their spandex butts as they careened down the narrow road two abreast, taking up an entire traffic lane. They suddenly slowed down to kiss. It had all the charm of houseflies mating in mid-air. The one without the helmet veered into the other lane, causing traffic in the other direction to stop and preventing us from passing.
It was a Hallmark moment: He glided back and whispered something to her. She laughed. He patted her lower back. My wife and I were riveted to this little drama, forced to watch it unfold at 15 mph.
When I could finally pass safely, I mouthed a polite [obscenity] to let this young gentleman know how much I appreciated the show and his disregard for the rest of us. He flipped me the bird and I saluted him in return. We’d had our time together, and I was happy to say goodbye. But when we came to the stoplight at the end of the road, they caught up. The male leaned into my car window, breathing heavily and indignantly.
He was upset. I’d interrupted his perfect Sunday ride. I told him that I didn’t appreciate his unsafe behavior or being trapped behind him while he and his girlfriend smooched. He informed me, reciting statute and law, that he and his bug-mate had every right to ride two abreast in the narrow road. When I returned home, I felt compelled to check with the police.
“If they were impeding or blocking traffic in any way, they should have gone one after another,” the dispatcher said. “If an officer had seen this type of thing he would have had a word with them.”
I bicycle to work almost every day. If I was limping along with a line of cars behind me or wanted to gab to my wife, I’d pull over. Why? Because I’m an adult and understand that while the road might be my occasional playground, it’s also a public thoroughfare. If we want others to take us seriously, we have to act like grownups who understand this basic premise. As more of us turn to bicycling, I think it’s important to call road jerks to task. After all, they’re setting a bad image for all of us.
As I pulled away from this happy pair of smug bugs, the male gave me the finger again and the girl pantomimed a gorilla. I would have signed back something about petulant brats, but I couldn’t manage it safely while driving.
— Randy Moser