Oct 152011

The last time I wrote about chicking a guy, it was all in good fun. But these last two? They deserved it, and here’s why.

Rider : You whooshed by me last week heading north/downhill in the Southeast Boulevard bike lane without so much as an “On your left!” as you sped toward the stop sign at Fifth (which you basically rolled through with only a token slow-down), the stoplight at Third, and the stoplight at Second, where you continued straight and I turned left onto that nice new asphalt.

You apparently took my old route, the “safe” one on quieter side streets that I don’t much care for because of all the blind corners. I know this because once I turned north on Division I got to pedal past you as you waited at a stop sign on one of the side streets.

Since you hadn’t bothered to give me the time of day or even to warn me when you passed and you’d ridden unsafely through the stop sign at Fifth while I followed the rules and stopped, I must say I felt pretty good riding past you–in particular because I took the “guy” route (the one on an arterial, with more traffic) and you took the “girl” route (the one on seemingly safer side streets).

Rider : Midday last Saturday you were just behind me coming south up Sherman. Where it doglegs to become Southeast Boulevard I stayed wide in my turn, tracking the bike lane alignment; you cut the corner into the vehicle lane.

No cars were coming and there was nothing particularly wrong or illegal about that–it just gave you the chance to pass me. When I said, “Good morning!” you ignored me and passed by on your medium blue road bike. You may or may not have heard me say, “Well, okay then!” after you got by me.

Maybe it’s my pretty flowered Po Campo pannier, or my utilitarian Donkey Boxx (yes, it was full of farmers’ market vegetables), or my black velvet helmet cover that looks a bit like an equestrian hat, that led you to dismiss me as not worth acknowledging with so much as a “Howdy” or a glance as you passed.

Bad move on your part, if if you’re one of those guys who doesn’t like being passed by a woman.

Someone too rude to say hello to a fellow cyclist doesn’t get away that easily. (You weren’t wearing earbuds, which could explain this; admittedly you could be deaf or hard of hearing, in which case I apologize for my misreading–but I know you can see so a smile or a simple lift of the hand as you passed by–the biker’s quasi-wave–wasn’t out of the question.)

I pegged it up the hill, caught you at Garfield, and said, “Hello again!” as I passed. Funny, for some reason you didn’t say hi that time either.

Bad manners? Scofflaw? Too cool for school? I’ll chick you every time if I get the chance.

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