It’s becoming increasingly clear that it is on the days when I don’t have my handlebar cam attached and engaged: shit happens. Back in September when my cam’s battery had failed: I rode into the back of a double-parked car.
This morning on the way in to work at Venice and National I could’ve gotten some spectacular footage of a fixie hipster dood crashing into an MTA bus and sprawling right in front of me, but yeah: nothing, because my cam’s mount is presently being more festively occupied, at right:
And guess what, it wasn’t the bus driver’s fault.
The story begins back at Olympic and La Brea when first introduced to young fixie hipster dood while I’m southbound on La Brea and stopped at the intersection. I spy him coming westbound on Olympic. Does he slow down when the light turns yellow and red. Nah. He keeps going, finding it perfectly acceptable to enter the intersection while in the curb lane and somehow swing a LEFT across all lanes to head south on La Brea. So yeah: he’s one of THOSE cyclists. The kind who are just cluelessly entitled to ride with reckless disregard for laws, safety, consequences, truth, justice and the American way.
In short: my FAVORITE type ‘o rider. I just luuuuuuuuvz them.
Anyway, as I get going across Olympic I see him bank onto Redondo and eventually I catch him at San Vicente where he actually obeys the red light not because it’s the law, but because it was a perfect opportunity to work on his track-standing skills, which weren’t bad, but he did have to dab before the light turned green.
I passed him across San Vicente on the downhill approaching Pico because he’s on a fixed gear, which severely limits enjoyment of any downhills. We both end up turning onto Venice and heading west. With him a few seconds behind me I make the light at La Cienega, which turns red just as I get across. I don’t even look behind me because I already know he was gonna run that sucker, and sure enough a few blocks later as I’m approaching the Helms Bakery complex, I catch a rearview and see that he did. The light’s red at Helms Avenue, so I stop for it, but not fixie hipster dood. He just keeps on rolling along past me and across it. Had he not, none of what happened next would’ve transpired and his bike wouldn’t be totaled.
It’s up approaching National where I’m about 100 feet behind him and the fun begins. First, an MTA bus that’s passed me pulls up alongside him as they are both about to arrive at National. As the bus driver suddenly bears right to get to the stop across the street, clearly he doesn’t see thatÂ fixie hipster dood is beside him. I wince expecting fixie hipster dood either to have a very close call or flat out get mashed between the bus’ starboard side and a parked car on his right, but he manages to get past the parked vehicle and swing out toward the curb to safety away from the bus. I manage a sigh of relief. The bus continues across the intersection toward the stop and fixie hipster dood enters the crosswalk. I’m thinking he’s gonna ride up on the sidewalk and give the driver a rash of shit, but instead he does just about the stoopidest thing I’ve ever seen on a bike.
Just prior to getting to the corner, he pulls a hard left out of the crosswalk and tries to cross behind the bus, ostensibly to get back into the bike lane. The thing is even though he wasn’t going very fast, there was just no way he was going to be able to execute what would essentially be a 90-degree turn around the left rear corner of the bus. In short, he would’ve arced into the No. 3 traffic lane, probably with the same clueless center-of-the-world entitlement that allowed him to execute that ridiculous left turn back at Olympic and La Brea.
Alas and somewhat thankfully, we’ll never know what might have happened, because he first failed to avoid the Massive Amount Of Bus Ass in front of him. I’m still not sure why and how, but somehow he ended up going front-wheel first into the bus’ right rear corner about 25 feet in front of me, wherein his bike pretty much stayed put and he kept going forward until his body with knit cap askew and earbuds akimbo, finally came to a stop in that No. 3 lane that he had the wherewithal to scramble out of before anything worse happened.
The footage of that would have been pretty compelling.
Coming to a stop beside him as he rose from the asphalt I asked if he was hurt and he said he wasn’t as he picked up his bike.
“You sure?” I implored.
“Yeah,” he said, “I’m just sad.” And we both looked at the source of his sorrow: the front of his bike. The tire was flat, the wheel was pushed in several inches because the forks had been severely bent backwards. At first I thought that might be the extent of the damage. But hell no. The impact had been enough to put a significant crumple in the frame’s downtube.
“I just got this yesterday,” he mourned. “My buddy and I built it from the ground up.”
I bit my tongue to keep from saying something like “Frankly the way you ride I’m surprised it’s lasted as long as it has,” and instead attempted an empathetic mutter of “Damn, that sucks!”
Then the confused bus driver was calling fixie hipster dood over and he went over and I went on my way.