It’s Ghandi Time

You think Monday night was crazy? Wait ’til I lay on you what happened yesterday and Tuesday during the 60-some miles I’ve biked since.

Absolutely nothing. That’s correct, despite being the easy and easily enraged target on two wheels that I am, with the exception of the occasional double-parker or encroacher I somehow managed to avoid all the asshole motorists that line the routes I take to and from work. Amazing.

Not at all. Statistically speaking for every 100 miles I ride, only a few feet are ultra nasty.

But that’s still too much. My new goal is zero. And it’s going to require a lot of tolerance that I lack and a lot of fool-suffering that I don’t do well. But seriously, if I can be proactive in avoiding such episodes ever again, then it’s win/win.

It’s something of an understatement to say I’ve spent the last couple days reflecting over the Monday night debacle on 4th Street — obsessing is more apt — and it hasn’t been pretty. In true “wit of the staircase” fashion I’ve found myself grousing in any variety of places public and private and mentally barking out things I should’ve said to the big bad guy. OK, the occasional physical vocalization has escaped and I’m sure there are several people who were within earshot of me who wondered with whom I might have been raging against.

But beyond dwelling on the past, I’ve looked forward from the incident in terms of reinforcing how I could’ve better handled myself. Certainly I drop primary responsibility on the tall boy because the simple fact is if instead of deciding to be a raging harassing unversed doucheball he had just utilized the wide swath of open and empty road and gone around me with plenty of room to spare, none of what happened afterward would have happened.

But as I said in my previous post, I blame its escalation to a face-to-face (or face-to-neck) confrontation and threats of death on me. My failure to dismiss my personal safeguards leads me to take full responsibility for all that evolved after he honked and yelled at me to get out of the fucking road.

As this guy demonstrated clearly, ignorant assholes thrive in their on myopia by default and rarely figure out how to broaden their perspective. I on the other hand am well-versed in self-examination. I can put sit my inner ignorant asshole down and peer around corners and look at other sides of things. I can take responsibility when I’ve done something wrong. Sometimes I envy those who won’t, but ultimately I consider it a bonus.

And in so doing, the solution is simple. Ridiculously difficult, but totally basic. And entirely necessary if my adventures in urban cycling are to continue.

I’m going nonviolent. I’m going nonreactionary. I’m going to become the coolest cycling cat ever. It is not going to be easy, but whether I encounter inconsiderate behavior and attitudes that are the result of blatant intention or simple inattention, I’m going to do my best turn the other cheek.

From here on out, it’s Ghandi time.