When I was blessed/cursed with the opportunity to work from home beginning in May 2010, I lost three of my eight regular readers who tuned in to my bloggings mostly because I always strove to relate the various failed relationships I had with my fellow road users whilst bike commuting 30-plus miles roundtrip 200-plus times a year.
In place of those frothy spittle-flecked regalings those readers were suddenly finding laid-back narratives about backyard flora and fauna, or whatever type of critter whichever of our cats had caught, or rainfall counts, or the latest backyarchaeological find, and maybe pictures of whatever libation I might have been drinking on the porch some sunny weekend afternoon.
Those poor readers fled such non-cycling things. I can’t really blame them.
Not that I’m returning to those glory days, but now that I’m volunteering on a regular basis with the SPCALA, and commuting crosstown and back by bike, as fate would have it I had an encounter worth writing about. A couple actually, but we’ll start with this one.
Allow me to introduce you to this car, a Lexus SUV, California License No. 6JJY356:
It’s hard to tell from the above still, but the vehicle’s at a complete stop in front of me. This after the female driver came up behind me whilst I was pedaling uphill in the right turn lane on Glendale Boulevard under the 101 Freeway in Echo Park, and then gunned it impatiently around and ahead of me while we were emerging from the overpass.
I can only guess at why the driver went stupid and rapidly decelerated to 0 mph: 1) because she’s in a car and she can do whatever the fuck she wants; 2) especially if it only obstructs a guy on a bike; 3) emerging so quickly from the complete shadow to the complete sunlight momentarily blinded her; 4) she dropped her cellphone; 5) she experienced a sudden shock at seeing the drained and closed state of Echo Park Lake for the first time because she’s from Brentwood by way of Dallas and rarely makes it this far beyond La Brea; 5) she was certain the onramp to the freeway was to the left straight up the hillside that Bellevue deadends into.
Regardless of what caused the ineptitude, she stopped long enough for me to catch up to her, pass her and complete the right turn she’d so brainfartingly impeded.
In passing between her and the curb to make my turn I let curiosity get the better of me and inquired aloud as to what she could possibly be waiting for before continuing on my way to the left turn lane at Echo Park Avenue. Only at that point two-thirds of the block away did she catch up to me and in passing give me a look of “Oh, it’s one of those crazy self-entitled bicylingists. Who think they own the road and can do whatever they want. Like stop in the. middle. of it — wait, uh…”
I confirmed her insanity finding by returning her glare and then gesticulating in a generalized nonspecific manner that was supposed to indicate my abject disdain but instead may have resembled either a strange kind of dance or a seizure of some sort. I’ll have to work on that.
She, of course, responded by rolling down her driver window and as she casually turned right onto the freeway onramp — this time not stopping dead — flipped me the bird.
Ever so fresh.