#346 Be Nice on My Bike

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I don’t mean to sound overly dramatic but every day I ride my bike to work is another chess match with cars where my life and death hang in the balance!

Ok. Maybe not. But look, it can be bad out there and yes it’s possible I could die.

I can’t express how bad it is to bicycle in LA. And I live in the Valley which is easier than LA proper. Still, it is a battle every time I go to work. At least, that’s how I look at it.

I yell at people. Curse them out. The curses I throw out, I don’t even know where I come up with them. I’m not a curser at all in regular life. But when I get pissed off, some sort of primal cursing gene kicks in and I let loose the strangest combinations of curse words you have ever seen. I don’t even remember half of the shit I say because it goes straight out of my head.

I’ve slapped car doors, flipped rearview mirrors (not broken them, flipped them, so there’s no damage). Spit on cars. Gave the finger and more. But it’s all been “necessary” in my mind. I’ve got to teach these drivers a lesson. Stop texting and pay attention.

Last week a woman pulled off suddenly to get a parking spot when I was right next to her. I screamed and yelled but she didn’t stop until she was parked and I was wedged between her car and the curb. I went around to the driver’s side and smacked her mirror. It scared the shit out of her since she obviously wasn’t paying the slightest bit of attention to what she was doing. Then I let out a torrent of curses. But her look of surprise and hurt kind of made me feel like an asshole.

So I decided today to try and be nice on my bike ride to and from work. I wouldn’t call this scary necessarily. It was more difficult and going against what every fiber in my being wants to do.

Tried I did. When a car pulled out in front of me from a driveway, I didn’t yell, I waved. When someone opened their car door right when I was passing by, I didn’t tell them to, “fuck their children,” I said, “Excuse me!”

When a woman made a right turn in front of me from the middle lane, I didn’t call her a “fuck cunt.” I said, “Please watch where you’re going” as I rode by.

It was one of the hardest things to do. I’m so used to reacting on my bike. Just pure emotion. But today I had to think, check my emotions and try to be reasonable. I guess I felt good. Not good because I was being nice to these assholes. Good because I thought I was doing the right thing.

But when I was almost home and this woman pulled in front of me and slammed her brakes when she realized she couldn’t squeeze through to make her turn, I couldn’t help calling her a “dirty fucking fuck.”

And it felt good. Really good.

I guess you can’t win them all.

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