Tuesday, April 14, 2009

Don't be fooled by the lycra

Did some road riding while in San Diego.  The highlight was climbing Mt. Palomar (the big climb on Stage 8 of the Tour of CA). Conditions were colder than normal which meant we hit snow at the top of the climb (4,000 + vertical)

The low was almost getting into a fist fight while riding along the costal roads near Pacific Beach.  

It's possible that people in cars see guys riding bikes, wearing lycra as passive and annoying. As easy targets perhaps.  And as cyclists, it's hard to judge the size of the driver until they get out of their car.  So during the occasional encounter when the cyclist and car don't get along and words are exchanged and gestures are demonstrated, it's hard to tell what the outcome might be. 

I'm 6'1" 165 lbs and my riding partner for the day (Erol) is 6'2" 200 lbs.  (and Dug is 6'1" 130 lbs but wasn't with us on the ride I'm talking about)


(Erol, Dug, Me)

We were fortunate that our encounter was with a little man.  Maybe 5'9" a buck twenty with shoes on.

I guess the clearly painted bike lane complete with pictures of bikers every 100 yards and the "give a cyclist 3 ft law" didn't occur to him when I passed him just before the round-about on that busy costal road in San Diego. But my passing move clearly made him upset enough that he tried to run Erol (who was riding behind me) into the curb and then buzzed both of us, threw his car in park, flung his door open, stood in the middle of the road, completely blocking traffic, and started yelling at the top of his lungs, ready to fight.  

I thought this would finally be my moment to have at it. To totally unleash all the frustrations a cyclist feels against crazy drivers. I was hoping this guy would have the courage to stop yelling and actually throw a punch so we could publicly beat this guy up WHILE wearing lycra. 

But it never happened. I think he may have misjudged us and once we got face to face he realized that there was no way he could win.  

Looking back, I'm just glad he didn't have a gun. After all, we were riding in San Diego not Draper.



12 comments:

mark said...

It's been almost two full years since this happened: http://www.fatcyclist.com/2007/05/15/the-jerk/

At least 5 times a year I find my mind wandering back to that event. Every time, I wish I would have just beat the crap out of the guy and left him on the side of the road.

Flyin' Ute said...

I've had two seperate guys pull over and want to fight until I pull up with a big smile on my face (6"6' 240 lbs) and they realize I'm a giant, feel like a loser, and they get back in their car then flip me off as they drive away. It's classic.

KanyonKris said...

A little spice for your vacation, huh? Crazy.

dug said...

nice. btw, i'm a little more than 130. but thanks.

mark said...

Mike, I'm shocked people can't tell that you're a little larger than average before you walk up to the car. But then again, we are talking about stupid people here.

South County Ciclista said...

I have always wanted to climb Mt. Palomar. Glad you could do it.

StupidBike said...

I just growl. And flail my scrawny arms, and fart in their general direction.

tibiker said...

Funny, never happens while I'm out on the trail. :)
One of the reasons I almost ALWAYS pick dirt over pavement. Too many idiots with attitude and rage driving around who are all too happy to try and run us over.
I'd love to have seen the look on his face when you confronted him

BTW, my word verification was "wooky". May the force be with me.

Anonymous said...

6'1" 165 lbs , man you need to eat

EROL said...

RICK, YOUR MODESTLY DIMINUTIVE SIZE DIDNT STOP YOU FROM ABSOUTELY AND IMMEDIATELY HAVING MY BACK. (ALTHOUGH I THINK I COULD HAVE UNLEASHED 40 YEARS OF EXISTENTIAL ANGST ON THIS DOOSH BAG WITH ONE ARM AND A TUBE OF VAGISIL) YOU SHOWED HOW TO ALWAYS HAVE YOUR FRIENDS BACK. TRUE TO THE END BRO.

EROL said...

PS. ANY FRIGGIN IDIOT THAT WILL DESCEND PALOMAR FLAT OUT WITH YOU AND DUG, WITHOUT A HELMET, IS LIKLEY NOT AFRAID OF MR. BUCK-30 AND HIS VAGINA. PALOMAR GIVES ME SPECIAL POWERS, AND I WANT TO LIVE AT THE BASE OF THAT CLIMB!

Rick Sunderlage said...

Erol- Word.