4.21.2009

again... in such a short time span on the road... how can there be so much conflict

let out of work a few minutes early...
no... not to get get on the bike before heading home to the family
but rather to go to the dentist
so I took a slow cross town spin from downtown to upper caucasia... aka friendship heights

en route to the dentist there were a few conflicts
of course there were the standard obnoxiously fast and obnoxiously close passes
but sadly... forgive them... for they are too dim to know the consequences of their actions
worse yet... they have not factored in the potential consequences of their actions
for they act without thought
they are simple folk with simple selfish objectives
caring for themselves and their own and no one else
too simple to have a developed sense of empathy

beyond the dim masses there were a few others
my pace was far off race pace
tired legs, bruised ribs, and a geared karate monkey that only shifts in the front left me only a few gear options
as I came out of a round about on Mass. Avenue headed away from Dupont up Embassy Row I felt the pressure of a car behind me... a large silver car driven by a large man with silver hair
he honked his horn... ineffective and unnecessary... and utterly obnoxious for someone from out of town to tell a local how to behave on the road
as we cleared the circle he followed close behind as I flowed in between the two right hand lanes to avoid the bumper of the row of parked cars
the silver haired gentleman with the silver car was stuck behind the parked cars with his Pennsyl-tucky plates
sure... he passed me as I approached the hill... by this point I was off the road and onto the sidewalk
allowing the cars to zip by at highway speed

at the crest of the hill I turned off Mass Ave onto Wisconsin Avenue... just as I made the turn I was caught in a cluster of traffic pinned behind some construction and a bus in the shape of a trolley... a bus shaped like a trolley? how corny!

I got in the queue and took my turn
then when things freed up after the bottle neck I was passed by a Black Cadillac with tinted windows and paper tags... the passenger window rolled down in its modern mechanized way and words exited the young passenger's mouth as they passed
unable to see the drive I did not know the full ignorance I was up against
so I censored my rebuttal

the passenger told me to take it to the bike path... I simply responded what bike path and split lanes... passing them and heading on my way....
our game of cat and mouse continued... me making no effort to race or any effort to escalate the conflict
more words came my way... fearful of the ignorance of these drivers I refrained from extending the conversation
at one time when I made the a pass the window came down and and arm gestured as if to punch me as I passed... I smiled at the thought
thinking that my pace and their punch may cause more damage to them than to me
but it was a feigned effort... a bluff...
I continued on my way... as I rode on ahead of them I built distance
as I flowed through lights and split lanes

unsure of what to expect of these rogue individuals I considered doing something out of character
I considered involving officer friendly
there had been words
there had been a physical threat
I was not sure what was next

at one point in the general vicinity of Wilson High School I saw a few flat feet standing on their flat feet
for a second I deviated from my pace then retracted from that notion
the car may have broken from this path and well... I had a dentist appointment to attend
there was also the issue of building a case and having a police officer see my perspective
it the paper tags were dirty... well... case and point
but if everything was clean
it would be nothing more than angering and instigating some urban assholes
I feared retaliation from escalation
so I took back to the street

at Tenleytown the hill dropped into a fast downhill... the Cadillac passed on the left
no words... no action... but I knew that I would catch them
so I slowed my pace
as I was nearing my destination and was not seeking confrontation

I slowed
ironically they slowed and turned off pretty much where I intended to park my bike to go to my dentist's office
had I landed their first... well... things could have been awkward... depending on how bold and ignorant these kids felt like being on this day

I parked my bike a block back from my appointment and went on with my day
wondering what would be the correct course of action
not knowing the potential danger of these urban youth
but again questioning the variables
young urban males in an expensive car
a car of a certain style to carry a certain stigma
then the paper tags... the torn... tattered.... and well weathered paper tags
a sign to me of an unregistered and uninsured car

the streets would be a safer place if police routinely pulled over cars with paper tags... I recall having paper tags... I do not recall them lasting on my car long enough to be faded by the sun

yes... paper tags and well.... a few moving violations could clean up the streets
economically... people can not afford to drive... it is absurd
fuel prices... insurance... car prices... repairs... and ticketing...
economics could push things into a safer environment
too many people have cars
this era of credit... no money down.... these past few years have flooded the streets with cars
perhaps people would behave more rationally if they had less credit
but this is a different topic than the kids in the car.... which may well have been boyz in the hood

the time I was held up at gun point I estimated fourteen and seventeen for these lean and mean kids
when they turned out to be young men... not kids... young men making adult decisions
immature adult decisions

I am glad that I was able to make an adult mature decision to not allow the interaction with these young males to escalate
these things never go well... the kids today do not play fair... they could run me down or gun me down without a blink of an eye
and well
the actions of these could be thugs is not really all different than that of your average soccer mom

more shit off the top of my head
the numbness in my mouth is starting to wear off
maybe I can eat some dinner



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