10.28.2009

ride a mile in my saddle...

last night on my short direct ride home I made a detour down 17th Street
sure enough... it was a wet rainy Tuesday before Halloween and people were gathering for the annual HIGH HEEL RACES up 17th Street by the Fox and Hound

I had the camera but I did not have the desire to hang around in the rain
it had been a long work day and I just wanted to get home to my family
so I migrated the short distance
up 17th Street the wrong way on the closed street... over to New Hampshire... then onto 16th at U Street!

there were a few bodies on the sidewalk
so rather than buzz the people with their umbrellas on the sidewalk I raced ahead of traffic on the road

the timing combined with a parked car and a left turning car clustered cars at the base of the hill while I shot past Malcolm X Park without any car interaction

the road planed off and I stayed to the street
a car in the right hand lane ahead would work as another wonderful pick

the light turned green and I shot ahead in an effort less than a sprint
behind me I could feel the vibrations of a Metro Bus
long before the parked car the Metro Bus passed me fast and close
definitely within three feet
the bus went around the parked car and then took the right hand lane
aggravated I went around the bus on the left and took the right lane in front of the bus

on the flat the bus rushed to my rear wheel
like a fool running with the bulls I moved forward with danger nipping at my heels

safety was ahead as there were a few passengers at the next Metro Stop that would call for the bus to slow then stop

sure enough... the bus stopped to discharge passengers
through the light at Columbia Road I stopped on the curb
considering pulling out my camera
even considering pulling a bottle out of the trash can and hurling it through the windshield

waiting on the curb I stood their with my heart racing after being buzzed on the pass then tailgated at speed

the bus stopped and the door opened
a perfect opportunity for a photograph or a glass bottle to the face
I did neither... I did not even cuss
instead I asked
"are you a professional? is it professional to pass so class and so fast?"
the driver gave polite responses and denial
I stuck to it clean and polite telling him he passed me within three feet and followed me dangerously close
again telling him that these actions were far from professional

the doors closed an the bus pulled away... three feet away in the line of traffic that always collects at this part of the road at this time of day

if we could get the Metro Bus drivers to travel the street on bicycle then they would see the impact of their actions

he felt no wrong... while I am sure that he was feeling some sort of competitiveness
his action had intent of some sort
there was a dangerous dance between his large vehicle and me and my bike

I got home alive... aggravated and alive

I had worked late and it was getting late
dinner had already been eaten
the boy joined me to walk the dog in the rain with flashlights in the woods
when we got home we carved pumpkins
the goodness of my night erased the ugliness of my day

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