Tuesday, December 1, 2009

Bike Path Nonsense

I don't mean to fixate on the park where I've been riding my cross bike lately - Balboa Park in Encino, not Balboa Park in San Diego - nor do I mean to fixate on bikes because I've really made a conscious effort (not successful) to be a person with a career and with professional skills and not just a person who owns 2500 dollars worth of Spandex and isn't able to talk about anything in polite conversation but bike equipment and bike racing and places to go ride bikes, et cetera. In other words, I've been trying to broaden my identity, and what have I gotten for this? I've gotten fucking fat! And who the fuck wants to be fat? Oh well. My horizons are broadened.

And Balboa Park has a really nice, really wide asphalt bike path that forms a kind of misshapen rectangle that is probably four miles around but I wouldn't know because I have removed all electronic equipment from my bike. It's flat. It's scenic. And most of the people riding bikes on this path (old women and homeless people excluded) are assholes.

Each time I'm there, which is from roughly 2:30 to 4:30 each afternoon, I make a point of spinning along the path, slowing down and announcing my presence to walkers and rollerbladers I'm about to pass. I nod hello to other cyclists or I give them the low sign. And when I want to hammer an interval, I leave the path at the park's northeast corner and let it rip on a four-minute stretch of road. In other words, I'm the perfect cycling citizen. Somebody should give me an award.

But the other cyclists (and none of these folks are in team kit, incidentally) hammer at the same speed - a titanic 21 miles per hour - and weave in and out of mothers pushing baby strollers and in general create havoc. Sometimes, when I'm spinning easy, one of these jackasses will blast by me at a speed they think is fast, and I get pissed, of course, and run this jackass down and catch his wheel and say, "What the hell? Can't you at least say hello to your fellow cyclist?" This is only to discover that the jackass has his iPod cranked up and I could have just called him a horsetooth motherfucker and he wouldn't have heard a word I said. Then I blast by this jackass at like 15 miles an hour faster than he's going....

Wait a second. I'm acting like a jackass, too.

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