The Death Winks of Tiddly

Good morning, gentle reader(s). This morning, yours truly was nearly snuffed out on no less than three occasions. I rode my bike (in the bike lane), helmet on, bell at the ready and reflectors going gangbusters – I was feeling pretty good. I was clearly visible (it’s hard to miss me in a crowd, unfortunately) and I usually don’t find myself worried (or frightened) as I drive my Raleigh into work. I love riding my bike in the city. Problems rarely occur.
Strangely, this morning several problems presented themselves. As I rode down the street in the bike lane, I was going quite quickly. I think the speed I was going was equal or slightly less than the cars riding to my left. I neared the intersection of Carlton and Sherbourne and the light was green. REAL green. Like the green you imagine when you have dreams of leprechauns in Ireland, prancing around pots-o’-gold as their buckle shoes clippity-clop across the dew-laden, emerald-hued blades of grass. Also, the newly-installed amber light countdown had just begun its 10 second descent. I got closer to the intersection (going quickly, as I said) and was about 5 feet from entering it (the amber countdown was at 7) and a truck and trailer, not entirely dissimilar to the monstrosity picture below…


…begins it’s tedious, laborious and all-together idiotically SLOW entrance into the intersection. I slammed on both handbrakes so intensely that my bike fishtailed through the middle of the intersection. I had no idea my bike tires could replicate the squeal of a quick braking car so effectively. My back tire lurched forward on my right as I finally stopped about a foot from this truck. Conveniently, the sister-poking fuckwad ‘driver’ was hidden behind atrociously 80s tinted windows. I put out my hand, shrugged and was like, “YEAH?” There was no reaction that I could make out, but I got off my bike and walked as slow was I could around him as his light finally changed to green and the people behind his assclown camper van began to get annoyed.
After that, I drove through Allan Gardens, which was unusually busy, without incident. I entered onto Gerrard Street, continuing towards Jarvis, which was red. I could see a car in the bike lane, stopped at the light and waiting to turn right (that’s what signals are for – just FYI to any morons out there). I pulled up on his right and stopped. I noticed the traffic travelling northbound on Jarvis was still going, but assumed this guy would turn right (as he had the right to do) once the traffic thinned – which it did. I sat and watched, mesmerized by his right turn signal that was clicking…on…off…on…off…and his car wasn’t moving. I actually bent down to look through the window of the Ford Tempo to see what kind of mental-midget I was dealing with. Couldn’t really see. I waited and waited and no traffic was coming on Jarvis…he now had probably 45 seconds in which he could have turned. I noticed the walk signal turn to the ominous orange hand at the opposite corner. Of course…NOW…he’s gonna turn. But no, he just sits there. Sits and sits…and sits and sits…
The light goes green and I get ready to push through the intersection. The Tempo LURCHES forward and into my path. I think smoke actually came out of my ears, but I couldn’t see, obviously. I pedaled in front of his car and continued, forcing him to wait. Asshole. I imagine this is the same variety of prick that would blow through a right-hand turn at a no-right-hand turn corner. JACKASS.
Finally, I was travelling along Gerrard, heading towards University and some lolly-gagging rollerblader is doing this South-Beach-esque move of looking all whimsical as she skates, cutting a huge curvy line that spans the entire width of the very generous bike lane. I’m riding behind her, clearly faster, as she moves left…and then right…left…right. (I often wish I had front mounted machine guns on my bike, like in For Your Eyes Only…) I rang my bell, but this bitch was doing her thang much to the consternation of well…anyone else on the road. Finally, I passed her, making sure to turn back into the lane just a second too soon…if only to ensure that if she was riding the crimson wave, it truly would be a heavy flow day.
I did finally arrive at work, alive, obviously. I seriously wonder how some people acquire licenses…perhaps the same way you would acquire a black market baby; trenchcoats, black fedoras and hushed tones echoing through an alleyway populated exclusively by shit.

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~ by seangstm on September 13, 2007.

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