I like to think that my bicycle commute is the loveliest part of my day. And it can be, especially on a breezy, mid-70s day like today. However, it can also make me a cranky, clenched bitch.
New York pedestrians are an entitled lot, and much of my commute in either direction was spent accumulating and hocking my anger-lugeys at the dickveins blocking the bike lane. My epithet-hurling started out a little lame and rusty during the morning commute, but by the time I made my way down that particularly smegmatic 10pm stretch of 2nd Avenue from the itchy scrotum of Murray Hill to the bulging hemorrhoids of the Lower East Side, I was in excellent form. Of the people who crossed my bike path today, it would be really difficult for me to choose the one I liked the least, so I’ll start with the one I liked and let it all go downhill from there.
Location: Park Slope, 5th Ave., in front of The Gate.
Subject: A young man with two French bulldogs waiting for the walk signal to turn green. Once it does, he and the dogs begin to cross from west to east. The black bulldog trots happily alongside the young man. The white bulldog plods slowly behind, its stumpy little legs inching forward at a stately pace. Its walker patiently leads it towards the corner, never tugging.
Reaction: <3 <3 <3
Location: Jay Street near the courthouse
Subject: A man with a briefcase jaywalking in the middle of the street, nowhere near the crosswalk. He’s standing in the car lane, about to step into the bike lane as I approach. I put the brakes on. He pauses. Then he has the gall to say, “Make a decision,” whileÂ standing in the middle of the fucking car lane.
My reaction: A very lame, “Y-Y-YOU make a decision!”
Location: The Manhattan Bridge
Subject: A Chinese guy* on a motorized bike ascending the Brooklyn side of the bridge at an excruciatingly slow pace, all while the motor is emitting its dying mosquito buzz as it struggles up the incline.
My reaction: I wait for a descending cyclist to pass, then I pass the old man. Then, because I am a slow rider, I hear the buzz chase me all the way to the top of the bridge. Mental note: must get in better shape and rideÂ faster if I can be tailgated by a mosquito.
Location: East Village, 1st Ave. and 10th St.
Subject: A young brunette woman standing on the inner edge of the bike lane while her leashed dog is squarely in the middle of the fucking bike lane.
My reaction: Ding-ding-ding-ding! rings my bell. “Your dog!” Ding-ding-ding! “BIKE LANE!” She finally pulls her dog up on the sidewalk, turning. I see that she is talking on her fucking cell phone. For the rest of the commute to work, I have a seething fantasy about telling her how much I would enjoy being there when her world crumbles after her dog gets run over by someone who rides faster than I do. What will she and her E.V. banker husband do when they no longer have a canine buffer to prop their empty sockless loafer lives up? How will she clean up the mess when her golden pup becomes another glob of viscera and fur, not unlike the TWO separate dead rats I’ve ridden around in the bike lane both Tuesday and today? (Any bets on how long I’ll see those rats on my commute, decomposing away?)
Location: In front of the Kips Bay Movie Theater, Kips Bay
Subject: A couple, he in a tucked-in polo shirt and khakis, she in a skirt. They are walking against traffic in the middle of the bike lane. They look like they’re on a date and about to see a movie. They seem kind of new to New York.
My reaction: “Get out of theÂ bike lane. Assholes!” They don’t react. I hope I’ve ruined the possibility of enjoying their movie as they think about their first time being called assholes in NYC. Mwahahahahahahaha!
Location: About 23rd and 2nd Ave.
Subject: A guy coasting slowly on his bike while another guy walks along the right side of the bike in tandem. It would be sort of romantic, except that there are several bikes behind the two. To pass, the bikes behind must ride in traffic and get back into the bike lane ahead of them.
My reaction: “Oh COME ON!”
Their reaction: “You come on!” Which I realize is what I did this morning. I hope his comeback feels equally lame.
Location: About 14th St. and 2nd Ave.
Subject: A Chinese guy* on a motorized bike. I must admit that I have a thing against motorized bicycles. Like, what, you’re too good to pedal like the rest of us? But I especially disliked this guy because, get this, he was riding SIDE SADDLE. Swear to god. Was the wittle seaty-weaty too hard for his wittle ballsy-wallsies?
My reaction: ??@#??
*And it’s always a Chinese guy. What’s with the motorized bikes and the Chinese? Is there some secret underground bike shop in Chinatown where you can get a little jet pack for your two-wheeler?