Friday, April 16, 2010

Miss Ellen Nearly Cooked by Natural Gas-Burner

In Which Miss Ellen & Co. Are Treated as Objects
It's spring, so naturally the bicycle wear must change to the lighter and less cover-some clothing . I wore a smart retro mini dress with bike short underneath to gad about with Miss Ellen this afternoon. Destination: park. Apparently she has been good for my ankles. A lot of trucks lingered in our vicinity, calling "Hey!" out the window. That was unexpected.

Under such circumstances, Miss Ellen and I do not object to being treated as a piece of scenery.
On the way back, we were treated as equals, which is far more dangerous.

In Which Miss Ellen & Co. Are Challenged
All we wanted to do was pass a stopped bus with a crowd around it. I had no traffic, so I swerved out of the Right Lane in order to pass. I even signalled, the ancient Arm Signals that nobody seems to use any more.

The bus driver did not like this. The bus left its crowd behind and buzzed almost straight into Miss Ellen's back wheel. I was clearly visible in his window. I was also moving rapidly left, watching the looming bus, the left lane, behind, and front. Probably my head was swiveling as much as my legs.

"See how you need me," Miss Ellen was saying. "You couldn't move this fast without me!"
"Not now," I ordered. "We are cooked goose with spokes."

The bus was running on natural gas: Miss Ellen, on natural fright. The bus made a sloppy right turn and I got out of the way of six cabs and two SUV's just as fast as I could safely do it.  I hope he was happy, that bus driving son of a gun. Miss Ellen will be. She is getting a horn this week. I am getting some knucks. Of course the beep-beep and the knucks will be beside the point if it is a bus.

We are going out again tomorrow. We are too cool to be fazed by admiration or challenge. Ellen is disgusted currently though, since I have had to inform her that despite the law, she is not a true equal to anybody on the road.


Bob G. said...

Glad neither of you suffered any damage (except to your equality).

I've noticed the same cavalier attitude by those with MORE than 2 wheels (and fewer than 2 brain cells) over the years.

It's not that's it's MORE traffic (per se), but a lot more IDIOTS in that traffic, that could care about a cyclist as much as they (obviously) care about themselves.

Used to be a time when motorists actually treated cyclists with a TON more equality on the streets of America.

On the open water (no channel markers), the vessel with the least amount of control has the "right-of-way" (sailboat or canoe trumps power boat).

T'was the same on the streets. Trucks gave way to cars - cars gave way to motorcycles and bicyclists, and everyone gave way to pedestrians.

And ya know what?
THAT worked pretty damn well.

Both of you have a safe and happy weekend.

Christopher said...

"We are too cool to be fazed by admiration or challenge."

Great line.

Slamdunk said...

Fun approach with this maddening situation.

Complaints against bus drivers or other "responsible" folks may make you feel better as well.

Enjoy your weekend.

The Bug said...

You & Miss Ellen be careful out there!

Unknown said...

Geesh, too close for comfort Ann. Be careful out there.
I ride two motorized wheels to work everyday and I can say at least once a month my heart is in my throat. And my heart would have been spattered all over the road if I hadnt been paying attention because assclown driver wasnt. Defensive driving will save you and Miss Ellen.

Ann T. said...

Dear Bob, The Bug, and peedee,
Yes, people are terrible idiots on the road. We will be careful, for sure. And defensive driving--you bet. Now more than ever.

Thank you all!
Ann T.

Dear Slamdunk,
Maybe I'd turn him in, but I didn't get that bus number--too worried about danger at the moment. Next time. Probably work better than the knucks, for sure.

Thanks for laughing,

Dear Christopher,
A writer always looks at words. Thank you for that.

Ann T.

The Observer said...

Ann T:
I say amen to all the previous--thanks for telling your adventures in such a fun and entertaining way!

The Observer

Ann T. said...

Dear The Observer,
Thank you too!
Ann T.