I was intentionally buzzed by a cyclist during my run on Monday night. Actually, I’m not sure that “cyclist” is the correct term for this particular guy, he was more of a pedestrian who just happened to be riding a bike. A BMX bike, whose frame was dwarfed by that of its rider.
As I rounded a bend on my usual running path I spotted a family up ahead of me, they were stopped on their bikes and completely blocking the path. As I closed in on them from behind, two of them pedaled off ahead of me while the other three remained in the standard military roadblock formation. I veered into the grass and made my way around them. I honestly wasn’t all that annoyed, and was thankful to be through the checkpoint without having to pass a sobriety test or have my trunk checked.
The two that had gone on ahead (a lady and a young kid) were now right in front of me, and traveling at the same speed that I was. Unfortunately this was not due to the fact that I’m fast enough to keep up with “cyclists” but rather due to the fact that the kid was apparently riding without training wheels for the first time. Either that or he just sucked at bike riding. The kid was maybe 6 years old and was wobbling all over the place, I was shocked that he had been allowed to pass through the last sobriety checkpoint because he looked pretty smashed to me.
Meanwhile, the three-man roadblock had started following me down the path right after I had passed them. I now found myself running in the middle of a family of “cyclists” and quite frankly it was a little awkward. My Garmins revealed that I was running at the right pace, pushing myself a little, and I didn’t want to pass the two in front of me because I assumed that they’d eventually speed up. It was at this point that one of the roadblockers yelled from behind “Hey Mary, watch out on your right!” Mary then pulled over to the left and instructed the kid to do likewise, but I didn’t want to pass them, I didn’t want to run faster. So there I was with an open lane and everyone expecting me to speed up and overtake them. It was kind of like when someone holds a door open for you even though you’re still 20 yards away, I felt like I had to speed up. So I did.
As I passed Mary, the kid stopped looking at his pedals long enough glance back over his shoulder. This move caused him to veer even further to the left and as his bike toppled from the path the young foal lost his balance. His head bounced like a bell’s clapper inside his oversized helmet, but I’m sure he was OK. I just kept on trucking, still uncertain if he was new to 2 wheels or if he really did suck at bike riding.
About a half mile further down the path, the incident long forgotten I heard a “cyclist” bearing down on me. It was one of the roadblockers. From the popped collar and sagging shorts I’d guess he was about 15 going on douchebag. He came within an inch of wrecking his stunt-pegs on my ankles and then immediately braked in front of me, his pungent cologne assaulting my nostrils. He looked at me, and then in his best Michael Corleone voice he said “Oh... Excuse me, I didn’t see you there.” He was sending me a message. Luca Brasi sleeps with the fishes indeed. It was so comical that I actually laughed. He was stopped on the path, waiting for the rest of The Family and he took umbrage with my joviality as I passed him again. At least he would have if he’d have understood any of the words in that sentence. “What?” He yelled. “What’s so funny, huh?” Still smiling, I looked back at him and shrugged. He yelled some more as I made my way down the path but I was too far away and too indifferent to hear.