I know that most, if not all, cyclists have our tales of forgetting to unclip from our pedals, thus toppling over in super-comical slow-motion in front of various pedestrians, motorists, and other cyclists. CycleDog shared one of his, which led me to post this counter-point, as it were.

I won’t deny that I’ve had my share of those mortifying incidents, but that isn’t what this post is about. This is about the much more satisfying converse of that situation, that special moment in time when we get to revel in the discomfort and embarrassment of another.

A few years ago I was riding here in town when a car whizzed past, as it did the unmistakable voice of a teenaged girl yelled “Nice butt!”

As the car went past I could see only the driver, raptly looking straight ahead. The fates intervened, however, and there was a light changing to red just up ahead. The car stopped and moments later, I rolled up on the passenger side. There a second teenage girl (obviously the ‘shouter’) was ducked down in the passenger seat, giggling and thinking herself invisible. With me being on my bike, however, she was nothing of the kind and I was looking right down upon her, not even a window separating us.

The driver was also keenly aware of this situation and was furtively whispering at and prodding her friend.

The friend slowly looked up, our eyes met, and I smiled, giving her a slight ‘tsk tsk’ headshake.

I’d give anything for a photo of that moment. Her face turned such an extreme shade of red, it seemed almost painful.

Thankfully for her, the light quickly turned green and they sped away. The driver, no longer able to contain her mirth, burst into peals of hysterical laughter.

I try to remember that day; that priceless expression, when some idiot yells at me to “get off the road”, squeezes past much too closely, or any of the myriad other abuses we (cyclists) all suffer on a nearly daily basis.

4 thoughts on “Embarrassment

  1. A whole busload of teen girls on a school bus whistled and yelled their compliments at me on my bike as they passed a couple of years ago. And twice, extremely foxy women (one in a pickup truck, the other in a sports car) have stopped to offer me a ride home as I cycled on rural roads. I declined the rides so I don’t know if they meant my home or theirs.

  2. That’s a good one! I was stopped by a young lady once on a summer day when the temperature was well into the 90s. She must have been very warm because she’d undone most of the buttons on her blouse, offering a remarkable view. From my relatively elevated position atop the bike, the view was even better. She needed directions to a factory that was hiring. I told her how to find it, and I’ve often wondered if she got the job.

    Funny, I’ve never told Mary THAT story!

  3. Funny thing. The bus load of girls thing happened to me on my way home from class not even 15 minutes ago. One in particular leaned out the window and yelled “Nice bike, you look strong”. I think thats the first time anyone has said those words together.

  4. I think you guys are kinda missing my “embarrassment” angle, but that’s cool. I appreciate the comments!

    Oh, and Chris, I hope you didn’t let that one get away, the fact that she mentioned the bike first carries serious clout in my book!

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