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.