Walking home on the sidewalk for lunch on Riverside, I saw an older woman nearly get taken out from behind by the BMX bicyclist Spokane’s collective stereotype would expect to nearly take out an older woman from behind on a sidewalk.
“There’s a really nice bike lane across the street,” slipped out as he rode past me. Immediately, I heard his feet hit the concrete (freewheel and no brakes, yo!) and turned around to see him complete his circle back to me.
Definitely thought I was going to be on the receiving end of the third sucker punch of my life; instead I received a hearty “FUCK YOU” and the accompanying spittle from three inches away.
I got the goose-neck intimidation stare for another few seconds before he rode off.
I’m speaking from a straight, white, alternative-transportation-using male experience, but even when I thought I was having a knuckle sandwich for my amuse-bouche, I was less scared than any average “close call” with a car on a bicycle or as a pedestrian.
Because, honestly, when I heard the smarmy comment slip out of my lips, this is exactly what I expected that dude to do, right or wrong.
Close calls involving cars almost always involve a driver doing something they’re not aware of or are fine with: going to quickly, eschewing turn signals, facing forward while driving backward, tweeting, makeup-ing,…
For the health of The City, the best thing one can be is a predictable variable.