Monday, November 9, 2009

Conversation With The Devil In A Silver Subaru

The stretch of 4th Street leading south past the Boulder Center for Sports Medicine rises sharply but is fairly easy to ride up quickly without too much effort. Unfortunately, there is a stop sign at the intersection with Mapleton Avenue at the top of the hill that kills whatever momentum you have carried up the incline, and there are usually enough cars going up or down Sunshine Canyon to force an awkward “No, please, you go” scenario when you get there. That is, if you bother to stop at all.

The silver Subaru revved unnervingly behind me as I began to accelerate through the intersection, grinding my previously perfect but now painful gear back up to speed. I knew from the sound of the engine that this car had just performed a “California Roll” through the stop sign and was quickly bearing down on me as I crossed over Mapleton Hill. Normally this is not a concern but the street was beginning to narrow and there were cars parked all along the right curb, cutting my lane by a full four feet almost immediately. This did not matter to the silver Subaru, who raced along side me going well over the speed limit, pushing me further to the right and forcing me to brake in order to avoid doing a Davis Phinney impersonation into the back of a Lexus SUV.

I pulled back into the street and watched as the silver Subaru accelerated toward a large truck that was heading up to one of the many remodeling and construction projects on Mapleton Hill. For a moment I was certain that there would be a head-on collision, likely resulting in various unpleasant injuries and an even more unpleasant 911 call by yours truly. But honestly, a darker part of me kind of wanted to see the Subaru taste a little instant karma (as well as the bumper of a fully-loaded Toyota Tacoma).

The trucker laid heavily on the horn and finally managed to curb-check it enough to allow the silver Subaru to squeeze through without damage, but it was incredibly close. The truck stopped and a bearded man began leaning his head out of the window as I passed, both of us shaking our heads in mutual disgust. I could not make out the details of the driver’s comments but I am confident that they were not suitable for children.

The silver Subaru took a right turn at the bottom of the hill and I casually followed its path into the condominium parking lot at the end of the street. Usually I do not follow aggressive drivers (and certainly do not recommend it) but for some reason I felt a need to let this person know that he or she was probably not meeting the standard mental health requirements for Colorado driving privileges. Or at the very least, I wanted to ask why he or she chose to drive in such a manner when they only lived a few blocks away. I didn’t expect a positive reaction but I was wearing a helmet and had easy access to a bike pump if things got really out of hand.

When the forty-fifty-ish woman with a man’s haircut and sandals got out of the silver Subaru, she acted like nothing had happened. When she noticed me pulling up to the car she shockingly exclaimed, “Can you believe that truck honked at me? He almost hit me!”

I almost fell down in amazement but managed to circle back around and compose myself before responding, “Well, usually people honk when they are about to get hit, not when they are doing the hitting. I think that was actually your fault back there.”

She finished pulling her yoga mat out of the car and began to say something stupid when I interrupted her and stated in a firm yet unemotional tone, “You nearly hit me after blowing through the stop sign on Mapleton and then drove into oncoming traffic and nearly hit that truck. Just so you could get home from yoga class three seconds sooner? YOU are the problem and you are a menace.”

After those words came (semi-involuntarily) out of my mouth, I realized that last part may have been a bit excessive and it seemed to trigger a weird reaction in the manly-coiffed silver Subaru driver. She stuttered for a moment, shaking angrily in her stupid yoga clothes that would be inappropriate for a woman half her age and then blurted out, “I don’t have time for this right now.”

The mannish yoga wench stormed across the parking lot like a spoiled eight year-old brat and then suddenly (and rather humorously) realized that she had not locked her car. I watched for a moment as she turned back toward me, looked at her keys, then turned back around and walked away. She was apparently willing to leave whatever stupid valuables she may have had in the silver Subaru unprotected in order to avoid speaking to me again. But I didn’t really have anything else to say anyway, so it was probably better for both of us that she ran home like a little girl with Tom Brokaw’s haircut. Besides, her yoga mat was a better weapon than my bike pump.

If I were a meaner person (like her) I would have done something unpleasant to the exterior of her car after she ran away like a flexible, elitist coward. If I were really messed up I probably would have ripped out her stereo. But I’m the kind of guy who feels bad about yelling at stupid drivers, so I just rode away silently and lit her condo on fire later that night.

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