Idiots on the Street

We all assume that there will be a certain percentage of drivers that are, simply put, idiots. It’s just a fact of life. And I assumed this applied to cyclists as well, but I also thought that the commute to downtown Pittsburgh might filter them a bit more, since downtown isn’t exactly the most bike-friendly spot in the city. But, over the past two weeks, I’ve seen more idiots than I’d care to. The top three are profiled below:

1. Rich Lawyer Guy: This guy boggles my mind for many reasons. Where should I start? First, he rides in his nice work duds. He must not sweat, since the average humidity has been about 80%. Second, he rides a Litespeed moutain frame converted to the uber-commuter — hi-rise bars, skinny tyres, the works. I want to stop him one day and ask if he really needs to ride a titanium bike back and forth to work. Does it speed up his commute that much? Third, he rides like an idiot. There are folks that are aggressive in their riding styles, and will cause traffic to be disrupted. There are other people who ride aggressively, but try not to disrupt traffic. Then there are people who don’t ride aggressively and just sorta ride along, trying not to get killed. Then there’s this guy. He rides along, here and there, disrupting traffic and pedestrians. Last week, he nearly got the chop trying to sneak next to a tow truck making a right on Penn Avenue. First, you don’t ever, ever, ever mess with tow truck drivers. Even if you’re in a car. Second, don’t try and squeeze past a car when you know the light is turing green.

2. Crazy Old Man: I’ve seen him around before, but I followed him into town today. This man, who is obviously just a commuter, rides like a NYC messenger. He doesn’t stop at red lights (he barely even slows down) and he’s not afraid to mow down a pedestrian or two on the sidewalk if necessary.

3. Moutain Bike Racer Dude: I don’t see him very often, but it’s sorta entertaining when I do. He’s always decked out in full riding regalia, he’s got nice smooth legs, which means he must race, but I don’t think he’s a commuter, since he never has a bag. My last experience with him was at the terminus of Smallman Street in Lawrenceville. He was clearly in race-mode as he took the corner to 36th Street very wide to pass me (and get in the way of traffic coming down 36th). Then, in the middle of rush hour traffic, he thought it would be a good idea to run the traffic light at Butler and 40th, thus disrupting traffic.