Friday, July 27, 2007

Apparently, I'm stupid

A funny thing happened yesterday as I was biking near UW-Madison's Library Mall. I had just stopped at a stop sign and, just after I started up again and turned onto State Street, this cyclist behind me (he'd been following for about a block, but not super close, which I knew thanks to my mirrors) speeds up and grunts, "Why'd you stop? There's no stop sign!"

He was a white, 40-ish, helmetless male. I thought I recognized him as a customer from my days of working at Mifflin Street Co-op. I said, in what I think was a friendly tone, "Actually, there is one, right there," and I pointed to it.

To which he replied, "That's only for cars. Sheesh." By this time he was next to me.

"Actually," I said, "it's for cyclists, too."

Maybe I sounded too parental and unflustered. He looked disgusted, turned away from me and sped across the street toward a bike rack. "Only for stupid cyclists!" he hollered over his shoulder.

"And cyclists who want to follow the law and not get hit by cars--" and I was about to add "--or injure pedestrians," when I realized I was engaging in a street debate with a guy who thought that his calling me "stupid" might shame me into speeding through stop signs.

Yesterday's total: 17 miles. Wednesday's was around 16.5

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