Wednesday, March 16, 2011

Can't sleep, thugs will eat me

Help me out here Oakland, because I like you, I do. When people poo poo you, I defend you, I do. You've got a lot of great aspects, neighborhoods and such. True true, there are some bad parts of town, but what city doesn't have bad parts? And why should these bad parts give the whole city a bad rap? Every city has their violence and gangs, even the corn-feed variety. I've seen it in Seattle, LA, Riverside, Portland and San Francisco. It really happens everywhere, and I refuse to hide from the world, locking myself up in a Howard Huges proportion, where I lock every door behind me and double check them constantly.

Tonight on my very wet bike ride home from MacArthur Bart, I got harassed. Now, shit happens and I was surprisingly not scared but I did become angry. Here's my story:

My route home finds me on major streets and minor residential side streets; a relatively quick ride in under 10minutes. I've been here almost a year and I have not had problems; and I've ridden in far socially deemed, worse area's than my usual route. I'm coming down a fairly busy street approaching a four way stop. I slow down into the left turn lane, waiting to give a truck the straight right of way. As I proceed to turn left, on my turn, the car behind said truck, a mid to early 80's faded red and rusty Toyota, begins to lurch through the stop sign and the driver yells "get the fuck out of the road or I'll hit you", and aims his car towards me. To which I respond with a patented Mel glare and keep going onto a now quiet side street. I now hear him coming up behind me and I begin to assess my surroundings and gear up for a possible vehicle impact into the parked cars beside me or from behind; basically, assuming the worse scenario of retaliation. This street has massive speed bumps and when I fly over, he must slow down to do so. By the second speed bump, he's now pulled up next to me, is keeping pace, and says "sorry to yell at you. Just cruising for a bruisin'"; I shit you not, that's what he said to me. I respond by looking over and again assess my situation and now fully look three mid 20's males looking back at me, give a look and keep pedaling. They continue to say stuff to me, but their tone has changed and they're asking where I'm going. I make a quick right onto a side street, they go straight, I pull next to a parked car and wait for them to pass by on a street I need to access. As they pass, I attempt to catch up to them to grab a license plate number and make a report but unfortunately my glasses are covered in water, as it's raining pretty good. The last I saw of them before my turn, was them pulled up next to a homeless man with a cart. Instead of pressing my luck, I continued home with no further issues.

Do I think it was racially charged? Actually, no. Do I think it was because I was on my bike and they had to wait for me to get out of there way? I think that feels more likely. I was basically at the wrong place at the wrong time and these kids felt like getting out some pent up aggression on some poor schmuck on a bike in the rain.

1 comment:

basho said...

Gah, fucking thugs! Glad you're okay, and good going to keep your cool. Sorry you had to go through it. Seems like there was a lot of issues with them: car vs bike, male vs female, black vs white, angry disenfranchised vs the world, just plain stupid aggression vs everything. You're right about this can happen anywhere. But keep riding, keep being awesome!

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