Home > Life or something like it > Entry 05/04/2007 08:45:21 PM – Mentat 330

Entry 05/04/2007 08:45:21 PM – Mentat 330

05/05/2007
     One of the things that I want to rant about in this entry has got to be the utter lack of attention drivers and motorists have when it comes to bikers, pedestrians, and motorcyclists on the road in the Biggest Little… Because of the incident on Tuesday out on Route 5, I’ve become more self-conscious about people on the road. Since then though, I’ve come to the realization that no matter how pre-emptive I can be — people in their infinite ignorance will still do totally stupid things in the process.
     For example, today as I was heading down East St on the way to Bernon to catch the Express bus to Providence, there’s this old factory that had been converted to apartments there at the corner of East and Sayles just prior to the Blackstone River. There were these pair of thug-wannabes in this Suzuki Samurai in the driveway that I swore looked not only at the car that had pulled up and parked at East but also in my direction because they saw me moving, and seemed to have sat there in the car fiddling with the radio, CD or whatever else they had in its place. Hard not to given that I could clearly see them, and therefore they should have been able to clearly see me. Did he look to ensure that I was along far enough before pulling out? Oh hell no! They start pulling out without looking at the road, or out the driveway just as I start to cross their path.
     Needless to say I yelled loud enough to get their attention and they stopped before attempting to hit me like the man did on Tuesday, but not without giving me this dirty look like, "how dare I not stop when they’re coming out of the driveway."
Excuse me, but last time I checked pedestrians (and those on non-motorized bicycles) still had the right of way in the road and on the sidewalk.
     Route 5 (or is it 2? I never seem to get it right), still seems to be a sore point with me, given that people along the northbound side oftentimes don’t pay any attention to the sidewalk traffic (not that there’s much along that road that time of day), and only look towards the southbound traffic to figure out how they can slide out into it as quickly as possible. I’ve come to the conclusion in the last four days that clearly the worst part of the strip of the road that I travel has got to be near to the McDonald’s given that I seem to notice that the people getting food there oftentimes have this attitude of "I’m in a rush, because I had to do fast food" about them when they pull out of the drive-thru and try to get out of their as quickly as possible.
     Of course, do I get right of way when it comes to them waiting for the traffic to die down, as they’re sitting there looking? Oh hell no on that as well! One woman yesterday, when she saw me coming, intentionally pushed out onto the sidewalk forcing me to either that the option of going in front of her, or behind her. I chose the latter, but not without getting off my bike first, given that the person behind her had also inched up in such a way as to ensure that it would be damned difficult to squeeze myself and the bike through between them. And naturally — when it comes to Rhode Islanders, I get the dirty looks like, "How dare I…"
     How dare I indeed…

     I swear to god I’ve fought the instinct on at least two different instances the last two days of stopping my bike and getting in their face while their window was open and reminding them that there’s more going on in the world than what they’re not seeing or experiencing beyond their nose. Or reminding them that in road safety and road etiquette — pedestrians on bikes still have the right of way over them. And in the instance of the woman at McDonald’s yesterday who had looked at me, gave this dirty look, and then pulled out onto the sidewalk area that I wanted to get off my bike and throw a rock at their car to get her bloody attention.
     Of course, it hasn’t stopped me from giving looks of shock at the older couple in the car on 113 as I had gotten off my bike, had right of way because they had the stop and I had the walk signal and as I came up past car two, totally oblivious that there was someone crossing 113 pulled halfway into the crosswalk to try to speed through once the light turned green. Or looks of disgust at people in when I got to a 4-way intersection (have several of those in Fairmount) where not only as a pedestrian I’ve got the right of way, but also because on a bike I got there first, and in a Yankee sort of way ignore my very existence ’til they’re halfway through the stop before looking to see whether I liked or didn’t like them doing what they did.

     It just boggle the mind.

     As for me… I’m glad that it’s finally Friday. While it did feel as though the week flew by partially because I had the day off on Monday, and partially because I had worked through the weekend with a day off on Thursday; no matter how quickly the time feels like it flies — I always feel drained (both physically and emotionally) having only a day off between work days. At least with this job, I don’t feel as though I’ve been severely dogged like I did when I got out of work at Brooks/Eckerd.
In the four or so days since I’ve been riding the bike, I’ve begun noticing some improvement in the fact that I’m finding it easier to actually get up hills than I did at the beginning of the week. So much so in fact that I found that I had gotten 3/4 of the way up the Olo Street hill prior to East Street. And as of yesterday, I’ve been able to get about 1/4 – 1/2 way up the hill at CCRI without having to get off the bike to get the rest of the way up to the bus stop. Although, I’ll admit that I know that I’m seriously in need of rest given that while I’ve been feeling better, my legs are still a little sore and tired from the 20 or so mile trip on Tuesday night. But I’ve been doing my best as ensuring I’m getting more than adequate hydration, alongside the various vitamins and supplements necessary to ease out muscle ache.
     Yes, I know. No pain; no gain. But I didn’t think I would be crash-coursing it quite in the way that I have.

     Not surprisingly, since getting this iPod, I’ve finally got myself caught up on all my podcasts with Feast of Fools and Happy Tree Friends, along with adding two other podcasts to the roll call BBC Newspod and Graham Norton Outtakes. I’m really glad that whatever was going on with Feast of Fools during the winter has finally gotten out of their systems and they’re back to being outrageously comedic. It’s rather hard for me to be sitting there on the bus, or waiting at the stop between stops not to laugh out loud or uproariously, given some of the material they’ve been lobbing, or some of the people that they had been interviewing. James St. James and Elvira (pronounce el VEER ah) Kurt being the two podcasts that are currently on my iPod that I found hysterical from start to finish. St. James’ laugh for example was highly contagious. And Kurt’s humor involving her family sort of hit home in ways that I didn’t expect.
     Of course, with me trying to share some of the things that I heard from them (or in JoJo Baby’s newsworthy event at the beginning of the week involving him trying to go buy mannequins from someone, only to find a human skull boiling in a pot (http://cbs2chicago.com/topstories/local_story_122075402.html)); I come to the self-conscious realization just how much on the outside looking in I am to the rest of the world; particularly when it comes to what other people consider bizarre or odd, and what I consider surreal and almost commonplace.

     Because of this, I’ve also come to the realization that there is such a thing as "queer sensibilities" that I would find perfectly acceptable that would cause others to look at me as though I had two heads and sixteen eyes. Take for example JoJo’s story. Did he leave the instant that he found the head boiling in the pot? Absolutely not — he stuck around to check out the mannequins, partially because he wanted them, partially because he found the man that he was trying to buy them from cute. How did I react when hearing that? Amused but understanding the mindset. When trying to explain it to anyone else — the look of horror, surprise or shock that came across their face only went to reinforce just how weird or odd it is for someone like me to find anything about the situation, moderately acceptable.
     Maybe in the next entry, I’ll think a little bit more about this.

     Well, that’s about it for the time being. Until the next time.

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