Adventures on a Bike, Part 4
Undergrads are dumb. Phew, now that I’ve said that, I can continue to type with much less bitterness.
It’s not even vaguely unusual for an undergrad with earbuds in or phones to their heads or deep in a ever-so-important conversation about who Emma slept with last night, AGAIN… to not be able to hear me coming by. I quite frequently hop curbs or ride on the grass to avoid them. Sometimes even when they don’t have good excuses they don’t hear me. Whatever, they’re dumb, we’ve established this. All people not biking hate bikers, this has also been established and therefore all people side with the undergrads for their right to the sidewalk over dumb cyclists. Fine. I accept. (And freely admit that when I’m not the one on the bike, I hate them too…) So I always make accommodations without rolling my eyes too openly.
But one particular sweet red-headed, ear-budded Freshman (she just looked too naïve not to have been a freshman) could not have treated me worse if she’d tried to. She’s walking along a ridiculously wide stretch of sidewalk, looking down at her Ipod or other brand-name MP3 player, absolutely ignorant of the world around her. The sidewalk is so wide, I don’t even try to warn her.
Of course at the last second, as I’m about to pass her on the right, she glances up, see someone walking towards her and jumps 3 feet in the air at the massive shock of actually coming face-to-face with another human being and scuttles out of their way, directly into mine. I swerve and slam on my brakes, avoiding cute undergrad altogether, but making loud contact with a parking meter.
She stops and offers me a bandaid. I can only stare at her. What am I going to do with a bandaid?? Plus, I’m still standing. Bandaid…really? She then asks me what happened. I choose to pretend to be mute.
After I have made sure she is a respectable distance away from me, I begin again.
A few minutes later, I begin sailing down my favorite hill, on a street little traveled by either cars or pedestrians. As I’m nearing the end, I spot a car turning the corner and I squeeze my brakes to slow myself down…and I don’t. I squeeze harder. I can tell I’m slowing down, but certainly not much. To avoid certain death, I turn the corner myself and gradually stop.
Apparently my collision with a parking meter frayed the wire to my front brakes so badly that the brakes were no longer even touching the wheel.
If you find my little co-ed, please inform her she owes me $10.07 plus mental damages.