coffee love, from the bike lane, good morning, las neighborhoods in SF, personal, the frenchie, Things/Thoughts
Saturday 26th, before midnight.
I ride this city at all times.
In the past 8 years of riding almost everyday and roaming the streets of San Francisco, I have seen many things and been in many situations that have certainly been scary to some degree. I had never been directly attacked, definitely not within inches, until today.
I say attacked, because I was directly approached by a violent, intoxicated young blonde skank on polk street.
As I was waiting on the light to turn green at the corner by the red devil lounge (Clay St.) I hear
“you and your fcuking blinkie lights”
When a couple of seconds after that, this crazy bitch with shiny platforms and a zebra looking skirt is running out of nowhere towards me, yelling and swinging a punch and her purse.
“i want yer bike you piece of shit biker and @*&@*^&#*(!&@#*&#@!!!
I happened to be almost ready to take off, so when this happened I pedaled towards the middle of the road, mind you there are is traffic everywhere, and get moving without thinking much other than RUNGETOUTTAHERE MELI. A few seconds after that, my raging instincts kicked in. Of course, I was sober, and able to smart out the situation to not put up a fight against some drunk person on the street. Not worth it.
But shit. I wanted to grab my u-lock from my basket, and kick the shit out of her. WTF.
I was minding my own business, I had just told a friend how upset I was the ‘security’ guards near civic center were not happy bikes were going through their set-up gates for pride tomorrow (one of them told me to go ride on van ness as an option.. are you f-ing kidding?!) and I was riding home and couldn’t wait to get home, wash my face and get in bed. And now this.
Yeah, sure I’m fine. I’m more upset over the fact that festivities in the city always seem to attract a significant amount of out of towners and losers, who can’t figure out how to handle the city. Either do a ton of drugs and drinkthemselves to shits. Or want to treat every little street, as if it is a huge boulevard. Some other things that pissed me off today were:
A herd of harleys behind me, honking incessantly for me to move out of their way on Embarcadero near the levi plaza, on my way to the Giants game. Apparently bicycle lane, reads ‘motorcyle lane too’ to some road illiterates.
A nasty junkie (anything they say doesn’t particularly bother me) but today, was a ‘find a woman with a bike and tell her nasty obsenities’ day.
The lack of alternative bike lane use (it was almost entirely fenced off) for the whole section of civic center which runs for more than a few blocks around from golden gate ave. to market to van ness.
And then the skank attack.
This is my street. This is my city. I particularly ride this street perhaps most than most – at 7am, 1am, noon, anytime. I get a ‘hey bike gurrrrrrrl’ almost every other day from the usual trannies at the same corners around Diva’s. There is no other street to get from 11/market to north point, unless I decicively choose to ride 4+miles, go on embarcadero, or further west with many, many steep hills.
Last night shortly after 11PM I was already on my way home, from my friends’ house in the south of market. I had hardly anything to drink because I was quite turned off by seeing some teenagers puking their guts out on Sutter and Market earlier in the early afternoon.
This incident has not scared much at all. It pissed me off.
It will not make me ride less because of it, at all.
There is NO reason nor excuse for a person to attack another person, just because – in my case, for waiting at the red light, with all my blinkies on, my helmet, my bicycle, my route.
With the festivities of pride weekend and many other things going on in the city, be careful out there. There have been many of my friends experiencing attacks, verbal abuse, and a number of incidents on the streets. Also terrible sequence of events recently, a drunk with a car targeting cyclists [link].
Bikes & the City has always been a positive blog, because if you ever meet me, and/or know me, that is who I am. That said, had I not been riding alone tonite, this incident would have probably turned out ugly, because I don’t tolerate verbal abuse and had I been at a different position, she would have probably been able to reach me and if so, make me pull my chola moves I long ago retired and claws to fight like the native California bear I am.
I’m just glad this turned out the way it did, and I am here writing this for a blog post, and not in a more complicated or nasty situation.
I respect traffic, I stop for pedestrians, I don’t blow red lights.
Cars, public transportation, bicycles and pedestrians all belong on the road.
Respect each other.
After I got a quick 3ple americano at Peet’s last week, I threw my sturdy mug in my basket and off I went. I saw the posse of the local firemen that also happen to have a similar affinity with coffee around that time. It is just a tad after 7am.
I take different routes because I don’t like to have the same routine, but that happens all the time. I could be on divis, on hayes, on polk or on mason at any given morning just to add 3 miles before 8am. And just to go get coffee, even if I head right back home. Why not.
This particular morning earlier this week was just very nice. The weather was particularly high for a summer morning (mid60°s) and I got an almost choir-like ‘good morning’ from the construction crew on Polk near Jackson. As I was drifting off to space and looking at the clear skies waiting at the red light on California and Polk, I noticed this small old lady, walking towards me. I thought for a second she might have a cane and swing it at me for being a few centimeters into the pedestrian path. It has happened before.
Instead, I noticed her perfect red lipstick and with her biggest grin, she says to me:
“Good morning young lady”
“Why good morning good looking,” I replied.
I now have the sweetest happy feeling with a smile. She must be in her late 80s. Crossing California street and trying not to fall face first on the train tracks at the same time, seems like a huge challenge with only a few sips of coffee in my system. The surface is distinctively wet today.
I am almost at Market and 8th, when a very old guy on one of those bicycles that look like the lovechild between a camping tent and a 1963 Swiss Army knife, with two wheels. He is wearing what has got to be the oldest reflective yellow vest, a couple of old milk crates as panniers and a ton of little junk and stickers around his handlebars, and all over his frame.
“Well, those twist knots, have not seen those around much – I had those in my bike back in the 60’s”
He said pointing at the Frenchie’s quick release front knobs. I chat with him for a second while he is drinking a little orange juice pack he had just gotten out of one of his many pockets in his vest.
“Good day” and he continues southbound on 8th street.
A full dose of good energy from two particular senior citizens on the streets of San Francisco.
It is now 8:10AM and I head downstairs