It’s been 30 years of political battles to get cities to build bike lanes. And then the god damn cyclists ride right next to the white line.
Why? Because the bike lanes are full of rocks, glass and trash.
The wind and wheels whip all that shit right into the bike lane. Shattered windshields and broken bottles will pop skinny bike tires like an angry clown venting his frustrations on your kid’s birthday balloons.
Once you build it, you gotta clean it. But no city spends enough money to keep the bike lanes clean. So we — all fucking drivers and cyclists — have to do it.
That means keep your trash in your car — don’t just throw out one shoe, or a old bottle of booze. If no one is in the bike lane, drive close to the edge to push that shit off the road. And don’t spin your wheels out of the gravel — it covers the bike lane in rocks just made for knocking some tired soul to the ground.
Most cyclists go out there at dawn when they have a chance to see the reflection of all the sharp shit. Not me. I’m riding at night. My god damn pigment impairment won’t let me ride in the “sun time.”
A few weeks ago, about 8 p.m. I’m riding up Sabino Canyon where there’s maybe an 18-inch bike lane south of River Road. The pavement is full of cracks and holes, so I’m bumping and dodging. I should have worn a mouthpiece — my teeth are rattling like the dice on a craps table.
The cars are buzzing me at 50 miles an hour. Nobody is slowing down or moving over.
I’m clinging to the last inch of pavement as far to the right as possible and betting the pass line one of these fuckers doesn’t run me over.
Craps, I run something over. Never saw it. Flat back tire. Pulled out a small nail. Probably some contractor let his trash fall out of his pickup. Fucker.
Fixed the tire. Finish the ride — pissed. Get to the top of the hill and ready to ride down Craycroft Road. It’s a 4-mile drop at about 3 percent. I don’t even have to peddle to average 30-35 mph. (That’s right skinny fucks — mass times gravity equals acceleration.)
A quarter mile in, I feel some shit flying at my feet and hear it shooting through my spokes. Fucking tree branches.
Rinse and repeat (randomly) at 5-30 second intervals for the next 8 minutes.
I’ve got a bright-ass light that’s like a fucking motorcycle. But these branches are dark and don’t reflect. I can’t see them until I hit them. When I run them over, I gotta hold on (but not too tight or it will spin the front wheel around and throw me right on my face). I’m struggling to keep my fat ass upright as branches shred my wheels and my shins.
You know they trimmed a tree, threw all these sticks in the back of a truck or trailer and flew down the hill just to watch all the shit fly out in their rear view mirror.
I’m cussing out every fucking landscaper I know from the Third World Racquet Club. It could have been Andy or Gibson. Well, not them personally — it would be one of their shitty crews. They do nothing but complain about all the “Phd’s” they hire. Well, one of “your fucking doctors in art history” is trying to kill me.
Or maybe it was “Shad.” He’s got a plate in his head, so you know he’s capable of some crazy shit…
Scratch that, halfway down the hill, a new idea fills my angry brain. I’ll bet dollars to Dunkin’ Donuts it’s little fucking Danny from Boston.
He doesn’t have a crew. He does the work himself. I know he works up in these neighborhoods — he lives right at the bottom of the hill.
I can just picture him driving his ancient pickup truck, spewing Palo Verde branches out the back, and shouting in his fucked-up accent: “Fawk da stiks — dat’s somebody else’s prawblem.”
As I hit the last of the branches, I swear to your non-existent God that the next time I see little Danny, I’m going to bend down as low as my achey knees will allow and hit him in both shins with my tennis racquet.
I turn off the hill to the River Path. No cars, no people. Perfectly smooth pavement, and I calm down (a bit).
Alright, it probably wasn’t Andy or Gibson or “plate-head” Shad or even little Danny. It was probably just some random landscaper trying to make a living…
But I’ve got just enough rage left to type out:
Hey asshole, pretend your truck is a toilet. When you fill it with shit, cover your load.