Sunday, September 11, 2005

Thrown Objects

The best thing a motorist ever threw at me was a piece of breakfast pastry. It looked like a cinnamon roll. I don't think he'd even taken a bite of it. Unfortunately, the throw went wide. I had to watch it hit the dirt beyond me. The five-second rule did not apply.

The worst thing anyone ever threw at me was a 1978 Camaro with an unsecured child in the front passenger seat. The driver of the car had erupted in rage when he was unable to pass me and another cyclist in a short stretch of narrow road. When he finally blasted through, he then launched into a game of fender-tag, swerving, jamming the brakes, punching the gas, as my friend and I twitched our bikes back and forth to avoid him. We were in our 20s then, and raced criteriums, so our reflexes were at their best. The driver was too shaky with his temper tantrum to calculate a good shot at us.

We weren't toying with him, just trying to stay upright. When we saw the boy slamming around the front footwell we asked him if he was concerned about the child's welfare.

"Shut up! He's my kid!" the man snarled, along with a thick stew of obscenities. He finally laid down a stinking patch of smoking rubber and roared away.

I don't count as an officially thrown object the 18-wheeler that lunged at me in a serpentine swerve like a Chinese dragon, coming the opposite direction on a wide two-lane highway in Maryland. He was far enough away for the maneuver to have been a coincidence. Maybe he'd just poured hot coffee in his lap.

Many cyclists report bottles, cans, rocks and baseball bats flying through the air toward them. One rider, a Navy pilot then based in Pensacola, Florida, said someone in a passing pickup truck actually launched a framing hammer at him. Seems like a waste of a tool, but fun ideas often overcome common sense.

"Damn, I lost my hammer, but it woulda been some funny to see it split that faggot's skull, huh."


John said...

A friend of mine once had a clay flower pot (with flower) thrown at him while he was riding on St. Simons Island, Georgia. Hit him square in the back. He said it was quite painful.

I've been lucky so far. Never had anything thrown at me (at least not that I've noticed).

cafiend said...

May your good fortune continue and everyone's improve.