Sometimes I cycle NYC. Today I happened to be picking up Indian food in a ethnic area of Manhattan (28th st) and was dressed like a typical food delivery guy. Baggy pants, turtle neck with holes, helmet and a bag of hot Indian food hanging off my handlebar. I try to get to the road, but it is blocked tight with cars parked bumper to bumper. So, I decide to ride on the sidewalk at 2-3 mph so I can get onto Third Avenue. There is no one on the sidewalk except this muscle-head, bald guy wearing a polo short, Soho-type / Philip Johnson architect-style sunglasses. He stops me in the middle of the sidewalk, puts his hands on my chest and tells me I can't ride my bike on the sidewalk. Mind you, I am a good 7 feet to his side when he decides to stop me.
His hand on my chest bugged the crap out of me which I let him know, whereupon he goes into a tirade about what jerk bike riders, and delivery people are. How I am breaking the law. His assumption is that I am a delivery guy, someone to be bullied. Basically, I tell the guy to bugger off which doesn't sit well with his testosterone-driven nature and he says he'll kick my ___. I find it funny as I am a black belt in judo and flashes of putting him in a Kimura, or Guillotine choke come my mind. I can't waste time on this, risk a trip to the police station and move off, but couldn't spare a parting shot at his 'designer' glasses. That really got him upset.
The next weird thing is some guy on his Cannodale Ally road bike is wending his way up Third Avenue. He is genuinely ticked off that cars on the margin are blocking his way. When he is stopped he lets me know this. He is quite pleasant actually. However, he is like the rider with the pressed shirt in this video: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=hgCqz3l33kU He starts slamming cars with his hands. Scaring the occupants.
I don't know if it's the pollen in the air, karma, but NYC sure does get weird. Or is there higher levels of animosity growing between cyclists, pedestrians and drivers growing? So, at the end of all of this I had a good meal of Chicken Vindaloo, Naan and mixed vegetables.