You may remember my ongoing feud with a fellow bicycle commuter, who I call . . . duh duh dunnnnn . . . The Scofflaw because he . . . BLOWS . . . THROUGH . . . EVERY . . . SINGLE . . . STOP. Blatantly. Not slow down, look. It's full speed ahead. Maddening. Plus he is older than me. Fitter than me. And rides a 5 speed Schwinn Stingray with girly handlebars. In contrast, I'm an out of shape ex-Cat 4 racer with a tricked out cross bike. With an attitude. But I insist on righteously stopping at every stop sign, within reason.
I hadn't seen him for awhile so I've stopped looking over my shoulder on the long, slow hill. I'm chugging up the hill, when out of nowhere comes . . . The Scofflaw, blowing by me, spinning gears like Lance dropping Ulrich. He doesn't give me The Look, but I see him adjust his helmet mirror. The race is on. I tick up the pace and approach within 20 meters. There are three stop signs before the main street. I squeek to a stop at each one. He BLOWS THEM COMPLETELY. After each one I sprint back to within 20m. We approach the big street with a right turn. There is a line of about 10 cars. He hops on the sidewalk. I'm right behind him. We make the right together on the sidewalk. He hops back on the street. I follow. We're on a big 2 miles straight. I'm shadowing him, waiting for the long left hand turn arrow into the park. Predictably, he veers across 4 lanes of busy traffic to the other side of the street, then on the sidewalk. I've seen this move so am prepared. I will NOT go that far into his Scofflawing behavior. I'm better than that. I stop at the double left. He weaves through stopped traffic into the park on the bike path. I'm in luck, the arrows turn green. I zoom into the park and see him 100m ahead. The path winds around but the street goes straight so this is where I make up time. I click it into to top gear on my 46x12 cross gear. Put my head down and time trial like David Millar on drugs.
At the zoo there are four sets of speed bumps on a downhill and a ped xing. I pray for no peds and get it. I hit the sweet spot on the bumps and maintain speed on the uphill. The bike path veers away from the street and as I look to the right, I've got the lead! My HR is maxed out as I grind up the hill to the stop light. I stop sucking air. The Scofflaw approaches on the path to my right. Will he stop? NO. He blows the stop LIGHT in the ped crosswalk. My blood is boiling now. Oh man, that takes the CAKE. I'm itching for the green and get it. I'm off. He's out of sight, but I've been this way with him before. Up by the soccer fields there is a long downhill straight. I've got the gears. I see him maybe a mile up ahead. Stop sign, stop sign. I'm gaining. Almost there. On the last downhill, he is out of gears, chin on the bars, butt in the air like Beloki on a downhill. I click it up a couple and peddle up to his wheel within 2 ft. He comes out of his crouch and adjusts his mirror. Yeah, Scofflaw, it's me. Your worst nightmare. We blow by the last stop sign together. Yes, I've lowered myself to his level. But I'm not thinking anymore. I just have to pass him. We spin up the last short steep hill. I KNOW I've got him. I time my move, stand up and pass. He doesn't respond. I emphatically stick out my left hand and indicate STOP. I stop at the sign. He BLOWS BY ME ON MY LEFT to turn. No problem. I've made my point. Take that, Scofflaw. I've got your number. Until next time . . .