things i've noticed lately while riding my bike. it seems like the gender disparity (at least from what i have observed from my own eyes) is huge. looks like we have a ways to go ladies before we can count our numbers up with the guys. in the commuter train i take every day i see myself and maybe two other girls. i've seen as much as 7ish, mostly less though. the train holds 32 bikes. that's consistently less than 1/3 female. just like everything else i seem to like to do, i've found myself in a boy's club. evidence of my 1/2 dudeness yet again.
however, since boys don't know i'm 1/2 dude, they just feel the need to pass me up. to me, it's the equivalent of cutting me off. here's why: riding in traffic, we go as fast as the cars do, and inevitably, i will catch up to you or once you pass me, you slow down and that's rather annoying. i look instead at yourr ass (yes, i do), your clothes, your bike, or at how you are pedaling. i don't know where the fire is, especially going north, so why don't you just resist trying to cut me off. now, i really don't mind if you are truly a better biker than me, i know i'm just learning, but if you cut me off and then proceed to ride right in front of me, it's dangerous because my front wheel really really likes to be mischevious and just may accidentally hit the back of your rear wheel, and then that would be very very messy for all of us.
so i guess as the saying goes, "boys will be boys." however, i've never been one to enjoy that saying since i'm a strong believer in gender being taught and forever conditioned. to paraphrase the nytimes article redefining the concept of mid life crisis, "maybe he's just an asshole." yeah, i like that one better. seems to fit.
also, when there's a group of at least 5 guys at an intersection, it seems to go like this. 1/2 of them have the bike messenger look (whether they are or not is a completley different story), which usually is code for "get the hell out of my way." then there will be the seasoned bike commuter who is generally respectful and brightly colored just so you don't ever miss his presence. then there will be the newbie commuter (hi guys) or two. and then me, the female commuter of color (talk about several minority groups in that adjective laden phrase). so, "boys being assholes" will inevitably all ride in front of me even as we're stopped at a light. since i don't really care about being first anywhere, i'm more concerned with not falling and showing up on time and in one piece. this means i don't care about all that nonsense, but yes, i notice. back to the light turning green. it's that newbie and slightly overweight commuter that i can confidently pass. and when i do, they speed up (and then [see above]) because god forbid i emasculate him while riding a bike for transportation purposes. oh how how how annoying.
as for the venting. i had to yell at a lot of cars today. one was in the morning, and two were in the evening. unfortunately, today's commute was not as pleasant as it usually is, and i feel as frustrated as if i had been sitting in rush hour traffic in a car. and when on my last leg of my trip i saw car exhaust lighting up the sky with a gray haze, i knew i just wanted to be home. gulping exhaust while going up a hill is not pleasant at all. please tune up your car or don't drive.