Today I complete five months of riding my bike to work. I’m feeling pretty full of myself about it. I’d wanted to start for yeeeeeears but something always held me back. Mostly a legitimate fear of riding through the Posey Tube, an underwater tunnel that connects my home island (Alameda) with Oakland. Bikes and pedestrians share a *very* narrow walkway that slopes downhill for about half a mile. You’ll get going super fast, brakes on the whole way, sweaty-palming it because if your handlebars catch the guardrail, you’re gonna flip into traffic going freeway speed. If you need to pass anyone, you have to stop and squeeze by–often one person has to swing their bike over the rail for this to work. If someone’s pushing a shopping cart through the tube, you’re not getting past them. On top of all that, it’s fucking helluv loud and stinky.
But my PTSD around taking AC Transit got too bad in November after I was attacked for the second time. First time, this crazy man punched me between the shoulder blades as he got off the bus. No reason. Maybe I was in his way. I didn’t expect anyone to do anything, but no one even fucking said anything to me about it. Unbelievable. Second time, maybe a month later, I brushed a woman’s arm with my tote bag as I squeezed past her. She turned and smacked my ass. I lost it. (And I know better than to engage.) I turned around and yelled, “Don’t you spank me! I am not your child!” Of course she got up in my face and threatened my death. No one around us reacted. I had stopped reacting. (I really do know better than to engage.) She eventually got off the bus, still screaming, “Bitch, come get some of this…I’ll kill you, bitch…” And again, no one made a comment. No one said a thing. Amazing.
So fuck you, AC Transit, your surly drivers, your erratic schedule, and all your crazy-ass riders.
Now I ride my bike to a free shuttle driven by a wonderfully koo-koo dude named Rafael whose classic Friday afternoon goodbye is “Have a great weekend guys, ride safe, I love you!” Can you beat it? No stinky tube, no crazies besides awesome Rafael, no one has attacked me in over five months, PTSD lessening steadily, thigh muscles rock hard, sense of superiority over all the suckas in their single occupancy vehicles high, and I feel FUCKING PUNK ROCK.
Here’s a photo of a ranunculus!