North San Juan, CA — Area drivers have suddenly and unexpectedly been extremely respectful of bicyclists sharing the roads recently. Many believe this may be because of a new law that requires drivers to steer clear, by at least three feet, around bicyclists riding on the road. Gish Gallop may have discovered another reason for the respectful trend.
“I used to door-check those spandex wearing freaks any chance I got,” explains Hud Waterson, North San Juan local, “I thought it was funny. If it was a bunch of them riding together, well, then I would just cut as close to them as possible, to maybe make one of the little bastards freak out and crash, or something.”
But, something changed for Mr. Waterson last fall.
“Yeah, I drove up by this big group of riders hogging the extreme right side of the road and decided to cut it really close to them, like I always do. I think my mirror may have even clicked on some of their helmets a couple times. Oh, I was laughing…”
He wasn’t laughing for long.
“I wasn’t laughing,” Kevin ‘Jack’ Dempsey, of Nevada City, tells Gish Gallop. “I was hightailing it after this idiot with the beat-up Camry. I rounded the corner just in time to see him pull into a gas station.”
Explains Dempsey, “I rode right up to his car, dropped my bike and kinda’ gave my 19″ biceps a little flexing. I am a trained MMA fighter. I noticed that he had a child in the car. I told him that I had kids and that he had almost killed their father and all in front of his little child. He pointed out that I wear tights in front of my children. We had a good laugh, and then I whipped his ass.”
That ass-whipped driver was Mr. Hud Waterson.
“Yeah, you know, they all look so small in them little leotards and helmets when you’re rollin’ up on them, those guys. I didn’t think about them actually being tough. Or trained in MMA. I learned very clearly that day that what you don’t know, it could kill you.”
Dempsey tells of another story. “A few friends and I were out on a ride. Nothing serious, only 150 miles or so, and this driver just clips my left handlebar as he was yelling something and throwing a half-empty beer at me.”
Says Dempsey, “My friend, a few yards ahead of me, heard the commotion, pulled out his concealed carry weapon, and shot the son-of-a-bitch right in the temple as he was speeding past. As I crashed to the pavement, I saw the truck go careening off the road into some trees.”
Gish Gallop thinks that these stories, and more like them, may have contributed to the decline in rudeness by area drivers to the bicyclists on the roads.
“Oh, hell yeah,” says area resident, Darin Rappaport, “I used to think these bicyclists were a nuisance, just taking up ‘my’ road space”, doing the little ‘air quote thing’ with his fingers.
“But, when a 6′ 6″ bicyclist I had ‘brushed’ on the 49 caught up with me in town and explained how bicycles were on the road long before cars, and don’t pollute the air, I apologized and explained I understood completely, and I even agreed. When seven more of the guys rode up, I made sure they could see I was sorry by putting my hands up and saying ‘Sorry!’ really loud.” Continues Rappaport, “to be honest, I could probably have taken a couple of them in a fair fight, but damn, a few of them were fierce.”
Several people interviewed outside Jimboy’s Tacos (1937 Nevada City Hwy. Grass Valley) said they had heard of stories like this or had experienced similar situations, and altered their driving, and their attitudes, accordingly.