Small Man, Big Mouth


“Hey, Fuck you!”

That’s what I heard on my short ride to Juan’s Market on Ave 28 & Pasadena (also a site of a nightly taco stand).

Now I’m used to the usual verbal disbelief when I ride my bicycle on the street, which is pretty steady.  Almost as shocking to some people as a white elephant sauntering down the road.  I was not taking up the whole road or rolling to slow and trust me I have plenty of stories of harassment from motorists but this one was pretty exceptional.

As I caught up with the car, the passenger rolled up their car window (as all motorists always do).  When it turned green I continued on, and the passenger continued to give me shit riding down the street. More random “Fuck You”s & etc. I caught up AGAIN to them at the 2nd light. This time I asked him the obligatory:

What the fuck is the problem? Really, what the fuck do you want?

To this he just shrugged and rolled up the window. Now I get it if you want to be a badass and give me shit, I get it. But see it through. Don’t be a badass just because you’re rolling around with a ton of steel to protect you. This has happened to me in pretty much every part of LA so I know it’s not just endemic to the Eastside.

Now I know some bicyclists can be assholes, especially when they get together en masse as in Critical Mass & Midnight Ridazz, but – come on -  it’s just me daylight riding to work (or school) so leave me alone.  I happen to agree that bicyclists should not try to be KINGS OF THE ROAD as some motorists choose to be: I want to share the road. So leave me alone. I’m just a minor threat. 😉

Thank you.

10 thoughts on “Small Man, Big Mouth

  1. Car drivers are amazing. Last week I’m walking. Just walking across the street at around 1st and Temple. The light is green and this asshole starts screaming, “Walk faster bitch!” I guess I wasn’t walking fast enough for him to make a left turn, so yeah I walked slower. (yes car drivers just so you know when you honk the same way people drive slower pedestrians will walk slower too, so don’t be an asshole and curse at us) because if you’re going to call me a bitch in your two ton vehicle then I double dog dare you to hit me with it.

    I think the beauty of some car owners (and most of the asshole variety) is:

    1. They lack balls
    2. They like their car, they’ll do anything for it, which gives you so much leverage.

    People who like stuff and have insurance and a valid driver’s license are only going to do so much (at least while sober.) Of course I’m a woman, but BusTard has regular told people (who were angry with us for walking too slow) to get out of their car, oddly they never take him up on the challenge.

    Most car drivers don’t want anything happening to their precious car and I have no problem letting them know that I will destroy a piece of their car, so they better park and get ouf of their car if they have some smart ass comment, because some combat boots and cracked taillight is a relatively easy thing to do, because if I can feel their car near me (especially that buzzing shit people do to scare you) I’m going to kick or slam my bag or do what I need to do (and on my bike I regular kick cars and I’ll kick more. Fuck you and your car if you see me and you don’t have the courtesy to not make an attempt to not kill me. Don’t you get that your car is dangerous?)

    I used to not be as aggressive, but you know met too many people who don’t have respect for me continuing to live simply because I choose to walk, take the bus and ride my bike.


  2. I was walking home from the store a couple of weeks ago and a carload of teenagers got me with the loud “boo!”. I called them out to fight, only because I was pissed that it worked. I jumped. Little fuckers. I’m glad they didn’t come back, to be honest. They probably would have killed me.

  3. welcome to riding bikes newb. now you know why people have come to riding bikes en masse.

  4. There are asshole car drivers and asshole cyclists. I’ve been both and have experienced both, though not often. More rarely, really. I think assholes are assholes to each other. But the bigger asshole is the one who starts it. Also, weather, family, work, and other stresses are possible factors in people just being assholes for a few hours and taking it out on other people. So I guess there never really will be world peace. Boo.

    I used to ride to my part-time job in South Pasadena, a Berkeley-esque small town whose residents seem to be heavily Christian (more churches in a 3.65 square mile town than in my Los Angeles neighborhood), politically savvy as almost every house proudly campaigns with signage for “Yes on 8” or “No on 8” and for “McCain/Palin” and “Obama/Biden”. I’ve heard this little town is 50/50 politically. I’d say it’s more conservative Republican than liberal Democrat.

    One time, I was riding south on Fremont in heavy traffic and slightly cut a car off, though not intentionally. He stopped me about a block ahead by cutting me off on a side street and yelled at me from his Japanese make SUV as if I was some criminal using the f-word between words. I said, “Jesus, calm down. I’m sorry.” Then muttered, “F*** you,” as he took off. He heard me. Cut me off on the next block again so I couldn’t pass him. “What did you say?! You little bitch! You deserve to get hit!” A middle-aged man, probably the father of 2 or 10 who follows the word of God, telling a young 20-something female on her bicycle with helmet on – something hipsters don’t do! – that she deserves to get hit by a car? What the hell?

    Why can’t assholes just try to be nice to each other to keep order on the streets? Why do men like to fight? Why are women more moody? Why do hot dogs come in packages of 10 and hot dog buns in packages of 8?*

    *a rhetorical question.

  5. When I was around 11 some jerkoff threw a stick in my spokes while I was riding my bike, sending me flying. He then proceeded to kick me a few times while cussing and then stole my bike.

    Other than that Ive been lucky riding, but Ive seen a lot of folks on bikes get messed with. While walking Ive had a few incidents, people throwing sodas at me or peeling out, a few fights with cholos because i was supposedly dogging them, and about 2-3 dozen times Ive been stopped and harassed by police because walking while brown is often illegal, especially at night. I remember that several times LAPD cops honked to scare me while I was walking on the 1st st bridge; if cops like fucking with pedestrians that’s a bad sign of general society’s take on treating them.

    As a driver who can also wisk away in my metal box, it is also pretty obvious the assholery amongst us. Driving brings out the worst in people because they think they can flee, and most often times they can. I may not be kimbo slice but I look like I can hold my own in a knuckle contest, and I have had the most thin shouldered pipsqueaks try and start a roadside fight (and big guys as well) only to drive off when I exit my vehicle.

    That was when i was young and more hot headed, it is absurd to get violent unless you have no other choice. Abuelo always told me not to fight an idiot because people only see 2 idiots fighting (like what victoria said). I have only gotten in one fight with a motorist that got physical, it was about 8 years ago in the Fairfaz area. At a 4 way stop he skipped my turn and almost hit me so I honked, he honked back and flipped me off (why do people get mad at you when they do jerk things I will never understand, I guess its a coping mechanism since i see it a lot). Either way we ended up at the same intersection a minute later and he flipped me off and honked, so I got out of my car as well as him. He was an older white dude who looked pretty fit and had a foot on me, so he got in my face and said some passively racist things. I knocked him in the jaw so hard with an uppercut his (when your short and someones in your face thats what you should do if it gets violent) my hand hurt all day. There were also ladies nearby at a yard sale and I was en route to work at the library nearby, so I crapped my pants for the next few hours because i had to stay at a location about a block from the incident. The torture of being brown and having hit a wealthy white man in Westlos was horrible, and has kept me from escalating ever since.

    People are still jerks, and easy targets such as bicyclists, pedestrians, the poor and undocumented folks bare the brunt of this. Sorry to here that happened to you Julio.

  6. Um…dildo baggins

    I’ve been getting around on my bicycle since I could ride one (about 10)…and pretty exclusively in my adult life for at least the past 4 years…so no, I’m not a N00B…just critical of _mass_ bicycle kulture. Not interested in it frankly. Most _bicycle-kulture_ just seems to be an extension of “hip culture.” See here:

  7. One of the big reasons why I have not touched my bike in ages is due to some dipshits forcing me off the street and onto the curb. They burned rubber as soon as I went airborne. Fuckers.

    Oh, and what a coinkydink that I was blasting the “Dischord: The Year in Seven Inches” CD when I read the heading.

  8. Al- I’ve gone “green”, after driving a 74′ Camaro with a 3/4 cam for a few years in the 70’s! No big racing car or anything like that, but it was actually a low rider, Acrylic Laquer Midnight Blue, Original True Spokes Rims, Audiovox Equalizer (hand-held) it was the 70’s man!
    Now back to the main point, as a bicyclist, I love nothing better than getting off that bike and whipping some dumb motorists ass!!! Yeah, all those idiots who sit in their well protected vehicles, hogging up the road, driving like idiots, wanna talk some shit with bike riders?? Bring those fools on, and whip that ass!!
    If they have the balls to get down, it’s a good thing, if they eat the cheese, and don’t want to get down after they said something to me, then i’ll just kick their door or break a window on the spot!!,or if I can reach the driver, it’ll be his ass!!!

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