Sunday, August 7, 2011

Are We Nutty?

It was one of those rare days last Thursday, when I had some positive interaction with another cyclist. It was the Frenchman again, headed home on his blue Huffy frame. I was peadling south and he north and we stopped to chat, having recognized each other from our first meeting in October last year. Unfortunately I learned this Parisian is not always having positive experiences here, having been heckled frequently on Erford Road by a pickup-driving hooligan. 

Perhaps to cagers we cyclists seem nutty. Riding through heat and the unpredictable swerves of deadly autos. We cyclists are hardly conventional in car country, and that's an easy target for reactionaries. Prior to the advent of cars, however, bicycles must have been much more special (although I'm not sure more acceptable amid animal transport). This advertisement reflects a certain grandeur for anyone owning this rather complicated English tandem bicycle of the 19th century:

Alas, if I was seen pedaling this beauty down Erford Road I might find myself the target of jeers and shouts myself!


Bob - Daily Cyclist said...

Occasionally I recieve verbal assaults from a passing automobile, but these are normally from a car load of young people looking to shout something at somebody. The kind of harassment I don't like comes from the motorist who deliberately passes within inches of me when there is a lot of room to pass safely.

Ben said...

Hey Bob, thankfully I haven't encountering any heckling on this end recently. It was sad to learn of the Frenchman's account...

Anonymous said...

Greetings Ben!

I finally find the time to turn to your terrific blog!

I really have been busy and kept thinking I was going to check on you as soon as I would get some peace of mind to just do so. On top of it, and while I knew I did not lose it, I could not put my hands on the little note with your blog address you had given me the second time we run into each other. Well, I eventually did a couple days ago and am glad, at last, to return your invitation to join here.

I just made it back from Harrisburg on my "blue Huffy frame" (however, I have got serious gearing issues: the chain does not shift up properly) by a pretty cold Saturday afternoon for a ride that went rather smoothly (no scatterbrained local driver to contend with, which, for the most part, has been the case lately).

I'm just sending you this note to renew the contact and thank you for the nice (and witty) comment on your blog! It is pleasant to unexpectedly find that friendly concerns and thoughtful insights were expressed for other in the biking world to read about and relate (I reckon) with.

I hope all are doing well in your family.

Amities (French for: kindest regards),

Sebastien (the Frenchman)

Anonymous said...

By the way, this English tandem bicycle of the 19th century really is a "beauty!"

Despite my utter dislike for stupidity and scoffing bullyrags, I would definitely risk it, including down Erford Road, if I ever had a chance to locally ride this remarkable machine.

Sebastien (the Frenchman of Erford Road)

Ben said...

Great to hear from you Sebastian! Hopefully we will meet up again as we ride about....