Okay, I'm cautious around bikers when I'm driving. Chicago's got a bunch of marked bike lanes on the streets, and cyclists deserve a little space.
However. When I am standing still on the sidewalk, I do not think there's any expectation that I need to be cautious because fast-moving cyclists have the right of way. They don't! Ben and I were watching a school bus unload on our street (I don't know what Fred's Camp is, but it has a school bus), when suddenly this old dude on a bike comes whizzing past from behind us—and hollers at me. "Watch out! Your life may depend on it one day!"
Asshole. I'm standing still on the sidewalk and I'm supposed to check over my shoulder for rapidly approaching vehicles? I don't think so.
Stunned, I could only think to say "Up yours" in reply. And then he gave me—and my child!—the finger. (What a class act.)
What I should have said, of course, is "Get off the damned sidewalk, jerk."
It's actually the law here that a cyclist over the age of 12 can't be on the sidewalk. From the Chicago Municipal Code:
9-52-020. Riding bicycles on sidewalks and certain roadways.
(b) No person 12 or more years of age shall ride a bicycle upon any sidewalk in any district, unless such sidewalk has been officially designated and marked as a bicycle route.
My outrage at this man's assholish transgression is somewhat heightened by the fact that I'm a little hangry and a little hotgry (which is a word I just coined for being hot and cranky). But the anger is fiery righteous anger, because he was so clearly in the wrong and yet hollered at me.
Plus, he hollered at a Published Author. That's right: Today is publication day! My book is probably not physically in any bookstores just yet, but you can buy it online from Amazon or Barnes & Noble. Or, if you're in the U.K., from your local Amazon. Or from kalahari.net in South Africa. At some point, there should be cardboard displays for the book in Borders stores, and when there are, I will go stand beside it and make someone take a picture.
There's also a podictionary.com podcast that mentions the book and wraps it in an cozy etymological blanket.