After a rather unfortunate “car meets unicycle in garage” incident last year I had been in need of a new “around town” unicycle. I finally bit the bullet and ordered a 36″ touring style one to round out my collection. With the weather being awesome, I’ve been out pretty much everyday that I’ve been home to break it in…and of course do some grocery shopping, library/bank/whatever runs. I have noticed that my monster unicycle seems to be a tractor beam for stupidity, as evidenced in a situation that occured about 2 weeks ago.
My wife wanted to go pick up a book at the library which is roughly 2 miles from our house. I thought that it would be a perfect time to go for a ride and give the dog a run. We headed out down the sidewalk, crossed the street, and continued merrily on our way. There was the usual honks and stares as people slowly drive past me in dazed wonderment. About a half mile before we arrived at the library, I was coming up to the driveway of a low-key supermarket. There was an SUV stopped at the sign, waiting to pullout into traffic. The driver looked right at me, we connected eyes and I decided to pass in front of her as she wasn’t going anywhere due to the traffic. This is where things went south. Right when I was dead in front of her, she took her foot off the brake and hit the gas.
As soon as I heard the engine rev, my only thought was to get out of the way. I leaned forward and felt her bumper clip my foot. I got spun around pretty hard and jumped off the pedals hoping to avoid the ever graceful head-into-pavement plunge. Thankfully, due to my years of experience at falling off unicycles, I was able to land on my feet and not so much as skin my knee. My brand new unicycle couldn’t quite say the same thing. It bounced pretty hard and busted my rear light off. There was no structural damage and I was quite happy to see that no spokes were broken (where does one get replacements for a 36″ wheel I wonder). My wife heard the fall, turned around and asked what happened. I stood there rather dumbstruck and said, “she hit me”. That went over about as well as beef at a vegan party.
The two ladies had a rather loud conversation, but when my wife asked what she was thinking…she got the weirdest response I’ve ever heard. “He shouldn’t have been in front of me…you’re supposed to walk and ride bikes and stuff in the parking lot, not out here.” What?!? I know it’s been a few years since I took my driver’s test, but have the rules changed that much? Sidewalks are for driving and parking lots are for pedestrians. Who knew?
Needless to say, that response didn’t go over very well. They continued their discussion for another minute before the lady took off, mad at me for riding in the wrong spot. I never even got so much as an unfelt apology, it was my fault, not hers. Can people really be that stupid (excuse me, not PC enough…how about ignorant)? As you can see from the picture, I’m not hard to miss. What with my stop sign height and massively awesome wheel. You can’t miss me…oh wait, she didn’t.