This is an interactive post, first of all you have to watch this very funny if a little unnerving You Tube clip.
Now imagine the course not to be the African Savannah but the urban jungle of NYC and more specifically the narrow tract of land that is the Brooklyn Bridge bike path. Admittedly the chances of being thrown from your bike by a galloping antelope (Hartebeest buck actually) are a little slimmer than a spatially unaware human stepping out into the path of an onrushing bike. However you hope that the human intellect at least offers some added protection.
It is true that the bike path is narrow, and in terms of urban planning a pretty poor solution since the entire width of the foot bridge can be no more than 12 feet and this is meant to accommodate pedestrians, tourists (they are their own sub species) and two-way bike traffic. The three city employees stationed across the bridge speak of the danger to all concerned.
Having made it 3/4 of the way across I suddenly saw my nightmare, a large female stepping over the white line and directly into my path. I dinged my bell, shouted and braked all before she had registered her misstep, even so our shoulders collided and I was sent flying.
This is where mine and the antelope’s story meet. Watch again as the antelope heartlessly regains its own footing and travels on without even looking back to the poor stricken rider. Yes folks the antelope, (sorry big-boned lady) that hit me did the very same without even turning her head, she just carried on walking. Several passers-by checked that I was ok and also made the point that she had not even broken stride to see what she had just caused. Fortunately I only suffered a minor but painful cut to my heel as the wooden surface of the bridge was much more forgiving than asphalt would have been.
Buzzing with adrenaline I chased after the woman to try to illicit some reaction, if only a fudged apology, but amazingly she ignored my existence again and carried on walking. It seems ironic then that a week earlier I had been told by an overly aggressive driver that when he rides his bike he,”respects the car, because the car is what can hurt you”. The truth is it is not the car, the bike or the pedestrian that can hurt you…it is the human. So when out and about beware of stupidity, it surrounds us…….
Also check out this very funny NYC biking video….