I had just exited the light rail car with my bike when I noticed him astride a BMX bike several sizes too small for his bulky frame. His long amber dreadlocks caught my eye as he began to roll in parallel with the departing train. Swaggering like a drunk, he veered right, then left toward its path.
An involuntary “no” escaped from my mouth and perhaps because of the sound, he turned away at the last second after nearly grazing the front edge of the train. The man cast a scorching glance my way, as if to scold me for foiling his self-annihilating plan to fling himself beneath the train’s big steel wheels.
I pedaled away quickly, though with my peripheral vision I caught him pursuing me. I pedaled hard to scale the hill leading away from the station, but he still persisted. When a group of cars whizzed by I hoped we would get separated, however I still sensed a figuring coming steadily. How could an inebriated middle-aged man on a BMX bicycle keep up with me on a well-tuned 21 speed commuter bike? Focusing my body on forward motion, my mind was on the traffic light at the crest of the hill. I dearly hoped it would be green.
Alas, as I reached the top, it promptly turned red and a perpendicular stream of cars blocked my exit. I reluctantly looked back, bracing myself for whatever madness this stranger would unleash on me. All I could see was an overweight, panting woman on a mountain bike.
The rest of my ride home was dull by comparison.