Wednesday, July 06, 2005

Commuter Comeuppance

This story is a few days old, yet the moral of it should never fail to impress one thing upon drivers in Washington -- don't mess with cyclists.

The Washington Post reported on Saturday of a slight altercation between a motorist and a cyclist. It seems that the motorist blocked the path of a 23 year-old cyclist early on Friday morning, and when asked, the motorist refused to move. To add injury to insult, the motorist stepped out of his vehicle, approached the cyclist, and pushed them over. The motorist then drove off, leaving bystanders to take down his license plate number and attract the attention of a U.S. Capitol Police officer standing nearby. The offending motorist, who turned out to be a certain Ted E. Schelenski, Vice-President for Finance and Operations of the Heritage Foundation, was promptly arrested.

First off, I couldn't conceal my happiness in knowing not only that a motorist this aggressive was arrested, but that the motorist in question was also a senior-level staff member of what could very well be the bastion of policy evil in America, the Heritage Foundation. Could you ask for any more than that?

I have to say that if any driver approached me and pushed me over, I'd probably stand up and promptly kick the side of their car with the underside of my biking shoes. See, biking shoes are equipped with a nifty piece of metal on the underside of the sole, a cleat, which hooks into your pedals for added traction and power while pedaling. This cleat would leave a nasty little ding in the side of any car, provided you kick hard enough. For added effect, I would probably drag my foot alongside the car. Seems fair, right? You push me, I vandalize your car.

Props to the bystanders for alerting the police, and to the police for actually arresting Schelenski. He should be forced to ride to work for a month. That might make him a little more sympathetic to the plight of the average cyclist on D.C. city streets.

How would he feel if I stopped in front of him and then pushed him off of his bike?

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