The Unruffled Cyclist Facing Certain Death


So yesterday, I was on Lake Shore Drive, at the north end of Grant Park, the first one in my lane at the stoplight. The light changes, and this cyclist starts across all those lanes of traffic to the lake. He got into the street, and the bus on my right wasn’t having it, so it went. The lanes on my left took off.

There he was, directly in front of my car, stopped. Facing me.

He didn’t seem at all bothered by the situation. He just stood there, on his bike, looking back at me impassively, the light green above him, the line of cars behind me impatient. I must not appear to be the kind of person who will mow another person down rather than risk missing the light (I’m not), because he had an air about him like he’d be fine camping out there for a while.

I raised my hands on either side, flat, palms up, and mouthed, “Could you move?” In all this time, the bus was still passing, it was one of those enormous, lumbering things, two buses stuck together with an accordion middle. From behind me somewhere, a car honked.

I didn’t use my horn because what good would that do?

Finally, the right lane cleared, and he darted back toward the west side of the street, without even a nod toward me for granting him safe harbor.

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