Fat Biker

Driving under the influence of Tucson

One day a driver in Tucson is going to kill me with kindness — under the wheels of her white sedan with a big fucking Be Kind sticker on the back.

I don’t know what the hell it is with these people, but they are completely un-fucking-predictable — like they gave driver’s licenses to a town full of liberal bears.

I split my time in the car and on the bicycle between Phoenix and Tucson.

Fucking Phoenix is surrounded by wide open flat freeways, and every major road is 7 lanes wide with 60-mile-an hour traffic. Stop lights are more than a mile apart.

Phoenicians (or whatever the fuck you call them) drive like it’s a fucking NASCAR playoff. They weave their fat Republican asses in and out of traffic, run every light and will run your sorry ass off the road just because their truck is bigger than the lying nazi bullshit diesel.

On the road bike, you know you are just a target and stay the fuck out of their way.

Tucson is 2-lane roads, stop signs and red lights every 200 feet and you’re lucky if you ever get to drive 35.

It’s full of MAMILs (middle-age men in lycra), college kids and the half homeless pedaling in the middle of most roads.

About half the Tucsonians (or whatever the fuck you call them) are extremely careful. They’ve got bike racks on their cars and they give more than 5 feet to cyclists. They smile and wave their little crunchy-granola hands over their steering wheels to let you go “first.”

The other half are fucking clueless, phone scanning douchebags or are older than dirt. They weave all over the road at un-predictable speeds and turn in any direction from anywhere on the road without warning.

Don’t get me started on the out of state plates and fucking snowbirds. I’m so jealous of their perfect weather lifestyle, I can’t bear to bring them up. But let’s just say they drive like they are on a goddamn empty dirt road in Buttfuck, Ontario — lines don’t exist, going on the pavement is optional, and sidewalks are acceptable paths if you need to turn or pass.

A couple weeks ago, I was going up 1st Ave at River Road where there is a 10-foot bike lane -there’s big fat foot-wide solid white line that’s designed to keep those fucking cars away from me.

This goddamn millennial douchebag in a white Mustang is making a U-turn on First to go back up the hill. We make eye-contact as I’m crossing River Road. I can hear the cars rolling up behind me.

Douchebag looks at me, glances ahead and floors his fucking Mustang so his back tires are spinning and smoking as he whips around the wheel.

But the fucking turning ratio on his douchebag mobile is the same as a 24-foot U-haul. His right front quarter panel, misses my left leg by maybe a foot.

His car is fishtailing and speeding up, so the back bumper missed by maybe 3 inches. Then he whips the wheel in the other direct and makes a right turn into Walgreens about 2 feet in front of me.

If I had a rocket launcher, that son of a bitch would die. (No apologies to Bruce Cockburn – that line is good but the song sucks).

Douchebags aside, you know how you can tell which drivers are going to run you off the road? Look at the bumper stickers and symbols. If there’s a cross, or church poster or a fucking outline of a metal fish, they will smote you like their fucking Buick Enclave is made from fire and brimstone.

Be Kind stickers are like dead coyotes. I don’t think I’ve ever seen one in Phoenix, but they all over the road in Tucson.

If there’s one of those green signs, not even god can help you. They drive their Toyota Camry’s like mercenaries who missed a paycheck and just want to kill everything in their path.

That’s why I suspect a gentle looking person will wave their little hand over the steering wheel to signal me to go “first” at the four-way stop. When I’m halfway across, I’ll hear the sound of a late-model, 4-cylinder sedan whining it’s way to a “fast” start.

The last thing I’ll see is the little Be Kind sticker on the back because that asshole needed to get to a prayer meeting (or whatever those goddamn idiots do at night), and I didn’t pedal my fucking bike fast enough.

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