Fat Biker

Fat Biker: Screwed — updated

I was as happy as a school girl on heroin pedaling through a residential neighborhood in San Diego — when I got screwed.

Hundreds of times. That’s how many drywall screws were lying about the bike lane pointing every which way.

Not quite this tight, but the bunch on the road looked similar. Image stolen from here.

Gray screws against gray pavement. Almost impossible to see in the shadow and light of an October afternoon.

I was pushing hard up a slight rise and hurrying to beat the traffic light. Couldn’t swerve right — nothing but trees and bushes. Couldn’t go left — the cars were speeding through the one lane.

The bike lane was slowly disappearing. I planned to ride for about half a mile on a road without a bike lane. I hate doing that shit, but it was the best way to get to the next safe road.

The screws were all piled in the shadow behind that white truck.

Nothing to do but damn the screws and go full speed ahead. BOOM.

Back tire exploded.

Goddamn drywallers spilling their screws all over the road. I looked at the back tire. No screw sticking out. No massive slash down the side of the tire.

I walked back to the scene of the crime. All the screws were spewed in every direction in a tightly packed pattern. All in the bike lane. Not the driveway connecting to the road. Not the road itself. None in the dirt off the road.

I started kicking the screws off the bike lane and into the dirt. I hope a landscaper doesn’t run a weed whacker there, but I had no where else to put them.

Some stubbornly clinged to the pavement — their heads driven into the asphalt by the weight of tires rolling over them. I was guessing car tires as people used the bike lane to skirt around the cars turning left.

As I kicked, I could see how the flat and wide heads tipped up the pointy end, and the screwed pattern spun into the bottom of my rubber shoes. The perfect weapon against skinny tires.

There was no fucking way these got here by accident.

It’s been happening across the country from the “Spandex Mafia” in Oregon to New Yorkers covering the bike lanes in glass.

I could imagine the vandal spreading the screws and giggling at the damage it would wrought. Vengeance for the minute a bike might slow a car down on this road.

This little leg of Via de Sante Fe to Via de la Valle without a bike lane is .6 miles. Google maps says a bike will cover it in 4 min. A car takes a full minute. Even if you got stuck behind the bike for the full length, you would make up the time on the wide open road ahead.

You would have to get stuck behind a bike every day for a month to make up for the time it takes to go to the hardware store. It’s another month for sneaking out in the middle of the night to spread your screws of vengeance. (Should we call this vandal, Patient Zero?).

It’s another week of time to slow down and see that your trap is still there. That’s really shitty time management.

Maybe that few seconds of “glee” is worth the worry of getting caught. The humiliation of being an adult acting like a child. It’s gotta be an adult, kids ride bikes.

This is a guy with an extremely small penis driving a big, big truck with fake metal balls clanging off the trailer hitch.

Odds are 9-1, he’s wearing a red hat and refuses to wear a mask.

Fuck him.

Looked closely at the tire. A small entry hole through the tire. A bigger exit wound through the inner tube. I could see the white lines of the cotton lining on the tire. Shit.

I can’t just put a tube in it. It will squeeze out of that hole and pop in seconds.

Remembered a trick I read on the internet. Folded a dollar bill lengthwise and then in half. That fit neatly in the groove of the tire. The threads in the bill paper are strong enough to hold in the inner tube. The paper is soft enough to keep from cutting it.

Cost me 30 minutes of time and a $1 bill to fix that flat. Do you think that’s going to stop me from riding this way again. Fuck that.

Next time I’m in San Diego, I’m heading up that path and taking half the road for that half mile. Fuck you bike vandal. I hope you get stuck behind this fat biker, and I pedal slower than ever before and take so much space you can’t pass until the bike lane resumes. Then we will see who gets screwed.

Updated: Nov. 13, 2020

Dollar bill gave up the ghost. It had a slow leak the last few weeks. Replaced the tire and tube. That little bill was nearly cut in half from the pressure.

Rode half a mile to bike shop and tube had slow leak — again.

New skinny fuck the in a new inner tube in 5 minutes.

So that one little screw cost me another $35 for the tire, $6 for the tube I put in, and $18 to have the shop do it again.

It’s god damn expensive to be a fat biker who gets screwed in San Diego…

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