Fat Biker

Fat Biker: Lazy Landscapers

Fallback Friday.  I wrote this rant a few years ago, and not a god damn thing has changed.  You would think I would calm down by now…


It’s been 30 years of political battles to get cities to build bike lanes. Then the god damn cyclists ride right next to the white line.

Why? Because the bike lanes are full of rocks, glass and trash.

junk on the road

The wind and wheels whip all that shit to the right. Shattered windshields and broken bottles will pop skinny bike tires like an angry clown sticking pins in your kid’s birthday balloons.

Most cyclists go out at dawn when they have a chance to see the reflection sharp shit. Not me. I’m riding at night. My god damn pigment impairment won’t let me ride in the “sun time.”

It was about 8 p.m. I was riding up Sabino Canyon in Tucson. There’s maybe an 18-inch bike lane south of River Road. The pavement was full of cracks and holes.  I’m bumping and dodging. I should have worn a mouthpiece — my teeth were rattling.

The cars are buzzing me at 50 miles an hour. Nobody slows or moves over.

I’m clinging to the last inch of pavement and betting the pass line one of these fuckers doesn’t run me over.

Craps, I run something over. Never saw it. Boom goes the back tire. Pulled out a small nail. Probably some contractor let his trash fall out of his pickup.

Fixed the tire.  Get to the top of the hill and ready to ride down Craycroft Road. It’s a 4-mile drop at about 3 percent. I don’t even have to peddle to average 30-35 mph. (That’s right skinny fucks — mass times gravity equals acceleration.)

A quarter mile in, I feel some shit flying at my feet and hear it shooting through my spokes. Tree branches.

Rinse and repeat (randomly) at 5-30 second intervals for the next 8 minutes.

I’ve got a bright-ass light that’s like a motorcycle. But these branches are dark and don’t reflect. I can’t see them until I hit them. When I run them over, I gotta hold on (but not too tight or it will spin the front wheel around and throw me right on my face). I’m struggling to keep my fat ass upright as branches shred my wheels and my shins.

Fucking landscapers.

You know they trimmed a tree, threw all these sticks in the back of a truck or trailer and flew down the hill just to watch all the shit fly out in their rear view mirror.

I’m cussing out every landscaper I know from the Third World Racquet Club.  It could have been Andy or Gibson. Well, not them personally, they don’t do any “work” anymore — it would be one of their shitty crews. They do nothing but complain about all the “Phd’s” they hire. Well, one of “your fucking doctors in art history” is trying to kill me.

Or maybe it was “Shad.” He’s got a plate in his head, so you know he’s capable of some crazy shit…

Scratch that, halfway down the hill, a new idea fills my addled brain. I’ll bet dollars to Dunkin’ Donuts it’s little fucking Danny from Boston.

He doesn’t have a crew. He does the work himself. I know he works up in these neighborhoods — he lives right at the bottom of the hill.

I can just picture him driving his ancient pickup truck, spewing Palo Verde branches out the back, and shouting in his fucked-up accent: “Fawk da stiks — dat’s somebody else’s prawblem.”

As I hit the last of the branches, I swear to your non-existent God that the next time I see little Danny, I’m going to bend down as low as my achey knees will allow and hit him in both shins with my tennis racquet.

I turn off the hill to the River Path. No cars, no people. Perfectly smooth pavement, and I calm down (a bit).

Alright, it probably wasn’t Andy or Gibson or “plate-head” Shad or even little Danny. It was probably just some random landscaper trying to make a living…

But I’ve got a message for the offender…

Hey asshole, pretend your truck is a toilet. When you fill it with shit, flush it and don’t let it spill all over the road.

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