I originally thought this was going to be a silly, humorous post, but as I write it, the more it is taking on the form of a public service announcement or warning.
Many of the people I see every day in my commute get nicknames. I don’t know them and often never talk to them, but I still give them some descriptive name. One of the most colorful is F&*# Man. No matter how much you warn him that you’re passing on his left, he yells “F&*% Man!” really loud. He doesn’t do it every time, but remarkably often. I see him 3-4 days per week and he drops the F-bomb every other week or so. I never descend to that level with him. I keep my tone happy and wish him a nice evening as I pass by. This has gone on for the last 2-3 years. At one point last year he seemed to mellow for a few weeks and even gave me a few head nods of recognition as I rode past. That didn’t last.
He appears to be a normal guy. Obviously he’s an avid runner. He’s a clean-cut, Asian guy with great taste in workout clothes, very good running form and an impressive fitness level. The huge chip on his shoulder may be justified, but he’s got more fury for people who politely pass him than I’ve ever seen.
Last night he went particularly ballistic on me.
Me: “Passing on your left. Have a good evening!”
F-Man: “Bleep! Bleepity bleep bleep. Who the bleep are you bleeping talking to?”
The exchange didn’t last long… a few seconds… but it was delivered with an amazing amount of anger. His whole body was used in the delivery of these words. I had to stop and talk to the dude. I slowed up and rode next to him for 15 seconds. I don’t remember my exact words, but they were something to this effect:
“Sorry that my words and actions offended you. They sincerely were not intended to. I was just trying to politely warn you that I was passing so that I didn’t startle you. Since I see you almost every day, I was trying to be nice. I am not going to return your words in kind. It isn’t how I live. I may try different things to politely let you know I’m passing in the future though. I hope you have a good night.”
Through this whole thing he’s kinda muttering under his breath, but he didn’t actually say anything. He didn’t pull a gun or shoot me.
I’d suggest people be careful around this guy. Though he’s never done anything violent toward other trail users that I’ve seen, I have to say that the fury with which he delivers his obscenities gives me pause.
I originally wrote a pretty detailed description of him, but decided to leave that out. I thought that might provoke something if by chance he read this. I honestly don’t want to anger him anymore. Quite the opposite, I’d love it if he calmed down.
I don’t know what causes his behavior. He may have had some run-ins with rude cyclists in the past, like many of us have. Like I said, he may be completely justified in being angry. I just thought I’d let y’all know that he’s out there and may be a ticking bomb.
Have a good afternoon. Enjoy the lovely January weather.