Life in the Bike Lane

Dear Tom and Ray,

I recently moved to Tempe, AZ, from Bloomington, IN, towork on another university degree. Unlike Indiana, just abouteveryone here has a cellular phone. Anyway, do you know what Isaw today? Of course, you don't. Well, I'll tell you.

I was riding my bicycle to school in the bike lane, ofcourse, and I saw, headed right at me, another bicyclist, alsoin the bike lane but on the wrong side of the street. This wasslightly annoying, since there was another bike lane right thereon the other side of the street, going the other way. I wasgetting ready to take some evasive action so I wouldn't collidewith this jerk, when I noticed that not only was he riding onthe wrong side of the road heading right for me, but he didn'thave his hands on his handlebars! (That's where the brakes are,by the wayand the steering mechanism.)

I started to get really steamed -- and slightly afraid -- at this point, when finally I noticed that not only did he have no hands on his handlebars while driving down the wrong side of the road right toward me, but at the same time, he was DIALING HIS CELL PHONE! What HASthis world come to? How hard is it to stop a bike on thesidewalk and talk on your phone? He wasn't even looking wherehe was going! I just didn't know what to say to him ... ordo. Granted, he wasn't careening in a two-ton hunk ofmetal, but still, if a gust of wind had come along or something,he could have ruined my day!

I'm a pretty mild-mannered guy, so I don't have thepersonality to think of the clever "you moron" lines, but I knowyou guys are just chock-full of wit, so let me ask you:What unforgettable thing can I say to this guy next time I seehim? (I didn't have time to write out a "Car Talk ticket" as hedrifted obliviously by me.) And what sorts of defensive weaponsdo I need to carry around with me?

Thanks for all your "wise" advice and nifty (or something) radio show.

Steve Yarbro
Master's Student in Saxophone Performance
Arizona State University
Tempe, AZ

P.S. I think the only thing I have yet to see is someonetalking on their cell phone while riding a motorcycle ... butthen I've lived here for only a couple months.

[ As Read on Car Talk ]