Thursday, October 08, 2009

Walking Your Bike at Light Rail

Greetings Readers

I was at the Light Rail station about a month ago and I was running late for work, hence why I was at the Light Rail Station. Anyway, at the Arapahoe Light Rail Station the platform was literally empty of riders, except for the lone person at the far end of the Light Rail Station.

I did my usual thing. Meaning, I rode my bike to the far side of the platform. Slowly of course, even though the platform was empty. I had my headphones listening to my music.

That lone person was an RTD ticket checker. Well, he waved and walked toward me. I of course came to a stop a few feet from him.

I see his mouth moving, but could not hear a word he was saying.

By the way, nothing new to my constant Readers, but I was wearing my Bandanna around my head, Oakley’s on my face and probably looked like your typical bad ass rider. Hah hah.

Anyway, I internally heard myself say “Hold up, I can’t hear what you are saying” with my hand and finger held up in that all too familiar “hold on” signal.

Oh I knew this gesture was going to piss him off, but given my mood I could care less; though I probably knew how far I could push myself without actually getting in real trouble.

Yes Readers, I know the reason why he wanted my attention.

“You can’t ride your bike here”

Readers, as I have posted in the past I know that since I have seen the posted signs around the platform.

However, “There are no riders,” I respond.

“You can’t ride you bike here” he responds once more.

I respond and turn around to the empty platform “There is no one here” for which I indicate with my arm and hand waving in that direction.

I wish I could remember what was said but the adrenaline got a flowin’ in me. I was tensed and ready, but I was also playing chess on how to change from being on the defensive mode to the offensive mode.

He talked and threatened to write me a ticket, but all in all he was waiting for me to mouth off and perhaps say “do it then.”

In the end I said “ok” and then I walked my bike to where I was going to wait for the Light rain. When I say walked my bike, I was still straddling the bike, but had both feet on the ground. After walking my bike over I looked around to the lone RTD “ticker checker” and gave him the stare. In the end he broke the stare and then I looked away.

Minutes later the RTD Light Rail arrived and I got onto the Light Rail I needed to. You guessed it Readers; he got onto the same Light Rail Train. After the train took off the RTD ticket checker started checking tickets.

I was at the far end of the car so I was going to be the last one he checks. During this hour of the morning the riders were sparse and far in between.

He finally reached me and at this point I had my earphones in my ears once more. I saw his mouth move and knew he wanted to see my ticket. I pulled my ticket from my biking shorts and proceeded to give it to him.

However, right before I presented the ticket in the palm of my hand I closed my hand into a fist and crumpled that ticket into a small ball as hard as I could and then opened my hand for him to check.

Readers, I see his mouth move and I hear myself say, “Here’s my ticket” not knowing what the fuck he said to me. A slight pause between us and I continue “there is nothing posted indicating that I have to hand that ticket to you” stressing the word “posted” to him.

It was a high noon on the Light Rail, except it was early morning. He takes my crumpled ticket, which he does un-crumple to look at very closely. All this time I was looking at him in the face. Once satisfied, he hands the ticket to me for which I take back from him as if I was handling a “contaminated” ticket. I use my forefinger and thumb and hold this ticket like it was covered in shit. I made no effort to pocket or straighten the ticket in order to put into my bike shorts again.

Ho looks at me probably waiting for me to say something, but I know that from experience some times saying nothing has the needed the effect I wanted. I was like a statue with that one hand in the air with my Light Rail ticket and me staring him down.

Soon, the next Light Rail Stop was here and he was exiting the Light Rail car onto the his path in the world.

Now Readers, when I see any of you bike riders walking your bike on the Light Rail platform I now know the reason why you do so. You may have been given the warning I was given that morning. Or perhaps you were already given a ticket for riding a bike where you should not have been riding a bike. Again, I know now is why you do walk your bike on the platform.

Oh I know, some may say they are being courteous, which is true. However, being on a bike going less than 5 mph without pedaling and one foot on the ground pushing me along is also being courteous. I do not have both feet on the pedal nor am I pedaling and I am not riding and weaving among the platform riders.

A bike rider does not buy a bike to walk his/her bike anywhere. If given the opportunity we will do everything to ride our bike unless there is no other option to ride our bike.

To this date – I have made sure to take note of a certain RTD ticket checker. Also, I am still riding my bike on all RTD Light rail platform in Denver regardless of my previous encounter I have just blogged to you.

Until the next time

Daryl Charley
The Fallen Athlete

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