Saturday, June 02, 2007


I was riding my bike, and I came to a red light at a major intersection. I moved into the
leftmost of the two lanes so that (1) I don't block any cars that want to turn right on red and (2) I don't get cut off and killed by the cars that want to turn in front of me.
It's not unusual to get honked at by drivers zipping along in that left lane lane, even though they should be slowing down anyway because of the red light. Most of the time
drivers honk their horns because they don't know if the cyclist saw them and/or they don't know how cyclists ride in traffic and don't know what to expect.

So a guy honked at me, and I turned to yell a firm, slightly annoyed "What!" with my best I-know-what-I'm-doing-dangit look. As we both came to a complete stop, he rolled down his window and leaned way over from the driver's seat. Uh oh, I thought, there's a confrontation coming. Except he yelled the last thing I'd ever expect:
"Hey, nice legs--why's the rest of you so ugly?"

I'd never felt more insulted. Not only did I get honked at for riding a bike on the street like I'm supposed to, not only was I objectified by a stranger, but he went out of his way to call me ugly! I think I called him an asshole and blinked back tears for the next few blocks. I'm glad I finally found a place that encourages people NOT to just shake this kind of interaction off.

~submitted by Jennifer M.