Have you ever been “doored”?
You know exactly what I mean, even though the word door isn’t usually considered a verb in the English language. But it has a very accessible meaning to every cyclist.
Now when I ask you, have you ever been leashed ?, perhaps the idea fails to communicate. Perhaps, you’re thinking of some naughty hijinks behind closed doors. But if I first ask you as a cyclist about ever being doored, and then follow it up with a question about being leashed…you are primed to consider the negative possibilities.
So tonight on the way to return some videos, I got “leashed” and I nearly encountered some severely negative possibilities.
I’m riding my Orbea track bike at night, hurdling into an intersection with a green light for me and no cars anywhere. Just then some lady enters the crosswalk (against the light!) perpendicular from the right, with a 60 lb collie running ahead of her.
I can’t see a leash, but spidey sense tingling!
I know it’s there in the dark space between the dog and the owner: one of those spooling leashes that are so popular among brainless dog owners. I hit the brake, but I’m in the crosswalk in the next fraction of a second. Then the lady lifts up the leash so that I catch it at the throat rather than the handlebar. Thanks!
I’m in rear skid mode, front brake deployed, and the phenomenon known as time-slowdown occurs…that moment of clarity when you realize that you are on a ballistic path fraught with peril.
I’m thinking, shit, I’m surprised this didn’t happen to me before, but somehow I always thought it would be on a sidewalk with some errant yorkshire terrier. I figured that if I caught some lapdog at the end of the leash, that might actually be funny in a very macabre, non-PETA friendly way. But a full-size collie is bad news for a guy my size.
So what happened? Well I stayed upright and stopped before my own momentum took me down faster than a quarterback sack. Did I get an apology? No, not a single word. Yeah, have a goodnight to you too, lady.
At this point, some of the readers are asking what happened to the collie?
Ugh, dog people….…
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