Since I began this blog less than a year ago, I have saved two lives for a new total of thirteen. You can read about 12 here; Tonight I present 13.
The intersection of Masonic & Geary in San Francisco is a difficult one to figure out and not that safe for pedestrian or bicyclist. Traffic arrives at many different directions at excessive speeds, the lights change in a pattern that might exist (or might not), and sometimes I feel safer crossing against the light than with it. However, the nearest Trader Joe’s grocery store to my apartment has taken up residence near there, so I keep my head on a swivel whenever I visit.
On this particular Sunday I awaited the light to change in my favor when three bicyclists (male, early 20s, Caucasian, preppy) pulled up beside me on their expensive-looking 12-speeds. Two of them had brain cells and stopped in a safe location, heads on swivels like yours truly.
The third did not have brain cells; he had a cell phone.
He chatted away on his Very Important Phone Call (V.I.P.C.), oblivious to the fact that he had wandered 15 feet into one of the most dangerous intersections in San Francisco.
Mr. Cell Phone backed up six feet. A car traveling in excess of the speed limit zoomed over the spot he used to inhabit. Mr. Cell Phone had no idea what just happened; he still focused all of his attention upon his V.I.P.C.
“DON’T BIKE AND TALK!!”
Mr. Cell Phone backed up another six feet. A second car traveling in excess of the speed limit zoomed over the new spot he used to inhabit. Mr. Cell Phone had no idea that I had saved his life twice in 10 seconds; he still focused all of his attention upon his V.I.P.C.
His friends laughed; let’s fact it, “Don’t bike and talk!” is a rather funny line. I looked at the unprotected heads of the three preppies riding expensive 12-speeds.
“You know, guys, helmets might be a good idea.”
Mr. Cell Phone didn’t hear a word of this; still focused on his V.I.P.C. One of the others replied, “Yeah, well, we made a choice.”
I said, “I know.”
The light turned in our favor and the three bicyclists and went our separate ways. Mr. Cell Phone turned to one of his friends and I think I heard him ask, “What just happened?”
I probably did the right thing in saving Mr. Cell Phone. Didn’t I?
Vonn Scott Bair