My brother Mark, arranged a sibling Zoom meeting on his recent birthday. Four of the seven were present. It seems everyone is riding a bike during the Coronavirus and someone asked if we were. I rode one everywhere when we lived in the city. We only ever had one car and Peggi drove out to Pittsford to teach for ten years. Since we moved up near the lake we mostly walk in the woods but we’ve taken long bike rides each year. And bike riders in the woods really bug me. I’m happy to hear my siblings are riding. They prompted me to pump up our tires and oil the chain.
I biked downtown to work in all four seasons for many years. There were not many others out there in January and we would nod to one another. I would pass the serial killer Arthur Shawcross on East Main as he rode to work at G&G Foods. I’d ride to the HOG on lunch hour and then back downtown at night to band rehearsal in the Cox Building. When the City clamped down on the hookers on Lyell they moved to East Main and I was propositioned on my bike as I rode through their new area. I rode out to Webster on Wednesday nights, down the big hill at the Bay and back up, to babysit for my sister’s three children.
Over the years I had someone open a passenger door while I was riding between it and the curb. At a signal light on Alexander I pulled up next to a pickup to wait for the light to change. I looked to my left and the driver yelled “Fuck you!” I clobbered a pedestrian who stepped off the curb in front of Music Lovers downtown. I hit him so hard, I flew over my handlebars and landed on the street with three broken ribs. I went back to pick up the guy and he was knocked out. I was afraid I had killed him but then he came to. I repeatedly asked, “Are you OK?” After a few minutes he said, “Jesus Christ!”
And this is the craziest thing. I took the photo above in 1976. Mugs Up was right across the street from the Eastman Theater. I ran into the guy just one block west of Mugs Up around 1978. I believe this is the same guy.