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The anti-bike bossman
I work with a guy who is -- how to say it? -- a bit of a carist.That is, he really doesn't like bicycles and, truth be told, I don't think he's really taken by cyclists, either.Hardly a week goes by that he doesn't buttonhole me with some gripe or another about a cyclist who done him wrong.First it was the guy on a bike puttering along around 15 mph.One thing you need to know about Tom, er, my co-worker is that he sees speed limits as suggestions more than actual limits. He likes to drive fast -- really fast -- and anyone or anything that keeps him from pushing the limits of tire adhesion is subject to immediate derision. So it didn't surprise me that Mr. 15 mph was a no-good, sorry example of humankind.I bit my tongue.The other day, Mr. Keegan -- I mean, my co-worker -- pounced as soon as I walked in the door, recounting how he was driving on Sixth Street and encountered a small group of cyclists as he approached his turn."What was I supposed to do?" this co-worker of mine asked. "Hurry up to pass 'em, then cut across them to turn?""Um, no," I replied. "How 'bout just driving behind them until they cleared the intersection, then making your turn uncontested?""That's what I did," was the retort. "But I should have just cut them off."Then he stomped off.Honestly, I don't know what to say to someone who so obviously seethes at the sight of a cyclist. And the fact this man -- person, I mean -- sits six feet away from me and gives me my annual performance evaluation makes me even more hesitant to launch into the Bill of Cyclist Rights.I'm sure it's just coincidence a couple of years ago I was riding home from work and a car came unusually close to me. I looked over and just about engaged in a form of nonverbal communication when I recognized the Sports Editor -- excuse me, my office-mate -- riding shotgun, his son behind the wheel. My bike-hating co-worker still chuckles about how close of a call it was.But I just might get the last laugh.He was driving halfway across the country for vacation and his son asked him to transport his bike for him.Ill-equipped to carry the bike, the man who may or may not be Tom Keegan, my boss, asked my advice.I offered to lend him my bike carrier, and he accepted.I strapped the thing on his car and showed him how to load it.And as he drove away, I laughed out loud as I pictured every cyclist between here and the East Coast taking a glance at his bike carrier, seeing him as "one of us" and welcoming him to the tribe.