I started out with good intentions today. The goal was to gear up and ride my bike to the gym, warm up on the treadmill and then hit the circuit, and ride around a little bit more.
Then I got to the gym and realized I didn't have my running shoes with me. And walking on a treadmill in boots seemed kind of sucky. Now, I could have gone home for the shoes, but it seemed like a cosmic sign that I should take the Day Before Ten Miles and just ride.
So I did.
I zoomed around town and the outskirts of town, and right at about 50 miles I stopped at a McD's about 10 miles from home to make use of the facilities and get a drink.
All right, I know bike gear is not attractive and not flattering. I was wearing a hi-viz armored jacket and silver armored pants with clunky boots. I have fairly short hair. I've gotten the comments before, usually they roll off me, sometimes amuse me, but when I came out of the stall and was confronted by an Asian woman yelling NO FOR WOMEN repeatedly while she whacked me with her purse, I damn near lost my shit.
And thank you for that turn of phrase, Murf, because it fits.
I did manage to tell her to back off or I would ^$&# her up, and as soon as she heard my voice she realized her mistake...and she promptly ran into the handicapped stall to hide.
An apology would have been nice.
If she was scared, she had a reason to be, because at that moment I was embarrassed and angry, and I probably would have done some serious damage with one swing of a fist.
I could have waited her out, but it didn't seem worth it. I washed my hands and got the hell out of there; I got my drink and sat on the far side of the McD's where she could slip out without having to face me, and I stewed. I didn't dare get back on the bike as ticked off as I was.
Yeah, this time, it was humiliating. There was no shrugging it off, no sarcastic amusement over the way people judge without knowing. This was just...wrong.
I had intended to ride for another house or so, but figured I'd better just head home. If I'm not focused, I don't ride. So I put my jacket back on and headed for the parking lot, and as I was putting my helmet on I heard a little boy asked someone, "Is that a girl's bike? It's pretty."
And the response from his dad? "No, it's not a girl's bike. It's just an awesome one. But a girl is riding it."
The took just enough of the irritation away to get me to refocus...but I still headed home.
The kinda-sorta longish way.