This morning I had another encounter with Alberto's Guy. He sped past me on the Green Bay Trail in a different Alberto's get up. He slowed after a while and I caught up to him in Wilmette. He came to a dead stop at a stop sign on Poplar and I zipped by him. I didn't bother greeting him this time because I doubted I'd get a friendly one in return. I continued south on Poplar to Lincoln in Evanston where Alberto's Guy probably turned at Isabella. Part of my pannier detached from my rack and I had to stop to reattach it.
Upon continuing along Lincoln I saw Alberto's Guy up ahead turning from Ashland. Further on the light was red at Ridge and he stopped again. Figuring "what the hell" I said "good morning" as I slowed and crossed Ridge. Nothing yet again. However about a quarter block later I thought I heard him yell something. After turning onto Sherman, Alberto's Guy passed me again but this time berated me for ignoring the red light and such behavior leading to hatred from motorists. So that's his beef; my casual disregard for the rules of the road. A red light at Foster provided a chance for us to discuss the matter further. I sputtered something in the neighborhood of admiring his stance but not willing to change mine all the while snaking through the red again. He shouted some other stuff at me while we biked on but the only things I could make out were "no justification!" and "stupid!" Thankfully another red light at Church Street blocked his path. Having no problem ignoring this one too, I was finally free of his proselytizing.
At first Alberto's Guy got me feeling guilty, thinking my lawlessness was contributing to mass bicyclist hatred. But then I thought, "does everyone hate jay walking pedestrian's too?" The only one I'm putting in danger is myself. And I don't make a habit of putting myself in danger in the first place since I'm not the type to thread myself through busy intersections. I actually do wait out reds if there is cross traffic. But once it clears, I'm gone. Illegal? Yup. Am I rationalizing? Possibly. But frankly who cares? Further, in my experience, Alberto's Guy is also in the minority. Not that it justifies running reds and stop signs. But it seemed he was militant on the issue strictly for my benefit. And If I remember correctly, he blew right through the four way stop intersection at Lincoln and Ashland after our paths diverged.
Biking on Clark in Chicago, Biking Mike once again caught up to me. It is very strange for me to encounter the same bicyclists so frequently. But I welcomed a friendly face. But Mike is much more casual with traffic laws than I am. So I can only imagine the dust up between him and Alberto's Guy. We came up to another bicyclist on a mountain bike wearing a jersey from a local bike racing team. The three of us biked together to Sheridan Road and I asked the guy if he'd raced in Evanston the past weekend. He said he hadn't but wished he had. Once on the Lakefront Trail I learned he was a Category 2 racer. I was feeling pretty good about myself being able to keep up with him. But around Diversey a roadie passed us and he shot off in pursuit. Biking Mike wryly remarked that it was nice of him to have taken it slow for our benefit.
Distance Traveled: 24.3 miles
Distance to date: 3423.4 miles
Price of gas: $3.46