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Bicycle Follies




I awoke Sunday morning with but one goal -- to eat brunch as soon as possible, for it was already 10:30 a.m. Having no car, I was about to set off toward the Plaza on my bicycle when I remembered I had left its lock somewhere within the HSU Music Department. Little did I know, as I rode toward campus to collect said lock, what would befall me.?At first, everything was going well -- though hungry, I was making good time through the sometimes unpredictable Arcata inner-city Sunday traffic. Then I suddenly noticed a large number of people congregating on the sidewalk ahead of me and a man with a bullhorn yelling, "Get off the road!"

Apparently there was a bike race scheduled, ("Eight Days a Week," March 22) and I had somehow wandered onto its course. This was, of course, something of a surprise as there were no warning signs posted along the street I had come from.?In any event, though overcome with panic as superhuman cyclists sped by me with Olympian disdain, I tried to keep my composure as the man with the bullhorn repeated his admonitions at increasing decibel levels while a chorus of spectators slowly but surely joined him in their righteous contempt for my very existence. Dismounting, I tried to explain that there were no signs posted, but the crowd was already thoroughly against me. Only with great difficulty was I able to make my way through their glaring mass to B Street so that I might walk in great humiliation up the hill toward the art/music/theater buildings to collect my bike lock.?All in all, I was over an hour late for brunch, narrowly avoided a rampaging peloton, and am now very likely a pariah of the Arcata cycling community. Well, what's done is done, but I do hope that appropriate signs are put up next year.

John Chernoff, Arcata

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