To the cop who felt it was necessary to give me a $135 ticket for SLOWLY biking through a red light after STOPPING FOR THE PEDESTRIANS who were crossing, on CPW where there is NO SIDE STREET TRAFFIC. ..fuck you buddy! There is construction in every bike lane, the Williamsburg Bridge is a daily parking lot, the L train costs $2.75 and is always broken and there is a traffic jam on every highway. But yeah I'm the criminal for trying to do something healthy and enjoyable with my commute.

When I was in college, I used to get on the 2 train at 96th street in Manhattan and ride all the way to Flatbush Avenue (Brooklyn College), a trip that could easily take over an hour. Since I often had early morning classes, it was not unusual for me to take my seat on the train, close my eyes, and immediately fall dead asleep. I would wake up somewhere way out in Brooklyn.

I could never do this now. Forget the fact that I am much older and wiser, therefore, I keep my eyes wide open at all times in public. I also could never sleep on the subway now because I really hate it in there. It seems that the older I get the more claustrophobic I feel on the train, particularly the L which is always crowded and goes through a tunnel so long and deeply underwater that my ears pop. Not to mention that at least once a week it stops in the middle of said tunnel due to a "signal problem" or "train traffic", or some other euphemism for "the L is fucked up again." I am always mildly uncomfortable on the subway, but when this happens my discomfort often turns into a full blown panic attack. 

Basically, I really do not like being stuck in places. I'm not crazy about elevators either.

It goes away once the train moves again but sometimes the stress is not worth it.  So I take the ferry. If there is no traffic on the bridge (so like, never) and I am just going to BJJ class I will take the bus. And about a month ago I had the brilliant idea to drag my bike out of its lonely spot in the back of my hallway and start biking to the city. 

Which I did today. 

And Friday.
And last Monday.
And basically every day this month that wasn't rainy.

I am really pretty proud of myself.

But today was the day that a police officer decided that the best way to fill his end of the month ticket quota was to take this nice thing that I discovered, this thing that makes me happier and healthier, and shit all over it.

Okay, its true there is no way for the cop to know that I have a thing about the L train.

There is also no way he could have known that I run my own business, a business where half of our income disappears during the summer months, and that a $135 ticket in May is very different from a $135 ticket in January. 

He couldn't have known any of that. But he did know that I was going very slowly through the red light, on a street with no cars or people in sight. He knew, because I told him, that I work as a karate teacher and was running late for a private class. He knew, because I told him, that I had just starting biking about a month ago; therefore, I did not know all the rules yet. (Apparently I am also supposed to have a BELL on my bike! A fucking BELL, like a 2 year old has on her tricycle.) 

He could also probably assume by looking at me, that I am not a major criminal. And he knew that even though he claimed to have a "zero tolerance policy" and that he "had to write me a ticket", he is a human being with free will and as such could have just as easily given me a warning and driven his car away. Slowly. Obeying the laws of traffic of course.

Okay, its true that he was just doing his job. That there are plenty of bikers who recklessly zoom in and out of traffic without a care for anyone else. That sitting by a crosswalk in an unmarked car, waiting to nail people with overpriced and unnecessary tickets is probably not one of the reasons he became a cop. That after I stuffed the ticket into my bag and paused very dramatically at the next red light before biking away angrily, he probably sat there in his stupid black car feeling like an asshole for completely ruining my morning.

So maybe I wished I had taken the 1 train to work today, and that cop wished he had become a fire fighter instead, and meanwhile some douchebag politician is laughing all the way to the bank. 

So fuck that guy. 

Fuck the dude who is going to take a nice long weekend at the Hamptons with my ticket money and the one you got for smoking a joint all by yourself in the park, and the one my brother got for switching subway cars, and the one his buddy got for jaywalking out on Flatbush Avenue. (Fucking jaywalking!) 

I know, I know, how dare I be different. How dare I teach karate to four year olds for a living instead of spending my days slowly destroying my back while sitting at a desk like I am supposed to. How dare I ride my bike to BJJ class at noon, instead of follow the herd through Grand Central Station at 9am and 5pm every weekday like I am supposed to. 

I apologize for attempting to do more with my life than just engaging in a slow crawl towards death.

But how about you let the cops catch the actual bad guys and me bike to work in peace?
That way everyone is happy. 


  1. Yeah, I'll definitely feel safer in this city when all the 105 lb female cyclists have little bells on their bikes ;)


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