I’ve never been one to believe in Karma.
Until now, that is.
As some readers may remember, I wrote an article called, ‘Are OSU bicyclists abiding by the law,’ last month. During my four years on this campus, I have noticed some erratic bicyclists, and earlier this quarter I wanted to write a story investigating the laws.
But now it’s personal.
Last week, as I walked toward my class in Derby Hall, I was admiring autumn’s bright colors and enjoying the warmest morning all week. Like many fellow students, I was clutching onto my coffee and a bag stuffed with enough books to squash a small child.
Then, my relaxed morning came to an abrupt end.
A bicyclist, who was apparently either training to compete against Lance Armstrong, fleeing from an impending natural disaster or on his way to rescue a kitten from a raging fire, appeared out of the crowd of pedestrians and literally pummeled me.
The next few seconds were straight out of a slow motion scene of a high school movie. I felt like that nerdy kid who always gets beaten up outside her locker, but nobody seems to care or notice.
As the handlebars jabbed my ribs, my body went into a spin, though not nearly as elegant as a figure skater. My bag soared six feet away and landed with a relentless thud onto the sidewalk.
Thankfully no bystanders were injured by its travel.
I eventually settled in the opposite direction on my rear, feeling like I had just taken a turn on a Sit ‘n’ Spin. But the true catastrophe was my spilled coffee.
As my much-needed peppermint mocha-flavored caffeine leaked out of my thermos, painting the concrete, I felt something else leaking.
I glanced up at my surroundings. The bicyclist was speeding away into The Oval — maybe the kitten was stranded in a tree — and the dozens of pedestrians didn’t even seem to notice the collision — yet.
He never stopped, mumbled an apology or even glimpsed behind him to inspect the damage.
I won’t reveal the next words that erupted from my mouth, but let’s just say my mother wouldn’t have been proud. But oddly enough, I do recall exactly what I barked toward his direction as he fled the scene.
“Don’t you read The Lantern?”
Now I had everyone’s attention.
The article clearly explained campus bicycle laws, including one stating that bicyclists are not permitted on sidewalks. But even if one didn’t read it, and isn’t aware of the laws, common courtesy is, well, common knowledge.
To be fair, I understand that not every bicyclist feels the need for speed. Ironically, I was bumped again by another bicyclist a few hours later. However, she quickly apologized and flashed a smile.
I’m not saying that reading The Lantern daily is a path to the fountain of knowledge, but I’d like to think that the bicyclist might have been more considerate if he had read the article. Surely not all readers immediately decided to stop riding on restricted sidewalks, but I hope some remembered to demonstrate good manners while navigating campus.
The exposed law-breaking bicyclists are out to get me. It’s Karma.