IÃ¢â‚¬â„¢m not well known here, but I commute everyday, do rides when I can, and just got registered on Bike Pittsburgh so I could chat about bike related city issues I feel strongly about. I started this blog post last night before I left work for the day because issues regarding the use of violence have been weighing heavily on me in light of what seems like a wave of recent attacks specifically targeted at bicyclists. My stance is that self control and restraint are always going to win out over road-rage reactionary tendencies, no matter the temptation. And, continuing a Ã¢â‚¬ËœcycleÃ¢â‚¬â„¢ of violence is just a step backwards for other riders who find themselves in similar situations, when recording a plate and taking legal action might actually enact some positive and lasting change for everyone.
That being said, itÃ¢â‚¬â„¢s maybe not ironical, but at least three parts coincidental that last night on my ride home from work, I was attacked by three men on the corner of Coral and S Graham. From the curb, they jumped me, knocked me off my bike and just relentlessly let me have it. I didnÃ¢â‚¬â„¢t see this coming whatsoever (especially in this part of the neighborhood from men I have never seen nor spoke to before). IÃ¢â‚¬â„¢m not one for over-dramatization, but this was probably the most vicious and violent intent to harm I have ever feltÃ¢â‚¬â€no escalating road rage, just a completely unwarranted, pure desire to hurt me, that came hard and fast. Without getting into all the big hairy details, the only reason these guys stopped hitting me is because I somehow managed to hit two of them in the face with my ulock and mace (which I previously discussed above never wanting to use) to defend myself. Also, my thanks to the surrounding families that came out of their homes and dialed the cops for me. I filled out a report, but did not remember much information (one of the reasons I wanted to post was to say that remembering even the slightest details in these cases is extremely important Ã¢â‚¬â€œ what people are wearing, height, weight, etc).
That being said, I feel like if I had not had those weapons on me plus maybe some dumb luck, I would not be around for a while. IÃ¢â‚¬â„¢m still trying to make some sense out of this stuff, but IÃ¢â‚¬â„¢m a little shaken up still. At the moment I am going to continue to ride with hopefully the same confidence, completely ignore indignant motorists, and try my best to protect myself. Be safe everyone.