Man, I hate it when people bring bikes onto crowded trains at rush hour.
This morning, when the J stopped at Marcy Avenue, a man was there with a bike. Doors open and he says, “Everyone! Move into the center of the train!” Dressed in flip-flops, shorts, and a muscle shirt, he gets on and uses his bike as a battering ram to push people out of the way. He pushes in and stands next to one of the stripper poles and wraps himself around it, the doors close, and the train leaves the station.
A guy behind him, standing at the door, says, “Yo, son. You think you could move your bike offa my foot?” Muscle Shirt glares at him, shoves the bike into the ass of a woman standing in front of it, and wraps himself back around the pole.
A woman’s standing at the pole, though, trying to hang on. She’s only about 5’2″–too short to use the overhead, horizontal railings. She says, “Excuse me. I need to use this pole. Could you move off of it, please?” He ignores her, so she repeats herself. He says to her, “Yeah, just move over and use the other one.” To this, she replies, “No, I can’t. I can’t reach it. I need to use this one.” He ignores her. She replies, “You’re crushing my hand, please move.” He ignores her again. “You’re crushing my hand!”
At this, he turns around and glares at her, not saying a word. The anger, hatred, and menace in his eyes were palpable. To her credit, she stood her ground, stared back at him, and didn’t move away. Finally, he dropped his gaze and turned around.
I didn’t really know what to do. I mean, if a girl who’s 5’2″ can stand up to a guy who’s 14 inches taller and 150 pounds heavier than her, then I probably should have said something. But like everyone else, I stood there passively. Now, I was watching the guy closely, and I will say that if he had moved against her, I’d have stepped in. And to be fair, I think other people would have too.
To take a bike onto a crowded subway car is one thing, but to have an attitude about it, like everyone needs to vacate the train so you can fuck your bike in solitude or whatever, that’s infuriating.