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WhatIsWhat 1.0 2003

SPRING SKATING

im in Pittsburgh, downhilling Murray Avenue from Beacon to Forward at around 3pm. My first spring skate of the year, headphones on.. im really heavy into the mixes and production of Quentin Harris right now.. just so so funky especially his tracks, travelin, my joy and hate wont change me. So im just flowing down the hill.


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Traffic was heavy and everybody was hanging out of their windows. A block down the hill I waved a driver to pass me so that the line of cars behind him could all pass. I was staying way right of him up against the parked cars to allow this to happen. He did not pass and just drove along at my speed for an entire block.  I kept trying to wave him thru so that the line of traffic would pass and i would have the road behind me free so as to concentrate on what was ahead. Unfortunately, this big redheaded fluffy goatee driver just would not pass.  When I am holding right to allow cars to pass I gain speed quickly because i am going dead straight instead of carving a bit.  Moreover, in the spring, the area to the side where the cars are parked still has the left over gravel and crap from the winter that builds up. Finally, tired of waiting, I signalled to the car trailing me that I was going to cross over in front of him to the oncoming lane as it was empty. When I crossed the guy finally had the nerve to pass. After he passes a couple of other cars pass, then, a brawny white haired guy in a sedan completely red faced starts screaming out of his window at me fuck you, get off the street, you piece of shit etc etc.  First I tried to explain about the driver who would not pass me but he keeps screaming over me, now threatening me with how he is going to kick my ass.. Meanwhile I am continuing speeding down this hill. So, I lost my cool and give him the finger while lifting my crutch up onto my shoulder to hold it like a baseball bat. I felt a massive wave of adrenalin wash over me and I started to involuntarily tremble, ready to fight. Still concentrating on skatign the guy swerves at me into the empty oncoming lane then quickly turns left off the hill onto Nicholson still screaming. When I reached the bottom of the hill at Forward Ave. the joy of my first downhill was dead. i waited for him for a while preparing myself for various scenarios. He never showed.  The entire incident reminded me of why Pittsburgh sucks. Small town drivers cannot pass anything unusual, small minded drivers think they dont have to share the road with anything but cars, small town meatheads that want to threaten violence, narrow roads that are full of potholes and resulting gravel. The upside is plenty of nice hills of different degrees of difficulty and not overrun with other skaters in traffic. Spring is the time when people come out of the woodwork and vent. I thought this guy was going to explode he was so red. I am going to start carrying a camera more for just these types of run ins and try and not lose my temper. Next time I have a scaredy cat backing up traffic I might just stop dead on the hill. just to keep the peace.