The Chainlink

So people. Look. Every single day, at some point in my ride to work or from work or for errands or whatever, at least once, a man pulls up behind me, a woman, who is waiting at a light and just assumes, in the absence of other information (for I have been placidly waiting, perhaps, for a while) that I must be slower than he is,

He therefore thinks that he should aggressively pull in front of me or cut me off, because I, a lady, will only get in his way! Shortly, this gentleman and I both find that he actually isn't a faster or stronger rider than I am, and sometimes we discover this whilst, say, going over the river along Damen! Either way, I then have to pass him, which makes things less safe for both of us. Please, dudes. STOP DOING THIS. IT'S RUDE AND YOU'LL FEEL BAD LATER AND YOUR SELF-ESTEEM IS NOT MY PROBLEM.  

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Thank you Anne, Charlie, Dug, Gort and everyone else that has chimed in to be the voice of reason for this discussion. I have been shaken (see "I'm a Marshmallow") by some responses that have been verbally abusive and it reminds me how it parallels what all women and people of color experience when riding their bikes. I cannot say enough how much I appreciate what Charlie is saying here. The more of us riding and commuting by bike, the better it is for all bike riders so the best thing we can do is support one another and be mindful of what exactly that looks like when we ride. 

Ask and move along and don't judge their response!

This is the way I go about it. But my question here is why no judgement on the road while here on the interwebs everybody is quite judgmental on something as simple of the wording of the offer?

Because the words you use affect the tone and meaning of what you say.

Because people are suggesting you don't judge people based on their response to your offer which is a form of ACCEPTING their judgment.

What if... hold on... let me take a deep breath here...
Whoa! Not too deep, otherwise I'd pass out!

Womanshoal, manshoal, childshoal, auntshoal, grandpashoal, shoal, dogshoal (that would be the best shoaling!), shoaled by fish, shoalerooni, Beavis and Butt-Shoal, My little Shoalie, Empire Strikes Shoal, The Last Shoalurai, Taco Shoal, Burger Shoal, Hyundai Shoal, Led Zeppeshoal, Pearl Shoal, Tegan and Shoal-a, The Indy FiveShoaldred, Optimus Shoal'd, Megashoal, Darth Shoal, Shoal of Chicago, Coca Shoala, Chuck NorrShoal, Nancy DevoShoal, Capybarashoal, 588-2300 EmpShoal, Avengers: Age of Shoal, Spider-Shoal, Captain AmeriShoalica, Wonder Womanshoal, Tacos de carne ashoal...

Shoalers be dammned! Happens all the time - no matter what gender, body weight, body age, race, human race, martians, Steven Tyler, etc. Shoaling is shoaling. It is very annoying and then I have to pass that shoaler with a polite "on your LEFT!" or "on your RIGHT!" Or my new thing from a few days ago... excuse me (me to shoaler), I am going to pass you, so can you please move when you hear me yell? That look of bewilderment is the smile on my face, the ripe avocado, the cooling fan, that delicious smell of garlic to aromatize the kitchen and the pasta.

We live with shoalers. Don't respect them.

You are not listening here.

The point of all this is that, yes, it DOES happen to everyone but that it happens to women MORE ad that is a symptom of the way men view and treat women and we should all try to be aware of that and how it makes women feel.

Or I guess you could dismiss their complaint by just making it about everyone and not their experience but you do you.

Sorry notorious DUG, I'll disagree. You seem to freak out when there's a hull breach onthe gravy boat. I see people as equals. If people can't see that, then they need to see a dermatologist with a minor in performance dance.

if I get manshoaled, I got manshoaled. If that other lady and me got manshoaled, we both got shoaled by a dude. If a lady gets shoaled by a woman, then she got womashoaled. 

Those who shoal manshoal womanshoal... they suck. No matter the gender, they suck and some might be aware of what they're doing, and some are just as dumb as a bag of bricks. 

Manshoaling happens on any given day, on Mondays, Sundays, might even happen tomorrow. And some of us might (including women and men) even get shoaled on the Lakeshore Trail. Or across from Jewel or 7-11. 

I could post video of the lady in front of us today that shoaled us. I can also post video of the manshoaler who manshoaled the nonshoalers. But I don't have to. 

My partner manshoaled me the other day when we were getting in the elevator. I almost threw the biggest toddleresque tantrum, but I didn't. Some just don't get it. 

Again, DUG that's so notorious, it happens to many of us, no matter what gender one is vs the other. We're all human, and some male humans (that's the people in the world who have sperm  in their testiculars), shoal. Some other humans get offended by it (myself included), and some of the ofendees are women (in Spanish, mujeres - and mujeres are the humans who carry most of the world on their shoulders - they give birth to people. Bless my mother. I am the oldest of three, and my siblings and me made her hair go white in her early 30's. Yikes! Disculpame, mama! lo siento mucho!). Some women shoal other women, and some men shoal other men. 

Squandering in the metaphysical and rubbing the chamois in essential oils could bring you some frothy peace. 


I'd suggest joining a roller derby league. Vent your frustrations there and you will feel much better afterward.

Ernesto, you left out large segments of the shoaling population. Shaolin shoaling, the Susquehanna shoalers, Shoaling for dollars, the Shoaletteers and the Shoalettes, the list goes on... 

Maybe one idea is to take the shoal. By that I mean, position yourself so that a potential shoaler finds it difficult to perform their dirty deed without having to say something, polite or otherwise. Make them stand up and be heard for their right to shoal.

Perhaps also out of politeness and an example... On Tuesday after-work-rush-hour on Dearborn, I asked a lady that was in front of me, if I could move up in front of her. I did this to show etiquette among the shoalers that were northbound on Dearborn and Wacker. She said to me, by all means, please. 

I don't think the shoalers paid attention, but I was polite, courteous, and when the light turned green, I went around others on the intersection, leaving the shoalers to shoal amongst themselves. 

Shoaler to shoaler. Hmmm, that sounds like the preamble to a good joke. I dunno, I keep envisioning John Cleese in some sort of Monty Python sketch, politely shoaling around little old ladies on their tricycles, inciting major mayhem in the process.

My partner hates getting manshoaled. I get it from her perspective. She gets my frustration from mine. 

I hate it when shoalers shoal, regardless of gender. Makes me wish they temporarily choke on a piece of ham during their lunch. 

Next time I see a man manshoal over a woman, and I happen to be behind her, shoaled as well, I will say: hey fukker! Get in the back of the line and wait your FUKKING turn!

Then F that guy! I'm with you. I hate it when men do this!


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