10.12.2004

Victim of Terrorism?
What is terrorism?
If one group singles out an individual of another group and makes an attack upon them or there property....is that terrorism?
Yesterday, Columbus Day, while I was riding my bike home from work I was directing myself towards the section of Beach Drive that is closed during weekends and holidays when I took my usual path through the tunnel rather than the bike path through the National Zoo. The sidewalk path in the tunnel is a tad narrow and it can be sketchy with the tile wall by your side, but I have gone through this tunnel so many times on my bike that I take it at full speed; always alert for obstacles (trash) in my path, trucks with obnoxiously wide side view mirrors, and bikers or runners who have also opted for this tunnel option. Yesterday was a day like any other, I made sure that there were no people headed my way when entering the tunnel and sped on through on my Jamis Nova Cyclocross bike. About half way through the tunnel I felt a whoooshing of wind past my face, heard a sound that resembled a rubberband wizzing by my ear, and felt something strike my left wrist. My body ran an immediate body check for damage as my eyes scanned the bike for damage, it was not clear if I had blown a tire or if someone had run over something that got crushed and shot inadvertantly in my direction. I checked my arm at the point of impact. Everything seemed in tact. Somehow I managed to stay on this path just wider than half a sidewalk. The bike was still rolling and so was I. As I exited the tunnel and merged back onto the bike path I ran an algorithym in my head of what could have just happened. With little more than guessing I decided that I had been victim of someone's idea of a prank. I had been hit by bb gun! Lucky for my it did not strike me in the face and only grazed my arm. Everything had happened so fast. There was no shout! No horn! No vision of a gunman. Yet, without any facts I maintained my hypothesis. Someone had shot me with a CO2 bb gun. This is not such a far fetched idea....especially in this town. As I rode forward I fantasized about what I would do if I caught them. I love these little fantasies, it can be quite a rush and cycling can have a bit of a mindless balisticness to it. Various fantasies all with the same superhero results passed through my head. As I approached runner and cyclist coming the opposite direction I watched for any behavior that may indicate that they too had been assaulted, but no one was behaving in any manner to detect such. Once on Beach Drive I considered going to the Park Police station to report the incident, but such things tend to take time and offer no change so I opted to spend my time pedaling rather than chatting up officer friendly. I have learned that they listen and they listen long, they may do this because they are really bored or because they want to inconvenience the complaintant so much that they never try such things again.
So I pedaled down Beach drive checking out the creek by my side wondering why the creek turns this deep dark black color in the fall and what someone would think would come of shooting a cyclist with a pellet gun.

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