Don’t ask me why I went that way.
My plan was to bypass the meshugenah frenzy of Main Street traffic and shopping Main in Santa Monica on Wednesday.
But at the last moment, I decided to cut up Ocean Park Blvd from the beach, and head up Main to Abbot Kinney before making my way down the coastal bike path.
Just as I rounded the corner at Main, though, I saw a guy charge up to a little red delivery truck on the opposite side of the street, jerk the door open and pull the driver out before he began punching him.
Or more precisely, punching at him, as neither party seemed to be able to land a decent punch.
Ali vs Frazier, this was not.
As I went back and dialed 911, the pugilists seemed to calm down; the first guy went around the other side of the truck, emerging with a bike.
He looked like he was trying to ride off when the driver grabbed the rack on the back of his bike; next thing I knew they were exchanging words again, followed quickly by more punches.
Eventually, sanity seemed to prevail, and the cyclist rode off up Ocean Park, followed by the SUV. And both were gone long before the police arrived.
Then again, so was I, as I got tired of waiting and continued on my ride after the 911 operator assured me they had my phone number if they needed me.
Why the fight, I have no idea.
Judging from the position of the bike behind the truck, it could have been a near miss right hook, or the driver may have even bumped the bike just before I got there.
But that’s pure speculation. It could just as easily been the result of an ongoing dispute that started blocks earlier.
And either party could have been to blame.
However, I do know that the cyclist was legally in the wrong the moment he pulled the driver from the truck. On the other hand, the driver had the chance to walk away and chose not to, leading to round two.
In other words, they could both have faced charges if the police had arrived sooner.
So don’t be an idiot.
No matter how mad you get, or how justified you feel, just get the license number and ride away.
It beats the hell out of going to court on criminal charges.
Or maybe getting your ass kicked.
Thanks to Chris and the gang at the Westwood Helen’s for hooking me up with the helmet cam — and fixing up my bike so I could ride a little easier with it. And thanks to Richard Masoner of Cyclelicious for volunteering to pitch in to process the video when my Mac failed me.