Sunday, November 3, 2013

Volunteering to Get Grief

Sal and I volunteered to help direct traffic for the St. Louis Track Club this morning. So while most of the world was enjoying their extra hour of sleep, Sal and I were up and ready to rock.

I had a terrible night of sleep. It was one of those nights where I woke up to go to the bathroom at like 3 a.m. and when I came back to bed, my brain started saying, "Come on Dan. Get back to sleep. SLEEP NOW! You have to wake up in 3 hours. You need this sleep."

So naturally, I never really fell back asleep. I stared at Newbie, who was sprawled out as comfortably as possible between Sal and I and envied the crap out of him.

When Sal's alarm went off at 6, I rolled out of bed immediately and felt terrible. My neck was really stiff, my eyes hurt, I felt a little nauseous, and since we were running a little late, we didn't have breakfast or coffee before leaving.

But that's ok. The 38 degree foggy air woke me up almost immediately. There was a point I thought, maybe this won't be so bad.

The intersection Sal and I were in charge of was at was Grand and Union. There's an entrance to Forest Park Parkway (cars going almost highway speeds) and a bike / walking trail that went through the intersection. So it was a fairly busy place to be stationed.

View Larger Map

For the first hour, things went smoothly. We cheered on the fast runners and most of the cars wanting to come through sat patiently, or flipped a U turn to get out of there.

There was a large amount of people not paying attention to our directions and often getting stuck at the intersection for much longer because they were playing on their phones or staring off into space.

Then, a lady rolled down her window. She asked Sal if she could drive through, which she could. The roads weren't closed, we were mostly there to make sure cars didn't come flying into the park, killing the runners.

When Sal told her she could drive into the park, just be careful of the 500 or so runners, the lady flipped out. "You ruined my f***ing SUNDAY!" She flipped a U turn, almost running over Sal's feet. Sorry lady, the happiness of the several hundred runners does outweigh yours at this three hour period on this one Sunday morning. World can't revolve around you.

I can guarantee this lady was probably headed to church too. With that mouth, she could use a confession session.

Maybe 45 minutes later, there was a huge pack of runners. These three cars had been stuck at the intersection for a good 10 minutes.

Finally there's a break in the runners. I look down the bike path both ways and it looks clear. So I wave the cars on. About 30 seconds later this older guy on a really nice bike comes zooming through and yells at me, "Don't wave cars on when people are coming on the trail."

Now, there are stop signs for the bikers on the path. They aren't supposed to zoom through this intersection because cars are coming off of the road at high speeds. Had I not been directing traffic, this guy would've almost been hit by cars anyway.

Not to mention, the path he came down was winding from up a hill behind trees. I didn't see him.

ANNDDDDD.... my primary concern was the racers. I tried my best to watch for people on the path too before waving the cars on, but they were on their own as if I wasn't there.

So I yelled to him, "There's a stop sign" and before could slip in "JACKASS!" as punctuation, the biker that was going somewhere around 25 mph screams back at me again, "You NEED TO WATCH FOR BIKERS AND NOT WAVE CARS ON!"

This is why people hate bikers. They want to be able to use the road like cars, but they don't want to follow the rules of the road.

Anyway, Sal and I survived. We came home, ate some soup, and napped. After a mid-afternoon cup of coffee, I finally feel normal again.