Washington, DC

“Dear PoPville,

Last night (Sun night) I did my typical evening bicycle ride around the National Mall. All was going fine until I got close to the Washington Monument at about 8:30 pm and noticed about 10-15 bicycles in front of me going very slow. I slowed down and let the group of teenage (aged 13-18) males do their thing for a couple minutes before realizing they were just purposefully taking up the entire path. I slowly tried to make my way through, and said, “coming by on your left”, and I even said “thanks” when slowly going through the middle of the group.

Suddenly, the group speeds up with me in the middle, so I pick up the pace and am pleasantly surprised thinking that they got the picture and realized they should either move over or keep going with the traffic.

Wrong. The bicyclist in front of me slammed on his brakes looking back at me, and I narrowly avoided crashing into him. I asked, “what are you doing, man?”

He proceeded to scream to his friends, “This guy yelled f*ck you to me!” (I did not say this) Then, an older teenager up front turned around and pointed at me, “this guy?!”

I realized they were turning on me so I tried to book it out of the way- but was rammed in the back tire by one biker, throwing me off my bike.

Once on the ground, my leg was ran over by another biker. I jumped back on my bike with a warped rim and pedaled furiously through the grass while I was chased down to the path in front of the National Museum of African American History and Culture, narrowly missing a third biker aiming for my front wheel.

Seeing a cop a block ahead I biked toward him still dodging a few more bikes, finally losing the group chasing me (and calling me a f*cking p*ssy).

The cop was dealing with a power outage and a wreck so I didn’t bother him and carried my busted bike about a mile home before reporting the incident to a cop closer to my place.

I feel a mixture of foolishness (I shouldn’t have even tried to pass them- much less engaged in any conversation), and weakness by the fact I was scared this much by a group of teenagers in the middle of the National Mall. I’m a big guy and can take care of myself- but I quickly realized that’s the last thing you think when suddenly overtaken by 10 bicycles trying to knock you off your own bike.

All in all, this could have gone a lot worse. I’ve read the stories on here of groups of teens beating people senseless for no reason; and that’s all I was thinking about while trying to get away on my bike.

I ended up reporting it to another cop down the road- but I don’t think there is anything they could do as the group was gone by the time I reported.

Lucky to only have a couple minor bruises and a warped bike rim.”

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