The predator

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(from my body camera)

I do not ride my bike for one moment when I don’t think about the sexual predator. That he is out there. That he is known to chase women on bikes. That he frequents routes which are the best, easiest ways to get places where I and many others need to go. And so I guess it should not have been a surprise when I was returning to the hip, fashionable, family-and-bike-friendly Krog Street Market just seconds from the Atlanta Beltline’s popular and packed Eastside Trail (after helping in a bike class for Habitat for Humanity homeowners) that I would suddenly cross paths with him.

He was on the other side of the street, coming up a hill, muttering out loud and acting agitated. He locked eyes with me and crossed the street mid-block, steering straight at me. I quickly scanned over my shoulder for traffic, zipped across the street and flung my bike onto the sidewalk to ride in the opposite direction as far away as possible from this man. He watched me but didn’t follow. I made it out.

But he is out there. And he is threatening women on bikes in public spaces by his aggressive behavior. And if something more were to happen to me, I would be blamed. For being a woman alone in a public space, in a neighborhood where I can’t afford to live, in broad daylight in the United States of America. And there is not a damn thing I can do about it (no matter how much I refuse to accept that blame) except tell you this story.

(If interested, there are more stories on this topic in my book.)

 

 

 

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2 Comments Add yours

  1. nj says:

    His name is Robert McKenzie, and many of us riding/running the roads know about him. I’m a dude, and I cross paths with him all.the.time, and it’s not comfortable for me either; he seems like he could easily be prone to violence. I can’t imagine how much worse it is for women. FWIW, whenever I see him anywhere near women and/or children by themselves, I slow or stop to keep an eye out. Once or twice, I’ve said something to women running in his vicinity to warn them, but in those cases, I sort of felt like I was giving them the creeps by saying something like that kind of abruptly/in passing. Here’s an old article about him: http://www.decaturish.com/2016/10/sexual-predator-was-spotted-chasing-a-cyclist-near-clarkston/

    Like

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