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Driving up Marine Avenue (Balboa Island’s “Main Street”) today about 1:30 in the afternoon I hear a squeaky little horn and some shrill shouting. Ahead, coming toward me in the opposite lane, are two gentlemen on beach cruisers pedaling out of the intersection with Balboa Avenue. They are going pretty fast actually, for guys on beach cruisers. (These guys were wearing shoes, not flip-flops.) And right on the cyclists’ rear wheel is a motorist. Literally inches off their rear wheel, as they passed me. If either cyclist had touched his brakes he would have been rear-ended for sure.

And the motorist was shouting at them and angrily waving a hand as if to ask what the h*** the cyclists are doing in the road, blocking his progress, in his…

GOLF CART!

(Which explains the squeaky little horn.)

I’m sorry I didn’t have a camera at the ready.

Our golf cart driver was pot-bellied, shirtless and sandaled on Balboa Island but because he had an engine (battery pack?) he felt angry enough to commit simple assault, on a summer Friday, in one of Newport Beach’s slices of paradise…

He had a nice tan.

The cyclists continued riding south on Marine Avenue at a decent speed. And what else was there for them to do, really, as even if they were obliged to (they were not), or wanted to, there is nowhere for a cyclist to pull over. And last I saw, peering out my driver side window, our angry golf cart man was still on their rear wheel, beeping his little horn, spewing froth and gesticulating like a mad man…

It was almost a bit of comedy but I think I’ll forward this to the Newport Beach Police Department in case our friend followed through with his threat or is already known to them. If angry golf-cart man can manage that level of entitlement and aggression behind the wheel of a golf cart, shirtless and comfort-shod with his gut draped over his gardening shorts, imagine how dangerous he is behind the steering wheel and tinted windows of a car…

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David Huntsman

Husband, father, cyclist, lawyer

This Post Has One Comment
  1. The funny thing is that of all the areas in Orange County, Balboa island is one of the few that has very specific bike protections. Newport Beach Muni Code states that the Chief of Police may limit ingress onto the island in times of heavy tourism (12.32.030), but he shall not limit bicycle travel (12.32.060).

    The take-away? On Balboa Island, bikes and pedestrians are preferred.

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