While sitting on my bike at a pedestrian crosswalk, waiting for the little man to go from red man standing patiently at attention to change to the happy green man in mid-stride, I had an experience I have had many times in the past. A pedestrian came up behind me and paused at the light. He made sure to stand in front of my bicycle wheel and just to the right of me. He watched the opposite traffic light and jumped off the mark just before the green man made his appearance. He strode quickly for a grand total of 5 seconds then slowed down to a turtle's pace and blocked the sidewalk by standing in as central a position as possible.
Common sense tells everyone that a bicycle rider is going to go faster than a pedestrian yet I constantly find that male pedestrians, particularly middle-aged and older ones, will position themselves such that my moving at all soon after the light changes will guarantee I collide with them as they cross, or have to half shortly after moving to prevent doing so. What is more, it's almost always the case that the fast pace which they start off with dies a rapid death once they get out ahead of me by about 10 yards.
After years (literally) and hundreds of experiences (again, literally) with this phenomenon, I've concluded that this is a pointless act of competition. It's not important that these men get going as they always slow down. It's only important that they get ahead of me and block me so that they get across first.
As of late, male competitive urges have been a topic which has been on my mind lately as I've noticed that I tend to prefer female bloggers over male ones, by and large. There are some very notable exceptions (you know who you are - many of your regularly comment here), but I've noticed that male bloggers tend to be far more aggressive and competitive in how they handle themselves. For one thing, they are far more likely to boast about site traffic statistics. For another, they are much more likely to post reactive and argumentative content. That is, they don't tend write about their lives, thoughts or experiences but go find something someone else wrote or said and take issue with it. On occasions when they do address something original, the posture is often one of "informing" people of the accurate way of seeing or understanding something. They're also far more likely to leave nasty, condescending, or snotty comments when they disagree rather than to simply present another explanation or viewpoint.
It's well-known in psychological circles that males are generally more competitive than females, though I think it's a tendency that women experience far less in the real world than in anonymous Internet-based forums. Personally, I'm growing pretty tired of this competitive nature in some males. It's irksome to deal with other folk's negative energy over petty little things because they have an ego issue and need to "win" at a non-existent competition just like it's tiresome to have to wait for or navigate around those guys who feel they have to stop me from getting across the street first. I guess that it's a little harder for a man to be aggressively competitive to a female in person and still feel like a big, puffed-up "winner" than it is to do it through the ether.
Nonetheless, just like the men who cut off my bike and stride ahead, it's all pointless and proves nothing about a man's superiority. I'm just going to go sailing by them either way and go about my business.