If you know any motorcyclists, or if you ride yourself, then you’ve probably heard the term lanesplitting. It’s when a motorcyclist rides between the slower rows of cars and other vehicles, straddling the painted line. It’s actually illegal in most of the United States, and yet it can be done safely by a thoughtful and respectful rider.
Well one day as I tried to cross Venice en route to a meeting at the Piazzetta, I had to battle the legendary Venetian tourist crowds. As I wove skillfully amongst the throngs, sensing an opening and sliding through, or scurrying by a tour group, or dodging the couple who suddenly stopped atop a bridge to peruse their map, I was struck that what I was doing was similar to a motorcyclist in slow traffic.
I was crowdsplitting.
I checked UrbanDictionary, and no one has coined this term there. I claim it! I’ve posted my definition, and hopefully it will be accepted and posted. If you belong to UrbanDictionary, you can vote for it (or something like that. I haven’t actually voted for a word before.)
In the past I referred to the crowds in Venice as the “peste turistico.” I can’t claim ownership of this term. I overheard it the first time I went there for Carnevale. But it’s a pretty good one, isn’t it? Especially in a town that suffered a number of black plagues. Is the tourist plague the modern equivalent? (I shouldn’t bash the crowds too much–I contribute to them myself by being there, right?)
Try crowdsplitting through these Carnevale crowds!