Cyclists endure various indignities each day, but most accept it peaceably as part of the bargain—yes, you risk enjoying your final breaths under the wheels of a Dodge Dart, but at least you'll never have to sit in traffic or pay $2.75 to crouch beneath a stranger's armpit on the subway. A UPS truck parked in the bike lane? Fine, yes, I'll just swerve into traffic, it will probably be fine, etc. etc. until one day, splat.

But one man has had about enough of that noise. Alex Bell, 28, bikes every day from his Harlem apartment to his job on 28th Street, and frankly he's tired of being forced into fast moving traffic because of UPS trucks consistently parked in the designated 7th Avenue bike lane. At first he asked drivers to stop, to park in the traffic lane instead. “It's not my fault, talk to corporate," was the underwhelming refrain.

Bell did more—in August, he took his complaint to small claims court. He wasn't seeking monstrous sums of money, nor was he trying to implicate the proprietor of a local franchise. He selected $999 as his requested remuneration, or the price of eight months worth of Metrocards. All he really wanted, though, was for the damn trucks to stop parking in his way. After forking over a $29.65 filing fee, he'd successfully submitted his case.

Around a week later, a UPS Security employee called and asked him to settle out of court, but Bell declined. Fast forward a month, when Bell showed up to the city's freezing courthouse to have his case heard by an arbitrator. After a two hour wait, he presented his argument. From his blog:

I described that over the previous eight months I was prevented from riding my bicycle to work by a seemingly constant presence of UPS trucks blocking the bike path in the weekday mornings. Because of that and the danger it posed to my life, I was suing for the cost of the metrocards which I had been forced to purchase.

UPS' representative, the same man Bell had spoken with on the phone, argued that it was not always possible for drivers to park legally.

To that I asked how it was easier to swerve into a bike lane in order to stop rather than simply stopping in the lane. This seemed to not compute and produced my favorite line from Sean which was, “do you know what kind of precedent this would set?” To which I smiled and said YES.

Bell lost the case, but rather than give up, he just plans to document better. "Every night I ride home and take a picture of the UPS truck blocking the lane. I recorded my call to UPS when they were unhelpful—dotting the i's and crossing the t's like the arbitrator told me to," he said. He's already filed three more small claims lawsuits, and plans to just keep at it until something changes. Ideally, he'd like delivery companies to hand out pamphlets to their drivers, educating them on good parking habits.

If anything, the time Bell has spent on court filings has emboldened him. "I plan on sending more and more lawsuits, so they're sending more and more employees to East Harlem to court," he said. "At some point I think they'll decide that's not a good use of their employees' time."

Bell is of the mindset that just because something sucks, it doesn't have to suck forever.

"There are a lot of people who are like, 'You don't understand New York City.' I was born and raised in New York City and I've spent my whole life biking up and down the street," he said. "I'm trying to sue the company so they realize the pain of something so that they take steps to change it. It's about persistence."

The UPS rep assigned to Bell's case declined to comment.

[h/t DNAinfo]