We read about road-rage all the time and the burgeoning incidents towards cyclists. This happened to me recently and it really struck me as a new low in how non-riders behave and treat us (and I’ve had full 48oz drinks thrown at me by passing cars, run off the road, etc).
I had dropped off my car to be worked during the day and was riding my bike back to my house. I was riding down a road with two lanes (same direction traffic) with a parking lane on the right. To avoid the catastrophe of being slammed into an opening car door, I was riding a couple feet further to the left of the right hand shoulder. I passed a white Chevy SUV and was promptly yelled at in an intentional manner to startle me.
I promptly slowed down and turned-around and went to confront the driver. (Yes, in this day and age, we run the risk of being shot at this point, but I’m sick of this harassment). As soon as I roll up to his window, I ask “Do we have a problem, Sir?”. He proceeds to tell me to “get my #$$%#@ #$##@# etc out of the road” (The real mature adults use profanity because those are the biggest words they know).
I say I’m not going to because I have a right to the roads too. Then his wife started yelling at me too. WWF Tag-Team type stuff. The male proceeded to threaten to flatten me (raising his fist as if about to punch me, (I’m wearing a helmet you fool)) out and proceeded to throw out racial slurs. He eventually drove off and we exchanged pleasant one-finger salutes. He caught the next red light and was egging me on to catch him. I had better things to do than squander anymore time with him (like a 50 mile ride!!).
The point is, I did nothing wrong while riding my bike. All the other cars on the road had no problems with me. Why does this one whacko think he’s above the rest? What drives people to have this hate towards people? Is it my spandex? My silky smooth awesome legs? How good I look? My tan lines??? Or, all of the above???
I know there are times when some cyclists are inconsiderate, just like drivers. It is a two-way street. Can’t we all just get along?
While there was no physical assault, he did threaten me. I have his license plate number. I wish my phone wasn’t packed in my backpack, so I could have recorded this event. Is there anything I can do to at least show him I have his information and have the police notify him of the complaint?
**UPDATED** I reported the “lovely” couple to the police and while I knew no charges could be pressed, they did get a letter warning them and informing them about my rights.
What stories do you have?
P.S.: The blog cover photo is NOT me.