Worst Motorist Intimidation So Far
After more than a year of using a bicycle as my primary means of transportation, today I experienced the worst yet dangerous confrontation on the road.
As I was going down the hill on the 200 block of Chenery St, one block from my home, I heard a car behind me trying to pass in the oncoming lane. There was a car in front of me already, a stop sign coming up, and I was already going fast, as I was going down a hill. So I put my left hand out, palm facing the passing motorist, to tell her to “stop.”
Indeed, she did stop trying to pass me, and also yelled out a few things like “Move! Move!” and “Hurry up!”
Keep in mind that this is a residential street. Also keep in mind that on this downhill, bikes go faster than cars.
Of course, I point out all of this to you, my logical reader. Unfortunately logic literally does not enter into the decision-making process of many people. Moving on with my story…
So I am still in front of her, and I come to a complete stop at the stop sign. I turn around and ask “Just how fast do you think you’re going to go on this street?” She only responded, “Move! Shut the fuck up!” She then went around me at the stop sign, almost hitting me.
I am glad I am not a naturally violent person, because I did have a strong urge to kick out her tail light, but obviously I didn’t do that. You can probably guess that I easily caught up with her again, showing that in this case cars slow bikes down, bikes don’t slow cars down. I pulled up alongside her car at the next stop sign and said, “Did you happen to notice that I am going as fast as you are?” to which she responded (using her immense powers of logical argument) “Shut the fuck up! Shut the fuck up!” She then sped off.
This is the worst confrontation I have had yet with a motorist. Mags and I did have another person yell at us on Chenery a few weeks ago, though. This time, we were going up the hill. I was hauling 60 pounds of bagged compost on my trailer, and Mags was riding alongside me. A car behind us gave two light beeps. Mags motioned for her to go around us. For some reason this really pissed the motorist off, and she passed us, cursing up a storm as she did so. She was an elderly woman, acting this way. A nice pedestrian on the sidewalk remarked, “You just can’t win, can you?”
Oh, but we can win, and we will. It is incidents like this that show the continued need for Critical Mass, which just so happens to be tonight! And, as long as it is taking, we are getting better bicycle infrastructure in the city, starting soon.
Bikers are pissed, organized, and we’re going to stand up for ourselves. Motorists don’t have that going for them, that’s for sure.