Tuesday, November 25, 2008

When Bicyclists Attack

Dumb ass drivers: All cyclists deal with their share. Most of the time we laugh at them or give them looks to let them know that they are dumb asses. Some of us will take time to "educate" drivers about the error of their ways. Some of us get confrontational with drivers. Some of us take pictures to prove their stupidity.

Whatever we do in our coexistence with drivers reflects on us as well. That being said, I'm torn between what transpired last night. I had been doing SO GOOD lately not allowing my temper with drivers get to me. That, and for the most part, living in a town of 10,000, many people know me and know that I:

1. Play by (most) rules
2. Will respect you in your cage if you respect me on my bike.

Without further ado, the "police report" version of what happened last night.

After working at the Dakota Dome running my portion of the Dakronics system, I came out and headed on my normal trek home. Up Rose St. to Cherry and then crossing campus to avoid a good deal of traffic. Let's back up to the corner of Rose and Cherry shall we?!?!

I pulled up to the stop sign taking up the right hand driving lane to make sure nobody would pull up beside me. In theory a GREAT idea. In actuality, a nice car pulls up next to me putting over half the car into the oncoming traffic lane (dumb ass driver move number one). Being the calm person I've become, I looked over at them and gave them my "Your a dumb ass" smile while rolling my eyes and shaking my head slightly.

At this point I figured that they just could wait for those three extra seconds for me to go straight before they turned left onto Cherry St. The break came quickly in traffic and I started across the street. When HOLY-MOTHER-OF-WHAT-IS-HAPPENING I actually FEEL a car coming by me. This dumb ass (I'm trying to fill my blogs dumb ass quota for the year) actually pulled a "right cross" on me AT THE STOP SIGN.

I didn't even take time to think before I SLAMMED my gloved hand on the hood of his car....and the roof above the driver side window....and twice as hard as I could on his trunk (I missed with the third and almost fell off my bike because of it). In my moment of rage and the cagers moment of shock at my pounding he tapped his brakes and I was SO ready for him to stop. I even started to dismount to "greet" him. He decided he wasn't as tough without his cage and continued on his way.

Open letter to local body shops: If anybody stops by with a dent on the passenger side hood, roof above the passenger window, or trunk, please call me so I can come down and tell them how sorry I am (that they didn't stop so I could finish my "discussion" with them).

I don't know. Did I overreact? I could have been SERIOUSLY hurt had I not caught what was happening at the last moment. In a moment of "You could have killed me" I wanted to "tell" the driver of the cage of my dissatisfaction with his performance. So I did. I think they heard me. Quite clearly.

I feel much better. There is something so calming about writing this out.


Tez said...

Dang, I was hoping he would have gotten out of the car so you could have shown him a thing or twelve.

We really have to be so defensive out on the road.

Glad you didn't get hurt.

Bruce's Bike Blog said...

Hmm... There have been three bike riders killed this way in the last few months in Tucson. Each time it seems the driver of the vehicle has the sense that the bicyclist should yeild or stand down when his/her larger car (bus ran over a 12 year old boy turning right at a stop light)is nearing the intersection. In the three cases in Tucson, each vehicle driver ran the stop sign or light--speeding up to make the turn because they didn't want to wait for the cyclist.

In your case, you stopped, and then the car came up and stopped. Then they made the right turn on you, right? That is totally dangerous and stupid--and probably against the law. I think your reaction was pretty much normal for almost getting run over.

Maybe they had Momma's bail money or something, and it couldn't wait...

Hey! Glad you didn't get hurt!


SD_pedalpower said...

You did nothing wrong. Glad your Ah-ight.

jamesmommy05 said...

What a dumb shit. In my opinion it doesn't matter who has the right away you stop (yield to) the smaller guy on the road. I would have done the same thing.

thE_kErnEl said...

that driver is too stupid to live much longer, hope he doesn't take out any innocent bystanders when he goes.

Anonymous said...

Ya see, it's morons like that giving me a good reason NOT to carry my trusty pocket gun. ;)

Anonymous said...

Have done that my self before

eDLoNNiE said...

Glad you're OK.

The Old Bag said...

I'm glad the situation ended with you safe!

Snakebite said...

Hmmm, was the driver an USD grad??? Just had to throw that in there (since you know where I went to college).

Your reaction is commensurate with the situation. When your physical well being has been threatened by something as stupid as that,emotions kick in.

Practice memorization of license plate numbers at all times. You'll never know when such a skill will be handy.

bikingbrady said...

I tried to get the license plate but missed the last couple numbers as I had to figure out the state first. It was a MN plate (sorry to all my MN readers).

DIRK said...

I don't think you were out of line. That is about the same reaction I would have had.

At about 9 or 10 years old I was hit by a car making a turn and dragged a few feet because the teens in the car wanted to see how close they could get to the little kid on the bike.

I rode my bike to school on the last day of 8th grade. This time I hit a van. The driver didn't think he needed to wait at the stop sign for a kid on a bike, coming down a hill at 20+ MPH. I put a small dent in the side of the van with my head and got a ride to the emergency room.

I have hit sides of cars with my fist at stop lights, thrown half full bottles of Mountain Dew (these fly and make a nice THUD when they hit) when I have had a real close call with a car.

On the flip side, I'll give a little wave or nod to someone that sees and understands that a cyclist belongs on the road and treats me as if I were in a car or on a motorcycle.

Maybe next time that driver will respect the cyclist, maybe next time they will try to run over the cyclist again. Do what you have to do to protect yourself.