I had heard that it happens sometimes but I couldn’t imagine it until it happened to me last Sunday.
We were riding our bikes, my guy and I, and a driver who had started to veer off on a right-lane exit decided at the last second that wasn’t what he wanted to do, and cranked his wheel sharply left and landed in my lane without enough room to do so. He caused me to brake hard and purse my lips. This somehow struck him funny.
He laughed, guffawed, made hand gestures and seemed to think the whole thing was a big joke. I was flabbergasted! If he had struck me he might have dented his car. But I easily could have been killed. I’m on a BIKE! I don’t have metal around me. I have to not only think for myself and watch the road conditions like a hawk, but I also have to try to anticipate the moves of every other driver in a radius around me and, as proven in this incident, that’s not always possible. Some don’t see me and some that do seem to think it’s funny that they could easily hurt me with a simple spontaneous manouvre.
Another bike rider recently told me about chasing down a carload of teenagers that thought it was funny to run up to his bike’s ass end and mock threaten him that they were going to hit him. Middle fingers raised, they hooted off when he gave them a death stare…so he went after them. This story could have ended in criminal charges and a lot of regrets but the kids backed down and in the guy’s words, “They left with a lot more manners than they came with.”
It’s kind of frightening but I understand his level of anger. I certainly don’t condone his behaviour but I also felt a spike of fury at the guy who laughed at me. My first thought was to kick in his door! And I’m not a door kicker inner!! I’ve never done a violent thing like that but this was my LIFE he was laughing at, as if it was worthless. That’s how it felt.
I know that no one reading here would ever do anything deliberately confrontational or dumb like this particular dude. He was a rare duck. But please, please be aware of bike riders out there. Yes some are idiots and some are speed demons and some look strange – but they’re all people who are loved by someone who wants them to get home safely. A little extra care can help make sure that happens.