I was commuting to work this morning. Approx 6:30am, on a stretch of road with almost no vehicles, where the posted speed is 25 (residential parkway) I was buzzed by a speeding SUV. He pulled way over to the right as to block me from pulling up next to him- not that I normally do that where there is no shoulder. I rode to the driver's side where his window was partially down. I noticed a female passenger. Both were in their mid-40s. I asked that he give me more room next time he passed me. He launched into a profanity ridden word salad how bikes belong on sidewalks, that I'd have more room if I rode further to the right, and a bunch of other nonsense that wouldn't make it past the obscenity filters here. I mentioned that bikes were not allowed on the sidewalks, that I could legally take the lane if necessary, and that there was no traffic and he had all the room in the world to pass me. He argued, the light turned green, and he sped off.
Here is where it gets weird.
I noticed his vehicle, whose plates I had memorized, parked at the donut shop a few blocks away. I rode up to the vehicle, and noticed the woman in the passenger seat. He was apparently in the shop. The it hit me. This was the same man who did the same thing a few months ago while driving a green Ford Taurus- same buzzing at the same stretch of road- same time of day, same donut shop- same reddish blonde hiar- same beer belly- same moustache. I waited a few moments, then resumed my commute without further incident.
At this point, I've been buzzed twice by the same motorist. He holds no remorse and feels justified in his actions. So far I've taken the high road, aside from politely confronting him. I'll admit that I rode around his vehicle as to indicate that I know what he drives, and should I actually be a lunatic, I could have done as I pleased to his truck- but I didn't.
Ironically, last time I was buzzed by this bozo, I posted at another forum, and the advise was to ride a bit further into the lane to force the vehicle to pass properly.
My questions are as follows:
Should I be concerned about future altercations escalating? I feel like I'm dealing with a maladjusted schoolyard bully, and I am fighting my inclination to want to teach him a lesson. He has already done this to me twice. His words indicate that he hates cyclists- even when we are the only two vehicles on the road.
I also feel powerless- since I really have no meaningful legal recourse. He hasn't hit me. Technically he hasn't given me enough space while passing, but I don't see the police doing anything about that. If I play along and act out, it will only give him more reason to up the ante.
I'm too angry at the moment to let this just roll off my back, but somehow, I think that is what I need to do.
I've already fantasized about hanging out at the donut shop and confronting him, assaulting his vehicle, etc... but that is really no solution. I'm counting on the level heads of the advocacy forum to shed some cool (as in not hot-headed) advice.
I guess I had originally thought we could have a civil discussion about sharing the road- as a friend of mine reportedly had with a misbehaving motorist a few weeks ago. I fear I have worsened the situation.
I still can't figure out the woman's role in all this. Most wives have an uncanny ability to keep their husbands in line... through shaming, at the very least. She didn't say a word.
Finally, I'm concerned about future incidents. I don't want a paranoid commute, and there is no alternative route.