A WARNING TO ANYONE IN THE REGION OF SOUTH EASTERN MICHIGAN:
I was biking eastward on Cavanaugh Lake Road, before its intersection with Pierce Road, just west of Chelsea, MI. I came upon a particularly bad section of road and needed to merge to the middle of the lane for about 10 meters. A greenish-grey Jeep Cherokee (newer model – 2005 or later) drove up within feet of me and laid on its horn for several seconds, startling me. It swerved around me dangerously and I gave the driver the finger for a few seconds, infuriated. It stopped in front of me and the driver lowered his window. He was in his early 20s, Caucasian male wearing a white shirt and jeans (I would find these details out soon enough). He had a brown haired Caucasian woman sitting in the passenger seat and a child in the back. Usual angry yelling ensued from him. I surprised myself with how articulate I was, citing Michigan vehicular code pertaining to cyclists and refuting his claims that he was “protecting my ****ing wife and kid from g** a** idiots.” This infuriated me. I barked to him “I on my bike am endangering your family? Sir [and yes, I always addressed him as “sir”] you are the one who is at fault here. Not only did you nearly run me off the road, but your crazy maneuvers put you, your wife, and your child in danger. YOU ARE USING YOUR VEHICLE AS A WEAPON.” He proceeded to use every derogatory synonym for “gay” he could think of. I couldn’t believe what I was hearing – remember he is supposedly protecting his family. I looked him in the eye and said “I feel bad that your wife and kid have to see you like this.” He opened his door and started threatening me. Suddenly I felt a little less bold and dismounted put my bike in between him and myself. Still though I stood strong and said “I’m not looking for a fight. If you take a step towards me you lower yourself in the eyes of your family, and you’ll regret it once I call the cops.” He cursed at me several more times and sped off. I DIDN’T GET HIS LICENSE PLATE NUMBER.
I talked to people who were riding the same route as me and asked them if a man matching his description in a greenish-grey Cherokee gave them trouble. No one said anything. I’m very disappointed that I lost my temper and yelled at him AND didn’t get his license number. I am proud that I did not curse at him or his family once, and that I was polite in my language (aside from the volume).
I left the county sheriff a message and when she or a worker calls me back, I shall detail the event. I strongly hope that either he will be known for behavior like this, or that when he DOES assault a cyclist in the future that my description will tag him with yet another complaint.
DO NOT LOSE YOUR TEMPER LIKE I DID. GET THE LICENSE EVERY TIME. And if anyone has trouble with this man, message me on the forums and we can appeal our case to the police as two or more individuals.