This is the story of my recent traffic confrontation. I would like to hear some people's opinions as to what they might have done, so that I may gauge whether I'm at the extreme end of the spectrum or not. BTW, I make no apologies for my actions.
My riding partner and I were riding home after about 50km of fast road riding. We were taking main roads home, but trying to stay off to the right where possible. If the lane is too narrow to safely fit one car and one bike, we take up the whole lane. When the incident occurred, we were riding in single file down the middle of a narrow lane going about 30-35 km/h. There was another lane going in the same direction for cars to get around if they needed to.
Many times while riding, cars have buzzed by me too closely, honked at me, shouted profanity at me, then driven off never to be seen again. On this particular occasion, a car accelerated passed my buddy and I. It came close enough that I thought it clipped my buddy in front of me with its mirror. I rode up to my friend, and he confirmed that he hadn't been clipped, but that the car came ridiculously close to him. I was still mad. I could see that the driver needed to stop at the lights not 50 meters away from us (what was the point of his maneuver), so I came up on the drivers side ready to give him a piece of my mind. I was greeted with a stream of profanity explaining how I wasn't supposed to be in the middle of the lane. That made me go from mad to red. I gathered a nice horker and spit it into his open window as I floated slowly by. I'm not sure if the light turned green or not, but he punched it and turned into me hitting me at about mid bike and stopping short of knocking me over (I had to lean over onto his car to not be knocked onto the ground).
He continued driving through the light and down the road at a slow pace. I guess he thought he might pull over and TCB. We followed him as he drove to the next intersection and turned. We continued to follow him as he continued to drive slowly to the next intersection where he finally had to stop. I rode up to his closed window and gave him a piece of my mind (lot's of profanity). He was no longer a hero. He claimed to be calling the cops, and that I should pull over and wait. I did so. Out of curiosity, I walked over to where he hit me and could see the scrape where my boot made contact with his front fender. I went up to his window, and laughing at him telling him “you stupid f$%&, you're going to prison”. I explained that the material evidence was on his vehicle, to which he made two rebuttals in quick concession. The first was, “you cut me off”, and the second was “my word against yours”. I laughed at him and went over to wait by my bike. After about 20 seconds he started driving away... never to be seen again.
I honestly wish this never happened, and I have to accept some responsibility for the escalation. But these kinds of people are a menace and dangerous to cyclists. Why should I have to cower from these morons? I refuse to. I would have much rather pulled him from his car, so give me credit for having some restraint. I would like to know how others would handle this type of situation. Maybe someone can give me some good advice for the next time something like this happens.