This last weekend I took my girlfriend, a new cyclist, on a ride near Bethesda, MD. We rode on a road that had no shoulders and some rather windy curves. The motorists ended up scaring her too much to continue our ride, but while we were riding we noticed that of the 50 or so vehicles that passed us, the two or three who passed dangerously close were pickup trucks, one of which had the yellow ribbon bumper sticker "Support Our Troops".
Growing up in the Midwest, it seemed that every motorist that I ever had problems with was a rural guy driving a pickup truck. While I am too old and disillusioned to think that I can change the world, I would like to at least understand it. I was never friends with any of these macho rural characters in pickup trucks, I would like to understand their mentality to try to deal with the inevitable altercation that I'm going to have with one of them when I can catch him.
Do they somehow think they're more manly by scaring cyclists?
Are they compensating for their frustrations at being a fat slob who's favorite exercise is the six pack arm curl?
Would someone please explain these men before I attempt to take justice into my own hands and become violent with one of these idiots?
A friend of mine told me how to stalk offensive, honking vehicles in cars and knock on their windows and politely explain to them that they're driving unsafely. If said in the proper commanding tone of voice, the driver will be afraid that one is a police officer. He has even had a woman break down crying because of her shame. If only I could catch these idiotic drivers and have the confidence that they would actually feel any guilt for their behavior, I might enjoy my bike rides more.