I was riding home today on Monona Drive in Madison. The section I was on has a 30mph speed limit. I was going between 20 and 25. It's a four lane road and I was in right lane between center and the right tire tread. I was coming up to an intersection when I see a car pulling up to the light on the street that I'm about to cross. They're on my right hundred or so feet up (wild estimation). They were making a right turn. I had a green light. They pulled out in front of me kinda suddenly. I didn't want to swerve into the left lane, so I hit the brakes. I still got close enough to their car to put my foot out to prevent me from hitting it. They turned off immediately into the closest driveway. So did I. We both stop.
There is a couple in the car and the woman driving. They look like they're about 60 or so. I knock on the passenger side (I figured I might intimidate the woman too much). The guys rolls down the window and I ask the woman, "Didn't you see me coming?" Yes, she did. But I was riding on the street improperly, according to them. I tried to explain that I was riding properly, and that if I was a car I would've probably smashed into them. Things started heating up, the guy gets out of the car. I'm not really scared, because I'm 6'2" and 215lbs, and he's retired, but it seemed confrontational when he got out of the car. He was yelling at me that I should've slowed for them, that I was riding wrong, etc. I remember him saying something about their turn signal (which I couldn't see because I'm coming from the left side of their car and they're turning right). He also said that I was going too fast, then caught his mistake and said that I should have been watching for them better. I said, "No, you were turning right. You have to yield to oncoming traffic. That's how turning right works." He threatened to call the cops to have them throw me in jail, to which I replied, "For what? Following the rules of the road?"
About this time a person comes out of the house, another older woman they were picking up. They're just telling me to leave. I say I will but that I wasn't doing anything wrong. I apologize to the woman who came out of the house for ruining their good time (I was really sincere about this... a confrontation with a stranger isn't a fun way to start off some social interaction with your friends, I know this) and get on my bike and ride away.
So... should I have called the cops at all? When they were in the driveway, before I knocked on their windshield, I thought about calling the cops then. I figured I would try talking to them, because I think just automatically calling the police for things like this is silly. Should I have just called the cops as soon as the guy suggested it?
I feel like I could've been way calmer about this. I don't think that I should've just ridden on and shaken it off. I had a good opportunity to talk to these people who just did something wrong. I wish I had some brochure or something I could've just given them: "Cars, Bikes, and the rules of the road" or something like that.
I'm realizing now that the reason they pulled out was probably because they thought I was going way slower than I was. Since they were turning into the first driveway on their right, if I had been going slowly they would've already been in the driveway by the time I passed them.