Okay, I've read some of the other road rage stories and I know that I handled yesterday's events poorly. So here's the scoop:
I was right around halfway through my 18 mile commute when this kid, (couldn't have been older than 25), slowly pulled along side of me, crowding me toward the curb and laid on his horn. I gave him the finger as he drove on past. He turned off at the next street and I thought it was over.
Apparently, he circled the block so he could take another run at me. This time, he had his window down and pulled along side cursing me out while honking and giving me the finger. I returned the salute and he gunned it up to the next side street, where he pulled in and got out of his car. He was standing there waiting as I approached the street.
I have to tell you I am NOT an intimidating figure, (5'11"/150lbs), but it's not like I could get away. I figured it was either face him now, or he could keep this up all the way to my house. The adrenaline was pumping and I thought, "Okay, it's go-time." I parked my bike on the sidewalk, dropped my helmet in the grass and started walking towards him. He waited until I was about five feet away, yelled "F*** you, man!" and jumped back into his car. He peeled out and yelled some other stuff at me as he disappeared into the neighborhood.
I guess he thought that if he got out of his car, I would ride on by while he hurled insults from the curb.
So, no harm done, but I may not be so lucky next time. I'm curious how some others would have handled this situation. Had he been behind me and honked, I would have just pointed to the next lane and never looked up, but his encroachment into my lane was a bit much. Where would you draw the line?
Well, I know it's not easy, especially when endowed with a particular set of glands, but the best course is probably to just note his plate #, file a report and move on. Instead of all the saluting and what not.
You never know what kind of psycho you are dealing with. It could have gotten ugly and there really was nothing to gain from a confrontation.
Giant TCR 0, Lemond Zurich, Giant NRS 1, Jamis Explorer Beater/Commuter, Peugeot converted single speed
Great story. I am glad he didn't circle again and shoot you in the back of the head or turn you into a bloody smear on the road. I always have to remind myself that the cars have the ability to come around again and take their revenge before I notice.
Well I've had my share of hot-headed run-ins. Once I got into a shoving match with some dude who got out of his car. That ended when I told him we should go ahead and dance, I had his plate number no matter the outcome. Then there was another time I spit on someone as he leaned out the passenger window giving me the finger. They got tied up in traffic and dude got out of the car and ran after me on foot for a couple of blocks. I even slowed up to let him close the gap a bit a few times. Another time I got into it and the dude started reaching around under his seat for something (I'll leave it to your imagination to guess what).
In general it's not worth it. The complaint forms aren't worth the paper they're printed on, at least here, but it's sure not worth the risk of injury.