Over the weekend, I did 140 miles between Saturday and Sunday - 35 mph winds on Saturday, something slightly less according to the weather reports on Sunday, but plenty of wind both days, and, somehow, it seems I always catch it head on.
Anyhow, most of my miles were pleasant. However, at one point, the road took me under a two lane overpass (road passes under, train tracks pass over). Although this is a busy thoroughfare recently repaved, the shoulder through this underpass is an obvious gathering spot for all the rocks and gravel washed there by rainwater. The entire shoulder looks like a rock garden. So, I had to move slightly left of the painted right side line.
There is plenty of traffic on this road in both directions, and cars passing me are slowing to navigate by without incident. Just as I am in the middle of this underpass (it is also uphill in my direction so I'm moving slowly - probably 6mph), a dump truck passes me (one of those big jobs with three double axles in the rear). Just as he pulls abreast of me, I hear a loud crack. Turns out, another large dump truck was coming through in the opposite direction and the two vehicles smacked their mirrors together (or at least the guy passing me smacked his mirror on some part of the other truck).
As he clears, I see broken glass and what's left of a black retaining frame twirling around on the pavement as it came to rest to join the rest of the junk under that bridge.
The driver continues about half way up the hill (this incline is probably about half a mile long) and pulls over. I'm guessing that maybe he's checking to see if the other truck stopped or whatever. Then he continues on and I'm guessing I've seen the last of him.
As I reach the top of the hill, there is a convenience store on the right hand side of the road - there sits this dump truck. As I pass, the driver jumps out, comes in my direction screaming at me that I made him break his @#$@#$% mirror. He's threatening to call the cops. "That's a good idea," I added.
This, of course, only further enrages him. By now, I'm starting to get a little worked up myself. I ask him if he'd like to go back down to the bridge and have a look at the condition of the shoulder - nah, he says I don't belong on the road. "So, what should I do - just not be on the road because you are coming through?" I asked.
He claims I should have dismounted and walked my bike through the underpass. "Right - so, on foot, instead of trying to pass me, you would have used your brakes and waited for me to walk through - sure."
He starts to raise his fist to come at me at which point I'd had enough, so I pedaled away from him. He followed in his truck to the next light - gave me a long blast oh the horn, then, thankfully, turned right as I went straight - end of encounter.
Took me a couple of miles before my blood pressure returned to normal.
I'm sure if he hadn't broken his mirror, he would have passed me without incident.
I certainly don't feel I did anything wrong. This isn't an area where I would have wanted to move further into my lane to prevent anyone from passing me. Traffic moves at around 45 mph and due to the fact that it is uphill at that point, I cannot move quickly through there - and there is also no way I could have predicted that two trucks would happen to pass under the bridge at the time I was passing through, either.
I regret that I took the time to interact with this guy - it would probably have been better if I just kept on going without saying a word - I was just so totally shocked that he would take the time to wait until I climbed that hill just to blow off steam at me - and, while I shouldn't be, I was certainly shocked that he is convinced that I either don't belong on the road, or that I should have walked my bike through that area.
Anyhow, over the balance of the 140 miles, there were no other incidents and it turned out to be a great weekend.