A matter arose during this morning's ride that presents a conundrum wrapped in an enigma. I need some advice.
My 16-year old son is a budding radical environmentalist who rides his bike 5 1/2 miles to school despite having access to a car. This morning I was getting ready for a ride when he was getting ready to leave, and I offered to ride to school with him. He readily accepted. (Take a moment with that: A teenager who is a popular member of the swim team and Eco Club, with an actual girlfriend, agrees to bike ride to school with his 52-year old father, who was dressed in bike shorts, a t-shirt, bike helmet and white bike shoes. Thus, the enigma.) The route to school has good-quality paths about half the way, and I have been telling my son to stay on the road and off the paths, because the road is safer. Today, however, we were almost run into by a driver passing a trash truck, and I was almost hit by a speeding teenager turning right on red into my lane. Thus, my conundrum: Is it good parenting for a teenager to see his father yelling at and flipping off bad drivers, as a way of teaching assertive (and thus safe) cycling in traffic? I ask this in light of an incident about four years ago when we were riding and a redneck in a pickup truck honked at him and buzzed him, and then did the same to me, and I yelled at the driver and gave him a finger, resulting in my son telling me that I was his "hero."
So, was I right or wrong?