I recently had a run-in with a car where I may have gone a bit over the top (my wife's only comment was "embarrassing", but I'm not sure how to take that). I told my friends about it but wanted the opinion of the fine people on BF. Here's my story:
This morning I was cruising in to work and was on a road with no bike lane (but it's a pretty wide road since there's room for parked cars but not a lot of people actually park there). Since I can keep up with traffic on that road I was riding in traffic about 10 feet behind the car in front of me (passing some slower bikers who got over to the right on the wide section over I5). Suddenly, to my dismay, I heard a loud honking noise followed by the sound of an engine purposefully revving up and I noticed a gentleman pulling up next to me in a red Camry. There was no room for him between me and the car in front of me but he decided that it would be a good idea to just go for it and run me off the road (the road that I obviously didn’t belong on anyway due to the fact that I'm a biker... you know the type!).
I’m not prone to violence so I decided the best solution was to talk it out with him. I started pedaling with all my strength, passed him (as well as the cars in front of him) on the right and blasted up to the stop sign where I jumped off my bike and waited for him. I ran over to his window where I urged him to get out of his car and chat with me for a bit so I could let him know that I was actually legally in the right (lest he try to run over any other cyclists who happen to be riding in a lane of traffic where there is no bike lane due to his lack of knowledge on traffic laws). It MIGHT have sounded more like I wanted him to come out and have a manly confrontation with me but I assure you it was only due to the fact that I was panting for breath due to cycling.
My plea for a polite conversation resulted in him and his wife locking their doors and sinking down in to their seats while pretending that I didn’t exist. So, I decided to resort to screaming “don’t you ever honk at me again you (expletive removed)!”. Since I am privy to the fact that Camry’s are built to Toyota’s highest standards I knew that I would have to scream as loud as I could to penetrate the sound-proof barrier of the cabin. Even then I wasn’t sure if they could hear me (after all: they could have the radio on!) so I made some wild hand gestures to get my point across as well.
The group of bikers that I had previously passed managed to catch up to me at this point so I said “ummm… sorry about that!”, hopped on my bike and made a hasty getaway. It wasn’t one of the least awkward moments of my life.
So, I have to ask: am I the biggest jerk ever? I feel slightly bad now because I'm worried that I reinforced his hatred of bikers. But, I also feel like there's a SLIGHT possibility that he'll think twice before messing with a biker again (which is a good thing in my book).