I was riding home last night from my job which is about a 12 mile commute. I work in the hills and was traveling directly into 20 mph wind so I was not in the best of spirits already. My route is 100% bike lane and though my situational awareness is fantastic from years of motorcycling, I've never felt fearful. Last night though, I felt fearful for my life and was extremely angry because what happened was DELIBERATE, not a mistake.
So I'm sitting at a stop light waiting to cross Camelback Road, while traveling south on 40th Street in the bike lane. I have my right foot on the curb and my left foot on the pedal. All of a sudden, the car that has been parked 10 feet behind me starts laying on his horn, obviously wanting to turn right. I don't care, go around me, there is plenty of room. Instead though, he wants to make an issue of it so I turn around and shrug my shoulders in confusion and he gives me a dirty look and continues to horn at me. There are two elderlies in a newish Town Car, and they apparently are upset that I'm on the road, perhaps unaware of my rights, but I am editorializing so I digress.
anyway, after 5 or so seconds of honking at me excessively and the light still red, I shift my weight to unclip and dismount from the bike to get out of the way because this fight is not worth my life. As I start to unclip, they start to creep forward as if I'm not there, and they are not exactly trying to drive around me either. At this moment, fear took over and I was convinced they were going to run me down. See picture below to illustrate:
So, the car while driving by with me jumping out of the way got a nice fist sized dent in the hood. I consider it part fear, part self defense, part anger, and part education... though they will never get it I'm sure.
If this had been an honest mistake, I'd have just let it go, as I have in the past. Because it was completely on purpose and was out of anger, I just could not let it slide. I was freaked out.
How can people be such jerks?!