Seattle Rider New to Forum
I'm new here. I have a story to share.
I ride around town on my beat-up Giant CFR-1 road bike. I'm lucky to be in Seattle, which is a fairly bicycle friendly town.
However: I do have one unfriendly car encounter to share. I was coming back from a friend's house near the U Village to the Greenlake area. I took Ravenna Avenue over the hill and rode to the Park & Ride area under I-5 at 65th street. This was at around 12 or 1AM and I had my lights on.
I was in the bicycle lane and two cars were stopped at the intersection. They were on my left side. I noticed both beat-up cars contained a full load of teenagers (or college kids). In the lead car next to me, some sort of grey Chevy with mixed paint body parts, was a young guy who was oddly very upset at me. He was shouting "Get off the ****ing road!" out the window a few times. I guess I did not hear him the first few times. The driver, a woman (his girlfriend?) was either laughing or cringing.
I started to explain the situation, but then decided to ignore the man. I was hoping they'd leave me alone. But suddendly, he opened the car door and stepped around it, then punched me in the face. He then got back in the car. I wasn't sure what to do. Of course I was mad but also confused. Also defiant: I did not want to be told where to ride. Was it an appropriate time for retribution? I was clearly outnumbered, but oddly not scared. His friends probably were in the same mindset, so escalation would have been foolish.
He continued to taunt me. And while I was analyzing the situation, I was punched again. Was once not enough?
The light changed, they turned and drove off. When I called the police, I wish I got their license plate number, though I don't think it was ever quite visible to me. I was emotional not logical.
And then two weeks later I ended up getting harassed by some kids driving a van next to Greenlake. They were driving too closely and honking their horn to try to scare me. I wasn't scared, I wanted to kick their ass though.
This was last summer.
But I haven't had any issues recently. My wife suggested not to ride late at night, especially during the weekend since drunk idiots roam the streets. Night riding is actually quite fun, because the streets are fairly clear of traffic and there's something fun about riding in the dark (with proper lighting, of course.) But perhaps I need to replace my water bottle holder with a gun rack?