Riding to work this morning. Heading down Rhode Island Ave. in the Shaw neighborhood of DC--a place that has been described as 'transitional' for about a decade now--when I get sideswiped by an MF in a Nissan Sentra. We are about half a block away from the light and I'm pacing traffic and taking the lane since there is no room and a nasty curb/potholes on my right. I take a peak behind and see the Sentra looking to pass me on the left. He's got no room and I know in five more seconds I'm up to the cars stopped at the light and leaving this a-hole far behind. No such luck. He summons all the power the Nissan hamster engine can muster and performs a semi-successful pass.
A couple more inches to the right and me and s.chivo are in the broken bone club together, as it turns out, his front right bumper catches my foot/crank/rear-wheel and knocks me about three feet to the right. Somehow, I'm able to absorb the impact and keep upright. I slow down in time to find him in the line of cars waiting at the light. Sidle up to the driver side window to have a chat with this punk and he's ready for me. Rolls down his window with his left hand and shows me "The Club" he has at the ready in his right. (Not sure what he can do with it at this point since he can't open the door I'm blocking...maybe he was going to poke me?)
Needless to say a heated debate about where bikes belong ensued, and as his grip on the club tightened I was really tempted to introduce him to my new friend, Mr. Mini-U lock, which I recently purchased after receiving sage advice from Chi-town's own 165. With whatever remnants of rational thought I still had bubbling up from the abyss (and a fear that the next thing he pulled out from under the seat would be a little easier to operate [read:discharge] from such close quarters), I decided the best thing to do was cut my losses and get out of there, which I did after giving his door a hearty kick for good measure. Worst part--as I'm riding away, I look down and notice my rear wheel has about an inch and a half of yaw in it. Granted the wheel is a $36 Bigwheel.com special, but it is only one effing week old. I jump off at McPherson Square, inspect the damage, and think it should be okay with some truing.
Once at work I reviewed my options. I had his license number and could call the police, since he more or less told me it was my fault I got hit because I should have been on the sidewalk. I didn't think this was the best option, because an enemy in the district with my name and address is not something I need. I also have resources that make finding out who this punk is pretty easy, and, in fact, I now have his name, address, and phone number. I also know that he is driving with a suspended license. I'm sure I could find ways to make his life miserable, but again, probably not worth it. Ten years ago I would've just punched the guy. Maybe I've lost the rage. Pity.
Oh yeah, second worst part about the incident--a witness to the whole ordeal was a fixie riding messer who obviously pegged me as a wannabee-poseur-fixie/mess-groupie and didn't want any part of the row. He moseyed on by with nary a word. I'm sure he's having a good laugh recreating the whole ordeal for his buddies in Farragut Square. Ah well. At least, maybe I made somebody's day.