So, tonight after work, i'm biking along in a dark and windy Seattle evening. You know the type of road, a typical urban four lane arterial, 30 MPH speed limit, center turn lane, a few stoplights every half mile or so.
It's going pretty good. this is nothing new of course, but I'm biking along, fully taking the outside lane, motorists are moving around me, etc.(A little background, I ride daily and transportationally as well as recreationally, am adriot at taking the lane, quite assertive about my road rights, etc.) My ride is going well. the heavy, flooding rains of the morning had stopped, and visibility was good for a stormy night. Traffic was light.
Playing out like the typical bicycle commute, motorists passing smoothly, just tooling along, feeling good, humming a song to myself, and I get the "bwah bwah bwabwa" 'disgruntled motorist' garble out the window of a car that just passed me. The one you can't decipher the words, but know the tone is disapproving. I catch up at a light, and give a hearty 'thanks' to the car.
There's a big downhill after the light, so i'm off fast and ahead for a few hundred yards, by which point I'm usually doing the 30 MPH speed limit on this stretch. Do the motorists that harangued me out the window choose to simply pass in the other lane? Of course not. After the light, they decide to get behind me, lay on the horn, THEN pass, to tell me I need to get out of the road and how riding in the center of the lane isn't smart, blah blah blah....
So I ask: what was I doing wrong? the wrong cravat? insufficient panache? Was my lane positioning not sufficient to educate the motorists about my right to the lane? I'm pretty sure I was getting harangued just because I was BIKING.
this fantasy some of the safety nannies posit around this forum is disgusting: the fantasy all a bicyclist needs to do to get respect on the roads is to take the lane, and watch the motorist harassment just fade away. what a crock.
some motorists will continue to disrespect bicyclists riding safely, legally or otherwise - REGARDLESS of lane position, exhibitions of panache or choice of cravat.
how much are you riding at night, Helmet Head? I'm trying to figure out some techniques for making my panache more noticable at night -any good ideas :?