Tuesday, April 9, 2013

Drivers Surprise Me

Still working on it.
Let’s just say that I have been a little bit frustrated with drivers lately, and weirded out by reports of Molotov cocktails and grocery carts being thrown down at bikers riding on the Midtown Greenway in Minneapolis. Because I have spent so much of my life riding a bike, it is hard for me to comprehend the animosity some people have towards folks on two wheels. I can understand frustration and annoyance, but road-rage and harassment and assault is incomprehensible.

I certainly have been angered by careless drivers. After all, I did start this blog on the anniversary of being hit by a car. Both of my knees were injured and I was laid up for several weeks; I had some pretty choice words that day. Yesterday, my anger was kindled when I innocently rolled through a Stop sign when there were no cars present, except for the guy driving in the same direction next to me (who also rolled at about the same rate through the Stop as I did). He then rolled down his window and yelled at me that I should be fined for the offense and sped off.

I can appreciate his frustration (if not his hypocrisy) at the double standard. A cop probably wouldn’t have issued a citation to a cyclist for this… although they probably could have. What irked me about the situation is what happened next. Approaching the next stoplight I saw his car pulled off the road to the left (facing the other direction). When I passed he pulled U-turn in the middle of the road (also illegal) and pulled up alongside me at the light, which was blinking red. Being that there was a lot of traffic this time, and I was unsure of how this man would react, I stopped my bike put my foot on the ground and glared at him dead in the eyes through the window. It was my best sizing-up-for-a-fight look, and he said nothing.

We went on our separate ways, but my blood continued to boil.

This morning, someone backing out of their driveway did not look behind them, but I saw them moving and swerved as I passed behind. A car later cut me off so they could make a right turn in front of me, presumably because they didn’t want to wait a moment to make the turn behind me.

It was raining and I was soaked through and probably looked like hell on this particular climb when a guy in an SUV marked with a construction logo slowed to match my speed, rolled his window down, and to my surprise asked me if I had far to go and would I like a ride. I told him thank you but that I still had about 5 miles to go to Downtown but that I was good. When I first saw him through the window I could tell he meant no ill, and I expected he was going to ask me for directions. It totally surprised me though that he would see that I might be having a hard ride and would offer to help.

17 minutes later I arrived at work, poured the water out of my shoes, rung out my socks, and hung everything to dry for another wet ride home.

No comments:

Post a Comment