I mean, really … other people? They’re just objects in the road. Something to get around. And if they piss you off, then scare them or put them in danger.
Here’s what a road bully pulled on me this morning. He didn’t realize, however, that wasn’t scared of him.
(Click for larger image)
That’s the intersection of National and Grand. I pass through this intersection everyday following the route indicated by the red line. While it might look scary, this intersection is easily traversed even by novices. All it takes is a basic understanding of how traffic works and the bicyclist’s role in it.
Since I head west through the intersection, I position myself to command the right-hand through lane. There’s a long sight-line to my rear, so car drivers may easily decide if they want to pull in behind a bicyclist or not. If not, they simply take the left-hand through lane. This reasonable, adult behavior works like a charm the vast majority of the time.
Then you have the bullies — their numbers are quite low, but their behavior can be disconcerting.
So this guy pulls in behind me at the light instead of taking the left lane. His behavior tells me that he’s comfortable with the fact that I won’t be traveling the speed limit through this intersection.
There were five cars to my left, and all of them passed me easily as we passed through the intersection (red line). The guy behind me stayed behind me until we reached the turn-out. Then he gunned the engine and passed me on the right using the turn-out despite the left lane being entirely clear (yellow line).
What an asshole.
Now, I have enough experience on the road that I was merely angered by his behavior, i.e. taking a chance with other people’s lives. But such a stunt is exactly the kind of thing that could frighten a novice off the road for good. And that really makes me angry.