Wow. So I’m riding my bicycle on E. 3rd Avenue (near E. 31st Street) at about 5pm on Tuesday, April 12. I see a fellow cyclist riding toward me on a road bike, in full gear.
A guy in a Subaru passes him, then slams on his brakes and comes to a stop right there, in the middle of the street. His tires even kind of squealed a little. Like in the movies.
The door flies open. The driver jumps out, runs up to Road Bike Guy and begins screaming. Cursing. Getting right in his face. Yelling obscenities that you can’t print here. For about five minutes. Seriously ranting about how the cyclist had cut the guy off. I’m pretty sure I saw spit flying.
I was so shocked I simply stopped my bike, got off, and just stood there watching. I wanted to make sure Angry Subaru Guy knew there were witnesses.
Road Bike Guy, to his credit, kept his cool.
After about three minutes of yelling, cursing, and claiming ‘champion cyclist’ status (“I’m a cyclist, too!”), Angry Subaru Man turned and started to get back in his car.
Meanwhile, no fewer than 7 cars are stopped in traffic. I counted.
Road Bike Guy, thanks for keeping your cool.
Angry Subaru Man, if you really ARE a cyclist, couldn’t you think of a better way to address the issue with Road Bike Guy? Do you think that R.B.G. somehow agrees with you now?
Were you worked up about something else? Lose your job? Going through a divorce? Times truly are tough right now. We’re all hurting, in one way or another. We live in community. We’ve got to cut each other some slack from time to time.
I’m pretty sure that any children who were in the 7 vehicles you stopped were watching you, learning one (less than ideal) way to deal with conflict. You were teaching by example, intentionally or not.
Thanks for the reminder that I’m teaching by example, as well. Next time I’m in my car and frustrated with a cyclist, or on my bike and frustrated with the driver of a vehicle, I’ll think of you.