Monday, April 27, 2009

Violence against Cyclists

From Bob's blog: "Cyclists ambushed with wall of flames"

Yikes. Let's hope this kind of crap doesn't start over here in the US.

I've noticed a great amount of aggression from drivers lately, maybe because it's because I'm putting more commute miles in that in years past, maybe it's because of traffic, fuel costs, or just the economy being a drag on people's constitution.

The other day, The Car Whisperer and I were on our way home when we noticed a Woman trying to cross Elston/Grace with three kids and a stroller... she was at a crosswalk but there wasn't a stop sign for quite a distance. As I notice that she's starting to cross, I look behind me to see an SUV about 200m back, hurtling towards us all. I swerve out of the bike lane to make sure they're paying attention, and I get a honk out of it. At least they saw me because of my swerve. They're upon me shortly, screaming at the both of us "you have a bike lane, this is the car lane, stay in the bike lane! eeeeediot!" After this inital volley of pleasantries, neither TCW nor myself are really inclined to proceed gingerly, so we lob back a few "there were pedestrians in the sidewalk, slow down, wtf! etc"

The mother shoots me a glance as if to say "thanks!" then gets her kids and stroller quickly away from the situation lest it escalate. TCW and I roll forth, then the SUV starts tailing us, honking like crazy. In a stroke of genius, TCW replies with a gesture the likes of which I've not seen in response to a driver's honk, but certainly one that I'll use going forward... let's just say it went a little something like what's 1:00 into this clip:

Yeah. Something like that, but less wii, less basement-living room, and done while on a bike at 15mph. That guy's got mad skillz.

In either case, he got a laugh out of the angry driver, most of the drivers sitting at Elston/Kimball, as well as a few pedestrians who saw what was going on.

I doubt it'd be as effective against a wall of flames.


The Car Whisperer said...

I learned from Dad.

Bob Mitera said...

Oh sh*t that is great. I am coughing on my own saliva. I miss riding in California. At least folks gave us the right of way from time to time either walking or cycling.