I realize you think I’m the biggest jerk in the world. And while it’s possible that you’re right, please also consider that riding a bike down Foothill Blvd is a scary and sometimes life-threatening experience.
- There is no bike lane
- There is no shoulder
- The only place to ride is in the vehicle lane
- Douchebags like Tony Kornheiser encourage drivers to run cyclists off the road, so that possibility is always in the back of my mind
- I move about 20-25 mph on a bike
- Motor vehicle traffic is moving at about 30 mph
- That speed differential is just enough to annoy most drivers such that they won’t wait for me
Which is apparently what was going through your mind, because I was trying to take the right lane all to myself when you pulled in next to me. In my lane. And then you started moving to the right. And I had no place to go but the gutter.
When you finally got around me, your rear bumper was about 18 inches from my front wheel. You may have thought that was plenty of room, but please consider that you were wrapped with two tons of steel, while I was wrapped in a layer of fabric thinner than my underwear. We might therefore have understandably had a difference of opinion regarding what constitutes a safe distance.
I will also concede that my anger at you was likely fueled by the driver of the utility truck in Emigration Canyon who—even though there was no oncoming traffic, no blind corner, I was safely in the bike lane, and he could have given me at least three feet as he passed—buzzed me as close to my left shoulder as he could without being charged with at least attempted vehicular manslaughter. I was still fuming over this when we met.
Here’s the thing, though. The fact that I caught up with you enough to successfully spit on your car indicates that just pulling into the lane behind me rather than forcing me to share it with you would not have delayed you meaningfully, if at all. I understand you’re angry with me. Justifiably. But it would never have happened had you been a bit more patient.
When you chased me down and nearly ran me off the road a second time, I was not surprised. When you yelled at me and called me all sorts of embarrassing names, I didn’t yell back. I just tried to explain why I was upset. I could understand why you were. The difference, however, is that I was upset for having been scared for my life, while you were upset about having to do 15 seconds worth of cleaning.
I’m embarrassed that it came to that. My actions were unjustified. I’m embarrassed for my teammate that was riding with me. He shouldn’t have been subjected to such a scene. I apologize, and I regret that the situation even happened. Especially, I regret that as I spat upon your driver’s side window, the window happened to be open.