Tuesday, March 19, 2013

You Can't Blame the Bike: A Road Bully is going to be a Road Bully

I was driving our car last Sunday on Main Street.  There was nothing unusual about how I was driving.  I was going the speed limit, staying in my lane, watching for others around me.  I prepared to make a right turn into a parking lot drive way, slowed down, maintained my line, put my blinker on in advance.  However, the driver behind me remained right on my tail as I did these normal (in fact required) things.  Not only that, but he crossed over into the other lane of traffic to pass me at the moment I turned, garnering a honk from the passing car!  Neither of us could believe his behavior I'm sure.  I couldn't restrain myself, I honked too.  As he passed, he was waving his hand up at me.  I don't think I saw the classic middle finger, but I wonder what kind of expletive he was speaking in hopes that I could read his lips.

I'm commenting on this because I was not on my bike.  I want to say that I usually only experience this type of driving behavior when that is the case, however, on further thought about it, I realized that I do in fact experience just as much driver hostility on our Main Street when I'm NOT on my bike!

What does this mean?  It means you can't tell me that I'm 'asking for it' when I'm out there on my bike because it happens even when I'm out there in my car.  The bike really has nothing to do with how others treat me on the road.

It is simply the ATTITUDE of other drivers toward my presence, my very existence, that puts me at risk most.  I am in the way, slowing them down.  In their mind, I don't have a right to be there (even in my car if I have to slow down to turn), and they want me to know how they feel.  So they put me and others at risk by using their car to be 'pushy.'

 Why are Road Bullies so mean?  Where does their impatience come from?  Why can't they just slow down and wait?  Why don't they realize the danger they put others in when they let their bad attitude control the way they drive?

There is no excuse for that kind of driving behavior, and the responsibility lies solely on the driver.  I truly hope my road encounters never get more intense than what I experienced the other day.

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