The other morning I went for a nice “easy spin” with Ironman Danish on the Key. As we rode on the key, traffic was backed up all the way to the tolls. At first, I had a knot in my throat,
hoping to God it was not another cyclist taken down by a car. The morning of Aaron Cohen’s death traffic followed a similar pattern. Luckily, it was “only” a car accident–a VW that was almost completely totaled. Leaves you wondering how fast that car on car accident had to have been traveling to cause such damage to that German engineered vehicle…hmmmmm.
Anyway, about hour 3 into our ride (thus near the end), a car laid on their horn as they swerved close to us (in the bike lane) on the Rickenbacker Bridge. My reaction was to immediately take one of my hands off the handle bar and give the guy “the bird.” Ironman Danish immediately jumped on me for my action asking, “why give the guy the finger?” I had a few short answers to him, but, I have had more time to think about it and here are my reasons (as childish as they may seem):
1. It made me feel better and maybe a little vindicated. Similar to Jen Aniston’s character in Office Space when accused of not having enough flare for the third time and quits.
2. I felt it was my job to point out to the driver that he/she is, in fact, a duechebag.
3. I was pretty certain that the driver would not HEAR me shout my lecture I wanted to give him/her. I always hope that they will get stopped at a light and I can ask them to roll down their window so I can tell them the laws and rights I have as a cyclist-that never happens.
4. Why not? So, I get it, I am going down to their level and blah, blah, blah. But–they started it damn it! The hockey player in me will not let the incident just slide by–unless, of course, there is a ref next to me (in the real world a ref is a cop–you hope).
So, it is for these reasons that again yesterday when a car went by and honked as they had one tire in MY bike lane that I again whipped out the bird. Sometimes I think about an alternative, but carrying a sign of the size needed to be a real eye catcher is just too impractical (I am not sure it would fit in my jersey pocket). I also have thought about getting a jersey made to look like this shirt:
I am in the works of centering my chi so that I do not have this need to let people know they are not awesome, but I have a feeling re-setting the hockey player in me could take a while….in the meantime–stay safe out there, make sure you know the laws and ride within your rights (and ability). Wear lights and of course, aways make sure you are highly visible (I got that covered):