I’m going to get myself killed some time — and it’s probably going to happen when I’m on my bicycle and right after yet another motorist has screamed, “Get off the f—— road.”
You see, sometimes I just can’t contain myself when this happens, and, against my better judgment, I flip the bird.
It’s a dangerous thing to flip the bird these days – even if you are clearly in the right, thanks to the outrageous ubiquity of firearms in the U.S.
Some of the time, I’m able to control my emotions and brush off the vitriol anti-bicyclist drivers direct at me.
Yesterday, I couldn’t.
Biking greener than EV+PV And – in case you’re wondering what biking and solar-charged driving have to do with one another – for me, they’re tightly connected: They both fall under larger header of environmentally friendly living, something that is extremely important to me.
Yes, a motorist did yell, “Get the f—k off the road,” and, “I’m going to beat the s— out of you pansy ass faggot biker” to me yesterday morning in downtown Denver. He then pulled over on a side street and leapt out of his car while threatening to beat me to a ‘f—— pulp’.
While EV+PV is clearly 1,000 times greener than driving a gasoline stinker around, biking is greener still than EV+PV — not to mention healthier in the sense that it, unlike driving, keeps you fit.
True, it’s unlikely a motorist is going to leap out of his car yelling, “I’m going to beat the s— out of you, you pansy ass faggot” because you’re driving an EV, instead of an ICE, although there are plenty of anti-EV folks out there on the Internet who routinely question the manliness of EVs and EV drivers.
Yes, a motorist did yell, “Get the f—k off the road,” and, “I’m going to beat the s— out of you pansy ass faggot biker” to me yesterday morning in downtown Denver. He then pulled over on a side street and leapt out of his car while threatening to beat me to a ‘f—— pulp’. Luckily, he was about 30 feet away from me when he exploded out of — get this — his late 1990s baby blue Ford Taurus.
At that point, I – being the much smarter guy in this confrontation – sped away on my bike, realizing that escalating things further was just plain stupid.
I had travelled 12 miles without incident on this dedicated bike path. I had to travel just 300 meters before I was reminded of why I stick to bike paths as much as I can.
Here’s what happened: I rode my bike across a street on a green crosswalk signal for me. The enraged motorist — who, unsurprisingly, turned out to be an angry white male in his 40s with a pot belly and, I’m betting, with a Tea Party membership to boot — had to wait a second or two while I crossed the street before he could take his left turn.
Miffed – and clearly anti-biker to the core – he shouted, “Get the f— off the road”.
No matter that I was actually crossing the road on a crosswalk and was headed to the sidewalk on the other side.
‘I have the right of way’ Next, the bird from me and, yes, an expletive me as well: “F— you too! I have the right of way!”
I did have the right of way, of course. But right of way doesn’t matter to this type of person who thinks because he’s in a car he owns the road – and, apparently, the crosswalk too.
Next, his “pansy-ass faggot biker” taunt. Followed by the abrupt right turn onto a side street in front of me, and a furious leap out of his Taurus.
Next, my intelligent and hasty retreat, to the shout of, “That’s what I expected you faggot!”
Flipping the bird wasn’t the smartest move on my part – even though I had the right way. It was even less smart to aid this angry white man in getting what he was obviously looking for – a confrontation.
But what exactly should one do when people like this loose cannon, who is clearly on a quest to take on, and take out, bicyclists, steamroll over basic safety — Let It Go?
To flip the bird or not to If no one ever confronts the anti-bicyclist, the anti-pedestrian, the aggressive, speeding, texting, inattentive motorists out there, will these people ever learn that what they are doing is wrong, dangerous and even lethal? Who will die as a result of their anger, their aggression, their selfishness perhaps in part because no one around them has drawn their attention to their own outrageous behavior?
On the other hand – and this is part of the rationale underlying a ‘Let It Go’ philosophy – in confronting a dangerous driver with a horn, with a shout, with a “bird,” etc., you risk pushing that person even further. I worried that after the showdown I had with this anti-biker (I bet he would be anti-EV too) that he might have tried to mow down the next bicyclist he saw.
Of course, he was already prepared to mow down some bicyclists before I challenged him. After all, he was the one who initiated the whole confrontation with the signature anti-bicyclist “Get the f— off the road” scream and who also came very close to hitting me while I was in the crosswalk, all of this when I had a green signal to cross the street.
Unfortunately, this seems like a complete lose-lose situation. You lose if you don’t do anything and you lose if you do react. Which probably means it’s better not to react.
Again, though, who’s going to reign these folks in? And, if no one does – who’s going to die because no one has bothered to call them out?
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