What happened? I got harassed by an angry old white man driving an old model very shiny robin's egg blue Mercedes Benz. It was scary and I was not bold or aggressive and I definitely did not pull out a gun and shoot him. I don't have a gun.
The Contraption Captain and I were bicycling on a wide and quiet residential road. We were not exactly side by side but my front wheel was even with his rear wheel because we were talking to each other. There were few other cars, there wasn't much of anything going on.
A car came up and the driver was clearly angry. He honked and called out something along the lines of "YOU SHIT" and then he drove slowly gesturing like a lunatic from inside his car.
I had recently seen this graphic. So I waved a little.
Now his rage knew no bounds. He screamed a long stream of not very inventive obscenities. He shouted about bicyclists riding side by side and that this was against the law. He continued on and so did we, our ride spoiled. He was up ahead and pulled over, shouting more invective including "THIS IS WHY WE HATE YOU." I'll come back to that later.
He drove on and invited us to get out of our cars to talk to him. He had pulled over again. Contraption said politely "We need to get to work" and he screamed "FUUCK!" at us and we pedaled on. At this point we usually part ways and I head to my own office but on this occasion I rode right into Contraption's parking lot, and then through the gate and then to his office building. Contraption closed the gate behind. We locked up the bicycles. We went in and had a nice breakfast and we talked.
We don't get it. We were not running red lights. We were not delaying traffic. We were not "taking a lane." We were riding close together. This is worth harassing and threatening a couple of middle-aged engineers on their way to work? Really?
What I thought about was his screaming "This is why we hate you." Ok. You, a driver, hate us, the bicyclists, because sometimes we ride close together. How about we talk about why I fucking hate you.
- I hate you because you do fucked up shit like scream and shout and threaten two people who haven't done anything more exciting then ride close enough to each other to have a covnersation.
- I hate your kind because your inability to see beyond your windshield (aka the "I didn't see them" defense) results in countless pedestrian and bicycle deaths every year.
- I hate you for running over children and animals.
- I hate you for parking lots.
- I hate you for the wretched stink you exude.
I promise you this. Your rage is right up at the surface, able to boil over at the mere sight of two happy people talking and laughing as they bicycle to work on a quiet residential street.
My rage is safely stowed. But it is very real. I am not exaggerating when I say to you that if you harm so much as a hair of my Contraption Captain's head I will find you and I will pin you to the ground with my bicycle and tear your testicles off and toss them in your gas tank. So take that you miserable asshole.
ps. Also, I called the police and reported you. You are welcome.
pps. your generation are dying. hope your turn comes soon. we won't miss you.