Friday, July 1, 2011

Take the lane, before somebody gets hurt.

Given the amount of miles I am putting on this summer it was really only a matter of time before I encountered one of Minnesota's knucklehead drivers. In reality I was surprised I made it this long. what occurred last night was only a minor altercation but happened as follows:

At the intersection of a semi-busy road, crossing a busy road, there is a situation where the bike lane does not immediately pick p on the other side, due to a large concrete median in the center of previously mentioned semi-busy road. this creates a scenario where for approximately 150 feet bicyclists and motorists are forced to share the lane.

Being the conscientious and accommodating person that I am, I by nature ride to the right when I am in a lane; however, this sends the wrong message to motorists behind me, indicating that it is OK to overtake me within this stretch, even though a motorist cannot legally do so (MN law states that you must give cyclists at least a 3' berth when overtaking).

I think that you can see where this is heading.

Sure enough, a rusty sports car squeezed past me and I was startled by some angry white trash woman who bellowed from the passenger window, "GET ON THE DAMNED SIDEWALK!"


Aside from the fact that it is potentially illegal for me to even be on the sidewalk (I am technically a vehicle, not a pedestrian) the fact remains that I HAVE EVERY LEGAL RIGHT to be on the road, just like her and her mullet-sporting boyfriend do. I thought of all these things but as they sped away the only response I could muster was to give them the peace sign & hope that they would spot it in their rear-view mirror.

On a side note, I like giving the peace sign in these situations. It appeases the reactionary urge I have to flip the bird, and does not carry the same repercussions. Passive-Aggressive of me, I know.


Mulling over what I could have done differently I arrived at two conclusions: (1) The idiot in the passenger seat was ignorant regarding traffic laws & most likely was going to yell at me anyway, and (2) Based on my position in the lane, I was practically asking the driver to try to squeeze by me.

My conclusion from all of this is that from now on I am going to decisively take the lane when needed, so that nobody gets hurt. Let the hatas hate.