On my way to the outdoor dodgeball game the other night I had a little encounter with a minivan piloted by a human-sized penis that had me steamin’. Cyclist / Motorist beef is nothing new but I felt this particular incident worth mentioning.
• I was riding Eastbound on Queen approaching Dufferin
• I cut left to avoid right turning cars
• Once through the intersection, I got back into the right lane
• I was riding about 2 feet out to avoid the plentiful and significant potholes and roadside bombs
• The Cryptkeeper in his minivan behind me didn’t appreciate the fact that there was a cyclist in front of him regardless of the fact that I was easily doing his speed or better
• He starts riding me closer and begins to honk
• I respond with a simple hand gesture, as you might expect
• He guns it to my left, looks me dead in the eye and then cuts right in an effort to sideswipe me
• My left pedal connected with his right rear wheel which was very nearly enough to bring me down
• I managed to stay upright, he took off and I gave chase
As I approached his car, now stopped on Queen, I had a million thoughts racing through my head but my prime directives were as follows; a) u-lock through his rear window b) fist through his cigarette stained corn kernal teeth and down his throat c) grab his heart and pull it up to where his Adam’s apple normally sits and leave it there because that is where mine had been sitting from the moment this ancient son of a bitch turned his two ton wrecking machine into me.
Fortunately, I’ve been working on controlling my temper on the road and by the time I’d caught up to him my better judgment had taken hold and rather than further escalating the situation in a negative way I chose to slide in front of his car, block his exit, call the police and wait there until they showed up.
The police arrived and from the onset of our interaction they treated me with a great deal of respect, consideration and understanding. I understood from the moment I called them that very little could or would be done (unfortunately the proof normally required in a case like this would be my head smashed open on the pavement) but I thought the incident worth reporting and the officer agreed – his hope was that even having to deal with them that night would cause him to think twice the next time he felt the urge to run someone off the road.
The responding officer gave him a lecture about sharing the road and let him know that, by all accounts, I had not done anything wrong (save for the hand gesture) and had a very friendly talk with me about how “these old guys” handle themselves on the road and how careful guys like me have to be in dealing with people because I’m more vulnerable on my bike – no arguments there.
Be careful out there folks; being in the right is good but trust me, being alive is better.