it is the same thing every day...
yet it still pisses me off
this morning on my cross town commute I was trying to cross a busy street
the intersection where I was crossing lacks a stop sign or a stop light so I waited for a space where there was a break in traffic
knowing that there would never be a gap where traffic was clear from both directions
I moved half way across the block in the crosswalk when left was clear
on my bicycle I waited for a sizable gap between oncoming car traffic to my right
whush.... whush... whush
the cars buzzed past never changing pace
never considering the variables around them
when there was reasonable gap in traffic coming from my right I proceeded forward
the traffic headed my way did not change pace
the lead car was coming unnecessarily fast
so I altered pace
rather than leap out of the way rising having my rear tire clipped I slowed and stopped
my slowing and stopping is a mixture of messages
first and foremost I do not want to get hit... I want the car to slow and/or stop to make sure that I am fully clear of the point of intersection
and in this case... I wanted the driver to realize my right of way and their failure to respect that right
this car (as all cars should) should alter its pace and yield to traffic in the cross walk
be that traffic on foot or on bicycle
when this little red Mini Cooper finally stopped at the white line before the cross walk the driver made a face and gestured for me to clear the space
not sure if she was hearing impaired I communicated with sign language as well
I motioned a set of gestures... none of which were profane
-I motioned to the crosswalk where I stood
-I made the "I am talking on the phone" motion then pointed to her and the cell phone still pressed to her ear
-then I gave her the gang symbol that is also the Speed Limit... TWO-FIVE... the Speed Limit is 25MPH!
at first she responded by hiding the phone... perhaps thinking that this large man on the bicycle is in face a DC Metropolitan Police Officer
as if hiding the phone would reverse the fact that she had been talking on the phone while speeding down the road
then she got back into the non-verbal game
there were faces and gestures that I am not sure if I could decipher
I repeated my set of symbols then finished crossing the street never knowing if she had any concept of what I was trying to convey
as this pretty little blond bitch in her hip little car pulled away she rolled down the window and slowed and stopped and then shouted at me... "I hope next time you get hit!"
which is not so nice... since she is the one who decides whether or not I get hit
there was no time for me to shout back anything clever so I fell back on my default... I called her a name which describes a part of her female anatomy which represents her as a whole... not a nice thing to say to anyone
what I really wanted to say... "I hope that your ovaries dry up and leave you barren so that you may never spawn..."
but of course she was gone and more over... I do not mean that
just as I really hope that she did not mean what she said
what is wrong with people?
yes... a classic case of ACTION AND OVER REACTION!
my over reaction was a response to her already inappropriate set of actions
had she given me my rights and some basic respect we would have never had to encounter the other
when I tried to have her witness her wrong doings... she lashed out at me
I am certain she got to work and shared her story with her car driving friends
and they all agreed... the bicyclist has no rights to the road
the roads are for cars... certainly not the low life types who travel by bicycle
I am thinking that I need to design a set of business cards stating a few things
who I am....
I AM A HUSBAND, A FATHER, AN EMPLOYEE
I AM SOMEONE'S FRIEND
I AM A DOG's OWNER
I AM A PERSON JUST LIKE YOU
YES... A HUMAN BEING
then on the other side I could list a few laws and some logic that is really common sense....
THE SPEED LIMIT SETS THE MAXIMUM SPEED A CAR, TRUCK, OR MOTORCYCLE SHOULD BE TRAVELING ON A GIVEN ROAD
THE SPEED A VEHICLE SHOULD BE TRAVELING WHEN PASSING A PEDESTRIAN OR CYCLIST SHOULD BE BELOW THAT SET SPEED LIMIT
SLOW AND GRANT THE RIGHT OF WAY TO PEDESTRIANS AND CYCLISTS
and so on and so on