a comment brought to the surface to share... so I can grow from it... so others can learn from it

this is a message I received on a random post the other day
the author did not spend any time looking at my blog
the author should have just sent me an email directly
the email would not have been shared
but since it is a comment and could be see by any reader any time I am shuffling it from the background to the foreground

my aim is not to incite rage or anger in this person or myself
this is an effort for me to better understand myself and this situation
and then maybe
maybe for this person and other people to better understand what is happening here...

Joel, You were extremely rude and hostile to me one morning a few weeks ago when I believe we were both commuting to work. My 8 year old son and I are your neighbors in Mt P, we normally ride bikes to work/school, but that AM we were in our Prius when you pulled out directly in front of us, got in middle of the street and proceeded to hog the road going about 9mph. I went around you, giving you a VERY wide birth. I even thought that your bike with the wheel barrel in front looked kinda cool. My little boy admired it as we drove by you. My son's fascination with your bike quickly turned to fear when you began aggressively pounding on my driver's side windshield. As I woman I was shocked and offended by the nasty comments you made about my face( nothing to do with "share the road" but to an 8 year old boy in back seat very frightenning to see an "old guy with a beard" pounding on his Mom's widow. "can he get us,Mom" YOU NEED TO GET A GRIP ON YOURSELF DUDE...and what is with your anger towards women?? I hear you are married and have a kid. Is that right?? Do you share your hostile side with your wife and bare that kind of anger in front of your child? Not to mention: bad way to establish a share the road culture!


I remember that morning...

this incident occurred a few blocks from my house just minutes from leaving off to work
I turned right off Monroe onto 18th...
there was plenty of room for me to take the right before the car traffic from the left came into play

there was less than half of a city block between me and the red light ahead and you felt the need to pass me way above 25 MPH in between me and the cars on the left hand side of the road

You were going so fast that when you were finally able to stop you were well beyond the stop line, blocking half of the crosswalk

When I got to you side I tapped on your driver side window to get you attention. Until this point I did not know if it was man or beast that had passed me... all I knew was that the action of passing me was without reason. When I spoke to you... you mocked me. Since you not only threatened my life by entering my space and then opted to mock me... I mocked you back.

I thought it was unnecessary for you to pass. Yes, I was going slow... no need to get the bike up to speed when I know that I am going to have to slow and then stop at the Red Light. I am not sure of my speed and not sure how you could estimate my speed with such precision driving past me as you did.

back to the point... You are the hundredth monkey... each day I drive through the neighborhood and the city... cars take up more than half the lane coming towards me and then aggressively pass me on the left when coming from behind. It is anxious, yet I deal with it. It is my reality. I grip the handlebars and I grit my teeth. I hang on and cross my fingers. I have been hit... I have been run off the road, both intentionally and unintentionally.

When I am responding to you... I am fed up and responding to all the drivers who pass me that way.
There were 99 monkeys that passed me in the days prior... I let them pass and said nothing. But when the hundredth monkey passes... they may get the finger or a word or two. I approached you calmly. Looking to talk to you... you treated me with the same disrespect face to face as you did car to bike.

Had you opened the window I would have asked, "What is you hurry? Why are you speeding through this residential neighborhood?" I can ride no further to the right because of the risk of car doors opening... so I ride here. The Speed Limit is 25 MPH... so my going slow is more within the limits of the law than you speeding"

or something to that effect
but... you did not listen... so we did not have this conversation
instead of having a conversation that could have resolved our disagreement to the use of space... your opted to disregard me and mock me. That is why I was so rude to you. It was action and reaction... your obnoxious set of actions and then my over reaction.

When Bush was in office I hated people with their W Stickers and their Ford Explorers

Now with the change of power in the executive office the people passing me obnoxiously fast and obnoxiously close are in Prius' with Obama stickers

Yes, I am married. Yes, I have kids. I would be less angry if people in the wrong were less self righteous. If you had taken less than a second to read my blog you would have had more insight into who I am.

Look in the mirror. See your contribution to the situation. My action may have been inappropriate. But it was just an over reaction to your inappropriate reaction. I may have been wrong... but only after your wronged me.

Sharing the Road does not mean me getting out of your way as you barrel through a residential neighborhood. You would not want me driving my car past you or your child in that fashion... would you?

I am not Ghandi. And why is it me that needs to be subjected to abuse then turn the other cheek? I have been riding bikes for my whole life. Well... since I was younger than your son. In that time I have have had more than my fair share of incidents.

As for your son's fear? Kids says stuff. My younger son says similar stuff when cars tailgate behind us as we ride down residential streets.

Not that I want to be enemies, as a matter of fact I hate confrontation. But, until you realize your contribution to the situation we can not even talk.

Maybe when you ride your bike to school with your child you can watch how the cars around you behave. You can get a chance to look in the mirror and see things as they are. I exist in cars and on bikes. When on the bike I am very defensive... especially with my children. When in the car I over exaggerate appropriate behavior around pedestrians and cyclists. Maybe... just maybe... you will have an epiphany and realize that you were wrong in your effort to pass me... wrong in your inability to make a complete stop at the stop line... then wrong not to allow there to be a discussion between us... and then wrong to mock me as I spoke.

I was just riding to work and well... had you just looked ahead and seen the red light in front of us and then waited your turn behind me... well, I would not be typing this message on the keyboard right now.

have a nice day
maybe we will meet one day under different circumstances and talk peacefully about our love of life, love of bikes, and love of family

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