* Many, many thanks to Megan Guarnier for coining this phrase. I swear that it's the only way to think to keep things in perspective with so many asshats out there "acting out".
Last night, one of my friends and I went for a ride. It was a lovely night. Warm, sunny, a bit windy, but felt really good to be out. As we were riding across Arastradero, we heard a car honk behind us. In the process of moving over, the car pulls up next to us, and proceeds to "lecture" us about taking up too much space. Honestly, I didn't hear a lot of the conversation, as my teammate was actually in between us, but I heard something about "in the middle of the road" and "dangerous" and "holding up all these cars behind me". I yelled, "No, YOU'RE holding up all the cars behind you by being trying to educate us and driving in the middle of the road on a winding road with a crapload of blind corners!" At which point more words were exchanged (my blood was boiling and I heard very little), except the final, "What if I were to put you in the ditch?". WHAT? Are you effing kidding me? We BOTH yelled at him, "GO AHEAD! I'll call 911 right now and you have a TON of witnesses behind you! GO AHEAD!". My teammate said something about "you can buy my next education, and I think I want to go to LAW SCHOOL!". The guy even had the nerve to tell us that he was a cyclist. My ass he was a cyclist. I've never been so angry at a cyclist that I would threaten to "put them in the ditch", even in jest. I guess when you get really old, as this guy was, you feel the need to spread your "many years of wisdom around". Yeah pal, you can kiss my butt.
We got through most of the rest of the ride, but I was still pretty mad. In Redwood City, we had a SECOND encounter. This time it was with a fat, middle-aged woman. We were riding side-by-side on a deserted street when we heard a car. My teammate rode ahead and over into the bike lane, but we had to go around a car parked in the bike lane. Unfortunately, fat-ass decides to pass us at the same time, on a slight hill, with a pretty big blind spot - the down hill (and subsequent stop sign) at the bottom of it, which was pretty close to where we were. As I was cresting the hill I heard the screech of brakes and saw that the woman nearly went through the intersection! I kind of chuckled, thinking that she wasn't paying attention or something, because let's face it: 99% of CA drivers cannot be bothered to drive AND pay attention. But that was only part of it. Naturally, it was OUR FAULT she almost ran the stopsign. Again, I missed the bulk of the exchange because I was further back, but the woman made sure to slow up enough so that I could hear it too (I was honestly trying to stay the hell away from her when I realized she was serious). But I clearly heard: "This is why you guys are always getting killed. Riding in the middle of the road and blah blah blah." I was too stunned to even say anything. We weren't "in the middle of the road".
This is what makes me want to get a camera for my bike. It's been awhile since anything like this has happened to me, but it's so rare to encounter such rude, vile people. I'm still pretty upset about it today. In both cases, it was completely and utterly unnecessary. Sort of makes you wonder WHY someone would be so pissed off and so miserable with themselves that they felt they needed to pick on random strangers to make themselves feel better.
People, don't fall for the crazy pants sale! They're not worth it!!! And if you get the chance to get someone like this out of their car? Yank their crazy pants off!