There is a fascinating story on the front page of the Oregonian about a wild bike-car fight. The story details how a long-time bicycle activist was driving his family home when a biker passed him on the left and ran a stoplight. The driver let the biker know he was in the wrong and he was giving other bikers a bad name. From there it turned wild as the biker began to use his bike as a weapon hitting it against the car with the man’s family inside. The biker turned out to be drunk and actually worked for the City of Portland Transportation Department (I don’t make this stuff up).
Just yesterday, yes yesterday, I turned right into an intersection where biker was approaching ways away on the left. To me the biker was far off, but he thought different as he yelled and then flipped me off as he passed. Being that the biker is the one at possible risk I acquiesce to his time-space judgment and accept the rebuke (although there is never a need for obscenities). After I finally turned right into the intersection the biker decided to not leave the matter alone. He moved into the middle of the lane making passing him impossible in the no-pass lane. He was able to slow me down for a long stretch until I was able to pass him. Once I did pass he correctly moved to the right of the road letting me know he was doing it to screw with me.
I blew the whole thing off as stupid. Just imagine for a moment if it was another driver who reacted angrily to the obscenities and taunts by the biker. Some drivers would taunt back and use their vehicle as a weapon. This is how things get blown out of proportion and people get hurt. In reality, both drivers and bikers need to improve. All you have to do is listen to Lars Larson to hear people talk about their own testimony on biker incidents. I hope this front page story will help shock some back to their senses on how bad it can get. There is never a reason for retaliatory road rage.
I once asked my friend Dave what traffic bad habit bothers him the most. He said he gets angry when people pull into a four way stop and they do NOT proceed in a single car clockwise fashion. What the hey? I told him the opposite. At a four way stop I expect the East-West cars to pass at the same time helping to save time by having two cars cross the intersection at once. I get frustrated at the very thing Dave expects to happen. I think I may be in the wrong on this one. It just goes to show how mixed driving ideas add to an already explosive situation.