Road-Rage Escalation

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Bike messengers I’ve asked about this say just ignore it all.

That is easier said than done, when we are in the more vulnerable position. But, it pays off to get the rhino skin on and just keep riding.

The spitting, though, I don’t envy you.

Being run off the road, I would call the police with the license number and car description.

Tis the season for this kind of BS from drivers. Must be the full moon.

Last night I was riding home after a seriously long day and I was enjoying it. It was dark but I had my full on lights/reflectors/leg thing going so I was clearly visible (and probably clearly a dork).

So I hear a plastic bottle go rattling away along the road, and I think “I must have kicked up a pop bottle that I didn’t see”… but sure enough, another piece of garbage goes rattling – Off my backpack! The SUV next to me had slowed down and a bunch of yahoos are pegging trash at me! So, I balanced my options: They were right there, eye to eye, within arms reach, with the windows down. I chose not to say anything and I avoided the classic road rage MIDDLE FINGER. Instead, I pulled out my mini U-lock and just held it up in my left hand. No way was I planning to actually hit the car, but I just let them know that they had not won. They stepped on the gas and took off – In hindsight they probably thought that I’d pulled out a handgun.

The happy ending is that the car right behing them pulled up beside me while riding and they rolled down the window to check and see if I was okay, while condemning the people in the car who threw bottles at me. Then, they drove slowly behind me like a SAG wagon until our paths diverged. It kind of balanced the whole thing out.

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