Thursday, May 27, 2010

That's MY Lane

I've mentioned this on the BikeSpeak forum, but not here because I was originally kinda embarrassed about it. Now, the embarrassment has faded.

I was on my way home last Tuesday, approaching an intersection right at the point where the bike lane had just ended, and I was almost pinched into the curb by some guy in a newer Audi. He zoomed past me, straddling the white line between the right-hand lane I was in and the left-hand lane, and pulled into my lane so quickly that I didn't even have time to downshift.

I shouted "Hey!" as I got the bike slowed enough so that I didn't rear-end him. Didn't see him even glance back my way in his rear-view mirror. I saw just enough space between the side of his car and the curb to get my bike up beside his passenger side door, and noticed it was going to be a couple seconds --- the traffic light at the intersection hadn't changed and there were two cars ahead of him --- so I coasted up next to his right-hand rear-view mirror and shouted "Hey! That's MY lane!"

The guy acted he didn't even hear me or see me (which I find hard to believe, my wife says my booming voice would wake the dead from the last century); he kept his eyes fixed on the vehicle ahead of him.

So, then the Ol' Cat does something REALLY stupid, folks. I pulled ahead of his car, and put Bluetiful sideways directly between the front of his Audi and the bumper of the car in front of him. I looked over the hood of his car, directly into his eyes, pointed to the pavement in front of his grill and shouted "This is MY LANE!"

I KNOW he saw me then, because his jaw dropped into his lap. So did the jaws of the four occupants of the car right next to him.

About this time the light had changed and the cars in front of us had left. I gave the guy one last deeply-angry-glare, put my foot into the pedal ... and of course was reminded immediately that I was in the 7th cog on the rear cassette. I wobbled like a drunk forward, but finally got up enough speed to clear the intersection still on the green light and got into the bike lane. The guy passed me, and gave me a little wave that looked somewhat sheepish.

I berated myself all the rest of the way home for putting myself in an even MORE vulnerable position as a result of being pi$$ed off, but most of my buddies over on the BikeSpeak forum are of the opinion that I was in no real danger and I've come to agree with them. The late model Audi was white, and unless the guy was smoking crack I doubt he would have wanted to get my blood all over his car. The traffic light was red, he was stopped and had nowhere to go so I doubt if he would have struck me and dragged when things got going again.

I think next time that happens I'll just sneak up behind the the guy's car and hock a king-sized loogie on his back window.

He'll get the point, I'll laugh my butt off and I won't be in any danger.


  1. With my luck, if I tried the loogie response, it would turn out to be the World Gold Medal Loogie Champion's car, and I would catch a return loogie in the face.

  2. Yer probably right, JRA, that would be just my luck, too.

    What's troublesome is that this is the same intersection where I encountered The Crosswalk Crasher, the gal I talked about in my Bicycling Challenges post. I didn't mention it before, but that woman was driving a late model Mercedes.

    I'm wondering if it has something to do with that intersection being in the tony Camelback Road corridor.