Today on my way down through Saratoga village after riding down hwy 9, a guy tried to hit me in the head with his side mirror. I was feeling unusually zen, and I like to give people the benefit of the doubt, so I simply rode up to his left window at the stoplight, smiled, and said:
"Hello, you're probably not aware how far your right mirror sticks out. Next time you pass a cyclist please be careful not to hit them with it."
He looked at me with contempt and said, "you shouldn't be on the road."
I smiled again, raising my eyebrows. (Why was I so zen today?) "You know where that attitude will get you, don't you? If you hit someone you'll go to jail." Okay, maybe that was stretching the truth, but it's true in my little reality.
He looked at me with hate and repeated that I should get off the road, and then he told me I should get a job before speeding away. If only I'd had a chance to tell him what my job is! Or that, by the looks of it, my bike and all the gear on it and on me (and my bike is NOT fancy) are probably worth more than his old white dodge ram work truck with rust trim!
So what will I do? Something happened to me this summer--I'm not suffering fools any more. My patience for idiots is gone. These people are going to pay.
I'm going to file a hazard report with SVBC, we're going to start taking meticulous records, and I'm going to start political schmoozing to see that we start getting something done about it. At the law enforcement level, at the media level, at every level I can think of. Traffic justice. You won't see results immediately, because this is going to take a lot of political groundwork... but I swear, these people will pay.
If they don't think cyclists should be on the road, fine! They can call their local politicians and whine about it. They don't have the right to endanger other people's lives. Period.
The funny ending to this is that as I was waiting for the light to cycle through again, a couple came up next to me and asked for directions to 880 and they were SO appreciative that I helped them. Just think of the community service cyclists provide by being able to easily give directions to so many people!