I was bicycling in South Campbell yesterday, on my way home from work, when I was startled by a rude fire engine! Or more correctly, the driver.

I had taken the light rail to the Winchester station, and was proceeding south on Winchester. There is a really sketchy section where Winchester goes under San Tomas Expressway, and cars in the on-ramp and off-ramp from San Tomas have to do a sort of weave in a small space. So to stay out of the way of that, I took the right hand of the two through lanes.

Suddenly, I heard a very loud engine behind me. I figured it was a big truck, and that the driver probably wasn’t happy to have me holding him up. Then it honked at me! Beep-beep! Or really, more like braack-braack. A truck with a very loud horn. He didn’t blast me, but a tap was LOUD. Looked in the mirror and was astonished to see a fire engine! No siren or lights. There was no place for me but to continue straight ahead. To the right was another off ramp. Then as soon as he had a chance, he went into the left lane, cut back in front of me and moved over to the right lane that exits to Sunnyoaks Ave. Not a real sane maneuver. Might have saved himself all of five seconds.

I couldn’t see the department insignia, but the engine number E10 was written clearly on the side and rear of the vehicle. So I did a little googling and found that Santa Clara County Fire Department’s E10 lives at the Sunnyoaks station, just a few blocks away. They even had pictures of the engine!

I did think fire fighters usually had better manners.