"GET ON THE FUCKING SIDEWALK!!!" Was what a motorist yelled at me on August 1, 2011 when I was riding bike.
Normally this does not affect or bother me in any way. It didn't bother me today and normally I would not post about it in this blog. Today was different because of what happened after.
When a motorist would yell something like this at me, I used to yell something vulgar back and give the motorist the finger. I no longer do this because that tells them they got to me. Not any longer. What I do now is yell: "NO THANK YOU!!!", blow them a kiss and wave and smile at them. When this happens 9 out of 10 motorists just simply drive on, maybe not even aware of how I responded.
Not on Aug 1 and this is where it gets weird and even funny.
First the area this happened at. I was in Sioux City, Iowa, riding south on Hamilton Blvd. and this was just before Clifton Ave. This section of Hamilton is an undivided 4 lane roadway, speed is 35 mph. The lanes are probably 12' wide. When I ride on this section of Hamilton I ride in the right "tire track" of the right lane. This keeps me out of the road gutter, off of the curb and causes traffic coming from behind me to see me and safely pass me in the left lane. This is part of my adaptive riding technique.
As I am riding there was a bit of traffic behind me and a bit in the left lane. The traffic behind me had to wait for the traffic in the left lane to clear so they could change lanes and safely pass. I do not know if the person who yelled at me was directly behind me or behind other traffic waiting to get over into the left lane.
All but this person passed me with out any incident or problem at all. This person was a woman in a newer black or dark blue Chevy Impala, (the rear tail lights and rear end were a dead give away). As she passes she actually slows down to match my speed, slowing down traffic behind her in the process, to about 12 mph, and yells at me to "GET ON THE FUCKING SIDEWALK!!!", to which I yell: "NO THANK YOU!!!", blow her a kiss and smile and wave at her as she speeds up to get ahead of me.
Now here is where it gets interesting. She changes back into the right lane and then slows way down about 75 feet in front of me. The other traffic between her and I had to slow down as a result and get around her. I did not change my speed at all. I then saw her put her brakes on and actually stop and again traffic behind her and I had to get over in to the left lane to pass her. I am getting closer to her but still had not changed my speed. She then put on her emergency flashers and remained stopped. As I get even closer I figured i will have to pass her. So I signaled I was going to move into the left lane and at this point had moved into the left "tire track" of the right lane. The car behind me in the left lane slowed to allow me to do so because that driver saw the lady in the Impala was stopped with her flashers on. Before I could make my move into the left lane she decided to move again and turned off her flashers. I signaled I was going to move back into the right "tire track" of the right lane and did so and gave a friendly wave to the driver who slowed to let me over as he passed.
At this point were getting closer to the intersection of Stone Park Blvd and Hamilton Blvd. As we were I saw the lady in the Impala speeding what had to be over the limit, cutting people off and running the red light through the intersection. Just past Stone Park Blvd Hamilton is down to one lane on each side because of road construction. I do not ride on Hamilton south of Stone Park. The intersection is where I access the Perry Creek Trail.
As far as I could tell this lady because of her anger and frustration at me, for what ever reason broke at least 6 traffic laws.
I do wonder what she wanted. I wonder if she wanted to use her car as a weapon to threaten, harm or even kill me. Good thing my life insurance is paid up if that is the case. Or if she wanted to curse me out some more. I know what I would have done had I actually been able to talk to her. I would have asked her to pull over on a side street so I could discuss with her my legal right to the roadway.
I find this behavior from this obviously loose cannon behind the wheel of a car pretty funny. I was actually laughing so hard after this happened I almost had to stop and get off the bike.