Today while on my riding commute from work, through downtown to the Sioux City Public Museum Research Center I was accosted by a Jack Ass Cager and his puke of a woman who was in the car with him. This was on 5th Street in downtown Sioux City between Douglas and Jackson Streets. This area of 5th street is a 3 lane, one way roadway that travels east.
When ever I ride on any one way street, especially in downtown Sioux City, I always take the lane. Taking the lane means I position myself in the middle which prevents faster moving traffic from passing me too close and forces them to move completely into the next lane over to safely pass me. It is part of my adaptive and defensive riding. I have learned to do this because all too often, on a one way street especially, drivers think their gas guzzling steel and glass cages can occupy the exact same space as I am in and pass way to close and way to dangerously, which is illegal just because they are in a hurry and do not want to legally change lanes, pass me, then change back again. Another reason I ride like this on one way, downtown city streets is because more often than not the traffic light sequence is not set to allow traffic traveling in the same direction to continue through green lights for more than one or two blocks. It is very easy for me to make it to the next light controlled intersection in downtown before traffic behind me has a chance to pass. Before I started taking the lane cagers would race around me, passing too close, almost hitting me before they got to the next light controlled intersection. These cagers do not understand the basic law of physics where 2 solid objects cannot occupy the same space at the same time. In the downtown area the traffic lights at intersections So I have to force them to obey the basic law of physics that most 3rd graders understand by placing myself in the middle of the lane to force them to pass safely and correctly.
My adaptive and defensive riding sometimes has interesting side effects as it did today.
This white late model 4 door car was behind me, I don't know when they got behind me and it doesn't matter. I was riding in the far right lane on 5th Street between Douglas and Jackson Streets. There was traffic in the center and far left lanes. As usual the traffic control lights at 5th and Douglas, 5th and Pierce, 5th and Nebraska and 5th and Jackson Streets were red or had changed to red right before myself and the motor vehicle traffic next to me in the other lanes approached the intersections. On the block between Pierce and Nebraska Streets this cager and the woman who was in the car with him passed, in the center lane. As they did she yelled out the window "get on the sidewalk". To which I did my usual: I hit my Air Zound horn and sent one blast, blew them a kiss, waved and yelled out "THANK YOU, BUT NO!!! I could see they were looking in the mirrors at me, the woman even turned around and looked over her shoulder at me. I was behind them at this point. As we were approaching the intersection of 5th and Nebraska I saw the drivers arm "fly" out of the window. At first I thought he was flipping me off. This is typical of most Jack Ass Cagers. Instead he threw something up in the air. It hit the ground well before I got to where it landed. As I passed it I saw it was a metal lighter. I yelled out: "LITTER BUG!!!" He continued through the intersection of 5th and Nebraska and 5th and Jackson and I turned right on Jackson to head to the research center.
My wife was to pick me up at the research center and I would go home with her. Instead after I conducted my business at the research center I thought I want to find that lighter the guy threw at me. I started walking west on 5th Street to find it. I did. Come to find out it is a Zippo XIII. My wife picked me and the bike up and we came home.
I think the idiot who threw the lighter at me did so for 3 reasons. One was to hit and injure me with the lighter. The second is to get me to swerve into the path of a car in the next lane over and get hit. The 3rd reason is to get me to stop and pick it up where he would have enough time to go around the block and make it back to me in time to cause me physical harm. He missed me by 20' or more. I didn't swerve or even slow down. This tells me this moron is uneducated as to one of the basic laws of physics. That is when you are moving and you attempt to throw something straight up in the air with the intention that another moving object will catch up to the thrown object to make contact with it your own momentum will put the object being thrown into a forward motion of its own until the law of gravity has its effect causing the object to fall to the earth and stop moving. That makes a second law this idiot has no educated clue about.
The Zippo is a trophy to me. It symbolizes a Jack Ass Cager's idiocy and moronic behavior. It has no fluid in it and is scratched and banged up from hitting the ground. It looks like it hasn't had fluid in it for some time and needs a new flint. I will probably carry it on me every time I ride and might even fill it with fluid, replace the flint try to get it to light and work.
To that Jack Ass Cager I say: THANKS FOR THE ZIPPO!!!
In closing I want to say I am very aggressive when riding bike. If a motorist does something like this idiot did or something else like pass too close, cut me off, etc. I do not hesitate to call them out on it. I always hope they will stop and pull over so I can confront them and explain my legal rights to the roadways. None of them ever do, even the ones that I ask to pull over. There have been several times when I call a driver out on violating a traffic law, like passing me too close and I catch up to them at a stop light and I sit there and stare at them and try to get their attention. They never look over at me, the look the other direction or straight ahead. This makes them nothing more than cowards. I think if you're a motorist who is going to pass me too close, cut me off, etc. and I manage to catch up to you to discuss the matter you should have the intestinal fortitude to look me in the eye and discuss the situation, no matter the out come. Don't be a coward and play it off like nothing happened.
Here are the photo's of my new trophy: