Tuesday, March 2, 2010

Morons, Assholes, and Cowards.

A series of stupid driver tricks.

1: The Moron
A few weeks back headed South on Harrison, a road with a heavily traveled bike lane, a car turned left in front of me to enter the parking garage of their apartment. I sort of saw this coming (at least he had his turn signal on so I prepared for evasive maneuvers. As I swerved by, I heard his little yippie dog barking at a little yippie dog being walked down the sidewalk. I let out a little yip of my own, annoying the dog and the driver. He yelled at me, I yelled back, he got out, I stopped.

He asked why I was barking at his dog. I pointed out that if I was barking at his dog while riding past him going South, that was a pretty clear indication he had failed to yield to oncoming traffic. He said "I'm very sorry about that. Call me an asshole, don't bark at my dog". I said, "You know, you're right. My bad." This calmed us both down and I said "Look, you live here, you know this is a heavily trafficked bike lane - if you can't drive properly with your dog in the front seat, leave the dog at home." He pointed out that he had taken the dog to the Vet. I thought about this and said "Here lies John Murphy. The other guy had to take his dog to the vet. Look, I have a dog, I know how it goes, your dog was aggrieved by the other dog. At least roll the window up, or ignore your dog." We shook hands, parted ways, and I muttered "How many people would that guy kill if he had to drive with a kid in the backseat".

2: The Asshole
Yesterday, crossing Millbrae Ave. Millbrae sucks. There are three lanes of traffic across the freeway, the right two lanes are both exits onto 101, first Southbound and then Northbound. My strategy - take the far left lane, which is usually unoccupied because the only place it goes is the back bowels of SFO and a couple of hotels. Well, one of the guys working in the back bowels of SFO got caught behind me, and since he was in such a rush he decided to slow down as he passed me on the right and mutter something about the speed limit. I yelled back something about "FAT explitive RAIDER FAN". Of course, as always, he got caught at the next red light and I arrived so we could have a chat. He took issue with me calling him fat (apparently he is well aware the Raiders suck and wasn't going to start throwing that around). I said, "look, maybe I 'overreacted' but you are harrassing me instead of driving your car, I need to get to work too (I neglected to mention that I work 35 miles South of where our conversation was occuring). 99% of the time nobody is in the left lane except for some asshole trying to cut into the freeway line, otherwise I am in the way of 200 people going onto the freeway drinking their lattes on the way to some dot com job. 1% of the time I block someone working in the back lots of the airport and I expect those guys know how to drive a car, know what I mean?

He got my point but we sort of agreed to disagree. At least I know where I stand. I don't like it, but I know where I stand.

3: The Coward
This AM. It's pouring rain like crazy. I'm unhappy with the braking on my new Redline, not sure if it's the Avid brakes or the pads are worn/hard, but I don't have crisp braking on dry days, let alone wet days. So the downhill out of the upper reaches of Noe Valley is a bit dicey. I have almost reached the bottom, going down 19th towards Diamond. I am taking it super slow because there are 2 cars in line at the 4 way stop at Diamond, and 6 in line at the 4 way stop at Collingwood a block ahead. No hurry. As the last car clears the stop at Diamond, the car behind me accellerates past me to the stop sign, forcing me into the parked cars. What the hell. Now he rolls the stop sign because he really NEEDS to get past the slow cyclist - amusing because I was going the exact same speed in those conditions that I would be going if I were in a *car* .

I start to yell at him and came this close to the best Schadenfreude ever. As he accellerated through the stop sign to clear me, a car on the other side of the stop sign pulled out from a parking spot - you see he was pulling this crazy ass maneuver in front of a school!!! He slammed on his brakes and missed making a Mercedes/Prius casserole by about 3 inches.

So now this jerkwad is in a line of 6 cars waiting for a 4 way stop, giving me plenty of opportunity to spew invective.


Traffic was backed up all the way to Castro, so this little charade continued for two blocks. At no point did he even shoot me a nonplussed glance. Strangely, the same guy who was unable to focus on traffic to spot a car coming out of a parking spot as he accellerated through a stop sign, was now laser focused on the 5 cars stopped in front of him.

If you are going to be an asshole, at least take credit for it, dude.


gnat said...

I'm actually surprised by the reactions of the first two. So rare is it that drivers will admit any inkling to being in the wrong.

I pulled a similar left-lane-to-go-straight maneuver going east on Whipple when a driver yelled that I should not be in that lane. I yelled back that both lanes to the right were turning onto 101 and where the heck else should I be? She logically answered with "Not on the road." Hrmph.

I now just yell out the California Vehicle Code number that lets me take the lane when people are turning right. Shouting "21202!" makes me look satisfactorily crazy.

Yokota Fritz said...

Gotta love the cowards.

This was a couple of years ago in San Jose when some dude cut left across me and I yelped in surprise (and might have called out a few names as well). The guy stopped, rolled his window down and apologized!!!

velocodger said...

Why does the presence of a school motivate drivers to drive like idiots? Maybe they're channeling their inner child??

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Reese said...

Oh drivers!! They are almost amusing, if they weren't almost murdering cyclists while being idiots.

I don't usually have run-ins with cars, but this weekend I was riding on a two-lane one-way road around lunchtime on Sunday. There is a farmers market nearby and the car traffic along that road is usually pretty slow anyway. Of course there is no bike lane, so I was in the right-hand lane. An SUV behind me starts honking, so I motion them to change lanes to pass, and as they pass, the passenger yells, "Hey, you're supposed to ride on the right side of the road," so I yelled back, "Where do you think I am?!"

I almost wish I'd caught up to them at the next stoplight, but I'm too slow/don't care that much. Ha.