Tuesday, October 12, 2010

Instant Carma

This morning about two blocks from my house,  I was stopped at a stop sign.  There was traffic coming down the one-way street I was trying to to turn left onto,  so I was waiting,  in the middle of my traffic lane, for the cars to pass.  There isn't great visibility, because of parked cars, but I could see a couple of cars coming.  There was a tiny break in the traffic, not enough to take, but the guy behind me at the stop sign must have gotten tired of the 30 second wait, because he swerved around to my left (in the oncoming traffic lane of our two way street) in order to turn.  Of course at this point, there was a car visible coming down the street and he lurched to a stop as they honked at him.  I yelled "Hey,  There's cars coming!"  as he swerved around me,  because at the moment, I was worried more about him getting T boned than the stupid thing he was doing.    Of course after he managed to complete his turn,  he immediately had to stop at the light 200 feet down the road.   I was pulling up next to him on the driver side, saying "Good Morning! exactly what did you think that move back there gained you?"  when I saw a police officer stepping up to the driver's side window.  He gave me a little "I've got it" nod,   and asked the guy "Are you paying attention to your surroundings?  Because you almost hit that woman on the bike"  Which wasn't exactly true.   It was a HUPD (harvard)  foot patrolman,  so I didn't think he was going to ticket him,  so I headed off,  but still it was nice to have such instant backup when someone did something stupid around me because I was "just riding a bike."


  1. Ugh. I hate these stories.

    Also think it's an interesting coincidence that I had something so similar occur to me today, on my afternoon commute. I'm stopped at a light, in a lane where you can either go straight or turn right. I wanted to go straight. I'm off to one side of the lane, but am not in the shoulder. This douchecanoe pulls up behind me until he literally bumps my rear wheel (and yes he knew exactly what he was doing), then yelled at me to "get on the sidewalk." Then he backed up, pulled up NEXT to me, said the same thing again, and turned right, in front of me, as the light turned green. I regained my balance and rode the rest of the way home thinking of all the things I could've said. ("Riding on the sidewalk is illegal", for starters).


  2. Is it just me, or are you far calmer about traffic when on a bicycle? Honestly, I'm starting to think that the gasoline fumes and A/C somehow combine to give people road rage.

    Glad you're all right, of course, and that the policeman took up for you! One of those times in 100 when there IS an officer around when you need them! ;)

  3. If the cop was a Harvard cop, I don't know if he could ticket on a public street.

    Amanda, I for one do feel calmer on the bike, even in traffic having to deal with the occasional d-bag. There is not the same kind of irrational road-rage feeling, even when someone is pissing you off.

    I had a similar incident at Vassar & Main. I was waiting to go straight through the light (in the bike lane) and the guy next to me wants to go right. I move forward a bit, then he moves forward, into the crosswalk. I get the sense that he is going to try to cut me off as soon as light changes, so I inch forward a bit, but he pulls across the crosswalk. Then he decides he can't wait and takes the illegal right (no turn on red there). He just couldn't deal with having to wait an extra three seconds for me to clear the lane.