Those that have ridden much with me know me to be a non-sufferer of people that would abuse our rights and safety as cyclists. Yesterday as we were wrapping up our second research ride for Lincoln Square and heading back a little before 6 we experienced two seperate incidents of the type I am talking about.
The first was when a huge-truck guy started tailing me after my bag hit his side mirror while I was in the bike lane. He wanted very badly to engage in some verbal back and forth but I don't really speak all-cuss, so it was kind of hard. In essence, his point was that I was bad because I hit his truck. My counter point was that I wouldn't have touched his truck if he had given me the required 3 feet of space, particularly since I was in the center of the bike lane. I mentioned to him as part of this repartir that he was right then and there riding right over the painted cyclist in the bike lane. I also mentioned to him that I was glad he had missed his turn and Happy Tuesday.
The next incident actually began before this incident, but finished after it.
We were all in single file on the Lawrence avenue bike lane heading west from Lincoln Square. A moped/scooter dude is weaving in between the bike lane and the regular lanes right in front of me. I hit my brakes on two occassions while he was doing this and was of course being extra cautious recognizing his complete recklessness and obliviousness to my presence. As we pulled up to the light. The conversation went something like this:
ahem - I may be removing certain exchanges in light of obeying forum rules -
Me: "You know this is a bicyle lane. There are no motorized vehicles allowed in the bike lane."
Jackhole: "This is a bike."
Me: "It is a motorized vehicle. It is illegal for you to be here."
Jackhole: "Why don't you let me worry about that."
Me: "I see. You are more important than anyone you don't need to obey the law."
Jackhole: "Well I feel perfectly safe in the bike lane. Why don't you mind your own *$&* business?"
Me: "It isn't your safety that I was worried about and it is my business since you are in my lane"
Light: I become green.
Jackhole: "&*! You"
He speeds off, only using the bike lane. We stop at the next light, and engage in a little more....debate. Then the first incident occurs as described above with big-truck dude. This is during the point where the jackhole, trying to gain advantage pulls right just at the intersection before my bag "hit" the truck's mirror. He ends up stuck behind cars jammed up before the turn onto Pulaski, which we are able to navigate around.
Later, he catches up, while pretending to pedal his moped/dickmobile/whatever and pulls right in front of me again. I hit the brakes pretty hard that time and got out the camera. He also starts cruising in the parking lane to the right of the bike lane and weaving into the bike lane as he sees me getting closer. I slowed up and he continued to do this, but also gave some nice shots of his license plate/person. Here he is:
I only wish I had grabbed the camera quicker to show more of him in the bike lane. I thought I had it on video sooner than I did, because it was during a time when he was weaving between the car lane, bike lane and parking lane. In this video, he is way off in the distance, but he is doing more of the same, though at this point just between the parking and bike lane. This was shortly after he re-passed us while calling me a loser.
So the practical question now....what do you do when confronted with such unmitigated douche-baggery? The photo evidence doesn't show his infractions and even if they did, the cops are unlikely to care.
How do you all handle this kind of nonsense? What is the appropriate response for this type of action by motorists?
Also, how do you look at the bigger picture......inherrent safety concerns of confronting idiots vs. standing up for your rights?
Cheers - Lee Diamond