01 September 2006

BHP 322

I got buzzed on the way to work this morning. Normally this is no big deal; truth be told I'm sort of used to it -- at least on busy streets with traffic and high speed limits. But this was a nice, two-lane street, with "Share the Road" signs on it!!!!, and by luck of the draw, the driver got stopped at the light we were approaching. So I rode up next to him.

"You know, you didn't have to drive so close to me back there," I shouted through his sunroof.

"You shouldn't have been riding on the white line," he says as he rolls down his window.

"I'm not supposed to ride in the parking lane, so I was over as far as I could," I said [I know this isn't entirely true, but with no oncoming traffic, there was no reason for him to get so close.]

"Well, then you shouldn't be on the road."

"I have every right to be on this street -- haven't you seen the 'Share the Road' signs?"

And he was gone.

Sad part is, the cop behind us saw the whole thing and just let it go. I'm sort of proud of myself -- I was fairly calm (sort of), I didn't swear or threaten him, and I got his license plate. I'm debating what to do -- I maybe should have stopped at the police station (that was a block away), but I was already running late, and what good would it do anyway? Instead, I'm harboring thoughts of ponying up the $40 for a DMV lookup, and burning wooden bicycles in the guy's lawn.

At any rate, for those of you in Northbrook, be on the lookout for a white caddy, Illinois license plate BHP 322. Caucasian male, bluetooth earpiece more or less permanently stuck to his head. Arrrrrgggggghhhhhh ...


1 comment:

Steve said...

Chris, that's nothing. On August 20th, there were 5 of us riding a rural road. We were spread out a bit at that point 2 - me - 2. A black Dodge pickup with all the 4s (doors, wheel drive, rear wheels) buzzes by me, and then the two riders up ahead. I saluted him [oo0oo] as he was buzzing them. It was pretty obvious that our friend was closely monitoring our reaction given his reaction. So what does our long grey hair bearded driver do? Why he slams on the brakes in front of the 2 ahead and waits. I ride up and said to the others that I'd handle it because obviously this person feels that my finger is far more threatening than the 6000 plus pounds of personal transportation that he is using for intimidation . He pulls up a bit and off to the shoulder. I see the door pop open a bit when I ride up to ask why he feels the need to buzz us. He didn't say a word. Instead he started doing a series of zigzigs that in hindsight could have easily put me under the driver’s side rear wheels. Then he floored it half on the road and half off to spray us with gravel from the shoulder. With that fine gesture he was gone.

Further along this scenic and normally cycling friendly road we see Mr. Grey Beard parked at the end of a small road on the left on a blind corner sitting back in a position where it seemed pretty obvious that he was looking for us. He wasn't visible until we rode past so I looped back to once again go ask him what was up. Before I could get to his truck he floored it taking off in the direction we had come from, again with the intention of spraying us with the loose gravel.

Why he didn't continue on in his direction of travel was a question that I think everyone was asking themselves and therefore everyone was keeping track on what traffic was approaching us from behind. Sure enough 5kms later, he buzzes us at high speed and furthermore cranks hard to the right to hit the gravel shoulder immediately in front of us (and I’m talking powerdrift – I think only his front left tire stayed on the road) and flooring it for a true Dukes of Hazzard / get the pickup a bit sideways in the loose gravel / kind of drama. Fortunately, the gravel stones were again missing his intended target group. Again he sped off full throttle hitting high speeds although this time never to be seen again. Unfortunately we failed to accurately remember the license plate for the police to ID the pickup.

In a perfect happy ending screenplay, a police cruiser would have approached in the opposite direction and witnessed this spectacle - taking him away in handcuffs. I’m not such a stickler for perfection. Having him roll that truck would have made my day! It would probably be the first ever accident where we all smiled and continued riding.