Testosterone Fueled Road Rage
The last two weekends have been exhaustingly awesome.
Our Ironman training group has covered approximately 260 miles biking and on the 4th I decided to take my hybrid trek down to Siesta Key Beach to meet some friends and enjoy the festivities.
Here are two experiences which at the time, increased my heart rate, but ultimately led to adult behavior trumping the alternative, at least from one of the parties mentioned.
Incident #1. While on the back half of our IM FL training groups sunday 75 mile ride, which turned into 82, our side by side pack style of riding was interrupted abruptly by some cyclists who cut right down the middle. Unbeknownst to me, I was unaware this was happening until they passed on my right, between me and fellow rider David Romine. When they dangerously dissected us, David shouted “Pass on the Left, A@@Hole” which was a reaction to the sudden and careless maneuver, but adding the the A-bomb at the end just threw fuel on the embers. Rider D which stands for whatever negative implying moniker you feel fits that starts with the letter ‘D’, circled back around to start the tough guy talk…
“What did you say?!”
“You got a problem?!”
Mind you, we are all still riding at 16-18 mph while this is happening. So David and Rider D are face to face talking smack. I move up and position my bike right behind Rider D, just in case he decides to do anything stupid…
Anyhow, cooler heads prevailed and after heated words were exchanged, Rider D moved on and caught up with his two partners in crime and they eventually just disappeared out of sight and out of mind. Next time, listen to David and pass on the left.
Incident #2. This one was a bit more spiteful and could have escalated, but I made a promise not to kill again, like Jason Bourne. I was returning home from riding out to Siesta Key on July 4th. I was on my hybrid cruiser trek, so it was mostly easy pedaling and enjoying the day. I pull up to the stop light at Osprey and Bahia Vista, and I’m heading North on Osprey. Its a red light, so I stop and stay to the right of the 2 vehicles at the light, while there is also a car facing us waiting to turn left and head east on Bahia Vista, but since there is no turn signal at this light, they will have to wait until we all pass by. The light turns green and I start pedaling, I wave the first car by as it takes a moment to get going on the cruiser and when they pass I gently ease into the flow and hug the curb as I want to stay as close as possible.
Then everything just slows down…. The second vehicle comes within an inch of touching me, keep in mind there was plenty of room for them to pass or just slowly drive around me, but to prove some sort of vengeful point, this A@@hole decides to show his frustration by almost hitting me with his 2 ton vehicle. Stay Classy D-bag. So I gave him the universal vote of approval by extending my middle finger and saluting him. He returned the gesture while watching me in his rearview mirror. I couldn’t help but start laughing and gave him a double thumbs up! What else was I gonna do? I found myself yelling at him, saying things like, “Your awesome, tough guy!” and “Stay Classy Dirtbag!” I know, i’m a real cussing monster! Anyhow, my right turn was coming up quick and just in time, because Mr. Classy himself had stopped his vehicle on Osprey and was waiting for me to come to him… to do what, I don’t know? Yell more? Fight? Who knows if dirtbag has a weapon? What happened in this goombah’s day, did he just get dumped, is he drunk, high? I turned right and went about my business, but in hindsight, I will keep my middle finger to myself and hope that Karma works to make sure Mr. Classy gets his fair share.
Bottom line – Do you want to go to jail, or pay fines for a momentary lapse in judgement or control? Seems not worth it.
Let me hear from you if you have any fun biking experiences or close calls!