Metal Bike Commuter

Bad Driver in the Indian Lake section of Denville

Posted in bike commute by metaljaybird on July 31, 2008
Tags: , ,

On the way to work today, I was cruising along Indian Road when I spot a black pickup truck blow a stop sign and pull right in front of me.  I have enough time to mutter to myself, “why you…” before the guy pulls wide to turn into a parking spot in front of the Corner Stone Cafe in the Indian Lake neighborhood of Denville.  I had to clamp down on my brakes and try to turn around him, barely making it past him without slamming into the bed of his pickup.

That was the last straw.  First he breaks the law by blowing a stop sign, then he cuts me off, and then he almost causes an accident by pulling wide into the other lane (I was directly behind him), using NO signal to turn right into a parking spot.

I let him have it:

“Hey, why don’t you learn how to drive, you almost caused me to run into the back of your truck!”

He replies, “Why don’t you learn how to ride a bike, you were going too fast through an intersection!”

“What?  15 MPH in a 25 MPH speed zone is too fast?!?”

“On a bike it is!”

Wait…so if I was going 25 MPH in a car, and he pulled the same stunt, somehow this is more acceptable?!  Man was I fuming angry at this point.  And despite the fact that I was going 10 miles under the speed limit, with the right of way, he thought it was too fast?

I continued:

“I have just as many rights as you do, why don’t you learn how to drive?”  (I like that phrase, as you can see).

We continued with some PG-13 words and then I finally took off shaking my fist.

Granted, I as the bicyclist should have just let this go, but the fact is, this was some of the most idiotic examples of poor driving I have witnessed in my entire life.  And also, this was my first confrontation with a driver since starting my bicycle commuting adventure over 2 months ago.

While I’m fuming mad continuing on to work, someone yells “Nice shortcut!” on 53.  I immediately get on the defense thinking someone else is trying to cause trouble, so I kick my legs into high gear and catch up to the driver.  “Pardon me?”  “Oh, nice shortcut, you beat me around the light when cutting through the A&P parking lot”  “Oh, ok, yeah just trying to get to work”  He asked how far my commute was and seemed impressed before speeding off.

To top things off, I witnessed a truck driver blow a red light.  He almost collided into a car turning left, so I yelled “YO!”  He slammed on his brakes and I heard him say “Whoa!!!”

My only regret is that I did not get the cut-off-entitlement-driver’s license plate.  I should have taken a picture of it with my camera phone, but alas, my adrenaline was in high gear so I was not in the right state of mind.

Thankfully all is fine, and I just finished my second cup of joe.  If I ever see him again…well, I’ll probably just glare at him.


5 Responses to 'Bad Driver in the Indian Lake section of Denville'

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  1. Digital Dame said,

    Ayiyiyiyi… I could feel my pulse rising just reading it and envisioning the scene. What a jackass. He’s the one who ran the stop sign, so regardless of how fast you were going (and seriously, how slow does he think bikes should go?) you were in the right, not him. I’d need a drink after that LOL Just glad you’re ok to ride another day!

  2. metaljaybird said,

    Thanks DD. I was really upset after that. I should try harder to be a little more mellow when it comes to aggressive drivers…but this case was ridiculous.

  3. kendra said,

    I have this thing I call “bike face” which is when I give someone a dirty look, and I think I shake my head like I can’t believe how awful they are. I haven’t seen it, but my husband saw it once this summer and was pretty excited to know what bike face looks like.

    Good for you for telling someone that their driving was not too great.

  4. dsangie said,

    Oh man, you ran the gauntlet. Check out Bike Snob NYC’s blog today.
    I think you handeled it well. I do the same. The glaring, trying to catch up, all different hand arm gestures. I think we kind of deserve an explanation when our life is made to flash before our eyes for no good reason. I almost always wanna talk to the driver, for my own good and maybe his. I usually ask ‘did you not see me?’. I learn alot from every encounter and get skittish for a couple rides afterwards. If you search the Motown Pedal Pusher blog I have a good hummer encounter written up. I did’nt talk to the driver. I dont think it was human.

  5. Digital Dame said,

    I have it on good authority that Hummer drivers are from the Gamma Quadrant.

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