Yesterday was a beautiful day for a ride. Limited on time, I headed out with my cross-bike . I chose some hills, stayed in the big ring and pedaled. My legs felt great and very strong. Is this a pay-off from the running? All smiles with 4 miles until home, an inconsiderate young male driver made a huge faux-pas right in front of me. I was rolling along about 18mph as he chose to accelerate into a parking lot and cut me off. I clearly had the right of way, as other motorists honked at him and shot him some looks that kill. I slammed on my brakes, as well as you can slam on cantilever's, and yelled " What are you doing?" As I pedaled a few more feet I was engulfed with rage.That's it! I was ready to rip this guys head off. How could he do that to me? Who did he think he was? I was going to teach this guy a lesson. I took a quick right that lead behind the strip mall. I would find him in the lot and give him an ass kickin'.
He ALMOST hit me! He COULD have injured me! He COULD have killed me! Lucky for both of us, I was paying attention. I know he saw me, He looked right at me while he pushed on the pedal. He did not even look back as I almost flung myself over the bars trying to stop Normally, I would never go after someone, especially a male. In this situation I felt safe. It was a very busy parking lot and there were many shoppers milling about.
As I passed the last building I scanned the lot. I spotted him. He had no idea I was coming after him. I was his worst nightmare right now. I was going to make damn sure he NEVER put a cyclist in harms way again. He was reaching for the door, to return to work at JC Penney's, when I said, " Hey, you could have killed me!" The look on his face was priceless, shock and confusion. A true WTF expression. He's right where I want him. Now, do I deliver the ass kickin' or give him an education? I hopped off my bike and walked towards him. He let go of the door. I quickly sized him up. I could take him if necessary. Looking around, I realized that there were other people about to witness this. I undid my helmet.
He was early 20's, maybe he didn't know any better? His eyes showed he was truly sorry, even before he said " I am so sorry ma'am. My bad." Ya think! I explained that I could not stop on a dime, like his car, and if either of us had been going any faster/slower I would have made an ugly hood ornament. He would be on his way to jail. I told him I ride because I love it and it keeps me healthy. I said I have to follow all the rules of the road and so does he. I informed him that I have a 5yr old girl at home waiting for me. [ I hoped to show him that it may be someone's Mom or Dad on the bike.] He apologized several more times. I asked him to slow down and please watch out for other cyclists like me. Share the road!
I know, I should have given him the ass kickin' huh? It took me about a minute to ride behind the strip mall. I experienced several emotions as my heart beat out of my chest. As I rounded the last building, my voice of reason said, " if you attack him, in any way, you are no better than he is. " There are so many negative stories of cyclists and motorists. I did not need to create another one. My initial reaction proves I am human. It wasn't right, but I believe I handled it correctly in the end. Thank God for the whisper in my ear.