This morning, I almost got creamed by a car on the way into work. As it was, I ended up running into the moron’s right-rear quarter-panel. I was traveling west-bound on a through street in a bike lane in Alameda. This old gray car cuts in front of me by executing a right-turn from a cross-street. This wouldn’t have been such a problem had the supposed driver continued straight down the road at that point. However, the car started drifting right, through the bike lane and into the line of parked cars immediately after executing the right turn. As such, I got pinched between the Moron-mobile and a parked car.
When I ride, I automatically assume that everyone on the road is blind and dumb, and hence, plan on not being seen. Sadly, most people act as if they are truly blind and dumb once they get behind the wheel.
After hearing my bike and I thump into the right rear corner of his car, the driver got out, acting as though he was actually concerned for my safety (after already whacking me with a ton of metal that comes off as more than a bit fake). My response was a stream of invective, naturally, while checking both the bike and myself for broken or missing parts. Fortunately, nothing was broken except several public profanity laws (by me). I’d like to think that the driver of the car will remember that incident and look more closely for bikers, pedestrians, and skateboarders (basically, for anything not a car). However, I imagine that he won’t remember for very long past this afternoon.
If there is one constant in bicycle and vehicle run-ins, it’s the undying belief on the part of motorists that the bicyclist is wrong by just being on a bike on a road. I can’t even begin to count the number of times I’ve nearly been backed into while riding in a bike lane on a through street.
The first response of any driver who is confronted after nearly running me over is a defensive response that I had no business being on the road in the first place.
The second response is that since they didn’t see me, I have no right to be mad at them for nearly whacking me with their Buick. That sort of logic, of course, makes me nearly certain that most everyone who’s ever had a run-in with me and my bike was either a worker for a telephone company, a bank, or the federal government.