Road Rage on Brown St.


I ride my bike to work most days, and whenever I can in the winter. I often take my daughter to daycare on the way to my office. After dropping her off on Main I turn up Browne St. and then make a left on Sprague.

Maybe you’ve seen me riding. I’m hard to miss because I’m a bike commute nerd; yellow helmet, yellow reflective jacket, and lots of thrift-store cold weather gear. I almost always signal on turns downtown, even if cars aren’t behind me. I usually ride in the far right or left wheel tread, sometimes taking a whole lane if I think it’s safer for me downtown. I’m used to getting buzzed by cars every once in a while even though I stay pretty far over. This morning though it was different.

As I was signaling to turn on to Sprague white delivery van with blue lettering buzzed me so close that my elbow almost touched it. Okay. No biggie. Happens some time. Might not have been on purpose.

Just as I was thinking those thoughts the van swerved in front of me and cut me off. Before I could wonder what the driver was thinking I found out. In his sideview mirror I saw an angry-looking white male make eye contact with me and flip me off as he rode away.

I flipped him off right back. I don’t think he saw it.

I should have blown him a kiss. It takes a higher echelon of coward to try to run a cyclist off the road and speed away at 40-miles-an-hour whilst flipping them off. If this guy had had the guts to get out of his 2,000 pound vehicle and step to me face-to-face, either he would have gotten beat-up or I would have gotten beat-up. A bad outcome either way. So thanks for being a wuss, Mr. Angry-Delivery-Dude.

Now that I’m not under the influence of adrenalin anymore I can tell you that I am a fairly defensive rider and I probably wasn’t in major danger. I have also ridden this route almost daily for two years and this is first time anyone has gone out of their way to say “I hate you just because you are riding your bike.”

I’ll be out riding again this afternoon.

Share this Post

Scroll to Top