Friday, May 21, 2010

Beware of Angry Drivers.

I do not know where to start other than WTF was up with all the drivers yesterday? O.K. it is raining and I am riding a bike. You most likely are thinking that one should not ride a bike while it is raining. Maybe I should not be riding, but that last time I looked I do have the same rights as you. I pay my taxes, I stop at all the lights and obey the traffic laws, etc.

Everything started well enough leaving work. There was only a light rain and the temps were great for riding especially with my rain gear on. For the first 5 or so miles things are fine. All the cars/trucks are passing with plenty of room. Then I decide to take HOA bridge instead of my normal (safer) Chouteau route. This may have angered the Gods or something because as soon as I got off my normal route and got closer to downtown KC all the drivers started to driver real aggressive. The worst being some guy in a white Ford Taurus. At 12th and Oak Street the light changes and I proceed North on Oak. The Ford Taurus then proceeds to pass me and comes so close to me that the brushes my elbow. This caused me to nearly crash as I am thrust into the curb. I turn into the curb and my front wheel slides along as I fight to stay upright. The wet roads/curb helped I think and I was able to stay on two wheels. I was very mad, but could not do anything about it. The guy kept driving like nothing happened. I still do not even know if he even saw me. I think he did because I could swear I saw him smiling in his rear view mirror.

After settling down some I continued on and one aggressive driver after another showed their ugly face. One would pass me then turning right directly in front of me. I had 3 cars honk their horns at me on Hwy 9 in North KC. I soon got off that road real quick (well, I guess it did take 3 honks to finally get the message). Things started to settle down some, then this crazy blind guy pull out in front as I approached on a downhill section at around 25 mph. It is very hard trying to stop a bike going that fast with wet rims. Scary to say the least.

I was a very happy camper once I got off the main roads and into some neighborhoods. This morning I had to think twice before I ventured out on the wet roads again but I knew days like yesterday only happen once in awhile. I decided to go ahead and ride and encountered zero problems (expect wet roads) on my normal route. I think I will take the extra time and keep it safe.


Mark Studnicki said...

You're not the only one brother! I've already had the one dipshit driver get right next to me and turn right, then tell me I should have been on the sidewalk. Yes, i'm counting down the days to when I never have to road ride in Johnson County again. Just wish I had a finite number of days to count down from :-)

Tim Greene said...

Glad you made it in okay. I think there are routes that do generate more issues than others. I know Mission road, 143rd, Switzer and a few around where I live have high bike traffic and generally the drivers pretty good. Move one road off those routes and suddenly it is a different story with cars honking and coming way to close.