Punching Cars

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Tuesday, 12-Nov-13

 

This story makes me think of this song… so play it while you read!

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=GemKqzILV4w

 

If you’re not a cyclist, also take a second to look at…. THIS!

 

SF-Bicycle-Coalition-Right-Turn

 

OK!  Story time!

 

I punched a car tonight.

I don’t get to do this often, and when I do it generally puts me in a quite good mood.

You see – I was biking, and I got cut off.  This isn’t really a unique occurance, but this is one situation that frustrates me to excess – it’s simply a driver making a mistake and not looking where they’re going… but it’s indicative that drivers don’t even think to check for cyclists before turning.

Now, lest this turn into some rant (which it shouldn’t), here’s the fun and simple story of how my night could have been horrid, but instead was fun and excellent:

I was biking in the bike lane, and the car directly to my left decided to make a right turn.  Fine, in most situations.  But not when there’s a bike that you have to drive THROUGH in order to turn.

So I cranked the brakes, did a bit of a dodge, and gave her side-panel a good left jab.  Couldn’t get a full swing in, unfortunately, but the impact made enough of a noise that the driver knew that something wasn’t right.  Then she looked back, and saw a cyclist.  Then, her face dropped.

In mass, hitting a cyclist is a bad thing.  I mean… it’s always a bad thing, but here the law is on our side.  Example: if you door a cyclist?  Not only can the cyclist bring a civil lawsuit against you, but you are also going to be charged with criminal assault, just the same as if you’d smashed a pedestrian with your door.

So this driver knew she had done something wrong.  But she was frozen to the wheel, looking forward and trying to not look at me.

So I did a bit of a “come on now…” hand gesture, indicating she should roll the window down.  She did, and we had a short conversation that basically amounted to “Don’t cut me off!”  “Sorry!  I didn’t see you!”  “Obviously!  Just be more careful next time”.

And then we went our separate ways.

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