|A touch of civility, anyone?|
acknowledgements to Patrick O'Grady
I strongly urge that if you are in such a situation as described below, remain calm, get to a safe place, and call 911 at once. Posting to a list can alert other riders and that is good, but unfortunately, doesn't do anything of legal standing nor get a dangerous driver off the road. The next cyclist might not be lucky enough to be home safe, hitting "send".
From: "Clay Moseley"
Cc: Police Chief Wayne Torpy wd dot torpy at lacnm dot us
"After avoiding road riding for almost 3 weeks now, Dina and I headed out for an easy ride to Bandelier and back today during the lunch hour.
We had a bad incident with a lady driving a late-model white Hyundai Sedan, NM license plate (will check with Clay before posting plate number here). Be aware of this car if you're out riding. Read on as to why...
For those of you who don't know how I ride on the road, I essentially avoid most group riding, and am a real stickler for single-file, out-of-cars'-way bike riding habits. I don't ride in busy streets and avoid altercations with cars in almost all situations. In short, I'm a big advocate for non-intrusive bike riding for a few reasons, mainly because I think we're our own worst enemies with how we look to motorists, regardless of whether we're right or wrong.
All that said, I was in disbelief at what a motorist did to me today while out on NM-4 heading just east of the TA-49 entrance. Dina and I were riding along single-file, going about 25mph and as far to the right as was safe (there are some bad shoulder cracks right in that area). The traffic was very light and there were lots of other lunch-time bikers out there, and suddenly this person comes up behind us going about 35 and honking like an idiot -- absolutely without any sort of provocation other than being on a bike. Anyway, when she passed me, she veered over within a cat's whisker of hitting me, then hit her brakes. I had to veer out toward the other lane to avoid hitting her. Dina was freaked out by the honking at very close range and had to hit her brakes to avoid being caught up in a crash.
I screamed at her because she was just about to take me out, and she began to hit her brakes again, then sped off. Of course, I was pretty pissed off and gave her the ol' single-finger invitation to face up to what she had just done. She slowed down and when I began to draw near again, she tried again to run me off the road with her car -- this time toward the opposing traffic side of the road! Finally, she realized she was all over the road and started going nuts about having been flipped off...no mention of the unprovoked attempted assault with her car. I got in a few very loud shouts that hitting someone with her car is illegal, to which she reacted by veering (again) into the on-coming lane to take me out while wildly yelling that flipping someone off is illegal. I had to call on some good bike handling skills to avoid this crazy lady and her car.
Anyway, nothing good came of the altercation, of course. But, I did ascertain that the lady was either completely mentally unstable, off her meds, on way too many meds/under the influence, or a combination of two of the above.
Ironically, she had an Obama campaign sticker on her rear trunk. I guess there is no Hope for some things...
Be careful out there. It just doesn't seem to matter if you're right or wrong. The people in the cars have all the control."