OK, I’ll hand-on-heart admit that I suffer from roadrage. To be honest, I have been making a sustained and deliberate attempt at taming this (and a few other!) unruly aspect(s) of my character and I do believe I’ve made at least some progress.
Having said that, I also need to point out that I don’t suffer 10% as much roadrage when cycling as when I am driving a car, so this will obviously account for a major reduction in my roadrage incidents.
Take the weekend, for example: cycling through the Marsh Mills Sainsbury’s car park, there was a silly woman who looked very carefully to her left as she slowly turned left into the road running through the car park, but obviously felt that looking right may injure her neck, or perhaps cause her some other horrendous injury.
As I came cycling along, I had right of way. Still, anticipating that she may pull out in front of me, I slowed down and later stopped completely. And she continued edging out ever further, eventually far enough for me to be able to simply reach out and knock on her window, without getting off my bike which was stopped in the middle of the lane.
(For the rest of this post, please feel free to substitute the work DUCK with any four-letter expletive of your choice, provided that it rhymes with DUCK).
And then she unleashes a torrent of verbal abuse at me, even before unwinding her window. Apparently, all we DUCKing cyclists should stop terrorising her and other innocent drivers. Her tirade also instructed me to stay on the DUCKing pavements, except for the bit where she accused me and practically all my ancestors of virtually intentionally running down or scaring innocent little old biddies with zimmer frames by bombing along on the DUCKing pavement.
If I understood her correctly, I should
a) ONLY cycle on the DUCKing pavement so as not to terrorise her and other motorists,
b) I should stay OFF the DUCKing pavement so as not to terrorise or kill little kiddies and old biddies!
Phew! Aren’t I lucky she didn’t forbid me from teleporting!
But seriously, even during entire incident I never lost my cool, except to call her a sad and ugly woman, which quite clearly was merely stating the obvious fact and therefore in no way maliscious.
Disclaimer: Allow me to point out at this stage that I don’t have anything against woman in general, woman drivers specifically, nor little children or indeed little old biddies with or without zimmerfames. I also don’t particularly dislike older people, younger people, middle-aged people, gay people, heterosexual people, lesbian people, transgender people, people without gender, people of unknown gender, people of colour, colourful people, colourless people nor transparent people. I do however admit to a certain fondness for Hagen Dasz ice-cream, which’d show in my waistline if I dared cycle less.
And then today, I was cycling along Cattedown road, towards the roundabout, keeping well within my lane. On the opposite side of the road there is a build-out and traffic travelling in the opposite way have to yield (according to road signage) to traffic approaching the roundabout. Also, there were no less than two vehicles parked on the double-yellow lines on the opposite side of the road, right after the build-out – quite a common occurance here. These vehicles parked resulted in the road being restricted well past the pedestrian build-out.
Finally, according to the Highway code, traffic on a downhill should yield to traffic going uphill, should the road be restricted in width.
This means that
a) because my lane was NOT obstructed, I had right of way,
b) because opposing traffic has a yield sign painted on the road I had right of way and
c) because I was going uphill, even if a and b didn’t apply I’d STILL have right of way.
Except this car came bombing down the road, forcing me off the road to avoid getting run over, while the driver was communicating at me in what I’d describe as “impolite finger language”.
And this time I couldn’t stop myself: I shouted at her (at the top of my voice!): “You stupid DUCKing cow!”. I could tell by the way her mouth started working overtime that she heard me.