Tuesday, February 14, 2012
It's always the big black pickups.
When the walk sign came on, I started across the crosswalk, and the truck started his left turn, at speed, as though I wasn't even there. I looked up and saw its huge grill coming for me. "Jesus, buddy!" I yelled, as I swerved to try and stay clear of him. He gunned it through the intersection - I got enough of a look to see his dog looking out the open window at me, so this time, just this once, I can assume the driver heard me yell.
I got across the crosswalk and pulled up so I was parallel with the curb, ready to head west, waiting for the light to turn green. "It's one way," I heard someone saying behind me. Not sure what he was talking about, I didn't answer. So he walked up to me, and repeated himself. "It's one way, there."
"What is?" I asked, totally confused.
"That street's one way," he said, and pointed at the street whose corner I'd been standing on waiting for the light. Now, partly I was annoyed that he felt like it was his place to justify the truck driver's assholish behaviour, but also that he had only looked up when I shouted, had no idea what had actually happened, and still thought he'd scold me for something I hadn't done.
"I didn't come from there. I was at the crosswalk." The guy didn't seem to understand, so I gestured at the clearly painted crosswalk. "He saw me waiting. I was never on that street." The guy shrugged, in a what-the-hell, I-don't-care kind of way, and the light was green anyway, and I pedaled off.
I guess it bugged me because the guy assumed he knew what had happened ('stupid crazy cyclist ignoring the rules and just riding wherever she wants.') And also, sure, legally I shouldn't have ridden across the crosswalk, although I'm pretty sure the truck driver would have pulled the same shit had I been on foot. But it really rankled that this other guy thought that, even if I was in the wrong, it was okay for someone to 'teach me a lesson' with an F-150. That someone in a truck that size is allowed to think, "Well, I'm supposed to be driving here, and if you get in my way it's your fault."
I really wish I had the courage, one of these times, to just stop in the middle of the intersection when someone is driving like a bully in that way. Just stop. In front of them. But of course I don't: I scurry out of the way of their great big powermobile. And I bet they love it.
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