Tuesday, May 19, 2015

HULK SMASH (or, using your words. Loudly.)

I was just on my way home, going through Old Ottawa South, and signaled and tried to take the lane because it's too narrow through there, and this dude in a red two-seater crowded me. This was just in front of the Mayfair, where everyone tries to squeeze over into the right-hand lane to avoid getting caught behind left-turning cars. (Only to then pinch bikes between them and the parked cars on the other side of the Sunnyside intersection, but that's a whole other complaint I have, and in fact at rush hour the parked cars aren't there, which is a blessing and made the rest of this encounter much better.)

I waved him back and made a big show of shoulder checking, giving all the body language I could that I was moving over. But he still kept trying to squeeze by, while I was, increasingly loudly, shouting, "There isn't room, there isn't room to pass me!" Then this huge, righteously pissed-off voice came out of me, and I bellowed, "THERE IS NOT ROOM TO PASS ME!" I didn't even recognize my own voice, I was just all HULK SMASH.

That voice made me feel pretty powerful, actually. Ironically enough given the massive power difference between my vehicle and his. There was something about knowing I was right. And, also, too often when I find myself shouting at drivers I'm just swearing sharply or reacting with a wordless shout, in fear. This was reacting with Teachable Moment. (Albeit a hulk-smashy teachable moment.) I had words - straight-up, clear, definite, very loud words.

And just after I bellowed, I saw that his windows were down, because, of course, it was a beautiful summer day. So I damn well knew he'd heard me. And he backed off, and I got my ass into the dead centre of that lane, and through the intersection o' doom.

I am bike-woman. Hear me roar.


  1. FIERCE BIKER LADY! (Kind of Gandalfy, as well.)

    1. Oh, man, now I'm hoping I someday have the presence of mind to yell "YOU SHALL NOT PASS!" at a car. That would be sweet.

  2. Someone certainly did hear you roar!