Monday, September 10, 2007

Am I Attracting Morons, Now?

I've been posting on this blog since February, and commuting by bike since last November... and I've been pretty fortunate about the number of clueless motorists I've come across. But with last week's impatient honker incident and today, I'm beginning to feel like someone buried a gris-gris under my stoop.

The story: I had just crossed the intersection of Olentangy and Ackerman and was riding west on Ackerman. There is one lane that crosses from East to West on Ackerman and obviously I was in it. Once you get across Olentangy, a right-turn-only lane from Olentangy opens up to your right. I always try to get right over to that lane to 1) abide by the law and 2) be safe. Here's a diagram:

I'm the red arrow. You can see how that right-turn lane from Olentangy works. Usually, there's no one turning right from Olentangy to Ackerman and I can get right over, but today there was a car that turned and was to my right as I wanted to get over. So no big deal... I figure he'll retain his speed and pass me and then I'd get over.

Nope. He decides to drive RIGHT NEXT TO ME, actually slowing down to do so. I signal, hoping he'll speed up or slow down so I can get over. No... he stays right there. I give him a wave forward, trying to beckon him to go past me. No... he sits right there. Finally, I look over at him with my "WTF" look. He starts waving at me like I'm the problem.

If he'd slowed down and gotten behind me, then I'd know he wanted me to pull in front of him, obviously. If he'd sped up, I could have gotten behind him and into the right lane. But no, he sat right next to me.

Is there some sort of paralysis that takes over in the minds of drivers when they encounter bikes?

4 comments:

  1. I ran into a similar driver heading up Neil Ave north of campus last week - a minivan exactly matched my speed for long enough to make me very nervous, until I swerved into the parked-car lane and slowed down to make it exceedingly clear that I wanted them to pass me. Only at that point did they start travelling a normal speed and stop following me.

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  2. Simple answer: Yes. Yes there is.

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  3. Most drivers are considerate, but occasionally I run across the boob who seems to be intentionally blocking me off like you described. Whadda bunch of wankers.

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  4. You're right, most are considerate - either out of a respect for everyone on the road (maybe) or some fear that they don't know how cyclists are going to act (much more likely).

    I don't think this guy was intentionally blocking me... I think he actually wanted me to get over. But that was obviously impossible with him sitting RIGHT NEXT TO ME.

    When I finally got him to go forward he looked exasperated (from the quick glimpse I got). It's things like this that make me want a phone that can call people based on their license plate.

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