I get annoyed when people say that cyclist should follow every traffic law to the letter so that drivers won’t get so pissed off and will give us more respect.
My argument: the drivers who are hostile towards cyclists are just hostile in general, and do the same thing to other drivers.
They are the same ones who aggressively tailgate me when I’m driving to work, and who honked at and flipped off my daughter when she had a learner’s permit and couldn’t go over the speed limit.
My theory is that these people just can’t stand the feeling of someone being in their way or inconveniencing them.
Tonight while riding I got direct confirmation of this theory.
I was out on the TT bike, moving along at a pretty good clip on a fast section of country road (Music St, for those who know). From behind I hear someone laying on the horn. Not a beep but a long sustained blast that intends to say, “get the f*** off the road!”
It was a diesel pick-up truck. He got in front of me and tapped the brakes like he was going to brake-check me. He then slowed and turned onto a side street. I caught up and pulled alongside.
He rolled down the window. Instead of saying “what is your problem”, I decided to ask, “why the hostility?”
Basically it came down to: bikes shouldn’t be on this road because I might not see them coming over a hill and my truck is big and has side mirrors. Yes, that’s it.
So it’s really about someone perceived as being in the way and being an inconvenience.
After a minute or so, I knew that talking to the guy wouldn’t make any difference. A rational discourse doesn’t change that kind of mindset, because it’s not rational.
So I tried the irrational approach, and just told him that he should be careful because he doesn’t know which cyclist might just have a concealed-carry permit.