Monday, July 27, 2009

Dear Driver

Dear Driver,

First, I want to thank you for only coming really really close to killing me today, and not actually running me over. I understand that some drivers, like yourself, have a feeling of entitlement and may not have consideration that your giant green SUV could easily kill me on my 20 pound bike.

Second, as somebody who works with autistic children on a regular basis, I understand that not everybody picks up on non-verbal cues as easily as others. Let me explain the ones that I gave to you today before you completely and blatantly cut me off. But, before I do, I want to let you know that I am an extremely conscientious cyclist and understand that cyclist can be irritating to drivers at times when we inhibit your ability to make a turn or you get "stuck" behind us. Anyway, here are the cues you missed today.

While riding down the road at 25mph, I saw you on the other side of the road, facing me, with your left turn signal on. I knew that your intention was to make a left hand turn (see, I pick up on non-verbal signals). I looked behind me to see if there was a line of cars. My thinking is that if there is a line of cars, I do not need to change anything I'm doing, because you will not cross a line of cars to make your turn. If there was no line of cars, I COULD decide to change what I am doing so that you don't have to wait one extra second to make your turn. In this case, the line of cars behind me was ending, and by the time they passed you, I would be the only thing between you and your turn. Here's the non-verbal cue: When I'm already going 25 miles an hour, and stand up to get across the intersection faster, that is not your cue to make your turn. That means, I'm doing what I can to get across faster so you have time to make your turn before the next line of cars comes. NOW, since you didn't understand that and tried to run me down, I had to slam my breaks on and slow down about 15mph and skidding my back wheel to avoid getting killed.

Here's the second cue you missed. When I put my hand in the air after almost getting hit by you and your giant motor vehicle, that isn't me saying hello. Please don't wave at me. That only makes me angry. My hand gesture (what you miss-interpreted as a friendly hello) meant one of the following; "What the fuck!" "Are you a complete idiot?" or "You're a fucking moron!" Your equally old friend noticed, but her reaction was almost equally as ridiculous. It is not appropriate to put your hand in the air the same way I did when your friend almost killed me. A more appropriate hand gesture would be palm out as if to say, "SORRY! I know I fucked up!"

Now, maybe it wasn't the non-verbals that confused you. Maybe it was the sense of entitlement you have as an auto-mobile operator that lead you to the decision to cut me off and almost hit me broad side. I'll explain something to you, but I'll only say this once, so read carefully... Cyclist have the same right to the road as drivers. WHAT? I KNOW RIGHT? CRAZY! Have you ever seen those signs that say, "Share the road" with a picture of a car and a bicycle on it? That's what that sign means. If you don't understand how to share, you could ask your great grand-children to teach you. They teach that in preschool nowadays.

Anyway, thanks again for not killing me. Next time, look out for cyclists. If not for our safety, for the safety of your car. I'm a large man, and you don't want a BBoB sized dent in your door.


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