The video gave me a sick feeling in the pit of my stomach – primarily, I think, because of the seething hatred the driver seems to have for a certain class of people and his apparent disregard for how his actions could result in serious injury or death (whether by his own driving or by inciting others to share his rage).
The vast majority of drivers I encounter here in western Nebraska are very courteous – almost to a fault. I send a little wave or mental “thank you!” to drivers whenever they take especial care around me. It’s because of their cooperation, courtesy, and law-abiding nature that I feel safe riding.
But there’s always that one guy . . . (and it usually is a male, in my experience.)
Yesterday when I was riding home from work, some schlump suddenly hollered something unintelligible at me from the passenger seat as his vehicle passed. It startled me. I very well could have jerked the handlebars the wrong way and crashed.
The fact is, cyclists are quite vulnerable, quite exposed. We are not encased in a protective bubble of steel, seat belts, and air bags. We do not have 4,000 pounds of weight to wield. We cannot roll up the windows and turn up the radio to tune out our environment.
I wonder if that is why some people pick on cyclists.
Perhaps they have an inferiority complex. Perhaps it makes them feel better to harass or threaten a more vulnerable traveler from the superior vantage point and near-anonymous safety of their enclosed automobile.
I say “near-anonymous” because license plates and helmet cams exist.
Maybe it’s time to invest in a helmet cam . . .
Copyright 2014 by Katie Bradshaw