Things said to me by people in cars

As a cyclist, I’ve gotten a few comments from people with whom I’m trying to share the road.

“Get a car, asshole!” — Speeding BMW driver who craned his head out the window to yell at me. I was having one of the finest days of my life, riding down a rural highway on my way to my first bike camping adventure at Champoeg State Park. The driver proceeded to flip off each of my bike-riding friends as he passed them. They grinned and waved back. I thought about my car, and was happy that I’d left it at home for the weekend.

Seriously. Ride faster, or move over.” — Emphatic pickup driver on NE 28th Avenue, where I was riding more or less with traffic to avoid the parked cars that line that entire street. It was my birthday, and I was on my way to have dinner with friends. We were stopped a red light. In order to align himself with me so he would be heard, he nosed past the white line and edged the front of his truck into cross traffic, eliciting angry honks from other drivers.

“Don’t fall!!” — Frat-boy passenger of a car that passed me going eastbound on the Hawthorne Bridge. It was rather late at night, and few people were around. He scared the crap out of me but clearly thought he was being funny.

“You know, it’s pretty dangerous to be riding your bike around here with these blind corners. People up here are getting fed up with cyclists and their ‘rights’. We can’t drive on Skyline [a popular rural residential road for cyclists] anymore, and now you guys are up on these roads, and soon we won’t have anything left. … [more blather] … Anyway, it’s nothing personal, but I hope you understand where I’m coming from.” — Pickup driver on a quiet rural road who thought it was acceptable to pull over and deliver a five-minute lecture to me, a solo cyclist who had stopped to eat lunch and enjoy a view of the mountains.

“Hey, beautiful! What’s a guy like me gotta do to get a girl like you’s number?” — Grammatically awkward dude who tried to hit on me as I rode on NW Glisan Street through downtown. I was sweaty and wearing rain gear. When I stopped next to the guy’s car at a red light, I promptly turned onto a different street.

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3 Comments

  1. Anonymous

     /  March 1, 2012

    Funny and disturbing. I don’t think I’ve experienced any of these. Of all these, I think I’d like to experience the lecture. It would be great to actually have a road side conservation instead of rolling shouting match.

    I once had a car almost hit me while turning right as I was in the crosswalk by the Salmon St. fountain and from a car full of punk kids I heard “Serves you right for riding a bike a-hole”. Of course, I promptly chased them, yelling obscenities back and waving my u-lock at them.

    The most recent incident I recall is when Ed, Ryan, Joey, Maria, Jonathon and I were riding in the lane on the St. John’s bridge in the early morning and this guy in a car drove up to each of us and yelled “Get of the f’n road and ride on the sidewalk a-hole”.

    Ya’ know we should compile these aggro motorist’s words of wisdom and make a ‘S! aggro motorist’s say to bicyclists’ video. 🙂

    -Mike

  2. kristenpdx

     /  March 1, 2012

    It amazes me how angry people can get about the presence of cyclists.

  3. oskar baanks

     /  April 2, 2012

    , In my 40 years of cycling, would be able to offer at LEAST 200 pages of stories for that book/video!!

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