I rode my bike to work this morning, encouraged by an empty calendar and a forecast of no rain or freezing temps. Most of the time it is a very uneventful, perhaps zen-like time for me. I know my route so well that there is little to distinguish one ride from the other.
Today was different. Towards the end of my ride, I go up two major hills. One is on a wide street with plenty of room and one is on a typically (for Nashville) narrow street, with cars often backed up trying to turn right. I’m used to riding past these stopped cars and occasionally have to veer onto the dirt to get around a car that didn’t leave enough room for me. I don’t expect drivers here in Nashville to be aware of bicyclists, so occasionally having to go into the grass/dirt has never bothered me.
However, today was bizarre. I watched a driver pull pass me then pull all the way to the right so there was no room to pass. At first I just figured it was a mistake, but as I went by, the driver greeted me with both a verbal and gesture obscenity, revealing that her action was a deliberate attempt to block my path.
I don’t get it. Did she think I was in her way? Did she think I didn’t belong on the road? Did she think I should have to wait in line with all the cars? I’m not sure, but I can’t imagine why any of my aforementioned guesses would be legitimate reasons for wanting to block me.
I’ll continue this rant with a potentially inflaming, sexist comment. In my two years of riding in Nashville, I have been treated with respect by the vast majority of drivers. In addition to this morning’s incident, the only other acts of aggression was two separate times of being honked at, both on the same stretch of four lane road that goes by two high schools. All three incidents have one thing in common. Based on the car and the way they were dressed, all three incidents were instigated by upper middle class women. This is not a scientific sample, but I’m starting to develop some deep-seated biases….
Categories: Local Adventure