“You got something to say?”

Being a cyclist is all about defensive riding. You're on the road with all sorts of large, hard vehicles while equipped with only a helmet for protection. Any physical encounter with one of those vehicles is a no-win situation so it's all about being alert and expecting the people driving said vehicles to do something stupid. Most of the time they are observant and courteous – sometimes not so much.

A few weeks ago a woman and her friend pulled right out in front of me while I was going along pretty much at my top speed. I screamed and hit the breaks at the same time. Fortunately, I had seen her coming to the "Stop" sign and was keeping a close eye and had time enough to tuck in behind her. When she heard me yell and saw me in rear view mirror she proceeded to stop dead in the middle of the road. I almost hit her again. She and her friend rolled down their windows and apologized profusely. They had not seen me at all, even though I was dressed in a bright colored biking jersey. Scary. About five minutes later I'm riding along at a good clip and a car starts to back out of a driveway right in front of me. I swerved, the car stopped and I went on my way. Guess who it was. Yup, the same lady, minus her friend whose driveway she must have been backing out of.

A couple of days ago I'm out for a nice ride on a beautiful, sunny, warm day in December when another car pulls out in front of me. Again, I had seem him coming toward the intersection and was able to break and yell at the same time. Like the ladies, he stopped in the middle of the road and rolled down his window. His reaction was not an apology, but a nasty, "You got something to say?"

"Yes I do. I had the right of way"

His non-apologetic reply, "I didn't see you."

"Come on man, I'm dressed in bright red!"

"You are?" I wasn't quite sure how to respond to such a bizarre question,  so I just pointed at my jersey.

His ever clever comeback was, "You got anything else to say?"

I sure did. "You need to drive more carefully. There are lots of cyclists on the roads in our community."

His answer to that was to tell me to go ahead down the road. I politely refused, instead telling him to go first because I did not want him coming along behind me where I couldn't see him. He didn't see the humor in that idea, but at least went on his way.

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