Friday, February 09, 2007

Snow, close calls, and revenge

Well, I stepped outside and thought I saw a snowflake fall. I decided to grab the ski goggles just in case it was going to really start coming down, but didn't need them on the way to the bus. The snow was just a light dusting. Maybe it will continue a bit? I kind of like riding in the snow.

As I was coming up Strang Line Road for the last leg of my commute, I had a car come within inches of me. It took me by surprise, and made my heart skip a beat. The inside lane was wide open, so I don't know if I got buzzed intentionally "to teach me a lesson" or if it was just accidental. If it was accidental, the driver was merely inches from hurting me. It was a green 2004 Ford Mustang V6 and I got the plate numbers.

I didn't need them, though. Out of nowhere, I saw an Olathe Police cruiser next to me (going the speed limit in the inside lane.) It must have been less than a quarter mile behind me when the incident happened, but there were no other cars between him and the Mustang. I was hoping beyond hope that he saw what happened.

As he passed me, I saw him veer into the outside lane. I was sure he was going after the reckless Mustang driver. A few seconds later, the emergency lights kick into action. The mustang pulls over. This is all unfolding about a quarter of a mile up the road from me. A little while later, as I pass, I thank the officers who are talking to the driver. They wave to me.

I'm not sure if the motorist got a ticket or not, but I wouldn't be surprised. Even if the driver didn't get ticketed, I'm sure that being pulled over for failing to give a cyclist some room will change the way that person sees us. Hopefully the officers gave the driver a quick lesson on traffic laws regarding bicycles, too. I'd be happier if the motorist was cited with willful reckless endangerment or something that would cause the loss of driver's license. Then they can ride a bike, wouldn't that be poetic?

One officer seemed visibly angry and was standing on the sidewalk. Perhaps a fellow cyclist or motorcycle rider? At any rate, justice was served today.

2 comments:

Warren T said...

Wow. Just, wow. Glad it turned out the way it did. I'm a little sore after a spill on the ice path yesterday so chickened out today. Your descriptions of the Daily Dose have inspired my 19 year-old and I to try an 8 mile run there tomorrow. Looks like most of it will be via the bike path so I'm looking forward to more adventures. Here is the route:

http://veloroutes.org/bikemaps/?route=429

A Midnight Rider said...

Every buzzing I have gotten that looked to be intentional was by young high school aged girls.

Guys are happy to yell when they pass but the driver always gives plenty of room.

Sometimes a good brow beating by the authorities is better than a citation or ticket. Let hope there is one more person convinced that there is plenty of room for all of us on the roads.

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