Thursday, May 3, 2012

I was biking my usual bike route on River Road and I came to the stop sign at Highland Parkway and River Road and I made the poor decision not to stop at the stop sign as the intersection only really affects people who are turning because Highland Parkway turns into River Road at that point and the bike lane is uninterrupted and therefore I would not be a hindrance to traffic. I know it was a poor decision, I should've stopped anyway, but this large tan SUV pulls up next to me, in the bike lane and the guy says, "There was a stop sign back there, young lady. You're supposed to stop at stop signs," and I ignore him like I normally do of people in these situations and he responds to my ignoring him by pulling into the bike lane in front of me, completely blocking my path while I am riding downhill clipped into my bike. Of course then I start screaming, "What the fuck are you doing, I'm going to crashed." I don't think I've ever actually screamed like that before, it was very ugly and guttural because he was nearly hitting my bike at this point and at the last moment he pulled away and I shouted "psycho," and started thinking mean thoughts about people with SUV's, but then I just started sobbing because I was so scared and pulled over to the side of the road and hyperventilated and cried for at least 15 minutes. What really gets me is that he called me young lady. Not only is it demeaning, it makes me feel as if he wouldn't have done it if I weren't a woman (i.e. vulnerable) and like it was an abuse of power more than anything else. I know I was originally in the wrong and should've stopped at the sign, but what he did was completely unwarranted and crazy and every time I think about it I just feel helpless and angry and want to stop biking on the road out of fear, but don't want to stop out of spite and I can't help but wonder why people in big SUV's are threatened by people on bicycles.

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