Comment 106568

By mikeonthemountain (registered) | Posted December 04, 2014 at 09:27:13 in reply to Comment 106561

We can't take every conflict and near miss personally. In 10 years of riding in Hamilton, yes I experienced perhaps two instances of deliberate road rage - where someone tried to "teach me a lesson" for existing, and tried to cause an accident. Except they didn't, because I do my part and ride smart. The one time I should have called the police, when a vehicle with NY plates actually deliberately maneuvered to push me out of the Jolley Cut into the ditch (before the bike lane was installed), nothing happened, because I didn't even flinch or skip a beat pedaling. Just punched the side of their vehicle as hard as I could with one arm and they backed off. That was before I even owned a cell phone, admittedly today I would have notified 911 of the dangerous driver.

But those were a tiny number of extreme examples of road rage, and all pre-date the recently added cycling infrastructure.

Since then, the only conflicts have been accidental. I recently almost slammed into the driver's side door of ... a nice lady who didn't do it on purpose. She didn't see me in busy conditions, pulled out of a driveway across the bike lane, cut me off. We exchanged shocked facial expressions, but nobody got mad and we continued about our day. Why? Because I was already looking for eye contact as soon as I saw her car. When eye contact failed and I recognized she didnt' see me, my basal ganglia activated the brakes (sorry to sound nerdy :) Obviously I hope she learned and improved her driving accordingly so that the same mistake doesn't hurt somebody in the future.

Humanity 101: sometimes someone will make a mistake, sometimes it will be you, everyone doing things correctly is decreasing the chance that a chain of mistakes will lead all the way to a collision.

Comment edited by mikeonthemountain on 2014-12-04 09:44:18

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