Stylized line drawing of mark playing the flute

The bullshit I put up with by not driving

The red pickup truck

It's Monday morning in early April. The first morning of Spring Break so I'm riding in a little late. I'm just past Douglass Loop when a red pickup truck roars up behind me, inches off my rear wheel. Then he flies around me on the left, not even fully changing lanes, and cuts back over with only a couple of feet to spare in front of me.

The next day, the same thing happens again just a little further down Bardstown Rd.

On Wed, it happens twice. He does it once near the Mid-City Mall. Then he pulls into the McDonald's drive-thru and so he gets another shot at me just past Grinstead. I end up next to him at a stop light on Baxter. His window is down so I ask him, very very politely to please let me have a little more room when passing. His response is to threaten to run me over the next time he sees me.

After Spring Break, I don't see him again for a while since I'm riding in earlier. But then, one day, I'm running late and it happens again. I end up behind him at the light at Baxter & Broadway and I snap a picture of his license plate.

Then I call the police.

They send out an officer to take a statement. She tells me they can't do anything unless he does something. It's nice to know they'll be all over him if he does decide to run me over. She also suggests that maybe I ride a different way to work.

She doesn't take my name or file a report.

Go ahead and turn, it's just a bike

This was Thursday of last week. 4 different cars, coming from the opposite direction, turn left in front of me and I have to slam on the brakes to keep from getting clobbered. In every case, there is no one behind me. But heaven forbid someone wait 3 seconds to avoid risking my life.

Yelled at for walking down the sidewalk

This happened just this morning.

Jane and I have dropped the kids off at school and are walking down the sidewalk in front of Assumption. The entrance to their parking lot is always kind of a mess of cars going in and out. Usually the sidewalk is blocked by a carpool car and we have to walk out into the street to go around.

Today the car turning left into the parking lot is kind and waits for us to walk past. As we're crossing, a black pickup truck in the other lane stops and yells at us out the window.

Really?!? You're so entitled that you couldn't wait 2 seconds for that car to go?

Sometimes I can let things go. Sometimes I can just ignore the abuse, ignorance, and carelessness. But not today. I just don't have it in me today so I yell at him to fuck off as he's driving away.

We cross Tyler Ave and are walking along when the pickup truck comes roaring back up Bardstown Rd. The guy has turned his car around to come back and yell at us some more.

He tells me how rude and inconsiderate I am. He tells me I'm a fucking asshole.

I tell him that his parents must be so proud of him, to take the time out of his busy day to stop and yell at strangers who are just trying to walk down the street.

He tells me that his dad was killed while riding a bike and it's all because of entitled assholes like me. Never mind that I'm not even riding my bike. I'm pushing it down the sidewalk.

He tells me that his dad is watching him from heaven and he's a good Christian and his dad would be proud of him. I actually laugh at loud at this. I can't help myself.

His rage is unbelieveable. He turns beet red, then goes roaring off down one of the side streets and we continue our walk