Monday, November 03, 2008

To The Angry Man Dressed in Work Overalls in the White Van Who Yelled at Me This Morning

Dear Sir,

I'm sorry that you were in a rush this morning and that my desire to be safe while biking caused you such distress.

I signalled my left turn not so much to ask you to "slow down for a half a block" as you seemed to think, but to ensure that you knew where I was going... you know, like a car ahead of you would do.

When you stopped at the intersection and seemed to be waiting for me to go ahead, I thought you were being polite, so I said, "Thank you!" as I pulled out and turned left in front of your van.

But when you opened your door, stood on the running boards and shouted angrily at me, "Did you really think I was going to slow down for a half a block for you to turn left?" I had no response for you because you kind of freaked me out.

If the truth be told, sir, it would have been nice if you had.

I live in hope that people in cars will remember that cyclists have a few rights too. I spend most of my time on the road trying to ensure that people in cars see me and remember that I'm a human being. After all, the only thing protecting me is a layer of clothing and our combined navigation skills. You, sir, were protected by a rather large van made of metal, the fact that you could outrun me quite easily and the fact that you seemed to be a rather angry, short-tempered man.

When I didn't answer and you shouted to me, "What did you say?", I simply repeated, "Thank you!" I wonder if it aggravated you that I didn't turn my bicycle around and start a yelling match with you. I hope that my attempt to be polite didn't bother you; you seemed to have a lot of anger this morning.

I hope that the rest of your day goes better than our 25 second interaction this morning. The rest of my day is going to be stellar in comparison.

I promise you, from here on in, I'll be very respectful and try not to run into any vehicles that cut me off or stop short in front of me. I'll also avoid white vans like the plague.


The Cyclist Who Was Only Trying to Follow The Rules Of The Road


  1. ((hugs))

    Some people are crazy. I'm glad he didn't run you down.

    Did I ever tell you about the time Phil nearly got hit riding into school? It was at a 4 way stop. He got yelled at too with some truly colourful swear words. The best part? A 3 year old Cameron perched behind him in the carrier seat. Nice.

    He was actually knocked off his bike once too by a driver when he had Cam on the back.

    And he can't remember how many times he was yelled at for having the seat improperly installed. Um, no. It was not. In fact, most of the "advice" he got would have made it dangerous to have Cam back there.

    I often think there should be a yearly pysch evaluation done in order to keep your license. You have to have your vehicle safety inspected, why not the driver?

  2. People can be so dumb.

    I'm sorry that happened to you. Please let me, on behalf of the human race, assure you that we're not all idiots.

  3. I don't bike on the roads anymore because the cars (and drivers) scare me too much. I keep to side streets or sidewalks. Busy streets just seem to cause trouble, especially here in Halifax. Unfortunately the roads are just too narrow for too many cars and poor bikers.

    Hopefully the rest of your day is great through :)

  4. Last week a cyclist here in Windsor was hit by a white van, the driver of which did not stick around to help the cyclist and now will probably never be found. The cyclist was hurt but is going to be okay. The driver, however, will always be an asshole.

  5. Ooh, I'm sorry. I think the same guy followed me from Kitchener when I moved here - he very nearly sideswiped me on an empty! 4-lane road as I was biking to work one day, and hollered something (rude, I'm sure) out the window at me as he went by.


  6. Hey Steph

    You won a bakerella t-shirt! Congrats! Look at the sizes at the link below. Then email me your address and size and I will send it out to you.


  7. You should have dropped kicked him.

    If I see a white van, I'll kick it for you. Just in case it's him.

  8. I hate that guy. He must have family in Evanston - now that it's dark at, like, 4:30pm, I'm having a hard time convincing myself that riding my bike is a fun thing to do. Because of assholes like him.

    I'm glad you're okay.

  9. You mean to tell me someone from the Maritimes spoke to you that way! Ugghhh, that's why Ontario was created...(sorry, to all those born in Ontario) but I think it is so rude of people here to just cut in front of others while walking and not even whisper excuse me...

  10. Sounds like a similar 'White Van' incident we had together. Couldn't still be on the lose... could he??