I’ve had my board built for a little over a month now, and it’s been great for getting around campus and the local area. Almost all the interactions I’ve had with people about it have been positive, save for some guy telling me to “get off the road, kid”, despite complying with traffic laws and not holding up anyone, speed-wise.
Today was different though. I skated down through campus and decided to take the perimeter street up the side of camps, which a relatively steep grade for most of it, though my board handles it in stride, keeping with the speed limit.
Anyway, I’m coming up to a stoplight along with the two cars in front of me, slowing down with less than 20 feet, now that we’re coming to a stop, in between me and the car in front. Suddenly some guy in a BMW (I know, right…?) comes up on my left and pulls up in the shrinking space between me and the car in front of me, almost hitting me with the side of his car in the process. I knock on the side of his car a few times and pull back up to my original place in front of him, and look him in the eye and give him the “What are you doing?” shrug. He gives me a pretty dirty look and gestures for me to get out of the way, so I just give him a dirty gesture in response (probably a mistake but it’s the heat of the moment and he’s nearly hit me, albeit slowly, with his car already) and say “share the road, it’s the law!”
I get on my board and punch it so I’m going exactly with traffic up this decently steep hill, and take a right at the top when it levels out, following the original car I was behind. The entire time, BMW guy was tailgating me and I could hear his engine right behind me. At the level part, I’m still at the speed of traffic in the middle of the lane, and BMW guy tries to get halfway in the oncoming lane and pull up on my left, while a car is coming in the other lane, to try to get in the tiny (barely more than a car length) space between me and the car in front of me.
I was not about to get run off the road so I pretty much stayed where I was, just accelerating a bit to get away from middle of the side of his car in case I needed to escape to the right and go past the car in front of me. He didn’t even seem to care about this oncoming car and the only reason there was not an accident was because the road was wide enough for the oncoming car to move right, accommodating BMW guy, and myself.
At this point I decided that existing here in the middle of the lane, as satisfying as it may be to stand up to assholes that are legally in the wrong, is a serious threat to my safety, so I played bicycle and passed the car ahead on my right and pulled up next to and then past the cyclist ahead.
What are you supposed to do in this sort of situation?
I know the most pragmatic and safe thing to do, in individual terms, would be just to let these types of people go instead of try to stand your ground even if you are legally in the right, and if a cop saw, they’d be the first to get a ticket or more.
But at the same time, I think I would just feel really ineffectual had I just let him almost hit me, and then let him continue past with no consequences or rebuke.
Has anyone ever experienced anything like this?