Wednesday, December 27, 2006

War Stories - Tales From The Road

. Wednesday, December 27, 2006

I was sharing the following story with my boss while shining his shoes earlier today (Inside joke - courtesy of Stockboy over on the Yada forum.) The following event happened while I was still in high school and near the prime of my cycling abilities.

It was the middle of summer and headed out for an afternoon bike ride like I did most days during that time of my life. I was heading south on Middle Road just outside of Oneida. For those that don't know, Middle Road is a lightly travelled county road that his little or no shoulder. I was riding my bike about a foot to the left of where the white line would be (if there was one). As I was cresting the top of the first hill, I heard a car approaching from the rear. As it passed me, a guy with half his body sticking out of the passenger window yelled, "GET THE FUCK OUT OF THE ROAD!!!" just as he passed me. Needless to say, it scared the living piss out of me. Being the teenaged kid I was, I promptly signaled with my middle finger that he was #1. That was mistake #1. The driver of the car must have seen me because she slammed on the brakes and put it in reverse to confront me. Now I'm thinking, "AWW SHIT!!!"

Now if I were smart, I should have turned around, but I didn't. In the past, other drivers would put on their brakes lights just to frighten me, but would proceed to drive off. But this guy was PISSED. He got out of his car and was waiting for me to ride past. Like I said, I probably should have turned around, but I continued to ride forward. Probably, I was thinking I needed to get to a populated area ASAP and continuing riding forward would get me back there quicker compared to turning around.

So we're at the top of the hill and the guy is getting out of his car. I figured that if I can get by him, I can pedal my ass down the hill and get myself to a populated area. I slowed down and put my bike in a low gear so I could quickly accelerate. The guy reached out and tried to grab me as I passed by. I swerved just in the nick of time and he missed me. Now I was going downhill and pedaled as fast as I could go. I looked back and the guy raced back to his car and drove to try and catch me. I was still going downhill when the car passed me. Out of the corner of my eye, I saw a plastic Mountain Dew bottle whiz past me and explode when it hit a tree.

I turned onto Chapel Street and then onto Kenwood Ave and continued to pedal as fast as I could to get into Sherrill. There were a bunch of cars parked in the driveway at the Oneida Mansion House. I pulled up into the driveway, got off my bike, and hid behind the parked cars. A woman standing in the driveway asked if I was OK. She must have seen the petrified look on my face. I was out of breath and it was hard to answer her. I eventually explained what happened. After catching my breath and checking to see that the coast was clear, I proceeded the rest of the way into Sherrill. I happened to see a Sherrill police patrol car and flagged him down. I explained what happened and gave my best description of the vehicle (80s Camero and gave a partial plate - I still remember it: 8MA 242). I also gave my contact information.

I headed home and was surprised to get a call from the police officer. He spotted the car (and the occupants) in the Oneida Limited parking lot and gave them an earful. The cop told me that because the incident occured in the Oneida police jurisdiction, he reported the incident to them. The cop said that I could go down to the police station and determine if I could press charges against them. I declined to do that figuring that everybody learned there lesson.

Post Script - Several weeks later, I was riding around southern Madison County with a cycling buddy of mine when the SAME CAR harassed the two of us. This time, he just yelled at us and continued driving on. But it was no mistaking the car and license plate. That's why to this day, I try to not let road rage get the best of me because who knows if that asshole that cut me off has a gun and isn't afraid to use it.


Anonymous said...

Wow, too bad people are so ignorant and idiotic. Must be you threatened his manhood by infringing on his "car space." lol Glad you were ok. :)


Boo said...

To clear up some confusion, the man that attacked me was in the passenger seat. The man's girlfriend was the one doing the driving.

Mohawk Chieftain said...

Ahhhh.... Must not have wanted yer tiny carrot anywhere near his woman....

AZ hiding in the weeds said...

My ex-husband' best friend flipped off a driver on the freeway because the guy cut him off, the vehicle slowed down let my husband's friend catch up to him then he stuck a gun out the vehicle window and shot him. You never know what kind of crazy you're dealing with. Sometimes it's better to make like a bunny and run the other way!

Friday's Child said...

People can be such idiots! I guess it doesn't matter where you live.