I was out for my Saturday ride just a lil hour 15 jaunt around the homestead. Lately I have been riding with D but Saturday he decided he was going to lift at the gym while I rode. I decided to take the route that isn't super hilly for a little change. And while about 2 miles into my ride I had my first fight with a passenger of a car! This is how it went down.
I was riding just to the left of the white line of the shoulder to avoid all the sand and pot holes. A car pulls out of the lot to my left turning into the lane of traffic I am traveling in. He pulled in just as I was coming by pushing me off into the shoulder. Luckily I am not a novice cyclist and I just adjusted instead of freaking out and crashing out. As they did it I screamed "REALLY?!" And we pulled up to the one light in town. The female passenger rolls down the window and goes "Really what?!"
I said "You nearly hit me."
"Well, we didn't. And you are on a F*ckin Bicycle, get off the road and on the shoulder where you belong."
"Actually, if you read the rules of the road I have just as much right to be on the road as you do."
"Actually, according to the rules of the road you have to be off the road on the shoulder."
Then the light turned green and the driver finally pipes up and he says "Well at least I didn't hit you!" and they sped off.
I was fuming! Which actually fueled a great ride. I couldn't believe how wrong they were and how they chose to fight with me about it. I couldn't believe the driver hung his hat on *not* hitting me even though he could have easily caused a crash! A crash that he would have been 100% at fault for! I know I am bound to have a lot more run ins with cars- hopefully none literally! I have done 3 and a half hour rides and never had someone be so blatantly rude or WRONG!
Just for clarification I did look it up- the basic rule in Massachusetts is "Same Roads. Same Rules." This site has some great info on the rules for cyclists and motorists in Massachusetts, "http://www.blogger.com/img/blank.gif
And I did check with a cop on Sunday. He said I was right I am allowed to be on the road cops prefer that you stay as far right as possible to be safe but I am allowed to be on the road I don't have to be on the shoulder. Then the very nice officer asked if it happen somewhere in his area that he could do something about it. haha :)
Anyway- I just wanted to make people aware of their rights as a cyclist and make motorists aware to be careful! I have a hope that maybe my fight with the woman in the car will cause someone that saw it to think twice, or look twice, to keep cyclists safe. I know the guy that was driving the car behind them slowed way down and looked all the way over his shoulder before he made a left to be sure I wasn't coming close. Hey maybe it paid off a little?!