Tuesday, April 8, 2008

Enforcement Avoided, Education Accomplished!

I met a guy named Mark on the road today. I was going to call the police to report him for passing me way to closely then swerving in front of me and screeching to a stop. Instead we had a conversation.

At first he was very angry, even dropping a few F-bombs at me. I did my best to remain calm and I asked him if I could just ask him one favor. He didn't say anything, but he didn't roll up his window either, so I asked him to just give a little more room next time he passed a bike, because it could save someone's life. When we were both more calm, I introduced myself and we talked for quite a while about all kinds of crazy people on the road. I urged him to call the cops when he encountered cyclists breaking the law. I told him about why I was riding where I was and he asked about bicycle laws, and I happily told him what I knew. I really think he will go home and tell his wife or buddies about it and be more careful next time. More importantly he won't think all bicyclists are jerks who just get in his way. Mark told me he was sorry, that he was wrong and shouldn't have done what he did. It takes a big man to admit when he's wrong and I respect him for doing so today.

I would much rather have a conversation with a driver than have to involve the authorities.

Mark, Thanks for stopping and listening.


GB said...

Wow - Great encounter and great post!


DK said...

I agree! This is something all of us can do. Thanks for setting the example.

Anonymous said...

Nice job. I used to be that guy who after being buzzed by a car I would try like hell to catch them at the next traffic light and then cuss them out for a bit.
I have learned though that a friendly educating conversation is much better in the long term. And have even found some people receptive to what I say to them.