Friday, October 5, 2007


I got that familiar sickening feeling when the driver's side door opened in front of me. Luckily, I was able to get past before I heard the thud of the lock in my bag put a mark into a brand new Cadillac. So I stopped and turned to go back to make sure everything was OK. Right away the old dude gave me attitude. "no", he said, "everything is not OK".

Thinking of the 15 stitches in my chest from receiving the "door prize" a few years before, and this guy's lack of any concern for me, I pointed to the huge mirrors on the side of his elephant of a car. "that's what those are for. next time you should take a look."

He gestured to the line of car traffic passing along Broadway which is plenty wide for all to share. "Those cars aren't even close...there's no need to look".
" might find a guy on a bicycle going by."
"Why would I? I don't see a bicycle lane."
And on. And on.
Finally he said "you're a typical Rhode Islander: Rude!"
"So why don't you back to where you come from?"
"I am from here!"

So once again I'm left scratching my head at the complete breakdown of communication between "us" and "them". Of course what may have prevented the whole incident would have been the striped bike lane along Broadway that the City has been promising for the past several years. As it is there are no stripes on Broadway even for the car traffic. Some drivers actually imagine that there are two lanes along this busy residential street which leads to ridiculous displays of muscle flexing and muttering.

Of course the only thing more ridiculous than this whole confrontation would have been to point to the pavement where the lines will someday be to explain to an individual who simply doesn't think of bikes in the same 21st century way that I do.


steven said...

you are a better man than I, I would have told the guy to go F himself, before delivering another blow with the lock.

gewilli said...

Ya know...

letter of law gives said door opener rights not said person/car/bike.

you hit someone, even if they open door infront of you, you are at fault...

kinda sucks.

Goes for cars too...

Retard opens door and you take it off with your car? Who's fault? Person who is driving, not who is opening door.

That said, glad ya are okay!!!

fahking door zone

boberry said...

I've been petition Councilman Lombardi to put bike lanes on a "bike boulevard" on Broadway for a while. He won't even respond to my letters. We need a mass movement. I see tons on people commuting on Broadway.

Jack said...

Boberry is right, Broadway is a natural for cycling because of the extra width which is unusual over the rest of the city.

All due respect to Councilman Lombardi, but he seems like a "bicycles on the sidewalk" kind of guy. He shows up at Bike to Work Day in a jogging suit to talk about how cycling is a great form of exercise. The idea that most of the people are standing there with their bikes in the pouring rain because bicycles are also a great form of transportation seems to be lost on him.
He's taking the safe route with his jogging suit because it avoids conflict. He "likes" bikes. But he is also an old school politician and if he connects critical votes to satisfied cyclists, he might start to get it.

Brendan said...

Glad to hear you'r OK Jack, too bad that guy was such an asshat. I always thought the person opening their door was at fault - maybe that's just in MA? My buddy took a guy's door off when we were in HS, and was actually off the hook due to the law up in Mass.

Ngendo said...

This sounds like a typical ride on Elmwood. In Nairobi we're still trying to get roads in general, leave alone space for cyclists and we are thousands upon thousands.Goodluck on your side.