I am writing with a serious concern of mine that has been affecting me on my past few bike rides. Lately, I’ve been going on bike rides at night because it’s cooler out. However, almost every time, without fail, at least one car will pass by me and honk their horn* or yell something stupid at me while they pass by. It is really annoying because it usually causes me to jump and on top of that, the driver gets off scott free.
Last night however, it happened near an intersection and I was able to catch up to the car and ride right behind them until they sped up and turned left down a side street. They paused half way down the street and waited as I slowly passed by on the main street, staring them down as I did so. I saw them drive off but, knowing where the street poured out, decided to intercept them, taking the next left and seeing if we’d cross paths. Sure enough the same car packed with kids came heading towards me, but having no physical or verbal ammunition, I merely stared them down and carried on my way.
This is where I need your help. I was thinking of ghost-riding my bike into the back of their car while I was behind them. But, knowing my luck, they would have stopped, gotten out, and jumped me. I thought that I could have yelled something back at them, like a simple “fuck you,” but what would that prove? If I had retaliated in some way, I would have been playing into their game and doing exactly what they wanted. On the other hand, by doing nothing, it, to them looks like they’ve won because it looks like I’m too much of a pussy to stand up for myself. Either way, they win.
Now I’m sure plenty of you out there will say,” just ignore them,” “don’t let them bother you,” but a) that is easier said than done, and b) my need to see justice served will go unsatisfied. I feel like something should be done to put these pricks in their place.
If I’d thought of it, I could have taken their plate number down, and called the Police. But even if I did that, what would I say, “I was riding my bike and these kids yelled stuff at [verbally assaulted] me.” They’d laugh over the phone and say oh well, sorry, nothing we can do. Even if they did take action, the worst that would happen is that they’d get spoken to and get a slap on the wrist. I could lie and say that they almost hit me, but that would be too much.
All of this just leaves me frustrated and with two final questions: what should I have done? What would you do?
*And I know it was not a “let me make you aware that I’m here” honk, but a “let’s see if we can scare that kid on the bike” honk.
I should just make up “I’m An Asshole” stickers and put them on the cars when they pass by.
I can only hope that they got in a non-fatal car accident while cruising around, and that they don’t have insurance, and that they have to pay it all out of pocket.