Actually it sounded more like “Bludy deek hed” spat out from a scowling face hanging out the side of a white Camry as it hurtled past me.
The man, in a rage, was yelling at me and speeding up at the same time, admonishing me for cycling across the street in front of him, while at the same time trying his best to run me down.
In my opinion I’d judged things perfectly; I am not by any stretch of the imagination a reckless cyclist (unless being slow is considered dangerous), but the crazy, googly-eyed man in the white Camry decided I was and let me know it, shaking his fist like King Kong.
Only three time since June last year (when I began cycling again) have I nearly been run over, the other two times by motorists who didn’t see me as I sped down a hill in the dark.
This was despite having two flashing lights attached to the front of my bike. In the one instant, having nearly driven into me, rather than apologize, the young bloke in a red Mazda started hurling insults my way: “Bloody dick head,” I yelled back, or words to that effect.
The other time, the young lady driver drove away sheepishly after I’d slammed on the breaks in the middle of the road, a hand raised meekly in front of her face, before speeding off.
But these near calamities have been rarities and I am thankful that most motorists are overly cautious around me, some to the point of driving on the wrong side of the road and straight towards oncoming traffic.
My general experience of cycling on a daily basis since June last year has been uneventful.
I’ve not yet encountered any psycho motorists who have deliberately tried to run me off the road, or over. The most dangerous drivers appear to be the elderly, whose chief problem is seeing above the steering wheel or judging the width of the road or their car.
But riding on two wheels, propelled forward by your own sweat and toil while cars zoom past does give one an unusual perspective on those on four wheels.
If I can blunt: motorists are not a happy bunch, at least they don’t look happy when driving.
They sit hunched over their steering wheels, they snarl and they grimace. There is a zealous, craven look in their eyes.
If Freud had ridden a bicycle, he might have gained great insights into the passive-aggressive personality type.
It seems to defy common sense that motorists deliberately ram the bottom of their cars over speed humps, rather than slowdown.
And while they for the most part, avoid hitting me, I’ve noticed another passive-aggressive tendency: speeding up extravagantly when passing me and then looking back at me through the rear view mirror to perhaps check that a) I am still upright and b) to remind me (with a nod to George Orwell) that, four wheels are always better than two.
Of course, I probably look peculiar to motorists, a heavily bearded man in an ill-fitting helmet and business clothes peddling a noisy bike up a hill, occasionally cursing the pensioner flying past.
A little while ago, an elderly lady passed me while cycling up a hill appearing to whistle and hardly trying at all. I was infuriated and vowed to pass her.
As she disappeared further and further into the distant: a bobbing grey-haired speck in high vis yellow, I furiously pedaled cranking my way through the gears until my thighs threatened to seize up and my chest burned. She was probably sipping a cup of tea by the time I pushed my bike through gate red-faced.
And I can only wonder what another older woman hidden behind a rose-bush in her immaculate garden thought when I decided on afternoon on my way home that it was safe to raise my butt cheeks triumphantly off the saddle and expel and noisy, violent fart.
Wearing gloves and holding a pair of pruning scissors, her head appeared from behind the tree, while her nose twitched the freshly scented air.
“Bloody dick head” perhaps she muttered under her breath.
3 thoughts on “Unhappy dick heads exhibiting passive-aggressive behaviour: a cyclist’s view of motorists”
Fun stuff – I can relate to all of these experiences.
I certainly wouldn’t take the “speeding up extravagantly when passing” personally – I think it’s just the psychological phenomenon “loss aversion” (drivers think they need to “make up” the time lost whilst waiting to pass – they do the same thing after waiting parallel parkers).
Drivers seem to range from happy to angry and many in between – sadly we cyclists tend to hear from the grumpy ones more often. Studies have shown that cycling lanes can improve traffic speed (http://t.co/wDlXW9Zhcw), but that’s a bit of a mouthful in reply to “bloody dick head”.
Thanks for the comment. Good point on the speeding up, but why do they check in the mirror? A lot of wierd pyschological stuff at play among motorists.
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For sure. I’m a post-cyclist-overtaking-mirror-checker myself, but that’s just because I’m paranoid about having an accident!