By Nicholas Kevlahan
Published November 23, 2012
I had a rather unsettling encounter with a motorist on Aberdeen the other evening, and thought perhaps other RTH readers might watch out and report his behaviour if it happens again.
Around 6:00 PM I turned right onto Aberdeen from Studholme at the new bike activated lights. I then changed lanes (signalling) so I would be able to turn left immediately off Aberdeen at Hawthorne to get onto the quiet streets north of Aberdeen. At this point there was no eastbound traffic on the road.
As I was waiting for a gap in the westbound traffic so I could turn (with my left arm out), a car zoomed up behind me and began continuously blaring his horn.
When I asked him why he was honking, he shouted, "You're going to get yourself killed! You should be on the sidewalk!"
Now, I was being very careful to obey all traffic laws: I was signalling my turn from the left lane, I had front and rear lights and reflectors on my bike, and I was wearing a cycling jacket with reflective strips.
When I pointed out that it is in fact illegal to ride on the sidewalk, he just repeated, "You should stay on the sidewalk or you're going to get killed. I do this all the time to cyclists for their own safety."
I got the distinct impression that he would be quite happy to show me why I was at risk of being killed...
He then claimed that I posed a danger to him because he was confused by the reflective strips and the red light on the back of my bike!
Unfortunately, I didn't get his license number, but he was white, 30-40, with short curly brown hair and driving a recent greyish four-door sedan.
Since he seems to be on a mission to intimidate and frighten cyclists off the road, it would be helpful if other cyclists (and pedestrians) could be on the lookout and try to get his license number next time he tries to scare cyclists off the road "for their own safety."
I would imagine he is a commuter who doesn't want to be bothered by cyclists as he drives home on Aberdeen.