Yesterday I experience a little road rage on my way home.
I had just finished fueling my vehicle at a corner station of a busy intersection. By busy, I mean this is an intersection of US 41 and another busy connecting road at a time of day when a fair amount of traffic is moving on US 41. I left the gas station for the connecting road, and after checking traffic, executed a right-turn-on-red. As I was completed my turn, I checked traffic in my rear-view and saw a motorcycle travelling at highway speed complete a quick dodge over to the over lane. He passed me, decelerating until he fell about 1/2 a vehicle length ahead of me. He then turned, looked and pointed at me (right hand)... turned to look forward, and as he accelerated away, raising his left hand high over his hand to give me the finger. As traffic bunched up at the next intersection I found myself behind him (left lane). At this point, he begins moving his handle bars to get a look at me. As traffic begins to move I find that we're still traveling in the same lane and he's still looking at me through his mirrors as opportunity presents itself. I recognize that he's probably raised suspicion in his mind as to whether I'm following him. Unfortunately for him, we're travelling in the same direction. I recognized that he & I were probably going to execute the same upcoming left turn into a residential area (where I live), so I turned my signal on early (I'm unsure if this had the desired effect of clueing him in that I wasn't 'stalking' him). At the left turn only cut out, a line of vehicles formed waiting for on coming traffic to clear. He once again checked his six to see me there. When it came time for him to turn, he executed a U-turn, I made a left turn, and the encounter ended.
First let me begin by saying that I committed a technical error by entering traffic in the first place. I did make a careful survey of the on-coming traffic and did not see the motorcycle.
I wasn't offended by his pointing his finger at me -- I assumed he was telling me to 'look twice, save a life!' (I did look twice... still didn't see him).
As a bicyclist, I understand even more so the plight of a motorcyclist. I even understand that a motorbike, and even a bicycle, is given the same legal status as a regular motor vehicle. I also understand human nature -- that most people will overlook the cycle either as an obstacle in their way or simply not recognize it. And while the cyclist may have the right away, I understand the difference between being right and being dead right. Which is why when I go cycling, I'm extra defensive in my driving.
I wasn't offended by him flipping me the bird. I just don't care if someone flips me off. Venting can be good!
I did find it humorous to watch this guy use me to intimidate himself into making the U-turn... it probably cost him 5 minutes of his time, which if he hadn't started the mess in the first place wouldn't have happened.