So Long, Suckas!
I haven’t really had a case of road rage since Montreal. To clarify, I’m talking about on a bicycle, since I don’t drive.
Back in Montreal, I used to have a fixie. Not those hipster fixie bikes with handbrakes that everyone uses nowadays– I had the sort that if you wanted to stop the bike, you had to basically pedal backwards. The problem with fixies is that, with only one gear, they usually lose in protracted races against bikes with gears, because bikes with more gears have better ratios more suited to either mountain climbing or all out speed on flat ground. A fixie is kinda set in between, which is decent for one basic situation, but not great at either extreme.
Back home, I’d get annoyed if someone cut me off on a bike path. My usual response was to tailgate, which usually makes them speed up and go beyond their comfortable pedaling speed. But eventually, when they tired out, I’d just slowly pass them. Yes, I’d feel smug about it.
This didn’t always work against people with really high performance race bikes, but for the most part, people in montreal with expensive bikes knew a thing or two about road courtesy. It’s the occasional asshole who doesn’t really have a good set of legs who needs to make up for it by cutting people off.
I should point out also that I don’t play this game when in the city– only on bike paths– because tailgating someone to get a rise out of them in the city is likely to get someone killed. Do not do that to people, kids! Getting people killed is not nice!
In general, I find cyclists in Sydney are much worse when it comes to road manners than Montreal. If you look around at the people on bikes, they’re usually males, between the ages of 30 and 50, often using high end road bikes, and almost always wearing spandex. At least, this is the demographic of assholes who don’t understand a thing about the meaning of red lights, or have never heard of the concept of lining up when at stop lights (they tend to cut in front of you and park in front as far as they can go without getting hit by pependicular traffic).
Like, seriously… what the fuck is wrong with 30-50 year old male cyclists in Sydney? Fucking douchbags!
Every now and then though, when the roads are quiet and I get cut off by someone, I’ll do what I did in Montreal and kinda get stuck in “challenge mode.” Things are different here though– Sydney is way more hilly than Montreal was, especially in certain areas like Glebe (where I live). In the backroads, traffic isn’t as bad, so if someone cuts me off at a light or something (as in, we’re stopped at a red light, but I got there first… then the other guy cuts in front of me at green to get ahead of everyone) I’ll basically follow them, make sure they know I’m there, and then drag race with them.
Turns out that as fast as their road bikes are compared to my hybrid, biking daily with 20 pounds of law textbooks is pretty good for my legs. So usually, I try to kinda goad them into racing up a mountain… mostly because when I completely smoke them, the mountain looks like it hurts them sooooo sooooooo bad. I mean… look at the way they’re huffing and puffing! They’re even rocking the bike as they get off the saddle! Last time someone cut me off, I chased them up a mountain, and passed them while saying “Learn to use your gears, dude!” (It wasn’t a really good taunt, but I couldn’t think of anything better on the fly.)
Yeah, I’m a bad person.
And it’s probably a good reason why I shouldn’t get a driver’s license. Ever. Because if you gave me a motorized vehicle? Mannnnn, that’d be bad for society.
Sometimes I dream of having a James Bond car with missiles.