Pedaling home from my MBA class last Wednesday night, I was reminded just how vulnerable cyclists are on the road.
It was about 10:30 p.m. and I was on Mountain Avenue between Prince and Fort Lowell Roads when a red car sped past and I heard something metal clinking on the ground behind me. I turned around to see a crunched up beer can rattling on the ground.
I can’t be 100 percent positive, but I’m pretty sure the passenger threw it at me as they passed. I’m confident the can wasn’t in the bike lane when I rode by and I don’t think it was in the street either. Luckily it didn’t hit me and wasn’t full.
I’ve heard the horror stories from others who have had things thrown at them or even the extreme cases of being shot with a paintball gun or hit with a bat. I always thought those were extreme cases and that things had gotten better. It would never happen on one of Tucson’s premier bike routes.
In the days following I’ve been much more hot tempered on the bike. Everything has been a personal slight. I’ve felt like a target. I’ve felt like the driver who parks in the bike lane or drives a little too close to comfort deserves a u-lock to the side of the car. I’ve never felt like that before.
The car turned down a street and I followed it, but by the time I got there, it was pitch black and I couldn’t find the car. I went back the next day and of course there were five or six red cars that could have been the one who threw the can at me.
Have you ever had your confidence and sense of safety shattered on the bike? Leave a comment about it.