Rant alert... You've been warned!
I've had just about enough to the bs tough-guy trash talk that many of my fellow cyclists like to spew after being (or seeing videos of someone else) harassed/close-passed by some road-raging self-indulging driver. You know, the 'you've better watch it or I'll chase you down and beat the sh*t out of you,' type of schticks.
So... you, 140 lbs worth of flesh and bones wrapped around some flimsy thin metal or carbon tubes you, are going to chase down the obviously mentally unstable person hiding inside two tons of steel cage who had just clearly demonstrated to both of us not a minute ago his/her lack of both self-control and judgment.
Okay, let's say that you do manage to turn yourselves into a clone of Fabian Cancellara and catch up with the automobile-bounded psychopath. Then what? You are going to talk some reason into him and he is going to see the errors of his ways, prostrate himself before you to ask for forgiveness? In front of a new audience that probably wasn't there to witness your original encounter with the driver (you had chased the bully down, away from the original scene of the crime, remember?), and therefore whose testimony could only begin with; 'Well, the car was stopped at the intersection when the angry cyclist approached the driver, ... and it all went downhill from there,'?
This is the USA... stuff like this
, etc, happen.
Stupidity is not contagious. Don't act like it is. You don't look like a hero when you retaliate... you just end up making it harder for the third party judge (or jury) to discern who the bad guy really is. As someone who gets around almost exclusively by bicycle, I also won't be thanking you for helping adding fuel to the road-raging fire of these automobile-operating lunatics that I might end up having to share some narrow roads with after their encounter with you!
So, in case we ever end up cycling together on these roads someday, this is what I want you to understand; if I'm riding with you, then chances are good that I already think you a cool person whose values need no further proving. Please feel neither the need nor the obligation to defend my honor or whatever from any road-raging hit and run felon wannabes.
The car-bounded psychopath that had just intentionally close-passed/harassed/laid down the horn on us, I deem the depth of uncool turd not worth any more contact with than necessary. I would like nothing better than to be rid of the troll in as short lapse of time as possible. The sooner it gets out of my sights, the better. I'd be extremely grateful if you would choose to demonstrate your superhero self-control, display your supreme ability to stay cool in the face of lunacy and refrain from giving the troll any slightest bit of reason that its hope for escalation and further opportunity to display its trolly traits may be entertained, so that it will leave us alone to resume our pleasant cycling time together without further aggravation.
And if you want to be even cooler, note the driver's appearance, car color, make, model and license plate number, the location of the harassment and report it to the Close Call Database to make it easier for law enforcement to deal with serial road-ragers. Then you'd be my hero for helping making the roads safer for everyone instead of exacerbating the problem.