View Full Version : Vancouver—I-205 and Mill Plain (and two others)

07-14-2008, 08:25 PM
This is from a comment on the open thread about road rage and whatnot, but I figure that it is significant enough to warrant a post in the forum. (Incidents are underlined in story)

Anyway, today I took a nice ride out towards Battle Ground on some of the thankfully non-suburbanized roads (Can we please get an enforceable UGB out here?). Even on these narrow roads, nearly every driver was courteous enough to pass safely. For the 3/4th of a mile that I was on SR 503, however, one woman in an SUV was kind enough to share with me (or yell out of the window) that I should ride on the sidewalk. I replied that she should get out of her car and try it sometime. Once in Salmon Creek (I mean, seriously, how big can they make those intersections?!) the NW winds were favorable for my return, so I just took I-205, which, by the way, is legal from SR 14 (first interchange off of the bridge) north.

Thanks to the winds and the lack of stops, I was able to maintain anywhere from 20 to 40 mph depending on the grade. Safely crossing on and off ramps, I didn't have any problems until I got to Mill Plain. After I had already safely crossed the off ramp, a middle-aged man in a small truck decided to try harass me off of the road, yelling obscenities at me and flipping me the bird. Serves him right, I called the cops on him.

On a flyover ramp to SR 14, I was able to keep up with the cars getting off of the bridge, getting me a few double takes when people were merging. It wasn't until I was exiting the freeway that a pickup truck was kind enough to wail on the horn as they sped past me.

Notice any pattern with these road ragers? I don't think bikes are the problem. It's obviously middle-aged people driving SUVs and pickup trucks that they don't need. Just an observation. Other than that, some people were so courteous that I felt like sending them a thank you card stuffed full of cash.

07-15-2008, 01:18 PM
I hate to say it, but there's a lot of truth in what you're saying. It seems like there are a few distinct recognizable types of drivers who seem to regularly cause me anxiety when they pass me:

Dangerous driver #1: older (i.e., late 60's or more) driver. Vehicle may be the same vintage and size as the USS Enterprise, but not necessarily. Driver wears a hat, hunched over the wheel. They may or may not drive slowly. This driver would rather drive a rail spike through the eye of their Messiah instead of cross over the yellow line when they pass you.

Dangerous driver #2: Male driver in a pickup or other "manly" vehicle. Calvin-pissing decal optional but strongly encouraged. Naked lady mudflaps a definite plus. Whereas #1 is dangerous due to cluelessness, #2 is actively dangerous, since your mere presence is an intolerable affront to their masculinity. You're lucky if they only yell at you; you should anticipate flying objects, a near miss by inches, or aggressively running you off of the road.

Dangerous driver #3: the sports car driver. Custom wheels highly recommended. One single piece of bird poop on an otherwise immaculate finish is typical. There are two distinct categories of these: males of any age and middle-aged women. (It seems like the younger women are probably just driving their SO's vehicle.) The most dangerous subtypes are the "wannabe" sports cars (Hondas, Volkswagens, Acuras). The difference between God and these people is that God knows he's not a sports car driver. These people are so absolutely convinced of their prowess behind the wheel that they will buzz you even closer than driver #1 but at a higher rate of speed.

Ummm...I think I'll quit now.

07-15-2008, 03:21 PM
It's not just the inflexible older set, it's also the teenage to 25-year olds.

Mostly, guys of that age group. I guess they feel they have something to prove. Or something.

07-15-2008, 05:06 PM
The worst for me are the new college students in the fall, newly away from home with shiny cars and no idea how to navigate them around downtown near PSU.

That said, I had a weird one a few weeks ago. I was riding north on 10th, somewhere around Jefferson. I was in the middle of the left lane, planning to turn left at the next intersection, when I suddenly had a bumper inching up on my back wheel on MY left. Without even thinking, I just stopped and turned, saying, "What the F are you doing?" and then I saw the driver and felt bad about my language. She had to have been 87. She looked really freaked out and just went on around me on the left, damn near going up on the sidewalk to do it.