View Full Version : An almost completely courteous day—until I rode through Camas.

07-16-2008, 03:23 AM
I think all of this car vs. bike discussion may actually be making Portlanders friendlier on the road.

I had my wisdom teeth pulled last week, and Tuesday evening was my first ride back into Portland since then. On numerous occasions, despite rush hour traffic, cars politely yielded to me when they were supposed to. In Coe Circle of all places, an SUV yielded to me when my chain slipped. I wasn't once cut off. Drivers seemed oddly courteous. My 35-mile-long ride was almost road rage-free until I decided to head out on what is more or less the last country road sandwiched between Vancouver and Camas.

In the relative darkness, the full moon was quite relaxing, and the air like a cold shower on a hot day. On a dark, narrow road like that, I had my brightest lights on, riding in the middle of the lane as to avoid being pushed into a ditch, which, as you all know, is completely legal. A few cars came up behind me, lowered their lights, and safely passed in the other lane.

After a couple of cars passed, there were no oncoming cars, so I rode in the darkness admiring the scenery. Then a car comes speeding up behind me. I expect him to speed past me in the other lane; he begins tailgating me. He wails on the horn. I look around—no cars are coming, so I try and get him to simply pass me. He yells out of his window, "Get out of the road!" Already traveling at a leisurely pace, I signal and stop.

With my bike between me and the car, I take down the plate number as I take out my phone and begin to dial 911. At this point he relents. I look in the car and him an his passengers realize we all know each other. I tell him what I was doing was legal, and what he was doing was not. I told him to pass safely, or don't pass at all. His excuse was that he was turning soon. In that case, he should of been slowing down, and at least he didn't cut me off. WRONG. As he drove off, he took a LEFT turn.

Good job. Thanks for ruining an otherwise friendly ride.

After the car had left, a man from a house back off of the road had come out and was now standing his driveway. When he asked, I told him that everything was okay, summarizing what happened. He tells me that most of the people who drive out on this road act like idiots. (After all, they're all parents driving SUVs alone and their spoiled children coming home from parties in their sports cars) It's one of the few roads out to a hill covered in the houses of rich families, so what do you expect? (I know I'm relying rather heavily on stereotypes, but sadly, there is quite a bit of truth to it) Much to my mixed excitement, he said that they were going to be widening the road for shoulders and a sidewalk (He sounded like it might even be more or less a multi-use path).

Hopefully this will mean that the road will be a bit safer while still retaining that last bit country charm for which I come out there.

07-17-2008, 12:09 AM
Thankfully, today was road rage-free. Maybe just because I stayed off of the main roads in Vancouver (hard to do) and rode mainly in Portland.

Either way, no more road rage. Back to your regularly scheduled program…

08-12-2008, 02:06 PM
Thankfully, today was road rage-free. Maybe just because I stayed off of the main roads in Vancouver (hard to do) and rode mainly in Portland.

Either way, no more road rage. Back to your regularly scheduled program…

This one of several references to nastiness on Vancouver roads. I seem to remember more of it when I lived in Portland than while up here. Of course, I used to roll a LOT of non-bike-laned roads in Portland, and here I roll almost exclusively bike-laned roads. My daily commute is completely bike-lanes, and my alternate route is all bike lanes with some of Ellen Davis Trail (for when I've got my mt. bike)

I've been here for 5 years and only had 3 events, The only gnarly one was with some Eastern European dude behind me in a Volvo on 8th Street. It was during Farmer's market, he shouldn't have been rolling any faster than I was, IMO.

I used to practically get in fights all the time, and even had a couple wrecks in Portland.

Last time I rolled up to Ridgefield, damn near got killed by a fertilizer truck. My days of shoulderless country roads are OVER.