Beware IA 717 EYB

The Cedar Rapids Police Department responded promptly and professionally yesterday when I called to report being “nudged” on my bicycle by the driver of an SUV.

My wife and I were a few blocks from home, waiting for a light to change, so we could cross a busy street. Apparently when the light turned green I didn’t get off the dime quick enough. I felt a small bump and looked around to see the SUV that had pulled up behind me was now stopped with its bumper right up against my tire.

I pointed at the driver a few feet away through the windshield and shouted “Back off!” Nothing happened, and no harm was done, so I decided to just note the license plate number and go on home. I called the police (not 911, obviously) and explained that I hoped someone could talk to the driver and explain that bumping people on their bicycles with one’s SUV is not a good idea. Within half an hour, Officer Grant Rasmussen was at my door. I told him the story and he said he’d see if he could find the driver and have a talk.

Earlier in the day I’d read an article about cyclist/motorist road rage. It suggested, among other things, remaining calm. Seems like a good idea.

Other good ideas:

  • painting sharrows on the roads.
  • becoming a Bicycle Friendly Community. (Sadly, there are none in the beautiful land of Iowa.)
  • recognizing that cycling can benefit a community, the individual, the pocketbook and the environment.

Pedal on.

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