June 27 bike forecast: cool continues and bloodthirsty drivers

Tuesday: like Monday, but a little better in every way!


Overall: high 75, low 61, mostly sunny, nice, pleasant, etc.

AM: mid 60s, sunny, wind from the west at 7 mph

PM: low 70s, mostly sunny, wind from the southwest at 9 mph

Feline Representation of Expected Windiness:

Honestly, it’s probably not even windy enough to knock a clover off a cat’s head.

A harrowing tale from the road…

While riding west on Main Street in Evanston today, I pulled up to a red light at Chicago Avenue. My route was to take me 50 feet down Main Street, where I would take a left onto Custer Avenue. I followed standard, safe procedure and took the lane. I was the first one to the light. A couple cars lined up behind me. All very mundane stuff.

The light turns green. I go. As I cross Main I hear a car revving its engine, swerving in and out of the lane behind me. What’s this person’s problem? I think. I was going 20, about the speed of traffic, and there was a stop sign not too far ahead. I wasn’t holding anything up. I look around and see an angry-looking light blue Honda CR-V. I give a “calm down” hand signal, because come on, I was turning off of the road in literally 20 feet. I was following all traffic protocols to a t! I understand certain motorists’ irrational response to law-abiding cyclists, but of all moments to get pissed off at a cyclist, why now?

The driver floors it. She sidles up next to me and yells that I should get out of the road–you know, standard angry driver stuff. And then she swerves the car towards me, as if to ram me. I swerve out of the way. If I didn’t I’m confident she would’ve hit me.

She speeds away. In between profanities I think to shout out her license plate number to help me remember it. I chased her for a bit – she had a car, so it didn’t work out. Then, out of breath and defeated, I called the police to file a report.

Luckily the shouting trick worked, and I was able to provide the license plate number, vehicle make and model, and a description of the driver. The police dispatcher sent a cop to take my statement – who then actually tracked the driver down. (I got lucky that this took place in Evanston, not Chicago.) The officer gave the driver a stern talking-to, which was the best I could hope for considering the lack of witnesses or videotapes.

The driver, the officer told me afterwards, seemed “high-strung.” (Yes, that was my impression.) She conveyed her apologies for yelling at me but denied swerving towards me. She also explained that she didn’t know cyclists were allowed to ride in the street. So you can see why she tried to murder me – an honest mistake!

All things considered, this was a pretty good outcome. Thanks, Evanston Police and Officer Bagnell (I think I have that right) for treating my complaint with appropriate seriousness and doing the legwork. And as always, please watch out for lunatics.

DIVVY REPORT: All stations online. Up-to-the-minute updates here.






3.75/4. Near perfect! Ride your bike!

2 thoughts on “June 27 bike forecast: cool continues and bloodthirsty drivers

  1. The Evanston police officer who responded to your situation appears to have acted professionally and that is normal for the the EPD. That you acted with civility had much to do with the out come


    1. I’ve read horror stories about police treatment of cyclist complaints elsewhere, so I especially appreciated EPD’s response in this case. I’ll be sending a “thank you” message to the officer’s supervisor.


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