Thursday, 20 September 2012

Going Postal

Yesterday, a US Postal Service driver tried to run me and my daughter off the road as we were cycling home from school. At the time, I was taking the lane, trying to prevent him from making an unsafe pass, but either I was not far enough left or the road was wider than I thought or those post office trucks are very narrow. Anyway, the USPS truck missed me by about a foot. My daughter was cycling farther right, so she wasn't in as much danger.

The driver stopped farther up the road and I advised him that he made a dangerous pass. He became very belligerent and just kept yelling "You was in the street!". We sure were, but why this would be an excuse for trying to kill us, I do not know. I told him that cyclists are supposed to be on the road and I offered him my copy of the Maryland Driver's handbook so that I could show him the relevant information. He refused to even look at it and kept insisting that we weren't supposed to be in the road.

Not sure what to do with people like this. This guy had no idea that cyclists are supposed to be on the road, and apparently the sentence for being there in this guy's mind is attempted vehicular homicide.

Of course, I've reported him to USPS for unsafe driving, though I'm not sure what good that will do.


  1. Writing him up puts it on the record with the USPS. If he ever hits someone, hopefully it will help the victim. Hopefully his boss will ream him a new one.

  2. Do postal workers get bonus points for aggressive ignorance?

  3. Ian:
    I am glad you and your daughter are safe.

    I can't believe you got hassled by a USPS worker.
    Not that a Federal Employee can't go nuts :(

    I hope you took a photo of the vehicle (license plate) and I sincerely hope you will complain to the postal service, so that this nut does not hurt anyone else.

    Be safe out there!
    Peace :)

    Hasn't the PO been outsourced? I thought many mail carriers were contractors. Not necessarily US Government employees, as they used to be.

  4. This incident doesn't really back up your belief that vehicular cycling is safer,does it?

    1. Vehicular cyclists are not gods. We get into accidents too - only at a rate about 1/10th that of non-vehicular cyclists.

      That might explain why, in 40 years and well over 20,000 miles of cycling on the road, I have never once been knocked off my bike. I've never even fallen off my bike because, unlike bicycle facility advocates, I'm not stupid enough to limit myself to riding on the sidewalk, in door zone bike lanes and on 4ft wide ribbons of asphalt that are not properly designed for cycling.

  5. Helmet cam! and maybe a rear-facing cam for good measure.

    1. Yeah. The problem is, this kind of thing happens to me only once every few years. The usual problem I get is honking, and most often they only do that because they think I haven't seen them coming up behind me, so it's not a 'road rage' incident. I'd mount a camera if the rage incidents were common, but I fear it would be like the time I mounted an Airzound - 3 months later, I'd never used it, so I removed it.