Night of the Bike-Hating Toyota Tards

I guess I could blame last night’s earthquake on the increased general aggression and agitation I encountered from drivers on my ride home from work last night, but two in particular — both coincidentally operating Toyota Rav-4s — stand out from the rest.

The first one, driven by an older blond woman, came up behind me at the stoplight eastbound on 4th Street at La Brea. Waiting for the green I watched her in my rearview mirror as she dove somewhat determinedly for whatever in her glovebox. Sensing her impatience at the green I mosied across the intersection keeping close to the curb so that she could pass. Even though there was plenty of room and no oncoming vehicles, for whatever reason she opted to stay behind me.

Now, anyone who’s pedaled that southbound side of 4th knows the street’s conditions are a tad hazardous. The concrete roadway a couple/three feet out from the curb is a jigsaw puzzle of uneven concrete and deteriorated repairwork. At best it’s a bumpy ride, and at night it’s pretty much pitch dark and thus especially no fun since the lack of street illumination effectively cloaks what’s up ahead of your front wheel.

But I suffered through it across a block and a half because like I said, I sensed this woman was in a hurry and didn’t wish to impede her. But finally after a sudden thump into a divot in the pavement I moved left a foot or two to smoother sailing, still leaving her plenty of room to go around, should she so choose.

Well she didn’t so choose until we got midway between the third and fourth block from La Brea. And rather than just ease on around, she went full into impatient-asswipe mode in laying hard on her tinny little roadrunner-style meep of a horn and gunning past me tightly. By the time she passed me — and barely — she had to cut sharply back into the proper lane and brake hard at the stop sign ahead of us. Whether she had planned on making a left there or continuing straight, I don’t know, but with me right on her ass and her perhaps sensing  her center-of-the-world, road-owning rudeness might have pissed me off, I’m gonna guess she wisely decided on the detour to get the hell away from me, leaving me just enough time to sincerely inquire “What the fuck, BITCH!” as she sped off as fast as her valve-rattling four-cylinder would take her.

Take offense to my line of questioning if you wish, but it most certainly beats a far more confrontational and messy scenario I  I entertained ever-so briefly before just going on my way… unfortunately on to the next asshole in a Rav-4, who I encountered up on Clinton Street just across Larchmont, where the lighting conditions were far better than 4th Street, allowing my cam to capture the speedster flooring it past me:

rav4-copy

This time there was no lingering behind me. In fact I’m guessing it dropped in behind me from Larchmont because I didn’t know of its presence until the sudden engine rev and its surge by me intentionally faster than necessary and far tighter than that wide empty street would allow. And when it did, for a split second in its wake I was shocked in wonder: Could this be the same Suck Yoo Vee? Of course, as is often the case on residential streets, I caught it up at Van Ness and there determined it was not.

At least I solved that mystery, but I was left clueless as to why the sudden uptick in road warriors, until I got home and discovered there’d been a decent-sized rattler out there in the inlands.

That must be the reason, right?

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Will

Will Campbell arrived in town via the maternity ward at Good Sam Hospital way back in OneNineSixFour and has never stopped calling Los Angeles home. Presently he lives in Silver Lake with his wife Susan, their cat Rocky, dogs Terra and Hazel, and a red-eared slider turtle named Mater. Blogging since 2001, Will's web endeavors extend back to 1995 with laonstage.com, a comprehensive theater site that was well received but ever-short on capital (or a business model). The pinnacle of his online success (which speaks volumes) arrived in 1997, when much to his surprise, a hobby site he'd built called VisuaL.A. was named "best website" in Los Angeles magazine's annual "Best of L.A." issue. He enjoys experiencing (and writing about) pretty much anything creative, explorational and/or adventurous, loves his ebike, is a better tennis player than he is horr golfer, and a lover of all creatures great and small -- emphasis on "all."