Yep. Happened today on 4th Street westbound, approaching La Brea. Guy in an SUV gets on my tail about a block and a half from the light and hangs there for a bit as if he’s hoping I’ll either somehow vanish entirely, or maybe be able to go from 18 mph to 45 in the blink of an eye. When his patience evaporates a second later and reality sets in that neither fantasy will occur he hits the horn at me a couple times: honkhoooonk. At least he didn’t stand on it and race around me in full asshat mode but still, it’s The Horn, and nothing good ever ever ever comes from using the infernal device — especially coming up behind me.
See, even if the honker is trying his or her best to be helpful in alerting me that my ass is literally aflame or my backpack has opened up and I might wanna backtrack the half block to where the pieces of my iPhone are being run over, there is simply no way I can translate intent. The horn speaks a language with a very limited vocabulary. There is little to nuance. And even using it an attempt to do good or be helpful; all I’m hearing is another asshole in a hurry.
So the guy’s honkhoooonked at me and I give him a glance in my rearview mirror. He’s not particularly aggressive, meaning he’s not gesticulating or rolling his head or checking his mirror or flipping me off, but at the same time he is narrowing the gap between his front bumper and my rear wheel. For what, I wonder. To get to the red light at La Brea a block away a second quicker?
I semi-shrug, return my attention forward and maintain my pace and my location in the center of lane praying he doesn’t honk at me again.
He doesn’t, and we both arrive at the light at La Brea, where I pull to the side so he can come up along side me on the left. When he does I lean over and look at him with as nonconfrontationally a nod as I can muster and he responds by rolling down his passenger side window.
“I’m just curious why you honked at me?”
“I wanted you to move over so I could get past you.”
“To stop at the red light sooner?”
He chuckles sheepishly and shrugs. I chuckle to, relieved that he’s being more cool than tool.
“Let me ask you something,” I say.
“If you were walking on a sidewalk toward an intersection just minding your own business and I was on my bike coming up behind you, would it be better for me to ring my bell or call out to try and get you to move out of my way or should I wait until I could go around you safely without disturbing you?”
The guy sighs and smiles. “Sounds like you already know the answer to that.”
“Yeah, but do you?”
“Whatever, man,” he rolls he eyes and stares at the red light staring back at him from across the street.
“You get my point though right? Hogging and sharing are relative regardless of how you roll.
He nods again smirking and looking out the windshield. The window starts to go up.
“Just some food for thought,” I say before it closes.