Tuesday, February 20, 2007

Gone postal

I finally got myself motivated enough to ride into work this morning after almost two weeks of public transportation. The ride in was great featuring very light traffic and no aggrivated and impatient motorists. There seems to be a trend along these lines for leaving before 7 for my commute. The ice was there but the roads were free of aggresive drivers so I was fine taking up the space I needed to ride safely on my route in. Coming home however was different story all together.

I left work around 5pm with the ground wet but clear of any rain; since I'd finally mounted my rear fender and broke out the rain pants I wasn't too worried about it either way. I made it to R St and turned left and rode at a nice and easy pace using the bike lane when I could and easing into the main lane when it was fully blocked. Coming up to 11th St there was a car and a USPS vehicle waiting at the light so as usual I made my way past the two vehicles in the bike lane and checked for traffic coming on 11th. A quick track stand to assure the busy road was clear and I was off on my way. The light changed as I was in the intersection and the two vehicles came flying by me in a hurry to the next wait at the next light. The postal vehicle however made a very noticable effort to be in as close as possible to my side and then got over even further into the bike lane after passing me.

I of course caught up at the next light, gave him a funny look while he ignored the fact that I was there; likely confirming that he made his move conscientiously. In the next section of road the postal driver does the exact same thing only this time comes even closer to my arm while I expecting this try my best to ride as far away from this ass as the snow will allow.

Traffic gets even more backed up in front of the guy and I manage to squeeze up next to the postal truck and mention something about bike lanes and some sort of profanity while the guy looks at me with the abger and distaste that you only see in a road raged driver knowing they are getting royally f****d by the traffic. I stop my babbling after a couple of quick sentances and pull up to the next light.

After the third such encounter I decided the best way to deal with this situation was to collect whatever identifying number off the vehicle that I could and politely wave (or at least give a thumbs up) to the postal driver (literally and figuratively) and ride away while his jack ass is stuck in the rush hour traffic. I caught up to him hopped off the bike and entered the ID number off the back of the vehicle into my phone and rode away with my thumb held high (ooh, this is a good one here... since he decided he needed to take up the whole bike lane I got to pass him on the left side and really make sure he saw me!)

"Surprisingly" the postal vehicle had no license plate visible on the back of the vehicle, seems a little strange to me...

Anyway, the ID number I collected will find it's way to the USPS via whatever complaint venues can find come tomorrow and though I don't really expect anything to come of this I hope at least the guy gets a notice about his wreckless endangerment and his use of a United States Postal Vehicle as a weapon.


theboy said...

I'm really interested to hear what happens. Amazing as it sounds, I have actually had some luck complaining about truck drivers, usually by calling and calmly explaining that I have a wife and family and don't want to be killed. I think my recitation helps the listener get past the preconception that all riders are lunatics.

What do you think he was doing? Just being a jerk?

Freewheel said...

The complaint is worth it - maybe they'll at least send a notice around telling postal drivers to stay out of the bike lane. Good luck.

KMAX said...

I'll keep you posted on the outcome though chances are it will be a mum postmaster.

After the second go-round the eye contact we made and general look of disgust on the drivers face confirmed the concious effort being made. I'd like to make a phone call and try it that way and I will probably call the local post office to inquire about where to formally make a complaint but I don't think I have a great ability to get my point accross that way. I'll write up a letter also to the postmaster for the whole DC area and see if I can get any kind of response there.

sue said...