"Are you stupid?"

Just had a weird bike-in to work this morning -feeling a little shook up. I took my regular route to work. There’s a wacky intersection that splits in threes and people rush the light like linebackers. I always follow traffic through the light and fade right down a one-way street. Now I’ve got to admit that it’s a one way going the wrong way but it’s actually safer than the other one way because the other one heads into city centre and the drivers are going crazy trying to get to work and there’s too much hustle for me.

So as I turned down the one way a car was coming fast to make the light and he slammed on his brakes when he saw me. There was no skidding and he let off the brakes when he saw there was room and kept going. I slid on past him and went on my way, but the car behind this guy, coming towards me, swerved into my path forcing me to stop. As the car was stopping the door swung open and a guy in uniform and gun strapped to his side jumped out in a fit of rage and screamed, “are you stupid?’

What the hell had I got myself into? Suddenly I was faced with a road raged, off duty cop wearing his Halifax Police uniform and gun but no badge. He continued to scream in my face asking over and over again if I was “fucking stupid.” I didn’t answer. I mean, would you answer some asshole screaming in your face asking about your level of common sense? Sure I was in the wrong for going the wrong way down a one way street, but this guy was a bit over the top off duty cop.

Finally, I said flatly “I am not answering your question because you’re asking me if I’m stupid.” This pissed him off a bit more and he started ranting about how I would be at fault and liable if I’d caused an accident. Had I not read the laws about helmets and bike safety (I was dutifully wearing my helmet)? Where did I work? The university! “Are you stupid?”

“Give me your license!” he demanded. Seeing no other options I handed over my license. I knew he was off duty and just taking out his stress on a cyclist who decided to spit in the face of the law and society as a whole. Finally, he calmed down enough and handed me back my license. He told me not to be stupid anymore. I said thanks and turned my bike around and headed down the appropriate one way.

Did I learn a lesson today? I’m not really sure. Perhaps I should follow the law for the laws’ sake and take the route that’s more dangerous to me. I do feel confident about one thing. Never, ever be a smart ass to a guy in uniform carrying a gun when he’s in an obvious fit of irrational rage.


David said...

“I am not answering your question because you’re asking me if I’m stupid.”

LOL! Fuck it, charge that shit everyday if it's the safer route.

Aaron said...

Don't let the man bring you down.

c. said...

A cyclist was killed this on Barrington this morning.
Nova Scotian drivers simply do not know how to share the road with cyclists.
I agree with Dave--take whatever route you feel is safer.


Anonymous said...

Fuck the police! And you know I mean it!!! Good thing it was you and not me good friend- I'd be in jail or dead.

High T

Malcolm Johnson said...

damn the Man!

as david said, charge that shit.

classic story regardless, and i'm glad it didn't escalate.

Foulweather... said...

Its tricky man. As cyclists we know many laws don't make sense. The roads and traffic laws are totally autocentric... But you have to be prepared for the consequnces when you do what's illegal even if its logical.

As for the cop. Fuck that guy... you didn't owe him shit.