The Douche Maneuver
As both of the regular readers of this blog can attest, I strive to bridge the gap between cyclists and drivers. It is my sincere hope that we might each enjoy our own chosen mode of transportation while taking care to impart the least amount of doucheyness upon others.
I am a proponent of brakes, helmet-wearing, and the donning of highly visible and dorky day-glo clothing at all times, as well as some stuff for cyclists.
Furthermore, it is my belief that neither group is free of transgression. This is simply because each group is made up of humans, and humans can be selfish and impatient. In that spirit of mutual scorn, I now shine the reflected light from my righteous monocle upon the drivers of my beloved city of Atlanta.
Ladies and gentlemen, I present a thing I call the Douche Maneuver. Let’s explore it starting with the Half Douche and moving on to the Full Douche.
As you can see here, a cyclist is progressing upon a lane of travel, moved over to the right so as to aid cars in going around. A car approaches from behind. The driver wishes to pass the cyclist, but they are steadily approaching an intersection where they will both have to stop. The light is red.
The driver, for reasons unknown, decides he must go for it. He’s elected to perform the Half Douche. He stomps on the gas, roars around the cyclist, then stops at the intersection where they both wait through the red light. It’s hard to understand what this maneuver achieves for anyone involved, but that’s coming from a man who shaves his legs and writes a blog on the internet, so here we are.
At this point the cyclist has the option to perform a Douche Maneuver of his own, where he rolls around the stopped car to wait out the light, or worse, run it. I’m guilty of doing this in the past, mind you, but I don’t any more. I have realized the error of my ways.
After all, a true player is never passive aggressive.
The Full Douche can be performed by the driver whether the light is red or green. If we rewind our scenario, the same set of circumstances set up a Full Douche, but instead of stopping to wait at an intersection, the driver roars around the cyclist, gets in front, then immediately slams on the brakes and makes a right turn in front of the rider.
At this point the rider has no choice but to avail himself of his brakes and hope he can stop before he hits the car. The driver merely has to make sure he doesn’t let his phone drop from his face, or let the conversation lapse in any way.
There are many methods of being a douche out there, and a person with douche intent will usually find a way to execute those intentions regardless of his chosen mode of transportation. That said, perhaps by talking about the things that annoy us we can gain greater understanding of each other, and thereby get a step closer to the land of boobs and cold beers (milk and honey are played out).
Even as I type this I am in hot water with my neighbors for recklessly driving the wheeled menagerie that serves as my car. Can I help it that there isn’t a working horn on the thing? I have to throw snakes!
It’s the only way to get people’s attention!