I make a strong impression on people, but rarely make them want to kill me.
I hate how drivers are desperate to pass bicycles. Here, there is almost no flat land, and the roundabout is at the bottom of a dip. I want to build momentum going down, to help me go up the other side, and so take the roundabout at a fair clip. It is reasonably safe, I am not taking huge risks: I can see all around, and can brake hard if needed.
However this driver is a selfish, thoughtless man: he passed me as I was accelerating, and slowed down for the roundabout. I had to slow down behind him. When he stopped at the roundabout, I whizzed past him on the left, shouting something about him not passing me then slowing down.
Going up hill, I noticed that he had come to a stop, behind a car turning right. He had pulled over to the left, but I could pass him again and shouted that passing me had done him no good.
When he passed me again, he was really angry. He stopped, I stopped. He was shouting incoherently, I shouted at him that he should drive more carefully. When I shout, my voice sounds particularly masculine. Or I’ll kill you, you fxxking pxxf, he shouted, and started to get out of the car. I pedalled on, too slowly for my liking as I was going up hill. He was stopped well out from the side of the road, and I heard another driver honk their horn at him, which must have further irked the poor man. He came past me again, shouting You need killing. “Pxxf”? I’m gynephile! His gaydar is not very good…
I was scared when I got to the Quaker meeting. I wanted to put my bicycle in the garden so that there was no chance he see it, even though the chance he would pass and notice it was pretty small. Quakers were mostly sympathetic. One said he was a very sick man, and I should not “let him live rent free in my head”. Given her professional career, she should know better, though she is quite well off and not queer herself. I hesitate to talk about her privilege, but either she can understand that I feel frightened of passers-by as a default state, or she can’t. This was really horrible, and it was in my mind for much of the meeting. My anger emerged in thoughts of him starting a fight and me finishing it. The thought that came to me at the end of Meeting was that, for all his malice, and his greater power being in a car, because of the way society is he had managed to do me no harm at all.