I understand road rage.
And I blame my bicycles, because years of bike commuting have ruined me.
I’ve come to believe that a traffic light turning green means I get to go. Immediately. That my trip home at the end of the day should be fun and relieve stress. That at least part of my commute should pass through some woods and beside a creek, instead of just across a sea of asphalt.
Everyone talks about how bike commuting is good for you, but they never talk about its unhealthy side effect: a bitter hatred of sometimes finding oneself stuck in a car at rush hour.
An occasional day of driving to work doesn’t seem like a rest day; it just pisses me off. Knowing that a driver could kill me while talking on a cell phone and eating a snack is annoying. But having that same driver trap me for an extra cycle of a red light inspires thoughts of violence, or, as I like to think of it, justifiable homicide.
Back when I worked in newsrooms—havens of jaded cynics who regularly engage in crude, insensitive humor—my co-workers and I used to joke that years in the trenches had made us all unemployable in the mainstream world.
Bicycling has had its own, similar effect. I always have trouble re-joining the mainstream rush-hour crowd, with all its cars and pickups. I might look like the rest of them, but I’m not normal.
I hope I never will be.