I'm heading home. My (very) short warm up is done. I now have a bike lane to ride in, and it's time to crank the pedals a bit harder and lift the pace. The only thing stopping me is a car in front which is speeding up and slowing down and swerving far enough to the left to cut into the bike lane a few times. I hold back, wary about passing a driver that can't hold a straight line or a steady speed. I'm doing 33km/h and am itching to boost it to the next level.
Then I think, "Screw it", and I stomp on the pedals.
Half a second later, I am grabbing the brake levers for all they are worth. The back wheel locks up. I feel the rear slide slightly to the right - but I have it under control. My sole aim is to avoid smacking into the back of the car - the driver has suddenly braked and done a hard left-hand-down and pulled up in the bike lane. It's a no parking zone - what the hell are they doing? No indicator. No warning. No checking the mirrors or looking over the shoulder. Just a rapid tossing of the car in my direction. Having a bike lane is nice, but the only thing separating me from 1.5 tons of metal is a faded unbroken single white line. It's days like this that I wish for a bit of a concrete barrier. Clearly, the painted "line of death" isn't keeping the cars out.
I pull up. The car has stopped as well. I look over my shoulder for cars behind us, then slowly pedal along the driver's side.
The driver has one hand and both eyes on her phone. It's down by her right leg in the "you can't see my phone" position. I guess she got a text message that she just had to stop to reply to. And no, she wasn't a teenager - she was about my age.
I resisted the urge to yank open her door, give her an earful of observations about her driving skills, parentage and sexual habits before ramming the phone up her date, and slowly pedal off. The pulse rate is a elevated a bit, but not that much. I'm getting too used to this. Once, it would have scared the poo out of me and I would have been left shaking and very stressed. Now, I congratulate myself on my calmness and not punching the living daylights out of the driver.
And then I floor it. The adrenaline gives me wings. I am going 40km/h before I know it, and not a single car passes me over the next section of road before the traffic lights. I am flying - doing my best to put a lot of distance between me and that moron. I don't want to run into her again today.