I was driving along today, thrilled at the clear blue sky (finally smoke-free-ish, another fire in RMNP this morning), not even caring that there were bicyclists on the road. Typically, their mere presence raises my blood pressure and drives me to homicidal rage. It's not that I hate all bicyclists, per se, but I definitely hate the ones on Highway 7. There's no shoulder to speak of and the typical Hwy 7 flock of cyclists likes to ride several abreast, failing to yield to cars.
However, today was just glorious and I was just enjoying the ride up in Ripley. About halfway up the canyon there were two cyclists riding up, side-by-side, but still as far in their lane as possible. The line of cars began passing without incident. Suddenly the minivan two cars in front of me swerved into the bike lane and slammed on his brakes, essentially blocking the cyclists and leaving them no place to go. I passed the minivan and watched in my rearview mirror to make sure the cyclists got around without a problem.
The car behind me passed the minivan.
The car behind that one passed the minivan.
The driver of the minivan stuck his head out of his side window just as one of the cyclists made his move to go around it.
The lead cyclist cleared the minivan just as the second made his move to go around, but didn't have enough room and - BLAM! - hit the minivan at roughly forty miles an hour.
I watched the cyclist part from his bike and launch ass-over-tea-kettle. He was just a mass of flailing arms and legs in my rearview mirror.
Luckily there was a pull-out immediately ahead of me and I slammed on my brakes, skidding into it. The two cars behind me continued on, oblivious to what had happened behind us. I grabbed my jump kit out of the back of Ripley and headed back to the accident, expecting to see much carnage.
To my surprise, there wasn't a body plastered on the road like I expected, so I rounded the minivan and saw the cyclist sitting on the side of the road, his biking partner standing over him. No visible blood and all parts seemed to be attached and working the way they were supposed to.
I squatted down in front of him, made eye contact and introduced myself. Asked if he was okay and if he needed anything.
No acknowledgement that there was anyone in front of him, invading his personal space.
I looked up at his friend for support and looked back, making eye contact again. Again, I asked if he was okay, told him I saw the hit he took and that he took a bad spill. He very pointedly broke eye contact and looked away.
I can take a hint. He didn't want my help, but some form of acknowledgement or even a "get the hell out of my face" would have been nice. From him. From his friend. From the driver of the car he hit. But no...I got...nothing. I did not exist in their world.
I picked up my jump bag and headed back to Ripley getting angrier at every step at the ungrateful bastard.
So, because I'm a woman and I have to have the last word...
You're welcome, Asshole! When you bleed out and die tonight, it won't be on my conscience.
PS - I know he was probably in shock from his "incident" but there was no excuse for his friend's lack of manners. Bastard.