|Honking makes you feel big|
Sunday, August 03, 2014
The view from my GoPro
It's a rite of passage for moronic drivers in this town to scare the living crap out of cyclists with their horns for no other reason than to tick them off. I've been beeped at and sworn at, I've had passengers lean out the window to smack me as they pass, and I was even assaulted by a motorist with compensation issues (see here for part 1, here for part 2, here for the newspaper column I wrote, and here for the postscript.) It's the urban equivalent of cow tipping, and when the first doofus of the season came out to play, I realized the GoPro is an even more incredible device than its inventors ever imagined.
That's because it records everything. And it lets me grab stills from the sequence to further identify the guilty. And cover my behind if I'm ever hit along the way (it's happened, and as Russian drivers have already discovered, a camera is the ultimate legal weapon for any driver, two wheels or four.) The camera also lets me draw some fun conclusions about the kind of sad folks who spend their time road raging complete strangers as they speed their not-quite-fully-assembled cars to the nearby Walmart.
Exhibit A: The red Dodge Caliber SXT in the photo above. While the vehicle was mercifully pulled from the market after the 2012 model year, this particular example is either a 2007 or 2008 by virtue of its black door handles and the fact that the "Caliber" name is on the left-hand side of the tailgate (it was moved to the right in 2009.)
Its license plate, BTWN 741, tells a story, as well. Here in Ontario, as in other provinces and states, license plates are distributed more or less sequentially. Plates beginning with BTXX indicate the vehicle was purchased between approximately January and April of this year. Combine the model year and the purchase date and you have someone who bought a 6-year-old used Dodge within the last few months.
So I'm guessing when he - definitely a he - decided to buzz me despite the fact that I was minding my own business quite lawfully by the side of the road, he was possibly ticked off that he was driving a Dodge Caliber, which was little more than a loose assembly of parts when it was new, and is likely even less enjoyable to own and drive now.
Enjoy your time at the Walmart, Caliber Man.