Last week I met up with some friends that I hadn’t seen in a couple of years for a bike ride and a concert.
En route to the concert venue we rode down south on John St and I rode into the left lane to make a left turn (signalling at the same time) at King St. Soon after my lane change a cab pulled up behind me with more traffic following it, so my 2 friends decided to make the left turn as pedestrians.
There was a lot of traffic in the opposite direction, so I was standing in the middle of the intersection while waiting for an opportunity to turn left. Finally as the lights turned amber, I mounted my bike to turn left when suddenly the cab behind decides to over take me in the middle of the intersection and make a left turn by cutting me off.
Much like Meg, my first instinct was to yell and bang on the rear quarter panel of the vehicle. If I didn’t brake hard my front wheel would have hit the side of the cab.
Most likely because I pounded on his car, the cab driver actually stopped after he drove through the intersection and pulled over into the right lane. In typical, short-tempered fashion, however when I got to the side of his car I started yelling.
Shortly after, my friends who made the left as pedestrians caught up with us and that’s when something almost miraculous happened:
Mariano (calmly): Heeeey, you know that you were supposed to let the cyclist go first right?
Cabbie: Whatever! Whatever! I wasn’t going to hit her!!!
Hyedie: WHAT!? YOU TOTALLY ALMOST HIT ME! IF I DIDN’T STOP MY FRONT WHEEL WOULD BE BENT, I COULD HAVE ….
Mariano (calmly): Buddy, you didn’t mean to cut her off, right?
Cabbie & Hyedie: ….
Mariano (calmly): It was just a mistake, right?
Cabbie: Yes, it was a mistake.
In 2 sentences, Mariano was able to de-escalate an argument and get the cabbie to admit he made a mistake! All thanks to his calm demeanor.
Lesson learned. Calm and even-keeled gets your point across faster and more efficiently. I mean all the shouting that I end up doing in these types of situations probably just makes me look like a certain mayor of a Canadian city anyway.