Posted on May 11, 2011
Road Rage (noun): a motorist’s uncontrolled anger that is usually provoked by another motorist’s irritating act and is expressed in aggressive or violent behavior
A long time ago, I lived in Los Angeles and was in my car at least six hours a day whether sitting in traffic, driving 1 hour and 23 minutes to work (and back) or running around doing errands for an A-list actor and his wife who had a fetish Marvis toothpaste and carrot cake. Since I was paid to do this, I learned how to enjoy the time in my car– a vintage Volkswagen Karmann Ghia — despite its lack of air conditioning and reliability. A good friend– a born-and-bred Los Angeleno and lawyer at that- who worked from his home on the beaches of Malibu was not quite able to endure LA’s driving scene. In fact, he kept a half-full cartoon of spoilt milk in his SUV for “extreme matters of bad driving”, which he had no problem throwing into open windows, convertibles and on windshields. The Sisyphean patience I cultivated, he had not, and now I have discovered that neither does the Professor.
The Professor is what I consider a Talky, a person who must engage in dialogue with anyone who critiques their driving, biking, bicycling or roller-blading skills. He responds to any and every obnoxious comment shouted out a window with an equally obnoxius answer. He gets angry at cars crossing or parking in pedestrian walkways and will antagonize an already road-raged driver who happens to be stopped in the middle of the road with a quaintly American “What the fuck are you doing?” that is often answered in the same yet Romanaccio poetic prose.
Yesterday’s Car-to-Bike sound-bite: “Sei un criminale! You’re a criminal for biking with a child and being in my lane!” “Sei troppo rifatta! You’re overly plastified!”
In essence, The Professor is angry. As he tries his best to get from here to there, he can’t help but get in the middle of a shouting and gesticulating match. I haven’t decided if he needs yoga, Valium or a gag, but he needs to get over it. In Rome, drivers talk, gesticulate and shout at each other, at passengers, even at themselves. It’s just the way it is. Though drivers in Los Angeles do not full stop to shout out at each for fear of getting shot, there still is Road Rage. My opinion? Put on some good tunes and let them pass you. Not worth the effort. I also believe a stylin’ ride can give you all the calm you need.
Romeo Bikes: Gorgeous vintage-style bikes, in even more gorgeous vintage colors with leather saddle bags may just do the trick.