It was a classic "right hook."
|Goofus turns in front of the bicycle, Gallant waits until the bicycle has cleared the intersection to make the turn.|
The woman in the black ford Focus (North Carolina plates, a rental perhaps?) came up behind me to my left. By the time I noticed her, she was in front of me, partially turned to the right, and slamming on her brakes. I didn't have time to stop, and I didn't have room to swing out around her. I didn't have space or time to maneuver to my right into the curb. I had time to realize I was going to hit her, and I leaned in to take the brunt of the impact with my shoulder, judging that that position would give me the best chance of staying upright and not ending up on the ground or under her wheels.
Then the thump.
I didn't come to a stop with that thump, though. My shoulder and upper body kind of smeared along the passenger side of the car, and I came to a stop even with the front window. I looked into the car. The middle aged woman, blond, with glasses, gave a meek smile and said "I was stopping so you could go by." I'm sure that's what she thought she was doing. What she was really doing, of course, was she was beginning to engage in a "right hook" maneuver, realizing that what she was doing was bad, then reacting by slamming on the brakes. In fact, if she had simply completed her turn instead of slamming on her brakes, I might have been able to get around her to the left. We'll never know. I smiled and rode on.
Interestingly enough, right after the incident I read that the same sort of "right hook with brake slam" has recently been happening to the author of 327 Words. Hmm.