New York state senator Jeff Klein impacts No-Impact Man with cusswords

I don't drive, preferring instead to ride my bike, and get my fair share of rather nasty comments (all the worse when I'm toting my three boys around town), even though I'm probably about the safest, most law-abiding rider on the planet. I'm always struggling to put appropriate words to my anger and sense of unfairness when I'm faced with a many-ton vehicle driven by someone who clearly misunderstands our relative rights to use the roadways. (In other words: We both have them, and I'm pretty sure I have a right to not be run over by you.) Now I have them.

No-Impact Man, Colin Beavan, is famous for trying to live his life without any impact on our carbon footprint. As part of this commitment, he rides his bike to work in New York City. Yesterday, while riding his bike and wearing a purple helmet, he got in an altercation with New York state senator Jeff Klein -- who almost hit him with his large black Mercedes, and then called him a "f-cking a--hole" for knocking on his window to alert him of his presence.

Beavan wrote an amazingly calm and eloquent letter to Jeff Klein, posting it on his blog and promising to hand-deliver it to Klein's office.