I countered with: we are traffic, we were going over the speed limit, bicycles have a right in all 50 states to use traffic lanes as they deem safest, he is required by law to pass with at least 3ft of room and if can't immediately do that, wait until it is safe to do so.
This enraged the driver even more. He must have thought I was lying or making it up. He then went on to say: we were "only" going 25mph, that cycling in Merrimack is a huge problem and there have been neighborhood meetings to discuss how to solve it, that the road we were on was a major road [it's a residential street!], go find a back road somewhere, and when Dave said he tried to run us off, the driver said "if I tried I would have put you in the trees", indicating intent of coming very close to putting us into the trees.
I didn't see where this was going to end. I thought a brawl was imminent, as the driver was not cooling down at all. This was going on for about two minutes at this point, he was 75ft from his SUV stopped literally in the middle of the road, and there was a growing line of cars blocked behind him. Who was obstructing traffic here?
During the altercation, a woman coming up the hill stopped and asked if everything was alright. I said no, call 911, this man is threatening us. The driver screamed "Yes, call the police, these guys are obstructing traffic!" Keep in mind the growing queue of vehicles behind his stopped SUV. Apparently this older woman sensed the hostility and wanted nothing to do with it and sped off.
We did not have to call the police. A neighbor in their backyard, who could not see us through the trees, heard everything - the squealing tires, the swearing, the heated exchange. Here's the kicker. They recognized the guy's voice. I don't want to give away who this person was or even who the driver was, but the neighbor knew this guy was trouble and had a "reputation." Let's just say this is not the first time he's gone off on somebody. The neighbor dialed 911.
After the driver left, we started to roll but were met by this family, checking to see if we were alright. They were still on the phone with 911 and told us the police would be there in a couple minutes. Before the police got there, we knew who the driver was, where he lived, where he worked, even what he did in his spare time.
Interestingly, the officer had a mountain bike on the back of his cruiser. We told him about the "fairy pants" comment. He pulled up his uniform shorts to show us he had cycling spandex on underneath. He joked that maybe he should show up at this guy's door in fairy pants! What a hoot! Besides the neighbor that called 911, we felt we had another ally with the law on our side.