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  1. #1
    The Improbable Bulk Little Darwin's Avatar
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    Dealing with idiots in cages, an idea

    I had a confrontation with a neanderthal in a car today. I won't even get into the fact that my Giant Sedona is worth more than his car.

    He slowed and yelled at me to get on the sidewalk, and I yelled back at him (probably a mistake, but what can I say)

    He then slammed on his brakes and stopped in the middle of the road to chastise me for blocking his way (I was riding within my rights toward the right of the lane, wearing a yellow jersey and a flashing LED on my seatpost)

    During his demonstration of his ignorancde I pointed out that by the vehicle code, I was within my rights.

    He proclaimed that he has a CDL and therefore knew more than me.

    As he finally decided to pull off (very slowly) I also started rolling at which point he decided to intimidate me by pulling over quickly, and so I called out "That's assault," and after a couple of seconds he accelerated away.

    I did not get his license number, and realized my mistake when he was too far away to see, but it did bring another idea to mind as I continued my ride.

    I am considering creating and keeping a couple of small flyers with me, with an extract of the appropriate sections of the vehicle code inside, and an offer that if the driver I "inconvenienced" can prove that I was legally in the wrong, that I will send them $20 for their trouble. This could show a sense of cooperation while making my point.

    Any comments?

    This is my first experience in 1900 miles in the past few years, so I don't know if it would be effective use of my time or not, but once created it would be no problem to carry one or two with me.

    I do know that next time I will get a license number, as I think it is all that is guaranteed to get the point made.

    Keep cycling!

    PS - I am also considering paying for a full page ad in the local papers, but I doubt that the real trouble makers read.
    Slow Ride Cyclists of NEPA

    People do not seem to realize that their opinion of the world is also a confession of character.
    - Ralph Waldo Emerson

  2. #2
    Gravel for Breakfast
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    Unless you have some kind of reliable psycho detector, don't be yelling at agro cagers. When that zoomer stopped to debate the traffic laws, he could just as easily have been stopping to shoot you.

    Just smile and wave, and cycle on
    Sin after sin I have endured, but the wounds I bear are the wounds of love.

  3. #3
    Calamari to go cc_rider's Avatar
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    First rule, don't confront if you can avoid it. Making you react give them power over you.

    Get the license number, or at least pretend to get it. Most of theses creeps think that they can get away with the behavior because they think they are anonymous. A soon as you start to identify them, most of them get scared and run away.

  4. #4
    Senior Member filtersweep's Avatar
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    Your idea sounds a bit swarmy and smart-assed, if you ask me.

    I had a very similar confrontation as yours yesterday- and this neanderthal simply doesn't and won't get it. It does nothing but further provoke these miscreants to even attempt to engage them in a meaningful dialog. You simply cannot win. They will not let you. They are bullies.

    Unfortunately, there is no recourse. Police won't even help until you are hit.

  5. #5
    Perineal Pressurized dobber's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by dgregory57
    I won't even get into the fact that my Giant Sedona is worth more than his car.
    I think you set your expectations with this sentence. Maturity would have allowed you to simply ride on.
    This is Africa, 1943. War spits out its violence overhead and the sandy graveyard swallows it up. Her name is King Nine, B-25, medium bomber, Twelfth Air Force. On a hot, still morning she took off from Tunisia to bomb the southern tip of Italy. An errant piece of flak tore a hole in a wing tank and, like a wounded bird, this is where she landed, not to return on this day, or any other day.

  6. #6
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    Unless you have some kind of reliable psycho detector, don't be yelling at agro cagers.
    Agro cager?

  7. #7
    I fear angry birds Santaria's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by chemcycle
    Agro cager?

    aggro=an angry person, mob, etc.
    Cager=someone in a car.


    Honestly, I've dealt with similar situations; the solution for me has always been to pick up my cell phone and call my friend who is a detective locally, normally just the sight of an actually cell phone will make the most aggro of them sprint away in fear. They'll bully you because they're in a car and your not, until they realize that the cops might actually come down and ticket them.

    Don't feed their aggro, unless your willing to accept they might get hostile - if your ready for that - pull that badboy I guess.
    THE DEVIL

    Originally Posted by Scrodzilla
    If that was my house and you put your stupid bike in my flower garden to take a picture, I would come outside in my underwear and light you on fire.

  8. #8
    The Improbable Bulk Little Darwin's Avatar
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    I did manage to maintain my cool enough to stay behind his car... I somehow sensed that getting closer would not have accomplished anything but to get him wound up.

    I guess I should just take the advice here and ignore them... it is hard as one of the policies I like to follow is to leave things better than I found them (I pick up litter if there is any at any place I stop to rest during a ride) and in this case, I guess I just ned to accept that nothing I could do would make it any better.

    I like the idea of getting the license number for those that cross the line to dangerous and/or ggressive.
    Slow Ride Cyclists of NEPA

    People do not seem to realize that their opinion of the world is also a confession of character.
    - Ralph Waldo Emerson

  9. #9
    Now with racer-boy font! Moonshot's Avatar
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    CDL? Ha ha. So he can drive a truck and hook up air lines. Big deal.

    If you do the pamphlet thing be prepared to pick up the tiny pieces that get thrown down after you hand them out. I'd guess not one of them will be read.

    I agree with the others here. Unless it becomes self defense just live and let live. If Wilkes-Barre doesn't have a means for reporting aggressive drivers talk with your city council about starting one.

  10. #10
    Senior Member
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    Quote Originally Posted by dgregory57
    ... I do know that next time I will get a license number, as I think it is all that is guaranteed to get the point made.
    Since you're stopped anyway, I think being obvious at repositioning yourself so that you can read the plates will make some of these people stop and think. Make it obvious that you are looking at their tags. You don't have to get close to their vehicle (nor should you) to do this. They might think you are the agressor if you get to close to their vehicle. Even if you still don't get the number, the act will make a few rethink their OWN actions. They do this because they "think" you are helpless to do anything AND nothing can happen to them. When they see you studying the tags, they just might realize there IS a possibility of something coming back at them. Those that are really kookie, well, even that won't work.

    Just make every effort to keep the incident from escalating in to rage.

    Good Luck
    d.tipton

  11. #11
    Senior Member biodiesel's Avatar
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    I've told this story before but i'll repeat it.

    Riding home on a road with a bike lane. Pulled up to an intersection staying in the lane. Guy behind me wants to squeeze into the bike lane to turn right and honks. (By the way i now always sit on the right side of the going straight lane) I was too tired to drag my bike over to the side and the light was only a few seconds. The guy honked a few more times then layed on the horn revving his engine. When the light changed i took off straight and flipped the dude off. He cut through a lane of traffic, almost jumped the median and squealing his tires tried to ram me. I jumped into the middle of the intersection almost causeing a pileup and jumped off my bike. The dude got out of his car screaming at me, a little upset that i didn't 'get out of his way' but REALLY pissed off that i had the nerve to flip him off. The guy started to chase me and i put my bike between us and pulled my mini u-lock and he kept reaching into his car for something.
    Better part of valor i took off up a sidewalk, through an alley and heard the guy trying to chase me before i lost him. Funny thing is, i got on the cell phone while riding and called 911, the guy was still trying to chase me. I had like three people honking and yelling that i shouldn't be talking on a cell phone while riding! (it's a cultural no-no in Cali in a car)
    To make matters worse i went to the first most populated place i could find which was an all night 7-11 that's a big gang hangout and found out the cops were already rolling to that location!

    My new rule number 1 is never flip off a car behind you. Actually i never flip them off anymore, if i'm in a car and i flip off or yell at someone i'm being aggressive and could get pulled over by a cop for 'road rage' so why do it on bike?

    More, according to the cops, any person driving or riding that pulls over to yell at you or approaches your vehicle to yell at you is commiting a crime. You don't have to hit someone with a vehicle for it to be assault, just approach them with a threatening demeanor. Good to know because a cyclist chasing a car and yelling at them about getting cut off (a traffic issue) could be seen as commiting assault.

    Case in point, Colorado a few years ago a friend was with a group of Bikkers (motorcycles) and one of the guys got cut off and knocked over accidentaly. The other bikkers got really upset and rushed the car yelling. In the court transcripts the driver claimed seeing a dozen angry leather wearing bikkers running at him and yelling was threatening so he took off. The bikkers chased him and pulled him over hitting the car and reaching for the driver. Who (afraid for his life) shot and killed one of them, hit another with the car and sped away terrified. No charges filed except for the first impact which was no fault.

    My friend was devastated, seeing one freind in an accident was bad, seeing one killed and another run over was worse.

    Drivers are agressive quite often on the road, don't think were any special. We feel it more 'cause were exposed and can feel and hear the drivers reactions more.

    Even if they are aggressive with us we need to remember not to escalate things.
    Or we could actually be the bad guys

  12. #12
    Sophomoric Member Roody's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by dgregory57
    [. . .]

    This is my first experience in 1900 miles in the past few years, so I don't know if it would be effective use of my time or not, but once created it would be no problem to carry one or two with me.
    PS - I am also considering paying for a full page ad in the local papers, but I doubt that the real trouble makers read.
    Are you saying that this incident was your first with an "aggro cager" in 1900 miles of riding on the street? Put in that perspective, hardly seems like a trend, but if you would feel better printing up leaflets and buying ad space, go for it. Of course, the paper you print your fliers on might rot by the time you run across another wacko.

    Maybe you should also mention the thousands of "non-aggro cagers" you also encountered in the last 1900 miles.

  13. #13
    Senior Member va_cyclist's Avatar
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    You try handing flyers to an angry cager, you'll probably get them thrown back into your face. These people can't be reasoned with verbally, why do you think they'll respond any better to the printed word?

  14. #14
    The Improbable Bulk Little Darwin's Avatar
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    OK, I have changed my mind on the flyers, but I do plan to start carrying a small pad and pen for license numbers.

    I wrote the following to the editor of my local paper this morning... If it influences one driver it is worth it.

    ===========================
    On Saturday August 6th I was riding my bike through Plymouth and I had a motorist yell at me to ride on the sidewalk. This driver, when told that he was wrong, then stopped in the middle of the road to continue proclaiming his superior knowledge of the vehicular code because he had a CDL. This shows a serious problem with the CDL process. If a CDL licensee is somehow given the impression that they know everything, then the test needs to include all sections of the vehicle code, including those dealing with cyclists.

    According to the Pennsylvania Department of Transportation, a bicycle is a vehicle, and is subject to the same rules as all other vehicles unless specifically prohibited, such as freeways, and is entitled to the same rights as a motor vehicle. In fact, the only mention of sidewalks specifically prohibits cycling on sidewalks in business districts (such as the one I was riding through when confronted by the motorist).

    While I acknowledge that there may be some cyclists who are a hazard, this is no reason to express your ire to a cyclist who is following the rules. If a cyclist is riding against traffic, or riding on the sidewalk in a business district, or disobeying signs and signals, then feel free to report them to the authorities. However, do so only if you do the same for all vehicles that you observe breaking the rules.

    A cyclist is generally concerned with safety, as we are exposed to the risks of poor drivers and road conditions. I was riding with a bright yellow jersey, a helmet. a flashing light on the back of my bike and I was as far to the right as I could ride safely on the narrow road with no shoulder. The person who berated me crossed a double yellow line to pass me instead of waiting for the 15 seconds or so that it would have taken us to get to a safe place to pass. Ironically, he broke the law in doing so, and violated safety rules.

    I try to minimize my impact on your schedule out of courtesy (as do most riders) but I hope that my safety is worth more to you than the 15 seconds it will cost you to pass me safely.

    Later in the same ride, as I was properly signaling my lane change in the Wilkes-Barre square I was cut off by someone who drove as if I wasn’t there… I wear a XXXL bright yellow jersey, and was moving in a straight line at about 15 mph so I can’t imagine someone failing to see me.

    Even if we ignore the legal rights granted by the state, the slight inconvenience that is occasionally experienced by motorists as they wait for a safe place to pass is far less inconvenient, and far safer than if I ride down a sidewalk trying to avoid pedestrians.

    =============================
    Slow Ride Cyclists of NEPA

    People do not seem to realize that their opinion of the world is also a confession of character.
    - Ralph Waldo Emerson

  15. #15
    2-Cyl, 1/2 HP @ 90 RPM slvoid's Avatar
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    That's a pretty bad idea. To expect someone angry and unreasonable behind the wheel of 4000 lbs of metal to take a flyer from you is suicidal. The best thing to do is to whip out a disposable camera (preferably with flash) or a camera phone and snap a pic of the license plate.
    Last edited by slvoid; 08-07-05 at 07:35 PM.

  16. #16
    The Improbable Bulk Little Darwin's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by dobber
    I think you set your expectations with this sentence. Maturity would have allowed you to simply ride on.
    Actually, the three drivers that cut me off during the same trip (1 before and 2 after) just got a wave of the hand, (no finger just a sort of "Hey, I'm riding here"), or a shake of the head. These, or a ring of my bell are my typical response.

    I do tend to deal poorly with stupidity, and more so when it is expressed overtly and rudely and in case you think this was an elitist comment (bike cost versus car), it is not. I put that statement in as a poor attempt at humor. My bike is worth very little, but I guess that isn't obvious unless you know the bike and/or my sense of humor doesn't translate well to print.

    The car was just one of those that by looks would appear to be a safety hazard. Although to be fair, the brakes obviously worked as he came to a rapid stop, and there was no cloud of smoke as he pulled away... I was actually surprised at the well running sound based on the looks of the car, so this guy is obviously a good mechanic, or knows one.

    However, sometimes a mature response isn't to just tuck your tail between your legs and absorb the abuse. If some don't at least try to make the abusers think, then they have their position validated. Silence in most situations implies agreement. I say this knowing that there is risk in addressing the issues and I usually don't, but I consider this a success because nobody was hurt, and somebody was exposed to the truth.

    Would I have challenged the guy to a deeper confrontation, obviously not. But at least this guy knows that there is at least one person that disputes his understanding of the law concerning bicycles, even if he refuses to check, and thinks I am wrong.
    Slow Ride Cyclists of NEPA

    People do not seem to realize that their opinion of the world is also a confession of character.
    - Ralph Waldo Emerson

  17. #17
    The Improbable Bulk Little Darwin's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by slvoid
    That's a pretty bad idea. To expect someone angry and unreasonable behind the wheel of 4000 lbs of metal is suicidal. The best thing to do is to whip out a disposable camera (preferably with flash) or a camera phone and snap a pic of the license plate.
    I actually thought of that as an alternative to a notepad...

    Does anyone else carry a camera with them during road rides?

    I might actually start carrying an inexpensive digital camera.
    Slow Ride Cyclists of NEPA

    People do not seem to realize that their opinion of the world is also a confession of character.
    - Ralph Waldo Emerson

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