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  1. #1
    genec genec's Avatar
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    Quiet Sunday morning ride... I go out to do about 30 miles and have a route picked out. Due to the nature of the area in which I live, the route is actually 35 and 45+MPH roads with 4 and 6 lanes. Normally roads that are full of traffic, and with varying degree of pleasure for riding. But hey, it's early Sunday morning... sun is barely peaking through the coastal haze, should be a great ride.

    Well I have completed most of my loop and am on the back stretch... going east on a 6 lane 50MPH road with a bike lane (sometimes) (Miramar road, for locals). Traffic is very very light... there are 3 solid lanes in my direction and a bike lane on most of the road... sometimes it gives way to a bike route, where in I take the right half (ride in the right tire track) of the lane.

    Well it happens... I get buzzed... jerk came as close as he could while I was in the BL and then veered to the left away after he passed me... the other two lanes to the left were empty... what a jerk. Now some may say... well that is the downside of BL, as drivers just are not aware... bla bla bla. Right... Quiet Sunday morning, me dressed in bright colors and this guy "was not aware." OK, I'll give this one to the anti-BL crowd.

    Not more than 5 miles away... different road (Clairemont Mesa Blvd, WB, for locals), different area; 6 lanes, 35-45MPH... not a bike lane in sight. Now mind you, again, very light traffic... three lanes going in my direction. Guy pulls up behind me at a light... I am in the center of the right lane leaving room to my right for right turning traffic. Light turns green, I start up, clip in... dude behind me revs engine twice (I guess I didn't get to warp speed quite fast enough) and then roars around me. Never mind that there were 2 other empty lanes and he did not need to turn right... he kept going straight... in the right most lane, after rounding me. No reason for his actions... Not even 9:30 in the morning on a quiet Sunday, and plenty... I mean plenty of open road, and this jerk is going to play this game.

    But wait, there's more... So about a mile later... same road, and I am positioned in the same location... right in the middle of the right lane... there are parked cars, bit of broken pavement and a Coco's resturant right in front of me... Bit further, a notoriously busy Asian market... so middle of the right lane is a good safe place to be. After all... gee, there are two other EMPTY lanes to my left... no one should have any issue taking a lane to get around a cyclist... eh? Riiiiiight. Guy comes up behind me... and honks... and not the friendly toot toot honk either. Zips around me and dives into the Cocos. Guess he was afraid that I was going to go to Cocos first and eat all the breakfast... you know how dangerous "bikers" can be. OK, last straw... I follow this clown into the lot and confront him:

    Me: "Good morning... were there not enough empty lanes on the road for you this morning?"

    Him: "I didn't think you were far enough to the right."

    Me: "The law gives me the right to ride anywhere I need to in that lane; you have no idea what I was trying to avoid, do you?"

    Him: "I didn't think... you weren't to the right... I wanted to pull in... "

    Me: "2 other lanes weren't enough for you?"

    Me: "have a nice breakfast." (oozing sarcasm on the side... )

    Him: "Uh, Ride safely."

    ***********************

    That's it!

    I just made a bunch of "business cards" on my computer with the Calfornia Vehicle Code on them as it applies to cycles in traffic... left out the stuff about reflectors and other code about carrying passengers and the like.

    Next time I confront one of these "I didn't think..." clowns, or any other motorist that thinks they know how to ride my bike better than I... They get a card and a lecture. I used to do this... and usually found that the jerks just made up their own versions of "the way they see the law" anyway...

    The law as Bubba cager sees it... LOL!

    So this is probably fruitless effort (as in the past) but, it gives me the personal satisfaction of at least letting them know, THEY DONE WRONG! And hey, its a handy wallet size too.

  2. #2
    Senior Member Dchiefransom's Avatar
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    Those people behind you with other lanes open happens no matter what. I can be on a 4 lane freeway, second lane from the right, and they will come up behind me, ride right on my tail, then pull around after a couple of miles giving me a dirty look as they pass. This happens even if there's almost no cars around with plenty of room for them to pass.

  3. #3
    Senior Member va_cyclist's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Dchiefransom
    Those people behind you with other lanes open happens no matter what. I can be on a 4 lane freeway, second lane from the right, and they will come up behind me, ride right on my tail, then pull around after a couple of miles giving me a dirty look as they pass. This happens even if there's almost no cars around with plenty of room for them to pass.
    And you know what? Motorists will do this to other cars too. Try driving about five miles below the speed limit sometime on a busy multi-lane road and watch the reactions as people try to get around you. The sheer inconvenience of making lane changes for some people just boggles the mind.

  4. #4
    Junior Member JimmyZ's Avatar
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    Some of these people can't understand the concept of turn signals, and you want them to move the whole car over? The nerve of some people.

  5. #5
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    Quote Originally Posted by genec
    ... I follow this clown into the lot and confront him ...
    Personally, if it were me, I wouldn't confront anyone, however, the traffic code on a business card idea sounds great. I think I'd get a 3x5 and print the words "Traffic Violation" on it with the pertinent bicycle codes underneath. If I were lucking enough to see the person actually stop and leave their car, I'd wait until they were well into their breakfast and then stick a card under their windshield wiper like a parking ticket.
    It might give them a momentary jolt to see something on their car.

    d.tipton

  6. #6
    genec genec's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by va_cyclist
    And you know what? Motorists will do this to other cars too. Try driving about five miles below the speed limit sometime on a busy multi-lane road and watch the reactions as people try to get around you. The sheer inconvenience of making lane changes for some people just boggles the mind.
    Actually I did this too... only it was as simple as just driving the speed limit, period... the reactions were priceless. Folks tailgating me, getting irritated and doing the zoom around... it just goes to show that there is no respect, no courtesy out there on the road.

    Ya know it really takes some of the fun out of just riding your bike... I mean just cruising down the road, pushing your body to extremes on occasion... smelling the smells of the city from flowers to Krispy Kreems, to fresh laundry, to the smell of charcol fluid on a hot summer day. Cycling puts you back in touch with all those things... and sometimes it is easy to just let yourself drift with those thoughts and memories... riding through a neighborhood and smelling meat loaf cooking and thinking of when you were a kid... and the next thing you know some jerk is honking his horn and yelling at you just because you didn't move fast enough at the green light...

  7. #7
    genec genec's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by tippy
    Personally, if it were me, I wouldn't confront anyone, however, the traffic code on a business card idea sounds great. I think I'd get a 3x5 and print the words "Traffic Violation" on it with the pertinent bicycle codes underneath. If I were lucking enough to see the person actually stop and leave their car, I'd wait until they were well into their breakfast and then stick a card under their windshield wiper like a parking ticket.
    It might give them a momentary jolt to see something on their car.

    d.tipton
    Not a bad idea... maybe I'll make up some in the 3X5 card size too. Heck, that sounds like a really good idea for all of us. Ghost Tickets... kinda like Ghost Bikes. I like it. Maybe put some items that can be checked on one side... like a violation:

    • Failing to yeild right of way.
    • Passing too close.
    • Right on red with out looking for traffic.
    • Attempt at Right Hook.
    • Unnecessary use of horn.
    • Failure to signal.


    On the back side a simple list of the Vehicle Code that applies to Bikes in Traffic... with emphasis on the Code that outlines that cyclists have the same rights to the road as motorists.

  8. #8
    H23
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    Obviously, no one gives a damn about the law until they get a ticket.

    What do guys think will happen if a errant motorist reads your flyer-- will he just melt or vaporize with the realization that he was --gasp-- "breaking the law"?

  9. #9
    Senior Member kb0tnv's Avatar
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    So you really expect these people to know how to read? Just kidding! ;0) I confronted some kids yesterday. They said their passenger was drunk and didn't know the law about bikes. I justs shook hands with the kids and let them go on their way...they appologized for their jerk friend and we moved on. I don't think it will make much difference with the cards...but I may be wrong. I think it is pretty much logic that there are bike signs pretty much on every major road in our state of MO. That is enough proof that it is "legal". There is just a stupid logic that some drivers have that you somehow have to move out of "their" way...they don't have to yield to you since your "just a bike". However that isn't the way the law is written. I think you have to explain those little things to them. Glad you at least tried to confront them.

    Keep Cycling,
    "Work to Eat, Eat to Live, Live to Bike, Bike to Work"

  10. #10
    Banned Bikepacker67's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by H23
    Obviously, no one gives a damn about the law until they get a ticket.

    What do guys think will happen if a errant motorist reads your flyer-- will he just melt or vaporize with the realization that he was --gasp-- "breaking the law"?
    I guess it depends upon what chemicals you use to "treat" the flyer
    Last edited by Bikepacker67; 08-08-05 at 07:00 AM.

  11. #11
    Senior Member nick burns's Avatar
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    I got buzzed on Saturday afternoon out on a very quiet country road. Driver comes very close to me, then veers out close to the yellow line. At first I thought he was being malicious, but then about 50 yards further up the road he veers to the right again, almost leaving the pavement, then back again to the yellow line. This patterns continues on until he's out of sight.

    I assumed he had tied one on and I was fortunate I hadn't become a statistic.

  12. #12
    genec genec's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by nick burns
    I got buzzed on Saturday afternoon out on a very quiet country road. Driver comes very close to me, then veers out close to the yellow line. At first I thought he was being malicious, but then about 50 yards further up the road he veers to the right again, almost leaving the pavement, then back again to the yellow line. This patterns continues on until he's out of sight.

    I assumed he had tied one on and I was fortunate I hadn't become a statistic.
    I suppose at 9:00 AM on Sunday the guy that buzzed me might have just had too much Sacramental wine, eh?

  13. #13
    All Bikes All The Time Sawtooth's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by genec

    That's it!

    I just made a bunch of "business cards" on my computer with the Calfornia Vehicle Code on them as it applies to cycles in traffic... left out the stuff about reflectors and other code about carrying passengers and the like.

    Next time I confront one of these "I didn't think..." clowns, or any other motorist that thinks they know how to ride my bike better than I... They get a card and a lecture. I used to do this... and usually found that the jerks just made up their own versions of "the way they see the law" anyway...
    Good idea. I personally like the bright orange very sticky sticker that says:

    "I EARNED THIS STICKER BY DRIVING LIKE A JACKA$$!"

    and takes them a half hour or so to get off their windshield.

  14. #14
    What, me hurry? Boston Commuter's Avatar
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    Massbike and the City of Boston have prepared a flyer, "Don't be a Road Hog!", that you can print and hand out to rude/ignorant car drivers. There's a corresponding flyer "Don't be a Road Warrior!" directed at cyclists who ignore traffic laws, and you can print them back-to-back.

    Check it out at: http://www.massbike.org/info/roadhog.htm

    These brochures seem to have been modeled on something from Toronto. Maybe your cities/towns should have something similar?

  15. #15
    Alter's ego
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    I was riding across a bridge over the Mississippi a week ago during rush hour- four lanes- speed limit 30 or 35- as far right as possible. some idiot gets so worked up that he just guns it to pass me- but he was so focused on me that he didn't look 50 feet beyond- where traffic was stopped for the light. He locked up his brakes and went into a sideways spin, nearly into oncoming traffic or hitting stopped traffic. He must have lost $100 worth of rubber on that bridge. Hilarious

  16. #16
    I can't find my pants mirona's Avatar
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    I was riding on Sunday and got buzzed by a state trooper. The car in front of him and the two cars behind gave me plenty of room. I put my arms up as if to say "What are you doing?"

    Later, a guy with a trailer buzzed me and then right after passing, he jerked to the left to avoid a slightly sunken manhole cover. He had no problem with almost taking me out with his garbage hauler, but was so concerned about a tiny bump in the road.

  17. #17
    Senior Member nick burns's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by genec
    I suppose at 9:00 AM on Sunday the guy that buzzed me might have just had too much Sacramental wine, eh?

    You never know, maybe he was just finishing up Saturday night's festivities.

    I wasn't trying to take away from your point, I just wanted to share my experience. Sorry for the sidetrack.

  18. #18
    genec genec's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by nick burns
    You never know, maybe he was just finishing up Saturday night's festivities.

    I wasn't trying to take away from your point, I just wanted to share my experience. Sorry for the sidetrack.
    No sidetrack... ya never know who might be on the road... and to some, early Sunday is just late Saturday...

  19. #19
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    Honestly, I don't think most of these jerks--at least the ones that intentionally cut us off or buzz us--will ever change their driving habits, no matter what we do. I'm not being pessimistic or giving up, but I think their actions go deeper than just being clueless or distracted.

    I'd have to say it comes down to to the macho game of power and invading one's perceived space. "How dare this tiny speck of a bicyclist invade my god-given space on the road. This isn't why I bought my 8 cylinder, 2 ton statusmobile, to be inconvenienced 5 milliseconds by a 30 pound bike! I'll show him!"

    Of course, sometimes when I'm in a feisty mood, I'll play the same game with my bike. Remember the lone protester squaring off with the tank at Tiananmen Square?

  20. #20
    genec genec's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by rnagaoka
    Honestly, I don't think most of these jerks--at least the ones that intentionally cut us off or buzz us--will ever change their driving habits, no matter what we do. I'm not being pessimistic or giving up, but I think their actions go deeper than just being clueless or distracted.

    I'd have to say it comes down to to the macho game of power and invading one's perceived space. "How dare this tiny speck of a bicyclist invade my god-given space on the road. This isn't why I bought my 8 cylinder, 2 ton statusmobile, to be inconvenienced 5 milliseconds by a 30 pound bike! I'll show him!"

    Of course, sometimes when I'm in a feisty mood, I'll play the same game with my bike. Remember the lone protester squaring off with the tank at Tiananmen Square?

    You are probably right... in fact one of those 2 ton statusmobiles just buzzed me at lunch... and I was walking. Co-worker and I were just crossing the street (illegally I might add) and the motorist just made a right on red (without the mandatory stop mind you... ). The motorist had a choice of two lanes... He chose to stomp on it and gun up the left lane... closest to us, while we were standing on this little island...

    Oddly enough, he was the only auto to do that. We sat at the lunch tables at the corner watching other motorists also doing their own form of right on red... few actually stop. Most applied just enough power to do the task, after the stop... no other motorist did the stomp and gun it thing.

    There was one guy however in his Italian Statusmobile that almost blew it and nearly T-boned a delivery truck... maybe next time he might actually pause just a second longer for his right on red. Maybe.

  21. #21
    Al noisebeam's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by genec
    You are probably right... in fact one of those 2 ton statusmobiles just buzzed me at lunch... and I was walking. Co-worker and I were just crossing the street (illegally I might add)
    I have friend/coworker who drives a jacked up truck. I get rides to lunch with him sometimes and he always like to intimidate for example:
    -Car nose sticking to far into road, will swerve toward them and accelerlate, swerve away at last second
    -Pedestrian illegally crossing, same deal.
    -Car going late on just turned red, guns into into intersection to show 'em they could have been hit
    -Tailgaiting excessively close anyone not going at least the speedlimit.
    -And similar. He says he does the same to cyclists who are too far in the road too (never witnessed it but I believe it). We argue endlessly about rights of cyclist, etc. He says "just cause its legal, don't mean its right"

    Anyway, I witness first hand from passenger seat folks with big trucks intimidating, he explains it that someones gotta show these folks otherwise they will never learn. Anytime I tell him (on days I have energy for endless debate) that it could lead to accident from one error or unexpected move, well, he's not gonna make the error and if it does get someone from their mistake, well they deserve it.

    Al

  22. #22
    Bent_Rider
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    I don't envy you your co-worker.


    Quote Originally Posted by noisebeam
    I have friend/coworker who drives a jacked up truck. I get rides to lunch with him sometimes and he always like to intimidate for example:
    -Car nose sticking to far into road, will swerve toward them and accelerlate, swerve away at last second
    -Pedestrian illegally crossing, same deal.
    -Car going late on just turned red, guns into into intersection to show 'em they could have been hit
    -Tailgaiting excessively close anyone not going at least the speedlimit.
    -And similar. He says he does the same to cyclists who are too far in the road too (never witnessed it but I believe it). We argue endlessly about rights of cyclist, etc. He says "just cause its legal, don't mean its right"

    Anyway, I witness first hand from passenger seat folks with big trucks intimidating, he explains it that someones gotta show these folks otherwise they will never learn. Anytime I tell him (on days I have energy for endless debate) that it could lead to accident from one error or unexpected move, well, he's not gonna make the error and if it does get someone from their mistake, well they deserve it.

    Al

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    Remember the lone protester squaring off with the tank at Tiananmen Square?
    I tried that about a month ago, and have the scars to prove it.

  24. #24
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    Quote Originally Posted by noisebeam
    He says he does the same to cyclists who are too far in the road too (never witnessed it but I believe it). We argue endlessly about rights of cyclist, etc. He says "just cause its legal, don't mean its right"

    I guess these self-appointed "enforcers" are keeping us bicyclists in line. Buzzing us as a friendly reminder that the next car might not be so forgiving. With friends like that...

  25. #25
    genec genec's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by noisebeam
    He says "just cause its legal, don't mean its right"


    Al

    That's exactly the attitude I have heard before...

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