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Old 12-10-05, 12:30 AM   #1
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I found this thread on a non-bike forum entitled, "Are cyclists a menace." A few of the cyclist posters in this thread mention getting deliberately clipped with car mirrors. Has anyone else encountered such an treatment? Here's a quick quote from the thread:
Quote:
Are commuter cyclists really the regular victims of extreme road rage, inspired merely by their presence? Why?


In a previous thread , several people claim to have been the innocent victims of car driver rage simply for the fact that they have the gall to ride a bicycle on public roads. Is this a common experience, in US or other cities? What could possibly be motivating these people (the aggro drivers)? I'm a daily commuter and I've come across inconsiderate or just plain bad drivers many a time, but not openly, pointlessless hostile ones. Occasionally, someone will beep me for absolutely no reason, and I wave and smile. But why would someone try to threaten a person just for riding a bike? I'm genuinely curious, this isn't a secret cyclists are betta! thread, pop psychologists and amateur anthropologists please go right ahead (just don't mention virility.
posted by wilful to society & culture at 11:24 PM PST ( cycling roadrage )


Not common for me, but I have on a few occasions been swerved into slowly by drivers who want to hit me with their mirrors as I wait at a traffic light. Interestingly, these few occasions have been on the same narrow, bike-unfriendly street in Philadelphia.

I know it's deliberate because they're looking at me with that goofy, half-hate-filled, half-who-me? look while they drive up to the light.

The kicker is that when I get hit, they look surprised, as if it was my fault they hit me with their side mirror.

After the second time, I now fall into the side of their car and hope to leave a scratch or two before I pedal off. Call it kcarma.
posted by Rothko at 11:33 PM PST on October 11



in jersey city nj, more than once on near-empty roads have I seen people change over 2 or 3 lanes merely to try to force me off the road (onto the sidewalk "where I belong"?)

in hoboken nj on one-way one-lane residential streets, people behind me would get utterly pissed off because I insisted on riding in the middle of the lane (streets are fairly narrow, often double parking gah, no way am I going to get doored thankyouverymuch; speed limit is 25mph, I am more than capable of sustaining 25+ mph) -- if it was some slow driver in a car in front of them they might tailgate a little. but put a bike there instead, and it's all horn and not-quite-running-you-over.

I think the rage comes down to ignorance and not wanting to share what's "theirs".

however, in boston and manhattan I have not had anywhere nead as bad experiences, in fact people were fairly decent.
posted by dorian at 11:38 PM PST on October 11



I've never been in a serious road rage incident (honked at numerous times, one guy pulled over when I flipped him off after he nearly hit me when he passed, we had a semi-heated discussion, but left both a bit wiser).

In my experience, the rage some motorists feel towards cyclists is a result of most Americans thinking of bicycles as toys. As such, they don't belong on the street. Many people seem to actually think it is illegal to ride on the street. I've had more than one person tell me they hate cyclists who don't ride on the sidewalk. They were surprised to learn that in the urban center of many cities, that is actually the crime.

[Aside: One coworker of mine saw me getting off my bike outside work one day. He later told me, quite gleefully, that he went out of his way to try and hit cyclists with his mirror when he passed one on the road. ****ing prick. He seemed to like me, and it did not occur to him that there might be a problem telling his friend that he would try to injure him if they happened across each other on the way home.]

But that gets at most of what it is. People are tense in their cars already, generally. Add to that the fact that many folks believe a cyclists is committing a grave offense by riding a bike on the city street, and there are bound to be enough folks incensed by it to do something stupid.

Folks also generally feel an elevated level of anger when they see a bike break the rules (particlualry if it's getting the bike adead). Thus there can be a feeling of outrage that the bike is there at all, coupled with a feeling of jealousy that cyclists can get away with flaunting traffic laws.

And then add to that the fact that there are genuine ******* cyclists out there that go out of their way to piss auto drivers off, and anyone that is feeling ill disposed towards bikes already is going to remember an encounter with such a person above all else.

It all ads up to make a certain segment of the population ready to enforce what they see as vigilante justice, in the form of intimidation and road rage and the like.
posted by teece at 11:55 PM PST on October 11
I posted this because it does interest me what is going on in drivers minds, because while I haven't been hit, I've experienced aggressive behavior on the part of motorists occasionally. Infact, one thing which has kept me out of trouble is reading the faces of drivers when I'm delicate situations like entering intersections, merging or attempting left hand turns. With this method, I can tell if someone is hostile, not paying attention/ in the twilight zone, on the phone. Now I will get off my soap box and share the rest of the thread:
Are Cyclists a Menace?

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Old 12-10-05, 01:09 AM   #2
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Why they are bullies could fill volumes, but why they pick on cyclists is pretty easy. We're easy targets.

From the few encounters I've had over the many years I've been riding, I also have basic anecdotal evidence. If you catch up with them, especially if they're out of thier cars, they are no longer bullies, but are generally afraid. At least in my case, I'm a large man who looks a little like Charles Manson and when the tables are turned (with me having a perceived advantage in size and/or lack of sanity) they have always become meek and apologetic.

It's basic animalistic behaviour. Might makes right.

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Old 12-10-05, 01:22 AM   #3
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Let those drivers do it to me. I'll teach them not to do it again for all of you. Living in a big city teaches you to fight back, so I let it all out.
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Old 12-10-05, 01:38 AM   #4
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Quote:
Originally Posted by EricDJ
Let those drivers do it to me. I'll teach them not to do it again for all of you. Living in a big city teaches you to fight back, so I let it all out.
Vigilante justice has drawbacks. If the driver calls the police and they find you, the police will come down you a hundred times harder than if a vehicle driver committed the same offense. It's the majority rules or the old boys club postulate. More people, including the police drive, than ride bikes. Therefore, the police will identify with the driver and support him/her, even if the driver "started it."
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Old 12-10-05, 02:18 AM   #5
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I read further into that thread and found it interesting to hear a dialog between cyclists, motorists and pedestrians.
More highlights from the forum thread:
CYCLISTS' TAKE ON THINGS
Quote:
I have been the victim of a hit and run on a bike, when I used to commute to work in Minneapolis. I was regularly yelled at, sideswiped and otherwise abused by drivers. One favored tactic of jerk-drivers was to cruise up right behind and to the side of me as I drove on the far right of the lane, trapping me between the car and the parked cars on the right. They would get within a foot or so, and honk their horn. I became more aggressive in response to these incidents. Toward the end, I would retaliate against people who tried to hit me with their passenger-side mirrors by spitting into their open windows, hopefully into their face, or else by throwing gravel. Yes, that was over the line, and no they never caught me, though some tried. The hit-and-run accident, my third (!) in three years, destroyed my bike. I concluded that I should not be biking in Minneapolis. Though the final incident was fully the car's fault, I had proven to myself that at that time, in that city, I should not commute via bike. I just didn't like how aggressive I felt I had to be to survive on the road. Several years later in Portland, I am strongly considering biking again. I think I can remain calmer and more wary this time. I won't load up with self-defense-gravel anyway.

next post:
In Boston the only time I have a problem is late at night. Half-drunk drivers often will pull up next to me while I'm waiting at a red light (because I wait at red lights!) and, upon discovering that I'm a girl, either: yell at me to get off the road, or attempt to hit on me.
I don't like to break traffic laws, but it does amuse me to simply ride through the empty red light in response, leaving them stuck impotently at the intersection.
posted by nev at 9:56 AM PST on October 12

next post:
I have also had pedestrian experiences like the ones Aknaton describes, but in at least one case, the jerk definitely saw me. He was looking right at me and mouthing off while he slowly drove his enormovan into me as I crossed the street. I could not hear him in his cage, but he heard me when I followed him into the store he drove to and told him what I thought of him. Oddly, he had nothing to say then. Just to make him perfect, he'd parked in a handicap zone without a permit.

next post:
I have also had drivers try and get me while on a motorcycle, without any provocation.

next post:
I live in Boston and, as a hard-core bike commuter for a number of years, I can tell you that there are some very angry people out there. I can't say I've ever had someone deliberately try to kill me, which I think has to do with the fact that even the most simian individuals understand the consequences of vehicular homicide. However, I've had people swerve at me, stop short deliberately in front of me, try to force me off the road, lay on their horn, tailgate me, try to clothesline me with their arm, attempt to door me, and throw stuff at me. Riding defensively at all times, and being very visible, are the best remedies for angry driver behavior.
posted by killdevil at 10:27 AM PST on October 12

next post:
Several have raised a point that is probably overlooked: spandex and bike helmets. These things are not "normal" clothing, and it marks a cyclist as in a different group. People are naturally able to dehumanize those who are out of group.

This is a great point, and Grant Peterson of Rivendell Bicyles wrote an article where he mentions this point exactly.
Quote:
Excerpt here:
Clothing For Commuting
If you commute on city streets, dress as much as possible like the motorists who ride along with you. That way, they’ll see you as one of them and be more likely to treat you well. Lots of bike commuters dress up in “record attempt” clothing, or replica pro team jerseys, then add a super garish helmet and aerodynamic sunglasses, completing the effect of “not looking normal.” This sort of look brings out the xenophobic in any motorist, and that’s not something you want to do. What you want to do is look like the xenophobic motorist’s favorite cousin or best friend, because that doesn’t get his blood boiling the way the fancy pants look does
If you look like an alien in spandex, bug-eye glasses and helmet, folks may want to marganilize you.
When I commute I look like a regular dork going to work, with the exception of my helmet (plain jane white) and reflective leg band to keep chain grease from getting on my Dockers. Maybe it is easier for folks to relate to someone who looks almost like them, except without the Ford Expedition?
DRIVERS' TAKE ON THINGS:
Quote:
I don't get this. Why, exactly, are we supposed to treat bikes as though they were cars, and to think about the activity of bike riding as though it were equivalent to car driving? People who are really into bikes seem to take this for granted, but it makes no sense to me. Even a Yugo's mass is two orders of magnitude greater than my bike, and its engine's power output is two orders of magnitude greater than my legs. What is it about a bike that is supposed to divide it from a scooter, a skateboard, a pair of roller skates, or any other human-powered mode of transportation?
posted by Mars Saxman at 9:55 AM PST on October 12

What could possibly be motivating these people (the aggro drivers)?
The incredible and absolute lack of respect that 99% of bicycle riders have for the law?
I regularly see riders (regularly as in daily) drive through RED LIGHTS (!! SERIOUSLY -- I'VE NEARLY HIT 2 ALREADY !! They seem to think at a T intersection if they can "squeeze in" traffic turning left won't smush them. I beg to differ, and carry a squeege and blood remover to prove it.) Furthermore they violate the following rules (which, I admit, some drivers also violate, however, they're hated as well, and they aren't 99%). For those that don't know they're violations of the law, I'll link the appropriate HTA sections:

- Don't pull over to let faster traffic through or ride in the passing lane when not intending to turn at the next intersection (except when you can pedal at the speed of traffic -- most people can't get up to 50 km/h and maintain it)
- Don't signal (hands or lights)
- Don't yield to buses
- Cling to vehicles
- Ride alongside running cars in the gutter (for a right turn, etc, to get ahead) [Pretty obvious this one is illegal, but I can't find the section]
- Run lights and stop signs and yield signs (ESPECIALLY stop signs. They're there for us *all*, not just people with motors. Even the "best" bicyclists I've seen run stop signs. I've never once seen a bicyclist stop. Ever. Period. Not even in other countries. Not even at intersections with traffic ready to hit the rider. It's really sad.)
- Don't have appropriate lighting on their bikes or reflectors
- Don't use appropriate turn lanes (ie: Turn left from the right turn lane)
- Ride the wrong way
- No horn
- Ride on the sidewalks (I believe this isn't in the HTA, but I assure you, it is illegal where I live. Ask a cop.)
- Ride without helmets (when under 18) (Again, probably a separate law -- it *was* illegal to ride without a helmet period on a bicycle, now anyone over 18 may wear it optionally)
- Ride into the curb without stopping (causing drivers to be confused -- do you want us to pass you? do you not?) [probably not specifically illegal, but incredibly dangerous]
- Ride with overloaded bicycles
- Bicyclists suck so awesomely here that there's a special section of the law just for them, to remind them they need to pull over and let others pass.
- Bicyclists need to STOP when being overtaken.

I almost crapped my pants the one time this year I saw a cyclist signal. It was like that man was Jesus himself. If he wasn't peddaling so fast I wanted to give him a cookie for being a good citizen. Hell, make that a new bike. I'd only have to give out one a decade so I can afford it.

OF COURSE, none of this is a reason to harm others, ever, but it stands to reason that the less reasonable among us drivers might not be able to contain their rage. I know one day I'm probably going to have to use that squeege, and I feel bad for that fact, but I follow the rules of the road, and while I often squeal my breaks to avoid the fools, *I* wouldn't put my life into my own hands like that. Heh.

(I should tape the idiotic stunts these bicyclists do, since I always have a dozen bicyclists tell me they NEVER see any of these things happen. One day...)
posted by shepd at 1:50 PM PST on October 12

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Old 12-10-05, 02:37 AM   #6
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This is exactly why I try and stay on the dirt. However sometimes I try to get a quick workout in the city but I'm super cautious!
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Old 12-13-05, 05:32 PM   #7
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Quote:
Originally Posted by EricDJ
I'll teach them not to do it again for all of you.
Yeah right. You could go city to city and give free seminars.

Quote:
Originally Posted by EricDJ
Living in a big city teaches you to fight back.
Not always so. The city has a flow. Go with it.
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Old 12-13-05, 05:43 PM   #8
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Quote:
Originally Posted by spandexwarrior
Vigilante justice has drawbacks. If the driver calls the police and they find you, the police will come down you a hundred times harder than if a vehicle driver committed the same offense. It's the majority rules or the old boys club postulate. More people, including the police drive, than ride bikes. Therefore, the police will identify with the driver and support him/her, even if the driver "started it."
This is why you carry business cards with the applicable bike laws on them... so when you confront said drivers "outta their shell," you can educate them. And the police, if they show up.
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Old 12-13-05, 05:49 PM   #9
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Quote:
Don't pull over to let faster traffic through or ride in the passing lane when not intending to turn at the next intersection (except when you can pedal at the speed of traffic -- most people can't get up to 50 km/h and maintain it)
- Don't signal (hands or lights)
- Don't yield to buses
- Cling to vehicles
- Ride alongside running cars in the gutter (for a right turn, etc, to get ahead) [Pretty obvious this one is illegal, but I can't find the section]
- Run lights and stop signs and yield signs (ESPECIALLY stop signs. They're there for us *all*, not just people with motors. Even the "best" bicyclists I've seen run stop signs. I've never once seen a bicyclist stop. Ever. Period. Not even in other countries. Not even at intersections with traffic ready to hit the rider. It's really sad.)
- Don't have appropriate lighting on their bikes or reflectors
- Don't use appropriate turn lanes (ie: Turn left from the right turn lane)
- Ride the wrong way
- No horn
- Ride on the sidewalks (I believe this isn't in the HTA, but I assure you, it is illegal where I live. Ask a cop.)
- Ride without helmets (when under 18) (Again, probably a separate law -- it *was* illegal to ride without a helmet period on a bicycle, now anyone over 18 may wear it optionally)
- Ride into the curb without stopping (causing drivers to be confused -- do you want us to pass you? do you not?) [probably not specifically illegal, but incredibly dangerous]
- Ride with overloaded bicycles
And of course doing all of these things makes a cyclist deserve the assault and battery of being hit by a car because it's within the driver's rights to kill and maim cyclists for these egregious errors.
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Old 12-13-05, 05:52 PM   #10
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Quote:
Originally Posted by genec
This is why you carry business cards with the applicable bike laws on them... so when you confront said drivers "outta their shell," you can educate them. And the police, if they show up.
I've decided that I'm going to snag one of the DMV handbooks and copy the pages that cite cycling laws and rights, keeping them in my seatbag just for those exact instances.

Granted, if a driver is going to be dumb enough to pull sh*t like this, they probably aren't going to read anything I hand them. Even so, I think it'll be worth it.
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Old 12-13-05, 05:57 PM   #11
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Quote:
Originally Posted by iamtim
I've decided that I'm going to snag one of the DMV handbooks and copy the pages that cite cycling laws and rights, keeping them in my seatbag just for those exact instances.

Granted, if a driver is going to be dumb enough to pull sh*t like this, they probably aren't going to read anything I hand them. Even so, I think it'll be worth it.
Not nearly as comprehensive as the actual laws...
http://www.dmv.ca.gov/pubs/hdbk/pgs55thru57.htm#bike

But they do get the basic point across... it starts with this: "Bicyclists on public streets have the same rights and responsibilities as automobile drivers."

I have yet to talk to a motorist that knew that alone. Every motorist I have confronted after a honking or yelling, believes cyclist do not belong on the road.
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Old 12-13-05, 06:03 PM   #12
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The next aggressive driver I have to 'talk to' after they threaten me with their car, and get out of their car in my path to further threaten me, is going to get a facefull of dog-n-driver spray I've got taped to the seatstays of all my bikes now. I'll let the cops sort it out, but I won't be sticking around to see the interview with the driver.

You all can try the handout technique, i'm resorting to an active defense. I've already pulled it out on a driver who, after threatening me once, kept dogging me with his car for a half mile (with his family in it as well!) playing a game of "bumper car' with me, then pulled up because he wanted to 'talk' to me about it. F*** them, it's WAR, boys.
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Old 12-13-05, 06:08 PM   #13
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What about a plastic rod with steel point sticking out about 2 feet to the left of the rear rack?

Buzzers will get a nice gouge along their side panels.
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Old 12-13-05, 06:09 PM   #14
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Bekologist
The next aggressive driver I have to 'talk to' after they threaten me with their car, and get out of their car in my path to further threaten me, is going to get a facefull of dog-n-driver spray I've got taped to the seatstays of all my bikes now. I'll let the cops sort it out, but I won't be sticking around to see the interview with the driver.

You all can try the handout technique, i'm resorting to an active defense. I've already pulled it out on a driver who, after threatening me once, kept dogging me with his car for a half mile (with his family in it as well!) playing a game of "bumper car' with me, then pulled up because he wanted to 'talk' to me about it. F*** them, it's WAR, boys.
Problem is, in WAR, it is the folks with the biggest guns that win... take a good look at that 6000 LB SUV that you are fighting with and tell me that you will fare well in a head to head battle. The last thing you want is a half blinded, raging, SUV driver aiming right for you at battle speed. "I didn't seem him officer... there was something in my eyes... "

No thanks... I'll wait until they climb outta the metal box and then discuss it with them.
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Old 12-13-05, 06:12 PM   #15
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the misconception i would try using it against a vehicle is humorous, i'm talking about using it on the driver once they've stepped out to play 'educate the cyclist' after vehicular assault. I'll use discretion in any force, believe me.
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Old 12-13-05, 06:26 PM   #16
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Bekologist
the misconception i would try using it against a vehicle is humorous, i'm talking about using it on the driver once they've stepped out to play 'educate the cyclist' after vehicular assault. I'll use discretion in any force, believe me.
OK true, you did actually state that they have to get out of their car... Sorry. Misread.

Just envisioned you spraying someone while they were still in their "safety box."

Hey outta the shell... have a good time. Leave 'em writhing on the ground.

It is rather pitiful how some of these folks become when confronted directly.
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Old 12-13-05, 06:41 PM   #17
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Az B
Why they are bullies could fill volumes, but why they pick on cyclists is pretty easy. We're easy targets.

From the few encounters I've had over the many years I've been riding, I also have basic anecdotal evidence. If you catch up with them, especially if they're out of thier cars, they are no longer bullies, but are generally afraid. At least in my case, I'm a large man who looks a little like Charles Manson and when the tables are turned (with me having a perceived advantage in size and/or lack of sanity) they have always become meek and apologetic.

It's basic animalistic behaviour. Might makes right.

Az
You are absolutely right, mostly bullies. Most times I ignore drivers who harrass me (its relatively rare) but the one time some knucke-head cussed me out and almost run me off the road (on a bike lane no less!) and I caught up with him at the lights he shriveled into his seat like a child. At the time I was so pissed that I couldn't even talk or think, just glared bloody murder at him until the lights changed. Then he revved off, cursing me again and giving me the finger
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Old 12-13-05, 06:54 PM   #18
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The two times I've caught up with willful buzzers, I experienced the same thing (them being wide eyed with fear) but I'm not a yeller by nature (well, unless my Patriots get a bad holding call) and so I've always approached it as:

"Hey bud, you came awful close there... do you want to kill me?"

And they always become apologetic - and hopefully continue their driving career with that encounter in mind when approaching the next cyclist.

BTW, that doesn't mean I'm not angry about it... it's just that it's hard to mantain a scowl when I'm on my bike.
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Old 12-13-05, 07:09 PM   #19
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The two times I've caught up with willful buzzers, I experienced the same thing (them being wide eyed with fear) but I'm not a yeller by nature (well, unless my Patriots get a bad holding call) and so I've always approached it as:

"Hey bud, you came awful close there... do you want to kill me?"

And they always become apologetic - and hopefully continue their driving career with that encounter in mind when approaching the next cyclist.

BTW, that doesn't mean I'm not angry about it... it's just that it's hard to mantain a scowl when I'm on my bike.
You have better control than I do. I don't yell, but if I do catch up with them I will glare. I'm not confrontational and I am very aware that all it takes is a psycho with a 4000lb vehicle to squash me.

The only time I've reacted badly was when some lady was driving over the longfellow bridge on her cell phone. I was riding into Boston and realized that the car behind me was not slowing down. Turned back, yelled at the driver (on cell phone with one hand and doing something with the other) and when the car didn't slow down, bailed over the 1 foot lip to the sidewalk (with my bike) and got royally scraped. She missed me by inches and just kept going. She hadn't even seen me! in broad daylight.

I got back on my bike all bloodied and scraped, rode and caught her at the lights and she was still on the cell phone, yakking away and didn't notice the bloodied cyclist by her drivers side door. I was so pissed and shaking with rage and adrenaline that I took my bike lock and slammed it into her sunroof (it was closed) and shouted in her ear 'Pay f%ck&ng attention! You almost killed me!").

I felt like sh*t for months afterwards but somehow I don't regret it.
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Old 12-13-05, 07:14 PM   #20
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- Don't pull over to let faster traffic through or ride in the passing lane when not intending to turn at the next intersection (except when you can pedal at the speed of traffic -- most people can't get up to 50 km/h and maintain it)
- Don't signal (hands or lights)
- Don't yield to buses
- Cling to vehicles
- Ride alongside running cars in the gutter (for a right turn, etc, to get ahead) [Pretty obvious this one is illegal, but I can't find the section]
- Run lights and stop signs and yield signs (ESPECIALLY stop signs. They're there for us *all*, not just people with motors. Even the "best" bicyclists I've seen run stop signs. I've never once seen a bicyclist stop. Ever. Period. Not even in other countries. Not even at intersections with traffic ready to hit the rider. It's really sad.)
- Don't have appropriate lighting on their bikes or reflectors
- Don't use appropriate turn lanes (ie: Turn left from the right turn lane)
- Ride the wrong way
- No horn
- Ride on the sidewalks (I believe this isn't in the HTA, but I assure you, it is illegal where I live. Ask a cop.)
- Ride without helmets (when under 18) (Again, probably a separate law -- it *was* illegal to ride without a helmet period on a bicycle, now anyone over 18 may wear it optionally)
- Ride into the curb without stopping (causing drivers to be confused -- do you want us to pass you? do you not?) [probably not specifically illegal, but incredibly dangerous]
- Ride with overloaded bicycles
- Bicyclists suck so awesomely here that there's a special section of the law just for them, to remind them they need to pull over and let others pass.
- Bicyclists need to STOP when being overtaken.
That guy must have witnessed me biking around town.
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Old 12-13-05, 07:47 PM   #21
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Hey, Bek. Beware. I decided one time after many incidents with aggressive drivers, that while I wasn't going to smash windows/mirrors, I was going to make a statement the next time a driver did something which could take my life. The Native Americans sometimes had "wars" were there was no killing- they would just get their enemy in a vulnerable position to shame their opponent. They would prove they could kill them without doing it. Well, one day, somebody in an SUV made a "statement" by passing me only giving me an inch between them and their mirror. The thing was, the streets were deserted and they could have easily changed into one of the many lanes down this one way street. I gave chase and when I caught up to them, I thumped their car with my fist. No damage to the car. Yet the driver gave the police a sob story with a lot of fiction in it. They accused me of threatening to harm them which I did not do. I was charged with aggravated menacing. I learned that drivers will lie their asses off and no matter how ridiculous the lie (they were inside their car- how could I threaten them- their windows were rolled up and they wouldn't have heard a damned thing I said) the police will believe it.
I agree. I try not to escalate anything and would much rather take a number plate. In any fight between a car and a bike mass wins. On the whole I don't have many incidents and the few that I have are of the clueless inattentive driver or the driver who decides to cut it close rather than looking to do harm (though where a car is concerned intent is irrelevant).

I did have some knuckehead curse me out and honk at me for a full block while I was in the bike lane (he was driving behind me half-in and half-out of the bike lane). At the next set of lights a cop flashed his lights, got behind him and pulled him over. I know that the guy got a ticket in excess of $1,000. Funny thing is I could here him cursing that "cyclists need to stay off the 'f$ck&ng road). Sometimes there is justice
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Old 12-14-05, 04:47 AM   #22
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- Don't pull over to let faster traffic through or ride in the passing lane when not intending to turn at the next intersection (except when you can pedal at the speed of traffic -- most people can't get up to 50 km/h and maintain it)
- Don't signal (hands or lights)
- Don't yield to buses
- Cling to vehicles
- Ride alongside running cars in the gutter (for a right turn, etc, to get ahead) [Pretty obvious this one is illegal, but I can't find the section]
- Run lights and stop signs and yield signs (ESPECIALLY stop signs. They're there for us *all*, not just people with motors. Even the "best" bicyclists I've seen run stop signs. I've never once seen a bicyclist stop. Ever. Period. Not even in other countries. Not even at intersections with traffic ready to hit the rider. It's really sad.)
- Don't have appropriate lighting on their bikes or reflectors
- Don't use appropriate turn lanes (ie: Turn left from the right turn lane)
- Ride the wrong way
- No horn
- Ride on the sidewalks (I believe this isn't in the HTA, but I assure you, it is illegal where I live. Ask a cop.)
- Ride without helmets (when under 18) (Again, probably a separate law -- it *was* illegal to ride without a helmet period on a bicycle, now anyone over 18 may wear it optionally)
- Ride into the curb without stopping (causing drivers to be confused -- do you want us to pass you? do you not?) [probably not specifically illegal, but incredibly dangerous]
- Ride with overloaded bicycles
- Bicyclists suck so awesomely here that there's a special section of the law just for them, to remind them they need to pull over and let others pass.
- Bicyclists need to STOP when being overtaken.
I don't doubt that this driver may have seen these things, but I can come up with just as much, if not more, stupid stuff that drivers do. That last point is total BS and ain't gonna' happen no matter how bad he wants it. If he gets behind me he's doing 10-20 mph until the other lane is clear.

As for getting clipped, all road riders have had sme close calls, but I've never seen it actually happen. If it does, report it to local law enforcement as a vehicle crash.
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Old 12-14-05, 08:35 AM   #23
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I guess I've been pretty lucky. I haven’t gotten a lot of grief from motorists in the six months that I've been commuting/utility cycling seriously, although I have been hit once (driver was mortified and very apologetic).

I do see lots of aggressive driving. In particular, motorists often race to overtake me, even if there's a stop sign or traffic signal just a couple yards ahead. They stomp on the accelerator to get around me, a second later, stomp on the brake. For some people, the thought of waiting behind a bicycle at a traffic signal seems to be unbearable.
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Old 12-14-05, 08:47 AM   #24
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As for getting clipped, all road riders have had sme close calls, but I've never seen it actually happen. If it does, report it to local law enforcement as a vehicle crash.
I've been clipped three times that I remember. In none of them was I knocked off the bike, but once I was whacked in the elbow pretty good by a mirror, and one time my handlebars left a long scrape on the side of the car. The driver didn't stop in any of the cases.
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Old 12-14-05, 09:09 AM   #25
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God damn! What the f*ck is wrong with people!? Don't they ******** realize that above and beyond everything else that's another human being on that bike they are ******** with?

Sorry, I'm just a little touchy from my Monday experience, and all these people reporting "close call" incidents got to me. Not, you know, the cyclist, but the drivers. Damn.
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