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Old 08-11-07, 10:40 PM   #1
LittleBigMan
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Ragin' Cagers

Once in a while, we all get a "ragin' cager."

A friend of mine once said, "No matter how well your day's going, no matter how many positive experiences you have and people who treat you well, it only takes one negative experience with a nasty person to spoil your day."

But I want to look at the other side of things for a second.

Why should one person who is not the sharpest knife in the drawer determine the tone of my day? How many people out there who are driving alongside me as I ride are treating me well?

Could I actually be influencing people to accept cycling as a valid form of transportation by my good attitude?

On the other hand, how many people do I turn against cycling by my bad attitude towards motorists in general?

Are motorists really monsters in steel cages, or are they human beings, like me?
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Old 08-12-07, 12:43 AM   #2
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Most motorists are human, so some are fools and a few are monsters. It pays to be able to distinguish quickly and accurately when you're deciding how to respond to a cager's bad behavior.

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Could I actually be influencing people to accept cycling as a valid form of transportation by my good attitude?
Doubtful. Most people won't change their attitude as a result of one positive encounter with a cyclist.


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On the other hand, how many people do I turn against cycling by my bad attitude towards motorists in general?
I think this is more likely to be the case. In general, according to social psychology, people are more quickly influenced by bad conduct than by good behavior. Therefore, one cyclist's rudeness may cause somebody's attitude toward cycling in general to become more negative.
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Old 08-12-07, 12:52 PM   #3
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Why should one person who is not the sharpest knife in the drawer determine the tone of my day? How many people out there who are driving alongside me as I ride are treating me well?
The magnitude is entirely different. The magnitude of meanness of threatening someone with a deadly weapon (i.e. a car) much greater than the magnitude of niceness of passing by someone without threatening them.
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Old 08-12-07, 01:32 PM   #4
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Are motorists really monsters ... or are they human beings...
Isn't there a little of both in people? And depending on the person, one or the other more prominent?

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like me?
Yes...


EDIT: I just re-read this, and it looks like I'm calling you a monster. Sorry, that was unintended. I just meant that we're all human, with the good and bad that comes with that...

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Old 08-12-07, 02:48 PM   #5
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Ive met all types of people in cars from the guy who taps his horn 50 or 60 feet back carrying the huge trailer full of mowing equipment for his lawn care buiss who passed me with oh i don't know 10 feet between my shoulder and his truck and trailer. And did so only after i looked back. Then theres the bozo who decided to play block the cyclist at a intersection (2 way stop) no sign for me a stop sign for him. Or the jerk who 3 times in 3 days decided to spin gravel in my face and passed with in a couple inches of me. Then theres the woman who was in such a hurry to get to church she tore by me at 45+ in a 35 mph with me doing 36 and the church drive less than 40 feet from the point where she passed nearly hitting another car head on.

Point is you get every single type of person in a car as you do any where else.
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Old 08-12-07, 03:02 PM   #6
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Isn't there a little of both in people? And depending on the person, one or the other more prominent?
Sure there is. All humans are capable under the right conditions to seem very monster like or maybe even be exceedingly monstrously violent. I know what would trigger such behavior from me. Seeing some one abusing a child would set me off. Lets just say I may not kill them but they would truly beg for death. I have known to many abused kids in my life through school or family and yes even a couple kids in my family ( not brothers sisters but nieces and nephews. I know what the various forms of such abuse can do to a child. Would i ever kill some bozo who passed me to close no would i beat the ever living **** out of some bozo who basically attack me with his car or got out to do me harm? Sure i would.

I am far from a passive person. I tend to give a measured response to a attack or threat and i will make sure that i am the person in control of a confrontation instigated by another party.

Like the guy in a white dodge ram that cut me off at that intersection. He was much bigger than me so i took control no questions asked by kicking the heck out of his door and generally acting crazed. I wanted him to stay in the truck and drive away thinking i was full blown nuts. 3 or 4 kicks later and he did drive off while keeping a eye on the insane maniac who just caved his door in even more than it was already.

Previously i had seen this moron 3 or 4 other times after i went off on him i never seen him again.

Could i have went home sure heck i could have even chosen a different route to get to the gas station. But the problem is that would have meant i had to go 4 miles further (from where i use to live to gas station in question .8 miles) to make sure i did not run in to him at another intersection.

The guy was dangerous he blocked me and when i started to go around behind him he backed up. Chances are he would have pulled forward if i had chose to go around the front or worse he may have ran me down period.
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Old 08-12-07, 03:26 PM   #7
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^ I guess the same applies to cyclists...
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Old 08-13-07, 09:14 AM   #8
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The best advice I ever received about getting mad at drivers is to let it go. 10 minutes after the event they have forgotton but you are p**** all day. The kicking the door routine may work but the first time you are in front of a judge giving your best yes sir no sir routine you will think again about that course of action. Especially if you you have too much else to lose. My pharmacy board has a morals and conduct clause so one visit to the judge and no more income.....way too much to lose.
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Old 08-13-07, 09:22 AM   #9
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I finally had someone throw something at me. Last night while pedaling through the wonderful bit of suburbia known as Cypress, CA, some jerk-off kids honked and then yelled to get out of the road. The light we were approaching turned red on them and the driver didn't have enough sense to turn right before I got there. When invited to remove me from the road, they gave the answer I expected, blank stares. After being advised of their obvious lack of intestinal fortitude, the light turned green and I proceeded on. They must have paused before starting out because 20 yards out of the intersection they passed me and threw an open bottle of water at me and all four of them raised their IQs in unison with their middle digits, confirming my belief in that realm as well. The bottle missed me and the water that was spraying out of the open bottle was cool and refreshing. The flatbiller punk that threw the bottle and missed happened to be leaning way out of the window and as his crappy driver friend sped away, flatbiller's cap blew off into the road. There was no other traffic present, so I swerved into the other lane where the cap was and scooped it up on the fly, holding it up like a fresh scalp that was taken in the heat of battle as I sped off. When I arrived in Long Beach, I was on the lookout for a homeless person who may have wanted the cap, but couldn't find any. The flatbiller cap was left in a place where one might be able to claim it though.

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Old 08-13-07, 09:32 AM   #10
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Originally Posted by LittleBigMan View Post
Once in a while, we all get a "ragin' cager."

A friend of mine once said, "No matter how well your day's going, no matter how many positive experiences you have and people who treat you well, it only takes one negative experience with a nasty person to spoil your day."

But I want to look at the other side of things for a second.

Why should one person who is not the sharpest knife in the drawer determine the tone of my day? How many people out there who are driving alongside me as I ride are treating me well?

Could I actually be influencing people to accept cycling as a valid form of transportation by my good attitude?

On the other hand, how many people do I turn against cycling by my bad attitude towards motorists in general?

Are motorists really monsters in steel cages, or are they human beings, like me?

Most motorists are human and deal with cyclists in a fairly decent manner. There are the JAMs that nothing is going to change, and then there are motorists that just don't know the laws and have made up their own. The latter may give you room, but when pinch comes to shove, they are going to shove, as they feel that cars have rights over bikes.

I feel that we don't have to hate out there, nor do we have to act like hedgehogs as one poster's sig states... nor do we have to be growling alpha dogs. But the flip side is we can't cower in unsafe zones at the side of the road, and we should take the time, when possible, to inform and educate.

This may mean confronting a driver... but in a way that is not harsh... and discussing with that motorist the issues they may not have really ever thought about. I mean after all we don't fill the streets... there is a good chance that some motorist has never encountered a cyclist "taking a lane" or making a left turn lane at a time. Motorists tend to try to simply avoid us, but there is a good chance that could co-operate with us if they only knew how.

This is one reason I would like to see PSAs that feature cyclists on the road and motorists simply co-operating. Not something that berates motorists, but something that shows how we can co-exist on the road. PSAs that both highlight cyclists rights and indicate our responsibilities.
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Old 08-13-07, 10:01 AM   #11
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do you wave and smile at motorists that agressively cut you off , little big man? you might be reinforcing their negative behaviors towards bicyclists "thank you sir, might I have another?"

and ,HEY, why in this thread do you admit to having runins with ragin' cagers, but in other threads that deal with vehicular cycling techniques, you pretend you only encounter polite drivers because of how you ride your bike?

are you SURE you don't sugar coat the transportation conditions in Atlanta?

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