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  1. #1
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    Left speechless, no retort

    I was riding on a narrow, two lane city street. Not enough room for a bike and a car at the same time. I was on my road bike so I was going a little over twenty MPH. I was taking the lane. Car in back of me honks at me a couple of times, not really obnoxiously, but not just one blip, as we are approaching an intersection that is at a steep angle with lots of oncoming cars turning left in front of me. Theres no way I'm moving over under any circumstances in the middle of an intersection.

    After I pass the intersection and after oncoming traffic clears, the driver passes me, then slows down next to me. I guess I must really be important because he actually took his cellphone from his ear to shout at me. I was ready with my usual response, which was to suggest the he committ an indecent act with his mother, or to perform an act that is physically impossible with his automobile and a body orifice, but all he yells at me is "Can't you move over a couple of feet?".

    I was dumbfounded, no comeback! What should I have said?
    Il faut de l'audace, encore de l'audace, toujours de l'audace

    1980 3Rensho-- 1975 Raleigh Sprite 3spd
    1990s Raleigh M20 MTB--2007 Windsor Hour (track)
    1988 Ducati 750 F1

  2. #2
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    "No!"
    "My safety is my only concern."

    dipy911

  3. #3
    totally louche Bekologist's Avatar
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    I've taken to screaming "LEARN THE RULES OF THE ROAD!" in those types of scenarios.

    I hope it gets them thinking....
    "Evidence, anecdote and methodology all support planning for roadway bike traffic."

  4. #4
    Senior Member Kestrelman's Avatar
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    When I can't think of a retort, a simple "Shut up, Stupid" seems to be a pretty good all-purpose response.

  5. #5
    Punk Rock Lives Roughstuff's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by San Rensho View Post
    I was riding on a narrow....no comeback! What should I have said?
    I think Bekologists is best. It is not confrontational, and encourages the driver to check into the law. If there IS no room for a 'bike and a car at the same time,' then I think its your judgement as to whether it is safer to to take the lane or just avoid that roadway. But taking the lane forces the driver to treat you as a bona fide road user.

    roughstuff
    Electric car sales are on fire! :)

  6. #6
    procrastinating member
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    "Not 'til it's safe for you to pass" would probably be understandable... and _might_ help the driver to understand your actions

  7. #7
    genec genec's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by San Rensho View Post
    .....but all he yells at me is "Can't you move over a couple of feet?".

    I was dumbfounded, no comeback! What should I have said?
    Answer: "Why?"

    Or better yet: "Why can't you just stay behind me for a minute?"

  8. #8
    No Rocket Surgeon eubi's Avatar
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    My default response is to smile, wave and yell "Thank you!".
    Fewer Cars, more handlebars!

  9. #9
    Al noisebeam's Avatar
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    Agreed with what others have said.

    However one thing to consider is the drivers point of view. They are only thinking of themselves and that they could safely pass you if you moved over and they likely could. What they don't consider is that once you move over there is a line of vehicle/drivers behind them who may not pass safely.

    I think this partly contributes to hostile reactions from drivers, thinking only of themselves passing you and not you riding in a manner that considers all other drivers passing you.

    Al

  10. #10
    Packfodding 3 caloso's Avatar
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    "I will as soon as it's safe!"
    Cyclists of the world, unite! You have nothing to lube but your chains!

  11. #11
    Just shy of 400W ranger5oh's Avatar
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    Id probably have yelled with my finger.
    2008 Cannondale System Six
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    60% of the time, it works everytime.

  12. #12
    genec genec's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by noisebeam View Post
    Agreed with what others have said.

    However one thing to consider is the drivers point of view. They are only thinking of themselves and that they could safely pass you if you moved over and they likely could. What they don't consider is that once you move over there is a line of vehicle/drivers behind them who may not pass safely.

    I think this partly contributes to hostile reactions from drivers, thinking only of themselves passing you and not you riding in a manner that considers all other drivers passing you.

    Al
    +100... especially the bit about motorists just thinking of themselves.

    Really, how much delay can any one cyclist cause at any time? Why is it that motorists always seem to be rushing to a fire?

  13. #13
    more ape than man timmhaan's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by genec View Post
    Really, how much delay can any one cyclist cause at any time? Why is it that motorists always seem to be rushing to a fire?
    and any delay can easily be made up by pushing the right pedal down slightly. no effort even.

  14. #14
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    Quote Originally Posted by genec View Post
    +

    Really, how much delay can any one cyclist cause at any time? Why is it that motorists always seem to be rushing to a fire?
    He was actually in a big hurry to stop, since there was a stop sign at an intersection about 100 meters ahead where I caught up to him when he stopped.
    Il faut de l'audace, encore de l'audace, toujours de l'audace

    1980 3Rensho-- 1975 Raleigh Sprite 3spd
    1990s Raleigh M20 MTB--2007 Windsor Hour (track)
    1988 Ducati 750 F1

  15. #15
    genec genec's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by San Rensho View Post
    He was actually in a big hurry to stop, since there was a stop sign at an intersection about 100 meters ahead where I caught up to him when he stopped.
    Yeah, I've seen this action far too many times myself... This sort of thing was the basis for my whole "The Notion... Explained" thread last year.

    I've yet to figure out why motorists cannot just take their foot off the gas pedal, and just coast to a pending stop... where is it written in driving rules that one must go at their highest possible speed, right up to the stop line? (and in this day and age of expensive gas... why haven't motorists learned that jackrabbit starts and stops are just a waste? sigh)

  16. #16
    Al noisebeam's Avatar
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    This was actually a very mild honk while in a RTOL approaching a red, but after the turn the driver yelled at me to get on the sidewalk. This same driver has honked at me several time before/after - if it were not for the yelling at me and the other honks it would almost seem a 'courtesy' honk, by an unaware driver. (ingore the break squeal, it has been fixed)

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=nGuZOpEou1s

    Al

  17. #17
    ROM 6:23 flipped4bikes's Avatar
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    Smile and wave boys, smile and wave!

    or:

    What's wrong, can't talk and FOLLOW a cyclist at the same time?
    Every time we let a vehicle pass there is a little bit of compromise. But compromise allows the city to function and allows cyclists to function in the city. The trick is not to eliminate compromise but to learn how to work safely within it.

    --Robert Hurst

  18. #18
    Old Enough to Know Better WalterMitty's Avatar
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    "Can't you drive something 4' narrower?"
    Youth we got, what we need is a fountain of Smart!

    "Does it ever occur to you that I am sometimes thinking?"

  19. #19
    Senior Member littlewaywelt's Avatar
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    I'm terribly sorry that my safety cost you an entire thirty seconds out of your day.

    Beyond that I have copies of the state code pertaining to bicyclists (free from my state) that I'll stick under a wiper if I have to.
    One Less Car
    Conservation begins with you.

  20. #20
    Sumanitu taka owaci LittleBigMan's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by San Rensho View Post
    "Can't you move over a couple of feet?".
    San Rensho,

    Thanks for the opportunity to think about my response while I'm sitting behind a computer, with plenty of time to come up with snappy answers to a stupid question.

    1) "I was going to ask you the same question."

    2) "Don't let me disrupt your phone conversation!"

    3) "I would, if it weren't for that nasty guardrail on my right."

    4) "Sorry! Need to go to the bathroom?"

    5) "That's what my wife keeps asking me."

    6) "No, I'm too busy being insensitive."

    7) "I'm glad you asked. I actually prefer riding on the grass."

    8) "Congratulations! You are the 1,000th motorist to ask me that question! You've won the grand prize: one free tank of gasoline at the most expensive gas station in town!"

    9) "I could, but you'll still have to lose a few pounds to make us fit together."

    No worries

  21. #21
    Commuter JohnBrooking's Avatar
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    Motorists seem to have an instinctual urge to pass bicycles under any circumstance whatsoever. I think they think it's their right as the faster vehicle.

    One day a guy tried to pass me on a mall perimeter road between stop signs 50' apart with a 10 MPH speed limit. He was angry that I was taking the lane (and probably exceeding the speed limit most of the way).
    Quote Originally Posted by MadfiNch on Commuting forum
    What's the point of a bike if you can only ride it on weekends, and you can't even carry anything with you?!
    Portland Maine Bicycle Commuting Meetup

  22. #22
    Senior Member maddyfish's Avatar
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    Answer "no!"
    Not too much to say here

  23. #23
    `````````````` CaptainCool's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Bekologist View Post
    "LEARN THE RULES OF THE ROAD!"
    Quote Originally Posted by Kestrelman View Post
    "Shut up, Stupid"
    Quote Originally Posted by LittleBigMan View Post
    "No, I'm too busy being insensitive."
    uh, guys

    the whole point here is that the driver asked nicely. The OP was ready with a mean response, but couldn't use it in the face of a decent, if misguided, question. Insults, confrontational remarks, and passive-aggressive sarcasm do nothing positive when there's a chance for a short lesson.

    "The lane's too narrow to share."

  24. #24
    Al noisebeam's Avatar
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    Here is how I handled a driver comment:

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=-UVCKzKJ74A

    My verbal communication skills go downhill while riding.

    Al

  25. #25
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    You folks still riding around in the middle of the road and wondering why you're getting yelled at? Huh.

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