Advertise on Bikeforums.net



User Tag List

Page 1 of 3 123 LastLast
Results 1 to 25 of 60
  1. #1
    Junior Member
    Join Date
    Jul 2007
    Posts
    11
    Mentioned
    0 Post(s)
    Tagged
    0 Thread(s)

    Traffic confrontation escalated, what would you have done?

    This is the story of my recent traffic confrontation. I would like to hear some people's opinions as to what they might have done, so that I may gauge whether I'm at the extreme end of the spectrum or not. BTW, I make no apologies for my actions.

    My riding partner and I were riding home after about 50km of fast road riding. We were taking main roads home, but trying to stay off to the right where possible. If the lane is too narrow to safely fit one car and one bike, we take up the whole lane. When the incident occurred, we were riding in single file down the middle of a narrow lane going about 30-35 km/h. There was another lane going in the same direction for cars to get around if they needed to.

    Many times while riding, cars have buzzed by me too closely, honked at me, shouted profanity at me, then driven off never to be seen again. On this particular occasion, a car accelerated passed my buddy and I. It came close enough that I thought it clipped my buddy in front of me with its mirror. I rode up to my friend, and he confirmed that he hadn't been clipped, but that the car came ridiculously close to him. I was still mad. I could see that the driver needed to stop at the lights not 50 meters away from us (what was the point of his maneuver), so I came up on the drivers side ready to give him a piece of my mind. I was greeted with a stream of profanity explaining how I wasn't supposed to be in the middle of the lane. That made me go from mad to red. I gathered a nice horker and spit it into his open window as I floated slowly by. I'm not sure if the light turned green or not, but he punched it and turned into me hitting me at about mid bike and stopping short of knocking me over (I had to lean over onto his car to not be knocked onto the ground).

    He continued driving through the light and down the road at a slow pace. I guess he thought he might pull over and TCB. We followed him as he drove to the next intersection and turned. We continued to follow him as he continued to drive slowly to the next intersection where he finally had to stop. I rode up to his closed window and gave him a piece of my mind (lot's of profanity). He was no longer a hero. He claimed to be calling the cops, and that I should pull over and wait. I did so. Out of curiosity, I walked over to where he hit me and could see the scrape where my boot made contact with his front fender. I went up to his window, and laughing at him telling him “you stupid f$%&, you're going to prison”. I explained that the material evidence was on his vehicle, to which he made two rebuttals in quick concession. The first was, “you cut me off”, and the second was “my word against yours”. I laughed at him and went over to wait by my bike. After about 20 seconds he started driving away... never to be seen again.

    I honestly wish this never happened, and I have to accept some responsibility for the escalation. But these kinds of people are a menace and dangerous to cyclists. Why should I have to cower from these morons? I refuse to. I would have much rather pulled him from his car, so give me credit for having some restraint. I would like to know how others would handle this type of situation. Maybe someone can give me some good advice for the next time something like this happens.

  2. #2
    Infamous Member chipcom's Avatar
    Join Date
    Sep 2005
    Location
    Ohio
    My Bikes
    Surly Big Dummy, Fuji World, 80ish Bianchi
    Posts
    24,373
    Mentioned
    0 Post(s)
    Tagged
    0 Thread(s)
    No excuse for him doing what he did, but yes, you escalated it and you assaulted him. Had it been me I woulda kicked your butt from here to Sunday...rather than hit you with my car. If you want to dance, don't be surprised when you gotta pay the piper - and every piper exacts their fees in different ways. Be happy that you got off as easy as you did and hopefully learn to keep your cool a little better next time.
    "Let us hope our weapons are never needed --but do not forget what the common people knew when they demanded the Bill of Rights: An armed citizenry is the first defense, the best defense, and the final defense against tyranny. If guns are outlawed, only the government will have guns. Only the police, the secret police, the military, the hired servants of our rulers. Only the government -- and a few outlaws. I intend to be among the outlaws" - Edward Abbey

  3. #3
    Senior Member maddyfish's Avatar
    Join Date
    Jul 2006
    Location
    Ky. and FL.
    My Bikes
    KHS steel SS
    Posts
    3,945
    Mentioned
    0 Post(s)
    Tagged
    0 Thread(s)
    I wouldn't have spit. When I was young, I'd have flatted his tire. BUt that is wrong as well.
    Right now what I would do is probably ignore him, possibly pull up behind him at the stop, and wave a big happy wave. All the while being ready to get out of the way if he decided to try to backup into me.

    I don't think you'll ever educate a driver with an on road debate about your users rights and his driving privilegdes. It will only lead to trouble.
    Not too much to say here

  4. #4
    Junior Member
    Join Date
    Jul 2007
    Posts
    11
    Mentioned
    0 Post(s)
    Tagged
    0 Thread(s)
    To be honest, the point of spitting was to get him out of his car. Lucky for him he didn't bite.

  5. #5
    a big man
    Join Date
    Oct 2007
    Location
    Spokane
    My Bikes
    Trek 4300; Motobecane Vent Noir
    Posts
    203
    Mentioned
    0 Post(s)
    Tagged
    0 Thread(s)
    Quote Originally Posted by maddyfish View Post

    I don't think you'll ever educate a driver with an on road debate about your users rights and his driving privileges. It will only lead to trouble.

    Kill them with kindness is probably the only strategy that "might" have an effect. Yelling at the driver or eloquently spitting on him, while totally awesome, is only going to make him more angry towards you and cyclists in general. I agree with the idea suggested earlier. Pulling up behind him and waving and smiling would probably confuse him, or maybe he would realize you aren't such a bad guy even though you were riding in the middle of the lane.

  6. #6
    Senior Member Kurt Erlenbach's Avatar
    Join Date
    Jul 2007
    Location
    Space Coast, Florida
    Posts
    2,423
    Mentioned
    0 Post(s)
    Tagged
    0 Thread(s)
    As I regularly told my own children when they were young, you can control your own behavior, but you can't control others. You acted like an idiot. So did he. You can control what you do.

  7. #7
    Junior Member
    Join Date
    Jul 2007
    Posts
    11
    Mentioned
    0 Post(s)
    Tagged
    0 Thread(s)
    Quote Originally Posted by Kerlenbach View Post
    As I regularly told my own children when they were young, you can control your own behavior, but you can't control others. You acted like an idiot. So did he. You can control what you do.
    Point taken.

  8. #8
    Devilmaycare Cycling Fool Allister's Avatar
    Join Date
    Aug 2001
    Location
    Wynnum, Australia
    My Bikes
    1998 Cannondale F700
    Posts
    3,819
    Mentioned
    0 Post(s)
    Tagged
    0 Thread(s)
    I tend to go the passive-aggressive route with people like that. I just casually and silently slide up beside them at the light and position myself so that they can clearly see that they gained exactly zero ground with their mad rush to get past - maybe look back with a cheeky smile. That way you can really infuriate them and ruin their day without lowering yourself to their standard.

    Frankly, it's kinda foolish escalating a situation with someone who is a) clearly not equipped with a properly functioning decision making faculty, and b) weilding hundreds of kilos of high velocity metal. Unless they do actually hit you with their car, it's better to just laugh at them for the idiots that they are.
    If we learn from our mistakes, I must be a goddamn genius.

  9. #9
    SSP
    SSP is offline
    Software for Cyclists SSP's Avatar
    Join Date
    Dec 2003
    Location
    Redding, California
    My Bikes
    Trek 5200, Specialized MTB
    Posts
    4,618
    Mentioned
    0 Post(s)
    Tagged
    0 Thread(s)
    Spitting is just wrong.

    My first reaction in scenarios like this is to roll up to the driver and ask "What's the problem?", in an assertive, no-BS tone of voice?

    If the driver wants to engage in rational discussion, fine. If they want to trade F-bombs, that's fine too.

    But, if they try to assault me with their vehicle, it's game on mo-fo. A kicked in door seems like the best form of "karmic expression" in this situation.

    BTW - this scenario is one reason I carry both a cell phone and a canister of cop-strength pepper spray.
    CycliStats.com - Software for Cyclists
    WeightWare.com - Weight Management Software

  10. #10
    Senior Member Flying Merkel's Avatar
    Join Date
    Mar 2008
    Location
    Costa Mesa CA
    Posts
    2,558
    Mentioned
    0 Post(s)
    Tagged
    0 Thread(s)
    I'm not going to judge your actions, but the guy was in a 4,000 pound steel box with rubber bumpers & the ability to accellerate far beyond yours. This is a situation that could've turned fatal fast.

    I saw a motorcyclist tailgating a car to teach the guy a lesson. The car slammed on his brakes hard. Broken leg for the rider, no ticket for the driver. Bike was following to close- end of story.

    Though it was a grand temptation for you.

  11. #11
    SSP
    SSP is offline
    Software for Cyclists SSP's Avatar
    Join Date
    Dec 2003
    Location
    Redding, California
    My Bikes
    Trek 5200, Specialized MTB
    Posts
    4,618
    Mentioned
    0 Post(s)
    Tagged
    0 Thread(s)
    Quote Originally Posted by Allister View Post
    I tend to go the passive-aggressive route with people like that. I just casually and silently slide up beside them at the light and position myself so that they can clearly see that they gained exactly zero ground with their mad rush to get past - maybe look back with a cheeky smile. That way you can really infuriate them and ruin their day without lowering yourself to their standard.

    Frankly, it's kinda foolish escalating a situation with someone who is a) clearly not equipped with a properly functioning decision making faculty, and b) weilding hundreds of kilos of high velocity metal. Unless they do actually hit you with their car, it's better to just laugh at them for the idiots that they are.
    I disagree...dangerous aggressive idiots need to be held accountable for their actions, and told that they are unacceptable. Most drivers who do that sort of thing are chicken-sh*ts when confronted, especially when there are witnesses.
    CycliStats.com - Software for Cyclists
    WeightWare.com - Weight Management Software

  12. #12
    Cycle Year Round CB HI's Avatar
    Join Date
    Mar 2005
    Location
    Honolulu, HI
    Posts
    11,420
    Mentioned
    1 Post(s)
    Tagged
    0 Thread(s)
    As I see it, the mistake you made was putting yourself in a position that he could hit you.

    If you are going to yell or spit, make sure you do it in a way that you have an escape route clear of the motorist.

    Your actions did make the motorist think about how his actions could have landed him in jail. That is a good thing, since he is far less likely to pull such BS again.

    My first choice is calling the cops. If the cops do not help, then the next time it happens, the other options are available. Honolulu Police are little help nowadays, unless it is a hit and run, then they MIGHT take action.

  13. #13
    Small Member maddmaxx's Avatar
    Join Date
    Nov 2003
    My Bikes
    Leader home built hardtail, Diamondback Response
    Posts
    7,126
    Mentioned
    5 Post(s)
    Tagged
    1 Thread(s)
    You might want to go back about a month and read some of the entries in the legally speaking column of "Velo News" concerning assault and the "Bird Man".

    Next you have to ask yourself if you have made this nutcase more dangerous to cyclists he will encounter in the future.

    You had good cause for righteous indignation................and then you threw it all away for the selfish pleasure of a "nice horker". There is hardly a member of the motoring public who is going to read this story and come out on our side, and that's a big problem for all of us.

  14. #14
    Junior Member
    Join Date
    Aug 2006
    Posts
    6
    Mentioned
    0 Post(s)
    Tagged
    0 Thread(s)
    Spitting on anyone is jive, beyond the pale and criminal.

    Cars are big and will win any fight with a bicycle. Taking an entire lane, while legal and your right, may end in your being Dead Right. Any successful ride ends by coming home in one piece.

    I always do all I can to give cars all the room I can; I stay close to the side of the road and signal that I know they are there and should come around me. Most of the time drivers are driving to get somewhere, may be in a hurry and doing god-only-knows-what while guiding a two-ton projectile down the road. While legally I have the right-of-way I don't believe it wise to test that right.

    Let cars go by, stay out of their way, take it on as your job to watch out for them.

  15. #15
    Banned.
    Join Date
    Dec 2007
    Location
    DC area
    My Bikes
    Marin San Anselmo, old Mountain Bike, real old schwinn road bike, and Birdy folder
    Posts
    99
    Mentioned
    0 Post(s)
    Tagged
    0 Thread(s)

    maybe it's in the water

    wussyville? He shoulda flattened the tires, ripped off the mirrors, and taught the cretin a memorable lesson.

  16. #16
    genec genec's Avatar
    Join Date
    Sep 2004
    Location
    san diego
    My Bikes
    custom built, sannino, beachbike, giant trance x2
    Posts
    22,886
    Mentioned
    7 Post(s)
    Tagged
    0 Thread(s)
    OK beyond the spitting... which I too feel was wrong... most of you guys are simply acting passively... thus the dipsh!t driver feels vindicated in their whole aggressive approach.

    Without any repercussions, this idiot will go out and again pull this on other cyclists, maybe even pull up behind and honk causing the unprepared to jump outta their boots... all to entertain the lowlife motorist.

    Frankly this is not acceptable behavior... but we have no recourse except lots of witnesses if things go much worse.

    This leads right to the thinking that "oh cyclists are just ****..." and worse thinking by even cops of thinking that "cyclists have it coming" for riding on streets, which are meant for cars... The latter exemplified by the biases stated in Velo news when police investigate collisions between cyclists and motorists.

    OK I said a few non-PC things here... but the reality is this sort of thing sucks and we have little recourse. About the only thing I can envision is a helmet cam to at least record this sort of behavior for later prosecution.

  17. #17
    Junior Member
    Join Date
    Jul 2007
    Posts
    11
    Mentioned
    0 Post(s)
    Tagged
    0 Thread(s)
    I assure everyone here that I made my point with the driver. He will likely not buzz another cyclist again. He locked himself in his car, and was decidedly non-confrontational after I caught up to him the second time. I could see the genuine look of worry on his face. I doubt he wants to risk going through that again, regardless of what he thinks of cyclists.

  18. #18
    Senior Member maddyfish's Avatar
    Join Date
    Jul 2006
    Location
    Ky. and FL.
    My Bikes
    KHS steel SS
    Posts
    3,945
    Mentioned
    0 Post(s)
    Tagged
    0 Thread(s)
    Quote Originally Posted by IRideTheRoads View Post

    I always do all I can to give cars all the room I can; I stay close to the side of the road and signal that I know they are there and should come around me. .
    MAybe, but you can also be putting yourself at more risk by staying close to the side of the road. I don't ever stay close to the curb, as close as I get is the right side wheel track of the lane. Say about 18-24" from the curb. That's as close as I ever get to the curb. And I have only had 3 close passes in 3 years. 2 times were by the same local cop. And I have ridden in lots of supposed cyclist unfriendly areas, like Miami, St. Louis, Cleveland, and Cincinnati.
    Not too much to say here

  19. #19
    Cycle Year Round CB HI's Avatar
    Join Date
    Mar 2005
    Location
    Honolulu, HI
    Posts
    11,420
    Mentioned
    1 Post(s)
    Tagged
    0 Thread(s)
    As to the spitting thing; splitting at a person is an assault. So that is a bad idea. In my area, spitting on a motor vehicle is not an offense and unlikely to be an offense in most jurisdictions (some cops may want to try and push disorderly conduct, but that is stretching it after some JAM has buzzed a cyclist).

    When motorist buzz a cyclist, it is sometimes hard to tell if it was a distracted/inattentive driver or if it was a driver intentionally buzzing the cyclist (especially if the motorist has tinted windows). One tactic I use to judge intent; is when the JAM buzzes me, I will spit on the rear door or rear quarter panel. If it is a distracted/inattentive driver, they just keep going, never knowing they got spat on. On the other hand, if the act was intentional, the driver will be looking in their mirror to see the cyclist reaction. When they see their precious get spit on, they react with a swerve or hitting the brakes. Ensuing conversations have sometimes been humorious:

    Motorist: You spit on my car.
    Cyclist: You passed me too close.
    Motorist: But, you spit on my car.
    Cyclist: Yes, you passed me too close.
    Motorist: You didn’t have to spit on my car.
    Cyclist: You didn’t have to pass me that close.

    An advantage to spitting on a car:
    Notice how motorist are sheep. They follow the guy in front of them. If the first motorist buzzes you, then without even thinking, the next 2 or 3 motorist buzz you. I have found that if I spit on the first car, the next motorist swerves away from me to prevent the same. And the rest of the sheep follow the second motorist.
    Last edited by CB HI; 04-14-08 at 09:05 PM.

  20. #20
    Devilmaycare Cycling Fool Allister's Avatar
    Join Date
    Aug 2001
    Location
    Wynnum, Australia
    My Bikes
    1998 Cannondale F700
    Posts
    3,819
    Mentioned
    0 Post(s)
    Tagged
    0 Thread(s)
    Quote Originally Posted by SSP View Post
    I disagree...dangerous aggressive idiots need to be held accountable for their actions, and told that they are unacceptable.
    Feel free. I hope you have lots of spare time.

    Quote Originally Posted by SSP View Post
    Most drivers who do that sort of thing are chicken-sh*ts when confronted, especially when there are witnesses.
    Probably. I just recommend properly weighing your chances before getting into a physical confrontation with someone that has a clear physical advantage, or at least have an escape route. If you must confront someone, better to keep it verbal. If you can remain calm, even better.
    If we learn from our mistakes, I must be a goddamn genius.

  21. #21
    Devilmaycare Cycling Fool Allister's Avatar
    Join Date
    Aug 2001
    Location
    Wynnum, Australia
    My Bikes
    1998 Cannondale F700
    Posts
    3,819
    Mentioned
    0 Post(s)
    Tagged
    0 Thread(s)
    Quote Originally Posted by s2cuts View Post
    He locked himself in his car, and was decidedly non-confrontational after I caught up to him the second time. I could see the genuine look of worry on his face. I doubt he wants to risk going through that again, regardless of what he thinks of cyclists.
    You caught him a second time? Hilarious.
    If we learn from our mistakes, I must be a goddamn genius.

  22. #22
    Prefers Cicero cooker's Avatar
    Join Date
    Jul 2005
    Location
    Toronto
    My Bikes
    1984 Trek 520; 1990s Peugeot (Canadian-made) rigid mountain bike; 2007 Bike Friday NWT; misc others
    Posts
    8,484
    Mentioned
    23 Post(s)
    Tagged
    0 Thread(s)
    What's the speed limit on the road where he passed you?

  23. #23
    www.chipsea.blogspot.com ChipSeal's Avatar
    Join Date
    Mar 2007
    Location
    South of Dallas, Texas
    My Bikes
    Giant OCR C0 road
    Posts
    1,026
    Mentioned
    0 Post(s)
    Tagged
    0 Thread(s)
    I'm glad no one got hurt, and I agree this cager is not likely to buzz another cyclist.

    It may have been more prudent to spit on his windshield, but prudence in the heat of the moment can't be counted on. That is why police, solders and firemen do lots of rigorous training to help prevent them from acting rashly. It would be good for each of us to prepare a strategy we are comfortable with now to help us be more winsome in future conflicts.

    If I can speak to the motorist, (That is, to communicate an idea to him.) I want to impart this idea: Whether or not I was riding where I was supposed to, you have the legal and moral duty to pass me with due care and in a safe manner.

    At the other extreme, a driver may stop and get out of his car. In that event, I will try coax him away from his car, perhaps taunting him to get him to come after me. If I can, I intend to snatch his car keys and flee the scene.

    If he will not be coaxed away, I will dismount and wait for him to approach. I will hold my hands up at shoulder height, palm outward and shout loudly "DON"T HURT ME!" and then grab his shirt and neck and head butt him with my helmet six or seven times, then knee his groin if necasary until I can get him grounded. THEN I will take his keys and flee. (Both these scenarios are unlikely, but I can dream!)

    For in between, ResQme.

    I side with Gene. I think it would be safer for cyclists if we had a reputation of being costly to tangle with.
    Vehicular cycling techniques have not been tried and found difficult. They have been presumed difficult and not tried.

  24. #24
    www.theheadbadge.com cudak888's Avatar
    Join Date
    Sep 2005
    Location
    Southern Florida
    My Bikes
    http://www.theheadbadge.com
    Posts
    22,730
    Mentioned
    1 Post(s)
    Tagged
    0 Thread(s)
    Quote Originally Posted by s2cuts View Post
    I was greeted with a stream of profanity explaining how I wasn't supposed to be in the middle of the lane.
    Either you ignore him, or you give him a "I'm sorry, that is not the case. Please read Chapter XXX.XX of the XYZ State Traffic Laws," and leave it at that. Any further profanity on his part, call the police on your cell. Usually solves the problem right there. Either way, you're in the clear, and he's provoking the attack.

    Think about it next time before you let your anger get the better of you. Play the cards so that they fall in your favor if something DOES happen.

    -Kurt

    P.S.: Last person who told me that cycles don't belong on the road shut up quite quickly when I suggested that he look up Florida Statutes Chapter 316.2065 - "...it might be quite enlightening."

  25. #25
    Banned
    Join Date
    Apr 2008
    Location
    clipped in
    My Bikes
    Pacific hardtail (frame only right now); Weyless SP (frame/fork right now); Jamis Dakar XLT 1.0 custom build-up (fully functional)
    Posts
    447
    Mentioned
    0 Post(s)
    Tagged
    0 Thread(s)
    Coupla thoughts here:
    a.) put the local desk sergeant on speed-dial;
    b.)sometimes a 'terroristic' approach does work.

    The other day, while riding to work, in the 'blue groove' where a car's right-side tires roll, I was buzzed by a femme in a minivan. My boldly flying middle finger made the three other cars behind me think twice and give me some room.

Page 1 of 3 123 LastLast

Posting Permissions

  • You may not post new threads
  • You may not post replies
  • You may not post attachments
  • You may not edit your posts
  •