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  1. #1
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    Dangerous motorist run in

    I had a run in with an angry motorist today and I thought I would share the story, and ask for opinions on how I could have handled the situation better. I was on the last leg of a rather long ride this afternoon. I turned off of a side street onto a two lane road, doing about 22 mph (speed limit is 25). I could see that about a fourth of a mile the light was red. There were three cars behind me, the third one (white f-150) started to lay on his horn, to express his displeasure of being slowed down 3 miles an hour on his way to a red light. Approaching the upcoming intersection the two cars in front of the offending motorist got into the right turn lane. Leaving me with the White F-150 directly behind me in the left turn lane. Upon coming to a stop the F 150 began laying on his horn and reving his engine up very high, and screaming. The two kids about my age (18) were screaming something along the lines of me being f’n ******, and how I needed to ride on the sidewalk. I calmly but sternly said to them “I have the same legal right to the road as you, f off…sir”. The kids continued their charade, honking, reving, and screaming until the light turned green (about 2 minutes). The road we were turning left on is 4 lane road and the truck could have easily gone passed me. However he stayed right on my rear tire (about 4 feet behind me) until getting beside me and trying to squeeze me off the side of the road. He eventually relented, and sped off continuing too honk, and scream.
    After the fact I was absolutely flabbergasted that these kids got so angry over such a trivial matter. I guarantee I did not slow them down one second, as they were speeding up to a RED light. But I suppose they were just in it for the thrill. I was also sort of disgusted in my generation as these kids were the same age as me. Anyways, their actions did put my well being into considerable danger. How could I have resolved this situation, without it getting so out of hand? O and of course their license plate was coved with mud. Also I just finished a huge research paper on Cycling for one of my professors in which I applauded motorist in city for being courteous to cyclists….going to need to edit that. Any opinions would be greatly appreciated! Thanks guys.

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    I've found a cellphone to be a useful tool in a couple similar situations. So far I haven't needed to actually make a call to 911 or local authorities since the mere act of taking out the phone and pretending to report the incident was sufficient to convince the motorist to stop the harassment and depart from the scene.

  3. #3
    genec genec's Avatar
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    Go the cell phone route one better and photograph the guy... or do all of society a favor and pull out a *** and just shoot him now. /rant mode off


    I have no real answer for this sort of road clown... and I have had run-ins with those of similar ilk. It is really just effin' amazing that some folks chose to do this sort of thing and consider it "fun."

    I too would love to hear a good answer to jerks of this nature.

  4. #4
    Yabba-Dabba-Doo! AlmostTrick's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by meaninglessblob View Post
    The two kids about my age (18) were screaming something along the lines of me being f’n ******, and how I needed to ride on the sidewalk. I calmly but sternly said to them “I have the same legal right to the road as you, f off…sir”.
    If they are screaming and cursing I'd say it would have been better not to respond at all, especially once you knew they were kids. They are looking for a reaction, don't give it to them if you don't have to. When you decided to reply, speaking calmly was a good plan, but adding the f' off only ensures that things will escalate.

    Stay calm and alert, hold your line and be prepared to move if they try some physical crap.
    Have Bike, Will Travel

  5. #5
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    For next time, if there is one: A lot of cell phones can record short video clips and take photos, or you could use a cheap ($75) helmet cam, or use a regular digital camera, etc. If you cannot get a pic of the license plate because it is truly completely covered in mud, time permitting etc. try for pics of the whole truck, plus any distinguishing marks, for example pending repairs, window or bumper stickers. Pics of faces get extra points, but windows would likely need to be open, or you might be lucky with lighting.

    The imbeciles in the truck were just begging to end up on youTube, Google video, or here on BF.
    Last edited by HoustonB; 11-21-08 at 06:34 PM.
    LOL The End is Nigh (for 80% of middle class North Americans) - I sneer in their general direction.

  6. #6
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    two lane road, doing about 22 mph (speed limit is 25).
    Most people don't know the speed limit and don't care what it is; they just want to go as fast as they can without hitting another vehicle. That being, it doesn't help you to keep the speed limit in mind.

    I could see that about a fourth of a mile the light was red.
    They don't know that, nor do they care. They just want to go as fast as they can, while they can.

    There were three cars behind me, the third one (white f-150) started to lay on his horn, to express his displeasure of being slowed down 3 miles an hour on his way to a red light.
    Yes, you have a right to the road, but if you can pull over and let them pass, that will let them go as fast as they want to. Then they'll be satisfied. You'll all end up sitting there at the light but they don't think about what will happen then, they just want gratification now.

    Approaching the upcoming intersection the two cars in front of the offending motorist got into the right turn lane. Leaving me with the White F-150 directly behind me in the left turn lane. Upon coming to a stop the F 150 began laying on his horn and reving his engine up very high, and screaming. The two kids about my age (18) were screaming something along the lines of me being f’n ******, and how I needed to ride on the sidewalk. I calmly
    If grandma was behind you, she probably wouldn't have said anything. If soccer mom was behind you, probably nothing. But you had kids behind you, and kids are very emotional. Worse, they were in a pickup- a large vehicle- which puts them on a power trip. And they have no patience. And there were more than one of them- think about how school teachers separate the kids who, when grouped, are problematic. You had those kids behind you.

    but sternly said to them “I have the same legal right to the road as you, f off…sir”. The kids continued their charade, honking, reving, and screaming until the light turned green (about 2 minutes).
    Stay cool and generally, don't talk to people.

    The road we were turning left on is 4 lane road and the truck could have easily gone passed me. However he stayed right on my rear tire (about 4 feet behind me) until getting beside me and trying to squeeze me off the side of the road. He eventually relented, and sped off continuing too honk, and scream.
    You can call the police and if the police in your locale do their jobs, they would've taken this seriously and would certainly have pulled those kids over.

    I guarantee I did not slow them down one second, as they were speeding up to a RED light.
    Doesn't matter.

    But I suppose they were just in it for the thrill.
    Unfortunately, an automobile is a teenager's latest toy and they will play with it. Witness the phenomenon of cruising, drag racing, fast driving, etc. Grandma doesn't do that and neither does soccer mom. But kids do.
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  7. #7
    You gonna eat that? Doohickie's Avatar
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    Next time? Wait until traffic is completely clear.
    I stop for people / whose right of way I honor / but not for no one.



    Originally Posted by bragi "However, it's never a good idea to overgeneralize."

  8. #8
    What is this demonry?! Szczuldo's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Doohickie View Post
    Next time? Wait until traffic is completely clear.
    no..having morons pass you to get to a red light is a bad idea. I take the lane all the time if I see a read light ahead and any motorist behind me can either live with it or pull an illegal pass or maybe even a legal pass but even one of those won't be too pleasant since it'll result in someone speeding up to get past you and then slamming on their brakes in front of you.

    I would've just taken out a cell phone, took a picture of their plate, and them, then dialed 911, showed them that it's on the phone and if they said one more thing I'd hit send. You already have all the information about them.

  9. #9
    CRIKEY!!!!!!! Cyclaholic's Avatar
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    When stopped at the red light you could calmly dismount your bike, walk over to the driver's side window, discretely draw your *** and put it in his face, then very politely asking him for him to switch off the engine and hand you his keys.

    Take the keys, holster your ***, mount your bike, ride away. Drop the keys down a random drain somewhere.
    There are 10 types of people in the world - the ones that can count in base 2, the ones that can't count in base 2, and the ones that didn't expect this to be in base 3.

  10. #10
    Senior Member mike's Avatar
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    We tend to see automobiles as these big monsters threatening us on the streets. We have to remember that there is something of a Wizard of Oz phenominon. Behind the big machine is a little weenie.

    Respond the same way as if there was no automobile involved - just some teen-age-emo-weenie behind you whining. You wouldn't turn around and go up to him and say or do anything. You would just shake your head and wonder what kind of parents raised such a moron and then go about your business.

    Do the same in this kind of situation.
    Mike

  11. #11
    Senior Member cyclefreaksix's Avatar
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    Hand full of roofing nails dropped on the road...

  12. #12
    genec genec's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by cyclefreaksix View Post
    Hand full of roofing nails dropped on the road...
    I like it. Caltrops basically.

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    What seems very useful is to call the cops and report drinking and driving in cases where it's plausible. They always take that seriously.

    In all cases, especially when drunk driving doesn't seem like a claim you can honestly make, don't emphasise the fact that you're a cyclist or the fact that you're a victim-- the implication to the police is often that you've got a victim complex, or that you're exaggerating because you got into a confrontation. Just say that you saw someone driving erratically, weaving and passing unsafely. Always give the plate number-- Even if the cops don't go after the driver immediately, they may put a note in the records that will come up later.

  14. #14
    24-Speed Machine Chris516's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by meaninglessblob View Post
    I had a run in with an angry motorist today and I thought I would share the story, and ask for opinions on how I could have handled the situation better. I was on the last leg of a rather long ride this afternoon. I turned off of a side street onto a two lane road, doing about 22 mph (speed limit is 25). I could see that about a fourth of a mile the light was red. There were three cars behind me, the third one (white f-150) started to lay on his horn, to express his displeasure of being slowed down 3 miles an hour on his way to a red light. Approaching the upcoming intersection the two cars in front of the offending motorist got into the right turn lane. Leaving me with the White F-150 directly behind me in the left turn lane. Upon coming to a stop the F 150 began laying on his horn and reving his engine up very high, and screaming. The two kids about my age (18) were screaming something along the lines of me being f’n ******, and how I needed to ride on the sidewalk. I calmly but sternly said to them “I have the same legal right to the road as you, f off…sir”. The kids continued their charade, honking, reving, and screaming until the light turned green (about 2 minutes). The road we were turning left on is 4 lane road and the truck could have easily gone passed me. However he stayed right on my rear tire (about 4 feet behind me) until getting beside me and trying to squeeze me off the side of the road. He eventually relented, and sped off continuing too honk, and scream.
    After the fact I was absolutely flabbergasted that these kids got so angry over such a trivial matter. I guarantee I did not slow them down one second, as they were speeding up to a RED light. But I suppose they were just in it for the thrill. I was also sort of disgusted in my generation as these kids were the same age as me. Anyways, their actions did put my well being into considerable danger. How could I have resolved this situation, without it getting so out of hand? O and of course their license plate was coved with mud. Also I just finished a huge research paper on Cycling for one of my professors in which I applauded motorist in city for being courteous to cyclists….going to need to edit that. Any opinions would be greatly appreciated! Thanks guys.
    First, Considering your screen name, I think you should have done the same thing that, 'The Blob' did in the original Alfred Hitchcock thriller.

    Second, Considering your response to their behavior, I think you handled it quite well.

  15. #15
    20+mph Commuter JoeyBike's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by meaninglessblob View Post
    I had a run in with an angry motorist today and I thought I would share the story, and ask for opinions on how I could have handled the situation better.
    F-150. How surprising.

    My plan of "attack" with persistent d-bags is to ride somewhere they can't if possible (contra flow for instance), or just stop at the curb and let them go on their way.

    If I stop at the curb and they do not proceed and I can not escape otherwise, I have a can of OC-10 pepper spray in my front pant pocket on a clip. So far, I have never needed to hose someone down with pepper spray. Came close once.

    I have a bad feeling about myself that if I am mad or scared enough to spray someone - once they are on the ground - that's when the party is REALLY going to start! i.e., wearing out my Sidis on spleens and kidneys.
    Last edited by JoeyBike; 11-24-08 at 04:46 PM.
    "For all we know his skills may be excellent, allowing him to ride like an idiot without actually being one." - FBinNY

  16. #16
    Senior Member EatMyA**'s Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by JoeyBike View Post
    F-150. How surprising.

    My plan of "attack" with persistent d-bags is to ride somewhere they can't if possible (contra flow for instance), or just stop at the curb and let them go on their way.

    If I stop at the curb and they do not proceed and I can not escape otherwise, I have a can of OC-10 pepper spray in my front pant pocket on a clip. So far, I have never needed to hose someone down with pepper spray. Came close once.

    .....
    +1

    move over, end of story. Its within your power to put a stop to it if want to.

    If you want to fight though. Kick his car to lure him out, or spit in his face, and get it on.

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    Crazy teenagers.
    Why give it any thought?
    There are better things to worry about.

  18. #18
    Devilmaycare Cycling Fool Allister's Avatar
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    People like that give all motorists a bad name.
    If we learn from our mistakes, I must be a goddamn genius.

  19. #19
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    As soon as they intentionally started trying to run you off the road, I'd have pulled my cell phone and dialed 911.

    It would only take one event like this to cause me to start packing on my rides. I've held off because I have yet to meet that discourteous of a driver. If I were packing in this situation, I'd have probably dismounted and laid my bike down as I drew my ***. One of the things that I've noticed here where I live is that you don't f*** with people because you don't know them and so many carry(legal or not). This would be one of those non fatal life lessons for these teens. I am older than you so I am sure that I'd have gotten a bunch of apologizing and been called sir many times.

    If someone threatens me with a baseball bat, I have every right to draw on them. If they are threatening with a vehicle, I have just as much right. Just see what happens if you nudge a cop with your car. They take it seriously and so should we.
    Old enough to know better and old enough to forget that I do.

  20. #20
    20+mph Commuter JoeyBike's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by bakerjw View Post
    It would only take one event like this to cause me to start packing on my rides.
    I like the idea of packing. For me there are so many reasons not to do that, beginning with the weight of the thing (I have a S&W Airweight - 13 oz). Also, it has to be where I can get my hand on it immediately without fail. Handlebar bag? Still a zipper to fool with. Then, I have to take it inside the grocery, drug store, etc all the time.

    A *** would have to be on my body somewhere, because in my hood, it is more likely that someone will ambush me and steal my bike with everything on it. A holster? In my pocket .

    How would you do it?

    (This is not a flame post)
    "For all we know his skills may be excellent, allowing him to ride like an idiot without actually being one." - FBinNY

  21. #21
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    There's not much you can do with these ones. Look at them like they are mad (which they are), show no real concern or fear, and continue to ride safely as you were before.

    As to these suggestions of carrying weapons while riding- get real, it isn't the wild west. You aren't going to *** anyone down for being obnoxious, so don't go about acting like you would.

  22. #22
    genec genec's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Basil Moss View Post
    There's not much you can do with these ones. Look at them like they are mad (which they are), show no real concern or fear, and continue to ride safely as you were before.

    As to these suggestions of carrying weapons while riding- get real, it isn't the wild west. You aren't going to *** anyone down for being obnoxious, so don't go about acting like you would.
    LOL I have to laugh. Ultimately you are right.

    But indeed this is the "wild west" compared to where you are...

    and I could not get over the statements friends and family made when I was back visiting in Texas a few months a go. Guns are big there, and apparently there is a resurgence in folks wanting to carry due to a rash of home break-ins. It appears one can really play the hero by dispatching any would be buglers as soon as possible and with a near sanction from local law enforcement.

  23. #23
    20+mph Commuter JoeyBike's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by genec View Post
    ...I was back visiting in Texas a few months a go...It appears one can really play the hero by dispatching any would be buglers as soon as possible and with a near sanction from local law enforcement.
    Here in Louisiana or "East Texas" as I call it, taking out home intruders permanently is a civic duty. We also have a "shoot the carjacker" law that takes it one step further. Not sure how that would translate to bike-jacking.......probably not very well.

    Wild West? I live just a four miles East of the Mississippi River. So technically - I live in the Wild East. Better known as The Dirty South.
    "For all we know his skills may be excellent, allowing him to ride like an idiot without actually being one." - FBinNY

  24. #24
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    I appreciate all of the advice/input!

  25. #25
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    No wild west here although that seems to be the perception from other places in the world.

    If I am threatened with more than fists, I have every right to defend myself. See what happens if you make a threatening move with your car to a police officer. It will get you the attention that you deserve.
    Old enough to know better and old enough to forget that I do.

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