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  1. #1
    Senior Member skeletor3000's Avatar
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    Road raging tailgaters

    I do not understand why getting passed by a bike makes certain drivers FREAK THE **** OUT.

    A couple days ago, I passed between two cars at the end of a red light. I got pretty far out in front of them and moved to the center of the right lane (it was a 3 lane downtown street with parallel parking on both sides). I hear this engine come screaming up behind me, and this guy starts riding my ass HARD. I turned my head to see that it was a really nice, newer VW Passat and the driver was a pretty old guy, so I just took my chances with him and stopped, got off my bike, and stood there in the middle of the road (there were no cars behind him). He accused me of going too fast, and I fired back that no matter how I was riding, he's got no excuse to threaten my life with his car (there was a lot more profanity involved than that, though).

    The best part is that this guy had a bike rack on his car and was wearing a cycling jacket. He looked a couple times like he was going to come after me, but eventually he just stopped yelling and got back in his car and sat there in the middle of the road for a while before leaving.

    Seriously, what do you guys do with this type of thing? It's happened to me at places in the road where I just had to ignore the person until they turned off because there was no shoulder and no way for me to turn onto a side street. The bottom line is, I don't want to get run over because some moron accidentally nudges me with his bumper while trying to intimidate me. Maybe I could fill a fog machine with bear mace and carry it on a trailer behind me?

  2. #2
    genec genec's Avatar
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    Well the strict vehicular cyclists just tell you to ignore this sort of thing.

    Personally I find it quite annoying. I've tried having conversations with motorists... only to find their silly excuses, just that, silly excuses.

  3. #3
    uke
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    it's easy if you let it. uke's Avatar
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    Assert yourself as a vehicle with full rights to the road, etc.

    JesseDuncan:I just love how "cars will be forced to cross the double yellow lines on dangerous limited visibility roads".

    I don't want to have a head on but oh god, I HAVE to fling myself into oncoming traffic to pass, theres no alternative!!!

  4. #4
    Senior Member skeletor3000's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by uke View Post
    Assert yourself as a vehicle with full rights to the road, etc.
    I do. I think this is what makes them mad in combination with the fact that I'm passing them.

    I would imagine it starts off with some kind of caveman-level process of reasoning... i.e. "Hey, I have car! Car Fast! He have bike! Bike slow! Bike no pass car!" Then it's like, "OHHHHH ME ANGRY! ME SHOW HIM WHO BIGGER!" Then, when I don't immediately freak and run away to the sidewalk it just makes things worse.

    I'm still not going to flee to the sidewalk or take a line mashed up against a bunch of parallel parked cars. I think it's just bothering me that I can't come up with any way to avoid these people or diffuse the situation when it happens. Maybe there's not a way and it's just an issue of asshats being asshats.

  5. #5
    Senior Member bhop's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by skeletor3000 View Post
    Maybe there's not a way and it's just an issue of asshats being asshats.
    I think that's pretty much how it is.

  6. #6
    Yabba-Dabba-Doo! AlmostTrick's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by skeletor3000
    so I just took my chances with him and stopped, got off my bike, and stood there in the middle of the road
    I wouldn't stop like that unless I was willing to fight. Just keep an eye on him and be ready to bail if necessary. If things got really tense I might cut a u-turn or something else and leave him to argue with himself.
    Have Bike, Will Travel

  7. #7
    Senior Member StrangeWill's Avatar
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    Dude this happens when you drive cars, people just have issues with you being in front of them.

  8. #8
    Senior Member dynodonn's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by skeletor3000 View Post
    I do. I think this is what makes them mad in combination with the fact that I'm passing them.

    I would imagine it starts off with some kind of caveman-level process of reasoning... i.e. "Hey, I have car! Car Fast! He have bike! Bike slow! Bike no pass car!" Then it's like, "OHHHHH ME ANGRY! ME SHOW HIM WHO BIGGER!" Then, when I don't immediately freak and run away to the sidewalk it just makes things worse.

    I'm still not going to flee to the sidewalk or take a line mashed up against a bunch of parallel parked cars. I think it's just bothering me that I can't come up with any way to avoid these people or diffuse the situation when it happens. Maybe there's not a way and it's just an issue of asshats being asshats.
    I no longer confront motorists that exhibit overly aggressive driving tactics, also I now keep my thoughts about me on doing my utmost to get the vehicle's license number, vehicle/motorist description, and then report it to the local authorities. Nothing may come from this particular incident, but will on record on a later date if the motorist repeats the same tactic to others who may report it, and will be also available if the motorist causes an accident/injuries due to aggressive driving and is caught.

  9. #9
    My Duty to Ride dwightonabike's Avatar
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    If you passed them legally, in your own lane, they should get over it. If you cut between them, I understand their frustration, and condemn their road rage.

  10. #10
    Senior Member Rob_U's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by dwightonabike View Post
    if you passed them legally, in your own lane, they should get over it. If you cut between them, i understand their frustration, and condemn their road rage.
    +1
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  11. #11
    Cycle Year Round CB HI's Avatar
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    I have never had a motorist do that to me after I have passed them.

    The JAMs that tailgate cyclist, seem to tailgate everyone on the road. For them, I simply slap my left hand down through the air, as if swatting a fly, but with the arm in the shape of the stop signal. That seems to work most of the time.

    The JAMs that tailgate and rev their engines or honk are complete jerks. They usually pass within a foot. I spit on their precious as they pass. Then if they like, we can have a discussion about ALL of the goings on. If they want to argue too long, I simply offer to call 911 and let the cops settle the discussion. JAMs usually take off then, except one who called 911 himself, and got a lecture from the cop for his troubles.

  12. #12
    Senior Member gcottay's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by skeletor3000 View Post
    I do not understand . . . .
    That seems accurate. In your quest for understanding, you may find the intellectual and moral courage to examine your own behaviors. Or not.
    George
    Laissez les bon temps rouler

  13. #13
    Senior Member Eclectus's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by skeletor3000 View Post

    The best part is that this guy had a bike rack on his car and was wearing a cycling jacket. He looked a couple times like he was going to come after me, but eventually he just stopped yelling and got back in his car and sat there in the middle of the road for a while before leaving.
    He was probably in a rage because it has been his plan to run you off the road and steal your bike. That's why he had the rack. The jacket was his last victim's.

  14. #14
    Senior Member skeletor3000's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by gcottay View Post
    That seems accurate. In your quest for understanding, you may find the intellectual and moral courage to examine your own behaviors. Or not.
    A&S people have the most interesting and unusual trolling tactics. I tip my hat to you.

    Quote Originally Posted by Eclectus
    He was probably in a rage because it has been his plan to run you off the road and steal your bike. That's why he had the rack. The jacket was his last victim's.
    Now it all makes perfect sense... haha.

  15. #15
    Senior Member IbikezLA's Avatar
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    It's ******** scary when you're going down a big hill at 40 and they decided to tailgate you regardless that you're over the speed limit.

  16. #16
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    so you Filtered, and then outsprinted him and held your speed?

    Not sure if filtering is explicitly allowed here in Washington. I can see him being really mad if you filtered and then lollygagged along, but sounds like he just didn't think it was "fair" that you could pass him the way you did.

    Other vehicular vehicle operators don't get to filter (except for motorcycles in California). Maybe if you took your place at the end of the (smoggy) queue, and then rode their bumpers, honking your air horn, they would speed up and give you some room on the road.

    Observe car-on-car action, you'll see that he was treating you just like he would have treated any other car that cut in front.

  17. #17
    Senior Member skeletor3000's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by moleman76 View Post
    so you Filtered, and then outsprinted him and held your speed?

    Not sure if filtering is explicitly allowed here in Washington. I can see him being really mad if you filtered and then lollygagged along, but sounds like he just didn't think it was "fair" that you could pass him the way you did.

    Other vehicular vehicle operators don't get to filter (except for motorcycles in California). Maybe if you took your place at the end of the (smoggy) queue, and then rode their bumpers, honking your air horn, they would speed up and give you some room on the road.

    Observe car-on-car action, you'll see that he was treating you just like he would have treated any other car that cut in front.
    Yes. I was already caught up to the next wave of traffic (which was moving) when he caught up to me. If I had disappeared, he would have still been stuck behind the car in front of him.

    I used to drive a 70s VW bug, so I know how personally offended someone can become when they're passed by a vehicle that they feel is lower than theirs on the food chain. In a car, though, they're not risking my life nearly to the same extent that they are when I'm on a bike. I wouldn't mind if they wanted to flip me off or honk or whatever rather than trying to make me think they're going to run me down.

    I do appreciate the point someone made about reporting it to the police. My reasoning for not even trying was my past experience with police around here (not even in bike-related situations) being that calling them does absolutely no good. But, I'm sure they might keep a list of license numbers with complaints against them, which would someday help out some poor SOB who the guy actually runs over.

    No instant gratification, but I would sure love it if someone hit me and then the police brought out a long list of complaints about their aggressive driving.

  18. #18
    20+mph Commuter JoeyBike's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by skeletor3000 View Post
    Seriously, what do you guys do with this type of thing?
    When I split a lane, they very rarely catch up. And I split LOTS of lanes. I'm just guessing that I would tell the guy to cram it. Nobody is forcing him to operate a vehicle of the wrong shape.
    "For all we know his skills may be excellent, allowing him to ride like an idiot without actually being one." - FBinNY

  19. #19
    Perineal Pressurized dobber's Avatar
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    You split the lane between two cars and took a position in front of them?

    After that, you showed the world your true mettle by blocking the road?

    Good god, the childishness of people.
    This is Africa, 1943. War spits out its violence overhead and the sandy graveyard swallows it up. Her name is King Nine, B-25, medium bomber, Twelfth Air Force. On a hot, still morning she took off from Tunisia to bomb the southern tip of Italy. An errant piece of flak tore a hole in a wing tank and, like a wounded bird, this is where she landed, not to return on this day, or any other day.

  20. #20
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    Quote Originally Posted by skeletor3000 View Post
    Maybe I could fill a fog machine with bear mace and carry it on a trailer behind me?
    Best. Quote. Ever.

  21. #21
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    Quote Originally Posted by CB HI View Post
    ...The JAMs that tailgate cyclist, seem to tailgate everyone on the road. For them, I simply slap my left hand down through the air, as if swatting a fly, but with the arm in the shape of the stop signal. That seems to work most of the time.

    The JAMs that tailgate and rev their engines or honk are complete jerks. They usually pass within a foot. I spit on their precious as they pass. Then if they like, we can have a discussion about ALL of the goings on. If they want to argue too long, I simply offer to call 911 and let the cops settle the discussion. JAMs usually take off then, except one who called 911 himself, and got a lecture from the cop for his troubles.
    I have some similar tactics to the above minus the spitting. (though I certainly think about it) I'll give a little "back off" hand signal. If they yell something I'll do my best to ignore it or reply in a reasonable manner but if I just don't have the zen mind for it that day I'll yell some stupid epithet back at them. If we totally get into it I'd threaten to call 911 (but fortunately I haven't had to). Getting tailgated isn't all that rare for me but a lot of sturm and drang around it is pretty unusual and I don't like those kinds of events at all.

  22. #22
    Senior Member skeletor3000's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by dobber View Post
    You split the lane between two cars and took a position in front of them?

    After that, you showed the world your true mettle by blocking the road?

    Good god, the childishness of people.
    him no read so good do him

  23. #23
    Cycle Year Round CB HI's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by buzzman View Post
    I have some similar tactics to the above minus the spitting. (though I certainly think about it) ...
    I know most here find the spitting distasteful, but many should try it a couple of times to confirm the benefits. For those who cannot bring themselves to spit, then just pretend to spit, it works just as well.

    Note of caution, if you do choose to try the tactic, be ready to evade and/or defend yourself, plus have your cell phone ready (they back off physical threats real quick when 911 is called).

    The benefits:
    1. Gets some drivers to stop so a discussion can occur.
    2. Makes motorist think twice about passing too close to cyclist in the future.
    3. Motorist are like sheep, if the first driver passes too close, then the rest of the following motorist also pass too close. When the second motorist sees the first one get spat on, the second motorist quickly moves away from the cyclist giving LOTS of room. All the following motorist then follow the second motorist.
    4. In Hawaii, spitting on a object is not illegal. It is about the only way a JAM pays some type of price for their action in Hawaii. And JAMs hate getting their precious spat on.
    5. Motorist that intentionally pass close to cyclist, want to anger the cyclist. They watch in their mirror for the cyclist reaction, hoping for a swerve or maybe the bird. When they see the spitting motion (even when I had no spit to sling), they are the ones that go away angry and frustrated, as I am now behind them and they cannot get to me while inside their cage. And don’t give me any BS about how they will get me or some other cyclist next time, because it has never happened; and yes the same drivers have passed me days, weeks or even months later - giving me lots of room the second time around.
    Motorist that pass too close due to distraction, never see the spitting and just continue on their way (that is how I can tell the intent of the driver).

    Note: the only driver that has continued to harass me, is a hit & run driver that I got the plate on and pressed his prosecution (fine and 6 months probation). He never got spat on. He is in his 40s and a former DUI driver. He tried paybacks for the prosecution and insurance claim with false police reports and a civil case which he lost on each account. His only option left is honking and close passing. He lives less than 1 mile from me, works within 3 blocks of my work and drives a main portion of my 20 mile one way commute into work. Eventually he may go to jail for this BS, as I have some of it on video.

  24. #24
    genec genec's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by CB HI View Post
    I know most here find the spitting distasteful, but many should try it a couple of times to confirm the benefits. For those who cannot bring themselves to spit, then just pretend to spit, it works just as well.

    Note of caution, if you do choose to try the tactic, be ready to evade and/or defend yourself, plus have your cell phone ready (they back off physical threats real quick when 911 is called).

    The benefits:
    1. Gets some drivers to stop so a discussion can occur.
    2. Makes motorist think twice about passing too close to cyclist in the future.
    3. Motorist are like sheep, if the first driver passes too close, then the rest of the following motorist also pass too close. When the second motorist sees the first one get spat on, the second motorist quickly moves away from the cyclist giving LOTS of room. All the following motorist then follow the second motorist.
    4. In Hawaii, spitting on a object is not illegal. It is about the only way a JAM pays some type of price for their action in Hawaii. And JAMs hate getting their precious spat on.
    5. Motorist that intentionally pass close to cyclist, want to anger the cyclist. They watch in their mirror for the cyclist reaction, hoping for a swerve or maybe the bird. When they see the spitting motion (even when I had no spit to sling), they are the ones that go away angry and frustrated, as I am now behind them and they cannot get to me while inside their cage. And donít give me any BS about how they will get me or some other cyclist next time, because it has never happened; and yes the same drivers have passed me days, weeks or even months later - giving me lots of room the second time around.
    Motorist that pass too close due to distraction, never see the spitting and just continue on their way (that is how I can tell the intent of the driver).

    Note: the only driver that has continued to harass me, is a hit & run driver that I got the plate on and pressed his prosecution (fine and 6 months probation). He never got spat on. He is in his 40s and a former DUI driver. He tried paybacks for the prosecution and insurance claim with false police reports and a civil case which he lost on each account. His only option left is honking and close passing. He lives less than 1 mile from me, works within 3 blocks of my work and drives a main portion of my 20 mile one way commute into work. Eventually he may go to jail for this BS, as I have some of it on video.
    Years and years ago, when I was younger, I used a form of your spitting technique... but modified... I'd spit drinking water on motorists that had just "offended" me in some way.

    I was faster then, and it was easy to take a big swig of water from my water bottle, then sprint up on some cager and spit out my revenge. (the sprint made me have to get rid of the water soon anyway)

    But today I am not so quick and ride more fredish then messenger. I still find tailgaters annoying... and for the most part I just wave them on, and give them a back off sign... and just ride slower.

  25. #25
    Senior Member SlimAgainSoon's Avatar
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    Don't spit. It is crude and vulgar.

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