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Old 08-08-09, 03:48 PM   #1
vaxrider
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Maddening Interaction with a motorist

This is my first summer of real road riding. I have been overall suprised at how curtious most motorist are to me. I am also very careful to be respectful of motorist and abide all laws as best I can. However, I have been equally surprised with how agressive a small minority of motorist can be even when completely unprovoked.

I met one of those agressive / crazy motorist this morning. Here's the story........

First a little background: I live on the outskirts of a small town. There was a street event going on in the center of town on main street today. I did a 50 mile ride this morning and knowing this event was happening, I avoided the downtown on my return leg to the house. In the last mile of my ride, my wife called my cell phone (which I pulled over off the the road and answered). She asked if I would stop at the store on the corner of the street entering our neighborhood and pick-up a loaf of bread. After buying the bread, I jumped back on my bike to finish the last 3/4 of mile. In that last 3/4 mile, the first 1/4 mile of it is flat, the second 1/4 imile is an unbelievable up-hill, and the last 1/4 mile is flat. The street is wide, paved, unmarked (no painted lines), has sidewalks on each side, light / residential traffic and lined with homes. The street is probably 50 - 60 feet wide.

As I started up that big hill I decided to get off the bike and walk....given I was trying to carry a loaf of bread, and that I needed to cool-down from my ride. I pulled over to the sidewalk on the right side and started to get off my bike. About that time, this guy goes blowing by me (speed limit is 25mph) in an old, beat-up SUV and missed hitting me by inches (remind you the street is at least 50 feet wide and no oncoming traffic). I did not react but remember thinking "why did he need to do that?"

Anyway, I put my bike on the sidewalk and started walking. The guy in the SUV goes up to the next little turnoff into a cuddlesac, turns around and comes back down the hill toward me. I make no jestures and was not even really looking at him till I realized he was pulling over to my side (the wrong side of the road for him). He pulls up to me with his window down. He seemed irrated and asked if I was the guy who just rode through town on Mainstreet on my bike. I said "no"...and told him that I did not come through town due to all the congestion, and suggested he had me confused with someone else. I remained calm at this point. But he is was really angry, called me a "liar" and started to drive away. He got about 10 feet or so away and slowed /stopped, looked back and started really cussing me. I started to get a little angry myself. I yelled something about "that being real brave....drive away and then start cussing me". I was surprised when he stopped his SUV and got out.....my surprise really was because: (1) I had done nothing wrong and (2) he looked about 60 years old, obviously a lifetime heavy drinker and smoker, was about 80 lbs overweight and stood about 5'5"....whereas I am 6'1", 20 years his junior, weigh a very fit 190 lbs and lift a lot of weights....I am not saying I am a tough guy, but I would not mess with anyone who looked like me.

When he stopped and I got out, I admit, my first thought was "good...well settle this now". But within a second or two, I reminded myself that the violence thing is really not what I am about and the last thing I need to do on this pretty Saturday morning is hurt this older man. I did lay down my bike and the bread and met him half way between his SUV and my bike. He blew another string of unpleasantries at me. I told him again that he had me confused with someone else. He said it did not matter; that all of us bicyclers were the same and all us of needed to be run off the road. I explained that tried my best to be respectful and share the road. He said it did not matter, we (bikers) were all A$$_holes. I was really angry at this piont and he could tell (but did not seen to care). I think I expressed my anger and he then said "why don't you hit me". I said something like "it would not take much to knock the rest of your teeth out (he was missing the front 4 and the rest looked rotten) and wipe up the sidewalk with him....but it was about this point I realized he wanted me to hit him because he was thinking about what he could get out of me ($$$$$$) after I hurt him....he was obviously someone who did not have anything but his ratty old SUV and here was this young proffessional guy who lives in a very nice neighborhood ....maybe he could get a few $$$ out of me if I got violent with him.

That's when I told him as badly I as I wanted to hit him, that really was not "who I am" and I was not going to hit him. He cussed me again and turned and walked away.
In reflection, I think he started out truly with some road-rage and aggression but decided mid-stream to see if he could capatilize ($$$$) on the situation. I am glad I did not take his bait but I do wish I had taken his picture and a picture of his license plant. Really concerning that there are folks out there with 4000 lb vehicles who have such anger toward us bikers.
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Old 08-08-09, 04:45 PM   #2
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yup, it happens, just need to not give in and remember the license plate #. My first incident i did not remember the plate number either.. but live and learn.
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Old 08-08-09, 05:45 PM   #3
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I need the short version.
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Old 08-08-09, 07:06 PM   #4
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Trouble is, too -- with the HIV business, even spitting in his face is now criminal....

Maybe it was my service time, but I can turn the rage on and off once I've 'leashed' it to start with; in other words, I could snap up into his face, wild-eyed, spitting every epithet in four languages at him at a volume that would back down a drill sgt. Then , when he shrivels, smile quietly and walk away. The hardest part is the 'leashing'.

Since I'm your size and even a touch bigger, it usually works. Haven't been backed down yet, anyway.......
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Old 08-08-09, 08:26 PM   #5
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I only skimmed thru your long post, can you go back and edit it down?

Last edited by duke_of_hazard; 08-12-09 at 04:13 PM.
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Old 08-08-09, 08:46 PM   #6
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I need the short version.
Driver got mad at him for apparently no reason. there was yelling. nothing really happened. the end
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Old 08-08-09, 08:47 PM   #7
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CliffsNotes version with less androgen, please.
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Old 08-08-09, 08:48 PM   #8
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Driver got mad at him for apparently no reason. there was yelling. nothing really happened. the end
Thank you.
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Old 08-08-09, 09:04 PM   #9
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I only skimmed thru your incredibly long post as I did not have all day to try to figure it out. Can you go back and edit it down?
Attention deficit disorder - more common than you think.
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Old 08-08-09, 10:13 PM   #10
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Attention deficit disorder - more common than you think.
Your not kidding, I thought the post length was just right for the incident.

Post that are too short, leave too many open questions.
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Old 08-08-09, 10:14 PM   #11
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Quote:
Originally Posted by vaxrider View Post
I am glad I did not take his bait
Wise move regardless of any potential lawsuits.

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Originally Posted by vaxrider View Post
but I do wish I had taken his picture and a picture of his license plant. Really concerning that there are folks out there with 4000 lb vehicles who have such anger toward us bikers.
Taking a picture wouldn't of been of much use, I doubt the cops would be too interested, they'd probably side with SUV guy. One d!ckhead ruins it for everyone, you tend to remember them and forget the other hundred good motorists that never gave you any trouble.

Best just to move on and put it behind you, dwelling on it isn't going to fix it. I doubt SUV guy can help or change the way he is, best to try and ignore such people you might come up against in the future. If they try and start something and they don't get a reaction back then it is boring for them and they will generally move on and find someone else to hassle.
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Old 08-09-09, 08:49 AM   #12
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I think as cyclists (our collective group) we should be calling the cops for this sh*t. At the least it would get it more on their radar. He started it off by buzzing you. It seems how it was described that this might be considered assault w/ a deadly weapon.

Also, have the phone number of the local cops, around here 911 on a cell routes you to the CHP 60 miles away.

also, be thankful you're not that miserable toothless MF. Count your blessings.

OTOH, there would have been some gratification in wiping the sidewalk up w/ this douchbag.
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Old 08-09-09, 09:08 AM   #13
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People like this deserve to literally have the life beaten out of them. It also would have been fun to get ahold of his keys (did he even take them out of the ignition?) and chase him around with his own SUV.
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Old 08-09-09, 09:11 AM   #14
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Thought the post length was ok. The spacing in between topics made it all legible.

Maybe you can get the wife to bake bread instead. Easy to do; no high fructose corn syrup or preservatives that way too.
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Old 08-09-09, 09:17 AM   #15
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Post length was just fine. Reading courses are available for those who need them.

Incident was well summarized by TVS SS. OP seems young but shows some promise as rider and man.
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Old 08-09-09, 10:27 AM   #16
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Yup, post length okay. Anyone who's too busy to read that is too busy to give the matter proper consideration anyway. Best to just move on instead of criticizing something that doesn't need it.

The notion that I've always carried with me is that being on a bicycle in a car's world invites some small minded people to revert back to second grade bullying behavior. There really are "grownups" out there who can't resist the power trip of threatening your life, especially when they consider you to be in an unpopular minority. But, as you've already noticed, most motorists are allright for the most part.
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Old 08-10-09, 04:45 PM   #17
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Originally Posted by Skivvy9r View Post
Attention deficit disorder - more common than you think.
You beat me to it. It wasn't long at all and I have it (roughly 5% do).

If there is something I'm interested in, I'm usually fine and this is of interest to me--I deal with anxiety and one thing I like to do to unwind and get exercise is biking and it really irks me to hear ignorant people honk or tell me to get on the sidewalk. I notice oftentimes it is the well...let's just leave unpleasantries out of it and say it's oftentimes people like that guy that I seem to notice that have problems with people on bikes or start beeping.
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Old 08-12-09, 12:46 PM   #18
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To the original OP - Remember, some people are undiagnosed sociopaths. Most of them drive SUV's.

One morning, I had a driver beep at me on a road similiar to the one that you describe, only it was a four lane road. Since we were literally the only two people on the road, I was really irritated at his foolishness That is until we got to a red light and started beeping and swearing at the light as well. Hebecause he was mad at how long the light was taking to change.

Crazy is as crazy does.
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Old 08-12-09, 03:10 PM   #19
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Dude, take your meds. That was not an incredibly long post by any stretch.

I don't say a word to drivers who harrass me (which makes them even more angry)--- but I have taken to snapping their photos-- in their face. It really seems to freak people out.

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I only skimmed thru your incredibly long post as I did not have all day to try to figure it out. Can you go back and edit it down?
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Old 08-12-09, 03:28 PM   #20
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Taking a picture wouldn't of been of much use, I doubt the cops would be too interested, they'd probably side with SUV guy. One d!ckhead ruins it for everyone, you tend to remember them and forget the other hundred good motorists that never gave you any trouble.
The cops, true. However, a road rage task force (most states and counties have them) would be very interested.
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Old 08-12-09, 03:30 PM   #21
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I think I'd have probably very obviously noted his plate number. He would certainly have asked what I was doing. I'd say that I intended to report him for making violent verbal threats.

The post was NOT too long - people just have the attention span of a gerbil.
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Old 08-12-09, 04:12 PM   #22
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Sounds like he was drunk. Report the plates to the police and see if they roll their eyes

-spence
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Old 08-12-09, 05:17 PM   #23
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Officer, I think he might have been drunk or having some mental thing going on. After his first attack, I was really concerned. I'm glad he left his gun in his car. I hope he doesn't kill anyone today.
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Old 08-12-09, 06:31 PM   #24
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knock his teeth out!
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Old 08-12-09, 06:41 PM   #25
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I was thinking put a bullet through his head, but this might be a better idea.

Quote:
Originally Posted by jeph View Post
I think as cyclists (our collective group) we should be calling the cops for this sh*t. At the least it would get it more on their radar. He started it off by buzzing you. It seems how it was described that this might be considered assault w/ a deadly weapon.

Also, have the phone number of the local cops, around here 911 on a cell routes you to the CHP 60 miles away.

also, be thankful you're not that miserable toothless MF. Count your blessings.

OTOH, there would have been some gratification in wiping the sidewalk up w/ this douchbag.
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