Cycling and bicycle discussion forums. 
   Click here to join our community Log in to access your Control Panel  


Go Back   > >

Advocacy & Safety Cyclists should expect and demand safe accommodation on every public road, just as do all other users. Discuss your bicycle advocacy and safety concerns here.

User Tag List

Reply
 
Thread Tools Search this Thread
Old 03-04-05, 06:11 PM   #1
thechrisproject
Guy with bike
Thread Starter
 
Join Date: Sep 2004
Location: Madison, WI
Bikes:
Posts: 401
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 0 Post(s)
I was riding home today on Monona Drive in Madison. The section I was on has a 30mph speed limit. I was going between 20 and 25. It's a four lane road and I was in right lane between center and the right tire tread. I was coming up to an intersection when I see a car pulling up to the light on the street that I'm about to cross. They're on my right hundred or so feet up (wild estimation). They were making a right turn. I had a green light. They pulled out in front of me kinda suddenly. I didn't want to swerve into the left lane, so I hit the brakes. I still got close enough to their car to put my foot out to prevent me from hitting it. They turned off immediately into the closest driveway. So did I. We both stop.

There is a couple in the car and the woman driving. They look like they're about 60 or so. I knock on the passenger side (I figured I might intimidate the woman too much). The guys rolls down the window and I ask the woman, "Didn't you see me coming?" Yes, she did. But I was riding on the street improperly, according to them. I tried to explain that I was riding properly, and that if I was a car I would've probably smashed into them. Things started heating up, the guy gets out of the car. I'm not really scared, because I'm 6'2" and 215lbs, and he's retired, but it seemed confrontational when he got out of the car. He was yelling at me that I should've slowed for them, that I was riding wrong, etc. I remember him saying something about their turn signal (which I couldn't see because I'm coming from the left side of their car and they're turning right). He also said that I was going too fast, then caught his mistake and said that I should have been watching for them better. I said, "No, you were turning right. You have to yield to oncoming traffic. That's how turning right works." He threatened to call the cops to have them throw me in jail, to which I replied, "For what? Following the rules of the road?"

About this time a person comes out of the house, another older woman they were picking up. They're just telling me to leave. I say I will but that I wasn't doing anything wrong. I apologize to the woman who came out of the house for ruining their good time (I was really sincere about this... a confrontation with a stranger isn't a fun way to start off some social interaction with your friends, I know this) and get on my bike and ride away.

So... should I have called the cops at all? When they were in the driveway, before I knocked on their windshield, I thought about calling the cops then. I figured I would try talking to them, because I think just automatically calling the police for things like this is silly. Should I have just called the cops as soon as the guy suggested it?

I feel like I could've been way calmer about this. I don't think that I should've just ridden on and shaken it off. I had a good opportunity to talk to these people who just did something wrong. I wish I had some brochure or something I could've just given them: "Cars, Bikes, and the rules of the road" or something like that.

I'm realizing now that the reason they pulled out was probably because they thought I was going way slower than I was. Since they were turning into the first driveway on their right, if I had been going slowly they would've already been in the driveway by the time I passed them.
thechrisproject is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 03-04-05, 06:18 PM   #2
Roody
Sophomoric Member
 
Roody's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jan 2005
Location: Dancing in Lansing
Bikes:
Posts: 23,716
Mentioned: 4 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 286 Post(s)
It sounds like you handled the situation well. I don't know if I could have been as calm as you were, although I would have tried. Sometimes I avoid confrontations with motorists because I fear my own temper. On the other hand, I also think that confrontation rarely persuades anyone, so I wonder if it is largely a waste of time. I will be reading this thread with interest, as this is an issue I have not fully decided on.
Roody is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 03-04-05, 06:25 PM   #3
dobber
Perineal Pressurized
 
dobber's Avatar
 
Join Date: Oct 2003
Location: In Ebritated
Bikes:
Posts: 6,557
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 0 Post(s)
Did you have a front light or reflector? Were you wearing light colored clothing? To the old coot you probably blended into the background and weren't noticable. Not an excuse, but it happens.

When these things happen I find it best to just ride on. If you make contact and they begin getting uppity, no amount of jawing is gonna change things.
dobber is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 03-04-05, 06:33 PM   #4
thechrisproject
Guy with bike
Thread Starter
 
Join Date: Sep 2004
Location: Madison, WI
Bikes:
Posts: 401
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 0 Post(s)
Quote:
Originally Posted by Roody
It sounds like you handled the situation well. I don't know if I could have been as calm as you were, although I would have tried. Sometimes I avoid confrontations with motorists because I fear my own temper. On the other hand, I also think that confrontation rarely persuades anyone, so I wonder if it is largely a waste of time. I will be reading this thread with interest, as this is an issue I have not fully decided on.
I agree that confrontation rarely persuades anyone. I'm sure I didn't persuade these people. That's kinda why I wish I could've just given them some literature. I could've said "You did something dangerous and wrong, and if you read this you can find out why." This guy seemed like the type who would've just thrown it at me, but either way I think that the literature approach has a better chance of succeeding in educating them than any confrontation could, no matter how nicely you try to interact.
thechrisproject is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 03-04-05, 06:36 PM   #5
thechrisproject
Guy with bike
Thread Starter
 
Join Date: Sep 2004
Location: Madison, WI
Bikes:
Posts: 401
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 0 Post(s)
Quote:
Originally Posted by dobber
Did you have a front light or reflector? Were you wearing light colored clothing? To the old coot you probably blended into the background and weren't noticable. Not an excuse, but it happens.
I have a front light but I didn't have it on because it was light out and I didn't think about it. I should've had it on, though. I think I should probably have it on whenever I ride on a busy street like that. I also had on darkish clothing (red/blue shirt, black pants). Normally I wear a white jacket but it was warm out today so I didn't. I think you're probably right, they didn't notice me. I know it's not an excuse, but I really should be more conscious of those things.
Quote:
When these things happen I find it best to just ride on. If you make contact and they begin getting uppity, no amount of jawing is gonna change things.
It's true, jawing ain't gonna change it. That's why I'm thinking the literature based response might work better, or have a better chance than the jawing.
thechrisproject is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 03-04-05, 06:43 PM   #6
genec
genec
 
genec's Avatar
 
Join Date: Sep 2004
Location: West Coast
Bikes: custom built, sannino, beachbike, giant trance x2
Posts: 24,956
Mentioned: 5 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 842 Post(s)
Quote:
Originally Posted by thechrisproject

It's true, jawing ain't gonna change it. That's why I'm thinking the literature based response might work better, or have a better chance than the jawing.
Have had confontations with folks when I was doing everything right and then I handed them some literature (used to carry it in my panniers). Still didn't do any good... they don't read it and insist that you were in the wrong.

I think part of that comes from them being shaken up that they almost hit you. They want plausible deniability: "I didn't see you," "it was dark," "you were going too fast," "bikes belong on sidewalks," etc.

You caught them in their effort to avoid guilt when the tried to change the story...
genec is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 03-04-05, 07:24 PM   #7
supcom
You need a new bike
 
supcom's Avatar
 
Join Date: Aug 2002
Bikes:
Posts: 5,433
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 0 Post(s)
Calling the police would pretty much be a waste of time. The best you could hope for would be the officer to issue a citation for an illegal turn. Chances are he wouldn't even do that since there was no crash and he didn't witness the violation.

You made your point. Best to ride on and forget about them.
supcom is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 03-04-05, 08:34 PM   #8
geeklpc1985
Senior Member
 
geeklpc1985's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jan 2005
Location: Madison, WI
Bikes: 2004 Martin Novato w/ 2004 Burley Nomad
Posts: 408
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 0 Post(s)
I don't take Monona Drive anymore I was going down the hill going about 40ish, the one going thought South Towne Dr. when some hit rod pull out almost hit the guy thank you for v-brakes. I hit the side streets now.

Geek
geeklpc1985 is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 03-04-05, 08:47 PM   #9
norton
EmperorNorton II
 
norton's Avatar
 
Join Date: Nov 2004
Location: Florence, Mass
Bikes: Dahon Helios SL, 1975 Stephen Rogers Custom, 05 Catrike Speed....(in the past) a tandem & a Vacuum Velocipede
Posts: 581
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 0 Post(s)
I'm a retired 35 year transit bus driver.....During the last 15 years of my career my daily route took me back-&-forth along an increasingly overburdened 2-lane corridor road between Northampton & Amherst....30 years ago, this road passed through bucolic farmland....Negligible cross traffic....beautiful scenery.........Now....a Walmart mall..J C Penney et al mall..3 minor-league strip-malls.......Coming....Home Depot..Lowes....Many, many curb-cuts....cross-traffic out the wazoo.....


Now, bus drivers have a good healthy fear of running into things....19 tons is a real good battering ram...so most of the time we keep a safe following distance....leading to....you guessed it....driver's pulling out right in front of us......If I only had a nickel.....


You learn to smell these people coming.....When it happened, I would say to my co-pilot passenger sitting sideways next to the door........"I'll bet you a buck they'll drive real slow, turn off in less than a 1/4 of a mile......&.....be an old crock..."

I did NOT lose money!


These people grew up in a different era....drive only once in a while....are scared when they do....feel like the world has gone to hell (I know this because that's the way I feel... ).....& if something happens....It's not their fault!....After all, it's the world that's gone to hell....not them....


So.....Your Tale of Woe brought back happy memories.....
norton is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 03-04-05, 09:02 PM   #10
Bekologist
totally louche
 
Bekologist's Avatar
 
Join Date: Oct 2004
Location: A land that time forgot
Bikes: the ever shifting stable loaded with comfortable road bikes and city and winter bikes
Posts: 18,025
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 0 Post(s)
I don't think interactions with drivers ever goes well. In their minds, they're right, you're in the wrong. F*** 'em.
Bekologist is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 03-04-05, 09:54 PM   #11
JohnBrooking
Commuter
 
JohnBrooking's Avatar
 
Join Date: Dec 2004
Location: Southern Maine
Bikes: 2006 Giant Cypress EX (7-speed internal hub)
Posts: 2,567
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 0 Post(s)
Giving them as much benefit of the doubt as possible, it could be that they either didn't see you or just made a bad decision. However, I would blame them for needing to shift the blame onto you instead. Maybe the husband felt he needed to protect his wife, the driver, from liability, or to reassure her emotionally that it wasn't her fault.

Or maybe they really did think you were in the wrong. To me, that would be the most discouraging of all.
JohnBrooking is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 03-04-05, 10:40 PM   #12
2manybikes
Dog is my co-pilot
 
2manybikes's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jun 2003
Bikes: 2 many
Posts: 15,757
Mentioned: 2 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 126 Post(s)
I think most motorists that are not cyclists don't get it. It's doubtful much will change their mind, they don't care. I think under the circumstances you did about as well as possible.

Have you ever walked a half block away from a cyclist dressed like you with a similar background to see what it looks like. In many situations the cyclist just blends into the background. Itís scary how much sometimes. Some cars and motorcycles have been made with lights that are on all the time. I believe that research has proven this is safer. Maybe a light would help.
2manybikes is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 03-04-05, 11:11 PM   #13
operator
cab horn
 
Join Date: Jun 2004
Location: Toronto
Bikes: 1987 Bianchi Campione
Posts: 28,306
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 0 Post(s)
Occupants of car leave car, your key meets car sidepanel, sidepanel loses.
operator is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 03-05-05, 07:45 AM   #14
dobber
Perineal Pressurized
 
dobber's Avatar
 
Join Date: Oct 2003
Location: In Ebritated
Bikes:
Posts: 6,557
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 0 Post(s)
Quote:
Originally Posted by operator
Occupants of car leave car, your key meets car sidepanel, sidepanel loses.
That's mature.
dobber is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 03-05-05, 08:47 AM   #15
skydive69
Senior Member
 
skydive69's Avatar
 
Join Date: Sep 2004
Location: Seminole, FL
Bikes: Guru Geneo, Specialized Roubaix Pro, Guru chron 'alu, Specialized Sequoia
Posts: 2,258
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 0 Post(s)
Now I understand the following: On a club sprint, I got a big jump on the group, and no one chose to follow. I was cranking along over 30 mph watching a guy in the uncoming traffic lane with his left turn signal on. The group was about 100 yards behind me - a rather large group. The guy suddenly turns in front of me, and I had to use all the braking and skill I could muster to miss him by inches. He pulled into a driveway, and as he got out of the car, I was using every expletitve I could get out of my breathless, adrenalin infused body. Now the group was approaching, and the leader of the group said to me, "It's not worth it." You know.... he was right!
skydive69 is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 03-05-05, 08:56 AM   #16
slvoid
2-Cyl, 1/2 HP @ 90 RPM
 
slvoid's Avatar
 
Join Date: Oct 2003
Location: NYC
Bikes: 04' Specialized Hardrock Sport, 03' Giant OCR2 (SOLD!), 04' Litespeed Firenze, 04' Giant OCR Touring, 07' Specialized Langster Comp
Posts: 15,762
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 0 Post(s)
I started getting cut off less when I lowered my gearing.
The theory was, if I'm cranking in a large gear, it "looks" like I'm going slower than I actually am.
If I'm spinning away at 90rpm constantly, taking up a lane on the road, all that movement gives the impression I'm going faster than I actually am. Seems to work for me most of the time. Plus the two rear blinkers of 22 LED's on the back plus 27 watts of light up front helps.
slvoid is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 03-05-05, 09:17 AM   #17
fholt
Senior Member
 
fholt's Avatar
 
Join Date: Dec 2004
Location: NC
Bikes: 2006 Novara Randonee, 2009 Fuji Cross Pro, 2013 Specialized Roubaix Pro, 2013 Allez Smartweld A5 Frankenbike
Posts: 241
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 2 Post(s)
Quote:
Originally Posted by operator
Occupants of car leave car, your key meets car sidepanel, sidepanel loses.
Well, if we cyclists were jerks. . . . . and the bikes had keys.
__________________
-------------------------------
'06 Novara Randonee
'09 Fuji Cross Pro
'13 Specialized Roubaix Pro
'13 Specialized Allez Smartweld Frankenbike
fholt is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 03-05-05, 10:15 AM   #18
madbadger4
no particular place to go
 
madbadger4's Avatar
 
Join Date: Dec 2003
Location: Northern Illinois
Bikes: Rans Stratus Recumbent
Posts: 43
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 0 Post(s)
I'd say that you handled this situation very well ......

You know, as "bike friendly" as Madison is, there are still many drivers out there who don't get it ("share the road"); it's too bad that you didn't have one of those white w/green lettering bumper stickers that are free at the Madison LBS's which say "Share the Road with Bicycles" (I think that WI DOT puts them out), as a "reminder".

That being said, I can't wait to move back to Madison (live in Rockford, IL now); my city is VERY bike "un-friendly".


msm
madbadger4 is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 03-05-05, 10:20 AM   #19
Bekologist
totally louche
 
Bekologist's Avatar
 
Join Date: Oct 2004
Location: A land that time forgot
Bikes: the ever shifting stable loaded with comfortable road bikes and city and winter bikes
Posts: 18,025
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 0 Post(s)
Keying a car is only escalationist. Does anyone honestly think a confrontation with a driver is going to educate the driver about cyclists rights? I sure don't, every time I talk with drivers it the "they're right, you're wrong" argument. Most drivers think bikes are impedements to their forward progress.
Bekologist is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 03-05-05, 11:00 AM   #20
Crazy Cyclist
Senior Member
 
Join Date: Jan 2002
Location: Winnipeg, Canada
Bikes:
Posts: 841
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 0 Post(s)
I would say that about 50% of the people driving today shouldn't even be allowed on the roads, they shouldn't even be licenced to drive a shopping cart. let alone a vehicle. I would like to see manadatory testing for drivers at age 65 and it needs to be done every 2 years or no licence renewal.
Crazy Cyclist is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 03-05-05, 11:10 AM   #21
skydive69
Senior Member
 
skydive69's Avatar
 
Join Date: Sep 2004
Location: Seminole, FL
Bikes: Guru Geneo, Specialized Roubaix Pro, Guru chron 'alu, Specialized Sequoia
Posts: 2,258
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 0 Post(s)
Quote:
Originally Posted by Crazy Cyclist
I would say that about 50% of the people driving today shouldn't even be allowed on the roads, they shouldn't even be licenced to drive a shopping cart. let alone a vehicle. I would like to see manadatory testing for drivers at age 65 and it needs to be done every 2 years or no licence renewal.
And what rationale did you use to come up with the arbitrary age of 65?
skydive69 is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 03-05-05, 11:31 AM   #22
Crazy Cyclist
Senior Member
 
Join Date: Jan 2002
Location: Winnipeg, Canada
Bikes:
Posts: 841
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 0 Post(s)
skydive69, 65 is the age for retirement, and as people grow older their sight and hearing go, so I think at 65 people should be retested, now I am not saying that everyone over 65 shouldn't be able to drive becuase I am sure there are some 65 + drivers who are good drivers still, just like there are good and bad drivers at any age.
Crazy Cyclist is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 03-05-05, 11:42 AM   #23
fallstorm
when come back, bring pie
 
Join Date: Mar 2005
Location: Central Washington
Bikes:
Posts: 75
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 0 Post(s)
Quote:
Originally Posted by Crazy Cyclist
I would say that about 50% of the people driving today shouldn't even be allowed on the roads, they shouldn't even be licenced to drive a shopping cart. let alone a vehicle. I would like to see manadatory testing for drivers at age 65 and it needs to be done every 2 years or no licence renewal.
Heck, I wouldn't mind if everyone had to be tested every two years or no licence renewal. Furthermore, I think there should be required "driver's ed renewal" classes every few years. Maybe people would have a little more sense. Or maybe not.
fallstorm is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 03-05-05, 11:44 AM   #24
SpokesInMyPoop
Ha Ha! Boss.
 
SpokesInMyPoop's Avatar
 
Join Date: Feb 2005
Location: pdx, or
Bikes: Univega custom 14sp mixte + Sears 3sp groceryhoggg
Posts: 879
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 0 Post(s)
it's funny how all of you say confrontations don't work.

I guess for me, it might be a bit different, because there isn't much that's very intimidating about my appearance (being 5'5" and a female, and kind of asian looking). I was riding down on a road to work that runs paralell with the railroad. This woman in a stationwagon passes me, then shortly thereafter, she takes a right turn without checking her mirrors. She parks in the 7-11 parking lot, and I pull up next to her and tell her "you know, you almost hit me", and you know what? She actually apologized.

Okay, if I end it here, it seems like it'd be too open ended for you. I have reflectors (front, back, wheels, and pedals), and I have lights (front and rear blinkie, and front high beam). Not to mention, some of my clothing is reflective. I wear a black backpack with Gir (from invader zim, I love him!) hanging off of the loop *he's green*.

She should've at least seen me in her rear view mirror, had she not noticed that she passed a cyclist in the bike lane. I just told her to pay a little more attention, and to be more careful. Sometimes drivers mess up. I know I have when I used to drive. Sometimes cyclists mess up. It's pretty even both ways, the only tragic thing about it is, regardless of who is wrong, when the 2 run into eachother, the cyclists' life is more in jeopardy than that of the driver.

So confrontations may not work a majority of the time, but sometimes it does. Have the attitude of a christian trying to convert people into christianity, 'cept... uhh... don't try to scare them. Have a friendlier tone, or just non emotional.

And Chris, in your case, I would've just said "You could've killed me when I had the right of way" or maybe spout something off about involuntary (or in her case, it would've been voluntary) manslaughter, and peddled off. Trying to prove your point is feeble when people have that kind of mentality, but at least you brought it to their attention, and they may think twice about doing that same thing to another cyclist
SpokesInMyPoop is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 03-05-05, 11:46 AM   #25
Anthony King
Senior Member
 
Join Date: Nov 2004
Location: Irving, TX
Bikes:
Posts: 406
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 0 Post(s)
Quote:
Originally Posted by Crazy Cyclist
I would say that about 50% of the people driving today shouldn't even be allowed on the roads, they shouldn't even be licenced to drive a shopping cart. let alone a vehicle. I would like to see manadatory testing for drivers at age 65 and it needs to be done every 2 years or no licence renewal.
I agree that driving licensing shold be much, much more rigorous, considering all the damage cars can (and do) do. But I don't think it's the old people that are generally the problem. All in all, if I could wave a magic wand and make all the drivers behave as if they were 65-75 years old, I'd do it in a heartbeat.

It's the hurried and impatient that are the greatest threats. Olds tend to be neither.
Anthony King is offline   Reply With Quote
Reply


Thread Tools Search this Thread
Search this Thread:

Advanced Search

Posting Rules
You may not post new threads
You may not post replies
You may not post attachments
You may not edit your posts

BB code is On
Smilies are On
[IMG] code is On
HTML code is Off



All times are GMT -6. The time now is 05:27 PM.