Commuting - Ever have the urge to scare some sense into an ******* driver?
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I get it often, but the latest one -
I was cycling up a hill, quietish 2 lane road, and had just passed a truck offloading goods on the opposite side of the road (i.e. it was in the path of oncoming traffic). Along comes some jerk (coming downhill, speedily) and pulls wide, not only early, but WIDE to miss the truck, in the end coming closer to me than he did to it. I could see as soon as he started swinging lanes that this was gonna be one of those near-miss oncoming incidents, and my impulse was to dummy a veer myself - make a quick swing that looks like I'M about to move over from the side of the road more towards the centre, and thus be somewhat in the way of Speeding Jerk. Note - not to ACTUALLY veer into the way, but just flick the handlebars so it looks like my intention. I have this impulse often, because I seem to encounter a lot of these "gotta get there QUICK and **** this cyclist who might not like me passing within two feet of him" idiots, but I don't ever do it because of the unpredictability of the driver's reaction - they might, as they should, slow down and remain in their lane until they're past me, or they might just panic and crash right into me or who knows what. But, damnit, it's tempting to find out.
Bloody selfish drivers! :mad: :fight:
It's really not worth it Swoop, you can't win a road rage battle against a car. Just give them room and let them go and be happy knowing that you aren't unfeeling, over stressed and inconsiderate as the driver of the car. Chances are, you will out live them anyway and the last laugh will be yours.
02-12-04, 05:45 AM
Nasty situation - I have been there myself, even to the point of being almost run off the road by a stream of traffic overtaking a stationary vehicle on the other side of the road. Each car just followed the one in front, assuming that the way was clear - cutting off my right of way in the process.
Back to the main subject of the post, I have found it useful to appear unstable on occasion to win a bit more space when the cars are getting close. As for scaring them, it is worth the thought, but a suitable occasion has not presented itself. Thumping the roof has attracted the attention of careless drivers on more than one occason...
02-12-04, 05:57 AM
I often encounter motorists who swing wide to pass me on curves without considering that another motorist might well be coming in the opposite direction. What are they thinking? "I haven't had a head-on collision yet. Today seems like a good day to try my luck."
This is another instance in which my lights and horn can be helpful. If I hear a car approaching from behind while I'm on a curve and I see a car coming from the other direction, I beep my horn to let them both know something's up. Between the two of them, at least one of them usually slows down and exercises due caution (and I, of course, stay alert.)
It is quite common here that a car, approaching from either side of the main road, blocks the bike path that runs along the main road. That's illegal here. They either think they can join the main road traffic early enough to get their cage off the intersection, or then they don't think.
Either way, I have made it a habit to ride at an unchanged speed towards them and then slam on the brakes at the last possible moment, stopping a few cms from their cage, then stare keenly inside through the side window. If they still pretend they do not see me, I'll tap lightly on the window to ask what the h*ll we are all doing (including myself), standing in the middle of an intersection and whatnot. :D
Judging by their behaviour I sincerely think at least some of them will think twice before doing it again.
02-12-04, 08:38 PM
The question is exactly what you mean by "scare some sense into them" and just how far you intend going with it. I have, on occasions, been known to do little shoulder feigns and whatever else to make myself appear unpredictable if I feel the situation requires it, but normally I just claim as much space as I feel I need in the lane. That seems to work best.
However, that's generally as far as I ever take things. If they really bug me, as Mr Fix said, it isn't really worth the stress of trying to win a "road rage" (i.e. being a dickhead) battle with them, so I generally don't bother wasting my time. If they do something really nasty or dangerous, I'll just pay a visit to the cops on my way home.
Playing chicken with a car is suicidal at best... It might not be as easy as it seems sometimes in a split second with too little time difference to judge just how fast the other guy's going.
Better idea is to just scream "OWW!" if someone passes within inches of you.
Easier to swerve into the way to block a car going with you (as in taking the lane) where the speed difference might be 30-15=15mph rather than 30+15=45mph.
02-12-04, 11:35 PM
Here is the skinny: according to new jersey law, (which I am sure is close to the same as in you state) volue 29-30 specifically section 1-5, you will find the following:
A cyclist must ride with traffic and yield to the right of the lane.
A cyclist may utilize as much of the right lane as he sees fit in order to ensure his safety from road hazzards. All motor vehicles must yield to the cyclist. Once beyond the road hazzard, the cyclist is to yeld back to the right of the lane... (something like that but you get it)
Anyway, if only it were that simple. I actually recite this to drivers that clip me or yell at me from their death traps. They ignore it and curse on. Funny, that is really the law, and yet last fall I had a police car run me into the curb as they decided not to wait in traffic any longer and drive over the side walk with two wheels. No kidding. When I glared back with my two fingers pointing at my eyes and yelling back to them "F**king Look!", he tried to pull me over and called me the a**hole. I continued on my way.
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