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Old 07-21-11, 10:46 PM   #1
nutmegTN
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so discouraged by drivers honking, shouting at, and cussing me

Why do drivers feel the need to honk, shout, and cuss at bike riders? On almost every single ride I get some driver honking or shouting at me. It is so discouraging.

Yesterday I was happily riding along on a wide street with low traffic and plenty of room for me and cars, yet this driver pulls up next to me, rolls down his passenger window and shouts out for me to ride on the sidewalk. I get that shouted at me all the time, but never had someone make a point of pulling up next to me to look at me and shout it.

Then tonight as I'm riding home about to make a right into my driveway, (I did use my hand signal in advance to indicate my turn), when I slowed down a little and began to turn this idiot behind me lays on his horn and starts cussing me out, calling me awful names. It doesn't make any sense--there was plenty of room for him to continue on in his lane and I only slowed a little bit. I was faster turning in than a car would have been!

I know many of you will say to just ignore them, which is what I've been doing, but it is getting to where I'm getting tense because I never know when someone's going to suddenly start honking and shouting at me when I'm not doing a damn thing wrong .

The bad thing is I'm also starting to get angry about it and just want to flip those SOB's off!
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Old 07-21-11, 11:41 PM   #2
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i'm always a little puzzled when i see little boys walking around town or at the zoo alongside their parents, when they see a bird that they can get close to, they charge it and stomp their feet so it flies away. i was at an animal sanctuary a few months ago and heard one child tell his mom that he was going to hit the juvenile kangaroo sitting nearby, "noooo, you can't hit the kangaroo" "but why not?" the most puzzling part about all of it to me is why i'm not like that now, when does the mind shift? why? and most relevant to your issue, why doesn't it shift in everyone?

good luck....my father had some luck with reacting with over-the-top niceties, like a wave and a big toothy smile....i think i'd be writing down their plate numbers...
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Old 07-22-11, 12:20 AM   #3
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Its happened to me as well, but it is rare in my area. It is best to ignore them, sometimes I'm successful at that, other times not.
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Old 07-22-11, 12:30 AM   #4
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I get this as well, usually the phrase "Fat ass" is thrown in with the cussing as well. I've learned to just ignore it or smile at them and nod. It's not really worth getting upset over because I know I'm not doing anything wrong, they really have no logical reason to get upset so they must have other issues and this just allows them an opportunity to vent, and I'm just out trying to get some exercise and enjoyment while saving on gas and that outweighs their negativity by a great deal.
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Old 07-22-11, 12:42 AM   #5
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You have one remaining experience to go. I was spat at... But they only struck me on the thigh..They were punk high school twirps... Could have have been worse. Won't keep me off the road. Screw em.
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Old 07-22-11, 01:35 AM   #6
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Ignore - Smile and Wave.. It has to do with overall driver ignorance to the actual laws and it has to do with power..

Many drivers yell and cuss at you because they lack power in there lives or relationships.. Just think of yourself as a therapy doll getting yelled at so Jane at home does not get yelled at.. Unfortunately over time you get used to it..

Just remember if things escalate, a driver with a 3000lb car always win over a 200+ clyde with a 20lb bike..

Then again if you feel the need to rage on a driver, make sure they are pinned in between 2 cars at a light and drivers side window is down. I'm not advising this but unfortunately it escalated to this point..

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Old 07-22-11, 03:19 AM   #7
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my friend got hit with a bat while he was riding home from work one day.
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Old 07-22-11, 05:01 AM   #8
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On my ride last Sunday, I was on a three-lane road (a wide one at that), with almost no traffic, when a clown in a Taurus approached from behind. I was about 2 feet out into the road, and he laid on his horn from about 100 yards behind me all the way till he passed. I just smiled and waved at him, and I think that pissed him off even more, because he laid back on the horn again, even though he was already past me. So I smiled and waved again, as big as I could so he'd still see it.

Sometimes I'll flip them off, sometimes shout back, depending on my mood and the situation, but I always feel better when I manage to control those impulses and just wave at them instead. The morning before the above incident I was riding to my WW meeting, and my route takes me across the biggest major multi-lane road in the city. The light where I cross has detector loops in the pavement, but I can't get my aluminum bike to trip them. I guess I need to carry some ferrous material. Anyway, I can sit there forever before the light cycles, and this particular morning it was early enough that there was almost no cross-traffic so I crossed against the light. A car was approaching from my right, but it was easily 300 yards down the road. It didn't stop them from honking at me as I crossed their path, though. That was so completely unnecessary that I did a "get-away-from-me" kind of hand flip at them, which made me feel better, even though they were probably too far away to actually see it.
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Old 07-22-11, 05:40 AM   #9
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My FIRST ride in traffic, last month when I got my bike and started riding after decades, had some young kids lean out of a car on the wide 2 lane road I was on and throw a large cup of stuff into the wind to get me. The shoulder of both sides of the road at that point, and continuing for about 2 miles, was literally 6 feet wide and I was in the middle of it. Waaay off the roadway. I just yelled "Thanks! I was getting thirsty! you rotten @#$%^&*(" they didn't hear me...made me feel better anyway.

And for the record...cherry slushy from 7-11 does NOT come out of your standard white and green cycling jersey.
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Old 07-22-11, 06:00 AM   #10
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I've had a few incidents myself, but the most bizarre one was last summer.

I was riding down a quiet side street on my commute home from work. A car came from the opposite direction. The driver slowed as he approached me, then leaned way out of the car window and shouted, "Go to hell!" He then sped off.

The only thing I could do was laugh at the absurdity of the situation. Then I felt sorry for him because somebody screwed up to that degree probably doesn't have many friends.

Remember, half of all the drivers on the road are below average intelligence.
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Old 07-22-11, 06:26 AM   #11
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I've had a few incidents myself, but the most bizarre one was last summer.

I was riding down a quiet side street on my commute home from work. A car came from the opposite direction. The driver slowed as he approached me, then leaned way out of the car window and shouted, "Go to hell!" He then sped off.

The only thing I could do was laugh at the absurdity of the situation. Then I felt sorry for him because somebody screwed up to that degree probably doesn't have many friends.

Remember, half of all the drivers on the road are below average intelligence.
You are being far too kind about those numbers my friend.... I too have had it with the name calling and not moving and hostile people. I am going to fast become the most frequent caller to the local PD or Sheriffs dept (depending on where I am riding). I am also considering a video camera and posting the videos on facebook and a blog with the drivers actions. I can easily ignore the random, run of the mill, idiot that feels compelled to yell something totally idiotic at a bike rider. The hostile ones are those that I will fight back against. And God help anyone who hits me with anything as I will absolutely report them, file charges and sue them in civil court for everything they have.

The problem is not only sub human intelligence on the behalf of a driver, it is the "me first" attitude that seems so prevalent these days. Education is another. I am going about contacting EVERY bicycling awareness.activist group and wondering why they are not in schools teaching kids the rules of the road. I have started bugging the local Radio Station about using the PSA's available and am trying to get something in the news paper, that is not buried in the back, about sharing the road and what a driver can and cannot do.

I'd love to see harassment laws enacted and I'd like to see driving instructors and state DMV's actually teach cycling rights and driver responsibilities to students. And one more time, I want to see mandatory driver road testing every 5 years! You don't pass, you don't drive. Drive without a license and it is the cooler for you for 90 days. The extra testing fees should more than cover the cost of testing and sitting you butt in a cell...

I tell you this too, riding my bike has made me a far better vehicle driver!
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Old 07-22-11, 07:39 AM   #12
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nuttymeg,

I dont get it either? my story i was riding in the early morning to the bike trail/MUP on a four lane street. i was in the bike lane, well really almost in the parking lane and a guy goes from the far left lane to right by me just to lay on his horn. no reason at all. he had to drive in the bike lane just to get that close. he was driving a hooptie beat up car too, i even think my 80's road bike was worth more.

the crazy part he had Wisconsin plates. seriously WTF is a cheese head doing in the citaaay?

nuttymeg you can try talking to your local police rep and pleading a case to have a patrol car witness these incidents and hand out warnings.

and when in the world did a lady on a bike ever warrant anything more than a smile and a long pervy look?
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Old 07-22-11, 07:41 AM   #13
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Wow. I'm a little depressed reading your horror stories. And I'm sorry that this kind of crud happens. My sympathies go out to you. I hope that we all can come together and encourage each other to soldier on. I'll pray that a police officer is nearby the next time it happens.
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Old 07-22-11, 07:42 AM   #14
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Tell someone who says "Get on the sidewalk" that riding on the sidewalk is illegal. Check to see whether your state has road rage laws. If it does, get the plate number and report it. Report it even if your state does not have any such laws. People like them will not stop until they understand that there will be negative consequences associated with that sort of behavior.
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Old 07-22-11, 08:07 AM   #15
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Open Carry is legal in TN. A 9mm in a retention holster in plain view does a lot to make obnoxious drivers think twice about yelling stuff at you.
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Old 07-22-11, 08:21 AM   #16
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Tell someone who says "Get on the sidewalk" that riding on the sidewalk is illegal.
But only after you verify that riding on the sidewalk is illegal in your state. It's not illegal in my state.
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Old 07-22-11, 08:40 AM   #17
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I've never had one negative thing said to me.
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Old 07-22-11, 09:29 AM   #18
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nuttymeg you can try talking to your local police rep and pleading a case to have a patrol car witness these incidents and hand out warnings.

and when in the world did a lady on a bike ever warrant anything more than a smile and a long pervy look?
It is not illegal for drivers to yell at me as long as they are not making threats, so cops will be no help.

That so very many drivers act like this surprises me. I've only been riding 2 months and have been yelled at so many times.

As I get smaller maybe the pervy looks will increase and the yelling will decrease. That's kinda sad though.
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Old 07-22-11, 09:34 AM   #19
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You have one remaining experience to go. I was spat at... But they only struck me on the thigh..They were punk high school twirps... Could have have been worse. Won't keep me off the road. Screw em.
There's another level after that: getting a beer can thrown at you from a moving pickup.

Redneck ****head missed, but it still pissed me off beyond belief.
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Old 07-22-11, 09:36 AM   #20
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Whip out your handy phone cam. Or even better, just permanently mount a bike cam. Video your whole ride, delete if nothing happens.

Then we can collect a whole bunch of these and make a fun website.
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Old 07-22-11, 09:46 AM   #21
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Smile and flip them the bird.
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Old 07-22-11, 10:02 AM   #22
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I usually ride in my shirt that says "keep honking, I am reloading" or the one that says "ever seen a gun fired from a bike?" As a Goldwing rider, I can tell you idiots are not limited to yelling at just the human powered kind either. I kinda like the camera idea. That might be fun. I have a GoPro rigged for my Goldwing, it wouldn't take much to put it on my cruiser and capture the idiots in action. It sure cut down on that kind of BS when I put it on the big bike.
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Old 07-22-11, 10:20 AM   #23
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Normally people are very considerate around here, especially when I go up in the hills. Last weekend that changed. I was buzzed twice by the same truck on a steep climb. The second time he passed he yelled "Get off the road!" I had video recording both times so it was all caught on camera. I was able to make out the license plate numbers after playing the video several times before uploading it to YouTube.

Unfortunately, a few days later when I called the CHP office local to that area, the sergeant they put on the line said no laws were broken.

Here's the first buzzing incident. Skip to 3:06.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=qA7UZtcGVKE

Here's the yelling.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=kqAng5CRsOM

After that I started recording all my rides, not just the climbing rides. On the second day of recording I discovered that stupidity towards cyclists isn't limited to motorists. I was riding slowly beside a disabled friend who uses a wheelchair. As I approached the corner I saw a man licking his hand and wiping a plastic bag on the ground. As soon as I pushed the button to get a walk signal for us, he asked if I did something to him behind his back. I said no and that I just pushed the button to get a walk signal. He kept insisting I did something to him. He was armed with a stick, so I was watching his hands really close.

I think I inadvertently escalated the situation when I told him he was on video. Luckily me and my friend were able to escape unharmed.

Here's video of that incident.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=U6zJ8hwsa4o
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Old 07-22-11, 10:30 AM   #24
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I like the idea above about getting the local police involved in writing some tickets. I actually thought about this once recently - get the police to follow me on a bike ride and start writing tickets for all the violations. This is actually a good idea for a bicycle advocacy group to pickup on.

Unfortunately I'm also thinking about buying and carrying one of these...

http://www.competitivecyclist.com/za...15%26start%3D0

Last edited by r32nj; 07-22-11 at 10:34 AM.
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Old 07-22-11, 11:02 AM   #25
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I've gotten to the point where I really don't mind being yelled or honked at. I actually look forward to it happening when I go out. It makes me feel better about what I'm doing. As long as they don't throw anything at me, or try to run me off the road I enjoy the heckling.
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