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  1. #1
    Senior Member jramsey's Avatar
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    Well, it finally happened to me. I haven't heard these words from a motorist for a long time, not even on major thoroughfares.

    Friday afternoon, I was doing my usual commute home. On Belinder, in Prairie Village, KS, a quiet residential "feeder" road, a pickup passed me. The passenger said,"Get off the road!" as they drove by. Strangely, this is one of those two lane roads that has ample room for cars to park on both sides without hindering thru traffic. So, it isn't as if I was in any way impeding this (ad hominem remark deleted).

    Usually, motorists are friendly and nice to me on my commute, so this was strange for the roads I take.

    Jonathan
    Playing and singing the music of Ireland
    http://www.jonathanramsey.com

  2. #2
    Sumanitu taka owaci LittleBigMan's Avatar
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    Jonathan,

    I've had plenty of those kinds of remarks while exercising my legal rights to use the road. Still, 99% of the motorists are friendly to me, even helpful.

    I've had enough experience to know that, if life teaches and corrects me, it will do the same to others who need it.

    Pete
    Last edited by LittleBigMan; 05-07-01 at 01:53 PM.

  3. #3
    Senior Member bentrider's Avatar
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    I heard virtually the same comment ("Get off the road!")one day when riding with full paniers up a steep hill. And he added the comment that cars were here first which I prompty pointed out to him that in Nova Scotia there is historical facts that state there were bicycles on Nova Scotia roads even before the first internal combustion engine was ever built here.

    Of course he had this blank look on his face and said "Well we're here now so get off the road!", Duh!
    bentrider
    "More than a little bent!"

  4. #4
    Every lane is a bike lane Chris L's Avatar
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    Yeah, I get the old "Get off the road" all the time. The fact that these tossers can't think of anything else to say really shows up their blatant lack of intelligence (as if it needed showing up!).

    I won't even bother trying to talk common sense with them. A simple response like "Shove it until it bleeds" is all they are likely to ever understand! Although you have to be careful, "until" is a five letter word, so it's probably outside of the vocabulary!

    Chris
    "I am never going to flirt with idleness again" - Roy Keane
    "We invite everyone to question the entire culture we take for granted." - Manic Street Preachers.
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  5. #5
    NOT a weight weenie Hunter's Avatar
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    I do not know if it will work for you JRamsey but try to say something like "LOOK OUT", when they scream at you and point to something off to the opposite side.

  6. #6
    Senior Member mike's Avatar
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    That's beautiful, Hunter. I can't wait to try the "LOOK OUT!" trick.

    Makes me look forward to being harassed.

    Maybe I can ham it up a bit and make the guy think he hit something/someone which is under their car or in the ditch.
    Mike

  7. #7
    Carfree since '82. Grrr! JonR's Avatar
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    Chris, I agree that "until" is probably a bit vacabulary-challenging for that mentality; better substitute "till." That's one less syllable to cope with.

    JRamsey isn't alone in (greater) Kansas City in experiencing recent harassment--I was peacefully pedaling north from Crown Center on Grand Blvd. on Saturday after viewing the high-school art exhibits there, when a shiny (for a change) blue pickup truck that had been about four car lengths behind me passed, the driver and sole occupant shouting something evidently not very nice at me, his face contorted with rage. He illegally passed the car in front of him, on the right, swerving and nearly hitting it, and continued north on Grand at a pretty good clip.

    I guess just the mere sight of a cyclist, without any interaction, is enough to push the buttons of some poor emotionally diseased motorists.

  8. #8
    0^0 fubar5's Avatar
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    The other day these guys drove past me and started honking there horn at me, my first impulse was to flick them off, but when I listened to what they were saying, I heard"YEAH!!! ride on dude!! You da man!!!".So instead I gave them a thumbs up.

  9. #9
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    Unfortunately if you ride on the road, sooner or later you are going to meet Chris L's "motoring primate." Although I've never been crowded off the road, I have been flipped off, cursed at, Had one guy yell "hey man, your supposed to be a car"!! Yeah, I lost it on that one,liked to died laughing!! This spring had my first hey look its a cyclist lets throw our beer bottle at him experience. Caught me on the left thigh, so can only assume they were going for a wheel. They missed thankfully. Left me with a nice 6" bruise though.
    I never give the response they're looking for. I give'em a thumbs up and go down the road. I have become quite adept at reading license plates though.
    In eight years of cycling I've had four bad encounters with autos. So, the bad ones really are few and far between.
    Pete, I can't agree with you more, about life teaching us all.

  10. #10
    Sumanitu taka owaci LittleBigMan's Avatar
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    Originally posted by Stan
    This spring had my first hey look its a cyclist lets throw our beer bottle at him experience. Caught me on the left thigh, so can only assume they were going for a wheel. They missed thankfully. Left me with a nice 6" bruise though.
    Just one of many experiences just like it, Stan. Without sounding "wimpy," it makes me sort of sad. For everyone.

    That's why I'm out there! I'm there to show somebody, anybody, that there are some cool cats out there who have sanity.


  11. #11
    RAGBRAI. Need I say more? Steele-Bike's Avatar
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    Every evening towards the end of my commute, I have to endure a brief second of verbal harassment. It comes way of this apartment house where more times than not, there are 2 or 3 college age guys (I said college age, not college bound) who are all too ready with a witty comment. For example, "I want your bike, Man." Or, "You are so cool." Or sometimes just a woo-hoo sound. At first I would give them a courteous wave, but now as not to encourage such behavior, I have been ignoring them. But every day, I know as I round Summit St. there is going to be some half drunk wise-a** hanging out of the second story window with a little something to say. I think they are just bored, but it is still annoying. Maybe I should bring them over one of my old bikes, that way they would have something to entertain themselves with.

  12. #12
    Senior Member HuffyMan's Avatar
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    I live in the land of motoring primates, thick single eyebrows and gunracks, you get the picture. However, in my 4 short months of riding I have gotten nothing but the slight raising of an index finger off of the steering wheel that constitutes a wave in this part of the country. I guess the sight of me with my mouth wide open chugging up a hill inspires pity rather than spite. Also, on a positive note some kids in front of a fundamentalist church whistled at my ivory white legs as I passed by. I get far worse reaction on my motorcycle.

  13. #13
    Carfree since '82. Grrr! JonR's Avatar
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    I confess that when I'm about to pass pedestrians that look, based on my extensive experience, as though they might harass, I put on a show of struggling very hard just to keep going. This seems to work, though it's more effective going uphill.

  14. #14
    Senior Member jramsey's Avatar
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    Funny thing I hadn't thought of yesterday. The incident didn't discourage me or make me mad. It was a little sad, though. It also made me think of our society's misguided view of itself, and its transportation solutions. I have never heard the,"Cars were here first!", but I can imagine someone thinking it. It's just funny, stupid, and sad that we grow up in America thinking that automobiles are tranportation. I need to go to school - hop in the car. I need to go down the street - hop in the car. I need to pick up an ice cream and a video - hop in the car.

    Jonathan
    Playing and singing the music of Ireland
    http://www.jonathanramsey.com

  15. #15
    Carfree since '82. Grrr! JonR's Avatar
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    Originally posted by jramsey
    I have never heard the,"Cars were here first!", but I can imagine someone thinking it.
    So can I. Do you realize some people don't know where milk comes from? Or their food? From the supermarket, right? Yes, maybe cars were here first.

  16. #16
    Senior Member Cambronne's Avatar
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    There is not much you can do when a motorist insults you and then drives past, but for those parking lot encounters, might I suggest this?

    Obtain a copy of your state's Motor Vehicle Operator's Guide. Make that TWO copies. Read the section on bicycle safety, and hilight the bullet points describing your road rights.

    When confronted, show the offender what the DMV says about your means of transportation.

    You can provide that second copy to the disbelievers.

    This tactic works very well at the workplace, where every fat, sedentary SUV jockey thinks we should be turning slow circles on bike paths and in mall parking lots on Sunday mornings.

  17. #17
    Sumanitu taka owaci LittleBigMan's Avatar
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    Originally posted by Cambronne
    Obtain a copy of your state's Motor Vehicle Operator's Guide...hilight the bullet points describing your road rights...

    ...When confronted, show the offender what the DMV says about your means of transportation.

    ...[SUV jockeys think] we should be turning slow circles on bike paths and in mall parking lots on Sunday mornings.
    We cyclists have certain rights by law, yet the motoring public seems to be largely ignorant of these rights.

    In fact, motorists seem to be ignorant of many of the traffic laws in general. Like dialects of language which vary from region to region, road rules seem to change depending on where you go. Motorists seem to make them up for their own convenience. As motorists copy each other's bad behavior, they create new accepted
    driving practices. The actual laws tend to disappear.
    This reinforces their delusion that they "own" the roads.

    This delusion leads motorists to believe that cyclists should stay off "their road." The belief that "posession is 9/10ths of the law" means that cyclists must exercise their rights assertively to keep them.

    Our presence on the road (not on the sidewalk) will help create the impression we belong there. Motorists will assume we belong the more they see us. Especially when we know our rights.

  18. #18
    NOT a weight weenie Hunter's Avatar
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    One must wonder of the mantality, nad the frustration that exists in the people who say these things. If you think about it none of these people know you or me. Would they if they did know you still treat you this way? Once upon a time in my past confrontational life I used to ride up to these people and say,"You want to say that again this time out of your car?" They would shut up. I do not advocate this behavior but it worked for me at that time. This is not something I do now. Anyway I feel that an intellectual conversation with those individuals is out so what do you do? Pete brought up a good point show them your rights! Even if they may not understand it do it anyway.

  19. #19
    Sumanitu taka owaci LittleBigMan's Avatar
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    Originally posted by Hunter
    If you think about it none of these people know you or me. Would they if they did know you still treat you this way?
    This is an excellent observation. Motorists act in ways while driving that they would never do face to face, especially if they knew you (at least, most of them wouldn't.) While driving, I have had the experience of getting angry at another driver, only to find they were a friend of mine. I don't know if that means I need to cool my anger or if my friends need to learn to drive.
    :confused:
    Chris L. said that driving puts you on edge. I know this happens to me, even when I am trying to be calm. I think we instinctively know how dangerous driving a car is and our "fight or flight" reactions take over. After all, try bringing a cat for a ride in your car without a box and see if you don't get a mess in your car.


  20. #20
    Carfree since '82. Grrr! JonR's Avatar
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    My cat just read this (she screens all the posts for me) and says you're right.

  21. #21
    Senior Mem. & Trail Sage steve33's Avatar
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    You get that here in nc all the time, my son even was hit in the back by a big mac burger, I have had red neck farmers scream at me from their fields a hundred yards away to get off the road.!!
    steve33 (aka windwalker)
    http://www.angelfire.com/nc3/nctrailtime/
    A nice place to visit.

  22. #22
    Every lane is a bike lane Chris L's Avatar
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    I was just thinking about how I seem to be so used to abusive behaviour that I've become immune to it. Even when I had to ride home covered in eggs the other night. I was even able to be nice to the policeman that I spoke to (who still hasn't called me back incidentally).

    Either that, or my testosterone levels are getting dangerously low...

    Chris
    "I am never going to flirt with idleness again" - Roy Keane
    "We invite everyone to question the entire culture we take for granted." - Manic Street Preachers.
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  23. #23
    Sumanitu taka owaci LittleBigMan's Avatar
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    Originally posted by steve33
    ...I have had red neck farmers scream at me from their fields a hundred yards away to get off the road.!!
    That' almost too ridiculous to be funny.

  24. #24
    Senior Member trx1's Avatar
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    i tell em "***** OFF!" and let em be ignorent

  25. #25
    Senior Member trx1's Avatar
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    i tell em "SCREW OFF!" and let em be ignorent

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