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Old 10-22-07, 09:11 AM   #1
beingtxstate
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Got yelled at hard today, did I deserve it?

Ok, so on the commute in, I really got cursed out good today. I feel (of course) like I was in the right, but I'll tell you what happened and let you decide.

Here is a map:Click Here

I was heading east on John to campus. There is a stop sign at Prospect, and Prospect is a major street, and does not stop (4 lanes).

There was a car in front of me at the stop sign trying to turn right. I checked behind me, there was a white Minivan about 200 yards back, so I took the lane since I was going straight. The van comes right up behind me and then proceeds to pull halfway into the oncoming lane to get in front of me. Well, I was calm but I didn't let him (I was thinking of my safety in crossing Prospect), I pulled my bike to the left, effectively blocking his way.

He opened his door, halfway got out and began yelling, "You're not a <much more entertaining words here> car." I remained calm, but flustered, and in a stern voice replied, "Same rules, same laws, what you are doing is dangerous and possibly illegal." It didn't get through, though he did get back in his car, still yelling mind you! Traffic cleared up, and I began to cross. He did too, turning left, and yelling among other insults, "I bet you run red lights &$%&*!"

His last comment irked me. This is partially why the JAMs don't like those of us who are assertive with our rights. Personally, I do not run lights, hardly ever. In fact, I am generally known to even sit at lights when no one is around (now saying this, I am not entirely innocent...), but this town is FULL of hundreds of cyclists who do whatever they please, do not know their rights/responsibilities, and cause general mayhem, especially closer to campus. I wish at the very least, more JAMs, and more cyclists understood the laws. I think it would at least help some.

I found a pdf online of the Illinois DOT laws that apply to bikes, I may get some card copies made and start handing them out!

Ok, rant mode off.
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Old 10-22-07, 09:13 AM   #2
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You were totally in the wrong.

Don't you know it's illegal to inconvenience drivers in any way shape or form? What you should have done, was go out into the intersection, stopped traffic, and waved the mini-van thru the intersection, because, really, he is that much more important than a lowly cyclist.
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Old 10-22-07, 09:17 AM   #3
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You were 100% correct and when bikes filter, run red lights and then stop lights what is this guy supposed to think?

Now, there is one of these bikers who thinks he is a car?!?!?! How confusing.

I dont blame the guy for being pissed.
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Old 10-22-07, 10:30 AM   #4
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You were 100% correct and when bikes filter, run red lights and then stop lights what is this guy supposed to think?

Now, there is one of these bikers who thinks he is a car?!?!?! How confusing.

I dont blame the guy for being pissed.
The same way he thinks of OTHER traffic on the road, whether it's a bike, ped, car or truck.
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Old 10-22-07, 10:45 AM   #5
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I blame the driver for getting upset. We all could use better manners.

You are not responsible for other cyclists.

You did fine.
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Old 10-22-07, 11:29 AM   #6
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It was just another *****hole on the road...probably woulda got pissed no matter what vehicle you happened to be using - you got in his way. Don't let it bother you.
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Old 10-22-07, 11:30 AM   #7
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Dude, cars slow me down on my commute FAR more than I slow cars. Do I get annoyed? Yes. Do I get violently upset with the stupid @#$%s who aren't aware of other road users? Not really. So I say you're in the right: it doesn't sound like you did anything other than not give-up your right to use the road in a fair manner. Good job staying cool!
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Old 10-22-07, 11:38 AM   #8
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Who knows? Maybe he'll tell the story to someone who will set him straight on the law.
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Old 10-22-07, 12:16 PM   #9
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I run red lights......















and i like it
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Old 10-22-07, 01:35 PM   #10
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I run red lights......

and i like it
[muster as much super hero voice as can manage..]
Damn you zoltani!!!

There always has to be one huh?
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Old 10-22-07, 02:16 PM   #11
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Ignore it and move on.
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Old 10-22-07, 02:16 PM   #12
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Thank you for obeying traffic laws and showing drivers that we ARE traffic. Its frustrating that others don't, but keep doing what you are doing.
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Old 10-22-07, 02:32 PM   #13
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I blame the driver for getting upset. We all could use better manners.

You are not responsible for other cyclists.

You did fine.
I just want to second this. Seems like a good guiding principle for any number of things. That is, it's not reasonable to lump all cyclists into a group. We cyclists could disparage anyone who has ever driven a car. We've all had bad experiences with them, right? But the fact is most drivers are competent and considerate. And as for the rest, it's just that cars make people insane.
And, yes, of course I run red lights. But very, very carefully.
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Old 10-22-07, 02:54 PM   #14
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I pulled my bike to the left, effectively blocking his way.
You were in the right, but in the future don't be shy about really taking the entire lane as early as possible. That way, cars won't be encouraged to pass you on the left. They can sidle past on the right instead.
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Old 10-22-07, 03:41 PM   #15
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You were in the right, but in the future don't be shy about really taking the entire lane as early as possible. That way, cars won't be encouraged to pass you on the left. They can sidle past on the right instead.
+1 to that. In my experience car drivers get less pissed if it's obvious from the outset that they can't get past than if they think they might be able to, start trying and then find they can't / are blocked. Perhaps it's a macho thing of not wanting to admit their judgement was wrong when they decided to try and go past.

There's a spot on my ride to work where a two-lane road crosses an intersection, and just past the intersection parking is allowed - so the left lane is blocked shortly after the lights. I used to move into the right lane, but only to a foot or two over the line - and I used to get cars trying to sidle past me, and getting irate when I wouldn't move over back across the line (and into the door zone). Now I ride unapologetically up the very centre of the lane through that section, and haven't had any aggro since I started doing it.
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Old 10-22-07, 03:47 PM   #16
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Tell him, "Right! I am a human. Not a car. Good observation."
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Old 10-22-07, 04:12 PM   #17
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You were in the right, but in the future don't be shy about really taking the entire lane as early as possible. That way, cars won't be encouraged to pass you on the left. They can sidle past on the right instead.
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+1 to that. In my experience car drivers get less pissed if it's obvious from the outset that they can't get past than if they think they might be able to, start trying and then find they can't / are blocked. Perhaps it's a macho thing of not wanting to admit their judgement was wrong when they decided to try and go past.

There's a spot on my ride to work where a two-lane road crosses an intersection, and just past the intersection parking is allowed - so the left lane is blocked shortly after the lights. I used to move into the right lane, but only to a foot or two over the line - and I used to get cars trying to sidle past me, and getting irate when I wouldn't move over back across the line (and into the door zone). Now I ride unapologetically up the very centre of the lane through that section, and haven't had any aggro since I started doing it.
I definitely agree. Actually, I did take the lane. I was dead center in the lane, that's why the JAM had to go into oncoming lane, then I put my bike on the left most part of the lane blocking him. I am all about assertive cycling, I have every right to be in the lane when reasonable according to the law. This was a reasonable time
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Old 10-22-07, 05:23 PM   #18
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You did what I would have done.

And I'm always right...or something like that.
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Old 10-22-07, 05:44 PM   #19
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I definitely agree. Actually, I did take the lane. I was dead center in the lane, that's why the JAM had to go into oncoming lane, then I put my bike on the left most part of the lane blocking him. I am all about assertive cycling, I have every right to be in the lane when reasonable according to the law.

Then you did good.

Did he stop behind you and then open his door to have his rant? Or was he alongside, straddling the centre? Either way, him stopping like that can hardly have been a very safe maneouver in itself.
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Old 10-22-07, 07:40 PM   #20
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Then you did good.

Did he stop behind you and then open his door to have his rant? Or was he alongside, straddling the centre? Either way, him stopping like that can hardly have been a very safe maneouver in itself.
He did stop behind me actually. I was thinking about how unsafe his move was after the fact and how I should have said something, but wit only goes so far in the moment right?
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Old 10-23-07, 03:00 AM   #21
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"You're not a <much more entertaining words here> car."
My favorite come-back to "You're not a car" was posted by someone here on BF a while back. I can't remember who said this but (he claimed) this actually happened. I'm doing this from memory, but here goes:

Driver: You're not a car, you know.

Cyclist: You're right, I'm a motorcycle.

Driver (looking at bicycle): Where's the motor?

Cyclist: You're talking to it.
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Old 10-23-07, 03:08 AM   #22
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^^^ That's a pretty good one. My favorite reply is a simple "neither are you"
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Old 10-23-07, 05:56 AM   #23
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I run red lights......


and i like it
Then you sir, are just like a growing number of drivers on the road. This morning on my way in, I'm approaching a red light. Nobody at the intersection in any direction. The car that passed me decided that he didn't see the red and drove as if there really was nothing there.

SO I'll say it again - I obey the traffic laws just like the motorists in my city.

(and since it seems that more and more of them don't, I don't feel bad about blowing a stop sign every day - since guess what, there are hundreds of cars that do the same thing every day at that very spot)
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Old 10-23-07, 07:52 AM   #24
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In our small town, driving IN town is safer than the hiways. The JAMs in town just get confused about a bicycle taking the lane rather than irate. If I'm the first at a stop light, I always take the center of the lane. The 2 where I have the biggest problem is the one at Walmart and the one at the grocery store/McDonalds center. I can see the impatience on faces in my mirror, but they seem to respect it. I'm fortunate.
The hiways are another matter. I get honked at a lot...I thinks it's the spandex!
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Old 10-23-07, 07:55 AM   #25
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You should have done what anyone else in their right mind would have .... tell him to go F__K his mother !!!!!

=)
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