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Old 04-01-09, 02:20 PM   #1
duke_of_hazard
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How to handle a deliberate buzzer?

I always take the lane, which works perfectly fine in my small city. The only time I have problems is on single lane roads where I force cars to overtake me in the oncoming lane to pass me. One bmw driver has deliberately buzzed me twice now. The first time I gave him the blast of my airzound. Today I did it again and he just mockingly honked back.

Since it has happened the same time every morning should I stop and wait for him and photograph his license plate? Is this worth filing a police report? It is not a close buzz that I have to move, but it is close enough that I know he is trying to intimidate me.
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Old 04-01-09, 02:25 PM   #2
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It's dangerous so I'd do two things. Can you catch him at a light? If so, I'd tap on the glass and tell him to be careful. Otherwise you might get your blood all over his wheel wells. Maybe he'll get the picture.

The other option is to report it. Since it's happening all the time, maybe the fuzz can pull him over and give him the message. Personally, I'd do both. I hate idiots like that.
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Old 04-01-09, 02:27 PM   #3
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There is no light to catch up to him. I would not want to confront him anyways since he is deliberately buzzing me.
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Old 04-01-09, 02:29 PM   #4
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I would get his license plate and report an erratic driver to the cops.
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Old 04-01-09, 02:31 PM   #5
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Is it fair to say that he is passing within 3 feet of you? If so, he is breaking the law in Illinois. Call the cops, preferrably with his plate number.
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Old 04-01-09, 02:32 PM   #6
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get his license and tell the cops
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Old 04-01-09, 02:33 PM   #7
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I would get his license plate and report an erratic driver to the cops.
What exactly happens when I give the police his plate number? Do they phone him up to ask him his side of the story?
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Old 04-01-09, 02:33 PM   #8
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Since he does this on a regular basis, I'd suggest getting out your camera and have a pen and piece of paper handy. Pull over at a safe spot and take as many pictures as you can of his license plate, the car and the guy driving it and write down his plate number. Then report it to the police.

Dangerous driving like that shouldn't be tolerated. Period. Oh, and don't confront him because he'd be one incident away from vehicular manslaughter, babe. Don't be a statistic.
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Old 04-01-09, 02:33 PM   #9
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This might be instructive: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=wJmxC...eality&feature
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Old 04-01-09, 02:34 PM   #10
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Pocket full of old sparkplugs, and watch your mirror for him.


I wear MTB shoes with screw-in cleat holes up front, and track spikes fit in there just fine. If I get a run of people hassling me, I put a couple of 1/2" XC spikes in the left shoe. If you're close enough I can drag it across your paintjob, then you're way too close.
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Old 04-01-09, 02:37 PM   #11
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Report him to the cops. How dangerous is this clown to children who might be on the road. Make sure you stress this to the cops.
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Old 04-01-09, 02:38 PM   #12
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Pocket full of old sparkplugs, and watch your mirror for him.


I wear MTB shoes with screw-in cleat holes up front, and track spikes fit in there just fine. If I get a run of people hassling me, I put a couple of 1/2" XC spikes in the left shoe. If you're close enough I can drag it across your paintjob, then you're way too close.
LOL! I was thinking of holding a set of keys in my left hand and if I can reach out and the keys can touch your car then you've earned the key marks.
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Old 04-01-09, 02:41 PM   #13
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Pocket full of old sparkplugs, and watch your mirror for him.


I wear MTB shoes with screw-in cleat holes up front, and track spikes fit in there just fine. If I get a run of people hassling me, I put a couple of 1/2" XC spikes in the left shoe. If you're close enough I can drag it across your paintjob, then you're way too close.
Are you serious, have you really done this? What's been the reaction?
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Old 04-01-09, 02:43 PM   #14
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LOL! I was thinking of holding a set of keys in my left hand and if I can reach out and the keys can touch your car then you've earned the key marks.
I've seen a guy around here with one of those spring mounted fiberglass poles off the rear rack, sticking out a couple feet to his left, as an extra indicator of how much clearance to give him.
As an added bonus, he's got a couple of pointy screws taped to the end of it so if you zip by too close and flag-check him, you get pinstriped.
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Old 04-01-09, 02:45 PM   #15
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Originally Posted by duke_of_hazard View Post
I always take the lane, which works perfectly fine in my small city. The only time I have problems is on single lane roads where I force cars to overtake me in the oncoming lane to pass me. One bmw driver has deliberately buzzed me twice now. The first time I gave him the blast of my airzound. Today I did it again and he just mockingly honked back.

Since it has happened the same time every morning should I stop and wait for him and photograph his license plate? Is this worth filing a police report? It is not a close buzz that I have to move, but it is close enough that I know he is trying to intimidate me.
I sympathize, I really do, I but had to lol that you had an airzound to zap him back. That might be a good device to have.

http://www.deltacycle.com/product.php?g=1
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Old 04-01-09, 02:50 PM   #16
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I've seen a guy around here with one of those spring mounted fiberglass poles off the rear rack, sticking out a couple feet to his left, as an extra indicator of how much clearance to give him.
As an added bonus, he's got a couple of pointy screws taped to the end of it so if you zip by too close and flag-check him, you get pinstriped.
That's another great idea! Where can I find one of those poles? I've got a score to settle with a few Access-A-Ride vans!
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Old 04-01-09, 02:56 PM   #17
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that's another great idea! Where can i find one of those poles? I've got a score to settle with a few access-a-ride vans!
+1
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Old 04-01-09, 03:09 PM   #18
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I sympathize, I really do, I but had to lol that you had an airzound to zap him back. That might be a good device to have.
Doesn't look like it did much of anything in this case.

I'd advise against any of the spikes/keyjob approaches unless you're willing to take the chance that he'll get physical on you with his two-ton big brother backing him up. If he's only done it twice, you might just shrug and let it go. If he does it every day, stop and take a picture. If he's like most folks who are courageous in situations where there's no danger to them, will be enough to get him to mind his manners. If not, get the plate, call the cops, explain the situation, let them handle it.
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Old 04-01-09, 03:15 PM   #19
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Are you serious, have you really done this? What's been the reaction?
Yes, I'm serious. Yes, I've done this twice. The situation has ended both times with me riding away unscathed. Once it was a guy who was leapfrogging past me in a line of traffic as I rode a steady pace in the bike lane. A couple times as he passed, his passenger leaned out and took a swipe at me, so the next time he passed me I raked his paintjob and took an immediate right turn down the next street, leaving him mad and stuck in traffic. Another time was a guy who was trying to pinch me into the curb. No other cars around, and if I slowed down, he'd brake right along with me and jerk the wheel my direction... same thing when I stood up and hammered; he'd gas it and swoop over at me. So I laid a couple of big scrapes on his door and stopped. He stopped and got out, then realized that he's not such a good judge of scale (It's difficult to tell how big someone on a bike is if you're not familiar with bikes.) I'm 6'6" and 250 pounds. Without a word from either of us he took my picture with his phone, got back in his car and drove away. I don't have any clue what he was accomplishing by taking my picture.

In 20+ years of riding, including 2 years of courier work, I've only been in one actual fight; and that was with a guy who hit me when he crossed the center line making a right turn (I was in the perpendicular lane waiting for a left turn arrow) and after hitting me and wrecking my bike, he got out of his truck and threatened to kick my *** for messing up his truck. (I got up and threw my bike at him.)

I'm not advocating chucking spark plugs at or keying the cars of every driver who honks their horn or yells something at you. Please don't take it as such, anybody. In the past 2 years, I've actually learned to let most things roll off my back (like the hilljack who threw a handful of change at me 2 weekends ago). More often than not, it's just not worth the hassle and aggrivation of getting into it with a driver because, let's be honest: They're never going to see things from our point of view. The guy in the Beemer, buzzing the OP, doesn't take into account that if his mirror taps the OP's bars, it could send him down and under the rear wheel. The guy throwing a half empty pop can doesn't consider the cumulative speed of a 25mph throw and a 50mph vehicle is the same as having a minor league pitcher hit you in the spine with a fastball. To them, bicycles are toys and cyclists are grown ups who haven't grown up and moved on to driving cars. In most instances (the honking and yelling) those drivers are a minor irritation who deserves ignored or AirZounded... but there are those few who honestly pull a life threatening manouver and deserve the treatment I've doled out.
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Old 04-01-09, 03:35 PM   #20
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Originally Posted by duke_of_hazard View Post
I always take the lane, which works perfectly fine in my small city. The only time I have problems is on single lane roads where I force cars to overtake me in the oncoming lane to pass me. One bmw driver has deliberately buzzed me twice now. The first time I gave him the blast of my airzound. Today I did it again and he just mockingly honked back.

...It is not a close buzz that I have to move, but it is close enough that I know he is trying to intimidate me.
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...had to lol that you had an airzound to zap him back.
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Doesn't look like it did much of anything in this case.
Maybe the bmw driver is not "mocking" and "trying to inimidate," but took it as a "love call," and now he (could he be a she ?) likes the duke.
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Old 04-01-09, 04:55 PM   #21
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Memorize his license plate. Get to a pay phone, call the cops. Tell them a drunk driver in a BMW passed you at a high rate of speed. Or you could Google "license plate search"...and let your conscience be your guide.
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Old 04-01-09, 05:26 PM   #22
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The European solution to this regular problem is to carry a standard 1m (3 foot American) welding rod on your rack -sideways.

If he is close enough he will get striped
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Old 04-01-09, 05:37 PM   #23
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He stopped and got out, then realized that he's not such a good judge of scale (It's difficult to tell how big someone on a bike is if you're not familiar with bikes.) I'm 6'6" and 250 pounds. Without a word from either of us he took my picture with his phone, got back in his car and drove away. I don't have any clue what he was accomplishing by taking my picture.
Just a way of trying to be the one in control of the situation.

I've had similar experiences at 6'1" and 210. I haven't damaged anyone's paint job, but I've banged on their fender. After stopping the vehicle and getting out to confront me, they tend to back up a few inches when I rise up to my full height, and yell profanities when a second ago they were doing the threatening body language.

I've experimented with a few responses, but so far it seems if I keep my hands on the handlebars, the hostility level doesn't escalate beyond men posturing (self included).
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Old 04-01-09, 06:06 PM   #24
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Photographing good, videotaping better. If you can get a friend to ride behind you and videotape you while this Big Macho Wacko buzzes you, you can actually show the police what he actually did, which avoids the problems that can arise in a his-word-against-yours situation. You could also post the video on YouTube and "out" the driver as a jerk.
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Old 04-01-09, 06:26 PM   #25
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What exactly happens when I give the police his plate number? Do they phone him up to ask him his side of the story?
Nothing, I would imagine.
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