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Old 09-16-09, 09:19 PM   #1
Nole302
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Tapping on cars blocking lanes?

I sometimes give cars a friendly little knock or tap with my hand or knuckle on cars (with people in them) that block bike lanes, crosswalks, and sidewalks. For example, a construction crew sitting in their cars waiting completely blocked a sidewalk which forces biker riders to jump curbs so I gave them a tap just to let them know that people use these lanes and spread the awareness. A Fed ex delivery driver did the same sort of thing while waiting for traffic (I understand this one much more), but he pulled up right as I was coming along. Tap tap. while I was riding away a couple of older gentlemen began yelling at me to come their way as if they were angry about me doing this. I was going along pretty good and didn't bother to see what they had to say but now I wish I did. Anyways I was wondering what you guys thought about bikers doing this. Good idea or bad idea? These are in places where I'd rather not take the lane (I've been run off the road in these areas before).
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Old 09-16-09, 09:40 PM   #2
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Bad idea if you value your safety. I'm just about positive that no driver would interpret you "tapping" their vehicle as "friendly."
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Old 09-16-09, 10:08 PM   #3
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I think yer asking for trouble. Might as well just bust off a side mirror, the reaction is going to be about the same.
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Old 09-16-09, 10:09 PM   #4
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If you went back you'd only find their foot in your @$$.
I wouldn't think of that as friendly in any way, and I'm sure on the inside you know how it will be construed. Nobody is looking to hear your little kind lecture about what jerks they are.

I'd be pissed too if someone knocked my car.

HTFU
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Old 09-16-09, 10:17 PM   #5
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Nope, I wouldn't touch another persons vehicle. Once I banged on the hood of some moron who pulled out right in front of me once with a phone glued to his ear and not paying the least bit of attention to his surroundings. Scared the crap out of him but I think he got the message
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Old 09-16-09, 10:46 PM   #6
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I would give a tap or knock... most people may yell or be verbal but that's about it. I don't think many would take physical action.

My girlfriend ranted/chewed out this police officer parked on the only bike lane on UTK's campus. They seem to park there a lot and it's very dangerous as the bike lane leads down a one way street. So if the lane is blocked a cyclist has to go into the oncoming traffic lane.

Anyways since then we haven't seen any police cars parked in the bike lane. They actually park on the other side of the road now.
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Old 09-16-09, 10:50 PM   #7
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When people drift into the bike lane or block intersections, etc. my personal summertime favourite is a big sweaty glove print on the passenger window.
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Old 09-16-09, 10:52 PM   #8
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I've done it... rarely when they are parked, but several times when people have pulled out in front of me right into my lane, I'll give them a nice tap as I ride by. It's mostly for the shock value, as nothing startles a driver more than a loud noise, and the last thing they then expect is a bike to be in their lane going faster than them. Makes a good point too, as it almost always results in either an apology or the shocked "i never considered this as a possibility" face. I'm always careful where I do this though. Never in the rougher parts of town. There you just mind your own business and get on your way.
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Old 09-16-09, 10:55 PM   #9
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I don't do it very often, but if I bother to do it at all it is a major slap so I am absolutely certain the driver will not only hear it, but be startled by it. I also don't frankly care if they get upset about it.
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Old 09-17-09, 01:07 AM   #10
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I popped a guy's side view and yelled "use this or next time it or comes with me" that decided to pull in front of me as a teenager.
Road ragers are a unique breed, best to not feed their insanity unless you're wanting some action.
My wife rough on cagers when riding, she flies the bird at anyone that honks, and cusses like a sailor if they do something stupid. Haven't seen her hit a car yet, don't think she's that ballsy. I of course am a perfect gentleman (lies.)

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Old 09-17-09, 01:14 AM   #11
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i tapped the door an escalade once. he was blocking the bike/right turn lane during peak hours. the driver became very angry and drove up to me and started cursing. once i saw him, i rode on the sidewalk, just to be safe. but yes, do this at your own risk.
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Old 09-17-09, 05:12 AM   #12
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Asking for trouble in my book. its not your job to go around being nanny biker bike police. thats how i'd interpret it and likely tell you to F off if i was in the car.

Commuting is simply avoiding obstacles on a bike, one after another, until you arrive at your destination. just get used to it i guess.
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Old 09-17-09, 06:06 AM   #13
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nope I don't touch the cars sitting in the clearly marked Bike Only lane. I do ring my bell and tell them to move it. I don't care what they think about my comment to move. I naively hope they will be more considerate next time they are on that part of the road. right.
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Old 09-17-09, 06:25 AM   #14
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I yell. I have more problems with two Starbucks I pass in the mornings than anything else on my route. The cagers always seem to think leaving their door open while they talk on the phone and drink their coffee is perfectly acceptable. Sure, that's just an extra wide door lane just for Starbucks people....

I've slapped a few, but I try to keep it to the extra special cases.
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Old 09-17-09, 06:55 AM   #15
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People in DC flip if you touch their babies. I'd only do it if they actually did something dangerous,and were hemmed in by traffic so that I wouldn't get run over afterwards.
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Old 09-17-09, 06:58 AM   #16
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I dunno. There are situations where I might do this -- like, if someone really seemed unaware of where they were or something -- but generally, they know damn well where they are and won't take kindly to a reminder. You don't really think that UPS drivers aren't aware that they're blocking traffic, do you?

Besides, if I tapped the window of every vehicle that blocks a bike lane, travel lane or crosswalk, I'd have bleeding knuckles by the time I got halfway through my commute...it's a fact of life around here. Drivers have to go around them and I do too, it's generally less hassle for me than it is for someone in a car.
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Old 09-17-09, 07:00 AM   #17
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Tapping on cars seems like a good way to startle or tick off a driver. Don't do it.


How would you feel if they gave you a "friendly" nudge with their bumper?
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Old 09-17-09, 07:05 AM   #18
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Don't touch any of my stuff. If I've done something to endanger your life please let me know because I try hard not to and if I messed up I want to hear it, but don't touch my stuff.
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Old 09-17-09, 07:09 AM   #19
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The only time I have smacked a car is when they have passed way too close. Generally I don't mess with people's stuff otherwise. I don't want them to touch my bike, why should I touch their vehicles unnecessarily?
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Old 09-17-09, 07:12 AM   #20
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Just make sure that when you do so, you say loudly, "I'm ridin' here!"

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Old 09-17-09, 07:19 AM   #21
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If the car is at right angles to your direction of travel... I.E. across your way, such as blocking a BL or such, I would tap. Sure the driver may become angry... but there is no way for them to rotate their car in a manner to then threaten you.

And face it, they are being rude and you are forced to deal with that rudeness.

I think the funniest thing I ever saw was when a motorcycle cop did the tap tap for motorists using a BL as their shortcut. The cop just tapped on the windows and motioned the car out of the BL. (he had parked his motorcycle back on a wide sidewalk and just walked along moving the cars out of the BL.) I was in the BL approaching and cars right in front of me saw the situation and moved over back out of the BL before they got to the cop. It was one of those "Hurray" moments for me.

While the BL here are not overly wide, it is amazing how motorists will pack in and make "an extra lane" when they think it serves them... yet, have such a hard time moving over to share a lane with cyclists at times.

Last edited by genec; 09-17-09 at 07:26 AM.
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Old 09-17-09, 07:21 AM   #22
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Just make sure then when you do so, you say loudly, "I'm ridin' here!"
good one!
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Old 09-17-09, 07:45 AM   #23
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Don't touch any of my stuff. If I've done something to endanger your life please let me know because I try hard not to and if I messed up I want to hear it, but don't touch my stuff.
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Old 09-17-09, 08:02 AM   #24
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Any distraction while riding in traffic is potentially dangerous, not to mention removing a hand from your bars. I limit my "tapping" to the most serious offenders, then only in areas where they will not have a chance to overtake me, because I am a coward (and, if someone is boneheaded enough to make me punch their car, why should I take an azzwhoopin?)

Touching someone's private car is like sticking your hand down their throat and ripping their heart out. Best to reserve that for very special occasions.

Always remember that it is YOUR choice to ride your bike. Certain hazards come with the territory. I get more satisfaction just letting $h1t go in the long run. When I lose it and punch a car I usually feel disappointed in myself afterward. Learn to "float above it all" which will give you the orgasmic sensation of being better than them.

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Old 09-17-09, 08:02 AM   #25
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Over here tapping on someone's car is pretty much asking for a fight. Don't touch their cars unless you're fully prepared mentally and physically to actually go to combat.

Your "friendly" tap is likely an infuriatingly obnoxious intrusion into the cocoon world of the cager and might turn even a little old lady librarian type into a full blown road rager.

Besides to the car driver it probably really seems something of a chickensh!t thing to do if you're rolling away right after you do it while they're stuck in traffic. If they catch up later they might sideswipe you in retaliation or else vent on the next cyclist who comes along...

If you're really wanting to make your concerns noted, the proper protocol would be to stop, tap lightly on their window and when they roll it down, you can try to politely tell them that they are blocking cyclists. Probably not worth the effort and over here you'd either get a non-comittal "okay" or a simple FU. Why bother?


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