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  1. #1
    Riding like its 1990 thenomad's Avatar
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    Aggressive city bus driver today

    So on my third day commuting, I'm liking it, and getting to know the ropes.

    Background - I'm a road rider and am used to riding the roads but for weekend and training/fun hill rides etc. Not usually through rush hour and main arteries. So I'm fine with cars being close and am vocal and can be aggressive when it comes to communicating with drivers.

    Today on the way home I had a run in with bus route #19.

    I'm going along and see a city bus who ends up turning behind me heading my way.
    I'm 4' over in the lane, just off the right tire track on the road and creeping out more as the road is coming up to a T stop where I make a right.

    The Bus driver starts honking the horn to tell me to move over apparently. I glance back to see the placement and another series of honks. I look back and give a sweeping gesture, universal for "slow down" or "stay back" to communicate my intent to stay put.

    At the light I wait till all cars pass before making a right onto a narrow two lane bridge that has no shoulder area. I take the right tire track in an attempt to "take the lane" and blast through the 150 yard or so bridge so as not to hold up traffic too much. Bus driver makes a right behind me and is coming up fast. Honk honk again. I stay put and am powering along at 20+mph. Then I see the bus veer left and move to pass, crossing the solid yellow and oncoming traffic has to move right to survive ( I can only imagine what the lead car was thinking).

    Admittedly, I sort of lose a bit of nerve and wander slightly right for safety as I'm thinking "you dumb@$$!".

    The bus accelerates past me and I'm in the clear just as I reach the end of the bridge where a bike lane begins (ironically).

    So I wrote a nice detailed report to the city transit with bus number and route number. Maybe they'll get a laugh out of it.

    So I know now that I am somewhat at fault here. I did not fully and completely "take the lane" so that a left side pass would have been suicide. I left a tiny "opening" that the driver squeezed a bus through.




    It wasn't all bad today though, a car driver stayed back as I rode up a steep bridge and gave me plenty of room and kept the speedy right lane at bay till I was able to stop at the light on top. I nodded a thanks to him and he gave a friendly wave. So it takes all types...
    My blog about rides, bikes and builds: ridesgoneby.blogspot.com

  2. #2
    Fresh Garbage hairnet's Avatar
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    Always report those guys. There have been plenty of bad experiences in this city and a little while ago there was a small community effort to contact Metro. It seem like fewer bus drivers are acting aggressively toward cyclists lately, in my experience anyway.
    Quote Originally Posted by Scrodzilla View Post
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  3. #3
    cyclocommuter hairyman's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by thenomad View Post
    So I wrote a nice detailed report to the city transit with bus number and route number. Maybe they'll get a laugh out of it.
    Perfect -- always report these people. These sorts of drivers cost companies big bucks in insurance premiums when they crash so the manager will certainly want to know about any dangerous/aggressive driving.

  4. #4
    Senior Member jbarham's Avatar
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    People who have road rage have no business earning a living from driving.

  5. #5
    Senior Member echotraveler's Avatar
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    bus drivers here are pretty scary, i always slow down and let them thru, i know my right to be in the lane but still, not gonna find out... it was good that you reported his ass.

  6. #6
    bicycle love affair aoeuhtnsi's Avatar
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    ugh, bus drivers are the worse! not just when i've been riding, but also when i walk and used to drive.

  7. #7
    aka Phil Jungels Wanderer's Avatar
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    Around here, three complaints, if founded, are reason for retraining. If it happens again (three more complaints) it's reason for dismissal.

  8. #8
    Senior Member canyoneagle's Avatar
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    You did the right thing by reporting the driver. Busses in particular are extremely threatening, even with good drivers. I cringe every time one swooshes past me - even if they are observing the 3 foot rule, there is something unnerving about a vehicle the size of a small house riding 6 inches from the ground , passing at 45 mph. **shudder**

  9. #9
    Senior Member gypz's Avatar
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    if it was the fontana/colton/redlands route 19, that bus has been reported before.

  10. #10
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    You did exactly the right thing.

    I lived in the Inland Empire for 21 years. Many of the area municipal transit agencies train and pay their drivers poorly. It is not a plum job. Dealing with clogged roads and aggressive drivers for $9-12 per hour develops a real attitude in many bus drivers. This one took it out on you.

    The transit agencies do take complaints and reports seriously - they have Big Brother looking over their shoulder. If a driver collects too many they're gone. The turnover rate is pretty high - especially since they aren't hiring the brightest folks. If I had to ride one of those buses, I wouldn't be a relaxed rider.

    I worked for SB County government and was in a position to know a little about how things work. Be aware. Forewarned is forearmed.
    Last edited by dwr1961; 09-23-09 at 11:02 AM.

  11. #11
    Riding like its 1990 thenomad's Avatar
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    Yep, right on the Mt Vernon bridge in Colton. Not sure I'll continue to use the bridge even if I take the lane. Might try a few more times.
    My blog about rides, bikes and builds: ridesgoneby.blogspot.com

  12. #12
    Senior Member Brian T.'s Avatar
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    I had one of those private buses come in behind come up behind me at a train crossing and rev the engine to get me to move. They have to stop for 30 seconds at these. So why should I HTFU to get out the way? This is the same bus that passed me once, stopped at the tracks for 5-10 seconds and took off when I went to go around. They hire some good ones.(BTW, they transport special needs people, so who knows what's going though their heads.)
    Never get into an argument with an idiot, they only drag you down and beat you with experience.


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  13. #13
    Riding like its 1990 thenomad's Avatar
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    I got a confirmation email from someone at the office today. Glad someone acknowledged it. We'll see if the bus driver is there today and if it's worse.
    My blog about rides, bikes and builds: ridesgoneby.blogspot.com

  14. #14
    Comfortably Numb! BA Commuter's Avatar
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    I've had some wild & crazy school bus drivers pass me as well. What's their freekin hurry???
    “Cycling is like church. Many attend, but few understand." -Jim Burlant

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  15. #15
    Riding like its 1990 thenomad's Avatar
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    no bus on the way home today. Just a nice car that stayed behind me as I crossed the narrow bridge. 23mph didn't hold him up too much and he gave me a nod as i gave him the thumbs up at the end of the bridge.
    My blog about rides, bikes and builds: ridesgoneby.blogspot.com

  16. #16
    Senior Member
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    I had a bus pull out in front of me yesterday. After looking at me. After I made eye contact with the driver. With a front headlight going (overcast, but not raining). I see the bus start to move, I start screaming. Bus stops, halfway out in the intersection. I shake my head and give her a "what are you, blind?" look as I roll past. Never slowed down, held my line. They don't respect you otherwise.


    The kicker? 30 yards later a mustang making a left turn on my left (incidentally the turn I am signaling to make) nearly pulls out in front of me. With a 10+ ton bus riding my ass. Both of us have headlights on. Another "WTF?" look dealt out. Just one of those days.

    But yeah, it can be pretty damn scary when bus/truck drivers go "Rambo" in city traffic.

  17. #17
    Mrs. DataJunkie Luddite's Avatar
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    It terrifies me when I have to pass a $%#$% bus that's gotten ahead of me, only to pull into a bus stop. The idiots NEVER CHECK THEIR MIRRORS BEFORE THEY PULL OUT. I pedal hard/fast to get clear before I get squashed.

  18. #18
    Bicycle n00B
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    Good job on reporting the driver. Thank you.
    I reserve the right to be wrong at any time. :D

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  19. #19
    kipuka explorer bkrownd's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by BA Commuter View Post
    I've had some wild & crazy school bus drivers pass me as well. What's their freekin hurry???
    The whole job of driving a bus is a constant "hurry up, slow down, hurry up, slow down, ad inf." kind of thing. It would take the patience of a saint to do that every day for a crap paycheck and not crack. They have to stop randomly, deal with (and smell) rowdy passengers, manouver that big lump of crap in the worst traffic, and try to stay on schedule the whole while. Unfortunately in this cost-cutting age their training is probably inadequate for teaching the hordes of newbie drivers to deal properly with unconventional traffic situations. Hopefully this driver was non-union and there was some kind of camera in the bus documenting the illegal and unsafe activities.
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  20. #20
    Senior Member somedood's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by bkrownd View Post
    The whole job of driving a bus is a constant "hurry up, slow down, hurry up, slow down, ad inf." kind of thing. It would take the patience of a saint to do that every day for a crap paycheck and not crack. They have to stop randomly, deal with (and smell) rowdy passengers, manouver that big lump of crap in the worst traffic, and try to stay on schedule the whole while. Unfortunately in this cost-cutting age their training is probably inadequate for teaching the hordes of newbie drivers to deal properly with unconventional traffic situations. Hopefully this driver was non-union and there was some kind of camera in the bus documenting the illegal and unsafe activities.
    What he said.

    I hate buses, and will try to stay in front or behind. Getting passed by one freaks me out because I know they'll be stopping ahead, the traffic light leapfrog thing with buses I don't like to do. They've got loads of people on the bus, and a route schedule they're trying to keep not to mention they're one of the few vehicles that actually needs the portion of the road I'm using to do their job. If you figure out the times the buses will be driving on your route it's a lot easier to avoid them.

  21. #21
    Junior Mint jd27's Avatar
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    Bus drivers

    I am new to riding in the street as I have not owned a bike for years. I had a similar encounter....I was approaching a weird "Y", fork-type intersection and I needed to stay left so I could turn left at the next intersection. I may not be entirely up on cycling rules of the road, but it made more sense for me to ride on the center divider of the two way street. A bus comes on me quick, though he has to stop eventually for the light ahead, and he's yelling at me from the open window to move before I get killed whilst swerving at me. Long story short, He got some spit that I had brewing in my mouth, strangely enough he did not catch up with me after that....It seems just about everyone on the road from pedestrians, motorists, bus drivers, cyclists, whoever, think they have some absolute power over the road. I think the key is using common sense. Laws may be in place for a reason, but often times those reasons go against logic.

  22. #22
    Downtown Spanky Brown bautieri's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by jd27 View Post
    ...snip...Long story short, He got some spit that I had brewing in my mouth...snip...
    Way to provoke the situation and set a sterling example of cyclists in your community while commiting an assult that was very likly caught on camera !!!!

  23. #23
    Junior Mint jd27's Avatar
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    awww shux

    Quote Originally Posted by bautieri View Post
    Way to provoke the situation and set a sterling example of cyclists in your community while commiting an assult that was very likly caught on camera !!!!
    Aww shux....It was nothin'...

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