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Old 11-03-11, 10:45 AM   #1
JPinWI
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Knock. Knock. Knock...

Him: Can I help you?

Me: I want to apologize for flipping you off...

Him: I didn't even see it.

Me: Were you driving that green van over on highway _ a few minutes ago?

Him: Yeah, but I didn't notice...

Me: It's been a long day and it's raining pretty good. I didn't see or hear your approach and you startled me by being so close as you passed. My middle finger salute was up and flying before I knew it and that makes me feel crappy. So I thought I would stop by and apologize in person since I know where you live.

Him: There's plenty of room...

Me: It's not the first time you've passed me too close. We're neighbors you know? I recognized your van.

Me: You didn't even see it? Well, ok but I still feel bad...So I'm sorry!

Him: It wasn't that close.

Me: Oh. It may not seem very close in your van but I can assure you on a bike things are much different.

Me: WI law says you need to give me 3 feet and I'd appreciate it if you would in the future. I don't want to get hit.

Him: There was a car coming.

Me: Yes. There was a car coming and you were in a no passing zone...that means you need to slow down until it is safe to pass. That's the law. If you hit me at 55 mph plus, you will kill me. I have 3 kids at home that need their Dad, so could you give me 3 feet next time. Thanks.

And with that I got back on my bike and rode to my house...

Will it make a difference?

Would it with you?

I like to think so. :-)
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Old 11-03-11, 10:58 AM   #2
CptjohnC
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I often have these fantasy conversations after a particularly scary moment that was NOT my fault. I often like to remind them that I could just as easily be their kid, their spouse, their friend. I like the neighbor approach, but depends on your neighbors. I have some who might decide they can get that much closer next time...
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Old 11-03-11, 11:19 AM   #3
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I've apologized before. I was completely wrong for flipping them off though. The driver had done nothing wrong and I was high on adrenaline from nearly being run off the road about 10 minutes earlier buy someone else.
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Old 11-03-11, 11:28 AM   #4
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Tie a thin, elastic branch on the back of the bike. Tie a red ribbon on it. It should do. Just make sure the branch is not tied to tight or too thick, so they don't pull the whole bike if they catch it.
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Old 11-03-11, 12:51 PM   #5
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I've got flashing lights, an 18 inch flasher flag hanging off the side of my bike and I wear a reflective vest so it's not like he didn't see me. This same green van had buzzed me at least 1/2 a dozen times this year...always within a couple miles of my house. I found out where it parked back in July. It was less than a mile from my house...I live in a rural area so I can see the house from my driveway. I contemplated stopping and talking to it's owner many times in the last couple months...
Yesterday was the day. It went better than I thought it would and the guy seemed pretty clueless that his driving was causing me problems. Now at least he knows I know where he lives and I am a real person.
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Old 11-03-11, 01:33 PM   #6
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I suppose someone could take a marker and mark a line down the side of the van about handlebar height, or stuff an old bent wheel up into the van's bumper on the rear to maybe get the driver's attention that he needs to pay attention, but that might be called escalation and probably isn't advisable.

Maybe, if it happens again, show up with your family and have them ask him to be more respectfull with his driving. But this being Wisconsin that might be seen as harassment of the motorist.

Glad you're okay, and glad the conversation didn't escalate.
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Old 11-03-11, 01:36 PM   #7
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Penny?

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Old 11-03-11, 01:36 PM   #8
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Quote:
Originally Posted by JPinWI View Post
Me: It's not the first time you've passed me too close. We're neighbors you know? I recognized your van.

Me: You didn't even see it? Well, ok but I still feel bad...So I'm sorry!
This is one hell of a passive-aggressive apology!
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Old 11-03-11, 05:48 PM   #9
scroca
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Why is it some motorists can't conceive of slowing down? I often wonder what they will do with the seven seconds they save when they put my life in danger to save them.
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Old 11-03-11, 07:51 PM   #10
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There needs to be a nationwide PSA reminding motorists that they have a brake. I see situations like this all the time where the motorist uses poor spatial judgment when passing and chooses to endanger the cyclists life rather than just slow down and wait for the oncoming traffic to go by before passing.
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Old 11-04-11, 01:51 AM   #11
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There needs to be a nationwide PSA reminding motorists that they have a brake.
Driver's education. Driver's license test.
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Old 11-04-11, 04:02 AM   #12
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Driver's education. Driver's license test.
Accelerator works? OK, you're good.
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