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Old 11-03-11, 03:32 PM   #1
MikeFu
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Road Rage- Biker version

Hello everyone. I needed to vent to my fellow commuters about an incident I had on the road today.

On my commute home a car lined its front end up with me on this long, wide road as we were approaching a right hand turn. I fully intended on going straight, and seeing how this car had come up on me from behind and lined itself up, I thought it would at least give me some cushion room. Wrong. Im still learning what to do in these situations, as only experince can teach it, but I truly felt that since this person lined there front wheel up, from behind, right beside me they could surely see me.

Sadly, they made the right hand turn. Since I was paying attention I was ready at the brakes and managed to avoid going flying over the hood and did some wierd stationary 360 spin. The driver just kept on driving away like nothing happened. Out of a fit of disbelief/rage I swung my bike back around and took off after this driver. Since this is the suburbs there are many stop signs. I chased the car and was within shouting distance of it when the driver realized I was coming, and they hit the gas and took off.

Point of the story: Has anyone else been in this situation, where there is seemingly no way this person could not be aware of where you are and unknowingly cuts you on the right hand turn? I feel wrong for chasing after the driver, but at the same time I felt they needed to know what happened. In hindsight, I should have just put on the brakes right away when the person lined up with me.
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Old 11-03-11, 03:39 PM   #2
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No, he saw you. Didn't care, but he saw you. Why else would he take off?

I wouldn't have chased him down...people are stupid and do stupid things, especially when driving.
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Old 11-03-11, 03:47 PM   #3
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I point at people when I feel them coming up beside me. It will focus thier attention to you. They may still do something stupid. I see it all the time.
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Old 11-03-11, 03:50 PM   #4
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Pointing? I may start trying that. What are some tactics you guys deploy if you feel the pressure of a driver on you
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Old 11-03-11, 03:53 PM   #5
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I was on US 69 highway in town going to work at 4:30 AM Wednesday. this woman pulled out in front of me and crossed the highway. I was going 20+ MPH and got stopped about 12 to 15 feet in front of her passenger door. I would have T-boned her in the rear door if I hadn't sensed she was not going to yield. I'm afraid I yelled something uncomplimentary at her and her front window was open. I went on as I had to be at work by 5AM and like to get there a half hour in advance. Maybe that was why I saw a police car going towards the Casey's Store where she pulled in. Yes I had strobe lights on and ANSI lime green shirt on over my coat. I have to curb my tongue though.
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Old 11-03-11, 04:01 PM   #6
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I would have T-boned her in the rear door if I hadn't sensed she was not going to yield. I'm afraid I yelled something uncomplimentary at her and her front window was open.
That is pretty much how it went down for me. What do you think is going through the drivers mind? Self entitlemnt? Oblivious? Out of sight out of mind? I try very hard in life to put myself in that persons shoes and in situations like these I just cannot fathom how one can be so blind in a car. You know? I live in an area that has a strong amish community, so bikes and horse+buggies on the road is a very normal site here. Drives me nuts how blind some people are (not that I dont miss a thing or 3 on my bike as well)
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Old 11-03-11, 04:06 PM   #7
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Ahhh, the classic right hook. I am always on the lookout for clueless drivers to pull this on me. I know it is not intentional (at least I hope it isn't), but I will yell LOUD to get the driver's attention. It usually works, but I've had a few close calls.

I've also been tempted to follow people to give them a piece of my mind, but the adrenaline/anger that arises in the moment typically falls away pretty quickly.
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Old 11-03-11, 04:33 PM   #8
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I had that happen recently myself. I was in the right tire track as we approached the intersection. She "pushed". If I hadn't moved over she would have hit me. I did look over at her and she saw me.

What happened next may have been stupid on my part but I was mad. We both stopped at the light behind another car going straight. She was signalling right. When the light turned green I kept on going straight keeping right behind the car in front. She honked her horn at me but either had to wait 1/2 sec or run me down. She waited.

In retrospect, I should have just got behind her. Maybe pantomined writing her license. But I don't always think when angry.
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Old 11-03-11, 04:37 PM   #9
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if they pull up next to me and slow down while approaching an intersection, I get ready to turn right. This really has never happened to me where I had any other choice.
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Old 11-03-11, 05:41 PM   #10
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i get "hooked" on sixth ave coming home everyday, and i'm sure most of the drivers see me and basically don't care.

ive found in cases where i'm not entirely sure if the driver knows i'm there or not that sound is my best bet at getting peoples attention.

for low level or close proximity threats i make a good duck sound (yes a duck sound), that really gets peoples attention. this also often has the effect of making people smile or make a sound back.

for high threat or long distance warnings i use my exceptionally piercing wolf whistle.

while these may not be an option for you, calling out (as suggested above), or a horn/bell can work.

though, i can still dream of a spy hunter commuter with tactical solutions....
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Old 11-03-11, 06:00 PM   #11
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I generally prefer to make the sound of hand slapping sheet metal
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Old 11-03-11, 06:02 PM   #12
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That is pretty much how it went down for me. What do you think is going through the drivers mind? Self entitlemnt? Oblivious? Out of sight out of mind? I try very hard in life to put myself in that persons shoes and in situations like these I just cannot fathom how one can be so blind in a car. You know? I live in an area that has a strong amish community, so bikes and horse+buggies on the road is a very normal site here. Drives me nuts how blind some people are (not that I dont miss a thing or 3 on my bike as well)
I think some drivers think, it's only a bike, so I don't have to obey traffic rules or I don't want to wait a few seconds for a bike and can make the turn in time.
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Old 11-03-11, 06:04 PM   #13
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@unterhausen

ive done that maybe 3 times, and only when encountering a "drifter" who obviously never saw me and is slowly squeezing me up against the parked cars....
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Old 11-03-11, 06:10 PM   #14
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That's why you should take the lane through an intersection like that. They can't hook you when they can't get around you.
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Old 11-03-11, 06:58 PM   #15
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I tend to stay toward left of right turn lane (or take entire straight lane) depending on width and situation. Basically no right hooking situation unless someone is turning right from straight only lane to right. This seem to work just about all the time. If you don't feel confident about taking lane... well, just keep looking around until you are sure no one is going to right hook you, etc. Might miss a light but you will feel safer after all. (and that does take priority)
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Old 11-03-11, 08:19 PM   #16
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When I feel a car coming up too close to me, I spit to my left. It's amazing, they can't see a whole bicyclist, but they can see a little bit of spit. I usually get plenty of room that way.
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Old 11-03-11, 08:37 PM   #17
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You are invisible. Someone can be looking right at you, you think, and not even see you. Their brain is focused on something else, and only a large object like a car will register. Don't ever
forget this.
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Old 11-03-11, 08:52 PM   #18
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You are invisible. Someone can be looking right at you, you think, and not even see you. Their brain is focused on something else, and only a large object like a car will register. Don't ever
forget this.
+1...cars look for cars, we don't fit the radar. If they're even slightly distracted, we're in trouble. It's definitely worse in the burbs and on roads where they don't expect you. I assume that everyone might do something incredibly stupid at all times.
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Old 11-03-11, 09:22 PM   #19
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Yep, I did that when I first started commuting. A kid passed me, actually had to gun the engine, then turned right in front of me to get into the high school parking lot. I rode up to him and read him the riot act about right hooks. I think I scared the helloutta the poor kid. I think this is fairly common to do this kind of thing at least once. Now I read traffic better and am rarely surprised. And when someone does do something that peeves me, I flash him the finger salute.... I wave all five fingers at him in a friendly wave. In my mind I'm only giving him the one finger, but things seem to turn out better if I smile and wave, and, if his window is down, I yell, "I LOVE YOU!" That usually catches them by surprise.
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Originally Posted by bragi "However, it's never a good idea to overgeneralize."
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Old 11-03-11, 09:24 PM   #20
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When I feel a car coming up too close to me, I spit to my left. It's amazing, they can't see a whole bicyclist, but they can see a little bit of spit. I usually get plenty of room that way.
Just don't do that to Bubba and accidentally get any on his truck.
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Originally Posted by bragi "However, it's never a good idea to overgeneralize."
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Old 11-03-11, 09:50 PM   #21
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I point at people when I feel them coming up beside me. It will focus thier attention to you. They may still do something stupid. I see it all the time.
I find this works best. I do this as well all the time. I even point at drivers who are on the opposite side who are turning left. Or those perpendicular to me. I usually wave thanks or thumbs up as I am passing. Also point in the direction I am heading. Even if you signal with your hand correctly to turn right, some drivers may be confused. If i am turning right, I stick my right-arm out.

You did great in anticipating a right-hook. It happened to me once on a double right-turning lane. I am sure the motorist didn't see me and as they didn't signal but turned. I anticipated this and there was no issue.
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Old 11-11-11, 07:30 PM   #22
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Just don't do that to Bubba and accidentally get any on his truck.
Timing is key.
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Old 11-12-11, 12:14 PM   #23
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I say take the lane! Any time I'm approaching an intersection with stops, I take the lane. Few things scares me more than some dummy passing me in the middle of a four way. I also like to take the lane prior to turns, just for comfort and to assert my status as a vehicle.

Anyone else hate it when cars yield to you when they have no reason other than thinking they are being courteous?

Eg. I was coming to a stop sign the other day right as a car was aproaching my left on the intersecting street(which has no stop sign) and she stopped in the middle of the street to let me go. I sat there and pointed @ my stop sign and she sped off as if offended by my refusal to accept her "kind" gesture. Maybe I'm crazy but id just rather folks followed the rules.
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Old 11-12-11, 02:51 PM   #24
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I have had problems with right turners in the bike lane. Usually I go with my gut instinct if something feels weird I usually slow up to a crawl to deal with them.
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Old 11-14-11, 01:30 PM   #25
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Take the lane.
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