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Commuting Bicycle commuting is easier than you think, before you know it, you'll be hooked. Learn the tips, hints, equipment, safety requirements for safely riding your bike to work.

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Old 04-03-14, 04:32 PM   #26
Giant Doofus 
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I was driving my pickup truck the other day, and this lady started taking a video of me. I flipped the bird and lost control, crashing into the median. Please let me know if you know her. I want to apologize for my rude behavior.
Beautiful.

No, I never flip anyone off. Ever. It's just not a thing I do, which is not to say that I haven't entertained some very aggressive thoughts. What I'm more likely to do if someone is actively, currently endangering me is to yell "HEY!" several times at the top of my lungs. It's surprisingly effective at catching a driver's attention.
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Old 04-03-14, 04:52 PM   #27
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I was driving my pickup truck the other day, and this lady started taking a video of me. I flipped the bird and lost control, crashing into the median. Please let me know if you know her. I want to apologize for my rude behavior.

I got a good laugh out of this. Thank you!
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Old 04-03-14, 06:16 PM   #28
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You notice and remember them because the car is distinctive, just like drivers notice and remember errant cyclists because they are less common. They are probably no more or less likely to drive like jerks than anyone else.
I'd normally agree, but my beef used to be BMW', Pious's and Mercedes.. I have so little encounters anymore that each car is fairly distinct.. and the past however many months they've all just been different colored Pious's
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Old 04-03-14, 07:13 PM   #29
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Where I live people are armed, I don't ever escalate. An armed society is a polite society....
Yes we are so at the most I just shake my head and mumble to myself
I try very hard not to escalate the situation
but some people are bully's and it just encourages them when you don't respond in a aggressive manor
Then it can get real ugly because like most people I don't play well with bully's

Last edited by Bent Bill; 04-03-14 at 07:25 PM.
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Old 04-03-14, 07:30 PM   #30
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I don't do the finger - I do the fist-elbow gesture. This is a much more animated and expressive way of communicating contempt and can be quite graceful and elegant if done on the fly. Sometimes called the "bras d'honneur", the "corte de mangas", or the "forearm jerk"; it has somewhat of a continental flavor as well.



I do it infrequently, but once an SUV with a couple geriatric occupants pulled out from an on-street parking spot while I was about to pass, forcing me to emergency brake. I shouted "bad move - next time wait" or something like that. At the next intersection they were in the left turn lane at a stop light... across two other lanes from me in the bike lane - lots of cars watching as an old man flipped me his crooked decrepit digit. My response was significantly more threatening... I think he may have soiled his Depends.

Last edited by DiabloScott; 04-03-14 at 07:40 PM.
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Old 04-03-14, 08:03 PM   #31
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Honestly, my commutes are fairly boring. People typically pass with at least 3 feet to spare and are fairly courteous. Not much call for flipping the bird.
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Old 04-03-14, 08:26 PM   #32
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I have never, but I so scream profanity at people. Lol
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Old 04-03-14, 08:30 PM   #33
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I have never, but I so scream profanity at people. Lol
+1

I never use the finger in anger, although I have used my voice to scream at someone. I had a gun pointed at me after using the middle digit - that was a painful lesson. Be very careful starting something you may not be able to finish....
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Old 04-03-14, 09:38 PM   #34
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I will admit that I have done this in the past, I was doing my usual 14 miler out by the airport. It's always really quiet and the landscape is relaxing. I was deep in thought riding about 16 miles an hour, I didn't realize the pickup truck full of teenagers out to pass. Well just as they past I heard the sound of the horn which made me freak! Thinking I was about to be hit from behind, I realized that they were just out pranking anyone they came across. Needless to say i stopped the bike and gave them the double bird!
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Old 04-03-14, 09:55 PM   #35
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Like once, ever since I've learned better.....

+ taking a hand off the bars is not a good idea
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Old 04-03-14, 09:58 PM   #36
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I was riding home late from work one night and had a car full of teenagers throw a D-cell battery out the window at me narrowly missing my face. I shot them the bird and they stopped 150 yards ahead and 5 of them got out. It was late and I always carried my big Bowie knife in my pack. I pulled it and rode right at them. They panicked jumped in the car, one bashing his head on the roof, and hit the gas. I just caught up and sunk the blade through the trunk lid. They went up the road did a u turn and headed back up the other side of the 8 ft. Median and luckily kept going screaming out the window the whole time. I heard hysterical laughing across the street at a business park. It was an armed guard watching the whole thing LHAO saying, "you gotta have the biggest balls I ever seen, I would've just run you over". Hell, I was scared out of my mind but had to take a chance.
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Old 04-03-14, 10:03 PM   #37
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Never. I come from a family that taught me not to.
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Old 04-04-14, 01:46 AM   #38
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I can't remember. It only fuels anger. In some cases it may fuel road rage and retaliation. When people pass me too close, etc I wave as though they're my friend. My wave is seen if they look in the rear view mirror, which will happen with some frequency. The wave also let's me dissapate my feelings around it. The wave also signals drivers behind me.

When a driver sees you flip one, they won't reflect on they're own behavior. They just get angry themselves and think bicyclist are aholes. And when others see you flip one, they think the same thing. When they see you wave though, they see you're not ignoring the afront, as though you don't care. But the anger is missing and that at least facilitates other feelings. In some cases, sympathy, empathy, and even respect.

Specifically with close passes, you'll notice that if you don't react at all, the traffic behind will tend to pass close too. People are not thinking much and just following the lead. A wave or two tends to break that cycle.

Sometimes drivers do outright mean things. But usually people make poor judgement while preoccupied with other things or in a hurry. Flipping a bird turns innocent mistakes into anger, resentment, and a bad attitude towards cyclists.
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Old 04-04-14, 01:50 AM   #39
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None. But I've only been at this commute thing for six months, give me time.
I've been at it since the 90s. Don't learn.
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Old 04-04-14, 02:02 AM   #40
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Originally Posted by Osman82 View Post
I was riding home late from work one night and had a car full of teenagers throw a D-cell battery out the window at me narrowly missing my face. I shot them the bird and they stopped 150 yards ahead and 5 of them got out. It was late and I always carried my big Bowie knife in my pack. I pulled it and rode right at them. They panicked jumped in the car, one bashing his head on the roof, and hit the gas. I just caught up and sunk the blade through the trunk lid. They went up the road did a u turn and headed back up the other side of the 8 ft. Median and luckily kept going screaming out the window the whole time. I heard hysterical laughing across the street at a business park. It was an armed guard watching the whole thing LHAO saying, "you gotta have the biggest balls I ever seen, I would've just run you over". Hell, I was scared out of my mind but had to take a chance.
You're lucky. That was a wimpy group of teenagers. If they turned that car on you, or just got out and whipped you ass good, I'm not so sure that having a knife would help you much.
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Old 04-04-14, 02:09 AM   #41
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Honestly, my commutes are fairly boring. People typically pass with at least 3 feet to spare and are fairly courteous. Not much call for flipping the bird.
Agree. Although I'd say "peaceful" rather than "boring" (but I bet you really think the same). More and more, people are sensitive and respectful to cyclists. There's a few bad apples out there. Flipping a bird does nothing for you or them or anybody watching.
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Old 04-04-14, 03:30 AM   #42
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once, would have been twice if I hadn't been run off my lane into the on coming side.
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Old 04-04-14, 07:00 AM   #43
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Fascinating assortment of ways to react to close calls. I never fly any birds. I may utter "jerk" or something, but only where I can hear it since the offender is out of ear shot by that time anyway. My second thought is usually, "Close, but thank God I'm still riding and not hurt."
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Old 04-04-14, 07:26 AM   #44
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Old 04-04-14, 07:46 AM   #45
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Whatever.

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I don't take it seriously whether giving or receiving. It's just a finger.
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Old 04-04-14, 08:09 AM   #46
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Never. I consider it a rude gesture. At most I yell something like "Hey!" or "Watch out!", but no insults.
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Old 04-04-14, 08:25 AM   #47
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I've done it once in the two years I've been commuting. BMW SUV (two strikes against him) was being a complete jerk while we waited at a red light.
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Old 04-04-14, 08:51 AM   #48
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A few times, when the driver deserved it. I usually feel bad about it afterwards, though. Does that help?
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Old 04-04-14, 08:59 AM   #49
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A few times, when the driver deserved it. I usually feel bad about it afterwards, though. Does that help?
I never feel bad. Sme people are horrible drivers and they need to learn to watch out!! I guess they are just lucky they don't make car horns on bikes
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Old 04-04-14, 09:00 AM   #50
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I never feel bad. Sme people are horrible drivers and they need to learn to watch out!! I guess they are just lucky they don't make car horns on bikes
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