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  1. #1
    johnliu@earthlink.net jyl's Avatar
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    Weeks Since Your Last Hostile Driver?

    I was riding down a major (arterial) road here in Portland - NE Sandy for the locals - probably doing 25 mph, just managing to pace the car ahead of me, feeling fairly pleased. A car that had been following behind us changed lanes to pass me on the left - a safe pass, plenty of room - and the passenger stuck his head out the window and yelled something not entirely intelligible but clearly uncomplimentary. I heard "road" and "idiot".

    This bothered me for a few seconds, and then I realized that I hardly remember the last time I've encountered a hostile driver, or passenger in this case, and that made me smile. Thinking hard about it, I'd say it has been at least 100 weeks or 2 years.

    So, here is the question. How many weeks has it been since your last encounter with a HOSTILE driver or passenger.

    Be clear on the definition: by "HOSTILE", I mean s/he cursed at you, threw something, deliberately buzzed or swerved at or brake checked you, or otherwise intentionally directed overt abuse or intimidation at you. I do not mean s/he was inattentive, clueless, moron, passed you too close because s/he was picking her nose with her mascara brush, or s/he sent you hostile vibes or nasty looks or lips were mouthing something unpleasant. Let's not be babies about this. We're riding in the city, mixing with cars, need thick skin.
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  2. #2
    Senior Member ill.clyde's Avatar
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    Does the middle finger count? Because that was only a week or so ago.

  3. #3
    Senior Member awfulwaffle's Avatar
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    In 3 years commuting, I don't think I've ever encountered a hostile driver. Then again I make it a point to commute by back roads and MUPs, which may have something to do with it.

  4. #4
    Senior Member RPK79's Avatar
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    Last Tuesday I was doing some hill repeats and as I was heading home from them I was traveling on a road that turned into a 4 lane road, however, before it switched from 2 to 4 there was a short section that has a center island. The island creates a very short (very short!) stretch of road that is impossible to pass on. Before entering this stretch I looked back to check for cars and there was only one behind me and it was a good distance back so I took the center of the lane to keep them from having any stupid passing thoughts. They got all ***** at me and then aggressively passed the second the lane opened. As the approached the light at the end of the block it changed and they ran the red. I was there moments later since I had been traveling fairly close to the speed limit.

    Now that I think about it, that area is home to more than one of my hostile driver encounters. Its proximity to the high school is the likely cause.

  5. #5
    Senior Member CrankyOne's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by RPK79 View Post
    Its proximity to the high school is the likely cause.
    Where are you? High school drivers here are very rarely a problem. Middle aged guys in pickups seem to be the worst.

  6. #6
    Senior Member RPK79's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by CrankyOne View Post
    Where are you? High school drivers here are very rarely a problem. Middle aged guys in pickups seem to be the worst.
    <---Southeast Minnesota

  7. #7
    Senior Member CrankyOne's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by RPK79 View Post
    <---Southeast Minnesota
    Rochester? Small town? Are high school kids a particular problem there?

  8. #8
    Senior Member RPK79's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by CrankyOne View Post
    Rochester? Small town? Are high school kids a particular problem there?
    Hastings. No one is a particular problem here.

  9. #9
    Senior Member rumrunn6's Avatar
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    last Saturday two people squirted water bottles at me, one was in the passenger seat and the other in the rear passenger side seat. I got it on video. it was startling but not devastating. their hands and bottles were still out of the window after they ran out of water and as soon as I realized what happened I shouted: "Hey!" and I could see their hands jerk as if they just realized their actions weren't anonymous.
    cycling is like baseball ~ it doesn't take much to make it interesting

  10. #10
    Senior Member alan s's Avatar
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    Two hostile peds this week. One who thought her presense in a narrow underpass required me to wait at the end for her to pass through, and yelled something uncomplimentary at me. Another was a salmon ped I had to stop for and put a foot down while he stood in front of me, waiting for oncoming bikes to pass. He yelled something rude about how he couldn't get past me, but he was clearly blocking the way. I don't mix with cars that much, fortunately.

  11. #11
    johnliu@earthlink.net jyl's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by ill.clyde View Post
    Does the middle finger count? Because that was only a week or so ago.
    I'd say flipping off counts if the hands are out of the car.
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  12. #12
    Senior Member TransitBiker's Avatar
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    Theres at least one yahoo on every ride.

    - Andy
    I can't wait for the next pint of good chocolate milk after a long ride.

  13. #13
    Seņior Member ItsJustMe's Avatar
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    It's been a hell of a long time. Several years. I've been riding about 10 years now and I think I've had maybe 2 drivers that I would count as hostile. If you count long honks as they're passing but they pass safely and don't do anything dangerous, then earlier this week. I usually get 4 or 5 of those every spring then the idiots calm down for the rest of the year. I don't know why this happens in the spring - I've been riding the same route all winter and now they honk?
    Work: the 8 hours that separates bike rides.

  14. #14
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    1 day. Dick in a Prius passes me while I was at a stop sign waiting for traffic to clear. What kind of person does that? It really makes me want to get a video camera, but I'm not sure the police or local news would care if there was no collision.

  15. #15
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    A long time since I personally encountered anything hostile beyond a honk of a horn. But a couple days ago a driver drifted over to the right and his passenger-side mirror hit a rider some distance ahead of me on our group ride on a perfectly straight, flat, and wide road. Hard to know if it was hostile intent or just carelessness since he sped off leaving only his mirror behind. The rider will be ok but has a broken collar bone and three ribs in addition to lots of cuts and scrapes.

  16. #16
    rugged individualist wphamilton's Avatar
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    I did get honked at two days ago but that was the clueless/intimidation variety, not overtly hostile. It's been at least a year or two.

  17. #17
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    Somebody threw a soda at me a few years ago. They missed. I can be oblivious though. I bet if I got a gopro you'd see an endless stream of soda bottles flying just behind my head.

  18. #18
    Senior Member NOS88's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by TransitBiker View Post
    Theres at least one yahoo on every ride.

    - Andy
    +1 - Maybe it's the area in which we live. Or, perhaps it's how one defines hostile. But pretty much every commute, there are visible signs of annoyance, dislike, aggression, etc. from one or more vehicles. Most times the expressions are kept well under control by the vehicle operator, but there is no mistake that he or she is unhappy with cyclist on the same road/streets. Dirty stares are the most common expression of hostility, followed by the comments just loud enough to know they were not compliments. The instances of throwing things, cutting me off, etc. are, however, pretty rare.

    But, and it's a big one, here's the thing. I get the same kind of reactions and see the same kind of behaviors when driving my car. So, I know it's not targeted at just cyclists. It seems to be targeted at anyone who does anything to reduce another driver's complete access to any part of the road at any speed. A sense of entitlement seems to swell with many folks when they get behind the wheel.
    A conclusion is the place where you got tired of thinking. - S. Wright
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  19. #19
    Senior Member TransitBiker's Avatar
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    My response to any verbal encounters is usually "ok thanks have a nice day!".......

    - Andy
    I can't wait for the next pint of good chocolate milk after a long ride.

  20. #20
    Senior Member mrodgers's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by alan s View Post
    Two hostile peds this week. One who thought her presense in a narrow underpass required me to wait at the end for her to pass through, and yelled something uncomplimentary at me. Another was a salmon ped I had to stop for and put a foot down while he stood in front of me, waiting for oncoming bikes to pass. He yelled something rude about how he couldn't get past me, but he was clearly blocking the way. I don't mix with cars that much, fortunately.
    Everything I read states that you walk, run, or jog on the opposite side of the road facing traffic. Thus, he wouldn't have been a salmon ped, would he?
    Ride no faster than your Guardian Angel can fly!

  21. #21
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    One week ago. In stop and go traffic (I do not filter) an old man yelled at me to not take the lane. I just said I am allowed, going as fast as traffic and asked him where he would go (we were at a light about 8 cars back with two lanes of solid traffic.

    Before that a month and a bit ago some young fellow laid on his horn (45-60 seconds contionuous) since I was first in line at the stop line not using the bike lane.

    Prior to the I was crossing the Knight Street bridge in February and a guy in a pickup yelled to get off the road, Though true in this case I was not impeeding his progress in anyway.

    Before that it was years and probably my first few months of commuting in 2008. Some guy at 6:45 am leaned out his window yelled at me like a maniac to get off the road and proceded to swerve and sway at 50 km/h and acceelerating while yelling as he passed. I laughed.

    Wait there was one in spring/summer 2013. While I lived in Kingston, ON last year that my son and I were going to the YMCA and a woman unsafely passed in a residental, busy, YMCA, library, 90° corner area. As she did that my son in his seat dropped his tupper ware. The car behind me honked to let me know. I threw up a thumbs up thanks sign. The woman who passed stopped and pinned us in the YMCA drive and started to get out and berate me in front of my son and Y patrons. I have no idea why she was angry, nor did I even engage or reason with her type of crazy. Though I was scared and had the forsight to see it about to happen and I asked a woman in the lot to watch and help if needed. My adreniline was surging, I wished I got her plate and reported her, I knew about where she lived and could have but choose not to. That was the scariest situtaion ever for me and hastile drive, more since she was endagering my son.

    I do not count impatient honkers or close passes since they are likley oblivious.

  22. #22
    http://www.538.nl acidfast7's Avatar
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  23. #23
    Senior Member jrickards's Avatar
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    Hostile, but not exactly aggressively so: on Monday morning, an Audi passed me and then reached the traffic stopped at the lights before me but stopped right up against the curb so I couldn't pass him/her on the curb side of the car. I wasn't interested in passing, I was fine to wait in line behind the car but his/her actions were duly noted. It became clear that the intent was to prevent me from passing because once the cars started to move, this person moved to the centre of the lane and was not a curb-driver as a normal practice.
    Yeah, I've been thinking about it and I've come to the conclusion that being an adult isn't going to work for me.

  24. #24
    Senior Member alan s's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by mrodgers View Post
    Everything I read states that you walk, run, or jog on the opposite side of the road facing traffic. Thus, he wouldn't have been a salmon ped, would he?
    May not have been clear that this was on a MUP, and a fairly narrow one at that. 99.9% of the users stay right around here, whether on foot or bike. If you are overtaking a ped, and there is an oncoming bike, you slow down and wait for the oncoming bike to pass. Salmoning peds foul up the otherwise smooth flow of traffic. In this case, we had a standoff, as I had no room to pass due to several bikes coming the other way. If the guy just stayed on the right, the oncoming bikes would have slowed until I passed. Not too complicated a scheme. The nasty diatribe from the ped was completely uncalled for.

  25. #25
    Senior Member Giant Doofus's Avatar
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    It's rare for me. In fact, I find most drivers in this area to be very polite, almost protective of me. I have been yelled at -- "Get on the sidewalk!" -- a couple of times, but that's twice in nine months. Pretty good, I'd say!

    Clueless drivers on the other hand....

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