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Old 07-27-09, 07:33 AM   #1
HopedaleHills
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Driver Altercation!

This happened on the ride mentioned in the previous thread. I was riding along Rt 126 in Bellingham, MA when I noticed a car starting to pull out of a VFW parking lot right in front of me. I slowed a bit, the driver looked right at me and proceeded to pull out anyway. I was right in front of his car when he pulled out and swerved just enough to avoid being hit. I was going to let the incident go and continue on but the driver stopped his car and yelled out the window "What the f*** you doing a**hole". I stopped, dropped the bike and invited him out of the car (I know, bad move, I'm a little guy). He just kept cursing so I asked if he was having a hard time driving drunk at 3:00 in the afternoon and that just maybe I should call the police to settle this. He promptly left. Boy, some people. Unfortunately, I didn't get his plate number.
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Old 07-27-09, 07:53 AM   #2
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Carry your cell phone in an accessible pocket, pull it out and take a picture. No need for words.
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Old 07-27-09, 10:34 AM   #3
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I stopped, dropped the bike and invited him out of the car (I know, bad move, I'm a little guy).
Bad move???

Terrible move!

Good way to get seriously injured. While it may not be "manly" I'm of the opinion it is better to let *ssh*les be *ssh*les and live to ride another day.
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Old 07-27-09, 05:04 PM   #4
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Tom,

As others have written, dumb move.
Have I made similar dumb moves? You bet.

Remember; instant *sshole, just add alcohol.

I think one problem cyclists have is that when we ride our circulatory systems are working well, so when something comes up and dumps a bunch of adrenaline, our already spun circulatory induces little delay. Sometimes this just may encourage us to do "dumb things"

Jeff, still fat
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Old 07-27-09, 05:16 PM   #5
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I disagree with the herd.

Motorcyclists get more respect on the road due to the gangs of the 70's.

Some folks really do want to hurt cyclists on the road. They deserve what they get.

Being passive or giving a sermon to someone who has no problem running you down is ridiculous.

One can't take on the whole world but one shouldn't take any grief either.

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Old 07-27-09, 07:42 PM   #6
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Originally Posted by HopedaleHills View Post
This happened on the ride mentioned in the previous thread. I was riding along Rt 126 in Bellingham, MA when I noticed a car starting to pull out of a VFW parking lot right in front of me. I slowed a bit, the driver looked right at me and proceeded to pull out anyway. I was right in front of his car when he pulled out and swerved just enough to avoid being hit. I was going to let the incident go and continue on but the driver stopped his car and yelled out the window "What the f*** you doing a**hole". I stopped, dropped the bike and invited him out of the car (I know, bad move, I'm a little guy). He just kept cursing so I asked if he was having a hard time driving drunk at 3:00 in the afternoon and that just maybe I should call the police to settle this. He promptly left. Boy, some people. Unfortunately, I didn't get his plate number.
Hey I live in Framingham, MA not to far from Bellingham. I had my wedding reception at that VFW almost 30 years ago. I will have to remember to pay close attention when riding past a VFW. Glad you did not get hit.
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Old 07-27-09, 08:08 PM   #7
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He just kept cursing so I asked if he was having a hard time driving drunk at 3:00 in the afternoon and that just maybe I should call the police to settle this. He promptly left.
I suspect that if one inspected the upholstery in the driver's seat of his car at this point, one might find some button holes. Good job!
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Old 07-27-09, 10:15 PM   #8
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Just the other day outside of Madison, a driver cut off a cyclist, the cyclist gave him the finger and yelled profanities at him. The driver then swung around, nearly hit the cyclist, got out and beat the crap out of cyclist. Guy had to go to the hospital. I think they are still looking for the driver.
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Old 07-28-09, 06:21 AM   #9
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Hopedale,
I donít mean to hijack your thread, but your experience is instructive for us all.
I had an incident a year or so ago that I am still debating. I was on a road that had a curb and no shoulders. A pickup pulling a trailer ran a stop sign from my left front, and turned in my direction. He then proceeded to end up in my lane head on. I was doing 20+, he was only traveling 10-15mph. Everything happened so fast but here is what I saw:
The driver had a cell phone held to his ear with his right hand and was leaning to his left looking down as if he had dropped something during his turn. He had no idea that he was about to get a new hood ornament (me). I hollered at him (thankfully his window was down), he looked up and swerved back into his lane. I passed by the drivers window with only inches to spare. In passing I uttered a few unkind words about his cell phone practices. The driver stopped in the middle of the road, got out of his vehicle (I was 100 yards on down the road by then) and began to scream at me. People actually came out of the nearby houses to see what was going on. I stopped and pedaled back and listened to him rant then rode on. His main complaint was that I did not live nearby and had no business on his roadway.
After discussing this incident with others, and pondering it over and over I have come to these conclusions:
a. I donít have a horn to get a driverís attention so I often holler to get their attention, and I will continue this practice.
b. When a driver realizes that someone has had the temerity to holler at him, his blood immediately boils, never mind the nearly new hood ornament
c. I probably should not have communicated with him as I passed his open window.
d. In the future I will not stop to listen, or in any way get involved in the ranting
e. I donít carry a cell phone when I ride and wonít in the future
f. I am still searching for that mental state for riding where I can just let these incidents go without letting my blood pressure rise
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Old 07-28-09, 06:28 AM   #10
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some people are alive just because its illegal to kill them.
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Old 07-28-09, 07:14 AM   #11
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some people are alive just because its illegal to kill them.
+1

Intelligence has limits. Stupidity knows no bounds (I'm referring to the driver of the car).

However, when clad in a thin layer of spandex I consider it bad form to confront anyone who is clad in three thousand pounds of steel, and might have a gun and a short tempered, deranged, and angry mind inside.
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Old 07-28-09, 07:30 AM   #12
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...While it may not be "manly" I'm of the opinion it is better to let *ssh*les be *ssh*les and live to ride another day.
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...f. I am still searching for that mental state for riding where I can just let these incidents go without letting my blood pressure rise
I'm with Tom and let it go...but letting it go doesn't mean that my blood doesn't boil.
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Old 07-30-09, 10:12 PM   #13
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Driver altercation

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Tom,

As others have written, dumb move.
Have I made similar dumb moves? You bet.

Remember; instant *sshole, just add alcohol.

I think one problem cyclists have is that when we ride our circulatory systems are working well, so when something comes up and dumps a bunch of adrenaline, our already spun circulatory induces little delay. Sometimes this just may encourage us to do "dumb things"

Jeff, still fat
I agree with the adrenaline thing! I am a peaceful reference library assistant but when a woman in a Hummer looked right at me and pulled out right in front of me, I flipped her the bird! And I meant it!
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Old 07-31-09, 05:20 AM   #14
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It can be very hard to keep one's composure when the fight or flight response kicks in. My rational self understands that it doesn't matter how big, strong, or efficient my fighting prowess might be - I'm no match for someone driving a two ton vehicle. For my part it is always an effort to keep my "knee jerk" reaction of wanting to eliminate the threat from taking over in such situations. Yet, it is what I try to do. I believe there are other ways to confront such hostile behavior. One is to get the license plate number (or take a quick photo) and report it to the police. In your particular situation, I would be inclined to report it to the police even without the license number or photo. Do you remember the make of the car or how the driver looks? There is a reasonable chance that if he was pulling out of the VFW he may be a regular. I encourage you to follow up on this so this driver knows his behavior is not going to go unreported. (In my youth I probably would have revisited the VFW at another time, looked for the car and flattened all the tires. But I like to think that I've matured over the years.) BTW, glad you weren't injured.
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Old 07-31-09, 06:00 AM   #15
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Interesting observations as usual from this group. I never considered the adrenaline aspect but it's probably true as I am one of the most laid back, peaceful people you may ever meet. Actually, after the incident I myself was suprised I had acted as I did.

The funny thing was my wife was so far ahead of me she did see any of this. When I finally caught up to where she was waiting, she says "Where the heck were you?" "Oh, just fighting with a drunk at the VFW"
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Old 07-31-09, 08:52 AM   #16
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To read this forum one would believe there are fist fights happening on every corner. Now I'm not the most even tempered person but do you really want to 1. end up in the hospital 2. end up in court 3 have to hire an attorney to defend your actions 4. pay a fine or do jail time or in the case of some licensed professsionals lose your livelyhood over a minor incident?

OK get mad but once the fists start flying the dollars fly even faster. Calm guys calm.
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Old 07-31-09, 09:29 AM   #17
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similar experience

HI,
this actually happened today ..
I had a truck cross the road to pull in a driveway nothing seemed to be out of order,except as I got closer he backed up on to the road blocking the two lanes in both directions (two lane country road)the older truck actually blocked both side of the road., I dind't notice what had happened until I was very close. My bad for glancing down for one second I was ridding on the lower bars , Ive noticed my head tends to lean forward and down to improve air flow you can miss things in a milli-second.
I managed to slide by his front bumper just missing the mailbox with my right shoulder, got a little gravel, fish tailed a bit as I went off the road. And managed to stay uprightand got back on the road never stopped.
I didn't even look back..
I was partially at fault as was he.
He sat there for a few seconds I guess he was surprised how close I came to his front bumper.
My adrenalin was really flowing my heart rate Jumped up to over my max.
Its called fight or flight response, it can improve you reflexes but may cause verbal altercations.
Accidents are lapses in attention be it ridding fatigue,cell phones and cars don't mix, and not ridding defensively.
I will be more carefull in the future.
Doug

PSPS remember theres mental disease going untreated in this country, think of someone driving a car who's clinically depressed , or worse has bi-polar disease they can have sever fits of rage and can make them want to harm someone. Some people don't take their meds, and this may trigger violent reactions for nothing. so that car driver maybe a little
crazy and looking for a fight.

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Old 07-31-09, 10:32 AM   #18
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I agree with the adrenaline thing! I am a peaceful reference library assistant but when a woman in a Hummer looked right at me and pulled out right in front of me, I flipped her the bird! And I meant it!
Doesn't sound very smart to me. She was obviously trying to scare you or otherwise get a reaction from you. "Flipping her the bird" was exactly the response she was hoping for - she knows that she made you mad and it didn't hurt her in the least.

Don't reward the jerks. Sometimes the best response is none at all.
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Old 07-31-09, 10:38 AM   #19
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This will be a long post about that something that happened to me a couple of months ago, so you have my permission to skip ahead to the next post if you want. That being said---
I was driving my car down the busiest street in Santa Fe. A huge SUV pulled right out in front of me and nearly hit me. Well, being the hot tempered, bad natured person that I am I flipped him off, passed him on the left and went on down the road. I thought nothing of it. Well, he was PO'd and pulled up next to me, on my right. I looked over expecting him to be yelling and cursing. But what I saw really gave me a start. There was a revolver muzzle sticking out the drivers window. No words, no nothing, just the gun pointed at me. I immediately slowed and got behind him. I got his make and model of car, the license plate number and state. I did have my cell phone with me and although it's illegal to drive and talk, I called 911. I reported what had happened and where we currently were. I continued to follow him as I talked to the operator. They took my number and said someone would call me. In just a few seconds a female officer called took the identifying information then asked me to repeat the story. I told her what had happened including that I had flipped him off. When I was through (we were by now out of Santa Fe and on the highway) telling the story she said, "There's nothing I can do since it was your fault." Huh?!! Ok, I admit I was aggressive in my use of finger gestures but my finger wasn't loaded and I assume his gun was. To me there's a huge, Atlantic ocean sized difference.
So, the point of my story is that I have learned to live and let live. It's not worth being really frightened or injured to just make my point. When I'm driving or cycling I just watch myself carefully for the fools and hope for the best.
Kate
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Old 07-31-09, 10:39 AM   #20
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Congrats!

At least you didn't stop, get the .40 S&W out and put a few rounds in his backside!

I have also learned to be more "humble" when on my bike than otherwise.
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Old 07-31-09, 10:57 AM   #21
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Doesn't sound very smart to me. She was obviously trying to scare you or otherwise get a reaction from you. "Flipping her the bird" was exactly the response she was hoping for - she knows that she made you mad and it didn't hurt her in the least.

Don't reward the jerks. Sometimes the best response is none at all.
I disagree - I think the Hummer driver looked right past miss kenton without seeing her (because she wasn't looking for a bicycle). I have a terrible habit in similar situations of yelling at drivers to "wake up - you're piloting two tons of steel" or "I'm glad ONE of us was paying attention." I am trying to break myself of the habit of the single finger salute, or of dropping F bombs.
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Old 07-31-09, 11:02 AM   #22
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This will be a long post about that something that happened to me a couple of months ago, so you have my permission to skip ahead to the next post if you want. That being said---
I was driving my car down the busiest street in Santa Fe. A huge SUV pulled right out in front of me and nearly hit me. Well, being the hot tempered, bad natured person that I am I flipped him off, passed him on the left and went on down the road. I thought nothing of it. Well, he was PO'd and pulled up next to me, on my right. I looked over expecting him to be yelling and cursing. But what I saw really gave me a start. There was a revolver muzzle sticking out the drivers window. No words, no nothing, just the gun pointed at me. I immediately slowed and got behind him. I got his make and model of car, the license plate number and state. I did have my cell phone with me and although it's illegal to drive and talk, I called 911. I reported what had happened and where we currently were. I continued to follow him as I talked to the operator. They took my number and said someone would call me. In just a few seconds a female officer called took the identifying information then asked me to repeat the story. I told her what had happened including that I had flipped him off. When I was through (we were by now out of Santa Fe and on the highway) telling the story she said, "There's nothing I can do since it was your fault." Huh?!! Ok, I admit I was aggressive in my use of finger gestures but my finger wasn't loaded and I assume his gun was. To me there's a huge, Atlantic ocean sized difference.
So, the point of my story is that I have learned to live and let live. It's not worth being really frightened or injured to just make my point. When I'm driving or cycling I just watch myself carefully for the fools and hope for the best.
Kate
Kate, I reckon that's what they mean when they say "An armed society is polite society"
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Old 07-31-09, 03:23 PM   #23
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This will be a long post about that something that happened to me a couple of months ago, so you have my permission to skip ahead to the next post if you want. That being said---
I was driving my car down the busiest street in Santa Fe. A huge SUV pulled right out in front of me and nearly hit me. Well, being the hot tempered, bad natured person that I am I flipped him off, passed him on the left and went on down the road. I thought nothing of it. Well, he was PO'd and pulled up next to me, on my right. I looked over expecting him to be yelling and cursing. But what I saw really gave me a start. There was a revolver muzzle sticking out the drivers window. No words, no nothing, just the gun pointed at me. I immediately slowed and got behind him. I got his make and model of car, the license plate number and state. I did have my cell phone with me and although it's illegal to drive and talk, I called 911. I reported what had happened and where we currently were. I continued to follow him as I talked to the operator. They took my number and said someone would call me. In just a few seconds a female officer called took the identifying information then asked me to repeat the story. I told her what had happened including that I had flipped him off. When I was through (we were by now out of Santa Fe and on the highway) telling the story she said, "There's nothing I can do since it was your fault." Huh?!! Ok, I admit I was aggressive in my use of finger gestures but my finger wasn't loaded and I assume his gun was. To me there's a huge, Atlantic ocean sized difference.
So, the point of my story is that I have learned to live and let live. It's not worth being really frightened or injured to just make my point. When I'm driving or cycling I just watch myself carefully for the fools and hope for the best.
Kate
Dag! That is a horrifying story! I will think of it the next time I am tempted to flip somebody off and keep my fingers wrapped around the handlebars! Thank God you are OK
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Old 07-31-09, 03:53 PM   #24
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I have to agree with zoste, "An armed society is polite society". The very last thing I want to do is bring out my gun. It elevates a situation to a whole new level, and depending on the response, can require using the gun. Doesn't matter if I'm right or wrong, my life will then turn into a mess with courts, law enforcement, civil suits, and lawyers. So unless my life is threatened, the gun stays holstered and hidden. I do not give anyone the finger, yell, or curse. The stare of disdain and disgust is about all that happens. When Arizona started issuing concealed weapons permits about 15 years ago, the opposition said there would be increased shootings and firearms mayhem. It hasn't happened. There's no point in escalating something with someone who could very well be a nut case. Do you really want to go there?
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Old 07-31-09, 04:02 PM   #25
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Use of the single finger salute when in traffic is an invitation to road rage. It does not matter whether you are in a car or on a bike - don't do it.

Look at it this way - most if not all of us here are intelligent people, we at least can read and write. The guy at the other end of your finger could be a Neanderthal with a gun. I learned this lesson over 20 years ago when I flipped someone off and I ended up in a high-speed road chase as this guy was trying to kill me - this was pre cell phones. I was able to loose him but it was a very scary learning experience. A few years later I learned a story of a cyclist riding with some friends of mine, he flipped off a driver, the driver got in front of the cyclist and slammed on the breaks, they cyclist ended up through the rear window and in the back seat, the police said it was the cyclist fault - traveling too close behind.

I try only to loose my temper with myself. The moment I am perfect is the moment I can expect more from the rest of humanity. Sometimes I forget, but as I age those times are getting fewer - particularly as I gain more and more experience. Righteous indignation is a luxury left to teenagers and stupid third world dictators.
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