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-   -   An Encounter with Sub-Magnon (http://www.bikeforums.net/general-cycling-discussion/41228-encounter-sub-magnon.html)

Prosody 11-24-03 12:51 AM

An Encounter with Sub-Magnon
 
Had a 50 mile ride Saturday, and about halfway through it I was marveling at how no drivers had given me any problems, how all the drivers around me, in fact, had been sweeties, giving me plenty of room and being patient when they were stuck behind me as I climbed narrow roads with no shoulders. I waved thank-you a lot on this ride.

I should have realized thinking about this would jinx me, though. On Chesterfield Airport Road--two lanes each way and a center turning lane--some jerk with the entire road available buzzed me. He must have come within six inches of me. I couldn't restrain myself; I flipped him off. He must have been looking at me in his rear-view mirror--perhaps having a good chuckle about nearly running me off the road--because he immediately flipped one right back at me.

Calling this guy a Neanderthal would be an insult to the entire Neanderthal species. Neanderthals, in fact, would not be so stupid as to turn into a parking lot right after buzzing a cyclist. This guy was no Neanderthal; he turned into the Smokehouse parking lot, and well, I try to be a reasonable person, but Sub-Magnon had introduced his prominent brow ridge into my otherwise perfect ride. I turned in after him, rode slowly by his mini-van, and uttered an appropriate insult. He shouted after me, "Why don't you get off the road!"

I have good brakes; they stopped me almost instantly so I could turn around and shout back, "Make me." Sub-Magnon, a pudgy fellow around my age, stepped out of the mini-van toward me, and I took a few steps toward him, explaining to him in firm, even-cadenced speech peppered with expletives that I had every right to be on the road. Sub-Magnon's female companion was distraught, worried, I imagine, that her sweetie would be beaten, which I had no intention of doing; I don't do things like that, and I stayed a good ten feet away from Sub-Magnon, but I was determined to shake this guy up at least as much as he had tried to shake me up. In cycling clothes, helmet, and sunglasses I must be an imposing figure: six feet, two inches tall and 250 pounds. After a heated interchange, Sub-Magnon told me to get a life, go figure. I decided to take his advice and continue on with the life I have. I rode off.

I feel a little bad because I forced several bystanders to listen to some inappropriate speech, but I also let them know exactly what this guy had done. I couldn't let go of my anger until I had ridden many more miles, but the Zen of cycling eventually returned and I had an absolutely perfect second half of my ride. I hope I shook this guy up enough that he could not let go of his anger for a long time.

Chris L 11-24-03 03:18 AM

Quote:

Originally Posted by Prosody
I feel a little bad because I forced several bystanders to listen to some inappropriate speech, but I also let them know exactly what this guy had done. I couldn't let go of my anger until I had ridden many more miles, but the Zen of cycling eventually returned and I had an absolutely perfect second half of my ride. I hope I shook this guy up enough that he could not let go of his anger for a long time.

This is yet another example of an issue that could be dealt with more effectively with a little arrogance on your part. There's basically no point talking to people like this, they simply aren't worth your time. You'll upset people like this far more if you just ignore them (I know, I do it everyday). If he bothers you that much, just call the cops and let them sort it out. Just imagine the reaction of his female companion to a police officer showing up on the doorstep.

uciflylow 11-24-03 03:54 AM

I feel your pain Prosody!

I have had nothing make me as mad as someone doing this to me! I would suggest getting his plate number and reporting it to the police, I know this advice is easier said than done also. Just rest assured that his arteries are cloging up right now, while you are keeping yourself healthy! Try and keep a healthy mind to go with it, you'll live longer! ;)

TriDevil 11-24-03 12:03 PM

Hell, I support what you did. Why are cyclists always supposed to take 'the honorable' route? Must we always just accept all the sh** we get and just think 'that persons an idiot, anyway Im fitter than they are'? I figure if most cyclists did what you did maybe there would be a little less road buzzing and other incidents. I commend you on having the guts to follow the guy into the parking lot. People honk and buzz me here but I can never catch them because there are no lights or they dont hit a red light.
Nothing like getting pissed off at someone to get your hr up and going too!

a2psyklnut 11-24-03 12:55 PM

I've actually had a similar thing happen to me on a ride. However, the ensuing yelling match escalated and I rode away uninjured, but the idiot driver was in a bad state and ended up with a damaged door panel as well!

I'm usually not a violent person, but also being of the 250 lb variety, I'm not affraid of much! This jerk saw me turn in after him, and I was merely going to yell at him and take down his license #. When he came after me, (I was still straddling my bike), I took defensive action.

In retrospect, probably not the smartest thing to do, because he could have come after me and run me down with his car. It ruined the rest of my ride because I was paranoid. Also, I'm sure the guy STILL busses cyclists.

However, it felt really good at the time!

L8R

don d. 11-24-03 05:57 PM

ditto
 
Quote:

Originally Posted by Chris L
This is yet another example of an issue that could be dealt with more effectively with a little arrogance on your part. There's basically no point talking to people like this, they simply aren't worth your time. You'll upset people like this far more if you just ignore them (I know, I do it everyday). If he bothers you that much, just call the cops and let them sort it out. Just imagine the reaction of his female companion to a police officer showing up on the doorstep.

What Chris said.

Da Tinker 11-24-03 06:09 PM

I try to advise such knuckle-draggers to return to driver's ed, and then quote chapter & verse of the relevant laws to them.

I, too, am of the 6'+ Clydesdale variety, and was taught how to express myself strongly & loudly by the finest of the USMC. Lately, I have derived more satisfaction out of riding off laughing, than cussing some moron out. It's more socially acceptable, too.

Rev.Chuck 11-24-03 08:23 PM

I prefer a big thumbs up. Then the parking lot incident goes like this:
Dude, why did you flip me off? I was giving you props for your mad driving skills.
You @%%$ cyclists need to stay the #%@ off the road!!
But then I could'nt witness incredible driving talent like yours. And discourse like this you just don't get every where.
&%#$ you skinny %$#^!!
Fantastic, your parents are no doubt proud of you, the fruit of their loins.
You call me a fruit you %$@$%^% *&^!!
No doubt, your innate radar of such things is working to perfection.

As much as I enjoy a good yelling match, it is so much more fun to play the role of affable yet obtuse cyclist. It is hysterical to watch someone blow a gasket while you are being "freindly" to them.

Chris L 11-24-03 09:09 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by TriDevil
Hell, I support what you did. Why are cyclists always supposed to take 'the honorable' route? Must we always just accept all the sh** we get and just think 'that persons an idiot, anyway Im fitter than they are'? I figure if most cyclists did what you did maybe there would be a little less road buzzing and other incidents.

On the other hand, maybe next time the fat turd will just stay in the car and step on the accelerator. Who's going to win that confrontation? In any case, a response was exactly what the fat turd wanted. Why give him the satisfaction? As I said previously, the cops get paid to deal with this rubbish, let them take care of it for you.

roadbuzz 11-24-03 09:24 PM

You know what's weird? In other circumstances he's probably just a regular guy. Maybe goes to church... belongs to a civic organization. But for some reason he choses to threaten your life with his vehicle. I mean, how different would it be if he pulled a pistol and fired a shot past your head, just close enough that you knew you'd been shot at? What if magnon had creamed you. Would he be like YES!, or would he be 'oh *****, what'd I just do?'

When some pin-head goes weaving in and out of traffic at 60 mph, missing sub's bumper by inches just so he can get to the light two cars sooner, does he assault that driver with his vehicle? That's certainly a bigger threat to his health and well being.

Yeah, I probably think about this stuff too much. :rolleyes:

Prosody 11-24-03 11:17 PM

I realize that confronting drivers like Sub-Magnon is usually not the best course of action, and most of the time I do not confront drivers. Most of the time I cannot catch up with them. Sometimes I have engaged drivers who buzzed me in civil conversation. Sub-Magnon ticked me off, though, because he appeared to be watching me in his rear-view mirror, which I interpreted as his way of taking pleasure in trying to shake me up. He really did not shake me up, but I have an impish side to my personality that compelled me to shake him up some in return. I managed, I think, to transform his smug satisfaction into fear and anger. I just wanted to invade his comfort zone a little. My perverse pleasure in the incident was the look on his face when, after he told me to get off the road, I slammed on my brakes, turned around, and said, "Make me." He didn't expect that, and he froze in that I-don't-know-whether-to-go-after-this-guy-or-run-away position that left him absolutely off balance.

On the other hand, reporting Sub-Magnon to the police would have been a waste of my time, and I'm sure the police officer would have considered it an even greater waste of his time.

Had Sub-Magnon not been the first (as as it turned out, only) jerk I encountered during an otherwise perfect ride, I might have shrugged him off more easily, but he had to mess with my bliss...

Chris L 11-25-03 03:05 AM

Quote:

Originally Posted by Prosody
Sub-Magnon ticked me off, though, because he appeared to be watching me in his rear-view mirror, which I interpreted as his way of taking pleasure in trying to shake me up. He really did not shake me up, but I have an impish side to my personality that compelled me to shake him up some in return.

In other words, even though he didn't shake you up, you decided to make him think that he had acheived his objective. As I said, I deal with this on an average of once a day. I've seen many of them stare in their mirror waiting for a reaction from me (or stare out the back window in some cases). I've seen many of them suddenly develop very pissed off expressions when they realise they didn't get the reaction they wanted. It's amazing just how much arrogance unbalances people more than aggression does.

Quote:

Originally Posted by Prosody
On the other hand, reporting Sub-Magnon to the police would have been a waste of my time, and I'm sure the police officer would have considered it an even greater waste of his time.

Have you actually tried reporting these things to the police? You might be surprised. Even if they don't issue a ticket, there's every chance they'll at least phone the guy and give him a lecture. That may well be all that's needed to stop him doing it again.

Quote:

Originally Posted by Prosody
Had Sub-Magnon not been the first (as as it turned out, only) jerk I encountered during an otherwise perfect ride, I might have shrugged him off more easily, but he had to mess with my bliss...

That's the wonderful thing about showing a bit of arrogance. When this happens to me, it doesn't mess with my bliss. In fact, I generally forget about it totally within five minutes of the incident. If not, well, the nearest police station won't be far away.

Prosody 11-25-03 08:42 AM

Chris,

You are absolutely right. Had I ignored this guy, I would have quickly forgotten about him. Maybe, for me, it's important to sometimes give people a piece of my mind.

chewa 11-25-03 09:19 AM

I can sympathise with you Prosody. I think we'd all like to handle matters calmly but often in the heat of battle..............

I tend to do what you did.

erraticrider 11-25-03 09:46 AM

Quote:

Originally Posted by Chris L
Have you actually tried reporting these things to the police? You might be surprised. Even if they don't issue a ticket, there's every chance they'll at least phone the guy and give him a lecture. That may well be all that's needed to stop him doing it again.

You obviously live where people don't mind paying enough taxes to get good public service. Here, the police are underpaid, overworked and simply don't have time for he-was-rude/threatening-to-me situations.

SipperPhoto 11-25-03 12:21 PM

[QUOTE=Prosody]I managed, I think, to transform his smug satisfaction into fear and anger. I just wanted to invade his comfort zone a little. My perverse pleasure in the incident was the look on his face when, after he told me to get off the road, I slammed on my brakes, turned around, and said, "Make me." He didn't expect that, and he froze in that I-don't-know-whether-to-go-after-this-guy-or-run-away position that left him absolutely off balance.

QUOTE]

And that's how bully types are... they'll buzz you, yell at you, possibly throw things at you, but when you confront them, with a "Make me" kinda comment, they usually back down... especially if you even lookd slightly intimidating, or crazed...

you ae right though.. reporting to the police, in most circumstances, does nothing... unless there was actual contact, they police might note it, but most likely, do nothing about it...

Jeff

digger 11-25-03 02:14 PM

[QUOTE=
Have you actually tried reporting these things to the police? You might be surprised. Even if they don't issue a ticket, there's every chance they'll at least phone the guy and give him a lecture. That may well be all that's needed to stop him doing it again.
.[/QUOTE]


I have tried getting the police involved with instances like this.

The reaction from the police?

Police: Was there anyone killed?

Me: No....

Police: Was there anyone hurt?

Me: Ah, no......

Police: Was there any property damage?

Me: Well......no.....

Police: Then we can't do anything.

Me: So you guys don't get involved UNTIL someone is hurt or killed?

Police: Yes

Me: Is that proper policing?

Police: Sir, nothing has happened that we can action on, its your word against his.

Me: Oh yes, I call you guys after my bike ride and make up some bull story about someone who almost killed me, just cause I am bored and have no life and I need the attention.

I won't go on anymore about the conversation, but the Police are useless.

Sorry Chris L. I AM glad it works for you though.

Digger

TeleJohn 11-25-03 05:11 PM

Guess it's a local thing. Police in my area will contact the driver when you report a near miss.

TrekRider 11-25-03 05:31 PM

I had similar occurrence, but one that left me chuckling for days!

Last summer I was whizzing along and some moron in a convertible cut me off, then flipped me off. I called out a friendly greeting "Thanks, you moron." The guy hit his brakes, screeched to a halt, and jumped up on his seat and screamed "What did you call me?"

I noticed he was about half my 6'3", 240lbs, and I said, "Sorry, sir. I should have said Thanks, you midget moron!"

He proceded to get red in the face, sputter, fume, and started telling me how he was a black belt and was going to kick my butt. I told him "Sonny, my 17 year old daughter is a black belt and a three time national champion. In addition to her, I know at least 10 black belts, both children and adults, and not one of them acts as immature as you. My guess is if you really are in martial arts, you are no more than a white belt, and not a very good one at that. But, if you want your ass kicked, please get our of your car unless you want blood all over the interior."

By the time I said "blood" he was back in the seat, and zooming away.

It was pretty funny looking back on it, but there is always the chance that these incredible imbecibles have a gun. Usually, I ignore them or give them a friendly wave.

shokhead 11-25-03 08:28 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by Prosody
Had a 50 mile ride Saturday, and about halfway through it I was marveling at how no drivers had given me any problems, how all the drivers around me, in fact, had been sweeties, giving me plenty of room and being patient when they were stuck behind me as I climbed narrow roads with no shoulders. I waved thank-you a lot on this ride.

I should have realized thinking about this would jinx me, though. On Chesterfield Airport Road--two lanes each way and a center turning lane--some jerk with the entire road available buzzed me. He must have come within six inches of me. I couldn't restrain myself; I flipped him off. He must have been looking at me in his rear-view mirror--perhaps having a good chuckle about nearly running me off the road--because he immediately flipped one right back at me.

Calling this guy a Neanderthal would be an insult to the entire Neanderthal species. Neanderthals, in fact, would not be so stupid as to turn into a parking lot right after buzzing a cyclist. This guy was no Neanderthal; he turned into the Smokehouse parking lot, and well, I try to be a reasonable person, but Sub-Magnon had introduced his prominent brow ridge into my otherwise perfect ride. I turned in after him, rode slowly by his mini-van, and uttered an appropriate insult. He shouted after me, "Why don't you get off the road!"

I have good brakes; they stopped me almost instantly so I could turn around and shout back, "Make me." Sub-Magnon, a pudgy fellow around my age, stepped out of the mini-van toward me, and I took a few steps toward him, explaining to him in firm, even-cadenced speech peppered with expletives that I had every right to be on the road. Sub-Magnon's female companion was distraught, worried, I imagine, that her sweetie would be beaten, which I had no intention of doing; I don't do things like that, and I stayed a good ten feet away from Sub-Magnon, but I was determined to shake this guy up at least as much as he had tried to shake me up. In cycling clothes, helmet, and sunglasses I must be an imposing figure: six feet, two inches tall and 250 pounds. After a heated interchange, Sub-Magnon told me to get a life, go figure. I decided to take his advice and continue on with the life I have. I rode off.

I feel a little bad because I forced several bystanders to listen to some inappropriate speech, but I also let them know exactly what this guy had done. I couldn't let go of my anger until I had ridden many more miles, but the Zen of cycling eventually returned and I had an absolutely perfect second half of my ride. I hope I shook this guy up enough that he could not let go of his anger for a long time.

Good for you.I hope his female friend doesnt give him any for a week.Pigs like that are all over and i mouth off as much as i can and it will most likly get by but kicked someday,maybe.I bet she was impressed with your extra padding where it counts.

Chris L 11-25-03 09:46 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by erraticrider
You obviously live where people don't mind paying enough taxes to get good public service.

Yep. Smartest decision I ever made.

keithnordstrom 11-29-03 02:21 PM

yeah, even here i don't see that happening. unless i call a riding buddy of mine who's a cop.

i sympathize, prosody. and i'm not sure i agree that the attention he got out of all of this was what he was looking for - being made to wet his pants in front of his gf for acting like a tough guy might make him think twice the next time.

of course, it might also make him angrier. so that *next* time he just checks to make sure the cyclist isn't bigger than him before he buzzes em ... given the human nature i know, this seems much more likely.

randya 11-29-03 09:25 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by digger
I have tried getting the police involved with instances like this.
The reaction from the police?
Police: Was there anyone killed?
Me: No....
Police: Was there anyone hurt?
Me: Ah, no......
Police: Was there any property damage?
Me: Well......no.....
Police: Then we can't do anything.
Me: So you guys don't get involved UNTIL someone is hurt or killed?
Police: Yes
Me: Is that proper policing?
Police: Sir, nothing has happened that we can action on, its your word against his.

Actually, in most states this driver can be cited for menacing, reckless endangerment, harassment, or reckless or careless driving; and if the police claim they can't do anything because they didn't personally witness the incident, (1) they are full of BS and (2) you could theoretically initiate a citizen's arrest, with sufficient information, including driver's license driver's name (gotten from DMV w/ license #), physical description of vehicle and driver, time, place and nature of incident.

I've posted this before; it's from Pedal Power, by Ray Thomas, available from the Bicycle Transportation Alliance http://www.bta4bikes.org/act/gear.html

"If any motorist spits on you, throws something out of a vehicle in your direction, pretends they are going to run you off the road or hit you, swerves their vehicle in a menacing manner toward you or your bicycle in any way, then it is important for you to prosecute them, even if you are not hurt. The reason is that perpetrators of crimes usually get away without being identified or apprehended. If you are the victim of harassment by a driver, it is likely that your incident is one of many and, if you do nothing, the next time the driver goes after another bicyclist a serious injury may result."

jacob 11-30-03 04:25 AM

Prosody, I wish you all the best in your future.
Well, the thing I have done when encountered with these obnoxious fiends is to "take it out" physically by riding harder or responding by looking somewhat askance at the offender.
Some things in life can be strange, like a car trying to inhale a bicycle, figuratively speaking.

Jacob

james Haury 12-06-03 08:31 AM

Does anyone remember the right Gaurd powerstripe commercial where the cyclists were harrassed? How did you react to that? James


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