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Old 04-25-11, 12:11 PM   #1
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My first experience with an angry cager... wow

I was riding home last night from my job which is about a 12 mile commute. I work in the hills and was traveling directly into 20 mph wind so I was not in the best of spirits already. My route is 100% bike lane and though my situational awareness is fantastic from years of motorcycling, I've never felt fearful. Last night though, I felt fearful for my life and was extremely angry because what happened was DELIBERATE, not a mistake.

So I'm sitting at a stop light waiting to cross Camelback Road, while traveling south on 40th Street in the bike lane. I have my right foot on the curb and my left foot on the pedal. All of a sudden, the car that has been parked 10 feet behind me starts laying on his horn, obviously wanting to turn right. I don't care, go around me, there is plenty of room. Instead though, he wants to make an issue of it so I turn around and shrug my shoulders in confusion and he gives me a dirty look and continues to horn at me. There are two elderlies in a newish Town Car, and they apparently are upset that I'm on the road, perhaps unaware of my rights, but I am editorializing so I digress.

anyway, after 5 or so seconds of honking at me excessively and the light still red, I shift my weight to unclip and dismount from the bike to get out of the way because this fight is not worth my life. As I start to unclip, they start to creep forward as if I'm not there, and they are not exactly trying to drive around me either. At this moment, fear took over and I was convinced they were going to run me down. See picture below to illustrate:



So, the car while driving by with me jumping out of the way got a nice fist sized dent in the hood. I consider it part fear, part self defense, part anger, and part education... though they will never get it I'm sure.

If this had been an honest mistake, I'd have just let it go, as I have in the past. Because it was completely on purpose and was out of anger, I just could not let it slide. I was freaked out.

How can people be such jerks?!
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Old 04-25-11, 02:19 PM   #2
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In some places, I hear that people carry guns - just be careful who you mess with. I've been cut off before (bmw sat behind me then accelerated just to hook a right immediately in front of me then stopped due to other traffic on the street she turned onto) and before I could unclip to kick the offending cars trunk which was sticking out in the bike lane the moment passed.... now I ride on flats in case the opportunity should present itself again
Of course here guns are a no no so at least I know that nobody will shoot me in the back... now office politics are another matter where the stabbing is commonplace
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Old 04-25-11, 02:30 PM   #3
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In some places, I hear that people carry guns
That'd be me. This guy was like 80.
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Old 04-25-11, 03:44 PM   #4
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I've always wondered what someone would so if I hit their car. I've had several ample opportunities. I'm a pretty big guy, so I think it'd turn out ok. But Michigan IS a carry state.....
What's a cager btw?
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Old 04-25-11, 03:56 PM   #5
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What's a cager btw?
sorry, old motorcycle term for car drivers. Cage = car, cager = driver of car.
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Old 04-25-11, 05:19 PM   #6
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Interesting. So in two cases here, we have riders aggrieved by the behaviour of drivers, but haven't themselves been hit or damaged in any way, but consider it OK to damage the other persons' vehicle by kicking or punching them and leaving dents in revenge.

I'd call that malcious damage and vandalism. If I were the driver, I'd stop, detain you, and call the police. You'd not have a legal leg to stand on.
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Old 04-25-11, 05:30 PM   #7
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Interesting. So in two cases here, we have riders aggrieved by the behaviour of drivers, but haven't themselves been hit or damaged in any way, but consider it OK to damage the other persons' vehicle by kicking or punching them and leaving dents in revenge.

I'd call that malcious damage and vandalism. If I were the driver, I'd stop, detain you, and call the police. You'd not have a legal leg to stand on.
Actually you would have a legal leg to stand on, that the driver physically attempted to drive over or through you to get to his destination. That's called reckless endangerment, among other things.
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Old 04-25-11, 05:40 PM   #8
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FWIW, I have a bike lane positioned to the right of turn lane like that on my normal route. I have found that cars will not go past me if I sit like that. It's a dangerous situation because you get a bunch of impatient drivers queuing up behind them wanting to turn which just makes it worse. So I've taken to moving over into the (right most) car lane and leaving space for cars to turn. Feels a lot safer to me.
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Old 04-25-11, 05:54 PM   #9
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Actually you would have a legal leg to stand on, that the driver physically attempted to drive over or through you to get to his destination. That's called reckless endangerment, among other things.
Keep in mind that in some states, if someone breaks into, and I mean kicks down the door, you and whatever firearm you are possessed of are required to retreat out the back door if such is possible. Now, I happen to be on your side, and that was a cute presentation of a serious subject. Still, I believe Rowan is correct for any jurisdiction in the US, and I am aware that he isn't. Many states permit self defense, but I am not aware of any that permit you to retaliate or punish the creeps.

Lecture finished. Keep hanging in there; if the word gets around, the rest of us might not have to.
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Old 04-25-11, 06:12 PM   #10
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FWIW, I have a bike lane positioned to the right of turn lane like that on my normal route. I have found that cars will not go past me if I sit like that. It's a dangerous situation because you get a bunch of impatient drivers queuing up behind them wanting to turn which just makes it worse. So I've taken to moving over into the (right most) car lane and leaving space for cars to turn. Feels a lot safer to me.
That lane is not a right turn lane. It is a through lane of traffic. I always, if there is a turn lane, get to the left of it.
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Old 04-25-11, 06:13 PM   #11
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This wasn't self defence. The act of getting out of the way was the self-defence. Hitting the car was a reaction, but it did nothing to mitigate or prevent the driver from hitting you.

And guess who the police would side with? Dent in car... cyclist standing uninjured with undamaged bike... hmmmm... like I said, I'd call the cops and let them sort out the malicious damage.

Oh, I love cyclist law. There should be a TV show about it... a comedy show.
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Old 04-25-11, 06:15 PM   #12
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Keep in mind that in some states, if someone breaks into, and I mean kicks down the door, you and whatever firearm you are possessed of are required to retreat out the back door if such is possible. Now, I happen to be on your side, and that was a cute presentation of a serious subject. Still, I believe Rowan is correct for any jurisdiction in the US, and I am aware that he isn't. Many states permit self defense, but I am not aware of any that permit you to retaliate or punish the creeps.

Lecture finished. Keep hanging in there; if the word gets around, the rest of us might not have to.
I don't need a lecture. I never claimed that bashing someone's car is legal, but I did say that the dude was being a complete **********, and he got what was coming to him.

FWIW, in Arizona, you can shoot someone who is in your home unwelcome. If you're smart, you will warn them so if you shoot them and they don't die, it can come up in court that you shouted a warning to them before you shot.
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Old 04-25-11, 06:16 PM   #13
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This wasn't self defence. The act of getting out of the way was the self-defence. Hitting the car was a reaction, but it did nothing to mitigate or prevent the driver from hitting you.

And guess who the police would side with? Dent in car... cyclist standing uninjured with undamaged bike... hmmmm... like I said, I'd call the cops and let them sort out the malicious damage.

Oh, I love cyclist law. There should be a TV show about it... a comedy show.
Nice spelling.

Like I've previously stated, I'm not saying what I did was legal. I will also reiterate that the vehicle would have run me over, had I not jumped out of the way, and it was purposeful. In my mind, that justified much more than just bashing a dent into the hood of the car. Why oh why did I not think of kicking the door in? oh well.
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Old 04-25-11, 06:52 PM   #14
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FWIW, in Arizona, you can shoot someone who is in your home unwelcome. If you're smart, you will warn them so if you shoot them and they don't die, it can come up in court that you shouted a warning to them before you shot.
You're writing from personal experience?
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Old 04-25-11, 06:58 PM   #15
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You're writing from personal experience?
I've been through every tactical firearms training course and firearms law course I can get my hands on. I believe in being fully educated as a carrying citizen.
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Old 04-25-11, 07:17 PM   #16
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i would have just stayed where i was and if they so much as touch me with any part of their car i would have called the cops and have the person charges. bikes have pretty much all the same rights as a car except usually you are not allowed to drive on multi lane highways which is not usually a problem.
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Old 04-25-11, 07:28 PM   #17
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In some places, I hear that people carry guns - just be careful who you mess with. <snip>
Of course here guns are a no no so at least I know that nobody will shoot me in the back... now office politics are another matter where the stabbing is commonplace
You apparently have a very distorted view of what it's like in the US.
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Old 04-25-11, 07:51 PM   #18
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That'd be me. This guy was like 80.
Maybe he was afraid that he'd die before he reached his destination (sorry - wanted to inject a little levity).

All in all, that sucks, man. I do not know the legal in's and outs, but generally speaking, if someone doesn't want to get their car hit, then maybe they should not be aggravating folks (much like one wouldn't go up to the biggest dude in the bar and talk trash - that's just a recipe for an asswhuppin').
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Old 04-25-11, 10:02 PM   #19
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" Elderlies " is obviously the key element here. Pheonix is famous for them basking in the warmth.
It''s likely their eyesight is 50 % and their brains are not far off. It sucks , but it's life.
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Old 04-25-11, 10:54 PM   #20
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Of course here guns are a no no so at least I know that nobody will shoot me in the back...
Of course you mean that no one owning and/or carrying a gun legally will shoot you.
Due to my license, I would have tried to move out of their way, but as soon as they make indications to threaten me with severe bodily harm (aka assault with a motor vehicle) I would be REAL tempted to let them see my extensive firearms training in action.
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Old 04-25-11, 11:05 PM   #21
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If this had been an honest mistake, I'd have just let it go, as I have in the past. Because it was completely on purpose and was out of anger, I just could not let it slide. I was freaked out.

How can people be such jerks?!
It's just the way a lot of people are by nature. Living where I do I see quite a few of them. To be honest they're much worse when they just run the red light from behind you without honking -- at least this guy gave you some warning (although that doesn't justify his behaviour). In time you learn to deal with it and not get rattled by it, then you can have some real fun with them. I've learned over the years that there are far more effective ways to upset them than hitting their car. Blowing them a kiss is one that works particularly effectively -- and won't get you into trouble with the law. Laughing in their face is good, too.
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Old 04-26-11, 01:58 AM   #22
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I don't need a lecture. I never claimed that bashing someone's car is legal, but I did say that the dude was being a complete **********, and he got what was coming to him.

FWIW, in Arizona, you can shoot someone who is in your home unwelcome. If you're smart, you will warn them so if you shoot them and they don't die, it can come up in court that you shouted a warning to them before you shot.
As a matter of fact, you did claim that.

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Actually you would have a legal leg to stand on, that the driver physically attempted to drive over or through you to get to his destination. That's called reckless endangerment, among other things.
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Old 04-26-11, 09:24 AM   #23
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As a matter of fact, you did claim that.
Um. You are reading between the lines. Never did I state my actions were legal. I said that he attempted to run ne over which is my legal leg. I'm pretty sure the xourt would be more worried about that than a punched hood.
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Old 04-26-11, 09:45 AM   #24
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While I am tired of reading the word cager instead of car driver, I think this post is funny. I know that cyclists must always be on guard about what and who is around us but the older drivers are the best. They drive slowly, are pretty blinded by their surroundings and always have a good rebuttal when hand signs and words are exchanged.
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Old 04-26-11, 09:49 AM   #25
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Keep in mind that in some states, if someone breaks into, and I mean kicks down the door, you and whatever firearm you are possessed of are required to retreat out the back door if such is possible. Now, I happen to be on your side, and that was a cute presentation of a serious subject. Still, I believe Rowan is correct for any jurisdiction in the US, and I am aware that he isn't. Many states permit self defense, but I am not aware of any that permit you to retaliate or punish the creeps.

Lecture finished. Keep hanging in there; if the word gets around, the rest of us might not have to.
not in my case but then again my rifle is powerful enough to shoot through most walls
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