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Old 07-18-12, 10:57 PM   #1
Velo Dog
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Been riding 40+ years; never, ever been hassled.

No real reason for this post, but I saw another couple of reports today about riders being hassled, and it started me thinking...
I've been riding since college in the early '70s, now only about 1000 miles a year but previously up to 5000. I've ridden in all the western states, some of the southern ones and Hawaii--and I've never, ever experienced anything I could describe as hassling. Worst thing that's ever happened is that somebody yelled "Nice legs" or "Go, Lance" (this was back when I had nice legs and went like Lance).
My home town isn't particularly bike-friendly now, and it used to be horrible. Still: nothing. Only reasons I can think of are that I always yield to cars, because I know who's going to win that crash, and I don't wear bike clothing anymore...well, shorts, but a T-shirt instead of a jersey. When I was on some citizen's cycling boards, we learned that many drivers are angered or intimidated by riders in pro gear, which they associate with aggressive ass-hat behavior. Easy enough to pull out a T-shirt.
Watching the local clubs, I think they bring most of their problems on themselves.
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Old 07-19-12, 06:38 AM   #2
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Originally Posted by Velo Dog View Post
I've been riding since college in the early '70s, now only about 1000 miles a year but previously up to 5000. I've ridden in all the western states, some of the southern ones and Hawaii--and I've never, ever experienced anything I could describe as hassling.
Your hassle is scheduled for tomorrow.
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Old 07-19-12, 08:02 AM   #3
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Well hurray for you.
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Old 07-19-12, 08:44 AM   #4
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Originally Posted by Velo Dog View Post
Only reasons I can think of are that I always yield to cars, because I know who's going to win that crash, and I don't wear bike clothing anymore...well, shorts, but a T-shirt instead of a jersey. When I was on some citizen's cycling boards, we learned that many drivers are angered or intimidated by riders in pro gear, which they associate with aggressive ass-hat behavior. Easy enough to pull out a T-shirt.
You are lucky. I do as you do, but I also get hassled some times. One time, riding from jury duty to work, in eastern California, middle of the day on a 4 lane road with bike lanes on the side. The street is virtually empty. I'm in the bike lane, well away from traffic. I'm dressed for jury duty/work. Suddenly a can of Coke ricochets off my helmet.

I think you are missing at least a whole category of motorist behavior. They see bicyclists as easy marks, unable to defend themselves because they lack speed and a brightly colored metal shell.
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Old 07-19-12, 08:47 AM   #5
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While touring in drab "regular" clothing, I've had a soda and a diaper thrown at me and also been buzzed within less than a foot by a truck on an empty 4 lane hwy. I figure I get passed by over a hundred cars an hour, so it's only a matter of time before I get passed by an *******.
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Old 07-19-12, 08:50 AM   #6
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You've been hassled, you just didn't know it at the time, becuase you ignored it. You may be a "glass half-full" kind of guy. That's a good thing
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Old 07-19-12, 08:53 AM   #7
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Originally Posted by Artkansas View Post
......They see bicyclists as easy marks, unable to defend themselves because they lack speed and a brightly colored metal shell.


No brightly colored shell, but my video camera has helped considerably in closing the gap in the speed differential department when it comes to defending oneself.
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Old 07-19-12, 04:32 PM   #8
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Worst thing that's ever happened is that somebody yelled "Nice legs" or "Go, Lance" (this was back when I had nice legs and went like Lance).
I just pictured you saying this in a very dry manner like Barry from Storage Wars...and laughed.
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Old 07-20-12, 01:26 PM   #9
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I just pictured you saying this in a very dry manner like Barry from Storage Wars...and laughed.

^Storage Wars ftw, i've been hassled I was riding on a MPH around a corner and an old man stuck his hand out like the *HALT* pose right in my face......words were exchanged
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Old 07-20-12, 01:36 PM   #10
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^Storage Wars ftw, i've been hassled I was riding on a MPH around a corner and an old man stuck his hand out like the *HALT* pose right in my face......words were exchanged
I thought you Canucks were all easy-going, polite people. Another myth destroyed!
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Old 07-20-12, 02:17 PM   #11
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After not being harassed in my two years of riding, yesterday after reading this post, not one but two boneheads showed up..Geeze.
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Old 07-20-12, 02:48 PM   #12
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There are three categories of hassling:

1. Yelling, taunting, insulting, other verbal harassment
2. 'Buzzing' a rider very close or swerving toward them to scare them - simple assault
3. Trying to hit or run someone off the road - attempted murder

You statement that a lot of people bring it on themselves is not, I don't think, accurate. Perhaps the first category where people are sinple being jerks and yellig, maybe they are actually angry at something the rider is doing or the fact he is taking too much of the road int he drivers opinion. But this has happened to me far more when I am riding meekly near the curb than when I take a whole lane on narrow city streets.

If you watch the videos people take of agressive drivers swerving at or trying to scare a cyclist, it is almost always the car invading the cyclist's space, not the car trying to win back car space.

And the third category happens no matter what the cyclist is doing. THere are many examples of psychopath drivers driving right into the bike lane to get a cyclist.

THe way I see it (around where I live in Eastern Ontario) the psychopaths are few and far between. Noone has ever tried to intentionally run me over - but it has almost happened many times by accident. So whenever there is any question about the width of the road or room for a car to pass, I ride right out in the middle of the lane. If I piss someone off and they resort to category 1 hassling, I can take that and let them past when it is clear. THey can see me, so if someone hits me it will have to be catregory 3. I figure if this happens I'll be dead so I won't have to listen to people tell me I was wrong.
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Old 07-20-12, 03:25 PM   #13
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Originally Posted by DCB0 View Post
There are more than three categories of hassling:

1. Yelling, taunting, insulting, other verbal harassment
2. 'Buzzing' a rider very close or swerving toward them to scare them - simple assault
3. Trying to hit or run someone off the road - attempted murder
Fixed it for you. Here are a few more categories I can think of.

1) Bike jacking
2) Shooting the cyclist with a firearm
3) Throwing missiles, (beer bottles, coke cans, objects that will cause harm)
4) Actual physical assault, passengers leaning out and grabbing the cyclist bodily, trying to drag them off the bike.
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Old 07-20-12, 04:26 PM   #14
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GET ON THE SIDEWALK!!!!

There. Now you've been hassled.
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Old 07-20-12, 04:49 PM   #15
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Get off my lawn!






Oh, wrong thread...nevermind!
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Old 07-20-12, 05:02 PM   #16
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Nope no hassling around here...they just run you over! We have had 3 fatalities in NC in the past couple of weeks, in all 3 the cyclist was struck from behind. Sounds an awful lot like inattentive drivers to me! Not much infrastructure and the traffic counts are increasing with no increase in road width or reductions in speed limits.

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Old 07-20-12, 05:35 PM   #17
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Nothing serious here, well... except for two incidents. One time I was riding at night on a very quiet side street and a car started to drive slowly towards me on the opposite lane. Suddenly the car swerves towards me as if trying to hit me. He quickly gets back into his lane but he gave me quite a scare. Another time, maybe 2 months before this incident I was riding on another side street and a car was stopped at a stop sign. As I started crossing in front of it the tires started to screech and the car shot straight at me, missing me by about 3 meters. Not a close call at all but it got my blood boiling, especially since the teenagers inside hurled some abusive language at me as they passed. They had to turn a little to "chase me" so I'm surprised they didn't end up colliding with the car parked on the other side. It would be kind of funny if they did.

Now for the less seroius ones. Every so often a group of teenagers will say something to me as I ride past, like "yeah! Ride that bike bi*tch" or "hi biker duuuude!". Very annoying. One time a teenage girl screamed "OMG OMG watch out!!!!" as I rode past... then I looked back and she was laughing with her friends who were all staring at me like I was some sort of clown. I don't get how anyone can get amusement out of almost causing someone to lose control and crash...

Last edited by Midnight Biker; 07-20-12 at 05:40 PM.
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Old 07-20-12, 08:57 PM   #18
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I rarely get hassled, every year or so someone will chuck a can or "get on the sidewalk" remark or something but 99.99% of vehicles get me no harassment.
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Old 07-20-12, 09:13 PM   #19
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2 years ago I was shot with a bb gun,,I was close to my home,,I went home,,looked at the wound,,then started riding again,,and the 2 teens came from another angle in a car and shot me again,,I called the police,,they took a report and said to me,,,this is very rare,,insinuating I asked for it somehow
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Old 07-20-12, 09:14 PM   #20
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I had a girl whistle at me when I rode past the corner bar..............well I hope it was a girl!
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Old 07-21-12, 06:18 AM   #21
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Does your halo make you more aerodynamic?
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Old 07-21-12, 09:33 AM   #22
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Up until a couple weeks ago, the worst harassment I ever encountered was having a pop can throw at me a couple different times. Got buzzed pretty closely a couple weeks ago. I could hear the idiot driver gun his engine a couple of times before he buzzed me with probably less than a foot between us. Even though I knew he was back there, it still scared the bejebees out of me when he zipped pass me.
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