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Living Car Free Do you live car free or car light? Do you prefer to use alternative transportation (bicycles, walking, other human-powered or public transportation) for everyday activities whenever possible? Discuss your lifestyle here.

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Old 03-20-07, 09:50 PM   #1
jchou701
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cussing out a motorist

so i know all of us, at one point in our bicycling life, have been extremely pissed off by motorists.

my question: how do YOU cuss them out when u roll back up on them at a red light after they had honked at you and cut you off?
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Old 03-20-07, 09:57 PM   #2
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It's best just to keep a cool head regarding traffic misunderstandings. The motorist is surrounded by two tons of steel and can ruin your day worse than you can ruin his. It's not worth an altercation. If the guy is drunk, call the cops.
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Old 03-20-07, 10:46 PM   #3
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yes, agreed, bicyclists are usually pretty good at ignoring the motorists, but sometimes we just blow up
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Old 03-20-07, 10:57 PM   #4
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Yeah, I don't say anything and it's not about him (and it's almost always a him) being a motorist, but just an arsehole who happens to be in a car.

Weather changes. People don't. So yelling or griping or sardonically heaving one-liners at one of these morons is an exercise in futility, I reckon. Take the high road in most circumstances. There are exceptions to this, such as showing up a pompous jerk in argumentative conversation, but random motorists who act like jerks? Let them be what they are. They can only figure that question out on their own.

This isn't to say that I've always restrained myself, by the way, but I always do now. I remember once yelling at a jerk who was speeding towards a red light ahead and buzzed and cussed me on his way to it. It just seemed so pointless to me to see someone racing towards a red light in a car, only to hit the brakes hard when he got to it, much less yell at a cyclist that "slowed him down" on his way to a full stop. People are strange.
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Old 03-20-07, 11:16 PM   #5
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Usually, when someone does something to me that would warrant me getting angry, it is usually a remark screamed out the window by some young punk in a car full of kids that has the word ****** in it. So if I catch them at a stoplight, I'll start rubbing my nipples and licking their window... something, anything to get people looking at them and get them embarassed.
And let me tell you, nothing embarasses teenage boys more than a 300lb man in tights rubbing his nipples and licking the windows!
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Old 03-20-07, 11:40 PM   #6
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And let me tell you, nothing embarasses teenage boys more than a 300lb man in tights rubbing his nipples and licking the windows!

Oh, just when I thought my day was a complete disaster, you write something witty that completely cracks me up. Thank you.
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Old 03-20-07, 11:54 PM   #7
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Old 03-21-07, 12:56 AM   #8
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I'm a very patient man -I teach middle school- so, in most situations, if a motorist does something obnoxious, I let it pass without too much of a spike in blood pressure. However, the gloves tend to come off if a motorist questions my right to be on the road. I don't know why, but in those very few situations when a jerk in a pickup has told me to get off the road, I haven't been able to avoid complete rage; I knock on windows, use the middle finger, and offer my honest opinion of the quality of his ancestry. On one occasion, much to my shame, when a woman yelled at me to get on the sidewalk where I belonged, I quickly suggested that she lose weight; her husband leapt from the car, and I only manged to avoid a fight by brandishing my u-lock. (Actually, it was kind of funny, even at the time...)
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Old 03-21-07, 01:56 AM   #9
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Originally Posted by pj7
And let me tell you, nothing embarasses teenage boys more than a 300lb man in tights rubbing his nipples and licking the windows!
I will be sending you the hypnotherapist's bills to erase that image from my head!
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Old 03-21-07, 02:02 AM   #10
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Originally Posted by Cyclaholic
I will be sending you the hypnotherapist's bills to erase that image from my head!
And I'll be sending you a photo to burn the image in your mind, forever instilled!!
And if I'm really lucky, I'll get that neon speedo that Sacha baren Cohen (sp?) wore in Barat... oooooh baby.
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Old 03-21-07, 03:52 AM   #11
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If I have a persistent problem with a particular motorist I will call the police with location, description and tag number. I will also mention the fact they are driving erratically and might be on something It has resulted in more than one driver being pulled over You don't have to mention the fact you are on a bicycle, I just tell them I observed the car in traffic. And given the current statistics that nearly 1/3 of the drivers on the road are impaired in one way or another the odds are pretty decent that they may well be. I have never seen a good outcome from a public shouting match...in fact a lot of them seem to end in a shooting...

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Old 03-21-07, 04:26 AM   #12
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smile and wave. Then enjoy the ensuing fireworks as they go gabonkers realizing you are refusing to join them in the little hell that is middle americas angerfest'07
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Old 03-21-07, 04:29 AM   #13
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There have only been two time when I managed to catch up an abusive or reckless driver who passed me. The first time, I got into a shouting match with an abusive driver which was very unsatisfying. The second time was when someone passed me with less than six inches of clearance and I simply knocked on their rear window, shouted "Too Close!", and then ignored them until the light turned green.
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Old 03-21-07, 07:15 AM   #14
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I have only cussed out a few motorist while on my bike, usually they are surprised that I caught up with them. I usualyy just says what needs to be said, a little venting is usually a good thing for me. My attitude has changed a little on this though. Last year, while my girlfriend and I were walking through a crosswalk, a guy swerved to hit us. I gave him the finger. he then stopped his car in the middle of the road, left his wife and small child in the car and came after me. He backed down when he saw that I wasn't moving, but the whole incident made me look at the confrontation thing a little differently. I certainly do not want to get my ass kicked any time soon.

I think each situation needs to be evaluated, and I am sure my temper will get the better of me when a motorist cuts me off, or hits me, or something like that.
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Old 03-21-07, 07:20 AM   #15
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Cussing out a motorist is probably the worst thing you can do if you want to convert someone to a car free or car lite lifestyle.

Why would a motorist even consider the lifestyle if it causes one to exude so much venom and anger?

edit: not saying I haven't cussed a few out and flipped a few birds in my time, but I am seeing that is not the way to convert people.
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Old 03-21-07, 07:38 AM   #16
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Quote:
Originally Posted by pj7
And I'll be sending you a photo to burn the image in your mind, forever instilled!!
And if I'm really lucky, I'll get that neon speedo that Sacha baren Cohen (sp?) wore in Barat... oooooh baby.
NOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOO!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!
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Old 03-21-07, 07:39 AM   #17
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Quote:
Originally Posted by ModoVincere
Cussing out a motorist is probably the worst thing you can do if you want to convert someone to a car free or car lite lifestyle.

Why would a motorist even consider the lifestyle if it causes one to exude so much venom and anger?

edit: not saying I haven't cussed a few out and flipped a few birds in my time, but I am seeing that is not the way to convert people.
Yep. But let's be honest about convertng the typical cager; if the Georgians are anything like the Mississippians they will stop driving when it comes to a dilemma of putting food in their mouth or fuel in the pickup, and only then after all the local game has been hunted to extinction.
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Old 03-21-07, 07:40 AM   #18
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Originally Posted by bike2math
smile and wave. Then enjoy the ensuing fireworks as they go gabonkers realizing you are refusing to join them in the little hell that is middle americas angerfest'07
This is what I do, but on the inside I contemplate flattening all 4 of their tires...

I've only had two incidents that really made me struggle to follow the smile and wave route. The first one was in winter, right after a snowfall. I was riding in the right tire-track, and a woman in a minivan comes up behind, starts honking, rolls down her window and starts yelling, then comes up beside me and tries to run me off the road. She then guns it, hits the roundabout, and promptly loses control of her vehicle, spinning out into the ditch. As I rode by, I smiled and waved, and asked her if she'd like me to call someone to help get her out of the ditch. She flipped me off, and I said.."okay then, have a nice day."

Incident #2 was in a school zone. There is a traffic island that narrows the lane significantly for about 75 yards. I always take the lane here, but its a 15 mph zone when I'm going through it, and often traffic is backed up due to crossing guards stopping traffic to let the kids go through. On this particular day, it was after the school rush, and the crossing guards were just leaving. I took the lane, and the black mercedes behind me started honking. I ignored him, and the next thing I hear is engine rev, and the sound of a car running up on the curb/sidewalk to pass me on the right. I stopped to let him buy, but he got to the light 100 yards up the road just in time for the red. I rode up next to him, and smiled politely at his wife and gave him the big cheesy "all is right in the world" smile. He refused to look at me, the wife gave the "I'm sorry" wave, and then started speaking in elevated tones toward him as the light turned green and they headed out.

All the other incidents I've had with cars typically I never see them again.
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Old 03-21-07, 07:49 AM   #19
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Quote:
Originally Posted by ModoVincere
Cussing out a motorist is probably the worst thing you can do if you want to convert someone to a car free or car lite lifestyle.

Why would a motorist even consider the lifestyle if it causes one to exude so much venom and anger?

edit: not saying I haven't cussed a few out and flipped a few birds in my time, but I am seeing that is not the way to convert people.
I too have found out that yelling at motorist usually accomplishes very little results, whenever I find myself frustrated with a motorist's actions, a few added MPH for a mile or two or a couple of short steep hills, most generally resolves that problem.
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Old 03-21-07, 09:12 AM   #20
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smile and wave.
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Old 03-21-07, 10:35 AM   #21
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The freedom to cuss out people without consequences is a big part of car culture.

Every kind of person is out there on the road with us. That would include the gentle souls who have killed in anger with their bare hands, folks who are hopped up in any number of ways, the frankly insane, the recently paroled, the armed, the suicidal, ordinary people who are simply having the worst day of their lives, etc.

I know the depths of savagery I am capable of when I fly off into a rage. I'm sure everyone else is the same way. Smile & wave, yep, that's the best policy I think.
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Old 03-21-07, 11:04 AM   #22
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The freedom to cuss out people without consequences is a big part of car culture.
Not exercising that freedom makes bike culture more pleasant. Commuting day in and day out without getting aggravated at other people eventually has a positive influence on your attitude. Even when I was very car lite, I'd expose myself to the hostility every few months but after a few years of car free I don't get so upset at car drivers. I get scared sometimes when they act dangerously. Like so many things about car free this mental improvement is under rated. This morning on my way to work several car people did things that would have been extremely irritating if I had been in a car because they pulled manuevers that would impede my movement. On a bike, no problem, just pedal around them. Whatever fractional second delay it caused me was overwhelmed by the feeling of empowerment and thank fullness that I'm not jammed up in a car. I think the positive attitude seeps into you gradually after you get rid of the car so people who try car free for a few months or only in good weather don't get to the point of rarely wanting to cuss out anyone for their driving behaviour.
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Old 03-21-07, 11:38 AM   #23
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It all depends on whether it looks like I can take em or not. I have re-accosted in such a manner and they usually stand down. But then again, I havn't screwed this up yet and come across "Bubba"

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Old 03-21-07, 12:34 PM   #24
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I'm pretty impulsive so my responses range from ignoring them to a nuclear offensive. Usually I stand on my pedals, do a little happy dance and yell, "I love you too babe!"

But actually the negative behavior from cagers is pretty rare in my area. Maybe 10,000 cagers are polite for every one who isn't.
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Old 03-21-07, 03:53 PM   #25
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interesting responses, but hey, sometimes you just can't but to blow up on someone.

and yes, i HATE IT when a car passes me by with only a few inches between the car and i
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