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  1. #1
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    I got berated on Sunday

    After a yoga class on Sunday I was feeling ambitious and decided to ride up OLH to W LH, 84, W Alpine, Page Mill, which is about a 57 mile loop from my home.
    I've done this ride about a dozen times so far this year and I really like it since 84 was repaved which makes it a much safer and pleasurable ride that it was a few years ago.

    Anyway, I left late--about 4pm--and while descending 84 I noticed a couple of cars behind me back a ways. I think I'd been lucky most of the year as encountering traffic on this stretch has been uncommon. My riding philosophy is in these situations is to try to acknowlege and accomodate cars but my safety comes first and if that means someone has to wait a little bit--then they just have to wait. I was near the fastest part of the descent--where is normally top out about 40-42 mph but on Sunday there must have been a bit of a headwind as I was proceeding about 36-38 mph. I was about three feet from the fog line and holding steady. My hope was the trailing vehicles would wait until I got past the turns in the shadows where I could reduce my speed and allow them to safely pass (about a mile and a half from La Honda).

    Well the first vehicle, a Honda, wasn't waiting and slowly passed me about 3/4 mile from the turns. Ok, I wish he'd been more patient but I was at least given adequate clearance. The next vehicle, a older Japanese type pickup with a camper shell, pulled along side me and I could hear the window being lowered. I was then subjected to about a seven second torrent of "INDECIPHERABLE, INDECIPHERABLE, INDECIPHERABLE, S***HEAD!" and then a pause while the driver must have been considering whether my offense merited killing me before he finally proceeeded on. I really think this sort of thing is a really "Chickens***" stunt to pull on anyone and since I had no idea whether the guy was waiting to see if I somehow got "lippy" with him so he could run me off the road at 38 mph with a clear conscience.


    I don't have a camera mounting on my already crowded handlebar and because gettting yelled out is a pretty rare experience for me, I hadn't really considered it before but this certainly gets me thinking more about it.

  2. #2
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    It does happen occasionally.
    -------

    Some sort of pithy irrelevant one-liner should go here.

  3. #3
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    Wave with a hearty "Have a nice day!"

  4. #4
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    i've seen cars do that to other cars too. a perception of being delayed while traveling seems to be cause for considerable distress among humans. probably an evolutionary advantage in minimizing travel time and energy. or something...

    these days, if i suspect i've become an annoyance to following vehicles (which is rare), i just find a convenient, or occasionally not so convenient, spot to stop and get out of the way. it seems to pacify even the most dangerous and aggressive motorists.

  5. #5
    hup
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    Quote Originally Posted by hueyhoolihan View Post
    i've seen cars do that to other cars too. a perception of being delayed while traveling seems to be cause for considerable distress among humans. probably an evolutionary advantage in minimizing travel time and energy. or something...

    these days, if i suspect i've become an annoyance to following vehicles (which is rare), i just find a convenient, or occasionally not so convenient, spot to stop and get out of the way. it seems to pacify even the most dangerous and aggressive motorists.
    Agree with this. I understand that I am entitled to the lane, but I hate having cars line up to pass as I'm descending. Even though I'm hauling ass, I'm still holding them up and that often causes them to do stupid things to get past. I'm pretty sure that I would never come out on top in a confrontation with a car. YMMV

  6. #6
    Senior Member Northwestrider's Avatar
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    Smile and wave, easier said than done, but IMO it's effective.

  7. #7
    Senior Member Astrozombie's Avatar
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    Never happens when I'm going 20+, surprised he got it going twice that, people actually think you can hear what they're saying at those speeds
    Assume nothing; Question everything

  8. #8
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    Ah, the greater SF Bay area, where "Share the Road" really means "Stay the f-k off of the road".

  9. #9
    Senior Member hack's Avatar
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    There are some longer windy descents up this way (Sierra Foothills) where cyclists can descend much faster than cars. I think some of the folks up here just feel a need to pass a bike when they see one as I'm frequently unsafely passed on a descent or just before a descent and then have to ride my brakes all the way down to a flat section. I have passed a few cars on some descents (where adequate shouler was available) and that seems to really upset the drivers and they feel even more obligated to punch it.

    In general, I try to be as safe and coureous as possible. I know that I will lose any battle with a car so I don't go out of my way to assert my "right to have the lane". I'd rather make it home alive than be a martyr.
    Cat 2 upgrade status: never

  10. #10
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    I drive on those descents some times, and I try and hold up the line for the cyclist in front I just drive patiently a little way behind the cyclist, and cars end up lining behind me - I pass when the cyclist gives me way. Haven't had any car honk at me for doing this, so I guess they just think I am a fellow sufferer.

    @OP: well done for not getting run off at 38 mph. Some people are just a*******.
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  11. #11
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    Quote Originally Posted by hack View Post
    There are some longer windy descents up this way (Sierra Foothills) where cyclists can descend much faster than cars. I think some of the folks up here just feel a need to pass a bike when they see one as I'm frequently unsafely passed on a descent or just before a descent and then have to ride my brakes all the way down to a flat section. I have passed a few cars on some descents (where adequate shouler was available) and that seems to really upset the drivers and they feel even more obligated to punch it.

    In general, I try to be as safe and coureous as possible. I know that I will lose any battle with a car so I don't go out of my way to assert my "right to have the lane". I'd rather make it home alive than be a martyr.
    i too feel this is a factor in unsafe passing experiences with motorists. i guess it's understandable, that in the vast, vast majority of the time motorists pass cyclists quickly due to the discrepancy between speeds. it becomes habit after a few years of driving. you know, see bike, figure out how to pass safely. get around as quick as you can.

    most motorists really don't know how to handle a situation where a cyclist (of all things) presents a valid should i pass? or just wait for the right opportunity? situation.

  12. #12
    blt
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    There is a road that runs for 3/4 of a mile alongside a sports park in my town, where the speed limit is 20 mph. It makes sense to have a 20 mph speed limit, there are a lot of cars going in and out of parking lots or parking spaces on the south side of this road (although none on the north side), a lot of kids on bicycles, a lot of people going across the road at random places. For the most part, drivers stay pretty close to the speed limit. In the slightly downhill direction, where no cars will come from my right, I usually don't take the lane even if I am riding my bike at 20-21 mph, I stay as far right as I can. Drivers are pissed off if I take the lane even though I'm going the speed limit, and they pass me if I don't take the lane.

    If there were no bike in front of them, most of these cars would have no problem staying at 20-21 mph, on a road that is only 3/4 of a mile in its entire length and wisely has a 20 mph limit, and would have no problem with a car in front of them going 20-21 mph. With a bike ahead, however, they just feel a need to pass and get pissed if it is blocking their way. Human nature is very odd.

  13. #13
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    I guess I should have berated that minivan that was going about 20mph down Page Mill last weekend holding up 3 cars and 4 bikes of which I was one. And I'm a slow descender

    Just to even the score

  14. #14
    Senior Member leicanthrope's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by hack View Post
    There are some longer windy descents up this way (Sierra Foothills) where cyclists can descend much faster than cars. I think some of the folks up here just feel a need to pass a bike when they see one as I'm frequently unsafely passed on a descent or just before a descent and then have to ride my brakes all the way down to a flat section. I have passed a few cars on some descents (where adequate shouler was available) and that seems to really upset the drivers and they feel even more obligated to punch it.
    There absolutely is something to that. I've lost track of the number of times that I've had a driver absolutely flip their lid, with me taking the lane in a left hand turn off of a stop light. Never mind that there's a car in front of me that's slowing me down. The fact that there is a potentially slower vehicle in front of some drivers bugs them far more than the ones that are actually slower in practice.

  15. #15
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    I live and ride on the Peninsula and have been riding here all my life. I 52 years old. Lately there is more and more aggression towards cyclists on the roads.
    Two weekends ago a riding buddy of mine who is 67 years old was riding on Canada Road to the right of the fog line. A blue sedan buzzed him and a person in the back seat punched my friend in the ribs as they went by. My friend was lucky he didn’t crash.

    With plenty of my own stories and then this I just ordered two of these Bicycle Camera and Rear-light | Fly6 one for my wife and one for me. I haven’t received them yet but they are getting good revues.

    It’s a shame we have to take steps like this but if we all or a least a lot of us get these and use them and start getting people arrested for the crap they pull on us I think drivers will start to behave better towards us for fear of the consequences.

  16. #16
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    Quote Originally Posted by Phil MacFarlane View Post
    I live and ride on the Peninsula and have been riding here all my life. I 52 years old. Lately there is more and more aggression towards cyclists on the roads.
    Two weekends ago a riding buddy of mine who is 67 years old was riding on Canada Road to the right of the fog line. A blue sedan buzzed him and a person in the back seat punched my friend in the ribs as they went by. My friend was lucky he didnít crash.

    With plenty of my own stories and then this I just ordered two of these Bicycle Camera and Rear-light | Fly6 one for my wife and one for me. I havenít received them yet but they are getting good revues.

    Itís a shame we have to take steps like this but if we all or a least a lot of us get these and use them and start getting people arrested for the crap they pull on us I think drivers will start to behave better towards us for fear of the consequences.
    I rode all the way through Oregon without a problem...well I was buzzed by a silver Accord with CA plates. And then I got to Marin county. Holy hell, half of the county rides, the other half is actively trying to kill them. Nice find Phil.

  17. #17
    Idealistic Troublemaker bjorke's Avatar
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    Yesterday, another loser Giants fan -- runs a red light with his Harley across Townsend in SF and into bike traffic. I say something like "sheez, LOOK!" as I dodge around him. He follows for a block screaming obscenities then hits the gas to right-hook me as he goes into a garage. I turn on the video camera to see his license plate, pull up & he takes a (dodged) swing at my face... this is a 10AM! Screams that if traffic didn't hit him, who cares about the fking light?

    It takes these putzes two seconds to pull crap, but according to SFPD I need to go in person to the station house and stand around all day waiting to report the jerk riding 21W1518
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  18. #18
    Woof! venturi95's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by hack View Post
    There are some longer windy descents up this way (Sierra Foothills) where cyclists can descend much faster than cars. I think some of the folks up here just feel a need to pass a bike when they see one as I'm frequently unsafely passed on a descent or just before a descent and then have to ride my brakes all the way down to a flat section. I have passed a few cars on some descents (where adequate shouler was available) and that seems to really upset the drivers and they feel even more obligated to punch it.

    In general, I try to be as safe and coureous as possible. I know that I will lose any battle with a car so I don't go out of my way to assert my "right to have the lane". I'd rather make it home alive than be a martyr.
    When I lived in San Francisco I would frequntly get the "near-death pass", only to have the driver stop or turn right in a second or two. I called it "I'm not sure where I'm going, but I'm getting there ahead of you" syndrome.

  19. #19
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    Got a "F you Ahole" the other day for turning left at a 4 way stop, even though I was at the line way before the other car, stopped, and signaling to turn left. I turned left in front of another car who was proceeding straight in the opposite direction. Normally, if it's close, I'll wave a driver through just to be safe, but it was so clearly my turn to go, I could not have imagined the car trying to go first. It's just part of the game, drivers around here are just awful. It's sad, because this area is (for the most part) progressive and accepting of people, but being a cyclist is like being the worst kind of person, it seems...

  20. #20
    Senior Member leicanthrope's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by venturi95 View Post
    When I lived in San Francisco I would frequntly get the "near-death pass", only to have the driver stop or turn right in a second or two. I called it "I'm not sure where I'm going, but I'm getting there ahead of you" syndrome.
    I love when that happens. A little while back, I squeezed in to the right side of the rightmost normal lane, with a right hand turn lane to my right. Plenty of room for cars to make it past me in the turn lane, as evidenced by the scores of cars that had just done so. One driver in a smallish car disagreed, yelling a few unintelligible things out of his rolled down window before reaching out and grabbing a hold of my rear rack and shaking violently. The one thing that Mr. Wheeler neglected to take in to account was the fact that he was the second person from the front of the line to turn - boxed in on all sides, window down, nowhere to go. I may be a traffic impeding [insert homosexual slur here] in Lycra, but I'm also a 6'2" former defensive lineman. He hadn't taken that into account.

    In the immortal words of Rorschach: I'm not locked in here with you, you're locked in here with me!

    Tee hee.

  21. #21
    rugged individualist wphamilton's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by leicanthrope View Post
    ... but I'm also a 6'2" former defensive lineman. He hadn't taken that into account.

    In the immortal words of Rorschach: I'm not locked in here with you, you're locked in here with me!

    Tee hee.
    I have to applaud, even though I don't live in your state.

    I hope you put the Fear of Lycra into him. That level of aggression on his part, almost unbelievable.

  22. #22
    Wait up!!!! Hammondc's Avatar
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    It doesn't happen often to me because the area is so bike friendly. When it does, it is almost always someone from another county. I've only been berated a couple times but I do get buzzed every once in a while. Usually some dumb redneck in a jacked up truck banging rap music. Georgia is strange sometimes.

  23. #23
    Senior Member leicanthrope's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by wphamilton View Post
    I have to applaud, even though I don't live in your state.

    I hope you put the Fear of Lycra into him. That level of aggression on his part, almost unbelievable.
    This guy wasn't even the stereotypical redneck or BMW driving sales type that normally cause issues. Instead, a scrawny engineering type that just pulled out of the Netflix driveway.

    For the record, frame fit pumps may not actually make very effective weapons. However, if you've had police style baton training, you can certainly make them look like they are.

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