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  1. #1
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    Getting Yelled At

    Since I have been out this past year riding with my child in a trailer, I'm getting yelled at. .. a lot ... usually by women. I am confused. Is it because I'm out, biking on the road, endangering the life of my child with each passing car? I never used to get yelled at and I'm not really liking it too much. What's with all the hatred?

    I try to just grit my teeth and wave. It annoys me that some people feel that they have a degree of anonymity when driving past yelling obscenities at me or screaming to get on the MUP. Would they ever dare to voice their opinion in a face-to-face confrontation where I might get to voice my side of the argument?

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  2. #2
    Galveston County Texas 10 Wheels's Avatar
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    Seems to be a normal part of road riding.
    [SIZE=1][B]What I like about Texas[/B]
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  3. #3
    Fresh Garbage hairnet's Avatar
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    I get the opposite reaction when i tow a trailer.
    Quote Originally Posted by Scrodzilla View Post
    I'd rather ride a greasy bowling ball than one of those things.
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  4. #4
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    if you're not burning gas, you're gettn flamed.......

  5. #5
    Uber Goober StephenH's Avatar
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    Could it be that you're riding on busier streets where people don't think you should be riding with a kid trailer?

    The random getting-yelled-at is just a social thing. It happens to me when I walk the dog, too, it's not bike related. But sounds like you're getting into a bit more yelling than that.
    "be careful this rando stuff is addictive and dan's the 'pusher'."

  6. #6
    You gonna eat that? Doohickie's Avatar
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    I got beeped at today by a guy in a Jag. Two lanes in each direction, light traffic, plenty of room for him to move into the next lane to get around me. He beeped while still a ways back, like he expected/wanted me to get out of the way. I held my line. He changed lanes. We got stopped right after that at a red light, and I was actually ahead of him at that point. I just turned around and gave him The Look.
    I stop for people / whose right of way I honor / but not for no one.



    Originally Posted by bragi "However, it's never a good idea to overgeneralize."

  7. #7
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    Quote Originally Posted by Doohickie View Post
    I got beeped at today by a guy in a Jag. Two lanes in each direction, light traffic, plenty of room for him to move into the next lane to get around me. He beeped while still a ways back, like he expected/wanted me to get out of the way. I held my line. He changed lanes. We got stopped right after that at a red light, and I was actually ahead of him at that point. I just turned around and gave him The Look.
    you know, sometimes when ppl honk is to let you know that they are behind you/wanting to pass. I've done that a few times cause I couldnt tell if the cyclist knew I was behind them or not. Usually I do it when they don't get over to the edge. I'm not mad, just letting them know.

  8. #8
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    I'm cycling on the same roads as I always have, and at the same time of day. Without the trailer, I would get the occasional Flirty Male Acknowledgment Honk but this is a completely different monster. I try to ride mid to late morning when traffic is lightest and temperatures are warmest, which coincides with baby's nap time. And no, this is not the friendly 'I'm right back here behind you and gonna pass" kind of honk. This is nasty blaring horns with windows rolled down with people yelling at me. <sigh>

    No ... this is definitely a reaction to the trailer. I'm more apt to be yelled at when out riding the tandem with baby in tow than when I'm on my single .. but all the same .. it is usually by women telling me I'm 'crazy' or it is the "stupidest thing I ever saw" or to "get on the bike path". Tandem moves pretty quickly, averaging 20+ with the trailer in tow. Perhaps it is an objection to going fast? I honestly don't see how my speed makes any difference to the safety of my child. If a car hits us from behind, whether we are going 10 or 25 ... it is gonna hurt the same.

    Hairnet, what kind of reaction are You getting? Maybe I should be doing something different...
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  9. #9
    You gonna eat that? Doohickie's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by arej00dazed View Post
    you know, sometimes when ppl honk is to let you know that they are behind you/wanting to pass. I've done that a few times cause I couldnt tell if the cyclist knew I was behind them or not. Usually I do it when they don't get over to the edge. I'm not mad, just letting them know.
    That thought occurred to me as well. And it even sounded like that kind of honk. But.... he honked a long way back (comparatively speaking), then changed lanes. If he was doing a full lane change, why honk? The only reason I could come up with is that he wanted me to move out of the lane and let him pass without him having to change lanes. Not overly aggressive by any means, and he maybe meant it in a friendly way, but the message still came across as, "I'm coming, please get out of my way."
    I stop for people / whose right of way I honor / but not for no one.



    Originally Posted by bragi "However, it's never a good idea to overgeneralize."

  10. #10
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    maybe try putting a sign on your back that says "honk or yell if you're stupid" or something. dunno, the passive agressive that I am, I'd prob just flip them the bird. really, YOU are not doing anything dangerous, its the idiots that are making things dangerous by distracting you.

  11. #11
    Maximum Velocity Flyinlow's Avatar
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    My wife and I only ever use our trailer to pull the little guy if we are on one of the nice paved bike paths here in our area, or just strolling our neighborhood. Not that they have any right to blast obsenities at you, but I could never take my little one near the highway, just to risky, concidering how the trailer takes up alot more of the road than just a single bike, one careless teenager looks down to punch in a text and no more little one, forever. I live in a transient military town and you wanta talk about careless drivers, I have plenty of stories! This town is a nightmare to drive in, horrible enough driving a car around. Where I live, alot of both, motorcycles and bicyclist are hit regularly.

  12. #12
    The Fat Guy In The Back Tundra_Man's Avatar
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    Doesn't exactly pertain to the thread, but this Friday my workplace is giving all employees a frozen turkey for Thanksgiving. In contemplating how I'm going to get this thing home, I decided I'd just pull the child's trailer to work that day and strap it in for the ride back.

    Because I'm ornery, I'm planning on taking the busiest routes home to see if anyone freaks out on me for endangering the life of a frozen turkey. Should stay frozen, the temps are supposed to be in the 20s.
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  13. #13
    Senior Member canopus's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Tundra_Man View Post
    Doesn't exactly pertain to the thread, but this Friday my workplace is giving all employees a frozen turkey for Thanksgiving..... Should stay frozen, the temps are supposed to be in the 20s.
    I remember one year the place i worked for did that. Since i didn't have any room in my freezer I was very grateful for the freeze we had that year for Christmas (This was in Austin, TX) When I got home I just hung the turkey outside my door on a hook on the wall. Stayed frozen there for the next two days.

  14. #14
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    You want honk? Here's honk: I do a local radio show, and a few months ago, for a segment on a anti-teen pregnancy program, I carried a "baby" for 24 hours, a doll that cried, wet its diaper and had to be tended like a real infant. I have two kids in their 20s, so I know the tricks, but it was still a pain.
    I'd ridden the bike to work the day i got the baby, so on the way home I stuck it in a backpack with its little unhelmeted head sticking up and headed out the 12 uphill miles, two of them on a freeway shoulder that has a painted bike lane but no real provisions for cyclists. Twenty-five or 30 people must have honked or waved or shouted at me, two stopped to lecture me and one must have called the cops, because a couple of miles from home I got pulled over for investigation of reported child neglect.

  15. #15
    Senior Member Cross Creek's Avatar
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    At least they aren't shooting at you, like happened in my town several weeks ago to a father towing his son and riding with his wife! I really wish people would consider just how they'd feel for the rest of their lives if their bravado and aggression resulted in death or serious injury. But then, most people don't consider the consequences of sending in the military to swat a fly with a sledgehammer, so I guess I'll have to keep wishing.
    -CC

  16. #16
    Senior Member 41ants's Avatar
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    There is no way I would pull my kid down a busy road. I would mainly just stick to the paved trails or the neighborhood. Not worth taking a chance on my kids life or getting arrested for child neglect. Plus I have a short fuse when it comes to obnoxious people, so the less people honk and yell at me the less likely I am to do something I might regret. Good luck out there.

  17. #17
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    Are the women yelling at you large in the girth department???

  18. #18
    Senior Member 41ants's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by crazyed27 View Post
    Are the women yelling at you large in the girth department???
    What he said and are they driving minivans or massively huge SUV's

  19. #19
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    VeloDog, Sorry but I had to chuckle at your story of baby (doll) poking out of backpack. Must have been quite the sight.

    The roads I cycle on are definitely not 'busy' roads ... and even less so when I choose to go out. Probably more soccer moms driving SUVs than anyone else. On one hand I'm glad that people are on the look out for safety issues when it involves children (as VeloDog found out there are plenty of them) but on the other, it kinda ticks me off when others are judging me as a parent and the choices I am making. Yeah, I understand I can't have it both ways but that doesn't mean I can't want it.

    In no particular order I think it is a combination of any of these elements:

    1. Legitimate concern for safety. Either they think I am not responsible enough bike handler to cycle with traffic OR they don't trust their own abilities enough to maneuver around me OR they worry that the teenage driver texting behind them will clip me and trailer. Believe me, I worry about that too. But we could also get run over as we walk across the street to fetch our mail ...

    2. Jealousy/anger/envy. Perhaps they made the choice Not to exercise during pregnancy or when they had little ones underfoot. Perhaps they still aren't exercising even though their kids are in highschool and it just ticks them off that I am doing my body good. Having exercised right through 3 pregnancies, it is amazing how many women resent that. They might slip their anger/envy under the guise of being protective and concern, but I don't buy it.

    3. Women, especially mothers, judge other women/mothers. Period. As much as we would like to think that we don't ... we do. Even if it isn't mean-spirited, we observe another woman's choice with her children and within an instant make a judgment and decide whether or not that is something that we consider appropriate and should we or should we not envelope that technique/approach/etc. into our own bag of tricks. Other women/mothers take it to a whole other level.

    I dunno. I'll just keep smiling and waving to let them know I acknowledge their existence. Outdoor cycling season is nearly over here and I'm ready to convert my trailer onto skis so I can snowshoe and cross-country ski with him when the snow starts to fall.
    ~Kat

  20. #20
    Senior Member cyclezealot's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by arej00dazed View Post
    if you're not burning gas, you're gettn flamed.......
    Plus 1.
    .. It takes a lot of aggression on the part of the cagers to put me over the edge; but , once in a great while the bird salute is just impossible to not use in response.
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  21. #21
    The Professor akohekohe's Avatar
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    If these people are really being over the top rude to you get the plate number, call 911, and file a police report. I know this sounds a bit extreme but they really have absolutely no right to treat you and your baby this way and it is illegal to harass people in this manner. The police where I live will run the plate number and tell the motorist there has been a complaint filed and they shouldn't yell at people. This will probably stop them from doing this again. Not only are they being rude but they are creating a safety hazard by their actions. People need to know that they are not anonymous like they think they are - they have a license plate and they can be held accountable for their actions. They only keep doing s**t like this because no one has ever turned them in.
    The more you drive the less intelligent you are. - Tracy Walter as Miller in Repo Man.

  22. #22
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    I haven't reads the whole thread, but like 10Wheels said, it's a pretty standard thing.

    I get it every now and then. People driving too close, beeping their horns, I've even had a half-eaten doughnut thrown at me..

    Made me a bit nervous at first but I just accepted that there are always going to be haters about.. whatever I'm doing, whether it's cycling or just walking down the street. Sounds simple but just ignoring it is the best thing to do.

  23. #23
    family on bikes nancy sv's Avatar
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    It's funny how many people's perceptions of bicycling are so much different from mine! I've ridden many thousands of miles in many countries throughout the world and have had no problems whatsoever - except a couple miles from my home in Boise, Idaho! And yet, so many people think it's dangerous. I don't get it.

    We are cycling from Alaska to Argentina with our 12-year-old boys and some people have accused us of abuse and all that jazz. I guess it's OK for the boys to ride their bikes in Boise, but nowhere else!

    Just ignore the honkers and know that you are doing right by taking your little one out.
    WE DID IT! Our little family of four cycled 17,300 miles from Alaska to Argentina! The trip of a lifetime for sure. www.familyonbikes.org

  24. #24
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    People are so strange. Do you have a flag on your trailer? I find that people honk more when you are pulling a trailer, than when you have a little one in a seat on your bike. I think the trailer flag helps, but doesn't eliminate the problem.

    There also seems to be the idea that cyclists should pull off the road when someone want to pass. I admit that I thought that at one point myself. Only once I began cycling did I do the research and learn the laws.
    Last edited by Joyfulmama; 12-28-09 at 12:28 AM.

  25. #25
    Senior Member Nola_Gal's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Joyfulmama View Post
    Do you have a flag on your trailer?
    That's what I was wondering...Most of the trailers I've seen are much lower to the ground than an adult on a bike. I would imagine the trailer is much more difficult to see in traffic until you're right up on it.

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