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Singlespeed & Fixed Gear "I still feel that variable gears are only for people over forty-five. Isn't it better to triumph by the strength of your muscles than by the artifice of a derailer? We are getting soft...As for me, give me a fixed gear!"-- Henri Desgrange (31 January 1865 - 16 August 1940)

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Old 02-03-06, 05:59 PM   #1
caveat audiens
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So I just had the most hostile encounter I've experienced yet.

I was riding down [editing out the specifics] (and here I thought my only threat was the infamous pedestrians that never learned to look both ways before crossing the street) going at a steady 25 mph or so when some jerk rips by me at something like twice my speed about three inches from my handlebars, only to slam on the brakes five seconds later to avoid smashing into the car in front of him that's stopped at a red light. I tactfully reminded him that there was a wide open lane to the left by slapping his windshield and flipping him off.

The light turns green, I take off and get up to speed, and feel something hit my leg. Hard. I'm sure it comes as no surprise that the ******* mother****er threw a water bottle at me; looking back on the incident, I guess it shouldn't have surprised me either, as someone who's willing to risk a stranger's life so they can hit a red light faster probably isn't going to be the most emotionally balanced person.

Now, I'm generally in control of my emotions and not very quick to anger, but when it comes to cyclist/motorist altercations, I'm always reminded of a friend of mine who was hit on his bike so badly by a reckless driver (who was completely sober but going 50 mph in the wrong lane in a 25 mph no passing zone) a couple months ago that we weren't allowed to see him one last time because he was unrecognizable. That said, I was seeing red and completely blind to logic at this point, so I speed by the car at the next light and kick the side view mirror off (just barely keeping my balance), and dart off down the empty sidewalk of a nearby one-way street.

Not exactly the emotionally centered outlook I normally try to have; I realize that the situation shouldn't have escalated as it did. Not to mention, at no point did I even THINK to look at his license plate until after the whole thing was through.

I guess my purpose in writing this is mostly just venting to a crowd that might be sympathetic. But also, while I was cooling off before I rode back home (it took almost a half hour of walking and deep breathing before I stopped shaking) I was trying to think of more non-violent ways I could've handled the situation. Has anyone ever been in a similar situation and just stood in front of the offending car at the next light, not letting them pass? Unknown Rebel-style? I figure if you stand close enough, they'd never be able to accelerate fast enough to do any serious damage to you.

Of course, the second they get out of their car, I'd take off in a terrified sprint, as I weigh in at a measly [I suppose a description of myself isn't too smart, either].

Whoo. Thanks for letting me vent.


[Edited out some of the more incriminating specifics.]

Last edited by caveat audiens; 02-03-06 at 06:20 PM.
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Old 02-03-06, 06:08 PM   #2
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Now, I'm generally in control of my emotions and not very quick to anger,
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I tactfully reminded him that there was a wide open lane to the left by slapping his windshield and flipping him off.
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Old 02-03-06, 06:13 PM   #3
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In most of my altercations with drivers I most often look back and think I could have handled it better. I rode for a couple years in a very bicycle-hostile city, my goal of every day was to NOT get honked at on my commute. I guess I'm spoiled now because if I get honked at now, it's only because I may have cut off a car, Anyway one time I was honked at; I rode up to the truck on the passenger side and explained to them I am a legally allowed to ride in the streets as a vehicle. They yelled at me, as was usual, so at the next red light I rode to the driver side. The man was about to yell at me when I gather up a huge loogie and spit bullseye in his face on the arch of his nose. As I was riding off I cut him off and he started revving his engine. When he got the green light, he caught up with me and tried running me over. I ducked out onto the sidewalk, and they caught up with me on the road twice after, each time trying to run me over. I had to duck out in a residential street because at this point they were chasing me. It felt GREAT to spit on his face and see him in full surprise! I know member son this board will say that cyclists shouldn't add to the Driver Vs. Cyclist mentality but when you are hassled and yelled at every single day for months straight, you really begin to profile every driver as an *******.
I still see this every day, I still do think that driving is unhealthy and promotes stress and causes neighbors to hate each other when I see drivers yelling at other drivers. the car is just an unhealthy machine, physically and mentally.

Oh and once I got on this guy's ass because he pulled up too far in an intersection when I was on a crosswalk. I have to say I wasn't very civil. the confrontation ended when a 300lb man got out of the car and was ready to throw down. But man drivers in this city ****ing sucked. I got ran over on an average of once every two months as a pedestrain, on foot, crossing legally.

whew, I feel good talking about it. But I can say that ever since I moved to Austin, I haven't had any negative incidents with drivers because they respect my right to the road. So I respect them.
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Old 02-03-06, 06:14 PM   #4
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Yes, I know, I know. But like I said, when it comes to reckless drivers, I'm not all too rational.
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Old 02-03-06, 06:15 PM   #5
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you better hope that guy never sees you again!
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Old 02-03-06, 06:15 PM   #6
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I wouldnt be posting this **** on the net. Delete it before someone forwards it to the cops or the it gets around. Someone who's sideview mirror got kicked off will be pissed, and no you don't have a right to destroy someone's car because they goosed you.

Edit: or atleast be smart enough to remove the specifics
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Old 02-03-06, 06:16 PM   #7
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I would absolutely LOVE the fact that you kicked the ****er's mirror off, if I thought it would have done any good. He is worse off, you are not better off. Not a pareto improvement. **** cars, and **** drivers.
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Old 02-03-06, 06:17 PM   #8
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Oops, that was a reply to afterthisnap.

And wow, do I ever want to move to Austin. I'm seriously thinking about it after I'm done with school. Bike-friendly? One of the best live music scenes in the US? You've got it made!
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Old 02-03-06, 06:22 PM   #9
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it's like San Fran (from what I hear). Biking is the "hip" thing to do; also austin is the 7th healthiest cities in the country so biking is big for exercise. (Ironically the place I come from is the most obese city in the country). As far as the live music, it is ridiculous. On one of the public television stations MET, they run show listings in a banner under the music videos and those banners run for about ten minutes just covering one week of show listings before it loops.
also, Lance Armstrong lives here. I mean, what city wouldn't be bike friendly if a cyclist "hero" lived there?

I'm not sure why biking is big actually. It just IS. and fixies are a-plenty. Even recumbents have their place, there is a recumbent-only bike store, and driviers politely yield to hunky recumbents that take up half a lane.

don't mean to hijack the thread but part of driver-cyclist relations varies city by city

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Old 02-03-06, 06:27 PM   #10
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Has anyone ever been in a similar situation and just stood in front of the offending car at the next light, not letting them pass? Unknown Rebel-style?
i've done this, 57th st in manhattan. it pissed him off, but it wasn't very satisfying. pissed off all the drivers behind him too, who tipped off a cop, who questioned me as i was locking up. didn't ticket me or anything though.
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Old 02-03-06, 06:43 PM   #11
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you hit his car...he hit your body...**** him!!

edit: as far as cities go, i find it ironic about vancouver that it is advertised as an 'outdoorsy activity mecca' and the drivers here can really be quite hostile. just a light perusal of craigslist R&R will show you how many drivers dream of running over cyclists and pedestrians here...

http://vancouver.craigslist.org/rnr/120332785.html

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Old 02-03-06, 07:08 PM   #12
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Originally Posted by caveat audiens
Has anyone ever been in a similar situation and just stood in front of the offending car at the next light, not letting them pass? Unknown Rebel-style?
Yes, for like 15 minutes. They ended up just accelerating into me, but it only knocked me off.
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Old 02-03-06, 07:13 PM   #13
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Originally Posted by caveat audiens
So I just had the most hostile encounter I've experienced yet.

I was riding down [editing out the specifics] (and here I thought my only threat was the infamous pedestrians that never learned to look both ways before crossing the street) going at a steady 25 mph or so when some jerk rips by me at something like twice my speed about three inches from my handlebars, only to slam on the brakes five seconds later to avoid smashing into the car in front of him that's stopped at a red light. I tactfully reminded him that there was a wide open lane to the left by slapping his windshield and flipping him off.

The light turns green, I take off and get up to speed, and feel something hit my leg. Hard. I'm sure it comes as no surprise that the ******* mother****er threw a water bottle at me; looking back on the incident, I guess it shouldn't have surprised me either, as someone who's willing to risk a stranger's life so they can hit a red light faster probably isn't going to be the most emotionally balanced person.

Now, I'm generally in control of my emotions and not very quick to anger, but when it comes to cyclist/motorist altercations, I'm always reminded of a friend of mine who was hit on his bike so badly by a reckless driver (who was completely sober but going 50 mph in the wrong lane in a 25 mph no passing zone) a couple months ago that we weren't allowed to see him one last time because he was unrecognizable. That said, I was seeing red and completely blind to logic at this point, so I speed by the car at the next light and kick the side view mirror off (just barely keeping my balance), and dart off down the empty sidewalk of a nearby one-way street.

Not exactly the emotionally centered outlook I normally try to have; I realize that the situation shouldn't have escalated as it did. Not to mention, at no point did I even THINK to look at his license plate until after the whole thing was through.

I guess my purpose in writing this is mostly just venting to a crowd that might be sympathetic. But also, while I was cooling off before I rode back home (it took almost a half hour of walking and deep breathing before I stopped shaking) I was trying to think of more non-violent ways I could've handled the situation. Has anyone ever been in a similar situation and just stood in front of the offending car at the next light, not letting them pass? Unknown Rebel-style? I figure if you stand close enough, they'd never be able to accelerate fast enough to do any serious damage to you.

Of course, the second they get out of their car, I'd take off in a terrified sprint, as I weigh in at a measly [I suppose a description of myself isn't too smart, either].

Whoo. Thanks for letting me vent.


[Edited out some of the more incriminating specifics.]
way to be out of line. hopefully next time you won't start something and have the driver finish it with his CAR!
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Old 02-03-06, 07:15 PM   #14
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Get his plate and report a reckless driver. No point in escalating a situation that could get you killed.
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Old 02-03-06, 07:15 PM   #15
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way to be out of line. hopefully next time you won't start something and have the driver finish it with his CAR!
Not to be a jerk, but I already pointed out that I was out of line in the original post.
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Old 02-03-06, 07:18 PM   #16
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Not to be a jerk, but I already pointed out that I was out of line in the original post.
sorry, didn't see that at the very end. i do think it's kinda frightening that people feel that you did the right thing though.
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Old 02-03-06, 07:23 PM   #17
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Get his plate and report a reckless driver. No point in escalating a situation that could get you killed.
does anything actually come of this?
I mean when it comes to cyclists, cops generally aren't eager to help them out. For example, here people have called cops about cars parked illegally in bicycle lanes but I haven't heard of cops doing anything.

I'm not saying that cyclists should be vigilantes but does calling in a reckless driver actually result in anything?
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Old 02-03-06, 07:24 PM   #18
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Next time, instead of slapping his car, scream "SERENITY NOW" as many times as it takes to cool down. Than follow him and take all the bolts out of his wheels??
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Old 02-03-06, 07:27 PM   #19
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Next time, instead of slapping his car, scream "SERENITY NOW" as many times as it takes to cool down. Than follow him and take all the bolts out of his wheels??
hahahahahahahaha...would the bolts come out meditative, telekinesis style?
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Old 02-03-06, 07:27 PM   #20
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it's like San Fran (from what I hear). Biking is the "hip" thing to do; also austin is the 7th healthiest cities in the country so biking is big for exercise. (Ironically the place I come from is the most obese city in the country). As far as the live music, it is ridiculous. On one of the public television stations MET, they run show listings in a banner under the music videos and those banners run for about ten minutes just covering one week of show listings before it loops.
also, Lance Armstrong lives here. I mean, what city wouldn't be bike friendly if a cyclist "hero" lived there?

I'm not sure why biking is big actually. It just IS. and fixies are a-plenty. Even recumbents have their place, there is a recumbent-only bike store, and driviers politely yield to hunky recumbents that take up half a lane.

don't mean to hijack the thread but part of driver-cyclist relations varies city by city
what's that city? i forget just what it is....

and stendhalian...same thing goes with boise, where i used to live..."outdoor mecca", they say....skiing, snowboaring, hiking, kayaking (road cycling is actually pretty big there, too). but if you go past a few square miles of what barely passes for "downtown", it's not really very bike friendly. it's where all the off-roaders and four-wheeler "outdoors" types live, and there are a lot of them. gun racks and screaming at bikes and trying to run down cyclists. riding there every day really built up a hatred of cars and drivers in me.
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Old 02-03-06, 07:28 PM   #21
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I always just think of it like a cycle (no pun intended). Maybe the reason he was so hostile in the first place was because of a previous bad incident with a cyclist. And now after another bad incident he'll be even more inclined to **** with a cyclist next time he sees one, each time getting more dangerous.

That's just the rational side of my brain, of course. In matters concerning *******s putting my life at risk I tend to anger quickly, and it takes a lot of restraint to keep from getting myself into a bad situation.
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Old 02-03-06, 07:31 PM   #22
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does anything actually come of this?
I mean when it comes to cyclists, cops generally aren't eager to help them out. For example, here people have called cops about cars parked illegally in bicycle lanes but I haven't heard of cops doing anything.

I'm not saying that cyclists should be vigilantes but does calling in a reckless driver actually result in anything?
Not always directly. It's more a record keeping thing. You make a complaint, it gets filed, if any other complaints get filed against the same driver or the same driver is involved in something that requires investigation, your complaint will come up. It's like it goes on you permanent record.
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Old 02-03-06, 07:34 PM   #23
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hell it's ****ing allston what do you expect...

I've been guilty of kicking off a side ver mirror in JP, AFTER they were out of the car and into a house
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Old 02-03-06, 07:36 PM   #24
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ok edited so no one can track you down, but uhhh well they can thru your proffile
**** I saw you at international the other day, your bike is adorable...

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Old 02-03-06, 07:41 PM   #25
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Back in the day it was a water bottle full of coke...... carving my anarchy symbol onto the hood.
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