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Old 12-03-07, 11:09 PM   #1
Bekologist
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Felt like a textbook A&S 'feelgood' scenario, then reality sets in- I'm BIKING

So, tonight after work, i'm biking along in a dark and windy Seattle evening. You know the type of road, a typical urban four lane arterial, 30 MPH speed limit, center turn lane, a few stoplights every half mile or so.

It's going pretty good. this is nothing new of course, but I'm biking along, fully taking the outside lane, motorists are moving around me, etc.(A little background, I ride daily and transportationally as well as recreationally, am adriot at taking the lane, quite assertive about my road rights, etc.) My ride is going well. the heavy, flooding rains of the morning had stopped, and visibility was good for a stormy night. Traffic was light.

Playing out like the typical bicycle commute, motorists passing smoothly, just tooling along, feeling good, humming a song to myself, and I get the "bwah bwah bwabwa" 'disgruntled motorist' garble out the window of a car that just passed me. The one you can't decipher the words, but know the tone is disapproving. I catch up at a light, and give a hearty 'thanks' to the car.

There's a big downhill after the light, so i'm off fast and ahead for a few hundred yards, by which point I'm usually doing the 30 MPH speed limit on this stretch. Do the motorists that harangued me out the window choose to simply pass in the other lane? Of course not. After the light, they decide to get behind me, lay on the horn, THEN pass, to tell me I need to get out of the road and how riding in the center of the lane isn't smart, blah blah blah....


So I ask: what was I doing wrong? the wrong cravat? insufficient panache? Was my lane positioning not sufficient to educate the motorists about my right to the lane? I'm pretty sure I was getting harangued just because I was BIKING.

this fantasy some of the safety nannies posit around this forum is disgusting: the fantasy all a bicyclist needs to do to get respect on the roads is to take the lane, and watch the motorist harassment just fade away. what a crock.

some motorists will continue to disrespect bicyclists riding safely, legally or otherwise - REGARDLESS of lane position, exhibitions of panache or choice of cravat.

how much are you riding at night, Helmet Head? I'm trying to figure out some techniques for making my panache more noticable at night -any good ideas :?

Last edited by Bekologist; 12-03-07 at 11:47 PM.
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Old 12-03-07, 11:20 PM   #2
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In all honesty, I do not remember the last time I took abuse while riding. A lot of it has to do with the places where I ride -- SoCalers are used to seeing guys on bikes -- but if I was taking the amount of abuse that seems typical of so many cases on this board, I would take a long, serious look at what I might be doing wrong.
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Old 12-03-07, 11:21 PM   #3
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BTW, what's a "driot", and how does it help you when you're in the way of motorists?

Last edited by Six jours; 12-03-07 at 11:32 PM.
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Old 12-03-07, 11:29 PM   #4
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Typical Bek "I am all that" worthless thread.
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Old 12-03-07, 11:32 PM   #5
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a droit is two drams, isn't it? It's definetly more than a pint...


no, CB, it's commentary that despite ones' road position, some motorists will still disrespect a bicyclist- regardless of ones's choice of cycling jacket or exhibitions of lane claiming panache.
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Old 12-03-07, 11:43 PM   #6
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a droit is two drams, isn't it? It's definetly more than a pint...
Hell, I'm just glad that I fixed the misspelled "motorists" before you saw it. That could have been embarrassing...
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Old 12-04-07, 12:16 AM   #7
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Passing him again at the light was probably what really got his blood boiling. I don't even say anything to fools like that when I pass them, as just the simple act of passing them says everything I want to say.
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Old 12-04-07, 04:02 AM   #8
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Originally Posted by Bekologist View Post
this fantasy some of the safety nannies posit around this forum is disgusting: the fantasy all a bicyclist needs to do to get respect on the roads is to take the lane, and watch the motorist harassment just fade away. what a crock.

some motorists will continue to disrespect bicyclists riding safely, legally or otherwise - REGARDLESS of lane position, exhibitions of panache or choice of cravat.

how much are you riding at night, Helmet Head? I'm trying to figure out some techniques for making my panache more noticable at night -any good ideas :?
You know it, I know it, and pretty much every transportation cyclist that's ridden a public road knows it. The thing is that your VC zealots are exactly like the cager you had to deal with. They have their preconceived notions based on their beliefs and no ammount of reality will influence them. They're blindede by their own ideology.

Bek, when it comes to dealing with ignorance (of all stripes) I can only refer you to the wisdom of the penguins "smile and wave boys, smile and wave..."

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Old 12-04-07, 05:13 AM   #9
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You're my new BikeForums hero.

Helmet Head is so busy preaching here I question whether he even OWNS a bike.
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Old 12-04-07, 05:59 AM   #10
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I thought the idea was that if we ALL start riding in the middle of the lane we'll eventually be respected.

Not that I believe it for a second though.
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Old 12-04-07, 06:32 AM   #11
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If you did anything wrong, it would be NOT letting the a@@h@le go at the light. You knew he was an idiot after he yelled at you when he passed the first time. NO reason to aggravate him by passing him. But really that's not a big thing. Some people are just a@@h@les.
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Old 12-04-07, 06:43 AM   #12
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Some people are just a@@h@les.
Nail to head ... nail to head.

There is NOTHING you can do as a cyclist to protect yourself from this demographic - nothing. You can hope your encounters with this type of person are not frequent, but that's about it. Where I live, if you take the lane, you're getting hit - no question.

... Brad
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Old 12-04-07, 07:36 AM   #13
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Typical Bek "I am all that" worthless thread.
I wouldn't say exactly that. More like typical Bek "point out the obvious VC bait" thread.

I personally don't see the point. So you got yelled at. Sounds like, at least the first time, they passed you safely. You can't stop jerks from being jerks. But you can do you what you can to position yourself so you won't get hit or buzzed. Nothing is perfect though.

Sounds like maybe after the light your actions could have been construed as egging them on a bit. It sounds like (from your posts and other stories) you could be the "egg them on" type.

I am also kind of surprised, for being in one of the best cycling areas of the country you seem to have more than your fair share of negative experiences. But also, by the way you portray yourself here I can't say that I am surprised.

-D
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Old 12-04-07, 07:43 AM   #14
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You should have taunted him, so that he stops and gets out of his car, after which you mace him and snap their pics and post them on BF for us to enjoy !!!!!!
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Old 12-04-07, 08:02 AM   #15
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Where I live, if you take the lane, you're getting hit - no question.

... Brad
Where do you live? I've ridden without trouble around Gettysburg, Philly, and Pitt. Just curious.
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Old 12-04-07, 09:14 AM   #16
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You should have taunted him, so that he stops and gets out of his car, after which you mace him and snap their pics and post them on BF for us to enjoy !!!!!!
HAHAHA ohmygodz that's SO EDGY AND HILARIOUS!!!!11 I'M IN HYSTERICS!1! And then, and then, he can edit something hilarious into the photo and make the motorist say something like "omgz wtf wai u mase my fase?!?!" and we could have MAJOR LULZ at this awesome BF image macro AMIRITE?!?!

@ Berkologist: You're on a public road, which means you'll be dealing with the public. And the public is full of *******s. You think they're just picking on you? I doubt that. They're probably a pain in the ass to everyone. Get over it already.
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Old 12-04-07, 11:08 AM   #17
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American's (generally) hate bikes.
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Old 12-04-07, 11:55 AM   #18
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Bek your experience is so true. It illustrates how those of us with real world experience find the pontificatings of armchair cyclists with strong ideological opinions so baffling.
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Old 12-04-07, 10:50 PM   #19
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why did this thread about bicycling and safety and taking the lane get moved into the VC subforum?

seems a very realistic and aware and distinctly NON-VC point I make - that, DESPITE a bicyclists' lane position or riding flair, some motorists will still disrespect you.
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Old 12-04-07, 11:31 PM   #20
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seems a very realistic and aware and distinctly NON-VC point I make - that, DESPITE a bicyclists' lane position or riding flair, some motorists will still disrespect you.
Uh, two things: One, like I mentioned earlier, there are *******s in the world, some of whom happen to be on the road and in a car at the same time. It's remarkable that you take it so personally, considering they probably act like jerks toward other people too. Secondly, you think "riding flair" demands respect? It's not an art form, it's riding in a lane. Hardly a ballet, if you ask me. But even if it were, you'd have critics in the real world.

Which is where you happen to cycle: the real world. People are jerks in all facets of it, one of which happens to be vehicle operation on a road. Get with the programme.
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Old 12-05-07, 12:07 AM   #21
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I don't think riding 'flair' has ANYTHING to do with it- that's one of this forums safety nannies' insistence that bicyclists with 'panache' get more respect from motorists. some posters thought fedoras might help more.

I'm much more of a realist about bicycling. I know how it is out there in traffic. I make no halcyon assertions about road and lane position being able to summon up 'feelgood' feelings from motorists for bicyclists.

I like posting little commuter happenstances from my daily commutes in here to see what gets stirred up.

Last edited by Bekologist; 12-05-07 at 12:14 AM.
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Old 12-05-07, 12:15 AM   #22
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Another incident with a harassing motorist???

I'm sure the frequency with which this happens to you has nothing to do with your behavior, Beck.

Seriously, based on your response to the poll up in A&S, where you said you don't care how long motorists have to wait behind you, I suspect you're not paying much attention to them, or how your behavior is affecting them, and this "I don't give a ***** about you" attitude (because, let's be frank, you don't) is probably being conveyed to them, one way or another. Perhaps lane positioning, perhaps body language, perhaps a lack of behavior. It's impossible to know from this armchair. But I'm fairly certain that you could probably make a few adjustments in attitude and therefore behavior that should result in much less harassment. But you have to want to do that, and I don't think you do.
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Old 12-05-07, 12:19 AM   #23
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body language

attitude

change my behavior

do you mean ride more submisively to motorists? further to the right? closer to the curb for the motorists conveinence?

dude. it was at NIGHT. what was i doing wrong? the motorists were upset with me intially for doing nothing except being where I was riding, taking a non-sharing outside narrow lane position on a four lane road...

maybe my blinkies and reflective arrays are too bright for the poor little motorists.

Last edited by Bekologist; 12-05-07 at 12:26 AM.
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Old 12-05-07, 12:32 AM   #24
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Another incident with a harassing motorist???

I'm sure the frequency with which this happens to you has nothing to do with your behavior, Beck.

Seriously, based on your response to the poll up in A&S, where you said you don't care how long motorists have to wait behind you, I suspect you're not paying much attention to them, or how your behavior is affecting them, and this "I don't give a ***** about you" attitude (because, let's be frank, you don't) is probably being conveyed to them, one way or another. Perhaps lane positioning, perhaps body language, perhaps a lack of behavior. It's impossible to know from this armchair. But I'm fairly certain that you could probably make a few adjustments in attitude and therefore behavior that should result in much less harassment. But you have to want to do that, and I don't think you do.
-1

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Old 12-05-07, 12:35 AM   #25
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Another incident with a harassing motorist???

I'm sure the frequency with which this happens to you has nothing to do with your behavior, Beck.
You just don't ride often enough on busy enough roads to see much of this. Of course it's inconceivable to you that the motorist might have the behavioural problems

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Seriously, based on your response to the poll up in A&S, where you said you don't care how long motorists have to wait behind you, I suspect you're not paying much attention to them, or how your behavior is affecting them, and this "I don't give a ***** about you" attitude (because, let's be frank, you don't) is probably being conveyed to them, one way or another. Perhaps lane positioning, perhaps body language, perhaps a lack of behavior. It's impossible to know from this armchair. But I'm fairly certain that you could probably make a few adjustments in attitude and therefore behavior that should result in much less harassment. But you have to want to do that, and I don't think you do.
In this case he was holding the speed limit. Any cars being 'held up' would have to be trying to exceed the speed limit. As far as I'm concerned such people can get stuffed. They are the ones that need to adjust their attitude.

Bek was riding exactly as you would've been, Serge, and you still insist he was the one doing something wrong? The simple fact is that some drivers are just angry idiots. If you haven't encountered any of them, you're not riding enough.
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