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  1. #1
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    First verbal altercation at a stoplight while riding in traffic.

    Hey. So I bought a bike not too (I got a cruiser on the 12th, but I exchanged it for a Trek 7.2 FX on Tuesday) long ago and I read some instructional material on how to safely ride in traffic and I decided to ride on the road with the cars on an errand to the bank earlier today. Everything was fine. I realized that I'm only really in danger when switching lanes, or going through intersections or making left turns and that his danger can be minimized by intelligent positioning and forethought. I've yet to, but I intend to take TS101.

    So everything was peachy until a passenger riding in a car ordered me onto the sidewalk. Ignored him and he pulled off into a side street and insulted me and I just kept riding, so he passed me but I caught up to him at the light. He was in the left turn lane and I was in the through lane. Here is my imperfect transcript of the conversation:

    Him: What the **** are you doing on the road, get on the sidewalk.

    Me: Florida law says bicycles are permitted on the road.

    Him: I don't care what the law says, you're in the middle of the road. If I hit you with this car, I could go to jail. Get out of the way.

    Me: Are you a police officer?

    Him: ******, I'm the one with a *** that could shoot you dead.

    I did not move into the sidewalk, I just broke eye contact and looked at the light while putting my foot on the pedal while keeping him in my peripheral vision and preparing to take off at a sprint in the event that a *** were produced.

    When the light changed at the urging of the driver, the passenger made a halfhearted apology. The driver never spoke the entire time and he just seemed to have this sort of bemused smile on his face as if he were amused by his passenger's rage. I told him to have a nice day and took off on my way as they turned left.

    This is the sort of thing that makes me want to reconsider the whole biking in traffic thing. I'm not that scared of being in an accidental collision because I understand the flow of traffic and I'm just adapting smart driving from my car to my bicycle, but I fear that someone might intentionally hit me. When he passed me, he could have easily rammed me from behind and I would be toast.

    People in Miami Florida are just mean.

    What are your thoughts? Are there any established strategies for dealing with this kind of thing?

  2. #2
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    Ignore and keep riding. Its all hot air most of the time. If you ignore the rant they will go away.

  3. #3
    Senior Member bikemig's Avatar
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    I think this sort of behavior is pretty unusual. I sure hope it is.

  4. #4
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    Quote Originally Posted by krobinson103 View Post
    Ignore and keep riding. Its all hot air most of the time. If you ignore the rant they will go away.
    I agree. Too many nuts out there that it's just not worth the risk to engage them.

  5. #5
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    Engagement = Enragement

    Just smile and say,"Jesus loves you too."

  6. #6
    Senior Member kingston's Avatar
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    I have found that the best thing I can do to keep my serenity in traffic is to maintain an attitude that I am a guest on everyone else’s road. That means doing everything I can to prevent drivers from becoming irritated with me in the first place, and being apologetic if I ever inadvertently do something that offends them. Something like “Sorry to have upset you. I’m doing my best to keep out of the way of traffic” usually works to de-escalate the situation. I have even moved to the sidewalk for a short time when one motorist asked me to (that guy had flashing lights on the top of his car, and I’m positive he had a ***). The worst thing you can do is argue with people in cars, or carry an attitude that you have some “right” to be there. Just move over and let them go by. They’ll be long gone soon enough. Cars are way faster than bikes.

  7. #7
    Senior Member Cyclosaurus's Avatar
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    When a cager is talking trash, it's a pretty good sign that's all they intend to do. Just smile, wave, and say "Si, si, gracias" until they give up.
    Whenever a theory appears to you as the only possible one, take this as a sign that you have neither understood the theory nor the problem which it was intended to solve. -Popper

  8. #8
    Fahrradfahrer jwarner's Avatar
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    Just look at them, smile, and wave... I might even say "hello" and comment on the weather. They are just trying to start an argument, and as Mark Twain said, "Never argue with stupid people." "They will just drag you down to their level and beat you with experience."

  9. #9
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    Quote Originally Posted by jwarner View Post
    Just look at them, smile, and wave... I might even say "hello" and comment on the weather. They are just trying to start an argument, and as Mark Twain said, "Never argue with stupid people." "They will just drag you down to their level and beat you with experience."
    +1

  10. #10
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    Report him to the police, for threatening you with a ***.................. MHO

    That's a big mistake on his part/

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  11. #11
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    When you ride a lot, I ride about 120 miles a week, you have confrontations and close calls, it goes with the territory. If you have fear of either one of those things, you should probably do a different kind of bike riding.
    Mountain biking and biking on trails seems like fun, though I like riding the roads. I have absolutley no fear biking the road, doesnt seem like fun if you fear the roads for what ever reason.

  12. #12
    Senior Member jgadamski's Avatar
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    no, this is usual. it's called a sense of entitlement. Short of open carry ( which I cannot endorse) its a long battle to collectively change the attitudes of the car-dependent folks who see no other way. It's not easy,it's not fast. A mixture of comedy, art and bullheadedness is what generally is prescribed.

  13. #13
    Senior Member jgadamski's Avatar
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    +1

  14. #14
    Senior Member Astrozombie's Avatar
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    This reminds me of the time a passenger said something to me, OMG!!!
    If i could have that moment back! What is a chicken **** passenger doing running his mouth?
    It's like a bench player talking smack to someone on the opposing team, you aren't even in the game!! So STFU!!
    "If the driver has a problem let him say it" "I bet you also tell them how to drive and get on their nerves"
    Assume nothing; Question everything

  15. #15
    24-Speed Machine Chris516's Avatar
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    I usually ignore people like that.

    But I will give kudos' to the passenger on one point. That they would admit to killing a cyclist if they were driving and that happened.

    Verbally, I would respond with one of three things:

    1. Parle vous Francais(Do you speak French)
    2. Habla Espanol(Do you speak Spanish)
    3. Sprechen zie Deutch(Do you speak German)

    They would probably give you a strange look and move on.

  16. #16
    Senior Member Digital_Cowboy's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by TheBoogly View Post
    Hey. So I bought a bike not too (I got a cruiser on the 12th, but I exchanged it for a Trek 7.2 FX on Tuesday) long ago and I read some instructional material on how to safely ride in traffic and I decided to ride on the road with the cars on an errand to the bank earlier today. Everything was fine. I realized that I’m only really in danger when switching lanes, or going through intersections or making left turns and that his danger can be minimized by intelligent positioning and forethought. I’ve yet to, but I intend to take TS101.

    So everything was peachy until a passenger riding in a car ordered me onto the sidewalk. Ignored him and he pulled off into a side street and insulted me and I just kept riding, so he passed me but I caught up to him at the light. He was in the left turn lane and I was in the through lane. Here is my imperfect transcript of the conversation:

    Him: What the **** are you doing on the road, get on the sidewalk.

    Me: Florida law says bicycles are permitted on the road.

    Him: I don’t care what the law says, you’re in the middle of the road. If I hit you with this car, I could go to jail. Get out of the way.

    Me: Are you a police officer?

    Him: ******, I’m the one with a *** that could shoot you dead.

    I did not move into the sidewalk, I just broke eye contact and looked at the light while putting my foot on the pedal while keeping him in my peripheral vision and preparing to take off at a sprint in the event that a *** were produced.

    When the light changed at the urging of the driver, the passenger made a halfhearted apology. The driver never spoke the entire time and he just seemed to have this sort of bemused smile on his face as if he were amused by his passenger’s rage. I told him to have a nice day and took off on my way as they turned left.

    This is the sort of thing that makes me want to reconsider the whole biking in traffic thing. I’m not that scared of being in an accidental collision because I understand the flow of traffic and I’m just adapting smart driving from my car to my bicycle, but I fear that someone might intentionally hit me. When he passed me, he could have easily rammed me from behind and I would be toast.

    People in Miami Florida are just mean.

    What are your thoughts? Are there any established strategies for dealing with this kind of thing?
    TB,

    Just keep your cool, don’t lower yourself to their level. And do what you now to be both safe and legal.

    And of course don’t forget the ever popular, “Smile and wave,” just “smile and wave.” Or maybe cup your hand to your ear like you can’t hear them.

    The saddest thing though is how many people LEOs and motorists alike who are ignorant of the law.

    And as I am sure someone has already said, most of them are too cowardly to actually act on their threats.
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  17. #17
    Senior Member Digital_Cowboy's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Cyclosaurus View Post
    When a cager is talking trash, it's a pretty good sign that's all they intend to do. Just smile, wave, and say "Si, si, gracias" until they give up.
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  18. #18
    Senior Member Digital_Cowboy's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Wanderer View Post
    Report him to the police, for threatening you with a ***.................. MHO

    That’s a big mistake on his part/
    Wanderer,

    That’s a very good point. He needs to be held accountable for his actions. The irony here though is that he might try that on the wrong person and find himself looking down the business end of an even larger g u n then he claims to have.
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  19. #19
    Senior Member cellery's Avatar
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    I know this is an old thread but I just got this idea - has anyone ever tried the "I'm an off duty cop" tactic on some ******nozzle harassing them?
    I like food.

  20. #20
    RR3
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    If someone said they had such an impediement and could end my life, the LAST thing I would do is break eye contract. If the Cager actually produced or branished the object, the threat would sound more like assault requiring an appropriate response and depending upon one's viewpoint, you could dial 911. It does not sound like the loudmouth was a creating an imminent type situation justifying any sort of self defense or even responding maybe other than to say sorry and watching the guy like a hawk.

    I am more concerned with cars that run you off the road and then circle back a few times to repeat.
    Last edited by RR3; 03-30-15 at 02:55 PM.

  21. #21
    Senior Member cellery's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by RR3 View Post
    I am more concerned with cars that run you off the road and then circle back a few times to repeat.
    This is a real thing that happens. Happened to me once when a guy in what could only be described as a monster truck decided to do so after my response to him aggressively honking and following close (holding up rush hour traffic I might add) was to blow him a kiss and offer a friendly wave while lollygagging to and fro from fog line to curb in the bike lane. There, I'm done hijacking this ancient thread now.
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  22. #22
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    Quote Originally Posted by TheBoogly View Post
    Hey. So I bought a bike not too (I got a cruiser on the 12th, but I exchanged it for a Trek 7.2 FX on Tuesday) long ago and I read some instructional material on how to safely ride in traffic and I decided to ride on the road with the cars on an errand to the bank earlier today. Everything was fine. I realized that I'm only really in danger when switching lanes, or going through intersections or making left turns and that his danger can be minimized by intelligent positioning and forethought. I've yet to, but I intend to take TS101.

    So everything was peachy until a passenger riding in a car ordered me onto the sidewalk. Ignored him and he pulled off into a side street and insulted me and I just kept riding, so he passed me but I caught up to him at the light. He was in the left turn lane and I was in the through lane. Here is my imperfect transcript of the conversation:

    Him: What the **** are you doing on the road, get on the sidewalk.

    Me: Florida law says bicycles are permitted on the road.

    Him: I don't care what the law says, you're in the middle of the road. If I hit you with this car, I could go to jail. Get out of the way.

    Me: Are you a police officer?

    Him: ******, I'm the one with a *** that could shoot you dead.

    I did not move into the sidewalk, I just broke eye contact and looked at the light while putting my foot on the pedal while keeping him in my peripheral vision and preparing to take off at a sprint in the event that a *** were produced.

    When the light changed at the urging of the driver, the passenger made a halfhearted apology. The driver never spoke the entire time and he just seemed to have this sort of bemused smile on his face as if he were amused by his passenger's rage. I told him to have a nice day and took off on my way as they turned left.

    This is the sort of thing that makes me want to reconsider the whole biking in traffic thing. I'm not that scared of being in an accidental collision because I understand the flow of traffic and I'm just adapting smart driving from my car to my bicycle, but I fear that someone might intentionally hit me. When he passed me, he could have easily rammed me from behind and I would be toast.

    People in Miami Florida are just mean.

    What are your thoughts? Are there any established strategies for dealing with this kind of thing?
    I handle crap like that differently. I'd have told him to get out of his car and talk to me like a man. There's a point beyond which if you push me my fight instinct will kick in. That would have likely crossed that line.

  23. #23
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    Quote Originally Posted by cellery View Post
    I know this is an old thread but I just got this idea - has anyone ever tried the "I'm an off duty cop" tactic on some ******nozzle harassing them?
    Pretty sure impersonating a police officer is illegal. Very illegal.

    I think it'd be fun to carry your phone or paper and circle around the vehicle and start writing down the license plate number.

  24. #24
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    I've been cycling on the road a lot and nothing like that has happened since. Not even on the big multilane arterials. I think it was a freak occurrence. This city does have poor road design and the drivers are aggressive, but it's been doable. I've only seen a handful of other people bicycling on the roads, but I live in the western more suburban side. Towards the east, near the downtown area, there are more cyclists.
    Last edited by TheBoogly; 05-27-15 at 04:46 PM.

  25. #25
    Senior Member jgadamski's Avatar
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    Just tell him you'll give him a ride on the handlebars when the oil stops flowing.

    No, you can't engage with asshats like that. Get his license number and phone in a 911 call with the fact you were threatened with shooting by the guy. Let the syst
    em drag him into the morass. And if the cops don't respond, don't be surprised.
    Second verse: Read 'Effective Cycling' but take it with a huge grain of salt. It is actually filled with all sorts of information on how to operate safely on the streets. Where you need to depart is Forresters fantasy that trails,sharrows,green-ways are anathema to safe cycling. Folks aren't gonna ride if they don't feel safe, and many don't feel safe on streets. Give them a way to get 90% of the way on separated paths and they will figure the 10% out. In time it becomes less an issue.
    I do respect Forrester for that first piece, how to ride safely in traffic. The tinfoil hat appears beyond that.

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