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Change of Heart

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Change of Heart

Old 02-18-08, 02:32 PM
  #1  
Clarks
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Change of Heart

As you know I do most of my cycling at 5 or 6am. Like I said before the only guys driving around are delivery people. Most of these guys are pretty rough drivers. Back in November a new newspaper delivery guy started. After about a week I figured he was permanent so I started speaking, he barely grumbled Good Morning. Then one day I was riding along the curb and he turns onto the street I'm on and drives right along the curb towards me with brights on as he tosses papers. I'm thinking as he gets closer he'll pull out away from the curb but it appears he's going to hold his course, so I get my bike up on the sidewalk. I was surprised by his behavior. The same thing happens a few days later and again I move up onto the sidewalk. The next week I decide I'm going to experiment and not move up onto the sidewalk. Since I didnt move he eased over about 12 inches giving be barely enough space to ride, he was so close I could have reached inside his car.

Several other times I wasn't riding along the curb but more towards the middle of the street and he would seem to drive as close to me as possible and sometimes increase his speed a little. This went on for about 2 months a couple of times a week, but I'd always say Good Morning to him. Finally I decided to really test him and ride about 6 feet from the curb, these are WIDE streets. EVen though he had the full street he decides to come up behind me at a good clip and pass within 12 inches then swing his car back in front of me. I experienced him pulling that maneuver a few times but never so close or so fast.

So one day I stop him and give him $10, being kind to an enemy. He asks me what its for and I tell him its a tip. He doesn't accept it but from that day on the guy doesnt bully me anymore, he always speaks loudly and waves. If I'm riding along the curb he pulls out like 8 feet and slows, if he approaches from behind he does it slowly and doesn't swing back in front of me immediately and hard.

In one way I'm happy in his change because its a much more relaxed atmosphere. In another way it's sad to see that he knew all along his driving was unfriendly, he proved this by becoming the most polite driver I encounter these days. Still I'm wondering how he would treat a cyclist he hadn't met. When you see a driver change personalities like that you have to ask yourself who the real driver is. I just don't know why he had an issue with me, the other delivery guys don't. I don't know if he was trying to overpower me, scare me, or what.

I just wonder what the guy was thinking with the aggressive driving. And I wonder why $10 which he didn't even accept would change his attitude.
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Old 02-18-08, 06:00 PM
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Seems like the guy has issues. Why didn't you just report him? I am pretty sure his employers wouldn't appreciate him playing chicken with cyclists. Instead you played these "games".
Also which one of you were not obeying traffic laws by riding/driving on the wrong side of the road?
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Old 02-18-08, 06:25 PM
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You're nicer than I would have been.
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Old 02-18-08, 06:32 PM
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You catch more flies with honey, I guess.

A cyclist on a road bike going fast is an alien to most drivers. Riding an upright bike slowly (in regular clothes) gets you treated much better. I suppose stopping to talk to an aggressive driver gets him to see you as a real person.
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Old 02-18-08, 06:39 PM
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Originally Posted by UmneyDurak View Post
Seems like the guy has issues. Why didn't you just report him? I am pretty sure his employers wouldn't appreciate him playing chicken with cyclists. Instead you played these "games".
This is what drives our lawsuit culture. Props!

Originally Posted by UD
Also which one of you were not obeying traffic laws by riding/driving on the wrong side of the road?
Who said anything about riding/driving on the wrong side of the road? Reading comprehension, please.

Originally Posted by Clarks
...
Even though he had the full street he decides to come up behind me at a good clip and pass within 12 inches then swing his car back in front of me. ...
This passage should shed some light on the rightward/wrongward status of the Clark and the driver...
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Old 02-18-08, 06:48 PM
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Originally Posted by Clarks View Post
As you know I do most of my cycling at 5 or 6am. Like I said before the only guys driving around are delivery people. Most of these guys are pretty rough drivers. Back in November a new newspaper delivery guy started. After about a week I figured he was permanent so I started speaking, he barely grumbled Good Morning. Then one day I was riding along the curb and he turns onto the street I'm on and drives right along the curb towards me with brights on as he tosses papers. I'm thinking as he gets closer he'll pull out away from the curb but it appears he's going to hold his course, so I get my bike up on the sidewalk.
This is where you make it sound like one of you is on the wrong side of the road. The following paragraphs don't read this way. If he were approaching you head on, along the curb, how could one of you not have been on the wrong side of the road? If he were approaching you from behind, along the curb, what difference would it make if his brights were on?

I would have just got his tag number and reported him to his employers, noting the time, date and who I spoke with. If this continued I would have reported him and the earlier report to local law enforcement.

Last edited by CommuterRun; 02-18-08 at 08:05 PM.
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Old 02-18-08, 11:19 PM
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Further proof that it has nothing to do with riding style, but all about driver attitude. Glad to see you turn his around.
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Old 02-19-08, 06:01 AM
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That's a very creative solution: offer him money. Usually I just offer people hugs.
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Old 02-19-08, 08:17 AM
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Why don't you move out to the left to let him pass on the right? It sounds like you're on side streets and he probably needs to be to the right to, presumably, toss something?
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Old 02-19-08, 08:17 AM
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Originally Posted by Boss Moniker View Post
That's a very creative solution: offer him money. Usually I just offer people hugs.
Do you get sued a lot?
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Old 02-20-08, 08:16 AM
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Originally Posted by Clarks View Post
...I wonder why $10 which he didn't even accept would change his attitude.
I don't think it was the money, but the "tip." He may have had a grudge against cyclists until he met you, then you tip him. Sometimes, people respond very favorably to being treated with the kind of respect that they may never have received from anyone else.
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Old 02-20-08, 02:11 PM
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I think your offering money changed his attitude towards you. You were friendly and offering him $$$. He could no longer classify you in some bizarre abstract way. You had taken an extraordinary and creative step to make an active gesture of friendship. I think he had to suddenly reclassify you as one of the good guys and that changed his behavior.
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Old 02-20-08, 02:35 PM
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Originally Posted by Brian Ratliff View Post
This is what drives our lawsuit culture. Props!
Not sure how you can equate reporting dangerous behavior and being sue happy, but whatever.

Who said anything about riding/driving on the wrong side of the road? Reading comprehension, please.
"Then one day I was riding along the curb and he turns onto the street I'm on and drives right along the curb towards me with brights on as he tosses papers. I'm thinking as he gets closer he'll pull out away from the curb but it appears he's going to hold his course, so I get my bike up on the sidewalk. I was surprised by his behavior."
You are riding along the curb, he is coming towards you and close enough that you had to get on a sidewalk. One of you was on a wrong side of that street, riding/driving against traffic.
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Old 02-20-08, 03:01 PM
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Clarks, you are wild dude. Just wild !
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