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Article on "Bike Rage"

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Article on "Bike Rage"

Old 01-16-12, 07:04 PM
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Article on "Bike Rage"

https://momentumplanet.com/articles/bike-rage

An interesting take on the conflicts between motorists and cyclists.
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Old 01-16-12, 09:12 PM
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Originally Posted by WPeabody View Post
https://momentumplanet.com/articles/bike-rage

An interesting take on the conflicts between motorists and cyclists.
I read it. I have never gone(and will never go) to the point of the cyclist in the article. While the cyclist was expressing disgust, they crossed the line, when they punched the offending vehicle, regardless of the negative nature of what the cyclist said to the motorist. Then the passenger(and probably the driver) crossed the line, when they threatened to kill the cyclist.

The cyclist in the article was FRAP'ing to the curb, in my opinion inviting the threat from the vehicle's passenger to come to fruition. The article mentions how the cyclist was squeezed to the curb. I try to not let that happen, by 'taking the lane'.
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Old 01-16-12, 09:53 PM
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Originally Posted by Chris516 View Post
I read it. I have never gone(and will never go) to the point of the cyclist in the article. While the cyclist was expressing disgust, they crossed the line, when they punched the offending vehicle, regardless of the negative nature of what the cyclist said to the motorist. Then the passenger(and probably the driver) crossed the line, when they threatened to kill the cyclist.

The cyclist in the article was FRAP'ing to the curb, in my opinion inviting the threat from the vehicle's passenger to come to fruition. The article mentions how the cyclist was squeezed to the curb. I try to not let that happen, by 'taking the lane'.
Are we reading the same article, since I didn't get any of the above? Not sure what really happened since we only have the writer's side, but at least from his statements the situation started when the car driver 'migrated into the curb lane.' That doesn't indicate the the cyclist was FRAP. Even if he was right in the middle of the right (curb) lane; i.e. 'taking the lane', he could still get squeezed over to the side of the road by the encroaching car. And the car continues to move to the right into the cyclist after he tries to get the driver's attention by yelling. Hitting the car was a last-ditch effort to make the driver aware of the cyclist's presence - how is that "crossing the line?"

It does sound as if the conversation after that point got increasingly uncivil and was probably counterproductive.
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Old 01-16-12, 10:32 PM
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Originally Posted by prathmann View Post
Are we reading the same article, since I didn't get any of the above? Not sure what really happened since we only have the writer's side, but at least from his statements the situation started when the car driver 'migrated into the curb lane.' That doesn't indicate the the cyclist was FRAP. Even if he was right in the middle of the right (curb) lane; i.e. 'taking the lane', he could still get squeezed over to the side of the road by the encroaching car. And the car continues to move to the right into the cyclist after he tries to get the driver's attention by yelling. Hitting the car was a last-ditch effort to make the driver aware of the cyclist's presence - how is that "crossing the line?"

It does sound as if the conversation after that point got increasingly uncivil and was probably counterproductive.
Verbally getting the motorist's attention was the good part. The cyclist hitting the vehicle with their fist, is the bad part. Because that led to the verbal threat from the vehicle's passenger(and probably the driver too).

While the cyclist was being squeezed between the vehicle and the curb, when I have stupidly 'let' myself get stuck in those situations as a result of not 'taking the lane', I hit the brakes and come to a dead stop against the curb. So I can get back into the flow of traffic when it is possible to do so.

By 'taking the lane', it gives the cyclist 'fallout' room to momentarily avoid the occasional 'drifter'.
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Old 01-16-12, 10:53 PM
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The article was a good reminder for myself, that outwardly reacting isn't always a good thing... yes, if the driver was inattentive, shouting or a whistle will get their attention, they will likely correct and might even wave in apology. But the ones who have a chip on their shoulder, who will squeeze on purpose, the more you react the worse they behave. Had a guy in a big black truck with a Raiders sticker purposely squeeze me a few days back. I decided to ignore him, and he went on his way. Not easy for me, since I am prone to road rage, myself. Practicing the art of not reacting to anything except to avoid a collision.
I liked how at the end of the article the writer made a public apology to the driver for his own part in the escalation. The ball is now in the other person's court.
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Old 01-16-12, 11:04 PM
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Originally Posted by Chris516 View Post
Verbally getting the motorist's attention was the good part. The cyclist hitting the vehicle with their fist, is the bad part. Because that led to the verbal threat from the vehicle's passenger(and probably the driver too).
Again, that's not what I see in the article (whether it accurately reflects reality is another issue). Here's the quote from the article:
"It began with a driver’s careless migration into the curb lane and my realization that I was about to be squeezed off the road yet again, or sideswiped if cell phone guy decided to turn right. A yell didn’t get his attention. The door punch did."

He explicitly states that he wasn't able to verbally get the motorist's attention but that physically hitting the car did achieve that.

And the article gives no clear indication of the cyclist's lane position and whether he was riding near the curb or in a 'taking the lane' position. I've been squeezed onto the side of the road by inattentive traffic moving into my lane both while cycling and while driving even when I was taking the lane in both cases. Yes, it helps to have a buffer zone to the right. Since the cyclist in the article did not end up colliding with the car he may well have had a sufficient buffer space.
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Old 01-17-12, 02:58 AM
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Something is wrong here ( a miss quote from the movie Stripes)
Cyclists need to have horns and lights. reflective and bright colored clothing in order to be seen. That is one argument.
The other is that motorists need to pay more attention to driving.
Both are no win arguments
Cyclists need our own route system in the urban setting. If that means cars need to be routed differently for cycling activities it would be a health benefit for everyone.
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Old 01-17-12, 08:29 AM
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Originally Posted by prathmann View Post
Again, that's not what I see in the article (whether it accurately reflects reality is another issue). Here's the quote from the article:
"It began with a driver&'s careless migration into the curb lane and my realization that I was about to be squeezed off the road yet again, or sideswiped if cell phone guy decided to turn right. A yell didn't get his attention. The door punch did."

He explicitly states that he wasn't able to verbally get the motorist's attention but that physically hitting the car did achieve that.

And the article gives no clear indication of the cyclist's lane position and whether he was riding near the curb or in a 'taking the lane' position. I've been squeezed onto the side of the road by inattentive traffic moving into my lane both while cycling and while driving even when I was taking the lane in both cases. Yes, it helps to have a buffer zone to the right. Since the cyclist in the article did not end up colliding with the car he may well have had a sufficient buffer space.
While the door punch got the driver(and the passenger)'s attention, it also escalated the situation. That is why I said, when I have been squeezed, I hit the brakes and stop next to the curb.
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Old 01-17-12, 08:35 AM
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Originally Posted by WPeabody View Post
The article was a good reminder for myself, that outwardly reacting isn't always a good thing... yes, if the driver was inattentive, shouting or a whistle will get their attention, they will likely correct and might even wave in apology. But the ones who have a chip on their shoulder, who will squeeze on purpose, the more you react the worse they behave. Had a guy in a big black truck with a Raiders sticker purposely squeeze me a few days back. I decided to ignore him, and he went on his way. Not easy for me, since I am prone to road rage, myself. Practicing the art of not reacting to anything except to avoid a collision.
I liked how at the end of the article the writer made a public apology to the driver for his own part in the escalation. The ball is now in the other person's court.
+1

I didn't see the apology in the article. But I am glad you caught it in the article. Because, If anything that needed more of an apology was the passenger's indirect death threat.
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Old 01-17-12, 08:46 AM
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Originally Posted by Jamesw2 View Post
Something is wrong here ( a miss quote from the movie Stripes)
Cyclists need to have horns and lights. reflective and bright colored clothing in order to be seen. That is one argument.
The other is that motorists need to pay more attention to driving.
Both are no win arguments
Cyclists need our own route system in the urban setting. If that means cars need to be routed differently for cycling activities it would be a health benefit for everyone.
I don't have room on my handlebars for a horn. I do have lights galore(to an extent). Since I use one garbage headlight, and three rear lights. They are respectively on my seat post, back, and helmet. The removable one on my back is a PB Super Flash which is the brightest of the three, and the one that is closest as far as angle, to be directly lateral with the driver's line of sight.

As for clothing, I wear a reflective windbreaker.

As for motorists' needing to pay better attention, I approach it, that they never will. So it is almost up to the cyclist, in a car-bike situation, to keep the motorist's attention.

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Old 01-17-12, 07:16 PM
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Originally Posted by Chris516 View Post
While the door punch got the driver(and the passenger)'s attention, it also escalated the situation. That is why I said, when I have been squeezed, I hit the brakes and stop next to the curb.
When an audible/verbal warning fails to get a drivers attention what is a cyclist suppose to do? A slap or punch sometimes IS what is required to wake up the brain dead/distracted driver.
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Old 01-17-12, 08:25 PM
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Originally Posted by Digital_Cowboy View Post
When an audible/verbal warning fails to get a drivers attention what is a cyclist suppose to do? A slap or punch sometimes IS what is required to wake up the brain dead/distracted driver.
I totally agree.

But if the slap/hit leaves a dent or crack, some maniacal LEO might charge the cyclist with assault regardless of any 'passing law' violation, and the cyclist would not get exonerated until it went to court. I was passed by less than the new 'passing law' in Maryland, at one point during the summer of 2011. An LEO saw it happen, yet did nothing. I am pretty sure, if I had hit the offending vehicle with my fist, the LEO would have arrested me out of spite, ignoring what the vehicle did.
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Old 01-17-12, 09:04 PM
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Originally Posted by Chris516 View Post
I totally agree.

But if the slap/hit leaves a dent or crack, some maniacal LEO might charge the cyclist with assault regardless of any 'passing law' violation, and the cyclist would not get exonerated until it went to court. I was passed by less than the new 'passing law' in Maryland, at one point during the summer of 2011. An LEO saw it happen, yet did nothing. I am pretty sure, if I had hit the offending vehicle with my fist, the LEO would have arrested me out of spite, ignoring what the vehicle did.
Sadly, you're probably right about that. Until the day comes that not only LEO's but the courts treat cyclists fairly we're going to have to put up with that bias. But we shouldn't have to, we should all be treated fairly and equally under the law.
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Old 01-17-12, 09:41 PM
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I disagree with the notion that the root cause of the rage is our infrastructure. If road users were aware of the laws governing use of the roadways, then conflicts would be few and rarely fatal. However, we have created a rather large population of motorists and cyclists who can't be bothered to learn the vehicle code. Sadly, there is no need to acquire much more than the bare minimum knowledge that will allow a person to make a car go forward in order to receive a driver's license and our lack of traffic law enforcement and permissive traffic courts have made it nearly impossible to get the worst motorists off the road.

It seems to me that nearly all motorists get angry at a cyclist for being on the road in large part because they don't know that cyclists have just as much right to the road way as motorists do. Blaming the infrastructure is misplacing the blame.
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Old 01-17-12, 10:23 PM
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Originally Posted by B. Carfree View Post
I disagree with the notion that the root cause of the rage is our infrastructure. If road users were aware of the laws governing use of the roadways, then conflicts would be few and rarely fatal. However, we have created a rather large population of motorists and cyclists who can't be bothered to learn the vehicle code. Sadly, there is no need to acquire much more than the bare minimum knowledge that will allow a person to make a car go forward in order to receive a driver's license and our lack of traffic law enforcement and permissive traffic courts have made it nearly impossible to get the worst motorists off the road.

It seems to me that nearly all motorists get angry at a cyclist for being on the road in large part because they don't know that cyclists have just as much right to the road way as motorists do. Blaming the infrastructure is misplacing the blame.
+1
The Hawaii Professor is often quoted on the news here with the same misguided theories. I have not yet heard his explanation on how infrastructure forces motorist to use their cell phone so often while driving.
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Old 01-17-12, 11:25 PM
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Originally Posted by B. Carfree View Post
It seems to me that nearly all motorists get angry at a cyclist for being on the road in large part because they don't know that cyclists have just as much right to the road way as motorists do.
And/or, they don't care about cyclist's rights.
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Old 01-18-12, 01:16 PM
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I live in an area of Brooklyn that is car dominated an cycling is looked upon as being only for the poor. While not a millionaire I am able to afford a half decent car but I decide to ride my bike anyway as I enjoy it and it has proved much more conveinient for me. The one issue I have is how cars will start honking when there is nowhere i can move to let them pass. I try to give everybody passing room but I won't ride in the door zone to do so. Motorists say something to me all the time and while I try not to get angry sometimes I just lose my temper which usually doesn't mak things any better.
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Old 01-25-12, 02:50 AM
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Originally Posted by Digital_Cowboy View Post
Sadly, you're probably right about that. Until the day comes that not only LEO's but the courts treat cyclists fairly we're going to have to put up with that bias. But we shouldn't have to, we should all be treated fairly and equally under the law.
I was on a two-lane blacktop yesterday(it is middle of the night here) afternoon when I had to go up a little hill to get to the line of vehicles' at the red light. As I was going up the small hill, coming out of the old center of the city, a car sped past me by going into the oncoming lane. By doing so, the vehicle nearly caused a a big accident with an oncoming vehicle who blew their horn really loud. I wasn't surprised, because of the driver's obvious attitude from their speeding.

I immediately passed them and four other vehicles before getting back in the line of traffic, w/o crossing the double-yellow line.

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Old 01-25-12, 11:55 AM
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The car is an extension of self, he goes on to explain, so drivers take threats to the integrity of their vehicles personally. This renders the commute exhausting since the threat of accidents, scratches, or bumps is constant. Drivers may be encased in reinforced metal, but they never lose that sense of danger.
I find that really interesting. It explains a lot of the conflicts I've had over the years, on motorcycles and bicycles. I used to think nothing of slapping a car that got too close to me or was doing something that felt unsafe and couldn't understand why people took it so hard. Granted, I didn't really care either...still, I never thought about this since I never felt that way about my vehicles myself.
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Old 01-25-12, 11:27 PM
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Originally Posted by B. Carfree View Post
I disagree with the notion that the root cause of the rage is our infrastructure. If road users were aware of the laws governing use of the roadways, then conflicts would be few and rarely fatal. However, we have created a rather large population of motorists and cyclists who can't be bothered to learn the vehicle code. Sadly, there is no need to acquire much more than the bare minimum knowledge that will allow a person to make a car go forward in order to receive a driver's license and our lack of traffic law enforcement and permissive traffic courts have made it nearly impossible to get the worst motorists off the road.

It seems to me that nearly all motorists get angry at a cyclist for being on the road in large part because they don't know that cyclists have just as much right to the road way as motorists do. Blaming the infrastructure is misplacing the blame.
Agreed, which is why I agree with the suggestion that ALL drivers regardless of their age to be retested yearly. And I also agree that drivers education needs to be more than what it currently is.
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Old 01-26-12, 06:02 AM
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Originally Posted by Chris516 View Post
I totally agree.

But if the slap/hit leaves a dent or crack, some maniacal LEO might charge the cyclist with assault regardless of any 'passing law' violation, and the cyclist would not get exonerated until it went to court. I was passed by less than the new 'passing law' in Maryland, at one point during the summer of 2011. An LEO saw it happen, yet did nothing. I am pretty sure, if I had hit the offending vehicle with my fist, the LEO would have arrested me out of spite, ignoring what the vehicle did.
While you may be somewhat right... because of vehicle damage, one really has to wonder however if that damage is nothing more than definitive proof of violation of that passing law... it might be somewhat interesting in a courtroom.

It comes down to this, if the car is close enough to hit, it is too close.
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Old 01-26-12, 10:18 AM
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Originally Posted by Digital_Cowboy View Post
Agreed, which is why I agree with the suggestion that ALL drivers regardless of their age to be retested yearly. And I also agree that drivers education needs to be more than what it currently is.
Retesting everybody every year would create a huge administrative burden for minimal gain. It would make more sense to educate people better before giving them their license in the first place (so people know more than how to make the car go and stop), and couple that with a regime whereby if people commit certain offences or have certain accidents they have to be retested.

I've found it truly terrifying how many people live in areas with mountains and yet don't know how to drive up and down steep hills, and people who live in areas where it snows every year and yet don't know how to drive in snow. The approach that you just don't go out in the snow doesn't help much if it snows while you are out.
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Old 01-27-12, 01:42 AM
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Originally Posted by genec View Post
Originally Posted by Chris516
I totally agree.

But if the slap/hit leaves a dent or crack, some maniacal LEO might charge the cyclist with assault regardless of any 'passing law' violation, and the cyclist would not get exonerated until it went to court. I was passed by less than the new 'passing law' in Maryland, at one point during the summer of 2011. An LEO saw it happen, yet did nothing. I am pretty sure, if I had hit the offending vehicle with my fist, the LEO would have arrested me out of spite, ignoring what the vehicle did.
While you may be somewhat right... because of vehicle damage, one really has to wonder however if that damage is nothing more than definitive proof of violation of that passing law... it might be somewhat interesting in a courtroom.

It comes down to this, if the car is close enough to hit, it is too close.


I agree 110% with that. If a car passes a bicycle close enough that the person riding the bicycle can not only make physical contact with said car, but can also do so leaving some sort of evidence that they connected with the car then said car was way too close to the bicycle and they have no one else to blame for the damage to their "precious" car then themselves.
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Old 01-27-12, 02:06 AM
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Originally Posted by contango View Post
Retesting everybody every year would create a huge administrative burden for minimal gain. It would make more sense to educate people better before giving them their license in the first place (so people know more than how to make the car go and stop), and couple that with a regime whereby if people commit certain offences or have certain accidents they have to be retested.

I've found it truly terrifying how many people live in areas with mountains and yet don't know how to drive up and down steep hills, and people who live in areas where it snows every year and yet don't know how to drive in snow. The approach that you just don't go out in the snow doesn't help much if it snows while you are out.
Sadly, though as logical as your suggestion is, there will still be people out there who will/would argue that you're going to far. Which is why in other threads on this topic I've said that getting not only a license, but insurance as well as purchasing a car should be a time consuming, expensive, arduous, complicated process. As it is WAY too easy for a person to get a license in the first place (sadly in most places) and it is WAY too hard even in light of serious repeat offenders to revoke said license.

Equally sad is the fact that in most cases even with ample evidence of incompetence, malice or a combination of both. That it is WAY too hard to revoke a person's license as sadly most people equate driving as some sort of engraved in stone right instead of the privilege that it is. And also sadly those people will claim that not having a drivers license will create some sort of hardship for them and they'll be granted a restricted use license. That will supposedly limit their driving a car to and from work or to and from school or to and from the grocery store.

What is to stop a person who has a "restricted" drivers license from going elsewhere and when caught by the police claiming that they were just making a stop/detour on their way home or on their way to work or to school?

The better way to handle a person with a "restricted" drivers license is to install a GPS based tracker that is wired into the cars computer system. And if they deviate from a court approved route have the car slow down and finally stop. And they would need to get written permission in advance before making any such side trips.

Sort of like the breathalyzers that the courts are ordering installed on peoples cars who are repeat DUI/DWI offenses. Where if the authorized user(s) blow "hot" the car won't start. And just as it is (or should be) an offense to have someone sober to blow into the breathalyzer, it should an offense for a person with a "restricted" license to operate a vehicle without said GPS tracker installed.
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