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How Should I Handle This?

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How Should I Handle This?

Old 07-23-12, 08:20 PM
  #1  
PedalingFool
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How Should I Handle This?

I was riding down the roads near my home today... these teenagers thought it'd be funny if they swerved into my lane and act like they were going to run me over. It wasn't just a light swerve but a very sharp and aggressive one. I really thought they were going to flatten me and it scared the crap out of me...

After it happened I realized that I knew the car and I know who the kid is... he's actually a friend of the teenager kid that lives 2 houses down from me and is there almost every day.

Now he might have recognized me and was goofing around but I never talked to my neighbor, his kids, or their friends... not so much as a wave hello. So I'm just not so sure about that, why would they suddenly act like they know me and play around. But not that it would excuse it and make it alright.

I don't just want to let it go and not say anything about it. If they did it to me who knows how many other cyclists they've done it to. Obviously, I don't want to be violent, threatening, or do any damage to the car. They are kids... But I do plan on going to visit them the next time I see their car in the driveway.

What should I say?
Should I make fun of the boy for having an orange PT Cruiser? (probably mom's car)?

I'm sure whatever I say they'll probably just smirk it off though...

KIDS THESE DAYS!!!

Oh, on a positive note, it made my adrenaline really pump up and I was able to do an extra 20 miles easily... ended up with 52 for the day after only planning on doing 30.
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Old 07-23-12, 08:24 PM
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Originally Posted by PedalingFool View Post
I was riding down the roads near my home today... these teenagers thought it'd be funny if they swerved into my lane and act like they were going to run me over. It wasn't just a light swerve but a very sharp and aggressive one. I really thought they were going to flatten me and it scared the crap out of me...

After it happened I realized that I knew the car and I know who the kid is... he's actually a friend of the teenager kid that lives 2 houses down from me and is there almost every day.

Now he might have recognized me and was goofing around but I never talked to my neighbor, his kids, or their friends... not so much as a wave hello. So I'm just not so sure about that, why would they suddenly act like they know me and play around. But not that it would excuse it and make it alright.

I don't just want to let it go and not say anything about it. If they did it to me who knows how many other cyclists they've done it to. Obviously, I don't want to be violent, threatening, or do any damage to the car. They are kids... But I do plan on going to visit them the next time I see their car in the driveway.

What should I say?
Should I make fun of the boy for having an orange PT Cruiser? (probably mom's car)?

I'm sure whatever I say they'll probably just smirk it off though...

KIDS THESE DAYS!!!

Oh, on a positive note, it made my adrenaline really pump up and I was able to do an extra 20 miles easily... ended up with 52 for the day after only planning on doing 30.
The only thing they will understand is if you walk up and firebomb the car, or similar.
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Old 07-23-12, 08:35 PM
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I'd probably let it go, if it happens again, then have a talk with either the teen or his parents in that you'll file a report with local law enforcement if it happens a third time. I have a "rogue's gallery" of offending motorists on video, and I yet to have a repeat winner, so the odds are good that this type of incident with this teen may not happen again.
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Old 07-23-12, 08:37 PM
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Ride over and introduce yourself the next time you see them hanging out. The sooner the better. Be friendly and even invite them out on a bike ride. If you're friendly they'll probably feel ashamed of themselves for what they did. Even if they don't, they'll not likely try that crap again with someone who "knows" them, I'd guess.
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Old 07-23-12, 08:39 PM
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Do not let it go. Go over to your neighbor's house, and find out who he is. Call his parents.
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Old 07-23-12, 09:00 PM
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In CA they call what that child did assault with a deadly weapon. In OR, it is just called menacing. This is dangerous criminal behavior. If it escalates at all, we're talking serious injuries or death. Contact the police and give them what you have. While the child will only get a slap on the wrist, it may help change the local teen driving culture if his parents do the right thing. (You'll know they have acted appropriately when you see this child walking and riding a bike instead of driving or being driven in a car.)

Also, don't initiate any discussions about what happened with the people involved. If the folks up the street want to talk to you about it, do so, but stay calm and explain how the illegal, dangerous driving caused you to fear for your life. The driver and his friends are probably not bad kids, but they definitely need some better adult supervision.

Those kids are just lucky they chose to mess with you and not some of my relatives. Some of my relations are even more barbaric than your neighbors.
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Old 07-23-12, 09:00 PM
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Originally Posted by lostarchitect View Post
Do not let it go. Go over to your neighbor's house, and find out who he is. Call his parents.
+1...this is dangerous and kids lack judgement and push bounds. Nip it in the butt now.
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Old 07-23-12, 09:01 PM
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Next time it happens, take down the licence plate number and call the cops. A visit from their not-so-friendly neighbourhood police officer may shake them up a bit.
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Old 07-23-12, 09:12 PM
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Next time??? No thanks! I don't trust drivers in general, and particularly not teenage boys showing off by menacing my life. The only thing you should do with this information is take it directly to the police. You know who the driver is. Make sure that the police and his parents do, too. This guy needs to learn to have some respect. This is the easy way. He might just have easily learned it the hard way, after he killed you.
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Old 07-23-12, 09:40 PM
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If he did it to you, he's done it to others. Call the cops and report it before he kills someone.
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Old 07-23-12, 09:42 PM
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I agree with the poster that suggested you ride over next time you see the kid visiting his friend and introduce yourself. Play dumb and ask him about his PT Cruiser. Maybe make fun of it a bit, and then get to the more serious stuff: you dislikes those cars more than ever now after a recent encounter with one. Continue to play dumb as you describe the inconsiderate jerk who almost ran you down. Be sure to point out the fatality/injury statistics due to close or miscalculated passes, and how a cyclist can be rattled and lose control, and how in the worst case scenario the cyclist e.g. slides out under the back wheel of the car. Even better if you can come up with a past example of a prank gone wrong. At this point, if the kid is at all reachable, he should be feeling super guilty. As you leave, tell him to be careful with his PT Cruiser. Don't forget to wink.

Yes, you could try talking to his parents, but you might be disappointed with their reaction. Strong possibility his attitude toward cyclists is a learned behavior. I like the "playing dumb" scenario above because it is a chance to educate him and possibly influence his future behavior without reinforcing any negative opinions he already has about cyclists.
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Old 07-23-12, 09:44 PM
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I feel you should get your kid to beat the **** out of him
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Old 07-23-12, 09:51 PM
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Originally Posted by B. Carfree View Post
In CA they call what that child did assault with a deadly weapon. In OR, it is just called menacing. This is dangerous criminal behavior. If it escalates at all, we're talking serious injuries or death. Contact the police and give them what you have.
Originally Posted by mulveyr View Post
If he did it to you, he's done it to others. Call the cops and report it before he kills someone.
I agree. It's likely not their first or last time unless you call. I've seen a motorist do this to a cyclist and my relative saw one drive a cyclist off the road. Luckily both were fine, but...
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Old 07-23-12, 11:14 PM
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Originally Posted by AlmostTrick View Post
Ride over and introduce yourself the next time you see them hanging out. The sooner the better. Be friendly and even invite them out on a bike ride. If you're friendly they'll probably feel ashamed of themselves for what they did. Even if they don't, they'll not likely try that crap again with someone who "knows" them, I'd guess.
That's the best approach. Win-win.
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Old 07-24-12, 12:28 AM
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Originally Posted by AlmostTrick View Post
Ride over and introduce yourself the next time you see them hanging out. The sooner the better. Be friendly and even invite them out on a bike ride. If you're friendly they'll probably feel ashamed of themselves for what they did. Even if they don't, they'll not likely try that crap again with someone who "knows" them, I'd guess.
+1. This is the best approach. Remove the anonymity and it won't happen [to you] again.
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Old 07-24-12, 01:01 AM
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Kids do stupid things and then don't ever do them again, especially if they're called out on it. I'm for a face to face interaction intended more to embarass than intimidate. I know it would have worked extremely well on me when I was that age, and although I didn't do anything like that, I did plenty of stupid things, thinking later, wtf was I thinking.
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Old 07-24-12, 07:20 AM
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Originally Posted by hopperja View Post
+1. This is the best approach. Remove the anonymity and it won't happen [to you] again.
I heartily disagree. Putting a face to the person they assaulted might stop them from trying to do it to the OP again. It will likely have no effect on someone they don't recognize.
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Old 07-24-12, 07:22 AM
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Originally Posted by Camilo View Post
Kids do stupid things and then don't ever do them again, especially if they're called out on it. I'm for a face to face interaction intended more to embarass than intimidate. I know it would have worked extremely well on me when I was that age, and although I didn't do anything like that, I did plenty of stupid things, thinking later, wtf was I thinking.
They do stupid things at the level of cheating on a test or putting firecrackers in a mailbox. Intentionally driving a multi-ton vehicle at a vulnerable road user is far beyond a "stupid thing" - it's an extraordinarily dangerous criminal act that shows a total disregard for life and safety.
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Old 07-24-12, 08:22 AM
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I think its been covered, but I'm throwing my vote out there for calling the police, but ALSO calling his parents. I know where I live, some parents wouldn't understand why this kid is a moron and needs a rude awakening, and it wouldn't be guaranteed that the police would care enough to do something. I would cover all your bases. I might also head over when he's there and let him know that the police and his parents were notified of his behavior. Let him sweat that out for a while.
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Old 07-24-12, 08:36 AM
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I'm pretty ballsy. I've had kids swerve at me like that and I usually swerve right back at them, so we're playing head-on chicken. Freaks them out every time and they always move out of my way.
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Old 07-24-12, 08:49 AM
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You need to let them know in no uncertain terms that actions like that will not be tolerated, at all. Go talk to them when you see them. Let them know that if it happens again the police will be called. Let them know why you will not tolerate this behavior. If they do anything but sit and stare, or apologize, Knock on the door and talk to the parents. Any grief from them, call the police. The police will probably give you the 'we didn't see it, so we can't(aka won't) do anything' line, but just having them show up shows how serious you are. This is a deadly game they played, and you had everything to lose, and didn't ask to be included.
You handled it much better than I have. This kind of things trips my trigger and turns me into a screaming lunatic.
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Old 07-24-12, 08:58 AM
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Call the cops, and then call the parents to make sure they know the cops have been called. Give the cops time to surprise them and scare the **** out of them with a "why are the cops at our door moment." The phone call is in case the parents weren't home when the cops confront the kid. Also call the neighbor parents and let them know what their kid is doing when riding with friends who drive.
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Old 07-24-12, 09:13 AM
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Given that they are neighbors, my tendency would be to think direct confrontation would be better than involving the police. If the kids are of the sort that will learn the lesson, they'll learn it just as well or better that way.
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Old 07-24-12, 09:13 AM
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Originally Posted by himespau View Post
Also call the neighbor parents and let them know what their kid is doing when riding with friends who drive.

You remind me of some of those busy body neighbors, that I have had over the years that had too much time on their hands, in that the neighbor kid really did not having anything to do with the incident other than being a passenger.
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Old 07-24-12, 09:15 AM
  #25  
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Originally Posted by AlmostTrick View Post
Ride over and introduce yourself the next time you see them hanging out. The sooner the better. Be friendly and even invite them out on a bike ride. If you're friendly they'll probably feel ashamed of themselves for what they did. Even if they don't, they'll not likely try that crap again with someone who "knows" them, I'd guess.
Agreed... but if you do this and they act smarmy or do it again... Then go with the firebomb.
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