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Allow me to vent for a moment....

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Allow me to vent for a moment....

Old 06-26-11, 08:29 PM
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Allow me to vent for a moment....

Let me preface this entire story by admitting that I was wrong. (I know - you'll probably never hear me say it again, but I figure when you're right 97% of the time, why worry about the other 4%?)

Now - here's what happened today: Sayre and Tyler (my younger brother) went out for a ride. The same ride that I posted pictures of the other night, as a matter of fact. About 2 miles from my door I was riding a back country road. As I approached a stop sign, I checked behind me (nearest car was a few blocks back) and I glanced ahead at the intersection (no traffic whatsoever). As I approached the intersection, I signaled my turn, took the lane, slowed down a bit, and proceeded to make my left turn through the intersection. My brother followed likewise. Again - I'll admit it, that is illegal; and if a police officer decided to slap me with a moving violation, I would understand receiving the $10 ticket that goes along with failure to obey the traffic signal.

Here's what happened instead: one of the cars that saw us gunned the gas through the intersection and pulled up alongside me on a narrow bridge. The passenger in the front seat climbed out the window and was hanging out the window yelling at me that there was a stop sign back there. (He also called me some not-so-friendly names in the process. Happily, I managed to avoid coming in contact with both the vehicle and the side of the bridge. When the man yelled about the stop sign, I nodded that I heard him and waved to gesture that "yes I was wrong - thank you." The driver gunned the engine again and they pulled a little further down the road, pulled the car not quite off the road way and the passenger got out of the car and started to approach us. I was not about to get into a fight with this guy, so I took the lane, hoping to ride around him. This guy had other intentions as he ran out into the street and forced me across the double yellow line and into oncoming traffic. Again, I was fortunate to manage to avoid a minivan coming directly at me. Thankfully, the driver of the van, though confused, slowed to avoid a head-on collision. I rode ahead and my brother followed. My brother almost got wrecked as well, because when he tried to follow me, the guy tried to grab ahold of his shirt and pull him off the bike. Thankfully he managed to stay upright and keep with me. The folks got back in their car and gunned it past us once more, screaming obscenities and other unpleasantries in our directions before speeding off. Not wanting to run into them again, we took a few detours off the main routes, even made some intentional mistakes before getting back to our route. Eventually we have to ride the main road to cross over the highway. We took the lane on the overpass, so as to avoid getting hit by any vehicles that might make a right turn in front of us. As we're standing at the light, all of a sudden there is someone coming up behind us laying on the horn. Wouldn't you know it - it's the same car. Guy is hanging out the window screaming at us. We're stopped at a light, so there's really no where to go. When the light changes, we proceed through the intersection and then take the shoulder. They scream at us some more and gun it and speed off. A moment later a patrol car sped off in that direction with siren and lights going. I hope another motorist reported him and that patrol car was for him, though what are the Vegas odds on that?

I had another heckler later in the afternoon. A few kids who decided to shout at us every time they passed us. The funny thing is, they seemed to keep circling around and passed us at least four times. At least they were just obnoxious; not violent and obscene like the other guy.

I did have one glimmer of positivity today though. At one particular intersection, I was in the left turn lane and waiting for the opposing traffic. At the end of the line of traffic, a cyclist was on the road. One of the drivers actually leaned out to let me know that the cyclist was in his blind spot so that we (the other cyclist and I) wouldn't have a collision. That was cool. Kind of like the yin and yang of my day, I guess.

It just rattled me. I mean I've had motorists throw stuff at me before! But until today, I'd never had anyone actually chase me down looking for a fight, nearly cause an accident and then follow and harass me for the next several miles. It was a bit un-nerving to say the least.
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Old 06-26-11, 08:53 PM
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Wow! That's a terrible story. So glad you didn't have to get in a fight with the idiot. It's stories like that that sometimes make me afraid to ride on the road.
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Old 06-26-11, 08:59 PM
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Sounds like the driver and passenger would also look for trouble out of other motorists. Just jerks overall. The only thing you can rest easy about is that tomorrow morning when they wake up they will still be them. No changing that.
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Old 06-26-11, 09:16 PM
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I'll usually just ride on by, maybe yell a little back if someone is hassling me from inside their car, but damn... If someone got out and bum-rushed me, they'd better be absolutely certain they're going to win because I will club them with my entire bike. Repeatedly if that's what it takes to make them stop moving.

Glad that you're OK. Hopefully you won't encounter them again. Did you manage to get a plate to report them?
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Old 06-26-11, 10:02 PM
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Wow, what an awful story. Very impressed you could keep your cool, you are a better man than I. I hope the police were after them, it's the least they deserve.
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Old 06-26-11, 10:25 PM
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Originally Posted by CliftonGK1
I'll usually just ride on by, maybe yell a little back if someone is hassling me from inside their car, but damn... If someone got out and bum-rushed me, they'd better be absolutely certain they're going to win because I will club them with my entire bike. Repeatedly if that's what it takes to make them stop moving.

Glad that you're OK. Hopefully you won't encounter them again. Did you manage to get a plate to report them?
I should have tried to, but with the way I had to swerve to avoid him and then avoid oncoming traffic on top of it... would you believe it just slipped my mind?

I was really trying to avoid a confrontation over something so minor. Now if he HAD managed to knock either one of us down, then there would have been trouble in River City. Although it's probably still better that it never got to that. I KNOW there was at least 3 people in their car. Could have been more. I don't know what they might have had handy to use for weapons. Maybe a tire iron, a knife or worse. I DO know that we were outnumbered and that all I had (beside my bike) was a few allen wrenches. At the very least, they have superior numbers and a 3,000 pound weapon at their disposal. NOT where I wanted to be.
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Old 06-26-11, 11:28 PM
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You did exactly the right thing in avoiding these animals. The reason they were so "brave" is the fact that they had you outnumbered. Believe me, eventhough you did not see clearly how many of them were there, the "bravery" of the individual guarantees that he knew if you got the upper-hand, 2 or 3 of his buddies would jump out and "have his back". They are cowards, pure and simple. They know worse case scenario they can roar away in the car and you will never catch them on a bike - thats why we are targets.
Also, today an altercation doesnt stop at a few punches it usually results in kicks (to the head) knives, guns and who knows what else - the full arsenal of the societal coward.
Take Kenny Rogers age-old advice and "...learn when to walk away and learn when to run"...
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Old 06-27-11, 12:27 AM
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Whoa..... that IS pretty scary!

As a new guy with only 344 miles under his belt, I'm discovering that riding a bicycle has given me far more pause of late than the years I've been riding motorcycles!?!! And then when I turned the news on to see the wreckage of a bicycle in an area that closely resembled the roads I've been riding..... hit from behind by an errant driver (killed the cyclist), I asked myself if it was a good idea to ride out in the country on public roads(?).

And then there's those 4-way stop intersections on a country road with seemingly nobody around. My technique has been to down-shift, slow, look in both directions AND behind me, then ready myself to turn to the right if a car suddenly happens upon the intersection at the same time I reach it. I'm less likely to be a target, might avoid offending the car for disregarding a stop sign, and can easily whip a U-turn when there are no more cars around so I can resume my original route.

If there ARE cars, and I see them in advance.... I will have already down-shifted, come to a complete stop, try to put a tippie toe to the ground..... and confuse the HECK outa the cars who are accustom to seeing 'cyclists disregard stop signs and blast on through.

When riding my bicycle, I am piloting no less a vehicle than a scooter, my 1255cc touring bike, or the Toyota Camry. The biggest difference of being on a bicycle is a feeling of being VERY vulnerable, not well liked by (some) passing cars, and the ease with which passerbys can buzz, yell, or throw something at me.

And people talk about how dangerous MOTORCYCLES are!!?!!

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Old 06-27-11, 05:59 AM
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I had a lady yell at me at a traffic light because I was riding in the road. The shoulder is 5-6" wide with gravel and debris. Where did she expect me to ride? I kindly told her the road is where I was supposed to be. She gave me a look like f off.

Quick note on the worst car vs bike: I was riding my motorcycle and some kid sticking out of the passenger window to his belt line starts yelling 1 foot from me I guess to spook me. Then the driver try's to swerve into my lane, again I guess to spook me. Normally I am mild manored but this got my blood boiling. We played a game of cat and mouse as he tried cutting me off anytime I tried to pass. I got the chance to pass and while I pulled next to the drivers window, him laughing, I cocked my leg back and kicked off his side mirror.

Not the safest situation and I do not recommend anyone doing this but it gave me great satisfaction when I had seen the shear terror in the kids face and then how he has to explain to mommy why she has no mirror on the car. Those kids turned off at the next road and when I pulled up to the next traffic light the car that was behind us watching pulled up. I expected them to yell at me but it was a guy with a Harley shirt who said. Nice job with a thumbs up.
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Old 06-27-11, 06:17 AM
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Stories like this suck. Glad you're ok.
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Old 06-27-11, 06:32 AM
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This is scary. If that had happened to me I'd probably never ride again. And I do slow and run stop signs when no one is around or I am making a right turn and no one else is going that direction.

Maybe I will throw a pen and paper in my bag so I have something to write plate numbers.
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Old 06-27-11, 06:32 AM
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Crazy folks in this world, glad nothing serious came of it.
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Old 06-27-11, 07:33 AM
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That's called assault. I would have gotten the license number and called the police. It would have been worth any ticket.
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Old 06-27-11, 08:06 AM
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Way to keep your head. You did exactly the right thing.
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Old 06-27-11, 08:20 AM
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I also believe that the minor traffic violation has zero to do with the rage incident. Ive been on country roads WAY over to the right and a car (the only other car on the road) has crossed the center of the road coming from the other direction so that the driver could scream out of his window about what a @#$#%% I am - Of course, the tirade is followed by a rapid acceleration out of there. Morons will purposedly go out of their way to try to intimidate you. Its all about power, 9/10 times they are either minimalized at home / work / school and they are simply pushing people around where they can - from the safety of a dominant vehicle.
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Old 06-27-11, 11:55 AM
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I'm sorry that happened, Sayre.

I'm not sure the Kulp brothers did anything wrong; PA law does not require cyclists to dismount at stop signs. Pausing to see if it was safe to proceed through the intersection should be OK. This is akin to the requirement that a vehicle come to a "full stop". The law doesn't say how long that "stop" must be.

And anyway the driver's actions were inexcusible.
 
Old 06-27-11, 12:21 PM
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No matter what minor traffic rule you broke, you certainly did not deserve this. Aggressive driving, getting assaulted. Those are the things that hurt and kill people. I don't know what kind of sick culture or sick mind made these guys think that because you didn't stop at a stop sign, they could grab you and try to fight you. Doesn't seem like you could have done much except what you did- try not to escalate things and ride away.
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Old 06-27-11, 02:46 PM
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I don't know about the Kulp brothers not doing anything wrong. By definition, they're both Kulp-able
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Old 06-27-11, 04:04 PM
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Wow... glad you came through okay. If you see them again, get the license number and report them.

Around here, there are enough immigrant-worker-commuters that roll their X-mart bikes around doing all kinds of crazy stuff, wrong way, no lights, etc., that I think I just kind of don't particularly stick out. I do try to cut through residential areas which tend to be more laid back around here.
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Old 06-27-11, 05:02 PM
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Sayre glad you're both OK!! I had a guy yell at me and gun his big block Chevelle one time. He had forgotten about the 90 degeree left turn a couple of hundred feet up the road. Didn't make the turn and ran off the road. I just had to laugh when I rode by. He heard me and gunned his engine in reverse. Got stuck in the mud. Probably needed a tow to get out. He probably was going to come after me like the guys you dealt with.

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Old 06-27-11, 06:30 PM
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Originally Posted by CraigB
I don't know about the Kulp brothers not doing anything wrong. By definition, they're both Kulp-able
I have never found the courage to make that pun. Thank you. :-)
 
Old 06-27-11, 09:41 PM
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Originally Posted by Sayre Kulp
but I figure when you're right 97% of the time, why worry about the other 4%?
I am no math whiz, but that was a joke, right? If not, oh the irony!
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Old 06-27-11, 09:59 PM
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Originally Posted by CraigB
I don't know about the Kulp brothers not doing anything wrong. By definition, they're both Kulp-able
Illegal use of an overused (at least overused toward me) pun. 10 yards, repeat last down.
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Old 06-27-11, 10:01 PM
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Originally Posted by flippin_bikes
I am no math whiz, but that was a joke, right? If not, oh the irony!
Yes - and thank heaven somebody finally said something. I was wondering if anyone would get the attempt at levity or just think me a fool. I actually saw that on a man's T-shirt this weekend when I visited Knoebel's with my wife and daughter. It made me laugh and seemed to fit the tone of my opening statement.
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Old 06-27-11, 10:02 PM
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Originally Posted by Neil_B
I have never found the courage to make that pun. Thank you. :-)
Really? I could have sworn I called you for using that one before!
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