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Need to Vent

Old 06-09-16, 08:33 AM
  #1  
silent_chief
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Need to Vent

Maybe I'm missing it, but I think it'd be great if we had a catch all "need to vent" thread. I see a lot of one offs. Sometimes griping anonymously is very cathartic. Anyways, here is mine from this AM.

Here is the set up. Residential side street in DC with no bike lane. Cars parked on both sides of a pretty narrow road. Stops signs every block and two day care centers facing each other. Because of the day care centers, cars are constantly stopping and letting off passengers. Doors of the parked cars are also constantly being opened by people who fail to check the lane. Taking all of these factors into consideration, I almost always take the lane completely. I have no interest in being doored. I'm also not impeding traffic, as cars generally need to move slowly through this congested area.

Passing the day care center, I get buzzed by mere inches by a Corolla. It was not a safe passing distance. I partly blamed myself as I had failed to take the whole lane. Of course the Corolla only zooms up to a stop sign and traffic and I quickly pass. (I stopped at the stop sign BTW) Not wanting to repeat this a second time, I take the lane. Of course the Corolla views this as some sort of aggressive move on my part and buzzes me again. This time she lays on the horn while passing. Needless to say we have words at the next stop sign. I completely lost my cool and started shouting way too soon, but I was HOT. She kept saying that I needed to get over and I kept yelling that I didn't. It was getting nowhere fast, so I just pedaled off. Of course I felt like an idiot for going off the handle, but it is hard to keep human emotion in check when one person in an inherently vulnerable position (a bike) is threatened by someone in a steel padded wrecking ball (car) who shows no remorse or concern for the vulnerable. Somewhat appropriately, she had an infant in the back seat.

Ok, I feel better. Sorry internet. Society is going to hell.
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Old 06-09-16, 08:38 AM
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I am, in general a really easy going guy. But, I feel your pain. A couple times per year I have words with someone in a car who has put me in danger and then yelled at me. I know it is silly, I know it is a waste of energy, but..... somehow it is cathartic....
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Old 06-09-16, 08:43 AM
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Is there another street that you could take rather than this one? I would avoid that street like the plague, if it were on my route. I change my commute route a lot due to various circumstances -- such as road construction projects, annoying left turns, heavy traffic. Often when I try a new route I find that I like it better than the old one that I had been using. Most cities are designed on somewhat of a grid pattern, so you can generally take many different routes to get to the same place.
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Old 06-09-16, 10:20 AM
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I don't think this kind of driving behaviour is dependent upon what streets you take. The only way to avoid it altogether is to stay on trails and MUPs, and they have their own issues.

OP, I completely understand. I'd like to say that I could stay in control and not fly off the handle like you did when presented with the same situation.. I'd like to say that, but truth is I probably done the same thing. That worries me, because like you said, it accomplishes nothing except ruin your morning.
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Old 06-09-16, 10:29 AM
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Try not to get too mad. It ups your heart rate and probably eats up some wattage. Totally screws up your training, man.
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Old 06-09-16, 10:49 AM
  #6  
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There are so many things daily to get bent out of shape over. Just the other day, someone parked their car on the bike path and left the flashers on. Normally, I would just ride around, but the only way was through a really muddy area, and I didn't particularly feel like dirtying up my bike. So I had to stop and find another way around the car. As I was backtracking, I saw a veterinary clinic with a full lot, and figured the driver must have gone in there. I decided it would be worth my while to pop my head in and make my displeasure known. A woman with a dog claimed ownership of the car, and said she didn't want to block anyone in the lot. When I informed her (rather loudly, perhaps) that she was blocking me, some other scrawny asshat came in the door walking 3 dogs and started cursing at me. Then accused me of "walking away" as I started "riding" off, as though I was afraid him or something. What a bunch of pathetic losers. Hopefully the business owner heard this and doesn't want that kind of interaction on their premises in front of other customers. No idea what triggered the guy to go off like that, but perhaps it was pent up frustration over having to share the bike lane.
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Old 06-09-16, 11:14 AM
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She's the one with the miserable existence who feels the need to threaten others by aggressively positioning her jail-cell-on-wheels while honking and screaming like a lunatic.

You are the one on the most majestic human-powered machine ever made, wind blowing through your hair, the beauty of the world at your fingertips.

I feel sorry for her. Enjoy the journey!
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Old 06-09-16, 11:32 AM
  #8  
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I have found two things that help. My Airzound Airhorn. It feels good to honk back. But more importantly, the helmet cam not only gives me the piece of mind that any stupid, aggressive or reckless act by others is "witnessed" and recorded, but it also forces me to behave myself, as my actions may not come off looking so good on.

Nothing stops an argument faster than the words "You're on video."
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Old 06-09-16, 11:39 AM
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Don't shoal other traffic and make them pass you again. That's a d-bag move, in my opinion. If you had just taken your place in line she would have been gone with no further interaction.
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Old 06-09-16, 03:09 PM
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I'm new around here and new to commuting, but I've already experienced various discourteous situations. I don't engage or allow myself to amp up. I also keep reminding myself that most drivers don't have a clue about us cycling about on the roadways. Lastly, having experienced many angry and/or distracted drivers, I don't wanna give them ammo to come at me with steel and rage. Tuesday night a story was featured on the news of a driver hitting 5 cyclists in Michigan. Immediately I envisioned some guy looking down and texting.... This is what happened to me today as a large Uniform delivery truck veered almost to the curb from the left lane. Never noticed me. He had no idea what he had almost done. He looked up corrected and stopped at the light. If it was earlier in the day he would've been in rush hour traffic. But at the time he was the only motorized vehicle on the road.... I'm sure he was thinking eh, no harm, no foul. I just try to keep alert and not get fired up. Not sure me rapping on his truck and hollering is going to amount to much. And if other drivers saw that they'd say I was the problem.
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Old 06-09-16, 03:25 PM
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I guess the concept of venting escapes some folks. Also, even the most calm and level headed of us will at some time lose his or her temper, we are all human. A little yelling, and a few naughty words does not make someone a bad person, it might have just been a bad day. How about we have a good time venting?

Hey, I just got to vent about venting.
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Old 06-09-16, 03:56 PM
  #12  
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For me it has been a cumulative thing. Over the years I’ve tallied who “won” in the situation. I never did (loss of energy, ruined my commute …). So, I began tallying for myself. Meaning, don’t say/think anything about the situation. In fact, I made sure to become very aware of my surroundings and anticipate situations and avoid them if possible. After six plus years, nothing surprises nor rattles me. I now “win” in 99.9% of the situations.
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Old 06-09-16, 04:25 PM
  #13  
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Originally Posted by PatrickGSR94 View Post
Don't shoal other traffic and make them pass you again. That's a d-bag move, in my opinion. If you had just taken your place in line she would have been gone with no further interaction.
I typically ride to the right, and there are few roads that I'm riding on with long lines of parked cars.

But, I agree, while I hate it when a car will pass me, only to pull in front of me and stop... I would not pass a car on the right, then move over in front of the car to "take the lane". That just seems to be rude, inconsiderate, and perhaps even dangerous.

I will occasionally pass to the right, but only if cars can get past me again easily and safely enough.
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Old 06-09-16, 04:54 PM
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Most of the things I'd like to vent about are private and not bike related, I guess.
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Old 06-09-16, 06:13 PM
  #15  
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I don't mean to undermine the OP, but the thread *is* titled "Need to Vent" after all....

Let's ALL vent about how broadcasters are calling the Kalamazoo tragedy an "accident".

It was no accident, it was murder.
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Old 06-09-16, 07:05 PM
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Originally Posted by Hub Spanner View Post
I don't mean to undermine the OP, but the thread *is* titled "Need to Vent" after all....

Let's ALL vent about how broadcasters are calling the Kalamazoo tragedy an "accident".

It was no accident, it was murder.
He's been officially charged with 2nd degree murder.
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Old 06-09-16, 07:56 PM
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I get the venting thread. A good idea, I think. On the road, I just don't wanna give 'm (the jerks) the satisfaction. Besides I can't let'em wreck the best part of the day. I tend to follow takenreasy's method....works for me.
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Old 06-09-16, 09:34 PM
  #18  
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Commuting since 1982, I have yelled at my share of dangerous motorist. Even with taking the same route and seeing those same motorist, all but two changed their dangerous behavior around me. Having a video camera works even better, just showing them the camera changes their behavior without saying a word.

The two exceptions:

1. A hit and run driver who decided to try and intimidate me from testifying against him and just wanted to get back at me. He went so far as filing for a protection order, both to try to intimidate and to get most of his legal fees from me. He pleaded no contest on the hit and run (same as guilty in the courts eyes) and he lost the protection order case. Meant he had to pay the lawyers at least double the amount. His then 9 year old son at the time at least learned from the experience, years later as a high school student, he gave me a shaka sign (thumbs up) as he passed by.

2. The guy was a 33 year old mentally ill man, allowed to run loose. His arrest for his actions against me cost him his job and he did get convicted of terroristic threatening. I learned later, that years before at the age of 18, he was convicted of assaulting his grandfather who was raising him and his grandfather had to take out a protection order on him, which he violated.
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Old 06-10-16, 07:38 AM
  #19  
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My daily vent is that I have nothing to vent about today! It's outrageous!
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Old 06-10-16, 07:41 AM
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My vent is people letting their dogs run loose all over the place. Seriously! Keep your damn dogs under control people! Keep them in the house or in a fenced yard, or on a leash!
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Old 06-10-16, 07:48 AM
  #21  
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I rarely encounter problem drivers of any sort, but when I do, I solve it the easy way, by putting some distance between us. Usually cars are faster so simply easing up a bit lets them go off the front. In a situation like yours, where cars have to stop every block, I'd carefully burn a stop sign or two and be gone.
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Old 06-10-16, 08:20 AM
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Originally Posted by mcours2006 View Post
I don't think this kind of driving behaviour is dependent upon what streets you take. The only way to avoid it altogether is to stay on trails and MUPs, and they have their own issues.
I hear that . . . I did my usual Friday morning 20 miler on the way to work today, and the surface streets on my usual route are flanked by the Niagara Gorge Shoreline trail. In fact, all but a short section of this entire ride is either on streets with dedicated bike lanes or is flanked by the MUP. I usually ride in the street, but I decided to take the full length of the MUP today . . . never again.

The trail is much closer to the water, and was being battered by the wind (even though it was relatively calm this morning). Also, large sections of this trail haven't been maintained and there are MANY large seams in the pavement, enough to unseat a water bottle from it's cage if you aren't careful. Once I approached downtown, on the section of the MUP I haven't traveled before, the trail was literally strewn with garbage, broken glass, and the pavement was in even worse shape. Not to mention it twists and turns quite a bit and has several overpass crossings which are a total pain in the butt and significantly impede my ability to just get in the drops and hammer down the road.

In contrast, the roads along this route are lightly traveled, are fairly well maintained, and have wide shoulders. I leave early enough for my ride that morning traffic hasn't picked up in this area, and I would just as soon ride in the road when I'm trying to put down miles quickly.
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Old 06-13-16, 11:40 AM
  #23  
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The new, wider bike lanes along the 4-lane divided boulevard I live off of are only a year or two old now. Their proper use is apparently a mystery, though, as cars regularly treat them as right-turn lanes, and many adult cyclists seem to prefer the sidewalk. Both practices irritate me. I recently had an extremely minor encounter with a driver who, thinking he'd found a super-secret cheat code to win at commuting that afternoon, pulled up behind me in the bike lane at a light, expecting to turn right, then honked at me. I turned in my saddle, pointed at him, then at the lane he should have been in, and took my sweet time off the line when the green came.
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Old 06-13-16, 11:54 AM
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Originally Posted by PatrickGSR94 View Post
Don't shoal other traffic and make them pass you again. That's a d-bag move, in my opinion. If you had just taken your place in line she would have been gone with no further interaction.
This. Why would you filter past all the cars at the stop sign on a road with no shoulder/bike lane?
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Old 06-13-16, 01:11 PM
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Originally Posted by RPK79 View Post
This. Why would you filter past all the cars at the stop sign on a road with no shoulder/bike lane?
I never used to but I have started to. There's one specific intersection on my route where I do. It's a stop sign, the cross street is 55 MPH with no stops for miles, there's usually solid lines of cars with breaks sometimes only once a minute that one or two cars can get into, and there are usually 30 or more cars lined up at the sign, almost all of them waiting to turn left.

If I wait in line there, it can easily be 10 minutes to get through the intersection. Last week I started riding through the gravel to get to the front of the line. I stop between two cars that both have their left turn signals on so that I can turn left on a wide line outside of their line and not risk getting plowed into by someone going straight. I'm turning onto a road that has an entire lane marked as shoulder (I guess, or parking, but there's never anyone parked there) so I am many feet from the lane after turning, so nobody has any complaint about me doing it.

This reduces my wait from 10 minutes to less than a minute around the corner.
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