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Old 07-08-17, 07:38 PM   #26
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I usually never pick a fight with myself, it looks funny anyway.
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Old 07-08-17, 11:18 PM   #27
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My reaction depends on what mood I'm in. Most of the time (~90%) I calmly say under my breath what I'm thinking and then pedal faster. The rest of the time and times when someone is really being a hooplehead, I throw the middle finger and yell. I always feel like an idiot when I do this as it accomplishes nothing. Overall, I enjoy saying under my breath, "I hope this tree reaches down with its glorious branches and swallows you and your car, sending you swimming into the hot core of the earth...for ETERNITY!!"
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Old 07-09-17, 02:36 AM   #28
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I stick to bike trails. If you are biking in a road lane going 20 mph and the speed limit is 35, ya people are going to get mad. You are slowing down traffic and causing jams.
This is the Commuting forum. You're pretty lucky if you have bike trails all the way between your house and work.
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There's no such thing as too far.. just lack of time
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Old 07-09-17, 02:45 AM   #29
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I go home and see what Epictetus has to say on the subject.
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Old 07-09-17, 12:25 PM   #30
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To quote Jules from Pulp Fiction, my routine before every ride includes internally telling myself "Let's get into character."

IOW, being in public is like being on stage. We don't have any choice about this. It's just a fact of life.

We can go on unprepared, flub our lines, miss our marks, and feel frustrated by the show going on around us.

Or we can rehearse, prepare for a few variations from the script in case another player (an errant driver) decides to improvise or just screws up.

Usually it works. In the part two years I've had only one face to face fuss with a rude driver. That was a few weeks ago when he stopped to holler at me after he'd already been needlessly rude, honking while passing on a road with no other traffic. I reviewed my video later and was surprised by how restrained I was. In my mind I was cussing like a possessed drunken sailor. In reality I didn't cuss at all, and was simply firm and accepting none of his lame assertions about bicycles belonging on the sidewalk or playground or any other B.S. I simply told him I'd be happy to phone a cop and get the official word on bicycles in traffic (we're in a remarkably progressive city with supportive law enforcement, including bicycle patrol officers). The driver decided not to wait around.

Most of the time I just shrug off careless or rude drivers. It's usually just carelessness, distractions from cell phones, or misjudging distance and speed -- some drivers don't realize how fast some cyclists are. Especially on roads with 20 mph speed limits where the cyclist is actually riding 15-20 mph, but drivers are accustomed to blasting through at 35 mph or faster.

But I wasn't always this way. At 59, it took a long time and a lot of work on myself and my attitudes.

I had perpetual road rage when I was a bicycle and motorcycle commuter in my 20s-30s. I was always itching for a fight and occasionally dared a driver to actually get out of his car after he'd stop and open the door. They always got back in and drove off. Turns out nobody actually expects a guy wearing tights on a skinny two wheeled machine to be ready for a scuffle.

Then, after being T-boned and seriously injured by a car in 2001 I had some serious road rage and tunnel vision. It was so bad I avoided driving for a year or so and went into therapy for PTSD. It helped.

When I resumed bicycling in 2015 as part of my physical therapy to recover from the car wreck, I decided to change my attitude and practice it every ride. Since I'd been an actor in local theater I just decided to go with Jules' philosophy about life.

And just in case things go awry, there's this passage I got memorized from Ezekiel 25:17...
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Old 07-10-17, 07:22 AM   #31
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All things above are good things to consider when trying to increase your safety. However, that line of reasoning leads far too quickly to blaming the victim. If you do none of the above things, it does not give license to drivers to attempt to kill you. It is still their fault if they hit you. It's a human frickin life. If a driver can't have respect for that, and stay a comfortable distance away from an unprotected cyclist when controlling 4000 pounds of steel, they deserve all the contempt that would normally be reserved for drunk drivers convicted of involuntary manslaughter.

A drivers desire to shave a few seconds off their commute does not entitle them to put lives at risk, regardless of the inexperience of cyclists on the road.
Just catching up since I was out last week. I reread my post and could have worded it a bit better. You could argue that all (both driver and cyclist) should ask themselves questions like the ones I posted before. We all make mistakes. So we should try to find out why and make any corrections as needed. It all goes to the grand plan to not be a big Gleuteus Maximus, calm down, and roll with the punches.
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Old 07-10-17, 02:22 PM   #32
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A swift punch to the Jimmy.
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Old 07-10-17, 02:38 PM   #33
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The same way I deal with everything else that makes me angry. Take a deep breath, think about what my long range goal is, and pursue the course of action that moves me towards that goal. In the case of aggressive drivers, that means I have to debate the merits of a time consuming shouting match that could escalate into violence versus me getting to my destination safely and/or meeting my training goals.

So I usually wave, smile, and simply think all the things I want to shout at the moron.
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Old 07-11-17, 12:27 AM   #34
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I was bad today, after being passed within inches (I was taking up space so it wouldn't happen) I caught up to the guy a mile and a half down the road and banged on his window and "asked" for more space when being passed (in my broken Japanese). I probably should have let it go, but... Hopefully, he doesn't want to be confronted by angry foreigner again and give me more space the next time he passes.
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Old 07-11-17, 12:49 AM   #35
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I'm an intense person and focus on what's important.

After an incident, I usually subconsciously dump on the aggressors indolent existence, e.g. I can't blame them, look at how they live; must have a ****ty regular job; must have a ****ty home life; must have no life; must work for someone else; stuck in a car; don't live right next to the sea; probably a renter; must be tough for them.

British class warfare at it's worst; then I roll on and forget about it without showing any outward visible frustration (British stoicism at it's worst).
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Old 07-11-17, 08:49 AM   #36
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I was bad today, after being passed within inches (I was taking up space so it wouldn't happen) I caught up to the guy a mile and a half down the road and banged on his window and "asked" for more space when being passed (in my broken Japanese). I probably should have let it go, but... Hopefully, he doesn't want to be confronted by angry foreigner again and give me more space the next time he passes.
I honestly don't see anything wrong with this approach, as long as the rider does not attempt to get into a physical confrontation with the driver.

I think the approach needs to be taken that every driver out there is on the verge of committing manslaughter, and they either don't care, or they aren't aware of what they're doing. Having a cyclist bang on your window and scream in a neanderthal slobbering rage might make them think twice about right hooking, dooring, or passing with 2 inches of a cyclist the next time. I think it is a very real way to save a life in the future.
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Old 07-12-17, 10:47 AM   #37
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I stick to bike trails. If you are biking in a road lane going 20 mph and the speed limit is 35, ya people are going to get mad. You are slowing down traffic and causing jams.
Here in MA and the rest of the US, bikes are traffic and share the road. Stop being a sheeple.
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Old 07-12-17, 12:04 PM   #38
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I have found that I feel much worse about an ******* driver if I react badly. So I try not to react. Or I pretend they are being nice to me.
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Old 07-12-17, 07:53 PM   #39
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I stick to bike trails. If you are biking in a road lane going 20 mph and the speed limit is 35, ya people are going to get mad. You are slowing down traffic and causing jams.
I stick to wherever I feel like riding. If you're wrapping yourself in thousand of pounds of steel, and driving it right next to cyclists, ya people are going to get mad. You're scaring traffic and endangering lives.
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Old 07-13-17, 04:37 AM   #40
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An owner of a bike store once told me he doesn't even notice cars anymore. I realize it's one thing not to be focused on drivers and another thing to encounter a near death encounter.


I see a lot of anger in people now days and there are reports of a large amount of prescription and illegal drug use. This provides me with the motivation to just be glad I am okay and move on. I don't want to provoke someone to try to kill me for giving them a hand gesture.
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Old 07-14-17, 02:44 PM   #41
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Not much to be done like the others have mentioned in your case. I would probably ask myself these questions:

- Was I too aggressive?
- Did I give enough room (or not take up too much of the road)?
- Is there a better route to take with less (or slower) traffic?

I have had some situations where the answer to some were "yes." So that means that I need to adjust as needed (attitude, route, etc). I think there's often room for improvement. But for some drivers, that may be more up to them than you.
At first, this approach reminded me of victim-blaming, which I'm usually averse to. But going back, this exercise was the only thing that made me feel a bit better. Specifically, reflecting a bit made me realize that there are contradictory signage on this part of my commute that makes drivers think that I'm supposed to veer to the left sooner than I am or can. So, at least I hate mankind a little less knowing that there may have been cause for such ire.

Something that I've picked up on the club rides I've been on (only done two so far) is that a lot can be communicated with drivers via signaling. An older guy in my group had an impressive knack for gesturing to cars and other cyclists. I'm hoping this will help.

Also, I wasn't expecting many to mention the importance of keeping your composure while riding for the sake of one's vanity--this is definitely important, though! Angry cyclist is never a sexy look.

And very like me to post in a message board and then skip town, but many thanks for these replies!
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Old 07-15-17, 09:39 AM   #42
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Something that I've picked up on the club rides I've been on (only done two so far) is that a lot can be communicated with drivers via signaling. An older guy in my group had an impressive knack for gesturing to cars and other cyclists. I'm hoping this will help.

Also, I wasn't expecting many to mention the importance of keeping your composure while riding for the sake of one's vanity--this is definitely important, though! Angry cyclist is never a sexy look.
I've definately got use to using hand gestures for cars on my cyclecommute. It's important to tell them the turns, moving over, have to take the lane, etc. When I get cut off or they are doing something strange like backing up into an intersection, then I do one or both hands up or some sort of Italian gesture mosttly to say "what the hell are you doing?" When they are pulling out and I think they don't see me, then I yell "HO!" followed by "COMING UP!" All this has saved my bacon more than a few times. Especially with pedestrians in the city. They can be worse with ear buds or in a zombie like state looking at their phones. I also see some stop in the middle of the road (or bike lane) looking at the phone. Its amazing more folks don't get hit...
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Old 07-16-17, 10:56 PM   #43
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Try to turn a negative into a benefit.

Some days when I just can't seem to get the usual ride energy flowing, an aggressive/rude driver can cure it.

I don't react, but it gets the adrenaline flowing and the watts and HR up.
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Old 07-17-17, 11:40 AM   #44
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Today I was aggressively cut off by a belligerent driver. I was signaling, in the midst of taking a left turn, when it zooms past me with about 2 inches of clearance. And then flicked me off. This all sucked and, obviously, it made my blood boil. But like an hour later, I was still fuming about it and now, hours later, I'm still miffed.

Which makes me curious about how other cylco-commuters cool off after having an interaction with belligerent drivers. Unfortunately, in NYC, it seems to happen somewhat frequently and it really ruins what is otherwise a main source of tranquility for me.

By the way, I'm aware of the irony of this post considering my avatar!
Sometimes, when it's obviously belligerent, I just have a cry. Possibly not as socially acceptable for a man as for a woman.

I can't help feeling wounded when other people devalue my life because it's momentarily inconvenient to their driving habits. That's f*cked up.

There are arguments in defense of letting yourself feel hurt when it is the correct response. Anger is usually a subterfuge to hide from pain. Because anger makes you feel empowered and pain makes you feel vulnerable. Even so I don't ever want to become desensitized to feeling pain. When you dull your capacity to feel pain, you also dull your capacity for joy.

FWIW to you

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Old 07-17-17, 07:39 PM   #45
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This happens to me regularly. Ive acually began to enjoy it as long as it's just yelling. I think they're trying to scare me out of the road but it has the opposite effect on me. They are probably trying to get you riled up so try not to feed into that just take it with a grain of salt. I usually just flip em off yell something unusual or sarcastic to throw them off. But that is another level if they were that close to you. I'd recommend the take a look mirror to keep an eye on the crazies. Never ride on the road without mine.

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Old 07-17-17, 08:41 PM   #46
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I applaud the concern for personal growth from the original poster. Really, it's great that you're looking at yourself rather than throwing blame bombs, which is oh, so common. Really excellent way to be thinking. For myself, I tend to re-analyze these situations several times to see if anything about the location was problematic. I have some intersections I avoid, now, because they're prone to trouble. Drivers, for some reason, are prone to do the wrong thing at these intersections. I know the feeling of shame for getting excessively angry, though. It's been a few years, now, but still remember a couple of events.
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Old 07-18-17, 08:18 AM   #47
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After years as a self-righteous commuter warrior I took a conscious decision to try to alter my behaviour. I make a positive effort to make a few people smile on my commute whether from simply smiling or from slowing a little to let someone else go first even if I have de-facto or de-jure priority especially if it will help them a lot more than it costs me and especially for pedestrians> I found this made it easier for me to give up going looking for conflict or to let it go quicker when it happens. It doesn't always work and I still sometimes indulge myself with the wordless battle cry at another vehicle if I can self-justify it as an alerting action (although it is definitely partly aggressive). I still sometimes flip off or shout abuse at a driver after the fact though but I try to minimise it as I feel like I need to play my part in maintaining the net standards of courtesy in regular daily interaction in public.
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