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Did I do something wrong?

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Did I do something wrong?

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Old 09-01-06, 08:26 AM
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centerline
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Did I do something wrong?

Hello all, I am a new commuter. I started a couple of weeks ago and so far everything has been going pretty good, especially since I live in the South, where the rednecks roam.

Anyway, this morning on my commute I was coming down an access road where the speed limit is 40 and I turn left onto a four lane road, which "T"s into the road that I'm on. As I approach the road I take the lane and signal that I'm turning left, as a pickup comes up to the "T" stop sign to turn left. I have a blinking white light on the front for visability and I know he saw me because he waited. But as I started to turn left in front of him, he decides to pull out in front of me almost causing me to slam into his side, luckily there wasn't anyone behind him so I turned real hard and went right behind him. I started cussing at him real loudly and I gave him the finger as I went behind him. I then noticed that his window was down, so I turned and screamed "F**k off!" as loud as I could, I know he heard me because I saw him turn and look directly at me.

Now my question is: did I do anything wrong? I signalled and everything. I know he saw me but he decided to pull out anyway, which I don't understand why someone would do that. Was I wrong for screaming at him? I know I lost my composure, but the guy could have hurt me and didn't seem to care. Why are people like this?

Is there anything to help prevent people from doing this to me or do I just need to get used to it?
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Old 09-01-06, 08:34 AM
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No offense to you or anyone else, but it's often easiest to just assume that drivers will do exactly what makes the least sense, then ride accordingly.

Though I am a bit of a hypocrite, just do your best to keep your cool next time and remember that the ones that drive like that are also the ones who might be prone to use their vehicles as a weapon.
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Old 09-01-06, 08:41 AM
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Allen
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Obeying traffic laws is the right way to do it. The screaming at him, yes and no. Cagers tend to take one of two approaches. One, the man has a conscious and will feel bad about almost causing you harm, and will be careful in the future. Two, thems fightin' words, boy, and will get a kick out of harassing hippies all day. I still yell at those who are asleep at the wheel, and cuss at those who are blatantly dangerous, it's human nature to do so, but I've made a concerted effort to temper it down. A "You about damned killed me, be careful" or just a "watch it" tends to show more shame in the drivers' eyes and less flames of hatred.

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Old 09-01-06, 08:41 AM
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It sounds like you did what you should have.

Apparently, a significant percentage of motorists received their DL from a box of cracker jacks.

Most people loose their composure from time to time. No biggie and I would not worry about it. Maybe restrict the loss of composure to every few months.
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Old 09-01-06, 08:42 AM
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I used to get really PO'd and yell at drivers all the time. I found that it really doesn't do any good to yell at people after the fact. Once they've cut you off, yelling isn't going to do anything except possibly incite them to come back after you (which happened to me a couple times.)
I've found that pre-emptive pointing and warning works much better. Don't assume that eye contact means that they're actually paying attention. When approaching a driveway where a car is waiting, I point at the driver and shake my head in the universal "no" signal. If the window is open, I'll accompany this with a quick shout of "Do NOT!" I haven't had anyone pull out in front of me for a long time.
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Old 09-01-06, 09:34 AM
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However, yelling and screaming can be a nice stress reliever. That is until they fight back
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Old 09-01-06, 09:51 AM
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Sounds like he misjudged your speed, and thought he had more time to turn. Also, flashing lights tend to distort depth perception, so your flasher might have thrown him off a bit.

Remember that he's on his morning route, too. Chances are, you'll see him again. I'm finding it better on many levels to just assume the car will do something dangerous, and be responsive to that. This way, you wind up feeling smart for outhinking the cager, not pissed and dissed for the way he treated you. And you can let it go, there on the street, not carry it around with you for days, stewing over "I shoulda's"

Verbal abuse WILL eventually come back to you. Two days ago, found myself facing off with some Floyd the Roid road biker wannabe who backtracked a half mile to fight me, because when we had some confusion in crossing paths safely on the bike trail, he didn't like the way I responded to him calling me an *******. (For the curious, my response was a shouted, "Blow me, you ride like a moron")

No fight happened, I kept him talking and he suddenly realized that, at 48 years old, his behavior was outrageous, he told me his name and we shook hands. But DAMN, if I hadn't been willing to keep things cool that could have gotten ugly for both of us.

So yeah, I'm rethinking what I say in heated moments, after that.
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Old 09-01-06, 10:13 AM
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Drivers always assume riders are moving slow enough for them to turn in front of you or whatever. You have to assume they'll do something stupid and act accordingly. For ex., if you pass a driver on his left, he'll assume he's moving too slow and hit the gas. It won't occur to him that you're speeding.
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Old 09-01-06, 10:17 AM
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Heck, I've had people do that to me while driving. Sounds like you did exactly what you should have. The only difference being if you scream like a ninny inside your car, they typically can't hear you and typically are content to just pretend like nothing happened and drive off. A man on bike is much more confrontational.
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Old 09-01-06, 10:48 AM
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people are morons.

you did just fine...

carry on!
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Old 09-01-06, 10:52 AM
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Thanks for the replies. I know I shouldn't have screamed at him, and as soon as I did, I felt like a moron. I guess I need to act more civilized if I get into another situation to where I feel threatened. Plus, I just need to learn to not curse or flip people off, it does just make the situation worse, I totally agree. I guess he just threw me off this morning. I mean he stopped at the stop sign while I was a good 500 ft back and waited until I was almost directly in front of him before he decided to go, I thought that if he was going to pull out in front of me, he would have done it sooner, instead of waiting until I'm right there a few feet in front of him.

Oh well, you live and you learn, and try not to repeat your mistakes.
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Old 09-01-06, 12:29 PM
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Originally Posted by centerline
Thanks for the replies. I know I shouldn't have screamed at him, and as soon as I did, I felt like a moron. I guess I need to act more civilized if I get into another situation to where I feel threatened. Plus, I just need to learn to not curse or flip people off, it does just make the situation worse, I totally agree. I guess he just threw me off this morning. I mean he stopped at the stop sign while I was a good 500 ft back and waited until I was almost directly in front of him before he decided to go, I thought that if he was going to pull out in front of me, he would have done it sooner, instead of waiting until I'm right there a few feet in front of him.

Oh well, you live and you learn, and try not to repeat your mistakes.
Don't assume malice when stupidity will suffice. He may not have seen you, even if you assume he did. People so stupid things all the time. Perhaps he was on the phone or listening to the radio or any number of other things people do in their cars that they shouldn't. You, as a cyclist, should ride as if you are invisible. Don't ride to make yourself invisible but assume that every bonehead and moron on the road can see no further than their windshield wipers and doesn't pay attention to anything that's further away then the end of their nose.

I make eye contact with every driver on the road before I proceed and then assume that they still haven't seen me.
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