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Hunter becomes the hunted...

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Hunter becomes the hunted...

Old 09-23-04, 12:19 PM
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Wildcard
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2 days ago, I was traveling on a poorly-lit 2-lane road at 1 AM. Some kids were getting upset that I was running all the stop signs (and therefore keeping up with their average speed because they stopped at the stop signs). They started threatening me and they accelerated past me and turned into a parking lot to come back the other way (into me). I switched lanes just as they were about to exit the parking lot, and they were confused by this and went back on the road going the opposite way. I kept looking back, and sure enough, they made a U-turn and were maybe 300 m behind. I pulled into another parking lot and turned off my lights while standing behind a parked car. They continued down a side street, where they thought I had turned. So I continue on my way on the same 2-lane, deserted road. A couple of blocks from my house, they re-appear behind me, this time maybe 400-500 m behind. I sprint to my house, leave my bike in the yard as I see them scanning the street further down looking for me.

I thought to myself - alright, now that I'm not at a 2000-lb disadvantage, it's time for some payback. So I grab a steel pipe and my car keys and start heading after them. Unfortunately (or in retrospect, fortunately), I didn't run into them, and decided I needed a new strategy to cope with aggressive drivers and/or threatening situations. It's not the first time I get aggressive drivers, but it was kinda scary to know that on a deserted 2-lane road in the middle of the night, I was totally at their mercy (no witnesses, 2000-lb weight disadvantage).

Just thought I'd share with you, as an example of what not to do...

(Chris L, do you offer "arrogance enhancement" sessions? )
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Old 09-23-04, 12:29 PM
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Hook up behind the car, intensely stare at the license plate. Then whip out your cell phone and pretend to or actually call the cops to report the incident. Mention something about threatening gang signals, running you off the road, coming back for you, etc.

Like the scene in Cannonball Run:
Burt: "They're flashers but they're dressed as priests, the worst kind."
Cop: "Those bastards! Don't worry I'll get them."
Burt: "Oh, and they're armed."
Cop: "I sure hope so, it'll give me a reason..."

Last edited by slvoid; 09-23-04 at 01:19 PM.
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Old 09-23-04, 01:20 PM
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Originally Posted by slvoid
Hook up behind the car, intensely stare at the license plate. Then whip out your cell phone and pretend to or actually call the cops to report the incident. Mention something about threatening gang signals, running you off the road, coming back for you, etc.
What are the odds that the driver (and passengers) will give up chase when they see me calling (or pretending to) the cops on my cell? (not being sarcastic, just curious)
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Old 09-23-04, 01:47 PM
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"We kicked his ass because he ran the stop signs"...what would a judge say?
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Old 09-23-04, 02:12 PM
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Originally Posted by Wildcard
What are the odds that the driver (and passengers) will give up chase when they see me calling (or pretending to) the cops on my cell? (not being sarcastic, just curious)
Not sure, but if they were just a bunch of kids out for a joy ride and don't want to get into any more serious trouble than just heckling you as you bike, it oughta scare em off. Either that or shoot em all dead and hope there aren't witnesses, you'd be surprised at how much you can get away with on a dark deserted road.
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Old 09-23-04, 02:50 PM
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Originally Posted by Wildcard
Some kids were getting upset that I was running all the stop signs (and therefore keeping up with their average speed because they stopped at the stop signs).
I don't endorse the reaction of the kids. However, it is clear to me that, up to a point, they were by far the more mature and responsible road users.

Paul
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Old 09-23-04, 03:17 PM
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I don't endorse the reaction of the kids. However, it is clear to me that, up to a point, they were by far the more mature and responsible road users.
You have to be kidding. One party was causing no harm or inconvenience to the other. The second party was threatening the life of the first. Sometimes, the villain doesn's need a black mask, cape, and red light sabre to be easily identified.
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Old 09-23-04, 05:24 PM
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Originally Posted by leftnotracks
You have to be kidding. One party was causing no harm or inconvenience to the other. The second party was threatening the life of the first. Sometimes, the villain doesn's need a black mask, cape, and red light sabre to be easily identified.

Then again, if he'd stopped at just one or two of the stop signs, they would have driven off into the distance and he'd never see them again. Hopefully. In these situations evasion is usually the best strategy.

What was it Douglas Adams wrote? :"deciding that discretion was the better part of valour, and cowardice was the better part of discretion, he valiantly hid in the closet."
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Old 09-23-04, 09:20 PM
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Originally Posted by Wildcard
(Chris L, do you offer "arrogance enhancement" sessions? )
Not for free -- although I'm about to start campaigning for arrogance to be taught in schools.

Situations like this are the reason why I try to avoid deserted roads (at least in urban areas, rural areas seem to be a little more sane). Having said that, as Allister said, stopping at the first stop sign may well have put an end to it. On the other hand, they may well have just found another reason to complain (this isn't uncommon among the human race).

I encountered a similar situation 212km into a ride earlier this year in Palm Beach (that suburb seems to have a lot of morons). I just got the hell out and took a different route -- lost them in the back streets and never saw them again. Pretending to call the cops is another option -- although be careful here as they might decide to try and help themselves to your phone if they are so inclined. Either way, I'm with the quote about valiantly hiding in the closet (and I believe it was, in fact, Terry Pratchett).
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Old 09-23-04, 09:54 PM
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Originally Posted by Chris L
Either way, I'm with the quote about valiantly hiding in the closet (and I believe it was, in fact, Terry Pratchett).
Nope.

https://gulp.no/hhgttg/hg-3-30.html (search for 'valiantly' on the page)

What's the emoticon for :smug ?
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Old 09-24-04, 01:11 AM
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Originally Posted by Allister
Then again, if he'd stopped at just one or two of the stop signs, they would have driven off into the distance and he'd never see them again.
Originally Posted by PaulH
I don't endorse the reaction of the kids. However, it is clear to me that, up to a point, they were by far the more mature and responsible road users.
Obviously, the law of the road clearly states that I, even as a cyclist, should stop at all stop signs; this law is written and enforced for the protection of all users of the road, including myself.

So, when I approach a stop sign I analyze the situation at the intersection and make a conscious decision to either continue because there is no risk of provoking a collision directly or indirectly, or stop in order to avoid provoking a collision and putting myself and - to a lesser extent - others at risk of injury.

Which means that if I decide to run a stop sign when there is no risk of provoking an accident, then the only risk I am taking is a financial one - i.e. getting ticketed by a policeman ($142 fine in Québec, I believe, along with a 3-point deduction from the driver's license). Even then, being on the look-out for police greatly reduces that risk.

Therefore, I make a conscious decision to
  • assume the responsibilities (ensuring that I will not provoke an accident) and
  • deal with the potential consequences (getting ticketed)
of my actions (deciding whether or not to run a stop sign).

This is why I believe that despite usually running stop signs, I am still a responsible road user.
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Old 09-24-04, 10:22 AM
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And when was the last time you saw a cop come to a complete stop at a stop sigh? Or just about any car, for that matter?
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Old 09-24-04, 11:22 AM
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Here is one lesson that I learned the hard way when I made it clear, but another cyclist on the other side of my neighborhood was the one who got attacked...under the same type of circumstances whenever I can get in my car and stealthily find the guy and get a description and license plate number, now I do. I have had two similar instances after a night ride where I called the police and reported the car and information as being suspicious. They sent a cruiser over and took care of the rest of the work from there. They were glad to do it too. If you think we take a dim view of guys out cruising late at night looking for trouble, you can just imagine how the typcial cop would view it, at least in the area where I live.

Otherwise, I steer a wide berth of anybody who is clearly out looking for trouble. If they look hard enough, they will surely find it.
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Old 09-24-04, 11:58 AM
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Your use of the phrase phrase "running all the stop signs", sounded very reckless -- implying that you were not slowing or checking for traffic.

Personally, I find that I can scan much more effectively for cycle and pedestrian intersection traffic if I come to a full stop.

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Old 10-02-04, 08:52 PM
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Wildcard says:«Unfortunately (or in retrospect, fortunately), I didn't run into them, and decided I needed a new strategy to cope with aggressive drivers and/or threatening situations.»

Nope. First, you need a strategy to cope with YOUR agressive behavior. The «payback» thing, including steel pipe and car keys, was way too much to my opinion. If you overreact that way, you won't be alive very long... the punks there could have been in possesions of firearms...

What region of Montreal were you riding in, that fateful night ?
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Old 10-02-04, 10:47 PM
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First off you should have stopped for the stop lights/signs. And yes, cops and cars for the most part stop for stop signs because it's the law, and bikes have to follow the same rules of the road vehicles follow. If a cop had been behind you that night you would have gotten a ticket. I do not condone what the kids did, but I cannot condone what you did either. It sounds like there may be more going on here then your telling. I think you were trying to show off to these kids, and they took it a bit too personal for you so now your crying foul-or you just making up the whole thing for our entertainment pleasure.
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Old 10-03-04, 03:46 PM
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Originally Posted by PaulH
Your use of the phrase phrase "running all the stop signs", sounded very reckless -- implying that you were not slowing or checking for traffic.

Personally, I find that I can scan much more effectively for cycle and pedestrian intersection traffic if I come to a full stop...
Have you ever ridden a 1 AM? It's dark outside. There isn't much traffic on a 2 lane road at that hour. How reckless can it be to run the stop signs? Unless the cars are driving with their lights off, you don't really need to stop and scan for cars. You can see their lights blocks away!! I wonder how much you actually ride on the road.
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Old 10-03-04, 04:01 PM
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I can't imagine that you weren't enjoying the game of keeping up with that car load of kids. Like many games with kids, this one went awry. The kids were at fault for harassing you, but I believe you could have avoided this by simply waiting at a stop sign for a few seconds so the car load could leave you behind. You became angry at them and entertained some violent thoughts. You were unable to locate the kids, and, with time, you came to your senses. You are lucky, and you should be admired for realizing that you came close to making a big mistake.
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Old 10-03-04, 04:17 PM
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First of all, forget the term kids, think of them as someone threatening you with a deadly weapon. Do you have that picture in mind? How would you react if one rolled down the window and pointed a gun at you?

That is how you should react to this situation, perhaps not as intense a reaction as a gun but the same one. Myself when im faced with someone threatening me with a car i get off the street and wait til they leave. If after i yielded the street-- retreated, they pursuit me onto the sidewalk-- it's their ass. I have been assaulted with a deadly weapon then retreated and was chased.

At that point i could legally defend myself with any level of force i believed was required.

The main thing is not to antagonize the situation then you are legally and morally in the clear. And yeah, if you have a cell phone that is the time to start calling 911 when you get off the street.

Oh and for those people who talk about the cyclists maturity-- forget it. What he did was illegal, maybe even stupid, but what they did was clearly way over the top.
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Old 10-04-04, 06:26 AM
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When phoning the cops on the cell phone give them all the details rego # make & model ,location ect & remark that it looked like they're brandishing some kind of firearm ,allways gets a quick response !! Only use if you think you are in real danger !! when the cops catch up to them they will search their car & who knows what they will find ? + the probability that the driver is over the legal alcohol level will be good .
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