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Two Commutes. Two dumb cagers.

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Two Commutes. Two dumb cagers.

Old 12-09-04, 09:18 AM
  #1  
vtjim
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Two Commutes. Two dumb cagers.

Yesterday evening I was stopped at a red light waiting to go straight through the intersection.

I was in the middle of the "straight ahead" lane, as most cars come up behind me and turn right on red. I'm out of their way, which is good for all parties.

So some woman in an SUV pulls up on my right. I figure she's going to turn right on red, but she's not moving even though it's completely clear for her. This raises a red flag in my head. Call it a 6th sense.

Eventually the light turns green and I launched hard. I dropped her at the intersection, but it turns out she's also going straight. For some reason she couldn't wait behind me, and instead wanted to hold up all the right-turners behind her. How nice of her.

This morning I was riding through a quiet, residential neighborhood, where the chances of me seeing even a single moving car are about 50/50 on any given commute. 25MPH speed limit.

Cager in a little Honda passes me and I hear the driver yell something. Then her passenger window rolls back up. It took me a few seconds to extrapolate the word from the wind and (her) car noise. She yelled, "TRAIL!"

Why? Well because there's a paved path for bikes off the side of the street. This path is not at road level, and has abrupt height changes at every side street and driveway. Downhill, at 20-30MPH, this isn't a trail you want to ride on. Itís for tourists and weekend riders. (SnickerÖ)

I remembered all the posts from Bike Forums and "just let it go" rather than flipping her off or chasing her down (which was possible.)

So does this make me a real commuter now that I've had a cager yell at me to do something I wasn't legally obligated to do?

I'm pretty sure she was one of the NIMBYs who didn't want a new bike bridge built because it would bring all the mean olí cyclists through their lakeside neighborhood.
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Old 12-09-04, 09:32 AM
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yep you are a true commuter now and a smart one at that. nice to hear you let it go when she yelled at you.
My friends girlfriend told me the other day that some women yelled at her so she flipped her off, then the woman stops traffic by putting her suv in park and stepping out to confront her! she just rode off on the sidewalk to avoid her but the f'ing idiot still doesn't get it when I tell her not to provoke crazy people in cars.
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Old 12-09-04, 10:19 AM
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I hear you. Sometimes I get a bit too mad at drivers myself. Here's a nice little slice of commuting life that happened to me the other night. I was just finishing up my commute home from work, riding east along a residential side street. This street has numerous speed bumps to deter drivers from using it as an alternative to the major aterial road one street south. As a result of the speed bumps, and a slight downhill grade, my average speed is about 10 km/hr faster than a typical car driving on this street. So, I routinely pass cars, on the left, as they slow for speed bumps. No problem, just an easy, relaxed pass. Doesn't interupt the flow of traffic, and most drivers don't mind one bit, since it doesn't inconvenience them in any way. (I think you can see where I'm going with this...) Anyway, so I'm rapidly gaining on this big black car which I assume is a Grand Marquis. The soft suspension and heavy car nessesitates that the driver slow to a crawl over each bump. He brakes for the oncoming speedbump, and I go to pass him on the left, nice and easy at around 30 km/hr. As I pass him, he notices me, and plants it. This is when I realize that he is actually driving a Mercury Marauder, because he lights up the rear tires, and the thing sounds like a Mustang. He refuses to let me go in front or behind him, using his big boat car as a weapon against me. About 250 feet ahead, there is an oncoming car. The guy in the marauder has clearly decided to try to force me into a head on collision with this car. Each time I brake, he brakes. Each time I accellerate, he accellerates. He even tries to hit me with his car. Fortunately, the woman in the oncoming car realises what this butt-head is trying to do, and she pulls her car into the center of the road, and stops completely, blocking his path. I get off my bike, and stand in front of his car. (Not smart, I know). I was fuming mad. I don't enjoy hurting people, but I wanted to tear this guys arm off, and beat him with it. Apparently, the guy realises that he is in a no-win situation, because he starts apologising, albeit insincerely. I resisted the urge to vandalise his car with my u-lock and went home. Getting that mad actually ruined my entire day. If the same thing happens again, I will not even bother stopping. It just isn't worth the aggrevation, or the risk. At the same time, I wonder what it would take for the law to get involved at all. I have to believe, based on past experience, that I would have to be killed for any action to be taken. It's a car's world out there.
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Old 12-09-04, 10:30 AM
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I'd say you are definitely the serious commuter type, with a well-developed sixth sense. I guess the next stage is to choose not to let the stupid people in cars make you upset (unless, of course, they endanger your life).
Tom
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Old 12-09-04, 10:35 AM
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Beautiful. It makes me wonder what the driver of that car would have felt if he saw you get hit head on by that oncoming car and severely injured or killed. I wish I knew what it is about being encased in metal & glass that causes some people to lose all sense of reality, like they're in a video game or movie or something. It's sick.
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Old 12-09-04, 10:37 AM
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Originally Posted by darkmother
...At the same time, I wonder what it would take for the law to get involved at all. I have to believe, based on past experience, that I would have to be killed for any action to be taken. It's a car's world out there.
Thought I'd chime in....

I'd have calmly walked around and got his tag number, got the contact info of the other driver and called the cops. You've got his tag number and a witness. I'd at least make the guy's life a little more difficult in the hopes that he'd think twice about his actions. $0.02

Edit: should have said, "tried to" calmly walk...I'd have been pretty pissed myself!
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Old 12-09-04, 10:56 AM
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[QUOTE=KleinRider]Thought I'd chime in....

I'd have calmly walked around and got his tag number, got the contact info of the other driver and called the cops. You've got his tag number and a witness. I'd at least make the guy's life a little more difficult in the hopes that he'd think twice about his actions. $0.02


I agree, in hindsight. I wished I had done that myself. Even if nothing came of it, he might have thought twice about it.
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Old 12-09-04, 11:09 AM
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Originally Posted by darkmother
I agree, in hindsight. I wished I had done that myself. Even if nothing came of it, he might have thought twice about it.
I should admit that about two weeks ago I guy - teenager kid actually - leaned out the passenger side of a pickup truck to try and hit me. He missed (I was going up a hill with my wife about 10 bike lengths behind me - wasn't commuting, just riding) and his sunglasses flew off. I turned around and threw them into the woods. In hindsight, I should have gotten the tag number and kept the sunglasses for fingerprints, and called the cops to report it. Hopefully next I'll remember it; actually, hopefully there *won't* be a next time....
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Old 12-09-04, 12:12 PM
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[QUOTE=KleinRider]I should admit that about two weeks ago I guy - teenager kid actually - leaned out the passenger side of a pickup truck to try and hit me. He missed (I was going up a hill with my wife about 10 bike lengths behind me - wasn't commuting, just riding) and his sunglasses flew off.


Classic. That's Karma for you. Would have paid to see that one. I can't remember anyone ever trying to hit me with something other than the car itself, but I routinely get called a ***, usually by a teenaged guy hanging out the window into a car or truck packed to the roof with other frolicing teenaged guys. If that's not homoerotic, I don't know what is. I usually just blow a kiss, and wink.
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Old 12-09-04, 12:18 PM
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Originally Posted by darkmother
Classic. That's Karma for you. Would have paid to see that one. I can't remember anyone ever trying to hit me with something other than the car itself, but I routinely get called a ***, usually by a teenaged guy hanging out the window into a car or truck packed to the roof with other frolicing teenaged guys. If that's not homoerotic, I don't know what is. I usually just blow a kiss, and wink.

Yea, my wife told me his whole upperbody (waist up) was outside the truck trying to get me. Not like I'm little, so I suppose he has horrible aim. I'm glad he missed, of course. While it would've hurt me, no doubt, he would probably have been pulled out of the truck since he was hanging out so far.

I just love the "blow a kiss, and wink" thing!
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Old 12-09-04, 12:47 PM
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On the subject of calling in information, has anyone had any success/experience with that?

I almost always have a cell phone on me while riding and have been tempted many times to call 911 and report "possibly intoxicated" drivers... but have never actually done it.
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Old 12-09-04, 03:14 PM
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[QUOTE=coldcanuck]On the subject of calling in information, has anyone had any success/experience with that?

I'm curious about this too. My experiences with cops have been mostly negative in that respect. One time a guy in a minivan was looking over his shoulder while swearing at my riding buddy who was about 50 feet behind me, and he rear ended me. Totalled my bike, and very nearly ran me over, literally. One of the scariest bike experiences in my life. I asked him calmly for his insurance, and he began swearing at me, and refused (which, as we all know is illegal). Finally, he left the scene (also illegal). I figured I would play this one by the books, since it was so blatant. I called the cops, and gave them the license, make, model, year, colour and option package of the vehicle. The cops interveiwed me, and my riding buddy, and claimed that they would look into it as a hit and run. A few days later, I got a message on my answering machine stating that there was no such vehicle in existence, and they were dropping the case. I suspect what really happened is they talked to the driver, he told them a story, and they bought it because witness and I were cyclists. Everyone knows cyclists are disrespectful punks with no regard for the rules of the road, right?
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Old 12-09-04, 03:49 PM
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Originally Posted by nick burns
Beautiful. It makes me wonder what the driver of that car would have felt if he saw you get hit head on by that oncoming car and severely injured or killed. I wish I knew what it is about being encased in metal & glass that causes some people to lose all sense of reality, like they're in a video game or movie or something. It's sick.
People have some serious road rage issues....whether i'm riding my bike or driving my car I see idiots who get upset over the stupidest things and go nuts behind the wheel. I once saw a car deliberately push a car through an intersection because the car stopped when the light turned yellow. i guess the driver behind her got upset and wanted her to run the yellow. the upset driver put his car in reverse, then put it in drive and rammed her as hard as he could. he didnt stop until she was in the intersection and he had room to pass her. he took off. a few drivers and I checked on the woman to see if she was ok. and one driver got the tag number. we called 911 and the cops came. and a couple cops took off after the guy. i dont know what become of the case. i do hope they caught the guy. theres no reason for anyone to hurt someone or damage someone's car like that. and her story was on the news, they had everyone looking for this guy.
now if the guy had hit me on my bike....it may have been different. i dont know. but the cops here are pretty understanding with cyclists...i know a couple bike cops in our local police dept. and they understand what it's like to ride on these roads and deal with stupid drivers.
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Old 12-09-04, 03:53 PM
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Car almost ran into my wife although we clearly had the right of way. As I'm passing him, he has the nerve to give me the finger before he zooms off....

I believe in Karma though so I'm pretty sure he'll get his.
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Old 12-09-04, 03:58 PM
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Originally Posted by coldcanuck
On the subject of calling in information, has anyone had any success/experience with that?
Experience yes, success no.

On this particular day I was riding my motorcycle (should have biked to work) on a 2-lane street in the right lane, going about 40 (the limit). A car slowly pulls out on the right from a side street in front of me, turning in the same direction I'm going. Muttering under my breath, I change to the left lane to avoid him. As I do so, he changes to the left lane also. So I change back to the right lane and proceed to pass him. This enrages him. About 300 yards later I enter a left turn lane, and look in my right mirror to see him barreling down on me, halfway in the turnlane going about 60. He blows past within inches of my right, yelling and screaming out the window like a crazed madman.

Well my blood instantly boils, so I chase him down, get his license number and then return home and call it in. Long story short, the police say they can't do much except call the registered owner and "threaten" him. Whether they ever did or not, I don't know.

And they wonder why some people take the law into their own hands.
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Old 12-09-04, 04:29 PM
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[QUOTE=simplygib]Experience yes, success no.

He blows past within inches of my right, yelling and screaming out the window like a crazed madman.

This is becoming a war stories thread. I like it I can only imagine how scary it must be riding a motorcycle in traffic-I'd be dead in a week. Car drivers really only look for other cars. With such high speeds, and vertually no crash protection you are a sitting duck. I once saw the aftermath of a motorcycle accident, shortly after the motorcyclist in question passed me on the highway. I could tell from looking at the wreck, and the tire skid marks what had happened. He had been cruising in the passing lane, and a car in the slow lane pulled in front of him without doing a shoulder check. The guy got smoked or at least cut off by the car, and launched into the divider at the center of the highway. It appeared as though the guy's body had actually knocked out a support for the center guard rail. I'm fairly sure he was dead, although I never saw anything about it on the news. Guy probably never had a chance in a situation like that. Frightening how some drivers take operating a vehicle so lightly.
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Old 12-09-04, 06:57 PM
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Originally Posted by jslopez
he has the nerve to give me the finger before he zooms off....

I believe in Karma though so I'm pretty sure he'll get his.
I've wondered why Karma only seems to work in one direction. (Nothing against the philosophy, it has intuitive sense, but one would expect that if it actually worked your wife wouldn't have been threatened with harm in the first instance--or was it a consequence of something she did earlier to somebody else, hmmm?)


Originally Posted by darkmother
This is becoming a war stories thread.
And if one believes in parallel universes, mirror commentaries can be found at MotorVehicleForums.

Last edited by Seamless; 12-09-04 at 07:00 PM. Reason: grammar Karma ;)
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Old 12-10-04, 05:09 AM
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Well, more oddity than war story but last week I was at our home in LA and had chance to do some riding. We live on a steep, twisty and very busy road. Fortunately there is a small residential road that runs parallel to the main street for a good distance. I was riding the last section, up the canyon on the small street and heard a car approaching from behind. I speed up to get to a past the parked cars so I can give room to allow the car to pass, but am honked before I get there. On reaching the safe spot, I slow and wave them through and they take forever to get the hint and pass. Moments later I pass them again as they become stuck in traffic where the minor road rejoins the street. At this point I cheerfully call out "I win!" and continue up and on. Figuring that they may catch up again I kept a look out. On reaching our gateway, I see the car and cant resist a sudden urge to give a cheery wave. To my suprise, both driver and passenger give a cheery wave in return!

Odd, but at least it was anything but an agressive encounter.

Cheers,

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Old 12-10-04, 07:04 AM
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Hey somebody hijacked my thread!

But seriously, I don't care. This is turning out to be a good read.

I wanted to add that, on my commute home last night, I saw the the car parked in a neighborhood driveway. (The woman had yelled at me to get on the trail.)

I almost went down and did some loops in the street in front of the house. I mean I actually stopped, looked down the road at the car and pondered the situation. In the end I couldn't be bothered. But now I know where she lives.
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Old 12-10-04, 07:31 AM
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Put a note on her windshield that refers to the highway traffic act with respect to cyclists. That'd be funny.
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Old 12-10-04, 09:10 AM
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Hey that's not a bad idea.
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Old 12-10-04, 09:18 AM
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careful you don't get accused of stalking
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Old 12-10-04, 02:05 PM
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Originally Posted by vtjim
Hey somebody hijacked my thread!

But seriously, I don't care. This is turning out to be a good read.

I wanted to add that, on my commute home last night, I saw the the car parked in a neighborhood driveway. (The woman had yelled at me to get on the trail.)

I almost went down and did some loops in the street in front of the house. I mean I actually stopped, looked down the road at the car and pondered the situation. In the end I couldn't be bothered. But now I know where she lives.
this isnt a good thing to do....but when i was a kid i had a BMX bike. My friends and i were riding our bikes to the park. as we were riding a car came up next to us and yelled obscenities at us. like "**** punk kids, etc." we followed the car until it pulled into a driveway. we then took off. that night after riding through the muddy track at the park we came back to the house. and took turns jumping up onto the car and doing wheelies off of it. i think we dented the car. not cool. but we were stupid kids...and imagine the guy's face when he went to go to work and saw muddy tire tracks all over his roof, hood and trunk.
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Old 12-10-04, 02:40 PM
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It may not have been a good, cool, or mature thing to do, but it still makes me laugh. We've all done stupid crap when we were kids. Part of growing up. I remember my friends and I used to collect construction pilons and signs, then use them to divert traffic into dead end alleys. Then we'd sit and watch as one car followed another into our trap, drinking beer and laughing. Not especially smart, and I wouldn't do it now, but I'm still glad I did it.
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Old 12-10-04, 03:46 PM
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Originally Posted by Seamless
And if one believes in parallel universes, mirror commentaries can be found at MotorVehicleForums.
Lessee those stories would sound something like this:

"...and then this bicycle stole the whole road by riding right in my way.... well I showed him by honking my horn. I couldn't believe that I was almost late for Survivor."

"... so this darn bicycle started to pass me, so I figured I would just get him back and drive in the bike lane and cut him off, he was so rude, he then did some sort of hop and rode on the sidewalk. I hate bicycles."

"...so while I was stuck in traffic with all the other God-fearing like minded productive workers, each one of us safely ensconced alone in our large American dream vehicles and this rude *** bicycle type rode up between us. I think next time I will open a car door on one of those *******s, I bet they don't even work."

"... and there was this time when these boys were bouncing a golf ball in this parking lot and it hit my new shiney car, so I ran them over."

Somehow, while these cagers might have a blown fuse at the time, I have a feeling that some of the stupid stuff they do isn't stuff they go out and brag about... with the possible exception of the teenagers that hang out of cars and try to hit cyclists.
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