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A commuter's rant....how do you relate?

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A commuter's rant....how do you relate?

Old 06-27-09, 04:46 AM
  #1  
Zardhex
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A commuter's rant....how do you relate?

The past week i've been slowly massaging an old found Nishiki Century back to life(will have pix of it up here soon), as i've been awaiting a new wheel for my Trek commuter....I've been pretty much car-free the past few months, and i'm adjusting to this lifestyle more and more (for better and, lately, also worse )

The past week i've ridden to work 4 out of 5 days (25-30 miles round trip, depending on route alternation) For some reason this week alone, i've had:
A car full of teenagers toss a cup of soda w/ ice at me(which i returned the sentiment with a dual-handed, single-finger salute)....the next day, someone in a raggedy old Nissan Pathfinder tossed coins out the window(as if he were implying i was on a bike because i was poor or something) and this morning at 3am after a long night at work, i'm within a mile from my house, and an oncoming idiot in a big diesel truck is speeding around a curve, and i know he sees me, and continues to drift into my lane forcing me off the road, and on the ground....As I'm standing up, and shaking off the dirt bath, I shout some choice words towards the vehicle, but it keeps trucking....Damn, I was fired up!! The guy was probably drunk, but i thought to myself "How could I let this A-hole know that he almost killed me?"...seriously, if i had a gun, i would have emptied the entire magazine on that truck....Eerrrrgggh

Three times this week i was subjected to people in their protected shells on wheels harboring a total lack of respect for fellow humans...
To anyone reading this, do you ever feel like your love of the bicycle is making you a target for lowlifes in cars? Do you ever feel humiliated riding a bike sometimes?
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Old 06-27-09, 04:52 AM
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get a camera and record the incidents then give them to the police
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Old 06-27-09, 04:32 PM
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I feel your pain I always get the punk kids throwing the cup of unknown liquid I have this problem so much that I now carry an old sock full of broken padlocks looped through my belt to combat against that problem as soon as the cup leaves the vehicle their back window is gone.But if you wanna take a less aggressive path the camera might be a good idea....or a small notepad or voice recorder to jot down a plate number

Good luck and ride safe
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Old 06-27-09, 07:42 PM
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Its funny how those kind of incidents cluster. One night I had a car passenger reach out of the car and grab my elbow to try and pull me down, and the next night in the exact same place, the passenger of a truck shot me with a pellet gun. Nothing serious since.

I do get exasperated at all the "clever" in-duh-viduals who invent sassing cyclists and get such joy from their unique idea, only to be followed two cars later by someone else who is also so clever to invent this new sport as well. But nothing to do except thank God for another yet another chance for me to work on keeping my composure and my focus. He's very generous with those opportunities.
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Old 06-27-09, 09:24 PM
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Trust me, it will get to the point that you will barely even notice these things. You were on the right path with the coins, just laugh about how stupid these people are.

Oh, and if you really are given to rash actions, don't carry gun.
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Old 06-27-09, 10:32 PM
  #6  
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Police Report
digi cam
or at least try to remember make, color and last 3 digits of license plate, and the time.

cell phone.

program local police into your calling list.

call police right then and there

http://www.youtube.com/user/jmizereck

you can post things on Craigslist
try to gather a group of cyclists
go to City Hall, city meetings... use the 3 minutes or whatever your town allows for Open Public Comment.

email to local transportation agencies...

there's a ton of things a person can do.

the worst thing to do, is have an adverse emotional reaction.

a very good method is to research local law, and try to recite any laws that pertain to bicycle rights, as accurately as possible.

if you're going to ride your bike
the worst thing you can do is to ignore these issues.

you want to advocate cycling and being safe.

however, some communities simply do not recognize bicyclist's rights.

personally, I speak up at City Hall, or at least send email.

I've actually moved from areas due to lack of bicycle infrastructure/culture.

and let City Hall know, exactly why.
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Old 06-27-09, 10:50 PM
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It amazes me when I see this type of post. I think you brought the aggression onto yourself.

This past week, you shared the road with lots of people. At least some of them saw a cyclist giving the double finger to a car full of kids. Nearly all of them saw a fearful grouchy cyclist on the verge of road rage.

How much less aggression would there have been this week if some of those people saw a happy person going about his life? How many people looked at you and said, "wow, he looks like he's enjoying himself. Maybe I'll dig *my* bike out of the garage this weekend!".

How many people saw you share the road with dignity and respect? How many did you inspire to share the road back?
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Old 06-27-09, 10:58 PM
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You know what -- I'm outta line. You're posting a rant, and I'm pissing on your rant. You had a ****ty week, you feel crappy about it, you want to move on.

I truly hope next week is better for you. Really. I'm sorry everybody this week (including me) was such a jerk.


Cheers!
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Old 06-27-09, 11:09 PM
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I knew you guys would understand, and thanks for the input so far...Artkansas, sorry to here about the BS you went through...I mean a pellet gun? dude....its a good thing i dont carry a gun...yet.... i live in a part of the country where cops would laugh at you if you were to complain about a motorist being aggressive to you (probably one of their off-duty drinking buddies anyway) So, in the back-woods society i've grown up and lived in my whole life, i've found it's better to take these matters into my own hands....i know i should obey certain laws and protect myself legally in the process, but idea's like ChitownD773's sock full of padlocks would have been handy for the idiot that tried to run me over Not to sound sadistic or anything, but it makes me feel better knowing alot of other people go through the same thing...I can handle the varied simple to colorful insults...ignorance and jealousy (but i love it when a hot chick hollers "Hey Sexy!" out their window )
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Old 06-27-09, 11:23 PM
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Originally Posted by tjwarren View Post
You know what -- I'm outta line. You're posting a rant, and I'm pissing on your rant. You had a ****ty week, you feel crappy about it, you want to move on.

I truly hope next week is better for you. Really. I'm sorry everybody this week (including me) was such a jerk.


Cheers!
LOL, You were posting as i was replying...if you were pissing on my rant, then fine...it was just a rant...you got a right to throw your $0.02 out there too if you like....but to set the record straight for everybody, i'm usually pretty happy-go-lucky on my bike...i'm usually smiling, waving at people outside, polite, and usually, most motorists are kind and polite in return...i think it has to do with the focus you put into each pedal stroke, and when that concentration gets interrupted by a rude driver, the energy that was once positive turns negative (testosterone level increased too) and it's hard to hold back when someone in a car deliberately pisses you off...no worries about pissing on my rant, tj.... i'm guessing you had a ****ty week too!

Cheers

Last edited by Zardhex; 06-27-09 at 11:38 PM.
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Old 06-28-09, 01:14 AM
  #11  
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kill... Kill... KILLL!

(sorry... I was just channeling Alice's Restaurant)
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Old 06-28-09, 06:40 AM
  #12  
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This won't prevent all harassment, but I have found that you can psychologically influence drivers with your appearance and riding style. I have found that I get much more respect when I am riding in full roadie mode. For that reason, I wear full roadie kit when commuting and I seem to avoid more confrontations that way. My guess is that people tend not to project a tree-hugging, hippie, commie type of image onto me. Just an observation. Different appearances and riding styles will probably have different psychological effects in different areas. For WV, I'd probably try wearing a Marines or Navy Seal jersey when riding.
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Old 06-28-09, 07:56 AM
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I'm sorry... but one of the things I really appreciated about the "living car free" forum was the lack of commuter-rants. The Commuter forum has plenty of these postings with all sorts of wonderful support and sympathy and suggestions about extracting revenge, choice of weapons, and occasionally sensible advice. But hey, maybe this falls under the category of "places to avoid being car free".
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Old 06-28-09, 08:02 AM
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see post #36

http://www.bikeforums.net/showthread...=519488&page=2
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Old 06-28-09, 09:43 AM
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Originally Posted by Artkansas View Post
Its funny how those kind of incidents cluster. One night I had a car passenger reach out of the car and grab my elbow to try and pull me down, and the next night in the exact same place, the passenger of a truck shot me with a pellet gun. Nothing serious since.

I do get exasperated at all the "clever" in-duh-viduals who invent sassing cyclists and get such joy from their unique idea, only to be followed two cars later by someone else who is also so clever to invent this new sport as well. But nothing to do except thank God for another yet another chance for me to work on keeping my composure and my focus. He's very generous with those opportunities.
Ah, you must have met the same pellet gun welcome committee that I did, and that must have been my promotion/demotion from being soaked by another carload of bored teenagers with soda/acid fire extinguishers quite a few years back.
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Old 06-28-09, 01:31 PM
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Yeah, the incidents do cluster, so try to ride it out. I almost never have trouble with motorists, even though I live in a very car-friendly city. I try to remember that for every JAM, there are at least a thousand--probably more like ten thousand-- who overtake me safely and quietly.

Like Zardhex, I tend to respond in a pretty hostile manner. I don't know why I keep doing this even though I know my hostility usually makes the situation worse rather than better.
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Old 06-29-09, 08:00 PM
  #17  
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My favorite word to yell is the B___ word and then I am on my happy way LOL. Sometimes you just have to yell and get it out and then move on. I am with everyone else, keep a record of things that go on and most of the time I only do that.
Recently I have had a neighbor, within a block of my house, almost run me over because they were on the cell phone and didn't want to LOOK while turning. I also had someone from one state over turn and almost run me over. A nice finger did the trick and they were pretty scared.

If all else fails I just put on full cycle gear, bicycle shirt, Skort and I usually get more people staring then trying to run me over.
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Old 06-30-09, 01:51 AM
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Yeah, it seems that the psychological switch would work on most of the potential offenders (wearing a more "professional" or traditional type roadie outfit...but I was never in the military (thanks for the tip, though, mihlbach....i know the military has a much-deserved respect around my area, but i just dont want to pretend to be a vet when i'm not) and, to be fair to the seasoned cyclists more serious than i am, i just don't want to deck myself out in the typical roadie (jackets/spandex wear) that most people are accustomed to seeing when they spot a "hard-core" cyclist....but, because i like to wear what is comfortable, and definitely more "me", does that make me less hardcore of a rider to the average person? I guess appearance does matter, but not so much to me...****, you'll typically find me riding in my favorite pair of camouflage shorts and a wife-beater, but never the skin-tights, and blindingly bright(and expensive) cycle-wear
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Old 06-30-09, 10:35 AM
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Man I am really surprised at how much harrasement everybody gets, I get my share of getting buzzed that is really about it. I go in kit and regular clothes, those with complaints are you in suburbs, rural or inner city? For me inner city is very friendly, rural when I make it that far is friendly but suburbs seems to be the danger zone.
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Old 06-30-09, 10:42 AM
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get tag #'s and trace them....a little c4 will put an end to that behavior.
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Old 06-30-09, 10:53 AM
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I don't know if I could live through a week like that without breaking my toe kicking the wall. I've thought of all sorts of ways of taking revenge. I don't know how many hours I've wasted contemplating which tire you should shoot out in a car to get it to go left

My life really started to get better when I pretended people did the asinine things they did because they were my friends. So now I wave and smile like an idiot when someone does something aggressive towards me. It helps me get over it. That's the important thing.

Having said that, I would make police reports in all three of those cases. My experience has been that even backwoods cops take throwing things out of a car at people very seriously. People have coins to throw at other cars too, it's dangerous as all get out. And as far as the guy that came at you, report someone driving erratically. I have to admit, this happened to me a couple of months ago, and I didn't report it because I saw the guy was on his cellphone. Probably should have.
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Old 06-30-09, 12:56 PM
  #22  
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I have been contemplating purchasing one of these: http://alturl.com/g2qy I don't know if it would cause more harm then good though...
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Old 06-30-09, 01:10 PM
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Originally Posted by Zardhex View Post
.... i live in a part of the country where cops would laugh at you if you were to complain about a motorist being aggressive to you (probably one of their off-duty drinking buddies anyway)
is there a part of the country where this isn't the case?

seriously: in general the cops
a) don't know the law
b) regard you as nothing more than a source of paper work
c) probably think the road is 'for cars' anyway.

i know how it is to get abused and feel frustrated and like you want to do something, but calling the cops isn't it.
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Old 06-30-09, 08:27 PM
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Originally Posted by tieka View Post
I have been contemplating purchasing one of these: http://alturl.com/g2qy I don't know if it would cause more harm then good though...
those things are amazing LOUD.

works awesome!
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Old 06-30-09, 08:32 PM
  #25  
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Originally Posted by frymaster View Post
is there a part of the country where this isn't the case?

seriously: in general the cops
a) don't know the law
b) regard you as nothing more than a source of paper work
c) probably think the road is 'for cars' anyway.

i know how it is to get abused and feel frustrated and like you want to do something, but calling the cops isn't it.
Monterey Peninsula (California)
honestly
a bunch of the guys in our local club(s) are cops
sheriff, Seaside PD, Monterey PD, Del Rey Oaks PD, Salinas PD, CHP
plus City Councilmen
Fire Fighters
Fire Chief
retired detectives

the list goes on

plus local health care professionals

its called "Advocacy"

honestly
i know it must sound crazy
but thats the case.
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