Road Cycling “It is by riding a bicycle that you learn the contours of a country best, since you have to sweat up the hills and coast down them. Thus you remember them as they actually are, while in a motor car only a high hill impresses you, and you have no such accurate remembrance of country you have driven through as you gain by riding a bicycle.” -- Ernest Hemingway

Harrassed!

Old 03-05-05, 04:34 AM
  #1  
berny
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Today I was harassed by a truck or more specifically a poxy truck driver. I was doing an easy spin to my regular coffee shop when this noob drove by me so close the wind upset my line and scared the $#!+ out of me. I just shook my head but I guess he was watching in his mirror and not far up the road he stopped. I was worried as I came up to the truck but he simply let me ride passed without incident. I have long-ish hair and from the back he may have thought I was female untill I got close enough to see my mustach, who knows.

I continued on thinking I was just being a bit paranoid, but a bit further up the road he came by again but this time he actually veered across forcing me off the road and again pulled over about 100 meters further on. I was approaching a side road which I knew would take me to an alternative route and without thinking about it too much I just swung right and off on the detour. There was a decent hill on this road and I wondered if he might follow and be able to catch me up there and before I made the next turn and basically disappeared.
He didn't follow.
Later I kicked myself for not getting his rego number and/or ringing 000 on my cell though this may have only aggravated the situation and caused more drama.

The battle continues sadly.
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Old 03-05-05, 06:22 AM
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it is a battle of sorts and size wins. Two kinds of people to fear, those that run you down accidently and those that like to play chicken out on the road. Who do you think is gonna win? Some motorists hate cyclists and the same applies to motorcyclists. Truck drivers are the worst...even if you drive a small car...they love to intimidate...a sweeping stereotype that certainly applies where I live in the Motorcity which is survival of the fittest out on the roads. I likely would not have tried to lead that guy after the first incident but get behind him. I think you were lucky in a sense.
Curious how many ride on relatively busy fast moving roads? I try to stay off busy roads.
Safe cyclying to us all out on the roadways.
George
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Old 03-05-05, 07:30 AM
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I can't stand these fools who have to mess with riders. I do my best to keep as far off on the side of the road as possible. I give due respect. Yet they still mess with me, constantly. Rare is the day that I ride, and someone doesn't do that to me. It's awful.

I don't like confrontation. It's not smart. But I have to say, when those bastards time traffic wrong, and end up with me in their window, it's a wonderful moment. I love watching them look down and "adjust the radio" or check their phone, to avoid eye contact with me.

I wear a dorky yellow backpack when I ride, along with the required dorky bike helmet. So I'm sure, from behind, I look like a teenage kid going to or from the library. That makes me an easy target for the cowards. It's only when I'm in their window, that they realize they made a mistake....
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Old 03-05-05, 09:23 AM
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Nothing like this has ever happened to me, but I know it would be very upsetting to me if it did.

ALWAYS, I have learned, get the license plate. I learned that after forgetting to do that last year when I saw some kids in a car intentionally gun down a goose crossing the road.

Once I have the plate number I can always call and report to the cops...OR...it's nice that I have a friend who is a private investigator and can get all sorts of info for me from that plate number!
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Old 03-05-05, 09:24 AM
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Should've called the police. I carry a cellphone and am not afriad to dial 911 (000 for you I guess). That's assault with a deadly weapon- he purposely tried to force you off the road.

Although, I'm also kind of an a-hole in these situations (usually I'm smarter) and might have exchanged words with him when he pulled over and got out of the truck. Seriously, what was he planning? I'm guessing that if you did get into it and kicked his A he'd be mighty embarassed. Imagine the big bag trucker guy telling his friends he was beaten up by a guy wearing lycra shorts.

I do believe you made the right decision though. It's always better to walk (or ride) away from a confrontation. Nobody every really wins a fight...especially me as I'm not too big and certainly not a fighter.

PJ
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Old 03-05-05, 09:43 AM
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Originally Posted by pjbaz
Should've called the police. I carry a cellphone and am not afriad to dial 911 (000 for you I guess). That's assault with a deadly weapon- he purposely tried to force you off the road.

Cell phone with camera and make it darn obvious from the very first encounter that you are taking his picture! Then use the phone to call the police. A friend recently rode straight to the nearest police station and signed a complaint against an aggressive driver then went to court and won the case easily.
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Old 03-05-05, 09:55 AM
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you can do that but have to ask if it is worth your time. Hell, its kind of like turning in all the raged out car drivers out there when I am driving my car. I would spend all the time at the police station...lol. Don't know you guys agree but road rage is on the rise...certainly among cars. Because I am older, I am able to turn the other cheek better than I used to. Even I have a hard time resisting getting into the fray once in a while. On a bike you are at a tremendous disadvantage in size and speed. Avoidance is the best policy...just hope you don't get run over by accident or by intention which happens sadly all the time.
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Old 03-05-05, 09:56 AM
  #8  
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Originally Posted by Noddy
A friend recently rode straight to the nearest police station and signed a complaint against an aggressive driver then went to court and won the case easily.
Thanks for telling us about that. FYI, a rider in my area told me several weeks ago that
I am going to file a complaint with the magistrates office in Raleigh against a driver who has buzzed me and my wife on a number of occasions.
About two weeks later that same rider told me
In a nutshell, I jumped through a bunch of hoops to get something done ... but I think it was worth it. Both the Cary PD and the Wake County Sheriff responded. Cary PD is sending a nastygram to the perp outlining the fact that he has been reported to them, that they are aware of specific complaints about him, and that his actions won't be tolerated. The Sheriff's dept. was going to send an officer to his house to speak with him about this specific incident. The officer was going to contact me after he spoke with the perp, but I haven't heard anything yet. Both agencies took me seriously and seemed genuinely interested in following through.

For anyone else who has a problem, advise them to follow these steps. It will save a lot of time.
  • Call the Cary Road Rage hotline ... Have as complete a description as possible of the problem vehicle and/or driver, including license tag etc.
  • Call the Wake County Sheriff's Dept. and report the same info as above.
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Old 03-05-05, 03:50 PM
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I just had a jackass in a CRX Honda with a Fart pipe low rider, cross white line coming few feet from me then makes a right turn to cut me off. i flipped him off and turned with him. the street had speed bumps and he had to slow, i caught his car and kicked a nice dent in his door, turned around said fock you and rode away. i also carry pepper spray for them bastards. when people pass me to close my middle finger goes up quick, i take that **** personal. and the ones that give a few extra feet i wave to. it's a 5' law rule here. i think big trucks should give more wich most do.
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Old 03-05-05, 04:45 PM
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Originally Posted by pacesetter
it's a 5' law rule here.
N.C. law specifies a minimum of 2 feet when passing. Which state/city/county/?/ law specifies a minimum of 5 feet?
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Old 03-05-05, 05:47 PM
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Originally Posted by pacesetter
I just had a jackass in a CRX Honda with a Fart pipe low rider, cross white line coming few feet from me then makes a right turn to cut me off. i flipped him off and turned with him. the street had speed bumps and he had to slow, i caught his car and kicked a nice dent in his door, turned around said fock you and rode away. i also carry pepper spray for them bastards. when people pass me to close my middle finger goes up quick, i take that **** personal. and the ones that give a few extra feet i wave to. it's a 5' law rule here. i think big trucks should give more wich most do.
pacesetter,
I think inside at times I'd like to do what you say you did, but there is no way I would EVER try that. In this day and age I'm just too worried that some idiot is going to stop and pull out a gun and just pop me in retaliation. It's not worth it.
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Old 03-05-05, 06:40 PM
  #12  
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I was riding back from the gorge with a group and it was my turn to pull. We ride through a sleepy little town that has its share of "yocals". The speed limit through the town is 30 MPH and on this day with a little tail wind we acheived it easily. As I pulled I heard a clammer from the pack of the line and then I heard a horn. I turned to see a dually pull out from the last guys wheel and speed along side our group and eventually by me where he pulled in front of me about 15 yard in front and hit the gravel and marbles which flew up and pelted me and the line. The town has stop lights and he sped off only to get caught behind another vehicle at a light. That is when we took after him. He was honking and beeping at the car in front of him and we were almost apon him-imagine how imbarrasing it would be having a bunch of guys pummel you in spandex - when the light turned green and he flew on down the road.
The thing is it was more fun chasing the car then it would have been if we would have actually caught him. Anger at best is a moment of unreasonable emotion and the thing is I was laughing my head off knowing how worried he was we were going to catch him. Yes he was a freak yes no one was hurt this time.
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Old 03-05-05, 06:53 PM
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Since we're telling stories I've got one from my own memory banks: Years ago I was out taking a nice spin around the lake where I used to live. Riding along minding my own business and a car pulls along side, slowly pulls past me - and then moves over to the curb forcing me to a complete stop. I thought at first that it was inadvertent - that the guy was stopping at a house and didn't realize that he had cut me off but my view changed when he took off, looped around, and promptly did it again. About the third time he did it I rode up on the passenger side of his car and began telling him off. He got out of the car and came around and shoved me - unfortunately I was straddling the bike and still clipped in on one side so down I went. Unfortunately for him I had the foot on his side out of the clip and planted it in his crotch on my way down! It might have gotten interesting but at that point a homeowner started yelling and heading our way so the meathead hobbled back to his car and took off. I've also been hit by a rolled newspaper (delivery guy) and a beer bottle over the years.
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Old 03-05-05, 07:02 PM
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Originally Posted by bwileyr
N.C. law specifies a minimum of 2 feet when passing. Which state/city/county/?/ law specifies a minimum of 5 feet?

Tucson AZ
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Old 03-05-05, 07:11 PM
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Originally Posted by bwileyr
N.C. law specifies a minimum of 2 feet when passing. Which state/city/county/?/ law specifies a minimum of 5 feet?

2 feet is nothing that's dangerous
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Old 03-05-05, 08:36 PM
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Originally Posted by berny
Today I was harassed by a truck or more specifically a poxy truck driver. I was doing an easy spin to my regular coffee shop when this noob drove by me so close the wind upset my line and scared the $#!+ out of me. I just shook my head but I guess he was watching in his mirror and not far up the road he stopped. I was worried as I came up to the truck but he simply let me ride passed without incident. I have long-ish hair and from the back he may have thought I was female untill I got close enough to see my mustach, who knows.

I continued on thinking I was just being a bit paranoid, but a bit further up the road he came by again but this time he actually veered across forcing me off the road and again pulled over about 100 meters further on. I was approaching a side road which I knew would take me to an alternative route and without thinking about it too much I just swung right and off on the detour. There was a decent hill on this road and I wondered if he might follow and be able to catch me up there and before I made the next turn and basically disappeared.
He didn't follow.
Later I kicked myself for not getting his rego number and/or ringing 000 on my cell though this may have only aggravated the situation and caused more drama.

The battle continues sadly.
calling the police will be the best thing. Last summer we had a call from one rider who was also harrased but by a car driver. I was sent by my chief to see what what was going on. The biker told me what was going on and i suprisingly caught up with the car driver and made him apologize to the biker and it all worked out great (he was also drivign witiout his belt)
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Old 03-05-05, 08:38 PM
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People around here are really friendly to cyclists. There are three situations that horns are honked at us, in this order of frequency:

1. A car of college girls passing us / going the other way / sitting at an intersection. We've had multiple times (at least once per ride, especially close to town) when girls have honked and yelled random stuff that wasn't angry (whoooo yeah!!!!!, or the wolf whistle, etc). Typically someone will just say in their best batman voice "Chicks dig the shorts". Its kinda a nice thing to have happen.

2. On the roads outside of town that there are very few cars on (as in, typically only 3-4 pass in many, many miles). We'll often move off of the crappy shoulder and into the road, always in our own lane. Sometimes on a sprint or during a paceline rotation we'll take up a lot of the lane. Cars usually give a short clear beep if they see this. they do it when they are WAY back though (as if to say "car back"). We move over, the driver doesn't have to let off the gas and all is well. Many times they give the "thank you" wave after they pass, which we return.

3. Somebody else from the team honking at us and waving like a moron. The usually response by us is that they should get their ass out of the cage and into the paceline!



One time I was riding alone through town (and not in team kit thank god - I would have had to let it go) and a group of guys rolled up beside me and honked one of those air-horns in my ear. I probably jumped a little bit. They laughed and sped up. I stopped next to them at the next stoplight. There were 4 kids with with a total weight of probably over 1200lbs. I was on the passenger side doing a track stand, but as it was a long light and they had rolled up the pax windows I rolled around the front and looked into the driver's window. I asked them when the last time they put down the x-box controller and got some exercise. I told the driver to "make sure the guy with the horn calls out when he's going to use it so as not to give one of you other pimply-faced fat-ass video game nerds a heart attack."

Then, as if on cue my the car behind honks (yes the light is THAT long), and my girlfriend is hangin out the driver's side window yelling at me. I went back and chatted with her, which although not planned I'm sure just poured salt in the wound of those fat morons.

Yes. If I saw any of them when I was not on a ride I would make sure to either publically embarass them or kick their ass.
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Old 03-05-05, 09:33 PM
  #18  
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damn i went to school at u. of a. in tucson and never got over the site of people carrying weapons around. not sure if it's still the same but back then you could carry unconcealed sidearms and you'd see all these people with holsters. totally wild west.
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Old 03-05-05, 09:58 PM
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Berny,
It's hard to think about getting license plate numbers when the survival mode kicks in.
Hopefully you won't ever have to be in that situation again, but if you are, you will be ready next time,eh!
Paper, pen and telephone=safer roads
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Old 03-06-05, 12:06 AM
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Sorry you had a bad experience - but I agree "get a plate # if you can" - I always carry my cell phone just incase of such things while I'm out riding. When you do this stuff long enough you tend to see almost every situation good and bad. I tend to see more bad things as a runner than I do as a cyclist.

Just the other day I was flipped off and honked at by a driver who was turning while I was running through and in the middle of the cross walk at an intersection. To feel better I watched where the driver went and where he parked in a nearby business park...I continued to run trying to forget about it, but it just got on my brain bad. Now - I could normally just forget about this... but not today. I'm also not the type to do anything stupid, but like I said it just really got to me. As I was running I found a big rock about 1/2 the size of a bowling ball, I stopped and picked it up. I then ran over to the business park (cutting across a field) and placed the rock square on the windshild of the car, resting on the wipper (not hurting anything really)... just my calling card....I know where you work, I know your car and don't frigg'n mess with me again. I'm sure he will get the message.

Last year I had a guy who had his dog in the middle of the street (while chatting with someone in a car) and the dog was without a leash. As I ran by the dog bit my hand (which hurt like hell) and soaked my white running glove with blood. I yelled a few 4-letter words and told the A** hole dog owner - that his dog just bit me...He said why don't you come over here and talk to me like that - SO I DID.
He claimed that I must have been messing with his dog because his dog would never do such a thing. I showed him my hand and he just said "what are you going to do about it" while smiling and laughing. I tell you, I had to use alot of restraint to overcome the adrenaline flowing at that moment and not choose to clock this jerk-off square in the face. I just said I will have the Sheriff come to your house - Laughing he told me his first name and said he live right there (pointing to his house), and said - ya have the Sheriff come by. As I ran off and had alot of time to think about what to do, as I had to finish my 20-mile run with the Boston Marathon coming up. When I got home I photographed my hand and the running glove.

Well Animal control came to my house, took a report and went to the owners house right after. His dog was impounded for 10-days at a local vet (which he had to pay a daily boarding fee), he also had a court date scheduled on "Patriots day" the day of the Boston Marathon......he was also fined an aditional $200.00 in court....aaaaa sweet justice when the law works to get the bad guys.

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Old 03-06-05, 03:31 AM
  #21  
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I lost my nut today when some jerk in a taxi van with a trailer nearly side swiped me on a roundabout. I caught up with him and asked if he'd seen me, he tried to ignore me and then said whaat??? I got really wound up and just shouted "thanks so much for being an a-hole mate". His passengers looked bemused. Must be my weekend, as today - different roundabout, I entered it at pace, while a ute (truck to you 'mericans) came up, the driver talking on his phone as he approached the give-way lines, he pulls right out in front of me and pulls up at the last second. He managed to pull the phone away long enough to poke his head out the window and shout "why didn't you f****g indicate", I flipped him the bird. How could I possibly have indicated flat out around a roundabout, & anyway, all cars entering give way. I am going to get in so much trouble one day as I just cannot let things like that go. I had a couple near full on incidents when I was riding my Ducati as well. Like someone else said, sometimes it is definitely the size of the vehicle you are driving that determines your right to the road. I have for a long time treated any other other vehicle on the road as a potebtial enemy. I would love to just wave & smile instead.
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Old 03-06-05, 03:59 AM
  #22  
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Here In California..License plates have seven characters..In a moment of flying tempers , it is hard to memorize all seven characters..So all in my group think....Camera's are a good idea, I think..wish they could be mounted on your handlebars for quick use.. Such incidents are common...here abouts..
That is why I am such a proponent of bike lanes...Gives us space from one another..Cyclists/motorists..
Think the angriest I ever got is when some punk school kids spit and hit me on the leg as they were taking off from a red light.
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Old 03-06-05, 03:44 PM
  #23  
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Originally Posted by hillyman
Berny,
It's hard to think about getting license plate numbers when the survival mode kicks in.
Hopefully you won't ever have to be in that situation again, but if you are, you will be ready next time,eh!
Paper, pen and telephone=safer roads
Yep I've been spat on, 'cut off' (cars turning in front of you) almost wiped out on a roundabout, called some pretty ugly names, etc etc. Generally I respond by yelling loudly if I think they haven't seen me, but mostly I just shake my head. I had some lively and interesting mid road discussions too.
I did follow a driver into a carpark once after she squeezed passed me going through a very narrow roundabout. I quietly explained that she had put my life at risk so as to be at the shopping centre two nanno seconds earlier. I also said that if I saw her children riding on the road I wouldn't put them in the same danger she had put me in. The kids were very quiet in the rear seat and I'm sure she was suitably embarrassed.

To be fair, here in Australia, motorists are not given adequate instruction on how to deal with a cyclist encounter on the road. They general have no idea what to do, except they know they have to overtake as quickly as possible lest they be late for their consultation with the president of NATO or worse, infuriate the driver following them. Many motor vehicle drivers are extremely arrogant and extraordinarily aggressive and in many cases always late for something and God help anyone who gets in their way.

Something needs to be done because they are killing each other (and us) in significant numbers (some might say insufficient numbers ) and costing society dearly with their accident related health and recovery issues and their disgusting contribution to atmospheric pollution.

Long live bicycle riders
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Old 03-06-05, 04:28 PM
  #24  
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[QUOTE=pjbaz]Should've called the police. I carry a cellphone and am not afriad to dial 911 (000 for you I guess). That's assault with a deadly weapon- he purposely tried to force you off the road.

I'm guessing that if you did get into it and kicked his A he'd be mighty embarassed. Imagine the big bag trucker guy telling his friends he was beaten up by a guy wearing lycra shorts.

PJ...I like the idea...How about forming gangs of cyclists in lycra..Changing our image to bad azzes...Carrying chains, tire irons, and hand knucks... roving bands of cyclists wearing messenger attire, taking on the punks who harrass us. spit at us..spit back.
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Old 03-06-05, 04:35 PM
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Noddy
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Originally Posted by cyclezealot
...the big bag trucker guy telling his friends he was beaten up by a guy wearing lycra shorts....How about forming gangs of cyclists in lycra..Changing our image to bad azzes...
Did ya ever notice that those animal-rights wackjobs who pick on people wearing furs never go after the bikers wearing leather? Why not? Leather is an animal skin too isn't it? On a serious note I think it'll be quite a stretch convincing anyone that you're a "bad azz" when you're wearing lycra and a flamboyant jersey.
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