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Does intentional buzzing affect you much?

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Does intentional buzzing affect you much?

Old 11-03-14, 09:46 AM
  #26  
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I'm just now reading a book entitled "The Sociopath Next Door" written by a woman who is a clinical psychologist and was for 25 years on the faculty of the psychology department of the Harvard Medical School. I'm only half way through the book but already there has been the startling revelation that 1 in 25, (4%) of the population are sociopaths. It is startling also to realize that these people have no conscience or compassion whatever. There is a gradient in the behavior of such people so that while all are aggressively antisocial, not all are murderous monsters like Hitler, Pol Pot, or serial killers. They all, also get their kicks from getting a rise out of people such as buzzing and now and then running cyclists down, then driving away without a smidgeon of conscience. I suspect sociopathic behavior explains forum "terrorists" who delight in derailing threads purely for amusement. In a forum with, say, 1000 readers, 40 or so are sociopaths.

The author has spent a good part of her professional career helping the victims of the abuse by sociopaths on family, coworkers or any nearby targets. When considering the high number of sociopaths, that is a lot of victims. Cyclists are just another target to act upon. I don't know what to do about this but I'm spending time thinking about it. The Sociopath Next Door: Martha Stout: 8601401295921: Amazon.com: Books
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Old 11-03-14, 01:03 PM
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Originally Posted by berner View Post
I'm just now reading a book entitled "The Sociopath Next Door" written by a woman who is a clinical psychologist and was for 25 years on the faculty of the psychology department of the Harvard Medical School. I'm only half way through the book but already there has been the startling revelation that 1 in 25, (4%) of the population are sociopaths. It is startling also to realize that these people have no conscience or compassion whatever. There is a gradient in the behavior of such people so that while all are aggressively antisocial, not all are murderous monsters like Hitler, Pol Pot, or serial killers. They all, also get their kicks from getting a rise out of people such as buzzing and now and then running cyclists down, then driving away without a smidgeon of conscience. I suspect sociopathic behavior explains forum "terrorists" who delight in derailing threads purely for amusement. In a forum with, say, 1000 readers, 40 or so are sociopaths.

The author has spent a good part of her professional career helping the victims of the abuse by sociopaths on family, coworkers or any nearby targets. When considering the high number of sociopaths, that is a lot of victims. Cyclists are just another target to act upon. I don't know what to do about this but I'm spending time thinking about it. The Sociopath Next Door: Martha Stout: 8601401295921: Amazon.com: Books
That book sounds pretty interesting, I'll probably look into picking up a copy! As you note, not all sociopaths are the same, as there is a gradient or continuum on which a sociopath might exist (sort of like the "Autism Spectrum" I guess), but it's an intriguing explanation for social behavior, especially if the numbers are that high.
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Old 11-03-14, 01:07 PM
  #28  
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Originally Posted by jwarner View Post
Tried something new today. A very visible camera mounted to my helmet. It is amazing how kind and considerate drivers can be, especially once they realize they are on camera.
I took my GoPro out on the same route this morning. I mount mine to the handlebar so it's not super visible, so maybe a helmet mount would be a good idea.
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Old 11-03-14, 01:14 PM
  #29  
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Originally Posted by kbarch View Post
The take away? There are hazards out there. Scary stuff happens: has happened to you, and you survived. Maybe you're lucky. Sometimes the best course of action when faced with a hazard is to simply not panic and to hold your line - both literally and figuratively. Keep calm and carry on.

Dave Cutter made a great point - we can never be sure of other peoples' intentions. If you ask me, assigning motive to what others do only serves to increase our stress and gets us nowhere. I'm more afraid of ruts in the road and suicidal little animals - they may not be quite as dangerous, but they are much more common in my experience.
I held my line pretty well when it happened (at least I think so). The one positive was that the minivan passed me before I really had a chance to panic or anything, just tensing up and holding straight. Interestingly, I can actually see a bump in my speed and cadence from the adrenaline boost for a little bit after it happened in the graph from my Sigma.

On my routes, I'm typically most concerned with all the hazards left in the bike lanes and occasional ruts and what not (thankfully there aren't really any animals out and about here). I really hate how landscapers will trim trees on main roads (particularly one right by my neighborhood) and leave the bike lanes littered with branch shards. The nearby cities apparently don't use street cleaners very often anymore either, because that stuff will sit around for weeks, as will broken bottles, etc.
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Old 11-03-14, 01:18 PM
  #30  
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Originally Posted by kbarch View Post
The take away? There are hazards out there. Scary stuff happens: has happened to you, and you survived. Maybe you're lucky. Sometimes the best course of action when faced with a hazard is to simply not panic and to hold your line - both literally and figuratively. Keep calm and carry on.

Dave Cutter made a great point - we can never be sure of other peoples' intentions. If you ask me, assigning motive to what others do only serves to increase our stress and gets us nowhere. I'm more afraid of ruts in the road and suicidal little animals - they may not be quite as dangerous, but they are much more common in my experience.
Very well said. My approach exactly: hold my line, constantly scan the road ahead, and don't think about it. I have a mirror, but I prefer to concentrate on objective dangers which might appear in front of me.

We have a rule in our shop: if we ever say to ourselves, "This is going well," we have just screwed up because we lost concentration for an instant. Cycling can be just like that.
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Old 11-03-14, 01:29 PM
  #31  
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Originally Posted by ckFoxTrot View Post
I took my GoPro out on the same route this morning. I mount mine to the handlebar so it's not super visible, so maybe a helmet mount would be a good idea.

Might be worth a try. I rode around downtown with mine strapped to my helmet yesterday. I would say 3 of every 5 drivers noticeably changed their behavior for the better after they saw the camera.

One Mercedes SUV was especially notable. He was riding my rear clearly pushing for a way to shoot around me. After an over-the-shoulder look (camera would really only be noticeable from front due to blinkie and headlight battery pack also zip-tied up there), he immediately backed off giving me about two car lengths, waited awhile, passed me at a reasonable speed giving me 6' of space, and then pulled back in three car lengths or so in front of me.

Thinking about getting a sign for the back of the bike that says "Uppity Bike Commuter With Camera." Seems like it would help, and be less embarrassing for those who only feel the need to behave reasonably when they are being recorded.
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Old 11-03-14, 01:57 PM
  #32  
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I really can't believe how many cyclists refuse to use a mirror. Especially racer-looking types, who are, I believe, more likely to be buzzed than non-descript commuter types.
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Old 11-03-14, 04:01 PM
  #33  
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Not really. People do that because they want to scare or piss you off. I give them neither.

If I want to be mean, I memorize their plate and give a friendly wave every time I see them in future as they catch up with me -- people are creatures of habit and tend to show up in roughly the same places at roughly the same times. If you don't play into their game and strip their anonymity at the same time, you'll often find they change the way they act.
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Old 11-03-14, 04:59 PM
  #34  
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When I know the buzzed me with the intention of doing so, it makes me furious. If there's no obvious intent, it bothers me a little, but I get over it quickly.

I've spent 5 weeks in the hospital, and a few days just clinging to life due to being hit by a truck that hit me from behind. The driver stopped and called 911 and stayed with me, trying to keep me from moving until help arrived. Accidents happen sometimes.
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Old 11-03-14, 07:19 PM
  #35  
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Originally Posted by berner View Post
In a forum with, say, 1000 readers, 40 or so are sociopaths.
I am not.
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Old 11-03-14, 07:23 PM
  #36  
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Originally Posted by rousseau View Post
I am not.
I often disagree with you, but I would not call you a psychopath.
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Old 11-03-14, 07:39 PM
  #37  
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Originally Posted by jwarner View Post
Tried something new today. A very visible camera mounted to my helmet. It is amazing how kind and considerate drivers can be, especially once they realize they are on camera.
I have cameras front and rear in our two primary cars. Typically a car will come up pretty close (well under 0.5 second gap, typically 0.1-0.2 second gap), stay there for 5-20 seconds, then back off to something like a 2-3 second gap. I started using the rear when the Missus was pregnant, to encourage people to increase stopping distances. Front camera is for my own record, I capture some interesting stuff like when people race through a stop sign to beat me after I've stopped (in other words they don't stop at all), or those that enter the intersection while I am in it.

My goal is not to capture interesting stuff, it's to discourage poor driving. It works really well for the rear cam during the day. At night, not so much, because the cameras aren't visible. The camera to the front is mainly for me, meaning it keeps me totally honest, and it also captures stuff from the front.

Entering intersection after stopping at stop sign (another car already went across my bow, from in front of the silver Honda Fit):


Silver Honda Fit accelerates into intersection while I'm in it. I honked, the driver slammed on the brakes. I don't think the driver ever saw me. And I was in a car! I have similar pictures from my helmet cam while riding.


Originally Posted by ckFoxTrot View Post
(story)

I wish I would have had my GoPro during that ride. I take it out selectively but maybe I'll start running it full time to capture the unexpected (good or bad).
I ride with a helmet cam all the time, mainly for morbid reasons. If I don't come back from a ride, or if I'm found in a vegetative state, I'd like to be able to tell my side of the story.

This is a training ride, my teammate is in front of me. Obviously this was extreme, since I saved a still etc. Truck is going 35-40 mph, we're going 21 mph or so. Totally legal pass. Teammate is a legislative lawyer so he understands what the implications of legal wording etc are, and he knew that this was not an illegal pass. It did scare him a bit - he was ducking to the right because the bumper was so close to him. He barely moved but I think even a quarter inch movement would have helped him. We reported to police simply to get the plate/driver on record in case he does something similar and it ends up worse.


In my home area I got intentionally buzzed two separate times by different vehicles such that the driver actually lost control of their vehicle. One was a work cargo van, they ended up dropping a tire off the pavement, the other was a Jeep Cherokee, it dropped both right side tires well off the pavement. Unfortunately for whatever reason I didn't have the helmet cam running at the time (rebooting etc). Other buzzes not so dramatic. I did reboot and capture both plates, but with no proof, couldn't even report them. The cargo van driver walked up to me and laughed. I don't think he realized I had a camera on my helmet. He said that "it'll be important to get the plate number for when I call the police". He obviously knew what he did and he was pretty proud of it.

In SoCal I got buzz-buzzed by a black pickup truck (pre-helmet cam times). The driver carefully passed me such that the passenger side mirror passed OVER my helmet. I thought it was accidental until the driver did the same thing to the rider in front of me - slowed, moved over, and carefully passed the mirror over the next rider's head/helmet. I sprinted after the truck (this was near the power plant in Carlsbad), caught up to it as the busy part of Carlsbad (by the Starbucks). I went to ride up next to the driver. He peeled out of the straight lane, crossed into the left side of the road, and took a right through a red light. This is a really busy intersection, many lanes, many cars, and it was really unusual to have someone drive like that.

A couple/few years later I read about a rider that was killed nearby (Encinitas, which is where I rode if I headed south on the PCH) when a same make model color pickup truck hit a rider on the head with their mirror. I don't know if it's the same driver but the scene described in the news report seemed very similar to what happened to me, just to a taller rider.

Originally Posted by berner View Post
I'm just now reading a book entitled "The Sociopath Next Door" written by a woman who is a clinical psychologist and was for 25 years on the faculty of the psychology department of the Harvard Medical School. I'm only half way through the book but already there has been the startling revelation that 1 in 25, (4%) of the population are sociopaths. It is startling also to realize that these people have no conscience or compassion whatever. There is a gradient in the behavior of such people so that while all are aggressively antisocial, not all are murderous monsters like Hitler, Pol Pot, or serial killers. They all, also get their kicks from getting a rise out of people such as buzzing and now and then running cyclists down, then driving away without a smidgeon of conscience. I suspect sociopathic behavior explains forum "terrorists" who delight in derailing threads purely for amusement. In a forum with, say, 1000 readers, 40 or so are sociopaths.

The author has spent a good part of her professional career helping the victims of the abuse by sociopaths on family, coworkers or any nearby targets. When considering the high number of sociopaths, that is a lot of victims. Cyclists are just another target to act upon. I don't know what to do about this but I'm spending time thinking about it. The Sociopath Next Door: Martha Stout: 8601401295921: Amazon.com: Books
It seems the numbers range from 1-4%, with some numbers I see closer to 1-2%. It's still high - out of every 50 cars that pass by there will be one driver that absolutely doesn't care about you. This is true whether you're on the bike, in a car, in a movie theater, whatever.

The turtle study is an interesting semi-relevant thing to riding on the road, due to the inequality in physical presence and the anonymity of driving a vehicle.
Some Drivers Intentionally Run Over Turtles, Clemson Student Finds During Experiment (VIDEO)
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Old 11-03-14, 07:51 PM
  #38  
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Originally Posted by ursle View Post
We all need to make a conscious effort to catch plate numbers .......
A federal website aimed toward collecting data shouldn't be out of reach, ..... no more insane drivers (they are insane,the buzzers)
Yes if we all help the government spy on us... and report on each other.... no one will be insane. And we'll all be safe and happy!

Or... every living thing also dies at some point. Cameras and pictures and being spiteful doesn't make life longer (although it may seem longer). And being afraid won't make life happy ether. Man-up, discard your fears, and enjoy your ride.
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Old 11-03-14, 09:02 PM
  #39  
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Originally Posted by Dave Cutter View Post
Yes if we all help the government spy on us... and report on each other.... no one will be insane. And we'll all be safe and happy!

Or... every living thing also dies at some point. Cameras and pictures and being spiteful doesn't make life longer (although it may seem longer). And being afraid won't make life happy ether. Man-up, discard your fears, and enjoy your ride.
There's no middle ground between a spy state and anarchy?
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Old 11-03-14, 09:37 PM
  #40  
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With over 300,000 miles (right amount of zeroes) of bicycling on singles and tandem bikes under the belt, have been hit 4 times. Each time driver claimed 'did not see you' even though wearing obnoxious bright jerseys.
Survived all of them with minor injuries although two were at 45 mph hit from behind and one head-on by a turning car driven by a teen out on his first solo car ride. Each time driver was ticketed; one had license suspended for 90 days and another lost his restricted drivers license.
Worst intentional vehicular attack was me riding single bike back in the early '70s on the right side of a 2-lane the road inMichigan. No other traffic except a car coming toward me from the other direction.
Said car intentionally swerved into my lane and came at me head on. Figured, 'hell I'm dead!' Did not make a dive for edge of the road but switched to middle of my lane and faced the attacker head on. He chickened out and swerved back into his proper lane . . . he had a disbelieving/terrified look on his face and hopefully crapped in his pants.
As for me, shaking a bit after the face-off.
Having said that, have had worse experiences, but not on the bike.
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Old 11-03-14, 10:11 PM
  #41  
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Originally Posted by Velo Vol View Post
There's no middle ground between a spy state and anarchy?
Anarchy? I didn't post anything about anarchy. I can't even spell anarchy! Don't report me.

The police or whatever branch of government you think can be utilized to calm traffic fears.... will not work. Although spiritual beliefs are innate and it is currently fashionable to "believe" in government.... government is not God. However it is correct to look to your spiritual side to learn how to deal with your fears.

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Old 11-03-14, 10:38 PM
  #42  
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saw a picture of a guy with 'open carry' printed on his jersey. Don't know if was or wasn't.
I'm guessing nobody wanted to find out.
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Old 11-03-14, 11:18 PM
  #43  
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Originally Posted by jgadamski View Post
saw a picture of a guy with 'open carry' printed on his jersey. Don't know if was or wasn't.
I'm guessing nobody wanted to find out.
When riding this morning I was wondering what sort of effect "You're On Camera" would have on the back of a jersey (or even as a vinyl car window decal when driving).
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Old 11-03-14, 11:25 PM
  #44  
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Nobody in a car can read your jersey.
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Old 11-03-14, 11:48 PM
  #45  
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It's bizarre behavior and attitude. I don't understand why any driver would hate a cyclist on the road, they aren't doing anything to them. Aren't making their drive to wherever going any slower. Certainly don't pose any danger. And worst on top of it, cyclists are humans. Why would they want to hurt or kill another person? How is that different from hitting someone with your car as they are walking around minding their own business?

I've noticed if I'm at a busy intersection without lights, cars won't stop to let me cross if I'm on the bike. But if I"m off of it, and walk across, I can cross easily, they will slow down and let me cross. But if I'm on, it's like a race to see if they can either hit me or cut me off.
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Old 11-04-14, 08:44 AM
  #46  
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Originally Posted by f4rrest View Post
Nobody in a car can read your jersey.

Test that claim. Ride with a jersey that reads"Drivers Are [Insert really derogatory term, like F***ots] in big, bold letters.
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Old 11-04-14, 09:36 AM
  #47  
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Originally Posted by Bunyanderman View Post
Does it annoy you guys if you are riding on a two lane road, and an idiot decides to pass cars coming at you? Usually the cars passes at excess of 80mph and go right by me.
Yes it does but do not assume they see you either!
Never assume anyone has seen you, I know were I'm going and doing its the other guy I or you need to worry about.
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Old 11-05-14, 03:47 PM
  #48  
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Originally Posted by Bunyanderman View Post
Does it annoy you guys if you are riding on a two lane road, and an idiot decides to pass cars coming at you? Usually the cars passes at excess of 80mph and go right by me.
I've also been on two lane roads with extra wide shoulders where the passing car took the shoulder or passed when there was obviously a car coming forcing them on the shoulder. Not fun if you're a cyclist who happens to be there.

I have personally witnessed quite a bit of unbelievably stupid driving, some of which resulted in accidents (in more than one case fatal) right before my eyes.
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Old 11-05-14, 03:56 PM
  #49  
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call the police and report it
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Old 11-05-14, 04:37 PM
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jwarner
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Originally Posted by jgadamski View Post
saw a picture of a guy with 'open carry' printed on his jersey. Don't know if was or wasn't.
I'm guessing nobody wanted to find out.
I've often thought of strapping on my old .44 mag S&W hog leg (a tool carried when I am playing in really bad bear country) just to see how that would change the situation. Honestly I wouldn't do this, as I don't think it is wise, it could go off the hook way too quick, and I have no interest in capping a human (or much of anything these days), but it would be an interesting study of human behavior -- especially up here where we are generally more used to, and accepting of firearms.

There is a Dirty Harry meme here somewhere, I know it.
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