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Does intentional buzzing affect you much?

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Does intentional buzzing affect you much?

Old 11-02-14, 04:43 PM
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ckFoxTrot
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Does intentional buzzing affect you much?

On Friday I was out for a mid-day ride on a ~23mi route I routinely follow. Near home, during a gap in traffic with no other vehicles nearby, a red minivan decided to speed excessively by me, laying on their horn once right behind/beside me, while swerving dangerously close, attempting to run me off the road. The driver gave me the finger out of their window once past (I gave them one too, which I feel bad about... crazy huh?), turned on their left turn signal, and made a lane change into the left lane. I was moving along around 18/19mph (with some tailwind). After a bit over a year of routine/serious riding, this is the most aggressive driver I have encountered and I'm still pretty irked about it (and I'm glad I haven't experienced the horror stories others here have).

While the vast majority of this particular route has bike lanes, this section of road (2 lanes each way) doesn't. I'm still coming to grips with how far out in the lane I should ride in these circumstances, and thus even hug the inside closer than I probably should.

This has put me in a sour mood with regard to heading out for a ride the last two days. How often do you all experience this sort of phenomenon, how do you respond, and do you get over it pretty quickly? What should I take away from this experience?

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).
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Old 11-02-14, 04:59 PM
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If its clear they did so with intention, yeah, its not easy to take. Happened to me through town recently where I was actually taking my place keeping up with traffic...speed limit 25 mph...guy went by/around me and was only inches away.
The thing you have to ask is...is it ever worth getting in an altercation over. Not easy. I had to use restraint not to run down the jack ass that did that, unclip and kick in his quarter panel. But then its game on including the cops...police reports or even worse...if the nut job has a gunn.

Only thing I can suggest is...in my town and routes around it are cycling friendly for the most part. But no doubt in America there are places that are not cycling friendly. For these places you may want to consider dedicated bike paths to scratch your cycling itch and stay out of harms way.

Last edited by Campag4life; 11-02-14 at 05:04 PM.
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Old 11-02-14, 05:04 PM
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We really need a public awareness campaign that runs commercials on TV and radio that explains that bikes have the right to the lane, etc. There's probably more about this in the advocacy forum, but IMO people need to understand that they can be cited and fined for screwing with a bike.
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Old 11-02-14, 05:23 PM
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Originally Posted by ckFoxTrot View Post
What should I take away from this experience?
Stay heads-ups and ride your own ride.
OR:
Re-post this thread in the Advocacy & Safety sub-forum so it can drone on for 10-12 pages of useless indignant blood pressure raising vituperation.

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Old 11-02-14, 05:30 PM
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I've been buzzed a few times, not in the same overtly hostile manner of the guy in the OP, but anytime we are buzzed it is a negative experience. I always restrain myself from any kind of hostile reaction, shooting birds or whatever. I figure they are in a 2 ton vehicle, if they are goofy enough to buzz me when I don't provoke the incident, what are they going to do if I do respond with a curse or whatever. They can always come back and little old me is no match for an intentional hit by a car.
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Old 11-02-14, 05:40 PM
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I always leave the flash on with my smartphone, and I can get ready to take a picture as soon as I pull my phone out. It's helped in many urban situations to make an intentional "driver rights" move move in my direction. Drivers with such idiocy are urked that they've been taken in a picture.

I'll always remember the time a big 4x4 driver honked as he went by me (despite the large shoulder I was on in the road), so I did my smartphone move and he obviously noticed, because he peeled off. His loss of rubber
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Old 11-02-14, 05:43 PM
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What annoys me most is the intention, not the actual buzz (usually). I've been buzzed a few times but I never was really in danger. OTOH, a friend of mine was hit by a pickup truck mirror in a too-close-buzz, had a broken arm and lots of road rash.
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Old 11-02-14, 05:55 PM
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I wonder if it would do any good to contact local officials about starting a public awareness campaign. We have "share the road" signs, typically where bike lanes are absent, but that's about it. I could see a more substantial campaign doing a lot of good, though I'm not sure how likely it would be.

I agree with not responding to aggressive drivers. No need to do anything that might escalate the situation, especially with how many crazy people there are in the world.

Biking in my area is decent but far from ideal. Most of the roads experience heavy traffic and are standard 45mph city roads. People like to drive at least 10mph over. City roads (not residential) with lower speed limits and/or school zones make absolutely no difference. People treat them as 45mph roads, thus effectively going 50+ through 35mph or slower roads (the low speed limit roads close to the entrance to South Mountain come to mind). There are bike lanes but not enough. There are some MUPs but they don't offer substantial distance and are populated by their own variety of morons (and in a few places crossing signals have buttons located on poles/posts set back from the sidewalk surrounded by small sized river type rocks, spilling out onto the sidewalk ).

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Old 11-02-14, 05:59 PM
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Originally Posted by Reynolds View Post
What annoys me most is the intention, not the actual buzz (usually). I've been buzzed a few times but I never was really in danger. OTOH, a friend of mine was hit by a pickup truck mirror in a too-close-buzz, had a broken arm and lots of road rash.
Ya, that's what really bothers me about this experience was the intent behind it. Being passed closely can be unnerving but it's an entirely different feeling when it's intentional and they are inches from contact.

Hope your friend recovered well and the driver of the truck was held accountable.
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Old 11-02-14, 06:04 PM
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The other night my wife and I went for a walk in the neighborhood. A passing automobile honked and waved at us.... although we didn't know who they were.

People do that... They think they know someone because of their general appearance and location. So they honk and wave... or worse. People see the guy on the Red Bicycle [again] and they assume you are the one that flipped-the-bird to grandma or there 16 year old daughter. And... maybe you are! Or maybe the next guy on the Red Bicycle will get buzzed as pay back for the profane gesture you gave.

I got buzzed really close (less than a foot away) by a small (and I think young) lady in a speeding late model Buick... with a nice peril-white finish. It scared me briefly. It can be difficult to distinguish fear from anger when it happens quickly like that. Ether way... I discarded the feeling when I exhaled. I saw the woman look in her rearview mirror. I chose not to smile (or wave). I just kept spinning.

Traffic is just traffic. The potential for car-ouchies will always be with us. If that minor crap bothered me...... I'd play golf.
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Old 11-02-14, 06:04 PM
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It makes me give them the middle finger, when I think they are looking in the rear view mirror once they passed me...
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Old 11-02-14, 06:22 PM
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Get a camera and give the local PD a plate number w/the vid

Basic virbs are now about 130 and gopro just came out with an entry level camera at 130 as well. Virb is a better deal due to memory & removable battery but both will get the job done
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Old 11-02-14, 06:22 PM
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I used to get buzzed often, quit that stuff years ago.
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Old 11-02-14, 06:30 PM
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Originally Posted by Team Sarcasm View Post
Get a camera and give the local PD a plate number w/the vid

Basic virbs are now about 130 and gopro just came out with an entry level camera at 130 as well. Virb is a better deal due to memory & removable battery but both will get the job done
Girl friend 4$, bike 11$... I think you have things backwards... You need to see a professional...

Last edited by 350htrr; 11-02-14 at 06:38 PM. Reason: fix grammar
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Old 11-02-14, 06:34 PM
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Originally Posted by 350htrr View Post
Girl friend 4$, bike 11$... I think you have things backwards... You need to a professional...

$=967.48

But yes, I do need to man up and spend more on the bike.
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Old 11-02-14, 06:35 PM
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We all need to make a conscious effort to catch plate numbers of aggressive cars and motorcycles, enough is enough.
A federal website aimed toward collecting data shouldn't be out of reach, won't be long before the computer of oz runs bicycle traffic as well as auto traffic, but, when it runs auto traffic.... no more insane drivers (they are insane,the buzzers)
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Old 11-02-14, 07:13 PM
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Originally Posted by cydewaze View Post
We really need a public awareness campaign that...
The public is aware, they just don't give a damn.


/rear-ended and left lying on the street in the pouring rain and my own running blood...
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Old 11-02-14, 09:14 PM
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I've not been buzzed in a long time. When I did I always gave them the finger and hoped they would stop...
Had a couple of kids drive by me a year or so ago. When they passed the passenger leaned out the window and screamed at me at the top of his lungs as they drove by.
I saw the car gassing up several miles up the road, close to my home. I rode over to the car and took pictures of the driver, passenger, plates and car. When the driver asked what the hell I was doing I told him I was getting pics of the morons that assaulted me so I could turn them over to the state police when I got home. The kid turned white and told the passenger he was an *******. I went to the passenger side and said the same thing asking if he wanted to get out of the car or should I drag him out and beat his ass...the kid was quite scared and apologized...I told the driver I was keeping the pics "just in case".
That is the worst incident I've had here in the ten years I've lived here...very nice area to ride
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Old 11-02-14, 09:14 PM
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Originally Posted by JeremyLC View Post
The public is aware, they just don't give a damn.
Some may know, but most don't. Very often when I tell people I ride, they ask me why I ride on roads where bikes are "illegal because they can't go the speed limit" and why I don't ride on paths or sideWALKs where "bikes belong". I explain reality to them nicely, and since I work for the US Dept of Transportation, they usually believe me. I explain safe passing to them and why cyclists often take the lane on blind turns and hills. They seem to get it once it's explained to them.

Sure, there are a lot who won't give a blank, but I think if there were some publicized (hefty) fines and losses of licenses for screwing with cyclists, it would help things a lot. Especially if those drivers knew they might end up staring in a GoPro video.
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Old 11-02-14, 10:16 PM
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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.
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Old 11-02-14, 10:35 PM
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Yeah, it has an effect. We had a buzzer on a group ride when one of the riders gave him the finger. The guy went up the road out of sight, turned around and came back fast on the wrong side of the road and tried to kill us all, coming right down the fog line. Everyone went into the ditch, a few scrapes and some wheels needed truing. Nothing broken. The spoken rule is now "smile and wave!" Fixed that BS tough guy attitude right now.

We later had a rider killed in our pace line, nothing like that, just a very weird druggie/mental case. We don't have exoskeletons.
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Old 11-02-14, 10:47 PM
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Originally Posted by Carbonfiberboy View Post

We later had a rider killed in our pace line, nothing like that, just a very weird druggie/mental case. We don't have exoskeletons.
********************????
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Old 11-03-14, 12:16 AM
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Originally Posted by bt View Post
********************????
Driver coming in the opposite direction made a sharp left turn where there was no intersection, came across the road and killed our rider. No obvious reason. As Leonard Cohen sang, "And who shall I say is calling?"
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Old 11-03-14, 01:16 AM
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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.
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Old 11-03-14, 04:45 AM
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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.
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