Go Back  Bike Forums > Bike Forums > Singlespeed & Fixed Gear
Reload this Page >

Keeping your cool in the face of death

Notices
Singlespeed & Fixed Gear "I still feel that variable gears are only for people over forty-five. Isn't it better to triumph by the strength of your muscles than by the artifice of a derailer? We are getting soft...As for me, give me a fixed gear!"-- Henri Desgrange (31 January 1865 - 16 August 1940)

Keeping your cool in the face of death

Old 02-18-09, 08:30 AM
  #1  
Guvna
Not a dick.
Thread Starter
 
Guvna's Avatar
 
Join Date: Aug 2008
Location: Philly.
Posts: 463
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 0 Post(s)
Likes: 0
Liked 0 Times in 0 Posts
Keeping your cool in the face of death

So on the morning commute today a cab not only cut me off but came to an instant stop smack dab in the middle of a green bike nyc lane. I managed to just barely stop before slamming into the side of it (thank you front brake!), clipped out and slapped the passenger side window HARD. He rolled it down and told me I was crazy and I need to pay attention and what not, which just made me angrier. I don't even want to write down half the things I said, but they were many a fighting word before I stated flatly, with my head practically inside his window: "Go. THE ****! Away." Which he did.

I'm only now cooling down from the situation and feeling that weird sort of embarrassment and regret that comes after losing your temper; a sensation I'm not accustomed to because, off the bike, it's almost impossible to make me lose my temper. I do, often times, ride like I have a death wish-- I should have more control than that.

So does anyone have a happy place they go to during times like this? Is there something you do or tell yourself to keep you from turning a near accident into a serious confrontation? Maybe I just need to start meditating or something..

Last edited by Guvna; 02-18-09 at 12:38 PM.
Guvna is offline  
Old 02-18-09, 09:29 AM
  #2  
LoRoK
a.k.a. QUADZILLA
 
LoRoK's Avatar
 
Join Date: May 2007
Location: Denver
Posts: 1,505

Bikes: Super Pista, Basso, Big Dummy

Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 0 Post(s)
Likes: 0
Liked 0 Times in 0 Posts
Sometimes I freak the **** out, sometimes I just keep on riding. I haven't quite figured out how to not get all bike-rage, but I try. I haven't spit on anyone in almost a year, which is good. Haven't broken a mirror in over a year. Haven't verbally assaulted anyone in a few months. I never expect to do that when I do, so I don't know what the cause or solution is. Just keep trying to "feel the zen" I guess.
LoRoK is offline  
Old 02-18-09, 09:36 AM
  #3  
Dannihilator
Still kicking.
 
Dannihilator's Avatar
 
Join Date: Oct 2002
Location: Annandale, New Jersey
Posts: 19,658

Bikes: Bike Count: Rising.

Mentioned: 6 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 145 Post(s)
Liked 27 Times in 20 Posts
I went of on people twice last year. First was in the fall where some jackass in a volvo suv almost squeezes me into the curb when I had the lane and was coming to a red.

Second time was a guy yapping on his cellphone back in December while in his Nissan Path Finder nearly T-bones me by starting to blow off the stop sign, the whole time I had signaled a left turn.
__________________
Appreciate the old bikes more than the new.
Dannihilator is offline  
Old 02-18-09, 09:49 AM
  #4  
fordfasterr
One speed: FAST !
 
fordfasterr's Avatar
 
Join Date: Dec 2005
Location: Ft. Lauderdale FL
Posts: 3,375

Bikes: Ebay Bikes... =)

Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 0 Post(s)
Likes: 0
Liked 0 Times in 0 Posts
you should have done some damage to the vehicle as a reminder to the driver of his mistake.
fordfasterr is offline  
Old 02-18-09, 10:14 AM
  #5  
Guvna
Not a dick.
Thread Starter
 
Guvna's Avatar
 
Join Date: Aug 2008
Location: Philly.
Posts: 463
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 0 Post(s)
Likes: 0
Liked 0 Times in 0 Posts
Originally Posted by fordfasterr View Post
you should have done some damage to the vehicle as a reminder to the driver of his mistake.
Well, judging from the look on his face before taking off, he wont forget any time soon.

I don't know. I guess I just need to not take it so personally, which is really hard for obvious reasons, it being my life and all.
Guvna is offline  
Old 02-18-09, 10:15 AM
  #6  
504-ranger
Member
 
Join Date: Jan 2009
Posts: 44
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 0 Post(s)
Likes: 0
Liked 0 Times in 0 Posts
key up the side when you yell at him next time....
504-ranger is offline  
Old 02-18-09, 11:18 AM
  #7  
Cynikal 
Team Beer
 
Cynikal's Avatar
 
Join Date: Apr 2004
Location: Sacramento CA
Posts: 6,190

Bikes: Too Many

Mentioned: 2 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 71 Post(s)
Liked 75 Times in 51 Posts
I usually find my happy place when I'm riding away and they are picking up pieces of the side mirror off the ground. Sometimes a mini Ulock in the back pocket is a great tool for anger.
__________________
I'm not one for fawning over bicycles, but I do believe that our bikes communicate with us, and what this bike is saying is, "You're an idiot." BikeSnobNYC
Cynikal is offline  
Old 02-18-09, 11:37 AM
  #8  
Aries
Senior Member
 
Aries's Avatar
 
Join Date: Sep 2008
Location: Delaware
Posts: 296
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 0 Post(s)
Likes: 0
Liked 0 Times in 0 Posts
I feel your anger bro but for christ sake it's spelled lose, NOT loose. Loose means slack/not tight.
Aries is offline  
Old 02-18-09, 11:39 AM
  #9  
pawn
Senior Member
 
Join Date: Oct 2008
Posts: 95
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 1 Post(s)
Likes: 0
Liked 0 Times in 0 Posts
I don't find my zen place...I let it be known that I'm angry. Bottling it up is unhealthy.

Cue the fear lifers telling you "you never know who's carrying a gun..."
pawn is offline  
Old 02-18-09, 12:05 PM
  #10  
LeCollectif
Senior Member
 
Join Date: Jul 2008
Location: Vancouver, BC
Posts: 221
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 0 Post(s)
Likes: 0
Liked 0 Times in 0 Posts
I have issues with this too. Just last night, I had an SUV creep up behind me. When I realized he was there, I moved further to the right so he could get by. In the process of doing this, he slams down his gas and misses me by about 6 inches (which doesn't sound close, but is), only to have to stop at a stop sign 30 feet away. I chase the guy for a couple of blocks and catch him as he's pulling into his underground parking lot. He was a man in his 50s with his wife. I ask him to roll down the window and explain to him (in a not very friendly tone) that I was trying to get out of his way, and gunning it past me only to arrive at a stop sign was extremely dangerous and juvenile. He then told me that he was, too, a cyclist, and that I shouldn't be on the road. I laugh at him, mentioned something about his age/weight ratio and his capacity to even walk a few blocks when he told me he was going to punch me in my f*ggot face. At that point, I started to pedal around the front of his car to leave as the conversation was going nowhere fast. He revs his engine, moves about a foot and then brakes before I've passed the front of his car. I'm assuming this was supposed to be some sort of threat or expression of alpha-maleness. So then, while safely beside his car, I smack the back window and pedal away.

2 minutes later I hear an engine gunning down the street behind me. I look back and it's the same guy in his SUV. After quickly assessing how the conversation went, how it ended and the driver's propensity for anger, I darted down an alleyway. I then hear more engine revving with the added bonus of squealing tires, and at that point realized this had turned into a full on chase. It lasted a couple of blocks, and he caught up to me by swerving into another alley, narrowly missing a group of pedestrians who then started yelling at him. I looked at him, laughed, and started riding down a normally busy one-way street (which was free of traffic at the time), knowing he wouldn't dare follow.

I'm not sure if he was trying to hit me or scare me. Had this escalated to the point of violence, I would almost certainly be the one charged. It took so much to keep as cool as I did, which really wasn't very cool at all.

Anyway, I think the bottom line is that drivers seem completely insensitive to the vulnerability of cyclists, viewing them as a burden or an inconvenience on the road. I think this is why we lose our sh*t when this sort of thing happens.

Cue "U-lock Justice".
LeCollectif is offline  
Old 02-18-09, 12:14 PM
  #11  
ZiP0082
Senior Member
 
ZiP0082's Avatar
 
Join Date: May 2008
Location: Brooklyn, NY
Posts: 1,703

Bikes: 2008 Mercier Kilo TT

Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 0 Post(s)
Likes: 0
Liked 0 Times in 0 Posts
LeCollectif: in the US, we like to think there's no anger or violence in Canada, the whole scenario sounds like crappy middle-America where the car is king Sucks.

Guvna: I hear you. It seems to be an instant defense mechanism, the adrinaline rush that leads to immediate cursing. I do always try to reassure myself after an incident that there's no reason to hold a grudge or stay angry, because that defeats the pleasure one gets out of riding in the first place. Its especially crappy on a morning commute if something like that goes down (though, on evening commutes it can put you in a bad mood for the rest of the night as well).
ZiP0082 is offline  
Old 02-18-09, 12:43 PM
  #12  
peabodypride
No plan.
 
peabodypride's Avatar
 
Join Date: May 2007
Location: PA
Posts: 2,743
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 0 Post(s)
Likes: 0
Liked 0 Times in 0 Posts
I flip out on cabbies all the time. Once one pulled right in front of my on Market West so I yelled as loud as I could in his window at the next red light. He just started talking to his South African buddy in the cab next to him and ignored me.

It's a nice place to take out anger.
peabodypride is offline  
Old 02-18-09, 12:54 PM
  #13  
LeCollectif
Senior Member
 
Join Date: Jul 2008
Location: Vancouver, BC
Posts: 221
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 0 Post(s)
Likes: 0
Liked 0 Times in 0 Posts
Originally Posted by ZiP0082 View Post
LeCollectif: in the US, we like to think there's no anger or violence in Canada, the whole scenario sounds like crappy middle-America where the car is king Sucks.
I suppose you harbour/harbor as many stereotypes about us as we do of you. But the fact of the matter is that any urban setting in North America will have paralleling issues, lifestyles, etc. The car IS king everywhere.

You're quite right though, getting angry only takes away from the joys of cycling.

Yoga, lithium; take your pick.
LeCollectif is offline  
Old 02-18-09, 01:12 PM
  #14  
Sikbug
Senior Member
 
Sikbug's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jul 2008
Location: NYC
Posts: 134
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 0 Post(s)
Likes: 0
Liked 0 Times in 0 Posts
In my worst moments, I sometimes really wish I had one of those emergency glass breakers to carry around with me. It's really hard to deal with, cabs are usually the ones that do this the most and they just really don't give a ****. Cool down time is the only thing that works for me.
Sikbug is offline  
Old 02-18-09, 01:13 PM
  #15  
brandonspeck
everyday I'm hustlin'
 
brandonspeck's Avatar
 
Join Date: Aug 2008
Location: Portland, OR
Posts: 453

Bikes: Surly Crosscheck, Surly Steamrolla

Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 0 Post(s)
Likes: 0
Liked 0 Times in 0 Posts
I'm a fairly calm person, but I've noticed that the adrenaline that you get from working out on the bike sometimes sparks those instant rage moments, therefore it's a lot harder to keep your cool. I notice that on those hot summer days when I'm really exerting myself I'm really quick to anger over little things that usually I'd never get angry about, and it's probably because of the adrenaline.

But I've also noticed that doing anything to the car only makes you more angry. I've gone as far as banged on a few windows, and it only accelerated my rage.
brandonspeck is offline  
Old 02-18-09, 01:14 PM
  #16  
Sikbug
Senior Member
 
Sikbug's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jul 2008
Location: NYC
Posts: 134
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 0 Post(s)
Likes: 0
Liked 0 Times in 0 Posts
Originally Posted by pawn View Post
I don't find my zen place...I let it be known that I'm angry. Bottling it up is unhealthy.

Cue the fear lifers telling you "you never know who's carrying a gun..."
You know in NYC, that is something to think about. I've heard horror stories of people messing around with the wrong person. It also maybe a off duty cop and we all know they don't think twice about killing someone and getting away with it.
Sikbug is offline  
Old 02-18-09, 01:27 PM
  #17  
elTwitcho
Live without dead time
 
Join Date: Jun 2008
Location: Toronto
Posts: 2,136
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 0 Post(s)
Likes: 0
Liked 0 Times in 0 Posts
Originally Posted by LeCollectif View Post
You're quite right though, getting angry only takes away from the joys of cycling.
And that's just it. All the times I've gotten really pissed off it's ruined my ride.

I've done meditation and basically what it boils down to is detaching from your thoughts and letting them go by your conscious mind. That works as well for emotions and physical sensations, so if someone nearly kills you if you're disciplined you can let the anger just pass you by and remain detached from it. I try my best to do this whenever I can, which isn't always, but it's most of the time.
elTwitcho is offline  
Old 02-18-09, 02:45 PM
  #18  
Guvna
Not a dick.
Thread Starter
 
Guvna's Avatar
 
Join Date: Aug 2008
Location: Philly.
Posts: 463
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 0 Post(s)
Likes: 0
Liked 0 Times in 0 Posts
Originally Posted by Aries View Post
I feel your anger bro but for christ sake it's spelled lose, NOT loose. Loose means slack/not tight.


Originally Posted by ZiP0082 View Post
Guvna: I hear you. It seems to be an instant defense mechanism, the adrinaline rush that leads to immediate cursing. I do always try to reassure myself after an incident that there's no reason to hold a grudge or stay angry, because that defeats the pleasure one gets out of riding in the first place. Its especially crappy on a morning commute if something like that goes down (though, on evening commutes it can put you in a bad mood for the rest of the night as well).
Very true sir: What's the point if you're just going be angry all the time? I usually find that, unless someone's driving is so bad that it forces me to un-clip (or fall/crash), the anger passes within a block or two and my mind just wanders onto more pressing things. But when I'm made to stop riding, that's when I really lose it. To be honest, my rage in this situation dissappated to something more like embarrassment; the guy should have been paying more attention, but, again, I do ride very aggressively, and if a car's blind spot is big enough that a car can go unseen, certainly cyclists can appear out of nowhere sometimes.

Whatever, if it makes him more attentive on that street and me a little more weary, it was for the best.
Guvna is offline  
Old 02-18-09, 02:50 PM
  #19  
Guvna
Not a dick.
Thread Starter
 
Guvna's Avatar
 
Join Date: Aug 2008
Location: Philly.
Posts: 463
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 0 Post(s)
Likes: 0
Liked 0 Times in 0 Posts
Originally Posted by elTwitcho View Post
I've done meditation and basically what it boils down to is detaching from your thoughts and letting them go by your conscious mind. That works as well for emotions and physical sensations, so if someone nearly kills you if you're disciplined you can let the anger just pass you by and remain detached from it.
This is something I need to research/think about/try. If all it can do is making riding more pleasurable, so it's surely worth the effort.
Guvna is offline  
Old 02-18-09, 03:33 PM
  #20  
Santaria
Senior Member
 
Santaria's Avatar
 
Join Date: Apr 2005
Location: Brownsville, TX
Posts: 2,174

Bikes: Surly CC

Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 0 Post(s)
Likes: 0
Liked 0 Times in 0 Posts
I've had a few scares over the years.

Recently, I had a situation where someone tried to get violent with me, much like your situation LeClif, the difference was by the time he caught up with me, I already had out my cell phone and was screaming into it:

Oh MY ****ING GOD - I THINK HE'S ARMED, and started yelling out his license plate number, then paused while looking him dead in the eyes and then proceeded to scream again "He just pointed something at the freeway, help!"

Needless to say, he burned rubber so fast I swear I could still smell the ****pile he left, considering he was halfway out of his door and I was already unhitching my bike chain I carry for self defense.

I haven't had any other problems here, but I do get a lot of concerned comments from my coworkers. I always have to explain that if someone wants the bike bad enough, they're going to walk away feeling different after I lash the **** out of them with my whip.

If they want to kill me, well, I'm going to die one way or another - but they're going to get a long lasting reminder from me - no matter what I have to do to make it happen.

I honestly try to avoid conflicts with cars, not because I care about them being weaponized, but because I hate that heated feeling without someone to choke the **** out of or a kitten to kick.

Stay calm, remember they're in a car, angry, smelling the refuge from too many trips to the fast food restaurants and afraid someone younger/fitter/happier is ****ing them over in some way, shape or form.
Santaria is offline  
Old 02-18-09, 03:54 PM
  #21  
LeCollectif
Senior Member
 
Join Date: Jul 2008
Location: Vancouver, BC
Posts: 221
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 0 Post(s)
Likes: 0
Liked 0 Times in 0 Posts
For a forum that's usually filled with vitriol and snobbery, it's nice to see a handful of members come together for productive discussion and experience sharing every so often.
LeCollectif is offline  
Old 02-18-09, 03:59 PM
  #22  
timmhaan
more ape than man
 
timmhaan's Avatar
 
Join Date: Nov 2003
Location: nyc
Posts: 8,094
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 4 Post(s)
Likes: 0
Liked 2 Times in 1 Post
the only thing that's consistently kept me out of trouble is just turning down a side road right after something happens. then i don't feel the temptation to catch up to the person at a light and start something.
timmhaan is offline  
Old 02-18-09, 04:21 PM
  #23  
devilshaircut
Senior Member
 
devilshaircut's Avatar
 
Join Date: Oct 2008
Location: Atlanta
Posts: 1,382

Bikes: Mercier Kilo TT Pro, Schwinn Le Tour Conversion, Free Spirit polo beater, Cervelo P2T, aluminum tandem.

Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 0 Post(s)
Likes: 0
Liked 0 Times in 0 Posts
IMO you have to go ape***** on someone who does something ridiculously dangerous to a cyclist to get their attention, or they will totally keep doing it and get someone killed.

EDIT: Although it sucks when the other person wants to get violent. A few months ago at Mass, some guy got out and tried to take one of the cyclists down with a wrench. Bad idea considering there were a ton of cyclists and just 1 guy with a wrench. Anyhow, moral of the story is, you are on a bike, and when they get out of the car there is no way they are going to touch you. But they MIGHT put a bullet in your ass.
devilshaircut is offline  
Old 02-19-09, 12:10 AM
  #24  
jakerock
helmet brake
 
jakerock's Avatar
 
Join Date: May 2008
Location: Brooklyn
Posts: 624

Bikes: Kilo TT

Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 0 Post(s)
Likes: 0
Liked 0 Times in 0 Posts
Getting NYC taxi drivers to feel remorse about being rude in traffic is not a logical pursuit.
Seems perfectly sane for a few seconds, but ultimately...
jakerock is offline  
Old 02-19-09, 12:29 AM
  #25  
extremenergy3
...
 
Join Date: Apr 2008
Posts: 104
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 0 Post(s)
Likes: 0
Liked 0 Times in 0 Posts
I had a mom almost hit me when she was pulling into the bike lane trying to pick up her kid. She did not look back to the bike lane at all and I think she was on her cell phone. Imagine the look on her kid's face if she had hit me... Not to mention all the other parents picking up their kids! Though they might have ganged up on me
extremenergy3 is offline  

Thread Tools
Search this Thread

Contact Us - Archive - Advertising - Cookie Policy - Privacy Statement - Terms of Service - Do Not Sell My Personal Information -

Copyright 2021 MH Sub I, LLC dba Internet Brands. All rights reserved. Use of this site indicates your consent to the Terms of Use.