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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
On my way to my favourite trails today, I got bullied by yet another reckless driver. Sometimes you know, I am actually able to get in touch with the driver and exchange some words.

The rationale behind this is the idea that people are aggressive towards bikers due to lack of understanding. I have been testing out different phrases over a time period to see if it can help preventing dangerous situations and harassment you are bound to experience if you enjoy working out on a bike. In a nutshell; I want to convey that I am not biking because I enjoy pi$$ing off drivers, but because I want to stay fit. I also try to tell that I know I am in the way, but that my own safety is more important, and if that makes me an egotistical son of a biatch, then too bad. A few times I have been able to exchange a few words and split off with a handshake. It both feels good and hopefully it will make the drivers a bit ashamed and more careful next time. OK, bit of a missionary statement, but you get the point.

Today I almost got run down by a crazy shouting woman, and when I caught up with her at the crossroads, she wouldn't talk to me, but just gave me the finga. Last month, I could've gotten killed by a huge black SUV, strifing me just before an intersection. Again: a perfectly deliberate action, accompanied by immense honking and the schmuck had kids in the backseat!!! Whadda great role model eh?

I've been reading some basic neuropsychiatry lately. Anybody noticed how you can get pissed sometimes without being able to control yourself? Anybody experienced an escalating argument getting personal in their own marriage? There seems to be certain areas of the brain helping us keep our cool. For instance, people surviving accidents where large parts of their frontal lobes have been damaged, develops a very harsh and unsympathetic attitude. This is simple biology and there ain't nothing you can do about it.

Now, I have been starting to think that there ain't nothing you can do about a$sholes in traffic. Think about it: there ain't really a reason why they want to intimidate you but their own irritation. Look beyond the transparent arguments which are all made to excuse irrational behavior which is triggered whenever they spot a nice slim butt on a 20 pound hardtail. You can't change the infrastructure. You can't change the fact that you will always be in someones way if you hop on a bike. And lately I've been thinking: You can't even change biology, no matter how profound your arguments. People will always get pissed.

So how to deal with this? A) Quit biking? B) Accept the risk and accept the intimidation C) Accept the risk, but get even. I have started thinking about the latter. This is where my inner sociopath kicks in. How about packing a gun?
 

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or a sharp knife, they do nasty things to sidewalls.
Seriously, this is the one thing keeping me from riding to work. I would love to be able to ride to work, but it is going to do little good to ride to work if I never make it there, or home. Even I I do make it, and someone decides to be an ass, what good was riding if you are going to be tense, anxious, and angry when you get where ever you are going? I am a very thoughtfull(i think) individual, and will go out of my way to make things easier for someone else, even if it is not the correct thing to do,
i.e. giving the right away to the big SUV riding mom with three kids in the back watching a dvd as she talks on the phone, to drive around the corner to a friends house.
but I just cannot get myself to risk all the good things that could come of a ride due to all the risks associated with it- The risks that are present when riding off road are known variables, with only yourself, and mother nature, and the occasional rider to worry about, not the air heads out there on the road.
Just a small rant, Jarrod
 
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TommyTiger said:
How about packing a gun?
Perhaps wearing a shotgun on your back like it were a messenger bag would prove effective?

All kidding aside, I sympathize. Every time you ride on a major road you risk getting run down by some idiot who is multitasking instead of driving. If only the bicycle lobby had greater power than the oil/automobile lobby.

bm
 

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Hairy man
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Acceptable risk

I'm the type of person who has trouble keeping my cool. I've been this way my whole life. One of the reasons I love riding my bike in traffic is the escalated reactions actually make sense, and instead of getting angry about traffic, I just get sharp and get in a zone. But when I'm locked up in my car and can't be nimble and quick, I get mad. I hate driving, especially in traffic. I've never been in a road rage incident, but I certainly shout obscenities at people who probably can't hear me very often.

The *******s on the road are a risk I find acceptable. I haven't had anyone swerve at me intentionally since I was a kid. I've had plenty of people space out and get in my way, but that's different. Maybe in your shoes I'd be thinking about giving up on the road riding... But I need it for my mental health.

Getting even doesn't help, it just raises the stakes. I sure hope you were joking about the gun, cause that's how life long imprisonments begin. I chucked my water bottle and spit at some ******* in Boston who swore at me because I was in the way of his illegal turn. I spent the next month worried he'd spot me sometime and run me into a bus.
 

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paintbucket
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I treat drivers like weather. Some days the weather is good, other days its bad. Either way, I don't let it dictate how I feel.
 

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Most drivers ( except cycling ones ) have little concept of how much room to give bikes.

My personal best was a guy in a BMW ( big surprise there !! ) who overtook me near Loch Lomond.

He passed me with about 2 foot to spare.

All well and good i hear you say.

Ah, but he was towing his nice wide speedboat.

It just brushed my shoulder, but scared the bejesus out of me.

"Red Mist time".

Chased him to the next stop line and battered my fist on his roof whilst politely explaining to him that he was a rectum.

He had a look of total shock on his face. Obviously, he just had no idea how wide his load was.

Mind you, could be worse, Drivers in Italy just don't care how wide their cars are. If a gap is an interference fit it's a goer !!
 

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Demon Cleaner
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The stories on this one will stack up

It's impossible to ride the road, either as an end itself, on the way to trails, or to work, etc. without having bad run-ins with traffic. For me, this all came rushing back when I built up a new commuter bike (Sweet Surly Cross-check...!). I'd commuted plenty before in various weather and various distances, but it'd been 5-6 years. So all I'd been doing is hitting a bit of road on the way to trails. No problem.

Well, boy, the first few days I started commuting to work again I was just pissed -off :madmax: and shocked by how dangerous and bad drivers acted. Second day to work a college kid makes a right turn cutting me off. He knew I was there, but pulled just enough in front to turn and make me slam the brakes. I about blew my top at him. Was ready to see if the old martial arts training was still in me (probably just throw my back out and end up withering in pain on the ground if I tried to kick over knee high these days...so best to kick their knees :thumbsup: ). The very next day an old guy almost t-boned me. Looked at me first (so I thought) then pulled right out into me as I was going past at high speed. :madmax:

The thing I realized after steaming over this was that in both cases I pretty much knew the driver was going to act badly. It's like a six sense was kicking in. And in both cases it helped keep me out of trouble. So I started paying more attention to this "feeling" and trying to stay smart while on the bike. Sure drivers will act like jerks, but I just try to ignore them and avoid them. I don't curse them out. Not even when they deserve it. I just try to enjoy the ride. This isn't saying I don't admire you for trying. I just think you got to find a way to live with yourself and with riding. If trying to talk to people who aren't listening is too much of a downer, don't bother. Just know they are working on their first bypass.

Of course, you can't always hit the zone and avoid stupid drivers. Guess luck has something to do with it too.
 

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Discussion Starter · #11 ·
I developed Darth Vader instincts,but not the invisible choke hold unfortunately,when I used to commute to work. Whether I'm driving or on my bike,I pretty much know when someone is going to make a mistake or do something stupid.
But some riders can also do some dumbs things too but I expect that.
When I'm about to pass a rider who's taking up the road when I no choice but to drive pass him slowly,I'll give that 'shave and a haircut,two bits' honk from a distance and hopefully He or She doesn't give me the finger. I can understand when they flip me off because I had drivers drive right up and honk,trying to scare me off the bike.
Like someone said,everyday is different on the road. A-holes one day, nice people the next.
Just be cool. One day,that dumb ass driver will smack into a wall and die.One less car,one less A-hole.
 

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trail rat
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I've always felt that hand grenades would be the perfect solution; just roll it under the car and ride away. :thumbsup:

Wanted them for snowmobiles while cross country skiing when I lived in Idaho in the snow too.
 

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I hear and sypathize for you. Some drivers can really piss bikers off.

I hate to be devils advocate, but to be honest with you I feel just as strongly about some bikers. I've ridden a bike almost my whole life, and think common courtesy is a 2 way street. Some bikers are complete numbnuts and I can see how drivers take out their aggression on all riders because of the 1 idiot. No it's not right, but it only takes one boob to ruin it for all and vice versa. A good example are the couriers in downtown districts. I have seen many instances when they will cut people off and run red lights etc etc. No it doesn't mean all of them are like that, just that this can cause a lot of ill feelings towards bikes.

Anyway, rant over. I need to go out and ride...
 

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Thanks for fighting the good fight, people. I, personally, am too scared of being mowed down by the above described SUV driving, cell phone talking, crazies, so I stick to the trails. Trail riding has its hazards, as well, but not near as much as riding on the road, in my opinion.

I try to do my share by always slowing down and allowing cyclists to ride by before making right turns, even though the aggressive momentum from behind wants me to dangerously speed up and make the right turn just before the cyclist gets mowed down. I also will give plenty of room when passing cyclists, even if it means hugging the yellow line and scaring the oncoming traffic. The way I see it, is they see the cyclist riding too, so they need to expect that I am going to drift toward their lane in order to safely pass the cyclist, so if the oncoming traffic doesn't veer a little bit to their right as I approach, they are scaring me as far as I'm concerned.
 

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trail rat
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lidarman said:
Iraq "insurgents" have found car bombs work damn well.
My "hand grenades" are/were more like Road Runner cartoon ones. And the result, in my imagination, is with the driver launching skyward with the Wily B Coyote "OHH SH!!!!T" look on their faces. My imagination even gives them a parachute, that, unlike Wily B Coyotes', works. :smilewinkgrin:
 

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Out there
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Number one rule of my riding is: tangle with cars as little as possible.

No longer worth it to me. I will ride an extra five miles out of my way to avoid a mile of road filled with idiots.
 

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I would commute on a regular basis if the commute to my work didn't mean going five miles out of my way each way or being forced to go over the two busiest overpasses in the city. Indianapolis drivers are tools with zero respect for other motorists let alone some skinny dude in tight shorts on a mountain bike.
 

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person
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OT but my girlfriend and I were going for a jog one night to change things up. We were runing through downtown, and every person we saw started heckling us. They weren't even saying thenormal stupid stuff like "run forest run"....they were seriously threatening us and swearing at us, it was completely crazy. We picked up the pace and started heading back towards her house. We were about 1/2 a mile from her house when a white blazer drives by and gives a few more remarks and drove off. We didn't think anything of it. Then they came back around and threw a couple fist fulls of pennies at us. It was the last straw, we sprinted the rest of the distance and we're never going to run around town again. Jeeze I wish I caught the plate number. And of course it was on the one night that we didn't see a single cop.
 
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