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  1. #1
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    How do you "let it go" when something happens?

    This is partially a vent/rant, so bear with me.

    I envy people who can drive along in traffic, and if someone cuts them off, drives annoyingly slow, etc, can just shrug it off and not give it a second thought.

    Maybe it's the 7.5 years of living in a major city, maybe I'm surrounded by idiots, maybe I have a screw loose, who knows, but I'm unfortunately not the type who can be cut off while driving, or be buzzed by a car while cycling, and just sigh and forget it. I usually throw a finger in the air, swear enough to make a sailor turn red, and later wish I had not gotten all bent out of shape because it gets me nowhere.

    This morning I had someone buzz me very, very close. Two lanes in each direction, downtown, 35mph zone. I was in the right lane doing about 20mph, a short line of moving cars in the left lane passing me, nothing out of the ordinary. Most people move into the left lane to pass me, or at least give me plenty of space, but every so often... today a woman decided she was in a hurry and moved from the left lane into the right behind me, I could hear her engine as she accelerated, and buzzed me, leaving me a few inches (close enough that I felt the draft from the car pull me towards the car). I used my airzound horn and gave her the bird, she got on her horn in response.

    As luck would have it, there was a semi-truck backing into a parking lot about a mile later, blocking the road, so there was a line of traffic. I saw the car that buzzed me, rode up to it, started yelling at the woman about law being three feet, along with a string of profanity and slapping her passenger mirror to fold it against the car (didn't want to break it, just fold it in). She starts yelling about how there's no bike lane, that I'm an $#@$@!! for riding my bike on the road, etc, so there was more profanity from my part. I chose a slightly different route for the rest of the way to work because I didn't want her passing me later, and now have to wonder whether it's someone who drives past me regularly on my commute (feel like I'm crapping in the bed I sleep in sometimes). In the end I wish I would have been calm enough to knock on her window and be a bit more polite about it, but I was upset at the time, and it's done.

    If it was just an isolated event I wouldn't care, but I find myself getting more and more frustrated with people. Part of me says the long term solution is to move away, to a place more relaxed, but another part of me says there are idiots everywhere, and it's something I have to adjust within myself, to not let myself go bonkers and fly off the handle when something happens. So... what works for you? Count to ten? Sing a song or recite a funny poem that calms you down and makes you smile? Electroshock therapy? Carrying a big foam baseball bat on your rack?
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  2. #2
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    I try not to be a doormat, but I also try not to let my emotions take over. I have been working to replace the gestures I give. Instead of giving the bird, I try to just raise my arm in frustration. My last encounter using this method actually resulted in a respectful conversation with the driver. I feel like I was actually able to educate him a little on driving around cyclists.

    It's hard when you're in fight-or-flight life preservation mode, to dial back on the anger when someone nearly kills you. Maybe it would be worth riding with a video camera so you can file reports against those "pass too close" drivers and other impatient people who nearly run you over.

  3. #3
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    I understand your frustration definitely. However good it feels at the time to lose your cool on someone you just have to remember you're also leaving an impression. After that experience with you that women who was drivings grievances will probably no longer be directed at just you but all cyclists. Try directing that negative energy you have to the other end of the spectrum. Next time someone pisses you off instead of losing it angrily lose it in kindness. Approach them so kindly it would almost be creepy and make them feel uncomfortable as that might have a better lasting effect. Explain to them the actual law and remind them that their rush to wherever shouldn't disregard human life. Sorry for what happened to you.

  4. #4
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    I moved to the boonies

    People still do stuff that raises my blood pressure, but I try to make my first reaction one of sympathy...must be tough to be that dumb and think you're right. Controling the initial outburst sounds like your biggest challenge... When I'm truly infuriated, I try to do the old "count to 5" thing before I say anything. They probably won't understand your yelling anyway.
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  5. #5
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    Quote Originally Posted by NateHawk View Post
    I try not to be a doormat, but I also try not to let my emotions take over. I have been working to replace the gestures I give. Instead of giving the bird, I try to just raise my arm in frustration. My last encounter using this method actually resulted in a respectful conversation with the driver. I feel like I was actually able to educate him a little on driving around cyclists.

    It's hard when you're in fight-or-flight life preservation mode, to dial back on the anger when someone nearly kills you. Maybe it would be worth riding with a video camera so you can file reports against those "pass too close" drivers and other impatient people who nearly run you over.
    Maybe that's something I can do, changing my gestures. Not sure if it'll help for the times I catch up with the person, but hey, baby steps.

    I've been riding with a camera on my helmet for about three months now, so it's all recorded. It's a Contour Roam, 170* viewing angle makes the car look further away than it was in the still shot, but I also have panniers that make the bike wide. Like I said, close enough to make me feel the draft pull me in.



    Quote Originally Posted by Awshucks View Post
    I understand your frustration definitely. However good it feels at the time to lose your cool on someone you just have to remember you're also leaving an impression. After that experience with you that women who was drivings grievances will probably no longer be directed at just you but all cyclists. Try directing that negative energy you have to the other end of the spectrum. Next time someone pisses you off instead of losing it angrily lose it in kindness. Approach them so kindly it would almost be creepy and make them feel uncomfortable as that might have a better lasting effect. Explain to them the actual law and remind them that their rush to wherever shouldn't disregard human life. Sorry for what happened to you.
    That's something that's gone through my mind, too. Not only do I have to worry about seeing her again on my commute, but I didn't do what I could to improve her perception of cyclists (which is obviously very low anyways). Maybe I could pull off being creepy-kind like Dale in "Tucker and Dale vs. Evil"



    Quote Originally Posted by CommuterBoy View Post
    I moved to the boonies

    People still do stuff that raises my blood pressure, but I try to make my first reaction one of sympathy...must be tough to be that dumb and think you're right. Controling the initial outburst sounds like your biggest challenge... When I'm truly infuriated, I try to do the old "count to 5" thing before I say anything. They probably won't understand your yelling anyway.
    An attitude adjustment (on my part) is what I want in the long run, so I'm also going to try to focus on my feelings during my reaction, and see if I can't steer them in a different direction like you're saying.

    Boonies... I know what that's like, moved to Atlanta from rural Pennsylvania. Looking at Colorado or Utah or something like that next, I want a better environment for my 1.5 children (wife is pregnant, figure that counts as 0.5).
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  6. #6
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    I get buzzed all the time and I definitely get PISSED when it happens. It's one of those things I'll never get used to. The way my local roads are laid out, there's absolutely no benefit to driving faster (because of stop lights, etc.). This just pisses me off even more.

    I'm at the point where I'm ready to give up bicycle commuting. I love the idea of it, but I'm increasingly convinced that I'm going to get killed so someone can get to a red light sooner. But then again my infrastructure sucks and with all the governmental bureaucracy I don't think it will improve in my lifetime.

    I wish I had something to contribute. But at least I can share your frustration.
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  7. #7
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    Quote Originally Posted by Dwayne View Post
    This is partially a vent/rant, so bear with me.

    I envy people who can drive along in traffic, and if someone cuts them off, drives annoyingly slow, etc, can just shrug it off and not give it a second thought.

    Maybe it's the 7.5 years of living in a major city, maybe I'm surrounded by idiots, maybe I have a screw loose, who knows, but I'm unfortunately not the type who can be cut off while driving, or be buzzed by a car while cycling, and just sigh and forget it. I usually throw a finger in the air, swear enough to make a sailor turn red, and later wish I had not gotten all bent out of shape because it gets me nowhere.

    This morning I had someone buzz me very, very close. Two lanes in each direction, downtown, 35mph zone. I was in the right lane doing about 20mph, a short line of moving cars in the left lane passing me, nothing out of the ordinary. Most people move into the left lane to pass me, or at least give me plenty of space, but every so often... today a woman decided she was in a hurry and moved from the left lane into the right behind me, I could hear her engine as she accelerated, and buzzed me, leaving me a few inches (close enough that I felt the draft from the car pull me towards the car). I used my airzound horn and gave her the bird, she got on her horn in response.

    As luck would have it, there was a semi-truck backing into a parking lot about a mile later, blocking the road, so there was a line of traffic. I saw the car that buzzed me, rode up to it, started yelling at the woman about law being three feet, along with a string of profanity and slapping her passenger mirror to fold it against the car (didn't want to break it, just fold it in). She starts yelling about how there's no bike lane, that I'm an $#@$@!! for riding my bike on the road, etc, so there was more profanity from my part. I chose a slightly different route for the rest of the way to work because I didn't want her passing me later, and now have to wonder whether it's someone who drives past me regularly on my commute (feel like I'm crapping in the bed I sleep in sometimes). In the end I wish I would have been calm enough to knock on her window and be a bit more polite about it, but I was upset at the time, and it's done.

    If it was just an isolated event I wouldn't care, but I find myself getting more and more frustrated with people. Part of me says the long term solution is to move away, to a place more relaxed, but another part of me says there are idiots everywhere, and it's something I have to adjust within myself, to not let myself go bonkers and fly off the handle when something happens. So... what works for you? Count to ten? Sing a song or recite a funny poem that calms you down and makes you smile? Electroshock therapy? Carrying a big foam baseball bat on your rack?
    Basically I am somewhat like you....if someone is endangering me or others...I will take it to them.

    Chase them down each block at rush hour.

    You gotta think of this as educating the public.

    I have been at this for 8 years on the same road, and it is actually working to some small degree, every now and then some newbie driver might try something but they generally get straighten out pretty quick.

    Of course you could just take a valium.

  8. #8
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    Definitely feel your pain here, so to speak. I think its something a lot of us go through. Any single incident, we could let slide, but after a while, we get tired of being on the bottom of everyone's priority list for safety and courtesy.

    I've definitely struggled with how to respond after a dangerous, threatening or irritating incident.

    Yelling may seem satisfying at the time, but probably won't change the behavior of a driver in the long run. They'll just label you as a nut with an anger control problem.

    For me, trying to be "the better man", and letting it all slide just results in me getting more and more frustrated until I feel like I'm ready to start carrying a paintball gun to let cars know when they've F'd up. Then we're back at the angry nutjob place.

    So, I've been working on how to alert drivers (and other bikers) to the fact that they've endangered someone - without getting their dander up so they might reflect on what they did and not be defensive immediately. I've had limited success. In fact, yesterday, a casual disapproving head shake led to a man with a (currently running) weed eater charging me and asking what my problem was. I doubt there was any way that situation could have been handled without an altercation staring.

    My wife and I talk about this all the time, and I don't think there is an answer. You gotta do what keeps your stress level down. Sure, we'd all like to be angelic ambassadors for the biking commuting community, but even angels get pissed when they get dumped on too often.

  9. #9
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    I fight with this every day I ride. Every time a car buzzes me, it doesn't feel like a negligent driver. It feels like a deliberate attempt on my life. The PTSD doesn't help much, either. (But the cycling helps the PTSD, so whatcha gonna do?)
    Every time it's a fight. Part of me wants to smile and wave and just let it go. My brain tells me this is the correct course of action, as does my conscience. Angering a motorist that already doesn't care about cyclists will only make him hate us, and angering a motorist that already hates us will only make him hate us more. And the next cyclist he takes his ignorance out on may well not be me.
    But part of me wants to chase that ^&#$* down, drag him out of his car, and beat him down in the middle of the street for everyone to see. (for the record, i have never actually done this)
    I never really win this fight, somedays I just handle it better than others. I actually HAVE chased cars down before just to make sure the driver saw me. One time I actually pulled up next to a guy, knocked on his driver-side window, and THEN flipped him off.

    I will say this though...the look on their faces in the mirror when they check behind them and see my crazy ass GAINING on them is absolutely priceless.

    Moving to a bike-friendly area does make an incredible difference. I moved out to Park City, UT this summer and it was INCREDIBLE. Aside from the area itself, just the commuting was night and day. Bike lanes everywhere, and even on the rare occasions when I did have to venture into the street, cars went out of their way to accomodate me, so much so that I sometimes felt embarassed and would pull over or wave cars around me so as not to hold up traffic. I'm not asking for special treatment, after all, just stop trying to kill me. A lot of that is because most of the people there also ride, or at least hike, ski, run, etc. It's a very active and outdoorsy community.
    Most of Wisconsin (where I live now) is very bike-friendly as well, Madison especially. There's just something about this town that's just...rotten.
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  10. #10
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    I fling poo at them...




    I've found that the more I ride as a commuter the less bothered by it I get because for every bonehead move I see drivers making, I can count a bonehead move I've made as a cyclist. 99.99% of the time, the driver isn't doing to intentionally be an arse - they are just like everyone else - got lots of things going through their minds as they make their way to work or home again. It's impossible to have 100% focus 100% of the time.

    If I feel that they've intentionally tried to scare me, I might give a "F*ckin' arsehole" under my breath, but that's about it.

  11. #11
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    I remind myself I can do far more effective things when I'm calm than when I'm pissed. By that time they are long gone, I vent in my own head, then eventually get it out of my system. If I actually catch up with them, I get their license plate number then report them to the police. Nothing comes of it except there's a note somewhere that they're an erratic driver. Might be the little thing needed if they get pulled over later. On the off chance that someday it might become an actual criminal case, I'd press the charges at first if only to drive the point home to the driver, then let it drop if prosecutors really didn't want to deal with it.
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  12. #12
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    At worst I'll wave my arm and give a wordless yell. On my route nobody's going to be able to hear me unless I happen to roll up next to them at one of the 2 lights or 1 stop sign, which isn't likely.

    Keep in mind there's a valid middle ground between saying nothing and flying up screaming curses, and many peoples' response to anger and cursing is to return the same. Be firm, but make it your goal to politely educate the driver that what they did could have killed you just to shave a few seconds off of the trip.

  13. #13
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    "banging on hoods and kicking in fenders"..... funny stuff but in the real world it just pisses drivers off even more than they already are, and they have 4,000 lb. weapons vs. my 175 lb. body. They already think all cyclists are idiots and your not going to change their minds. I don't commute in the city anymore but when I did I expected the worst from every car and treated it like a game, trying to educate every driver is similar to banging your head on a wall.

  14. #14
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    I am a big fan of the camera mindset. I've found it reduced my stress level because I tend to try to remember details. When it works, less to remember. It was also theraputic to do a "log" of such drivers. Maybe a morbid curiousity of studying statistics or the couple strikes and your out mentality. If you do the same route on a day in day out basis the same people will fall into patterns. When they do it will show up on the stats and that is what my local enforcers like to see. When I present them with a list of half a dozen drivers who over the course of a month have proven a history of dangerous driving, they act on it. Perhaps not majorly but enough that those individuals do not reappear on the lists.

    As tempting as a face-to-face is, calling on higher backing has proven far more effective in my experience.
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  15. #15
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    I'm with you on really wanting revenge but knowing it's a bad idea. I'd love to actually have the opportunity to fold someone's mirror on them - that's awesome.

    Generally though, I've just decided that if I'm going to yell then I'm going to make it count.

    "Pay attention!" or "Wake Up!" (ie. I know what I'm doing and you don't)
    "Crosswalk!" "Stopsign!" "Bikelane!" or whatever law the morons have ignored.
    And when I'm insulting someone I call them fatass. It doesn't even have to be true, but nobody cares if you call them an *******. If you call them fat they'll feel ****ty about it for hours, or Gay is another good option for they morons in giant trucks. It's certainly not classy, but it's the best I've got.

  16. #16
    Big Gulps, Alright!
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    Sometimes to relieve stress I come on MTBR and pick fights in the All Mountain forum.
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  17. #17
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    LOL, this reminds of stuff I used to on a motorcycle.
    I would ride beside cars and knock there mirror back (not off).
    I did have a friend though that would knock them completely off and say "they didn't use them anyways". lol

    I don't ride road much but get pissed when people pas like that and act out.
    Just stick it in granny and start grinding.

  18. #18
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    ^^ One idiot that almost got me already had both mirrors gone. That might relate to her sense of proper distance. Her passenger said she did not know I was there though she overtook me! Complete moron. She parked 100 feet further on!. We had a polite discussion as I debated calling the police.

  19. #19
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    I try real hard to not let another cager ruin my mood and it takes real effort (and plenty of cursing under my bresth) to do so. To me it's just not worth the overt confrontation, especially in an area where open (and concealed) carry weapons abound. But, a wordless yell with upraised arm tends to do something, although my favorite is giving a peace sign or a thumbs up letting them know that I'm not bothered and they're the idiot. I have called/emailed complaints to commercial entities that have acted dangerously. Had a school bus buzz me months ago so I contacted the company and politely quoted Arizona law about adequate passing space. While I got a boilerplate email in reply, the busses have given me more clearance ever since.

    Mostly though, unless it is prodigiously dangerous, I let it slide. I've given up the idea of bashing mirrors/windows with a u-lock in revenge or outright physical confrontation as to me, it's just not worth it

  20. #20
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    Personally, if they didn't touch me, there's no foul. I can't morally claim the "three feet away" rule when I find myself eventually filtering my way ahead of slow traffic inches away from their sidemirrors. I've even got over over-reacting to the occasional honk from cars coming from behind. I'd like to think those honks are the car driver's version of "on your left!" and appreciate it.

  21. #21
    jrm
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    I just remind myself that i dont know what that person behind the wheel of a 4k car may be capable of. They may, in a fit of anger, purposely run me over/hit me....and take off or pull a gun and shoot me. I dont know and dont want to find out.

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    Let it go? Why let it go? In my view you did all cyclists a favor.

    Look, if you just "let it go" the driver has no idea what kind of danger she put you in, and she will do it again because there were no consequences.

    Believe me, she will remember that encounter the next time she sees a cyclist and she will give him more room, that's human nature. Only the rare sociopath will take "revenge" on a cyclist, and there's nothing you can do about those.

    Drivers for the most part are very mousey and embarrassed if you confront them at the next stop (most won't even look at you - notice that?). It's a great lesson for them, and it will stick with them for a very long time.

    One caution however - watch the situation. I had a guy buzz me with a backwards cap driving an old 80's trans-am. He looked like trouble, so I didn't bother with him. But the guy/gal in the Corolla or minivan? Go for it. Don't damage anything, but yelling at them and asking WTF is just fine. That's my view.

  23. #23
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    Quote Originally Posted by jrm View Post
    I just remind myself that i dont know what that person behind the wheel of a 4k car may be capable of. They may, in a fit of anger, purposely run me over/hit me....and take off or pull a gun and shoot me. I dont know and dont want to find out.
    This. I dont want someone trying to chase me down in a vehicle since there is no way I am going to come out ahead in that situation. Getting angry about the driver swearing and whatnot wont help the situation. It will actually make things worse the more you feed into it. Your heart rate is already up from exercising and that will increase your feeling of anger as well.

    I just remind myself to "never assume malice when ignorance will suffice". There are idiots everywhere. Sometimes I am on a bike when I encounter them, other times I am in a car. I am not going to let them ruin my day.

    You may benefit from working on some anger management. It may be "justified" anger but I find that is the worst kind because, for me at least, it is harder to let it go. I always ask myself what am I trying to accomplish? Does the action that I am going to do further that goal? I find if I think it through swearing at the drivers and smacking mirrors etc doesnt really educate the driver, it escalates the situation and makes me look like I am a bit nuts.

    I also go with the idea that once I touch the car the law is no longer on my side since I am now potentially damaging property (what if the mirror is already broken and you knock it off?), whereas earlier the driver was the only one violating a law (3ft rule).

  24. #24
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    Quote Originally Posted by J.B. Weld View Post
    "banging on hoods and kicking in fenders"..... funny stuff but in the real world it just pisses drivers off even more than they already are, and they have 4,000 lb. weapons vs. my 175 lb. body. They already think all cyclists are idiots and your not going to change their minds. I don't commute in the city anymore but when I did I expected the worst from every car and treated it like a game, trying to educate every driver is similar to banging your head on a wall.
    This. When I used to commute via bicycle I operated on the premise that I was invisible. If you know that no one can see you, you tend to ride a bit differently. I also didn't spend too much time on the road. Being on a mountain bike, I didn't see the point in taking the same route a car was limited too. I would cut across parking lots, behind shopping centers, through woods, along railroad tracks. Whatever. Granted, having grown up as a little BMX grommet I'm quite accustomed to weaving through traffic on a tiny bike that no one can see.

    If you must ride in traffic, on the side of the lane, and just want people to give you space. Wear a white shirt with dark bue shorts and strap a gun to your hip. No one will come near you, I promise.
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  25. #25
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    The only time I've seen bikes move in and around traffic extremely well was the bike couriers in Manhattan. Pretty amazing actually.

    Here in Texas...most road bikers keep to the hill country or highway access roads. Even then they still end up finding themselves in accidents with cars. Cars simply do NOT see bicycles...or motorcycles for that matter.

    It's sometimes that they simply don't feel you have the right to ride on the side of the street, and sometimes it's that they're brains literally do not process your existence because they're trained to see vehicles only. Best as everyone has said is to try and understand that people are people...flawed and entitled based on their own perspective. The only thing you can do is do you best to keep yourself out of harms way completely. If you don't have to take a busy road don't. If they do buzz you, and you have an opportunity to approach that person, I wouldn't come at them sideways. I would tell them that their actions could cost them someone's life one day--all because they were impatient. Put it in perspective.

    Anger management helps too. lol.

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  27. #27
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    Quote Originally Posted by scatterbrained View Post
    When I used to commute via bicycle I operated on the premise that I was invisible. If you know that no one can see you, you tend to ride a bit differently.

    That was my philosophy too. I figured someone would have to be trying to take me out to hit me, If they went about their business normally I was safe. I try to never count on a driver seeing me or altering their path because of me because to a lot of drivers you actually are invisible.

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    I haven't had the privilege to cycle in countries like the Netherlands where infrastructure for bicyclists is well designed and thought out but that seems like the ultimate solution. I'm not holding my breath for that to happen here though.

  28. #28
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    Quote Originally Posted by mtbxplorer View Post
    Wow, that's much better than Metro King County in Seattle. I filed a complaint after one of their drivers actually hit me. Their response was, "I didn't see it, so it didn't happen." Strangely enough, Sound Transit - the other bus company here - are awesome and helpful.

    Still, doing stupid things on a commute means you're always looking over your shoulder from then on. For example, there's one car - a yellow VW Beetle - that I tracked down over several weeks to find where they lived after riding the section multiple times and catching it several times, progressively further and further in to its journey. He never anticipated that I would one day figure out where he was and enlighten him as to how discontented I was. If that enlightenment had included a brick through the window, he'd be out of pocket a couple of hundred dollars. If that enlightenment had included a brick every window, me denting every panel on his car and pouring acid over his paint, the cost would be significantly higher.

    The second incident that comes to mind is one guy who yelled abuse at me on the way home, flipping me off. I thought I recognized the car, followed it, and it turned in to my parking garage. I pulled in, pushed the button for the elevator, and a guy that I helped move in stepped out of the car and realized what he'd done. You never know when the person that you're getting mad at - driver or cyclist - is someone much closer to you than you'd realize. I grew up in Australia, and I meet people I went to high school with in Seattle. The world is a smaller place than you think it is when it comes to degrees of connection.

    Sure, you don't have to take that ****. But be smart about it. Namely, don't get caught: if you gotta do something, let your heels cool, and make your revenge cold - so cold they have no idea who did it. I also believe in the concept of sanbai gaeshi too: a reciprocating action being returned with threefold value to the initial action if time has been allowed to pass.

  29. #29
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    ^
    You don't need a brick through the window, just a fingernail sized piece of ceramic from a broken spark plug will do the trick. It makes such a loud explosion the driver will think you just shot him.

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    I flick boogers on their windows.

  31. #31
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    If she'd let it go yesterday, she'd be alive today...
    http://www.burlingtonfreepress.com/a...text|FRONTPAGE

    and that's in Vermont.

  32. #32
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    Quote Originally Posted by mtbxplorer View Post
    If she'd let it go yesterday, she'd be alive today...
    http://www.burlingtonfreepress.com/a...text|FRONTPAGE

    and that's in Vermont.

    You're right. And the dude wouldn't have been forced to shoot someone several times and be arrested for it. Stupid woman.

  33. #33
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    I am exactly the same way as the OP, maybe to a slightly lesser degree. I feel like if I just keep letting people almost kill me, nothing will change. Clearly the police aren't going to help us, so we have to help ourselves. Or course then I usually end up regretting what I did, not because I feel I didn't have the right to or because I was wrong, but because I just pissed someone off who may drive by me everyday and could easily kill me and likely get away with it.

    In the "How was your commute today" thread I just shared the following yesterday:

    "I've been posting way too much bad stuff about my commute lately. Last night, a lady drifted right in front of me almost taking me out. She then slowed down due to traffic and I saw her looking down at her phone, not at the road. I of course flipped her off, because I'm incapable of letting stuff go (maybe I should read that thread about letting stuff go....). I was expecting her to drive past me and yell at me, throw something at me, etc. A bunch of cars passed, including ones that were behind her so I figured I was in the clear and she had turned. Then several miles later she passed me. She slows down next to me, pulls out the iPhone and takes a picture of me. I'm now expecting her husband to run me off the road with his F-350, I'm actually legitimately nervous. I took the other route to work this morning. She probably just took the picture of me to freak me out (it worked) or to go show her redneck friends the guy in the spandex on the light blue bike and laugh at me. Ugh."

    I'm better than I used to be about calmly and politely dealing with issues instead of yelling and screaming, but when there's no good opportunity to do it, like in the middle of the road, sometimes my emotions take over.

  34. #34
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    I am a rager myself and have gotten into more then one confrontation with moronic drivers. But in the end I think it comes down to this there are people on the road who just don't care about your life. If they hit you they will just keep on driving and then say they never saw you. So many people drive like its a race and they have to be in 1st place. So in the end its your life so you better look out because they're not going to.
    Heres a prayer for your riding. God grant me the serenity to accept the things I can not change,(like idiot drivers) the courage to change the things I can( my own behavior) And the wisdom to know the difference.
    When you've seen someone rupture their scrotum on a bike you won't take the standards for top tube clearance lightly!

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    The worst confrontation I've been in was with a police officer on a neighborhood street. The dude wouldn't just drive off and let it go. It still makes me angry. I should have gotten his badge number so the complaint I filed might actually mean something, but I didn't think of it at the time.

  36. #36
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    Reading through this thread reminds me of how thankful I am that I'm in such a rural area. When I do ride through "town" I have irritating moments where people completely forget the rules of the road because there is a bike nearby, but within a few minutes I'm alone on a 2 lane highway somewhere, or on the trail, and all is forgotten.

    Honestly, I have a pretty stressful job, and the bike is my method of 'letting it go', because junk happens every day at work. If the bike ride was half as frustrating as the job, I'd be a mess. Props to you guys who have to deal with traffic every day.
    You have no excuse for driving to work
    (unless you don't have studded tires)
    (no excuse for that either)

  37. #37
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    Near work as I approached a gas station driveway a car decided he had to pass me and then immediately squeeze right and turn into my path to go into the gas station. I literally would have been out of his way in 2 seconds if he had just waited behind me. I did not let it go (as would have been smarter considering the red-light runner who shot 6 bullets into a woman who confronted him this week), but instead yelled at him, threw up my arm, and then thumped on the window and added dumba** when I got no response. He froze where he was and acted totally clueless, pointing into the gas station where he wanted to go. “Yeah, I know” I yelled (windows still up) and pointing behind me, “you should have waited a sec”. Still dumbly staring at me I finally waved him in front of me as there was no way I was risking being his hood ornament at that point. It was a young guy with CA plates, I kind of doubt that he figured out what he did wrong.

  38. #38
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    I dont commute, but used to road rage bad over the same kind of stuff.

    I stopped when I put some thought into how many people with screws loose wont hesitate to shoot you over road rage type stuff. Be confrontational can lead to some bad things. I find you get further just keeping your cool or being polite about it.

    Not worth getting shot over, run over, whatever out of anger.

  39. #39
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    My answer is in my signature. Here is the full text for context...

    "Do nothing from selfish ambition or conceit, but in humility count others more significant than yourselves. Let each of you look not only to his own interests, but also to the interests of others. Have this mind among yourselves, which is yours in Christ Jesus, who, though he was in the form of God, did not count equality with God a thing to be grasped, but emptied himself, by taking the form of a servant, being born in the likeness of men. And being found in human form, he humbled himself by becoming obedient to the point of death, even death on a cross."
    "I may be old and fat, but at least I'm slow." - Me


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    I used to road rage before while biking in the city especially when cars cut in front of me or when pedestrians are walking 3-4 abreast on the street and not the sidewalk (they do that here). Then on one altercation with 2 guys in a car I realized, I can take the two of them on but not after biking 20 miles already. I also realized I can't kick a car with a bicycle as an escape vehicle.

  42. #42
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    After my last post I remembered an incident that happened years back. I was biking across a bridge when a guy blew by me in a muscle car. It put me in fight mode and he had a red light at the end of the bridge. I tossed my bike down and started yelling at him, he gets out. He was not tall but very muscular, but that didn't stop me. It didn't come to blows, good thing because I may have gotten in a couple blows but he would have snapped me. But about 6 months later I ended up as the guys D/A counselor. And before anyone asks I didn't make his life miserable. I could have but that's not me. Though I'm sure he was thinking it.
    When you've seen someone rupture their scrotum on a bike you won't take the standards for top tube clearance lightly!

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    It took me decades of solid commuting before I was able to let everything slide. Through no real effort I one day just realized that I hadn't gone ballistic over some bonehead driver in a long long time. The best way to avoid "situations" is to control circumstances by putting yourself in direct view of the sleeping idiot who's trying to drive while texting. NEVER hug the curb like a snivelling mouse at intersections! NEVER put yourself in a sleepdrivers blind spot. That takes care of half of it. When something does "happen" remember the odds and how greedy and stupid the dumb animal is to be living in a metal box in the first place. There are insane people that will kill you because they KNOW the pig that shows up is as dumb a trained animal as them and will always sympathize with the motorist.

    Try to move over 13 mph and for gods sakes NEVER ride in those lycra idiot group events which whip motorists into the biggest frenzy of all.

    I don't care how I've offended your silly cyclist sensitivities. This is how you stay safe, ride with consideration and keep your temper from escalating issues.

  44. #44
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    Quote Originally Posted by s0ckeyeus View Post
    The worst confrontation I've been in was with a police officer on a neighborhood street. The dude wouldn't just drive off and let it go. It still makes me angry. I should have gotten his badge number so the complaint I filed might actually mean something, but I didn't think of it at the time.
    I have had one of those. There was a fire fighter directing traffic (WTF?) who yelled at me for taking the lane when I was turning left. He told me to get on the sidewalk. I calmly explained that cyclists have the right to take the lane and he yelled at me saying I need to do what he says, and I mean YELLED, so I just moved over. I emailed the town of Framingham complaining (professional, calm email), but never got a response.

  45. #45
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    How do you "let it go" when something happens?

    Quote Originally Posted by pedalitup View Post
    Try to move over 13 mph and for gods sakes NEVER ride in those lycra idiot group events which whip motorists into the biggest frenzy of all.

    I don't care how I've offended your silly cyclist sensitivities. This is how you stay safe, ride with consideration and keep your temper from escalating issues.
    I dunno. I pull random part time shifts at a bike shop that organizes some of the largest shop-led road group rides in the country. On a nice summer day, over 300 may show up to ride. Groups get split up quite a bit to spread folks out as to not clog the roads.

    I have spoken to a lot of noncyclist residents up there and those packs riding the same routes twice a week do not have the effect you describe. The rides are so regular that people who get annoyed adjust their schedule or route to avoid them. But in a surprising number of cases, folks who see those group rides think to themselves, "hey, that looks fun" and they go to a shop looking at bikes.

    Not once this year did anyone on the shop ride get hit by cars. A handful got hit this year, but it was always somewhere else at another time. I did not attend any of those rides but I did bike commute through the area to work this summer, and drivers on that side of town behaved well. Some passed a little too close, but not at dangerously close levels. Nobody yelled or threw anything at me.

    In my area, I see the big group rides as being a net positive for all riders. I do not see frustrated drivers taking their anger out on any cyclist they see, as you suggest. When I have issues, it is two fold - first, the driver is uneducated about cyclists and decides we should not be there and second, like you mentioned, is that they are blind. Lots of reasons why. Lack of education plays in (they are not looking FOR bikes so they look through them), but also distractions (gets worse all the time with new gadgets every year), and many riders (IME where I live, it is often the low income riders) aren't helping by actually trying to be invisible and riding unpredictably.

  46. #46
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    How do you "let it go" when something happens?

    Quote Originally Posted by Straz85 View Post
    I have had one of those. There was a fire fighter directing traffic (WTF?) who yelled at me for taking the lane when I was turning left. He told me to get on the sidewalk. I calmly explained that cyclists have the right to take the lane and he yelled at me saying I need to do what he says, and I mean YELLED, so I just moved over. I emailed the town of Framingham complaining (professional, calm email), but never got a response.
    Sounds like a good time to ignore the guy abusing whatever limited power he has been given. Let him decide if he wants to escalate it enough to wind up in court over it.

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    With age and time you will come to realize (hopefully) that nothing you do will 'fix' the problem. People like that lady don't care, the sun revolves around them. Nothing you can legally do will relieve the world of her nonsense.

    If you get into a confrontation and the police are involved, the odds are at least 80/20 that you wind up on the short end of that stick...they are in general. not our friends on any level anymore and any time you involve them, you are making them work, which angers them. Cyclists are maybe a rung down from motorcyclists on their tier of people to respect and help...that is to say, at the bottom.

    I make sure that as much as possible I don't engage in any behavior that draws any attention. Just rationalize that people suck and will continue to suck and keep pedaling.

  48. #48
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    Quote Originally Posted by RossJamis View Post
    After my last post I remembered an incident that happened years back. I was biking across a bridge when a guy blew by me in a muscle car. It put me in fight mode and he had a red light at the end of the bridge. I tossed my bike down and started yelling at him, he gets out. He was not tall but very muscular, but that didn't stop me. It didn't come to blows, good thing because I may have gotten in a couple blows but he would have snapped me. But about 6 months later I ended up as the guys D/A counselor. And before anyone asks I didn't make his life miserable. I could have but that's not me. Though I'm sure he was thinking it.
    Reminds me of this AMA ad:
    GWRRA presents "Dentist" _ Motorcycle Safety - YouTube

  49. #49
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    It's because they see us as deviants. There is the normative behavior, driving, and then there is the aberrant behavior, cycling. Society must behave in a certain way and you must punish those who stand apart; It's the same justification used by abusers of mentally ill or intellectually disabled or any group of "other" since time out of mind. I see them all as Nurse Ratchet wannabes.

    The one constant through most of these road rage posts is that the cars are "nice." Why are they minivans or muscle cars and not station wagons covered in stickers or an 87 crx with duct tape holding the rust together? They're never weirdos who put your life in danger.

    I can't see how "acting crazy" will do anything but convince them that they were right in the first place.
    Disclaimer: I ride really slow.

  50. #50
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    Quote Originally Posted by clarence View Post
    It's because they see us as deviants. There is the normative behavior, driving, and then there is the aberrant behavior, cycling. Society must behave in a certain way and you must punish those who stand apart; It's the same justification used by abusers of mentally ill or intellectually disabled or any group of "other" since time out of mind. I see them all as Nurse Ratchet wannabes.

    The one constant through most of these road rage posts is that the cars are "nice." Why are they minivans or muscle cars and not station wagons covered in stickers or an 87 crx with duct tape holding the rust together? They're never weirdos who put your life in danger.

    I can't see how "acting crazy" will do anything but convince them that they were right in the first place.
    No. It's a class based perception. Car owners still think cyclists' time (and life) is less valuable than car owners'. Once they are in that protective bubble of a car, car drivers still think they are still at home in front of a computer interacting with the rest of the world with the car horn, steering wheel and gas pedal taking the place of a mouse, the enter and the delete buttons.

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