View Poll Results: How do you deal with the crazy lady?

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  • Flip her the bird.

    8 25.81%
  • Engage her in polite discourse.

    15 48.39%
  • Hide behind her van.

    6 19.35%
  • Go a different direction.

    2 6.45%
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  1. #1
    Evil Jr.
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    Miss Manners Poll

    Last Tuesday night, as Mrs. Monster and I coasted down the street on our way out to the trails, we came to a four-way stop one block from downtown. We did our customary, slow-down, look for traffic and ride away when all of a sudden from the rear, we get a sharp honk from an older lady in a mini van back in the intersection.

    She waved her hands wildly and I couldn't figure out what could be the matter. She rolled up beside us, lowered her passenger side window, yelled "It's a STOP SIGN for you too!" and rolled away. We, naturally, just kind of shrugged our shoulders in a WTF sort of way. (It's worth noting that there been a war of letters for and against cyclists' cozy relationship with the HTA in the local paper for the last month.)

    Now, Dundas isn't a huge place. After the four-way stop, we hit a red light and then another stop sign a block later. Each stop presented us with the opportunity to roll up beside the van but that seemed a tad awkward so we elected to hang back and sit on her bumper (not literally).

    My question is, faced with a similar situation, what have you done?

    Last edited by garage monster; 09-08-2011 at 06:32 AM. Reason: typo!
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  2. #2
    I Strava Hamburgers
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    Nothing other then offer a polite thanks.

    People like that are looking to place burrs in their own saddles.

  3. #3
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    I had a driver stop and tell me that my front light was too bright...and to get off the road! Well, at least he saw me.

  4. #4
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    Quote Originally Posted by crudest View Post
    I had a driver stop and tell me that my front light was too bright...and to get off the road! Well, at least he saw me.
    Last year, we had a driver roll up beside us on King St. and slow down to tell us what we were doing was "dangerous" (riding on the street? ) just before he pulled a right turn just in front of us as he pulled into Crappy Tire. I guess he had a point if that's what he was planning to do.
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  5. #5
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    She is right, you are wrong. You have to stop at a stop sign, you think you don't have to? Or you just didn't like the way she pointed out how you were wrong?

    You're missing the correct option in the poll, "Apologize that you did not stop at a stop sign".

  6. #6
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    Quote Originally Posted by Lwhicker View Post
    She is right, you are wrong. You have to stop at a stop sign, you think you don't have to? Or you just didn't like the way she pointed out how you were wrong?
    That has nothing to do with the question. The question pertains to how you would cope with her reaction.
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  7. #7
    Evil Jr.
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    Quote Originally Posted by Lwhicker View Post
    You're missing the correct option in the poll, "Apologize that you did not stop at a stop sign".
    Wouldn't that be option 2?
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  8. #8
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    Did she come to a full and complete stop at every sign and never exceed the limit by even 1 kph?

    Does she raise the same grievances with all other types of road users, including young men in black sports cars and pick-up trucks?

    If she can answer yes to all of these questions, then she indeed has a point.
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  9. #9
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    If this was on my commute to work, and I was riding with one of my fast co-workers, I imagine we might have sprinted past so that we could ride two wide to take up the lane and make a really slooooow approach to the sign. Stop, put both feet down, look around, have a drink from our bottles. Look around some more, then sprint off to the next one where we would repeat the process .

  10. #10
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    I just smile and wave, old people are usually pretty cratchety these days. If I'm riding in an area with alot of traffic (IE-stoplights), I act as if I was in my car, full stops and signals. It's in your best interest, the 2500lb car will win every argument it has with a cyclist... With that said, If it's a deserted road, I'll blow the stop sign without thinking twice.

    I've always found that Dundas is a nice town, except for the stuffy Bartenders at the Collins...

  11. #11
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    It is very unusual that a driver behind you would say your rolling stop was incomplete.

    The most frequest response I get from drivers behind me at stop signs is outrage that I'm slowing down too much.
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  12. #12
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    Quote Originally Posted by garage monster View Post
    Wouldn't that be option 2?
    No, because polite discourse is not apologizing for being wrong. Well I am sure you would prefer the focus to be on her being rude, the main point that is more important is she is right, you do have to stop at a stop sign.

  13. #13
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    Quote Originally Posted by Lwhicker View Post
    Well I am sure you would prefer the focus to be on her being rude,
    Why are you sure about that?
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  14. #14
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    Quote Originally Posted by Lwhicker View Post
    No, because polite discourse is not apologizing for being wrong. Well I am sure you would prefer the focus to be on her being rude, the main point that is more important is she is right, you do have to stop at a stop sign.
    I didn't actually claim that I hadn't done anything wrong. I'm perfectly aware that I'm supposed to come to a complete stop and put a foot down and I chose not to. I can own that. (And gold star to you if you do that day in and day out! )

    Other that the half-cute "crazy" in the poll question, nowhere did I say I considered her rude. She's right by the letter of the law but I did think her reaction was a bit extreme.
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  15. #15
    I Strava Hamburgers
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    Quote Originally Posted by Lwhicker View Post
    Stop. Not every thread needs to have someone threadshat it.

  16. #16
    No. Just No.
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    Hi, hope everyone is having a good morning.

  17. #17
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    Tell her that Grey Power is loooking for talent for its commercials.

  18. #18
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    Quote Originally Posted by Circlip View Post
    Hi, hope everyone is having a good morning.
    On a lighter note, at last night's meeting, the Hamilton Cycling Committee approved the final draft of a letter that we're sending to the MTO outlining a number of changes we'd like to see made to the HTA and Driver's Handbook - notably, the inclusion of "Idaho" stops. It has to be vetted by Staff and Council but we should have it out by roughly the end of the year.

    (PS. I was also elected Vice-Chair so excuse me if I seem a bit aloof this morning. )
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  19. #19
    Ms. Monster
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    I'm a repeat offender at that stop sign. I admit it.
    A couple of years ago, I was biking to work early in the morning and blew the stop sign (I probably slowed a little, but not much). There was NO traffic on the road. However, there were a couple of pedestrians a ways from the intersection that chastised me similarly.

    For me, personally, it's a question of the safest (and fastest) choice (OK; if there's a police officer RIGHT THERE, I'll change my behaviour). It's safer for me to keep a bit of momentum going and stay on my pedals than to put a foot down and restart - as long as I've been careful to check that I won't be run down by any cross traffic or turning traffic. This is particularly true now, as my increased girth makes dismounting and remounting increasingly awkward. Common sense trumps legality.

    We live in a very law-abiding town. The old lady definitely had the law on her side.

  20. #20
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    I'm not certain what prompted Ontario's fascination with stop signs at every corner. Almost every developed country in the world sees non-lighted intersections as a "yield to the right of way".

    Since they are stop signs which mean...well, stop, the proper action for this woman to take is to pull over to the side of the road, get on her cell phone and call the police that someone is breaking the law. The police can then decide if the crime fits the effort to investigate...or if there are multiple complaints in a certain area, maybe they'll send a cruiser to sit near the corner and ticket any cyclist who coasts through the stop sign. The problem with this lady just venting your frustration is that nothing ever comes out of the situation and the situation often only gets worse --- and law enforcement never hear about it and don't patrol for it either. Imagine just yelling at every motorist who blows through a school zone at 40km/h over the limit at the next stop light...I'm sure the offender won't change their behaviour and will instead flip you the bird. Getting a couple of community safety zone speeding tickets might, just might, change their behaviour.

  21. #21
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    I don't understand why there needs to be any Idaho stop rule. All types of vehicles are already doing this at all stop signs. Nobody seems to care, unless they are a cop doing a ticketing blitz or a citizen with a pre-existing agenda.

    If you want to come to a full and complete stop for any reason, you don't need to put a foot down any more than you'd need to shift a car into park. There is no 10-second trackstand rule, just stop and go.

    If someone wants to discuss my riding etiquette in this scenario, I'm okay with that, we can chat. But I find it unlikely that they are actually upset I did a rolling stop. I find it more likely that they are just yelling at a guy on a bicycle... because they can.
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  22. #22
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    There are a lot of issues at play here. I have noticed over the years that a lot of drivers think it is their right to yell at cyclists. I am not sure if it is because they don't believe we belong on the road or just that people in cars are pretty brave yelling stuff at other people including drivers. I have found that normal people that are usually calm and polite can turn into monsters behind the wheel. This phenomenon seems to get far worse when it comes to a driver vs cyclist. A lot of people still think that bikes are for kids and that if you ride one as an adult, there must be something infantile about you. At this point it's more like yelling at a kid or something. I don't think it's a conscious thing, but it certainly manifests in a condescending way. Maybe a lot of these people yell and honk at other drivers,and are generally angry, but I think there is a power imbalance between the vehicles and the drivers unconsciously, will feel free to vent. I know that I feel that power imbalance the other way when I am on the road. Any small careless driver action, can do a lot of damage to me. By the same token, a lot of cyclists do tons of stupid stuff that puts them and other people at risk. The worst offences are those that are sudden and surprise and scare drivers. I don't think they want to hurt anyone for the most part. Bikes are not cars and should have their own set of rules and should not be under the HTA. There are lots of reasons for this. I think most of the time one gets more pissed off at the sense of entitlement drivers have than anything else. They seem to take some higher moral ground and feel free to express it to you.

    Back to the question as to what to do: Most of the time I do nothing and go on my way. Everyone once in a while, a lot of incidents pile up and and I vent on some guy that cuts me off or gestures or honks or something. Sometimes you just let it go, and sometimes you have to go off and chase down some guy and his girlfriend/wife and scare the crap out them when they stop a light. Then you explain how they almost took you out.

  23. #23
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    if this lady was a sheriff deputy - then

    i would pay attention.

    if she is not a law enforcing officer - i would friendly wave and move on, as long as it ends at her being pissed in her own car.

    don't see a reason to apologize to anyone, including the police officer for any traffic infraction of this sort. if i committed a violation and got caught - thanks for the ticket officer. have a nice day. but apologize for what?

    if a pedestrian steps on the street at the crossing and i reacted too late to startle the pedestrian, whether behind the wheel or handlebar - i will apologize. applies to similar situations...

    now, when i live the day when a cager would apologize for cutting me off, bumping my helmet with their rear view mirror while talking on the phone, scaring the crap out of me by honking their air horn as they were just about to pass me and i am minding my own business 2 feet away from the curb, turning right in front of me coming from the opposite direction and completely ignoring me coming, intentionally squeezing me off the road etc etc, i will consider returning the favor. regrettably, i do not expect this day to come.

    but i also accept the desire to be anti-most everyone else around here.

    Quote Originally Posted by garage monster View Post
    That has nothing to do with the question. The question pertains to how you would cope with her reaction.

  24. #24
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    +1

    signing what he said... same here...

    Quote Originally Posted by secret agent View Post
    There are a lot of issues at play here. I have noticed over the years that a lot of drivers think it is their right to yell at cyclists. I am not sure if it is because they don't believe we belong on the road or just that people in cars are pretty brave yelling stuff at other people including drivers. I have found that normal people that are usually calm and polite can turn into monsters behind the wheel. This phenomenon seems to get far worse when it comes to a driver vs cyclist. A lot of people still think that bikes are for kids and that if you ride one as an adult, there must be something infantile about you. At this point it's more like yelling at a kid or something. I don't think it's a conscious thing, but it certainly manifests in a condescending way. Maybe a lot of these people yell and honk at other drivers,and are generally angry, but I think there is a power imbalance between the vehicles and the drivers unconsciously, will feel free to vent. I know that I feel that power imbalance the other way when I am on the road. Any small careless driver action, can do a lot of damage to me. By the same token, a lot of cyclists do tons of stupid stuff that puts them and other people at risk. The worst offences are those that are sudden and surprise and scare drivers. I don't think they want to hurt anyone for the most part. Bikes are not cars and should have their own set of rules and should not be under the HTA. There are lots of reasons for this. I think most of the time one gets more pissed off at the sense of entitlement drivers have than anything else. They seem to take some higher moral ground and feel free to express it to you.

    Back to the question as to what to do: Most of the time I do nothing and go on my way. Everyone once in a while, a lot of incidents pile up and and I vent on some guy that cuts me off or gestures or honks or something. Sometimes you just let it go, and sometimes you have to go off and chase down some guy and his girlfriend/wife and scare the crap out them when they stop a light. Then you explain how they almost took you out.

  25. #25
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    Lol



    Quote Originally Posted by Circlip View Post
    Hi, hope everyone is having a good morning.

  26. #26
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    My auto insurance renewal has a little promo in it reminding customers that they could potentially save up to 35% in fuel economy by driving more gently... now that doesn't mean hyper-miling, but it's a slippery slope. When will cagers figure it out? If they do, they'll be rolling all the stops just like us. Specially those older folks who know the meaning of a dollar.

  27. #27
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    completely agree...

    well said..

    Quote Originally Posted by crudest View Post
    I'm not certain what prompted Ontario's fascination with stop signs at every corner. Almost every developed country in the world sees non-lighted intersections as a "yield to the right of way".

    Since they are stop signs which mean...well, stop, the proper action for this woman to take is to pull over to the side of the road, get on her cell phone and call the police that someone is breaking the law. The police can then decide if the crime fits the effort to investigate...or if there are multiple complaints in a certain area, maybe they'll send a cruiser to sit near the corner and ticket any cyclist who coasts through the stop sign. The problem with this lady just venting your frustration is that nothing ever comes out of the situation and the situation often only gets worse --- and law enforcement never hear about it and don't patrol for it either. Imagine just yelling at every motorist who blows through a school zone at 40km/h over the limit at the next stop light...I'm sure the offender won't change their behaviour and will instead flip you the bird. Getting a couple of community safety zone speeding tickets might, just might, change their behaviour.

  28. #28
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    Quote Originally Posted by Kay. View Post
    When will cagers figure it out? If they do, they'll be rolling all the stops just like us.
    You seriously live somewhere motorists come to a complete stop at stop signs?

    Or did you mean rolling stops as opposed to.. blasting through them?

    It's also worth noting that I am self-reporting my own rolling stops because there are no cars around. Otherwise I would make more of a show of stopping, if not actually doing it.

    When I see motorists do it they are right in front of me. And when I say they are "not stopping", I mean not dropping below 20kph.
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  29. #29
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    [QUOTE=crudest;8426987]I'm not certain what prompted Ontario's fascination with stop signs at every corner. Almost every developed country in the world sees non-lighted intersections as a "yield to the right of way".
    QUOTE]

    Not to mention that stop signs cost more,

    I think everyone would like to vent now and again, or maybe just have a bad day, if venting at me helps them I usually just smile and shrug a shoulder, maybe laugh about it.

    You two must be too pleasant looking, I'm sure if you had a full beard a beer belly and you were sitting on a hog she would not have rolled down her window before she said anything.

  30. #30
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    Quote Originally Posted by Near north View Post
    You two must be too pleasant looking, I'm sure if you had a full beard a beer belly and you were sitting on a hog she would not have rolled down her window before she said anything.
    You can make of me what you will, but really, would you yell at a cute couple like this?

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  31. #31
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    can we get another poll going

    on your sideburns?

    - swabag wannabe
    - want to be different
    - so what?
    - mrs likes them
    - if he can, i can too



    EDIT: PS - Quite appropriate post for the 5000 milestone. According to Circlips diagram, I have become completely irrelevant. Though I know a few around here who would say that anyway....

    Quote Originally Posted by garage monster View Post


  32. #32
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    Quote Originally Posted by osokolo View Post
    - swabag wannabe
    Guilty as charged!
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  33. #33
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    [QUOTE=garage monster;8427427]You can make of me what you will, but really, would you yell at a cute couple like this?

    Well OK maybe not you then
    or maybe her husband doesn't take her out riding any more and she was just very envious.
    I know I am.......My wife just takes me running (not so much on the biking thing) and we never stop at stop signs or stop lights.

  34. #34
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    dialing

    Quote Originally Posted by Near north View Post
    and we never stop at stop signs or stop lights.
    21st Division to report... sucka'


  35. #35
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    I obey all traffic signals on busy streets when there is a lot of traffic around, out of a sense of self-preservation. However, like many others on this thread, at a 4-way stop, I will slow down but unless there is another vehicle coming who has the right of way, I will not come to a complete stop. The difference between a bike doing a rolling stop and a car doing a rolling stop is that if I am on my bike and have slowed down, I can stop on a dime if I have to, whereas in a car, I cannot. No it's not within the letter of the law, but it is in keeping with the spirit of the law, which is to prevent injury or damage to myself or other users of the road, and pedestrians.

    In terms of interacting with motorists, if a driver doesn't see me and almost hits me, I'm not gonna be pleased but I recognise that everyone, at one point in their lives, has a moment of inattention, so I'm likely not gonna make a big deal of it. When I was actually hit by a motorist who didn't see me last fall, once I had realized I was OK I ended up comforting her because she was so upset.

    However, when someone uses their car as a means of intimidating me on my bike, by trying to force me off the road or whatever, then that is a different story. I will typically then chase the driver, get in front of them at the next light, and not so politely enquire if they want to get out of their car and tell me what their problem is (oddly they never seem to want to).

    This is my way of letting motorists know I will not be intimidated, and my hope is that they will not use their car as a potential weapon next time. I'm not saying it's a particularly smart thing that I do here, but that's where I seem to draw the line.

    To plug this into GM's fact situation, this little old lady is technically correct so it's not like I'm going to get onto my high horse about it. I'd probably just keep riding and leave it at that.
    Strava made me do it....

  36. #36
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    at L2L last year I was warming up on the street in front of

    the start line. Coming up to a stop sign, there were three big guys on Harleys stopped and I passed them and continued on, and when they came up behind me,the biggest, meanest looking, 300 pounder came close to me and said something like "you just went through a stop sign a$$hole" to which I replied, nothing , absolutely nothing.
    I guess my point is I 'd rather an old lady remind me I just blew off a stop sign, than a 300 pound guy on a chopper.
    How do I cope or respond, let the lady vent, she is harmless, and maybe when she gets home after a tough day she won't through the cat off the 8th floor balcony.

  37. #37
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    Every incident involving contact by car 8 since January 2002 in Ontario for me. Occurred when I was actually playing according to the traffic rules. Including this,


  38. #38
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    I have no issue with cars or bikes rolling through stop signs. In fact it totally bugs me when they do a complete stop with no car in sight anywhere.

    Obeying traffic laws does not make one a good driver.
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  39. #39
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    this poll sure proves Dief's thoughts on polls.

    What in heavens name are you going to discuss with the driver when you engage in polite discourse? "I feel that it is unnecessary to stop at the stop signs, regardless of the HTA," and she says, (after she came to a compete stop of course and at the appropriate spot not past the crosswalk, and so on) the "the law applies to bicycles as well as other vehicles." You shouldn't apologize, because you aren't sorry, and she isn't going to give you a warm and fuzzy.

    Oh yeah, and I don't stop at every red light, stop sign, especially when I am training and have the stopwatch on.
    Last edited by ol-crank; 09-08-2011 at 12:43 PM.

  40. #40
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    I was riding home from the office the other day and a van was approaching an intersection the opposite was as me quickly not signaling. I was somehow able to judge a last minute turn and turned myself out of instinct as it was quicker than braking. It was at this point I made my flaw out of fear and anger. I did the opposite and stuck my head in the van window while riding and asked the lady if she enjoyed running cyclist down. I was not being rude per-se but was in shock and therefore potentially crass. This differs from your situation but also has similarities. I am glad she did not opt to counter with any words or actions and the whole situation obsolved itself.

    All this said I have always used the look both ways if clear continue rule on quieter streets and stop full at almost all red lights method. If called on it I would likely chuckle and carry on. I however am more protective of family and if was put into a similar situation with my wife and/or child I may make other comments. It is a fault of mine but it is what it is...

  41. #41
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    wtf. Stop signs apply to bikes? When did this happen?

    Blow past those and red lights as long as it's clear.

    Also sidewalks are fair game and you can ride the wrong way down anything. Basically when on a bike treat the roads like a game of Grand Theft Auto.

    Politely smile to her and give her the finger.

  42. #42
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    This sounds like a troll GM!!

    You have to realize this woman, while having a point, that you should have stopped is really just full of angry horse-**** and it's flying out of her passenger window in the form of passive-aggressive whining.

    If you want to take more abuse, engage in the conversation. If you want to escalate, flip the finger. As i've gotten older, I hide behind any road vigilante's weapon. Having been literally pushed through intersections and squished before by people(men and woman) who realizing they won't beat me in a intellectual game of who's right decide to smush me instead. There is no shame in retreat, you wouldn't argue with a person holding a gun to your face and unfortunately this is the same thing even though you might not feel that way.

    Anyways i know that sounds radical, but all those huge "incidents" precipitate out of these tiny little road rage you chose to not let slide. Best to exercise your discretion and live another day when the other person/bully is going head-long for a confrontation(with a superior physical position).

  43. #43
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    I've been screamed and yelled at before and even had a redneck with awful teeth and 1\10 girlfriend pull up very slowly and tell me he'd eat me for dinner and typically I just smile and ride on.

    The only time I've ever gotten angry was when I felt as though the other person was putting my safety in jeopardy. Then I can't control myself and the 4 letter words start flying.

    In this situation I would've handled it exactly the same way as you two did.

  44. #44
    namagomi
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    Quote Originally Posted by crudest View Post
    I'm not certain what prompted Ontario's fascination with stop signs at every corner. Almost every developed country in the world sees non-lighted intersections as a "yield to the right of way".
    It's partly an artifact of our fascination with suburban style planning where residential road-ways are super-wide and long. They allow drivers to exceed the speed limit quite comfortably. So stop signs get installed in an attempt to control motorist's speed... that is all.


    What would be safer is a yield sign(so nobody surprises you by not stopping) and a speed hump or residential roadway designs which aren't drag-strips.

    For a cyclist... treat all residential stop signs as a yield. If a car will be near the intersection at the same time you are - stop. There is almost no actual harm in doing this, provided you are judicious and aside from risking a ticket the only other thing is dealing with an angry road vigilante who is more than likely acting in a highly hypocritical manner - but then they are shouting out the window at a complete stranger!

    Careful out there!

  45. #45
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    For anyone that has a little bit of logic in them, here are the rules for cycling. If you think you are above these rules then you are the reason why motorist are going to start hating cyclist, yell at them or worst. The idea is to share the road and respect the rules of the road so people don't have to yell at each other and keep everyone safe.

    Cyclists are not magically above the law.

    Cycling Skills - 5) Cycling and The Law

    HTA 144/136 - Traffic signals and signs
    stop for red lights and stop signs and comply with all other signs. Set fine: $85.00

  46. #46
    Evil Jr.
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    Quote Originally Posted by Devinci luvr View Post
    For anyone that has a little bit of logic in them, here are the rules for cycling. If you think you are above these rules then you are the reason why motorist are going to start hating cyclist, yell at them or worst. The idea is to share the road and respect the rules of the road so people don't have to yell at each other and keep everyone safe.

    Cyclists are not magically above the law.

    Cycling Skills - 5) Cycling and The Law
    Do you yell at motorists speeding by you on the highway?
    Please enjoy seeing this terrible collection of me - something wonderful is about to happy.

  47. #47
    namagomi
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    Quote Originally Posted by Devinci luvr View Post
    If you think you are above these rules then you are the reason why motorist are going to start hating cyclist, yell at them or worst.

  48. #48
    namagomi
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    Quote Originally Posted by garage monster View Post
    Do you yell at motorists speeding by you on the highway?
    Too much wind noise - Later he will do his worst! However - they deserve it. Lawless dogs.

  49. #49
    sock puppet
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    Quote Originally Posted by Devinci luvr View Post
    For anyone that has a little bit of logic in them, here are the rules for cycling.
    Appreciate that.

    Could you please also award some words of wisdom to those of us who don't have any logic in them, so that we have all population covered. :crying smiley:


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  50. #50
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    Quote Originally Posted by Devinci luvr View Post
    For anyone that has a little bit of logic in them, here are the rules for cycling. If you think you are above these rules then you are the reason why motorist are going to start hating cyclist, yell at them or worst. The idea is to share the road and respect the rules of the road so people don't have to yell at each other and keep everyone safe.

    Cyclists are not magically above the law.

    Cycling Skills - 5) Cycling and The Law
    I always love when those who thump the big book of road laws come out.

    Let's look at some simple facts from my own observations.

    - 8 times since January 2002 cars have physically made contact with me in Ontario

    - Yet in 30 years of biking in Vancouver had only 3.

    - Every time I was actually playing by those laws that people love to harp on

    - This years that the pic was from which is number 8 was again doing what I'm supposedly by law to do.

    Lesson learned? Laws and playing with them will do jack sheite to save my arse from Andy Autotard who seems to think that driving gives them free reign to kill who ever they want. Treat everyone on the road like they are on a mission to kill you. Because the reality is that the laws will do nothing to stop 80 year old driver from removing you from the gene pool.

    And no... I'm not being nice about this.

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