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 07:32 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.
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  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
    Evil Jr.
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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
    Evil Jr.
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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
    sheep in FOX clothing
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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.

  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
    Workin for the weekend!
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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
    sheep in FOX clothing
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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.

  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
    sheep in FOX clothing
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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?

  14. #14
    Evil Jr.
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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.
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  16. #16
    No. Just No. Moderator
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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
    Evil Jr.
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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
    sheep in FOX clothing
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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.

  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
    sock puppet
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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
    sock puppet
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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
    sock puppet
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    Lol



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

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