Do I need to get mad?- Mtbr.com
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  1. #1
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    Do I need to get mad?

    I posted this on RM, and I got the usually snarky responses, mostly because a lot of riders are not commuters.

    Last night I almost got taken out in the bike lane despite wearing a helmet-mounted Niterider.

    Guy was looking for a parking spot and he didn't notice that there was a cyclist behind him.

    I slapped his passenger mirror as I rode by, which he responded by a quick acceleration at me. I brake checked him in response to his chickensh*t move.

    Of course, this isn't the first or the 100th near miss, and most times, I am fuming. It has never come to violence, just angry words and a slap on a car panel or a tap on the window.

    I have tried not responding, but I end up doubting myself and having lots of repressed anger.

    I was wondering what other commuters do in these kinds of circumstances.

  2. #2
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    stop, take off your shoes, and beat them with the cleats

  3. #3
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    Quote Originally Posted by scoutcat
    stop, take off your shoes, and beat them with the cleats
    +1
    The most important thing is what God thinks about it. He will have the final say. Joshua Stinebrink

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  4. #4
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    Quote Originally Posted by sanjuro
    I posted this on RM, and I got the usually snarky responses, mostly because a lot of riders are not commuters.

    Last night I almost got taken out in the bike lane despite wearing a helmet-mounted Niterider.

    Guy was looking for a parking spot and he didn't notice that there was a cyclist behind him.

    I slapped his passenger mirror as I rode by, which he responded by a quick acceleration at me. I brake checked him in response to his chickensh*t move.

    Of course, this isn't the first or the 100th near miss, and most times, I am fuming. It has never come to violence, just angry words and a slap on a car panel or a tap on the window.

    I have tried not responding, but I end up doubting myself and having lots of repressed anger.

    I was wondering what other commuters do in these kinds of circumstances.
    You need to make the driver fully aware of how dangerous he was....that usually involves hitting the vehicle some how or an other...

    You need to ensure the driver does not decide to kill you in a fit of anger...generally do not get anywhere near in his way...

    You need to have an excape route planned...don't hit the vehicle if you don't have a good escape plan.

    You should have a cell and 911 ready to go.

    You should always back off and make the guy look like a fool...rather than get up in his face.

    It always helps to have lots of witnesses around....if its you and him on a dark road, it may not be the time and place...

  5. #5
    jrm
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    Hitting a car or yelling @ the driver

    in most cases are going to escalate the confrontation. When people get pissed off you dont really know what there capable of until its to late.

  6. #6
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    I used to respond by yelling or smacking the car. But after having an irate driver chase me down and try to start an altercation I've given up on it. I just take a deep breath and go on with my ride.

  7. #7
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    Dont escalate the matter , not only do you not know what the other guy/girl will do , you can just about bet he/she will take it out on the next rider they encounter . Just sayin .

  8. #8
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    Quote Originally Posted by jeffscott
    You need to make the driver fully aware of how dangerous he was....that usually involves hitting the vehicle some how or an other...

    You need to ensure the driver does not decide to kill you in a fit of anger...generally do not get anywhere near in his way...

    You need to have an excape route planned...don't hit the vehicle if you don't have a good escape plan.

    You should have a cell and 911 ready to go.

    You should always back off and make the guy look like a fool...rather than get up in his face.

    It always helps to have lots of witnesses around....if its you and him on a dark road, it may not be the time and place...
    I always have a plan. Frankly, I smacked the car because it was a new Mercedes with two young couples inside. I made a joke a few minutes later if it was a 90's Caddy driven by gangbangers, I wouldn't even yelled out.

    But just because I usually win my confrontations, it doesn't mean I should get into them.

  9. #9
    ride the moment
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    Quote Originally Posted by sanjuro
    But just because I usually win my confrontations...
    means you're due.
    Hey Butthead, are we gonna die? - Beavis

  10. #10
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    Im a commercial driver .... and Ive never had as much road rage as I do being a bicycle commuter. Ive cussed spat on and smacked cars one guy told me I was lucky he didnt run me over..... This is why I dont carry my sidearm while biking anymore.
    '10 Rockhopper SL Comp 29er

  11. #11
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    I say you did the right thing, but carry one of these with you just in case:

    http://www.competitivecyclist.com/ro...38.2323.1.html

  12. #12
    I got nothin'
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    I hear ya, I have had a few issues with drivers also. I sometimes tap the fender just to let them know whats up. I usually get no response at all. However one day, a guy driving a Prius starts to pull out on the street from a parking garage. His actions indicated he was going to pull right out in front of me. I slowed down and tried to make eye contact with him. He saw me then stopped. At the next light he pulls up on my right side and tells me that if I ever get in front of him again he's going to run me down. He then promptly got a nice little dent in his rear quarter panel. Chickens*$t rolls his window up and wouldn't talk to me. Afterward I thought I acted wrongly and I should have just taken the high road and reported his threat to the police. I now try to control my anger so that I don't escalate a situation that could go potentially bad.

    I hate people that act like a$$ holes behind the wheel. There is just no call for it.
    I ride at ludicrous speed

  13. #13
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    I am still working on anger management with respect to fellow drivers' actions. It is a work in progress. I am taking less stress home from fewer incidents.

    A hit on the vehicle is likely OK if it is a warning to stop the accident, but if in retaliation, no. Pickups with gun racks, a blinged out ride, a Police Cruiser (marked and unmarked), are all good exceptions to the hit as a warning. Stay with the loud yell, and pray.

    I am not a perfect driver and it is a very rare good driver who hasn't messed up somewhere, sometime, in some way. That said, there are a LOT of really bad drivers out there most of whom think they are good drivers. They are not TRYING to kill you, but given their driving styles, that's not really a lot of comfort!

    Some driver's don't see large red firetrucks with sirens and lights on, so some will still see 'through' us or misjudge our speed. Since assuming I'm invisible (not invincible) and riding more defensively, I have found fewer cases of near misses. I have also found a cell phone camera a great deterent to the irate driver. I guess they stop for a moment to think about how others would see their actions.

  14. #14
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    Let him have it.

    pink
    Mr. Krabs: Is it true, Squidward? Is it hilarious?

  15. #15
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    I 'love tap' cars, wave my finger wildly, even leaned into a window to cuss a guy out, spit into the open window of another and chased some dude down to his house, but he just kept driving around the block over and over hoping I would eventually get tired and give up.

    Am I ever proud of these things? Do these actions encourage bicycle safety? Am I so perfect behind the wheel of my own vehicle?

    It may be satisfying to release your anger, but the reality is that we are all responsible for what happens on the road.

  16. #16
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    Try not to get mad... seriously its bad for your health.

    Getting agressive with a stranger behind the wheel of a car is risky... all it takes is some knucklehead to have a 'moment' and swerve his car towards you in retaliation and things can get very messy for you.

    This is what I tell myself everytime I have the overwhelming desire to...
    Bikes, beer and pizza.

  17. #17
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    You need to teach those driver a lesson but at same time protect yrself.

    Sometime after a big kick on their car side door, I quickly ride to pavement or ride reverse direction to prevent retaliation from them. Most of the time , they come out of their car only to see my finger and me riding far far away..

    Next time when they try to do any reckless act, they will think twice cos somebody is gonna teach him a lesson.

    No need to be courteous to somebody who try to kill you in the first place.

  18. #18
    I got nothin'
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    I sometimes feel like this when a driver threatens me.



    Don't make me angry, you wouldn't like me when I'm angry!
    I ride at ludicrous speed

  19. #19
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    Stress: what you get when you hold back the impulse to beat the living s**t out of some friggin' idiot who nearly got you killed and SO richly deserves a good dose of whoop-a$$.

    A rider in Madison who is a karate expert was hit broadside on, went through the windshield, was still conscious and DID administer a goodly sized dose. I bet he looked a bit worse for wear. She is awesome! She deserves a statue!

    I have found that dark chocolate helps a lot in reducing the stressful effects of the demented driver sort of like Harry Potter dealing with dementors. It does affect mood and is a great antioxidant for all those free radicals the mitochodria pump out when we burn up the road/trail. YMMV.

    My 'Hulk' moments are rarely something I'm proud of. The primitive part of the brain is pretty scary off it's leash.

  20. #20
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    My "Bike Rage" is what's keeping me off the roads in Jersey. I know within one week of getting a road bike, I will be denting doors, breaking side mirrors, spitting wildly and knocking a few people out. I think it's better for me and others if I stay off the road.

    Which is really a shame. I want to start XC racing and the best way to get in shape is to hit the road hard. Unfortunately there are too many soccer moms in huge SUV's talking and texting on their cell phones. Seriously, every day while I'm driving I see a car slowly swerving towards the ditch only to see them a few seconds later either texting or yapping on the cell.

  21. #21
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    Quote Originally Posted by sanjuro
    I posted this on RM, and I got the usually snarky responses, mostly because a lot of riders are not commuters.
    Or maybe mostly they aren't super fond of you.

    Cheers,

    MMcG

  22. #22
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    Wait till he parks, go over & leave a huge steaming turd on his hood. Whether it's dog doo or your doo is up to you.....


  23. #23
    ol'guy who says hi &waves
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    Quote Originally Posted by BrianMc
    I am still working on anger management with respect to fellow drivers' actions. It is a work in progress. ..........
    I am not a perfect driver and it is a very rare good driver who hasn't messed up somewhere, sometime, in some way. That said, there are a LOT of really bad drivers out there most of whom think they are good drivers. They are not TRYING to kill you, but given their driving styles, that's not really a lot of comfort!

    Some driver's don't see large red firetrucks with sirens and lights on, so some will still see 'through' us or misjudge our speed. .....
    I identify mostly with this. As dorky as it feels, since I have started using a bright white blinky feature on my headlight, in daylight, my incidents have dropped to almost zero. I don't think it will prevent getting doored, but pull outs and left turns just don't happen anymore.

    Recently a blue hair pulled up along side, not seeing me, and started squeezing me to the right. I knocked on her window as we are traveling at about 20mph. The look on her face was priceless. She dropped back and refused to pass until she turned off a few blocks later. I felt a little shame for scaring her but her car was too big to play around with.
    .

    I may not have the best of everything, but I have the best everything that matters.

  24. #24
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    Quote Originally Posted by fred-da-trog
    I identify mostly with this. As dorky as it feels, since I have started using a bright white blinky feature on my headlight, in daylight, my incidents have dropped to almost zero. I don't think it will prevent getting doored, but pull outs and left turns just don't happen anymore.

    Recently a blue hair pulled up along side, not seeing me, and started squeezing me to the right. I knocked on her window as we are traveling at about 20mph. The look on her face was priceless. She dropped back and refused to pass until she turned off a few blocks later. I felt a little shame for scaring her but her car was too big to play around with.
    Dorky or dead. Hard to beleive I rode for 10 years with only a rear reflector, not even a helmet. Then the Bell came out. And I had an accident. Bought my first helmet with the new bike.

    I have now gone to reflective tape, ANSI vest, three SBSF one on helmet flashing, my high beam light flashing on the front of the helmet, and the low beam on half power on the bars. I also just take the lane when less than 14' as too many take the better sight line as a reason to not give enough room.

    I have had several drivers begin a pull out in front to stop when they return and see that the 'slow bike' is almost on top of them (not pedaling hands on brakes, ready for evasive action). I get LOTS of stares. Better to be seen and though a dork that not seen until my body is under their car. A friend pulled out in front when a sign blocked me from view and he commented that he did not understand how he missed me and had to return to figure out how he screwed up.

  25. #25
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    You won't getting any preaching from me, I've done more than my share of stupid actions that escalated the situation (including slapping cars and arguing with cagers at red lights). This year's commuting season is starting and I'm trying to be the world's nicest bike commuter. I've been waving and smiling no matter how stupid the idiot cager's actions are. At the same time I'm taking the lane and holding back the right-on-red drivers for my safety. I hope I can l make it all year without getting pi$$ed-off...we'll see....

  26. #26
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    Quote Originally Posted by pursuiter
    . At the same time I'm taking the lane and holding back the right-on-red drivers for my safety. I hope I can l make it all year without getting pi$$ed-off...we'll see....
    I usually stop 50' back off the intersection to give the right-on-red drivers a place to get by. Works well.
    "Things that are complex are not useful, Things that are useful are simple."
    Mikhail Kalashnikov

  27. #27
    ol'guy who says hi &waves
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    Quote Originally Posted by scottzg
    I usually stop 50' back off the intersection to give the right-on-red drivers a place to get by. Works well.

    Me too.

    It's pretty easy to anticipate the light change and be in full roll at the intersection
    .

    I may not have the best of everything, but I have the best everything that matters.

  28. #28
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    Their Karma will ALWAYS run over your Dogma...don't even bother.
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  29. #29
    Frt Range, CO
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    Quote Originally Posted by scottzg
    I usually stop 50' back off the intersection to give the right-on-red drivers a place to get by. Works well.
    I used to do that, until a lawn truck's extended rear view mirror almost clipped me, it's a very real hazzard:
    http://www.golf.com/golf/tours_news/...722681,00.html

    Feherty said Friday he was returning from his morning bicycle ride a day earlier when a truck hauling irrigation equipment pinched him into the curb and he was struck by the side mirror.

  30. #30
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    Ytd using a lever path for wheel chair and trolley at pavement. There was this couple too lazy to walk a few step to go for staircase up. I was dismounting and slowly wheeling it down and try to be considerate keeping aside becos of the small narrow. The couple passed by me and the guy stared hard at me and start mumbling about stupid cyclist blocking their way(I know he was refering to me). In my mind, I was fuming thinking this punk trying to show off to his girl how macho he is.

    When I completely wheel out of the path and on road. I mounted on my bicycle and ring my bell loud to get the couple attention. When they turned their head toward my direction. I give him a finger and rode away. The guy shout back f*ck you at me and try to chase me. I ride away far from him and give him the finger again. I have a good laugh..

  31. #31
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    I wave like I'm their retarded cousin, act like they're my best friend that I haeven't seen in months, bang on the car a little to get their attention and say "HI!, HI!, HI!, HI! HOW ARE YOU!?" This works especially well if they are already pissed. Anyone flipping me off gets a HUGE grin and a big happy special ed wave. You can actually see the anger growing. It's beautiful.
    You have no excuse for driving to work
    (unless you don't have studded tires)
    (no excuse for that either)

  32. #32
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    Quote Originally Posted by CommuterBoy
    I wave like I'm their retarded cousin, act like they're my best friend that I haeven't seen in months, bang on the car a little to get their attention and say "HI!, HI!, HI!, HI! HOW ARE YOU!?" This works especially well if they are already pissed. Anyone flipping me off gets a HUGE grin and a big happy special ed wave. You can actually see the anger growing. It's beautiful.
    Damn that made me laugh so hard.... LOL!!!!!!! especially the "HI HI HI...." part,

    Dude please do us a favor and post a pics with you doing those expressions.

  33. #33
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    Quote Originally Posted by Dictatorsaurus

    Dude please do us a favor and post a pics with you doing those expressions.

    It's something I can't control...you'd have to drive by flipping me off with a video camera to get an authentic representation of the pure awesomeness I am trying to describe.
    You have no excuse for driving to work
    (unless you don't have studded tires)
    (no excuse for that either)

  34. #34
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    I'm still laughing at the "HI HI HI HI HI HOW ARE YOU?"

  35. #35
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    Well, I feel better that I'm not the only with rage issues.

    Keep in mind when I am caging it, I avoid raging because it serves no purpose. I think when your life and limbs are at risk, the anger rises.

    One point that I always make is very few non-cyclists know what a car horn sounds like the outside of your car. I remember JRA in a bike lane and a Yukon blasted the horn for no reason. It was jarring and upsetting on how asinine it was.

    One thing that I promise myself I would do is if someone cut me off and pulled into a parking lot, I would buzz the driver after they got out of the car. Not just to rage, but to point out how vulnerable you are on a bike.

  36. #36
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    [QUOTE=CommuterBoy This works especially well if they are already pissed. Anyone flipping me off gets a HUGE grin and a big happy special ed wave. You can actually see the anger growing. It's beautiful.[/QUOTE]

    You can't get a good anger on if you are smiling and meaning it. Laughing completely short circuits the anger system. Flipping off 'Forest Gump' is a stupid is as stupid does moment.

  37. #37
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    You have to remember that cars are not looking for bicycles and you have to take a completely defensive stance while commuting. The best way to avoid confortation is to avoid the incedent altogether. If you really want to get back at the car commuters show up to your local critical mass ride.
    http://critical-mass.info/#us

  38. #38
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    Quote Originally Posted by broken spoke
    You have to remember that cars are not looking for bicycles and you have to take a completely defensive stance while commuting. The best way to avoid confortation is to avoid the incedent altogether. If you really want to get back at the car commuters show up to your local critical mass ride.
    http://critical-mass.info/#us
    Too many DRIVERS of cars are hardly looking/listening at all so they miss emergency vehicles with flashing lights and sirens! Bikes or Pedestrians? So we have all said we ride as if we are invisible but make ourselves as visible as possible. So most of us, just by being alive after commuting/riding in traffic regularly, qualify as defensive riders. The others including some of us who were riding defensively, are no longer active cyclists, at least in this life.

    It is important to control our own actions to be as safe as possible. Times, places equipment, etc. Though I realize some are very poor drivers, I will NOT be an enabler.The endpoint of that approach is to hang the bicycle up. Only if a large portion of the population of motorists is so inept as to make it a case of bumpercars, is that reasonable. One of our number after three bumps, did opt out. A very sane move.

    I will try to control my actions to minimize the impact of theirs. I will take my lane to block stupid moves. If they can't make a right, big deal. If I was straight through in a car they couldn't either. I will try by example to educate my neighbors about cyclists. I will defend my safety, and if after riding as visibly and as safely as I can, a driver messes up and makes a bad decision where a fender tap could save the situation, so be it. Being defensive requires a very proactive attitude. I refuse to let it mean letting them run me off the road literally or figuratively.

    The 'Mass' ride here would be the 10 of us (1% of the town population, 0.045 % of the county) who rode the YMCA ride last fall. No, a mass ride is ineffective here. Getting out there letting cars see you daily and getting it into the minds of at least the observant, that there are people using bikes as transportation. Slow I know, but at least it is in the right direction.

  39. #39
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    My commuter is a Cx bike and I make sure I'm lit up....15W halogen front (used to be on my mtb for night rides), a Blackburn Mars 4 and Trek Beacon bar lights. Generally I don't have many issues with folks not seeing me.

    I've experienced idiot drivers too. Generally a bright flash (aim the light right at 'em), little tap (nothing massive...just enough that they are asking "WTF is up with my car?") or a loud honk (I had an airzound at one point). are all it takes.

    The ones that really piss me off are the ones who see you and either a) take an intentional run at you or b) chuck stuff at you. The latter are fun when you catch them at the next light and they mistake you for a cop (I'm built like a brick wall and have several different patches on my riding jacket...none are military or police related, but the drivers aren't looking that closely and seem to draw the wrong conclusions). I had a couple young lads do that from their sport truck and they would have had to have installed escape hatches in the floorboards to get any lower
    As if four times wasn't enough-> Psycho Mike's 2013 Ride to Conquer Cancer Page

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  40. #40
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    I don't know. I feel like this one issue is the only thing holding me back from regular commuting. I would want commuting to improve my life and not detract from it.

    I live in a backwards town in Idaho and no one is bike friendly at all, neither are the roads. I haven't ridden on them once without feeling furious about the treatment I received. While I have only had one confrontation, I can't picture commuting going very well on a daily basis. Maybe I could get used to it and let stuff slide and it might even help me as a person if I did.

    I just don't know if I can justify my safety for that. I really hope some of you have some consolation for my anxiety. I would really like to commute daily, but it would be dangerous and exasperating, is it worth it?

  41. #41
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    Come from a similar town in another 'I' state: Indiana.

    Ride a lot for health reasons. I commuted by bike for almost 12 years in friendlier environs. Recent commuting and errand runs are more dictated in space and time. I found that they like to say "I didn't see you" which to them means it's your fault for riding a hard to see bike and being in my way, anyway. It actually means "I blew you off and didn't notice that you'd closed half the distance so fast, because I was tallking on my cell phone and yelling at the kids in the back seat."

    Found an ANSI vest from Carhardt and street clothes help A LOT. Reflective tape is your friend. When there is not enough room in the lane for bike and car, take the center, otherwise some dolt will try to squeeze the oncoming over to squeeze through forgeting the right mirror that you dodge because you have a mirror, too. You NEED a mirror like you need eyes and hands.

    I have a good answer for front lights for me in a home made lighting system with a bright flashing narrow beam on the helmet that will flash in their eyes if I look at the driver. This has been followed by drivers NOT continuing a left or right clip, can't be sure they weren't catching on by themselves but the body language I read said no. Bright rear lights for night are not a problem. Daytime rear lights to help out the ANSI vest is. We are sorting that in a couple of threads here:

    http://www.candlepowerforums.com/vb/...d.php?t=274251

    and

    http://www.candlepowerforums.com/vb/...=272339&page=3

    Also read the thread here "Another thread about lights": great stuff there. Check mechbgon's post with movies.

    The result is not exactly Chick-magnet. I'm happily married half as old as dirt and don't care, the hair is going and what is staying is graying.

    It seems when you ride like you own the road yet prepared to bail out of an idiots way, and are well marked beyond the law and helping them to see you, it earns respect from most. If they say "I did not see you" it is like saying "I didn't see the bright yellow and black school bus, emergency vehicle with lights ablaze, or a large red dump truck. It is an admission of guilt. Hopefully your mirror, smart wits, and nimble form saved you in the nick of time from hteir mistake.

    Ride like you are invisible. Dress and mark your bike to be seen from orbit. If you ride the same roads at the same times you will train others who use them at the same time, and you will come to be expected by the usuals. Only the out of towners or people out of their normal time will come on you afresh. Try out alternate routes in your car then in off peak hours like weekends on the bike.

    Hope this helps. I did not ride here for 5 years until I saw recent immigrants do it with insanity and not get hit. Vaya con Dios. Challenged my Macho and I needed to exercise and I love biking. So now I'm and unregistered member of 'Los Locos Hombres en Dos Rueda Algunas Veces' or something like that. (Someone will correct my translation).

    You don't have to be crazy, I found, but it helps.

  42. #42
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    What, nobody leaves 1/2" of handlebar exposed outside the end of their grips? They'll do it to themselves when they sideswipe you.

  43. #43
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    Quote Originally Posted by bme107
    What, nobody leaves 1/2" of handlebar exposed outside the end of their grips? They'll do it to themselves when they sideswipe you.
    That would be relieving for the rare occasions when you're actually hit, but what about all the rest of the times that are just infuriating with no way to vent. I want to know how those of you who manage to do it without blowing a gasket are able to keep your cool. Maybe it just comes with time, but I'm not looking forward to the process.

  44. #44
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    Quote Originally Posted by bme107
    What, nobody leaves 1/2" of handlebar exposed outside the end of their grips?
    Do that with drops and you'll core a thigh in a OTB. Very hard to heal, apparently.

    QUOTE=ridemtn]what about all the rest of the times that are just infuriating with no way to vent. I want to know how those of you who manage to do it without blowing a gasket are able to keep your cool. Maybe it just comes with time, but I'm not looking forward to the process.[/QUOTE]

    This is my fifth try at an answer. I have ridden a bike for over 50 years. On roads for 50 years (with a 5 year dry spell in there). I commuted in college and after college to jobs, for a total of 12 years. I only had one run-in with a motorist until I moved here. (Not counting the pull out right in front of me accident.) The riding environment I suspect has changed everywhere with more distracted drivers. In some locales like this one, cycling is almost unprecedented so drivers are completely unskilled in dealing with a fast cyclist. Actually, given the driver's training and licensing procedures, they are pretty incompetent generally.

    So the frequency and severity of the issues has increased. I have discovered that cell phones as in cameras can aid the situation as well as being a problem. Taking pictures of plates and driver have an amazing calming effect, if the driver stops and you think violence may ensue. They see themselves and calm down. I am nearly 6' and trying to get down to 190, so most the two who stopped and got out, suffered 'short man syndrome' and suddenly have the "Oh ****" look spread across the face. THAT has an amazing calming effect on me.

    But I think you are specifically asking for help for during and after the ride effects of bad treatment. While riding, you can't afford inattention of a good mad. Concentrate on cadence, defensive riding, and developing your outs. It is often the second or third idot that gets you because you became distracted by anger, or you did somethng stupid. A sprint to blow the adrenalin helps. When you get home, have some chocolate or a beer. Try to see how you could have avoided the situation arising in the first place. The food and drink can calm you provided you don't have too much beer and lose inhibitive restraint, that is. Being constructive about how you can make it less likely to be repeated, provides a sense of control and reduces anger. Read, watch, or listen to something funny. It is very hard to keep a good mad when you kick in the funny bones. Maybe make the incident itself into a sarcastic story, the funnier the better. Forgive the person even if you abhor their actions. Some of this is very hard.

    Actually, we could use a cycling cartoonist to do a book on "that's what I should have said" traffic snafus. Nothing like the possibility of serious bodily injury and death to really spice up the humor! Mr Bill meets Beetle Bailey on a bike with Sluggo/Sergeant/Magoo as mad motorist.

    We can educate drivers in our area by riding. We will have some stupid, unsafe, and even purposefully intimidating driving behavior to contend with. Most drivers are very courteous. We can only control our reactions to them. Not their reactions to us. I refuse to be intimidated from legal riding. But I will avoid clearly near-suicidal stretches of road. Once I realized that my anger issues are mine, I was able to release them and lower my BP.

    Consider it a work in progress, possibly for the rest of your life. Remember you want to be able to respect the man in the mirror (or woman or whatever you are, this is post '90's, after all).
    Last edited by BrianMc; 05-14-2010 at 03:47 PM.

  45. #45
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    there was a recent post on bikeportland.org that is very relevant. the comments are very exhaustive of all the ways people deal with this situation. one thing i noticed: people who have escalated the situation to the point of violence all regretted it.lots of people like the 'thumbs down'. i for one constantly struggle with this. all of it.

    i nearly lost my ****** when a motorcycle was revving up and getting close to my wife and daughter on the big dummy. he rode off before i could catch up. what zen master could resist yanking him off and beating him senseless?? i see that dude now and again on the road....

    if you are interested, here is the thread, the comments are long:
    http://bikeportland.org/2010/04/28/m...e-interaction/

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    I've been there, and done some. Who wouldn't enjoy bloodshed?

    The problem is the certainty of punishment. You can't kill someone because you'll get caught. It's the sad, pathetic characterization of our times.

    Instead, if the opportunity presented itself, and it was dark enough, you can assault the person if you don't alert anyone else. Other than that, use your intuition and avoid when possible.

  47. #47
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    Quote Originally Posted by BrianMc
    Do that with drops and you'll core a thigh in a OTB. Very hard to heal, apparently.
    Do you run with scissors pointed "up" as well?

  48. #48
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    Man, some of you guys need some anger management courses. This thread has completely turned me off of commuting by bike. I'll take the ****ing bus, thanks!
    Baby, I want my face to be your quiver killer.

  49. #49
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    Dont bother getting mad because it wont do you any good run besides ruin the rest of your ride. Anything more than a tap on the window or fender puts you at greater risk of injury. Just keep in mind that they are in a car and you are on a bike they are going to win.

    With that being said it never hurts to keep Kool Aid in your water bottle and when the ahole puts his window down just give him a dose of love and tell him to enjoy the rest of his day.
    LIVE TO RIDE - RIDE TO LIVE

  50. #50
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    Quote Originally Posted by Buster Bluth
    Man, some of you guys need some anger management courses. This thread has completely turned me off of commuting by bike. I'll take the ****ing bus, thanks!

    You have to remember that this thread is asking for all our experiences. So very rare incidents sound commonplace. Much like the news.

    For me, it is almost 50 years of riding on the road. The actual incidence rate is VERY low. Doesn't make you any happier with each incident, but I haven't had anything acutally thrown at me in a few years now. Maybe I should have a sign near my bike: rides without having stuff thrown: 6231

    Then there are the culprits. Some say it takes all kinds. Maybe yes, maybe no, but we have them anyway! The worst offenders are immature teenage males in groups. The higher brain functions that project consequences and evoke empathy are being restructured add in peer pressure maybe some underage drinking to inhibit what little high brain function there is, and Voila: instant a$$holes!. "What were you thinking?" That is a common question asked by parents with restructured brains about the more idiotic of actions of teenagers.

    Since commuting is often before and after they have gotten out of school, exposure is less. In fact, I avoid cycling right after the high school lets out. These are inexperienced, distracted, and dangerous drivers. Best to avoid sharing the road with them when they are a large percentage of drivers.

  51. #51
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    Quote Originally Posted by Buster Bluth
    Man, some of you guys need some anger management courses. This thread has completely turned me off of commuting by bike. I'll take the ****ing bus, thanks!
    It sounds like you are trolling a bit.

    I started bike commuting because it made sense: biking was twice as fast as the bus, almost as fast as a car, and loads of fun.

    Honestly, I do wonder if I become overly enraged, which is why I started this thread.

    Imagine riding by and then someone jumps out with a baseball bat and starts swinging. Would you laugh it off? There isn't much difference with getting hit by a car.

  52. #52
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    Quote Originally Posted by BrianMc
    You have to remember that this thread is asking for all our experiences. So very rare incidents sound commonplace. Much like the news.
    This is a very good point and a great post! I found it quite helpful to consider your thoughts on this. Thanks

  53. #53
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    No, I wasn't trolling. I"m just shocked at all of the negative threads in this forum. So much hate towards drivers in their "cages." I can understand a lot of it, and yeah there are some total ass-hats behind the wheel, but a lot of what I've read in the commuting forum comes across as dudes with chips on their shoulders. You'd think all of the exercise people get from the riding to work/school would help subside the anger.


    But I'm not a full time bike commuter (yet) so I'm viewing this more as an outsider.
    Baby, I want my face to be your quiver killer.

  54. #54
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    Quote Originally Posted by Buster Bluth
    No, I wasn't trolling. I"m just shocked at all of the negative threads in this forum. So much hate towards drivers in their "cages." I can understand a lot of it, and yeah there are some total ass-hats behind the wheel, but a lot of what I've read in the commuting forum comes across as dudes with chips on their shoulders. You'd think all of the exercise people get from the riding to work/school would help subside the anger.


    But I'm not a full time bike commuter (yet) so I'm viewing this more as an outsider.
    I don't think anyone on this forum views you as an "outsider" (and if they do then forget 'em!). However, if people on this forum seem like they have chips on their shoulders, they are probably hard-won chips. Most people who drive are asshats. I'm sorry, that is very negative but I don't believe in candy-coating it. While we shouldn't drown ourselves in cynicism and negativity, we do have to realize that most people are idiots and when you're out there on two wheels you really need to ride for yourself as well as everyone else because they certainly aren't riding for you. It's very easy to get seriously injured (or worse) and most people are so entitled that they will either blame you because they can't take responsibility for their own actions or they're scared and will do anything to get out of the situation unscathed. Yes there are many genuinely kind and good hearted people out there, but these aren't the people who will be running you down while talking on a cell phone and making a left hand turn against a redlight from the right hand lane.
    R.I.P. Ronnie James Dio ~ July 10, 1942 May 16, 2010

  55. #55
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    Buster, I agree with Gary, but it may also help to check out the "How was your commute today" thread for more of the day-in-day out stories, interesting sights, scenery, weather reports, etc. There is some bad news there too, but it probably reflects the overall bikecommuting experience better.

  56. #56
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    Quote Originally Posted by Gary the No-Trash Cougar
    . Most people who drive are asshats.
    Well, I don't agree here. "Most" is a bit of a stretch. Mind you it might be different where you live than I do. I do agree with, however, that one should ride their bike assuming the drivers out there are asshats/not paying attention/etc. You have to ride with that in mind to survive. But that goes beyond biking--riding a motorcycle or even driving a car. You can't trust others.

    But the us vs them attitude isn't doing either side favors. I say this as a cyclist and a driver (who gives cyclists room).
    Baby, I want my face to be your quiver killer.

  57. #57
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    Quote Originally Posted by mtbxplorer
    Buster, I agree with Gary, but it may also help to check out the "How was your commute today" thread for more of the day-in-day out stories, interesting sights, scenery, weather reports, etc. There is some bad news there too, but it probably reflects the overall bikecommuting experience better.
    Yeah, I've actually laughed out loud at some of the stories in that thread. It's a favorite of mine.
    Baby, I want my face to be your quiver killer.

  58. #58
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    Quote Originally Posted by Gary the No-Trash Cougar
    However, if people on this forum seem like they have chips on their shoulders, they are probably hard-won chips. ... Yes there are many genuinely kind and good hearted people out there, but these aren't the people who will be running you down while talking on a cell phone and making a left hand turn against a redlight from the right hand lane.
    It appears we have a concern over the negative aspects of this thread discussing our anger in almost being hit by a vehicle. This is not an 'us versus them'. I too, am both.

    I felt this essay coming on, sorry if it's a bit long....

    We all extrapolate from our own experiences and feelings to other's situations. It is hard to ride a commute on the other guy's pedals when you don't know what they have to contend with. We are not the same, our locales are not the same, even time has much-modified driving behavior (or I was completely oblivious and or forgetful) as far as my memory of my riding since the 1960's goes.

    Drivers who lived in college towns where I first commuted, had been exposed to a significant to large bike riding population. Most learned as passengers looking out the window, that bicycles are part of the traffic mix, long before they got a licence themselves. Yes, there are outsiders who moved into town and who are not so well versed, but courtesy levels were very high. I did not realize how idylic that was. If that is your current situation, or you have extensive bike trails keeoing you out of traffic consider it a great blessing.

    Some of us ride in cities where those using a bike for transportation or serious recreation are less than 1/10 of 1%. Bikes are most often ridden at less than 5 mph by youth or in family packs on weekends or nice evenings in residential areas, drivers are not prepared for cyclists who can keep up with traffic or 'take the lane' to avoid being right hooked. They treat bikes like pedestrians and often cut over too close. Add in cell phone use, texting, and maybe too easy to drive vehicles with much higher cornering and braking power than my sports car of 40 years ago, they are driving too fast, not paying enough attention, and are angry because a cyclist's presence means they actually have to concentrate on driving, or Heaven Forbid: slow down!

    GTNTCougar used the word 'Most'. That is over 50%. Yep. My assessment, here too. YDMV. Though it alters with time of day significantly. Traffic is much less 9:00-11:30 AM and 1:30-3:00 PM but the percentage of cell-talking drivers of mini vans with preschoolers screaming in the back seat, and of elderly drivers who don't drive enough miles anymore to keep their skills up, is high and brings the percentage of incompetent (temporarily or habitually) to as high as 3 in 4. The 3:00 to 3:30 high school inexperienced driver flood is the worst.

    I have had enough experience here now to separate the honest (but stupid) mistakes from careless or even purposefully threatening driving. (Of course, the fact it was not intentional is not a lot of comfort.) When you have maximized conspicuity, you have ridden defensively as possible while still using the roads, you place the bike in space and time so that any driver with a lick of sense and consideration will concede your right of way and allow you safe passage, and THEN you still have a driver force a situation in a way that is clearly life threatening, it tends to develop those 'chips' on the shoulder. We are not Saints, after all. Such drivers make it very hard to remember: WWJD? They are cocooned in a steel 'cage' with lots of bumpers, padding and air bags. They will not likely even be charged for hitting a cyclist or pedestrian. It is hared not to be a bit resentful.

    So, from my experience, I'd say some of us have the basis to be upset with a significant proportion of our local fellow motorists who do not take their driving seriously enough to pay enough atttention to be courteous. I don't see this as an 'us' and 'them'. Clearly it is more of a 'me' and 'them' and I can only control 'me'.

    The primitive part of the brain is activated by adenalin and it is hard for the more modern frontal cortex to keep it in check. Life threatening driving kicks the adenalin in big time, and then: here comes the anger. The regret a lot of cyclists have expressed for exercising that anger, is the cortex kicking in too little too late. So the response is normal and expected: Fight or flight. Fortunately, the bike provides an excellent way to exericise flight.

    Maybe 99.99% of my riding is incident free. Improved by visibility devices, increased defensive riding, and care in times, places, and weather to ride in. So this thread is a distortion of reality in that it is concentrating on a very small percentage of our riding experience. Since we perceived those times as threateneing body and soul, a thread discussing them is appropriate, even if a distortion of our total riding experience. But take-off's and landings are a very small piece of piloting an aircraft, but are what the news concentrates on rather than the long boring parts of flights with no incidents. So though rare, life endangering vehicle incidents are too important to ignore.

    So this thread is a distillation of all of our life threatening cycling experiences. It's value lies in learning how to deal with the anger. It is now pretty clear to me that exercising the anger is only a viable option when you are actively being endangered, so that hitting the car side or roof or shouting 'colorful metaphors' may save you an injury. It is completely inappropriate as a retaliation after the fact, and you will likely regret it. Although I have found a nice string of profanity is a decent release. Best to sprint out and burn off the anger. When I get home I have chocolate to sooth the beast within. The hardest to cool down from are the blatantly intentional. Fortunately, those remain exceedingly rare. I can count only 3 in all my riding. The telling point is that two were in the last two years.

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    here is a view from Canberra (wiki it) to find the country.

    here we drive on the other side of the road but apart from that everything is the same.

    I commute for the reasons most people do, cheaper, faster ect... but I avoid commuting with other people I care about now because the only thing worse then some one hurting you is some one hurting them!

    the only time I have gone nuts is when some one nearly hit my girlfriend turning illegally.

    but back on topic no I have never had anyone hit me with something but when the local car festival is on it's a hobby of louts to break glass all over the bike lanes.

    and it leads to a question, would cyclists be safer with a reputation as violent people, when was the last time someone threw something at a member of a biker gang?

  60. #60
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    This is an interesting thread. I don't commute regularly since I moved to the other side of town. The distance is fine, but it's fairly dangerous. Riding on the street with cars is apparently uncommon within the city limits.

    Once you get out into the country, it's pretty common to see bicycle riders on the street riding correctly, especially in the south-east and south west, where all the mtb trails are.

    What I've seen is that, one, there are a ton of drivers, both elderly and young, and two, I don't believe they are aware of the rights of a bicycle rider who is riding according to the law. That ignorance is the main obstacle to deal with, imo. I just keep that in mind at all times and try to think what drivers around me are thinking with regards to bicycle ignorance.

    Another issue is all the dumba$$es who are riding bicycles now because of the economy. They ride on the sidewalk in any direction, on the street in any direction, in the median in any direction, crossing however/whenever they want to, etc. I have to drive/ride through a large poorer section of town to get to my office, and the above rampant behavior is another major problem, imo.

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    As soon as you accept the fact that a) You are competely invisible to cagers... (want to know how to make an asshat blind? But a steering wheel in front of him.) and b) yes indeed, they are all in fact out to kill you, you can get over all of your hate and discontent and seek a much happier frame of mind.

    Eye contact doesn't mean sh!t. You are invisible. Or nope, they see you, but he wants to kill you. (see how this works?)

    I've been riding motorcycles and bicycles in traffic for a long, long time now (25 years for motorcycles), and I'm not dead. I used to have a HUGE attitude, carried pockets full of gravel to throw at cagers, rode my bicycle wearing Doc Martins so I could kick really nice sized dents.... but I've learned that all of that is a complete waste of time and emotion. Just accept it for what it is, and learn how to anticipate those deadly situations (SPA = Scan, Predict, Act) and avoid them altogether. You'll live longer that way. Remember that stress kills too.

    You're never going to 'teach them'. Forget about that.

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