How would you have handled this situation?- Mtbr.com
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  1. #1
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    How would you have handled this situation?

    Two days ago on my commute back to home from work, I was stopped at the front of some cars at a stop light, in a great mood. I was looking strait ahead waiting for the light to turn green and faintly heard a horn and some one say something. Again, horn and now I can clearly hear a guys voice "Get the F__K out of the way!!!". So I turn my head around and some wanta be ganster is getting out of the back seat of the car (one girl driving and another girl in the front passanger seat). Basically the car was wanting to turn right at the red light and I was in their way. Now normally I will move over on the side walk and let the car turn, but this guy was getting out of his car, flipping me off and cursing at me. Now, I'm 5"9 inches and weigh about 210 and when this guy see's me turn around even more he gets back into his car and is still yelling and flipping me off. By this time my blood is boiling and I'm like "F" you; "I got just as much right to this spot as you do". I mean I thought I was going to have a fist fight with this guy, but he was too chicken to get out once he saw that I wasn't some skinny punk. I know I should'nt have gotten worked up, but this guy really got me upset. What would you have done?
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  2. #2
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    I would've pulled out a piece of paper, a pen, written down their license plate right there. If they still were jawing at me, I'd pull out my cell phone and ask them if they would be ok if I called the cops. That would probably calm 'em down. Oh, and I'd make sure to have MY blood not boil at the same time (which is the toughest part!)
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  3. #3
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    I would have avoided the situation in the first place. Consider your lane position:

    I have a stop light where I go straight, but the lane that allows me to go straight is also the lane for vehicles to turn right. So when I get to that light, I take the lane, but I pull way to the left side of the lane and far up at the light. This allows vehicles who want to turn right to do so (unless there's a car that wants to go straight but then they are blocking the right turn not me) and keeps people from being pissed off at me.
    :wq

  4. #4
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    I'm with you crclawn. I certainly put forth an effort to stay to the right of the lane and to not block turning lanes but if some ass still gets mad then freck em. Its impossible to satisfy everyone so try to ignore the person while paying special attention what their vehicle is doing.

  5. #5
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    ^^ Assumption is that there is room for a bike and a car. Most of my roads: no. The driver is at least on that side so unlikely to scrape by you as they don't need to guess how wide their car is, so a good ides if there is room.

    Had a similar incident just once. Narrow road & lane.. Dogleg intersection. I should have maintained center of the lane until the straight part after. He passed almost clipping me at the turn exiting intersection. Hand gestures were exchanged. He stopped (did not like my Italian Salute).. He threatened to wail away on me. I was head taller, 50 pounds heavier, and fit. I crossed my arms and told he I didn't fancy his chances. He came to his senses and said he had a pizza and daughter to get home. So much for setting a good example. Severe short man syndrome, I think. Pre cell phone. He was just so unexpectedly outrageous that a pen and paper did not come to mind.

    Recounting these helps us be prepared to respond thoughtfully and in a way we can be proud of..

  6. #6
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    I want to say I would have ignored him....however.....

    About 10 years ago when I lived in Richmond, VA, a car pulled out in front of me on Patterson (I think). I braked in time, the woman driving acknowleged me and the guy in the passenger seat flips me off......whatever. I caught them at the next stoplight and I hear it...."hey, watch where you're going...blah blah blah" try to ignore it. Same thing at the next stoplight "blah blah blah", but she jumps in and says "I should have run your dumb ass over".....that was it.... I completely flipped out and my "anger issues" took over, picked up my bike, threw it off the road and walked toward the car and announced at the top of my lungs...."I'm going to break your f'ing nose and f your girlfriend where it hurts".......they got scared and I hear him say "go go go go " and she runs the red light. I am in no way proud of losing my cool like that.

  7. #7
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    Depends .....no one around....I am outta there....

    Crowded downtown intersection he is gonna recieve some attitude back in kind.

  8. #8
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    Oh man... I have this ability to talk to irate people in a completely calm manner but make them madder than ever. My wife hates it when I do that.

    I guess the correct answer is to not fight unless the other guy starts it.

    I know violence isn't the answer... I got it wrong on purpose.
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  9. #9
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    i've put up with that type of crap hundreds of times over the years...usually stay calm and ignore the ass h*le...but 3 or 4 times the assh*le caught me in a bad day..then I responded, i mean sometimes its too much and you can't always let them win...

    Once i dented a hood with my u-lock telling the guy that the next dent would be in his face...he ran away..LOL it felt good and i absolutely dont feel guilty about it.

    it's a jungle out there(here anyways)

  10. #10
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    Wannbe gangster with two girls in the car = something to prove.

    Luckily it sounds like he didn't have anything to back up his mouth with, i.e. gun, knife, etc.

    Me? Quick risk vs gain assessment: 2000 lb car, possibly possessing weapons, something to prove... I would let them pass while knowing they're a lot more miserable being angry at the world than I am.

    Oh, and you can't beat stupid, people like that will drag you down and beat you with experience.

    That's all grasshopper, pedal happy. ;-)

  11. #11
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    I would do... Nothing.

    I ride in a city where road users are trying to mess with each other pretty much all the time.

    I'm to the point where I only react when a car actually bumps me on purpose. Which is a sorry state of affairs, when I think about it.
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  12. #12
    namagomi
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    Aren't you tired of being angry? There is a lot to be angry at on the road so, good luck if you're not.

  13. #13
    weirdo
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    Between the part where the guy got out of the car and the part where he got back into the car, honestly my best guess is that I`d be trying to look casual while secretly crapping my pants. After that point, I`d have gone on my merry way.

    BEFORE the cagers got bent out of shape for that, I go with Nacho`s strategy. Whenever the right turn and straight through lane are one in the same, I stop towards the left so people can still get by to make a right (I do it whenever possible in my pickup, too). If that isn`t possible, I definitely make sure I`m not against the right side, tempting somebody to try sneaking around me to the left and procede to make an immediate right with me as the pivot point. But when people are in the mood to get pissed off, like the kid in that car, they`ll find any excuse they can, so if he didn`t get pissed off for you taking up space at the red light, he`d have just found something else to get pissed off about ten seconds later. Probably didn`t really matter where you stopped in this case.

  14. #14
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  15. #15
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    from my experiences the people that act tough and all badass are usually the biggest weenies. They are afraid of someone that is actually willing to throw down. I'm not say jump back in there face but stand your ground and let them know you're not going to be bullied or talked down too. I myself, would have probably done what the OP did.

  16. #16
    i also unicycle
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    i've had good luck the few times i've need to do something by reciting their plate number to them. most people don't get it at first and look at my like i'm a crazy person shouting gibberish. then when they give me that "wtf" look, i just say something like "it's your plate number. you're not anonymous. what you did was illegal. the cops can find you later." this pisses them off but also defuses the situation from getting more heated physically. they realize that there are consequences and it takes them out of that brief moment of rage a bit.

    i have the opposite problem (sort of) from the OP. for a brief section of my commute i take a road that gains a right turn lane and the left/straight lane is the same, nearly everyone turns right. i go straight and the turn lane starts a ways back from the intersection. i have people come around me on the left just as the right lane starts to exist. they're confused and angry when i don't stick to the far right side of the new right lane .i stick to the middle of the now left lane. then when i get up to the corner if there's any cross traffic we're both stuck sitting there and i usually give them a "OMFG you're a dumb ass look" if they've got their window down, i'll say something about how that was dumb/dangerous and i knew where i was going, and if they have waited 2 seconds everything would have been fine
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  17. #17
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    Quote Originally Posted by McFlyMpls View Post
    One problem with this course of action is that most of us have our favorite routes that we ride routinely. People with anger management/aggression problems may decide to come back later and do something more than yell at you. You'll never see 'em coming the next time, buit being on your bike, you're pretty easy to spot.

    It's sure a short-term win, but long term? Who knows...

  18. #18
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    Quote Originally Posted by ubernerd View Post
    One problem with this course of action is that most of us have our favorite routes that we ride routinely. People with anger management/aggression problems may decide to come back later and do something more than yell at you. You'll never see 'em coming the next time, buit being on your bike, you're pretty easy to spot.

    It's sure a short-term win, but long term? Who knows...
    The other problem with that thinking is that where do you decide to draw the line? At what point do you decide to stop being intimidated into submission and being bullied around?? IF the guy really is psycho and pissed about what had happened, what's not to say he will try to search out the OP on his route again, just like you say??

    As far as short-term/long-term deal... well... if the guy doesn't learn his lesson after getting a faceful of Fox spray and suffering a painful 2-3 hour decon, then I don't think he's smart enough to walk and chew gum at the same time. Hopefully he will think twice about approaching a fellow biker, or anyone else for that matter, in such a way again.

  19. #19
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    Did you legitimately fear for your safety? A short burst of Freeze+P, and then wait for the police while they writhe in agony. A _former_ passenger of a vheicle now laying on the ground; clearly shows _intent_ on their part, you have every right to defend yourself. Only exercised the level of (non-lethal) force necessary to stop the threat. (Yes, I am a L.E.O.)

    Same road, same rules, same rights, as the stickers say....

  20. #20
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    Nowadays I'd just let it go. You don't know who's carrying a gun.

  21. #21
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    Pull your dick out and say, "ten bucks an inch."

  22. #22
    jrm
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    I move over

    when that happens. Also when i roll up to an intersection i try to position myself between the right turn pocket and the thru lane.

  23. #23
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    Reading threads like this just further convinces me I need to stay put right where I am here in Europe.
    Somehting like this would be pretty much unheard of here in Germany. Sure, the Germans yell and get grumpy alot when they drive, but that's just the way the are when driving, it is not aimed at Cyclists any more than it is at other drivers, AND usually if you are getting grumped at by a German it is because you were in the wrong according to traffic law. They tend to respect cyclists just as much as, (or just as little as) motorists.
    And to imagine a German getting out of his car to threaten me because he wants to turn right and I'm in his lane... It would pretty much be unheard of... Mostly I think it has to do with all that the Germans have to go through to secure their driving privileges, and how easily those privileges are taken away from them...

    I do find that when the Germans DO have their 'grump' on, and especially when I am NOT in the wrong, and THEY ARE.... I just smile even bigger and give them a big ole friendly wave while they're fuming. It's great satisfaction to see how it makes them even MORE furious, and ruins THEIR day, NOT mine.

  24. #24
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    wow wild stories

  25. #25
    bump and grind
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    "Anger is punishing yourself for the mistakes of others" - Confucius.

  26. #26
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    Smile

    Don't let it bother you. Just smile at them and it will piss them off even more. I had an old guy pretty much cut me off when he passed me. I caught up to him and I bumped him from behind. I think it was a stupid thing to do. There's plenty of times people will drive by and yell at me. The thing is I can't even hear what they are saying. Don't give the finger or anything. I can tell you from experience they are not worth getting upset about. In time you will learn this. I just ignore anything who is trying to piss me off.

    I saw this one woman honk at a guy because he wasn't go fast enough on his bike. She wanted to turn into the lane where he was riding. The thing is a bike can only go so fast. Funny how she never even honked at me I was going even slower. You just got to learn it's not worth getting upset. It lost lasts what a few minutes. Yet it can bother you for days on end. Just be smart let it go. You got to be a better person and not sweat the small stuff, besides it's ruining your riding experience.

  27. #27
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    Quote Originally Posted by nachomc View Post
    I would have avoided the situation in the first place. Consider your lane position:

    I have a stop light where I go straight, but the lane that allows me to go straight is also the lane for vehicles to turn right. So when I get to that light, I take the lane, but I pull way to the left side of the lane and far up at the light. This allows vehicles who want to turn right to do so (unless there's a car that wants to go straight but then they are blocking the right turn not me) and keeps people from being pissed off at me.

    I do this all the time. Move to the left of the lane, that way, cars can turn right, if they need to. If there is two lanes going straight, and the right one is a right turn lane also, I actually get in the left one. and wait for a car heading straight thats in the right lane, to get back over. This way its his fault, not mine. If there are two lanes going straight, I even get in the left one on my motorcycle so cars can turn right from the right lane.

  28. #28
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    my technique is to keep my cool and think about how the other guy's anger is ruining his day. The winner is the one who walks away and didn't have their day ruined by the incident. gangbanger types typically work hard at cultivating anger, so you can rest well knowing you've fueled the unhappiness that pervades his pathetic existence.

    Condescension is also an effective technique. Think about how he probably has a sh|tty education and poor job prospects. How he grew up in a middle class family but won't have much luck living the good life his parents had. Feeling better about yourself yet?

    thumbs up works pretty well too. other drivers who witness the event are probably amused by the thumbs up too.

  29. #29
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    Right on red is not a given only if the lane is unobstructed and it is safe you have just as much right to stay where you are as any other car on the road .I would have flipped my top and probably cracked him in the nose through his window

  30. #30
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    I am going to start commuting to school here less than month down in Richmond. So reading these stories and advices, just helps me prepare mentally for whats to come.
    “Born to lose, live to win.” - Lemmy Kilmister

  31. #31
    Master of the Face Plant
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    I have been in that exact situation with a wannabe fast and furious type gangster. He pulled up behind me and revved his 4 banger engine with a fart cannon exhaust at me. I moved to the left a bit to let him slide through but that wasn't enough. He just had to mouth off at the old white man to impress his butt buddies a bit.
    Him "Thats right, you better move fool"
    Me " You seemed to be in a hurry so I was just being polite but now you have plenty of time to run your mouth"
    Him "WTF did you say to me?"
    Me "STFU before I rip that stupid wing off your car and beat you to death with it"
    Him "What! F**K you!" Starts to angrily rev engine.
    Light turns green and he angrily peels out smoking the tires attempting to get back into traffic to persue me.

    And then it happens, a piercing siren blares and blue lights flash, a stern voice demands "pull over!!"

    I love it when oblivious morons are so angry they don't even notice there is a cop right behind them. One of the best days of my life.

    Ofcourse I usually go out of my way to avoid conflict but seeing the black and white made me want to teach this clown a lesson. I find the best course of action when threatened in any way by a driver is to immediately call 911 and report them. Tell the 911 operator that they are driving in an erratic manner and making threats and I often throw in that they appear to be drunk.
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  32. #32
    Old Punk
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    Stand your ground and defend yourself. Odds are, he was a high, lazy ass and you were warmed up and ready to rock.

    I'm not saying that you should have provoked it, but don't back down. You scared him into the BACK of the car, and chumped him out in front of the girls. I'll bet you could have got the ladies didgets after that.
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  33. #33
    Ride,Smile, Pedal Damn it
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    Let em go.On one hand i say, Tell them to, "phuck off' and then blow them a kiss. But you never know who you are dealing with. My Dad was a laid back, Jimmy carter loving, tree hugging 67 yr old man. He had Alzheimers and he passed a 30 yr old cyclist on the parkway too closely. They exchanged fingers, The cyclist caught up to him at light and tapped on mt dads window. My dad got out and kicked his ass. My Dad went to Church every morning, he was a very sweet man that was loved by all. He basically went "nuts". You never know who/what you are dealing with. Be safe and smart.

  34. #34
    namagomi
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    Seniors scare the crap out of me... for instance today had somebody turning left end up turning onto the wrong side of the road and almost hitting me while i waited on the cross-street(who says cyclists don't stop at stop signs )

    He said sorry, all I said to myself, was what the ****?

    Obviously I could have flown into a rage since this guy was waaay in the wrong, but even if no apology was forthcoming it wasn't going to chase him down and wrap on the window(every time i've done that i get the sense it's totally pointless)

  35. #35
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    [QUOTE=I often throw in that they appear to be drunk.[/QUOTE]

    That's great. I never thought of that. I will start doing that next time I call the police. I mean, they are acting stupid and driving like a moron. They very well might be drunk.

    I have never had a face to face incident where the driver stopped, and I hope I never do. I am the type who is going to attempt to avoid the conflict if possible as I never know who I am face to face with. But if it comes down to it and conflict can't be avoided, defend yourself the best way you can. Use what you have, pepper spray, bike lock, whatever.

  36. #36
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    I've read some articles recently where people have started commuting with GoPro's to keep this kind fo stuff to a minimum. Apparently when you have a camera sitting on top of your head people are not quite so hostile with you.

  37. #37
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    I will amend my previous statement, that I have never had a face to face encounter. I had one, with a cop. I was riding in front of him on a residential street and signaled to turn left down an alley. Right before I began my turn, he accelerated past me on the left (I was in the left hand side of my lane at the time). Once he passed I shrugged my shoulder as I began my turn. No other gestures. He slammed on his brakes (the tires squeeled), pulled a u turn, and pulled me over. He then started yelling at me and told me "The only reason for this stop is your attitude" (referring to me shrugging my shoulders). During the whole encounter I keep looking at his gun, badge, then face. I knew his name, what he looked like, and whether he was going to shoot me.

    I filed a report against him. I also looked him up on the web. He was involved in 2 shootings in the prior 12 months. In one of them he shot and killed a mentally handicapped man. Neighbors during that incident were shouting at the officer the man was mentally handicapped and not to shoot him. The man he shot was "armed" with a hammer.

    I guess the moral is, you never know who you smart off to on the road. I have said/gestured way worse to drivers before without incident. But a shrug of the shoulders to a cop might have ended in me being shot had I made a wrong move.

  38. #38
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    Quote Originally Posted by rcdenn01 View Post
    I will amend my previous statement, that I have never had a face to face encounter. I had one, with a cop. I was riding in front of him on a residential street and signaled to turn left down an alley. Right before I began my turn, he accelerated past me on the left (I was in the left hand side of my lane at the time). Once he passed I shrugged my shoulder as I began my turn. No other gestures. He slammed on his brakes (the tires squeeled), pulled a u turn, and pulled me over. He then started yelling at me and told me "The only reason for this stop is your attitude" (referring to me shrugging my shoulders). During the whole encounter I keep looking at his gun, badge, then face. I knew his name, what he looked like, and whether he was going to shoot me.

    I filed a report against him. I also looked him up on the web. He was involved in 2 shootings in the prior 12 months. In one of them he shot and killed a mentally handicapped man. Neighbors during that incident were shouting at the officer the man was mentally handicapped and not to shoot him. The man he shot was "armed" with a hammer.

    I guess the moral is, you never know who you smart off to on the road. I have said/gestured way worse to drivers before without incident. But a shrug of the shoulders to a cop might have ended in me being shot had I made a wrong move.
    That's scary.

    The nearest big city to me (Atlanta) had a write up in the paper about how the police were restorting to hiring many officers who did not meet the department's background check requirements. A number of the new officers had domestic abuse records.

    When I used to ride street bmx (beginners especially tend to cause property damage) which draws the attention of cops or ride in parks where bikes aren't allowed, I would tell the other more reckless guys to CHILL OUT when you're dealing with cops. So many people get an attitude and cause more pain for themselves....drop the pride and enjoy the rest of your day...

    rcdenn, not saying you weren't chill. I'm talking more about arguing etc., behavior that one might expect to escalate a cop.

    my tactic when talking to cops is to use language like: "yes officer, I have no excuse, that was a poor choice" I've been let off for going 60 in a 35 and for running a stop sign after busting out the therapeutic talk!

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