Get the !#*&$% off the road!!! (Commuter Passion)- Mtbr.com
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  1. #1
    luckiest of the unlucky
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    Get the !#*&$% off the road!!! (Commuter Passion)

    I am a daily commuter to and from school/work. The town I live in is not very bike friendly and the roads I have to use are even less so. A few times a week I catch flak from witty drivers and douchebags in ratty cars- nothing against ratty cars, I have one myself. Some pretend to play chicken, others give me the bird for no particularly good reason. On rare occasion someone will toss something out the window (luckily noone's aim has been very good so far) and I will report their license plate to the police. Mostly it's just stupid remarks. As far as those actions which don't place me in great immediate danger, there is one thing that infuriates me above all else- a honk followed by some form of "Get on the sidewalk!" Since I have only seconds to respond I rarely have time to explain in detail that I have a legal right to be on the road and that I would actually be breaking_the_law by riding on the sidewalk. The exchange usually boils down to a rapid exchange of expletives followed by a contest of who can give the most enthusiastic one-fingered salute. I typically choose my battles, but one of these days I'm going to piss off the wrong person and get myself killed. I'm sure theres a plethora of similar experiences out there... How do you handle these situations?

  2. #2
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    Pretty much the same way you do. I can't stand the honk and comment either. It drives me bonkers.

  3. #3
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    Know your routes, a bike is very agile and fast, on tight trails.

    I guess I am lucky, I have a lot of otions to get the hell gone, if an agrument should arise.

    That said one guy did catch me, too bad for him it was at a school when all the mom's were picking up their kids.

    Cops got about thirty calls of an assault in progress, and some pretty truthful witnesses, so he plead out to a misdemenor assault.

    I am now registered as an official victim??? eligable for consulling.

    I probably need some but not for feeling bad.

    Anyway know your routes and escape routes, and use'em.

  4. #4
    CHOP!
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    it's all bad

    Fellas,

    I feel compelled to chime in.
    I'm a daily commuter in Chicago, a city not known for it's commuter compassion. Although my ride to work is only a couple miles it's been getting worse and worse. It has almost come to a point where I get into a confrontation every day.
    It's me, has to be right?
    After a few pretty scary scuffles (I get kinda tweaked when people get out of their cars and start chasing me) I've become as non-confrontational as possible.
    Unless my safety is being threatened, I just bite my lip now. Easier said than done no doubt but it does help minimize confrontations.
    I think some people commuting in their cars are pissed off by default and they love to take it out on someone from the safety of their two ton steel box.
    It's tough though.
    I know I'm not doing anything inherintly wrong by riding my bicycle to work, quite the contrary, but it's getting more and more difficult to justify commuting in a world where I will be attacked for trying to share the road.
    It's incredibly sad and unfortunate how a few people in automobiles can shatter a long love of commuting.
    It's become almost unbearable but I'll keep it up. Summer is almost here anyway.
    Persistence is a virtue.

  5. #5
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    I get some **** occasionally. Luckily I live in a bike friendly town.

    Thus far I just go with the bird and a an explicative. I've never had someone come after me though, I don't know what I'd do if they did. Probably run like hell.

    I'm definitely non-confrontational by nature, but F man I have just as much right to ride as they do to drive so they can stuff it.

  6. #6
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    dealing with drivers who dont want to share the road is a fact of life. In many urban areas, drivers often see morons participating in critical mass type activities which i believe hurts their cause more than it helps because of the damage to cars, city property, etc. Because of what the media portrays of critical mass, many drivers feel that most road bikers are overzealous morons who should not have the same rights on the road as them, because of the lack of registration or fuel taxes. Im sure people are going to look back into my posting history and see that i share the same sentiments.

    With that said, i now ride 3 miles each way to school everyday. However, only about 8 blocks of my ride is actually on the road. The rest is a singletrack trail winding through trees and shrubs next to a creek in a city park. When i am on the street, i understand the risks. I ride defensively. If someone almost hits me, i don't get angry, usually its my fault for blowing lights / stop signs, or for not making enough of an effort to be visible. If someone flips me off or yells at me ... i don't do anything back because it isn't my place. The fact still remains that if im right or wrong that they are in a car and im on a bicycle and in butte county, california; where a substantial number of the adult population has concealed weapons permits, you don't want to mess with anyone. If i ever do get hit by a car or shot at as a result of riding my bike on the road, i probably deserved it because i shouldnt be there. Luckily i live in a college town where many people ride bikes, so the general population is used to seeing us. Whats funny about this whole thing, is those 8 blocks of riding have made me a more sensitive driver. Just the other day i was at a stop sign with my dad in the car and i noticed a rider on the sidewalk and waited. My dad didnt see the cyclst till he got to the street, and told me he was wondering why i was taking so long to drive across.
    AZ has the best mountain bike gathering ever

  7. #7
    Dude...
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    I got hit by a ketchup packet once..

    Nothing that bad ever, but I've lived in two relatively bike friendly areas though.. I'm not very confrontational, so most of the times I just let it slide. Probably safer, but sometimes it take me a while to cool down after the ride. I think the people here in Storrs, CT just don't have much experience being around bikes on the road.

  8. #8
    paintbucket
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    My commuting time is far too relaxing and important to my well-being to let some twit in a cage ruin it. I ignore them.
    When the going gets weird its bedtime.

  9. #9
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    It's a fact that a lot of road users actually believe that bikes are not allowed on the road. I've had it said to me whilst cycling in traffic. I asked the guy whether he had lost his senses. I guess it's a measure of their ignorance.
    Mostly though I think it's a result of lack of policies on both local and national goverment level to promote the use of the bicycle as a mode of transport (education, awareness, cycle paths), as a way of helping with traffic congestion, polution and in generally promoting healthier living.
    It's not so much the fault of some idiot if he/she not only doesn't respect your right to safe passage as a road user, but doesn't even know you are permitted to use the road, when no-one in any official capacity has ever brought it to their attention.
    Not much for a man to ask I dare say.. the simple maturity to ensure a limitless supply of clean socks.

  10. #10
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    egg & coke please

    Minuses:
    I got hit with an egg (right between the eyes & landed in the ditch)
    I had a plastic coke bottle (half full...see I'm an optimist ) tossed at me (missed)
    Pluses:
    A car load of High School cheerleaders drove by & went "Woohoo...nice legs!!!"

  11. #11
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    I will be commuting to school once the weather permits it again. I just take a route that isnt insanely busy.
    Looking to buy Vintage Brodies, Rocky Mountain's and steel Dekerf or Cove hardtails.

  12. #12

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    You should have thanked him..

    Quote Originally Posted by Jessep
    I got hit by a ketchup packet once.. .
    Thats a packet of poor-mans "GU".

  13. #13

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    Even though it can be annoying as hell the best thing is to ignore it. The local pigs in the CZ are a bunch of corrupted buttholes who just harass bikers. My friend was riding on the road and drove around a canal (they stick out into the rode and are deep) and the cop asked him if he knows how to drive straight and what his problem was. They are always hassling us for no reason I already ditched one of them and he started yelling at me that I was an a*shole when I escaped. I laughed my butt off, it was so funny. The best thing to do is just let it go and say nothing back. Just be careful for teh rammers, those are the dangerous ones. Crazy drivers and ramming may break my bones but words will never hurt me.

    Shredder111=)

  14. #14
    Just Ride!
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    I'm a full time bike commuter myself and I feel for you. My entire time commuting here in LA I only experienced 1 incident when a bunch of college pips brushed right beside me and yelled hard trying to scare me but I guess they forgot about the infamous LA traffic and I was able to caught up with them pretty quick. Let's just say biker 1 car packed with clowns 0.
    Last edited by Pigtire; 03-20-2007 at 06:05 PM.

  15. #15

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    That's really a shame man. I'm from NYC and my bike was my main means of transportation in high school and college. So, I know the type of crazy things that can crop up fighting traffic on a bicycle. In those days I was more of a daredevil and never even wore a helmet, which was dumb. Now a days I live in norcal and am in to mountainbiking. I walk to work, but if I couldn't I honestly don't know if I would bike just becasue of the crap you describe.

    I went to Holland for the first time a couple of years back and I was really impressed with the bikeway system they have there. Basicly, each road has a 2 lane paved bike lane which is physically seperated from the main road by a concrete divider. You can basicly travel throughout the whole country, very safely, by bike. Imo we need that here in the states.

  16. #16

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    i've had my share of expletives as well. most times, i just let it slide but it IS annoying. here in london, we have narrow roads, so i guess they have to wait for me to clear some of the narrower areas before they can whizz past me which makes their middle fingers more liable to pop out of their hands.

  17. #17
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    Small Town

    I live in a small towm and am the ONLY biker in it. I work at a little store a couple miles down the road and usually take my roadie to work. I've never gotten yelled at or the finger. But every now and then I will hear something coming, and look over shoulder to see some a$$ in a 1 ton pick-up veering off to the shoulder of the road. the shoulder of the road I AM RIDING. I've had to huck my bike and jump multiple time to not get hit. I hate stupid people like that. Thats why when I see a biker while I'm driving I slow down and make sure there is no one coming before I get into the opposite lane.
    But I do enjoy having cars there somtimes. One truck saved me from buying a new wheel and getting stitches. Put a leash on it, its the law.
    Trust me, I'm lying.

  18. #18
    Cheney for Sith Lord '08
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    Here in Vegas it's become inexcusably bad.But the upside is also the downside, in a way: they just don't CARE about you.Drivers will zoom by within inches of you, but comments, yelling, and confrontations (from the drivers, anyhow...I can be another story at times) have been rare so far.When you try to say something to them at the next light they won't make eye contact or acknowledge your presence, usually because that would involve getting off of their precious CELL PHONES !

    However, there was one so far isolated incident 2 weeks after I moved here where a guy got out of his car at a light talking smack for me not being on the sidewalk and I just shrugged at him.He got mad and charged me, at which point I had little choice but to lay his @$$ out all over the pavement.As I said though, luckily it was an isolated incident from a hothead who was probably mad about something else anyway; I just hope the concussion he probably received taught him to be more respectful in the future.I also hope that I don't get arrested/shot for something like that in the future . Makes me miss being in a bike-friendly place like Albuquerque (I know the locals may disagree, and I would have as well before living here, but it really is pretty well-established for commuting over there).
    R.I.P.-George Carlin

  19. #19

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    I used to take that stuff pretty seriously. When I was younger, any time someone would run a turn on red and attempt to kill me, I'd powerslide into them and slam my body against their car, and a fist onto their hood or roof. The noise would usually scare the sh!t out of them, and cause them to consider the potential consequences of their actions, but man, every time I would wonder as it was about to happen if this would be the time I'd get smoked off. Plus, my elbow would swell up and that was no fun.

    So, I hammered, folded & rolled some body armor from sheet metal, that covered my forearm from a very hard point at my elbow to pretty good ball under my wrist. Lots of dented body panels and a few broken windows.

    Since I've recently sold my car and returned to the road again, I've been trying to resist building another set of armor, and simply try to not take careless attempts on my life so seriously. I get in the flow, and if I come out the other side, then it is a good day. If not, then my life finds change. I think this might be existentialism or something, but I've just decided not to worry about it anymore. What happens, happens.

  20. #20

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    Jeez, I thought the roads near me were bad. the worst i've ever got is an air horn.

  21. #21
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    I'm pretty lucky that I live in a pretty bike friendly town. Sure it's cool to ride a fixie around town and stuff, I don't do that but you get the drift. Drivers aren't so much bike friendly as they are just used to being around a LOT of bikes here I think (Asheville, NC). coming from upstate NY Asheville is light years better, but still there are not bike lanes here yet.

    So far I've only had one really bad run in w/ someone and he caught me on a bad day. I was riding my road bike into work, and mind you I'm brand new to the skinny tire thing as it is... almost to work I noticed a ton of debris on the right hand side of the road so I move over a bit to avoid it. Some jerk in a pickup truck honks at me and gives me the finger... so I sprint up to the next red light to give this guy some education about sharing the road. Mind you this isr right in a downtown area and the speed limit is only 20mph. He basically isn't listening to what I'm saying and at this point I'm fairly calm, it was only until he called me an idiot that I got really mad. But what are you going to do, to be honest I almost punched the hood of his truck, but I'm glad I didn't. Makes us look bad, does nothing for the community, and he would have flipped out big time, plus he never made physical contact w/ me so I just cussed him out big time and he did follow me for a bit. Just made me nervous and not enjoy the ride to work... usually I just let it fly, best policy.

    The worse thing I deal w/ on a daily basis is drivers who have no idea how to pass a cyclist on a narrow road. They aren't neccesarily rude about it, just plain dumb. Like they'll pass up good oportunities to go past and they don't... they just wait, then pass me when I'm coming up to an interesection, or when they can't see what's around the corner... duh. There's a small traffic circle only blocks from my house, it's pretty bike friendly in that it's also only 20 mph there and that's usually where I have the most problems. Drivers have enough trouble w/ circles as it is and when you throw a cyclist in the mix it totally throws them... I've been passed mid-circle before... that's frustrating/dangerous/annoying all in one. and yes, it's always some azz on a cell phone. wow, apparently you struck a nerve. kudos to anyone who read all this nonsense!

    ps, this is why we ride trails right?
    My one says BRAP!

  22. #22
    luckiest of the unlucky
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    Quote Originally Posted by miguel antonio
    i've had my share of expletives as well. most times, i just let it slide but it IS annoying. here in london, we have narrow roads, so i guess they have to wait for me to clear some of the narrower areas before they can whizz past me which makes their middle fingers more liable to pop out of their hands.
    Last time I was in London I rented a bike to explore the city a bit more quickly, which I might mention was a very do-or-die method of learning to drive on the other side of the street! I couldn't believe the extent to which bikes were integrated into traffic. I desperately wish we had 1/100th of that here.

  23. #23
    luckiest of the unlucky
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    Quote Originally Posted by Brutal Cycles
    So, I hammered, folded & rolled some body armor from sheet metal, that covered my forearm from a very hard point at my elbow to pretty good ball under my wrist. Lots of dented body panels and a few broken windows.
    That's hilarious/awesome. The mental image is wonderful.

  24. #24
    I'm SUCH a square....
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    only one time did i back down from a JAM -- remember the big convict in "green mile"? this f*** was bigger. other than that, if they say, "get on the sidewalk!" or get off the road!" i'll usually give them something like "get off yo' mama!" they usually throw a bird and a honk as they speed off.
    A bike is the only drug with no bad side effects....

  25. #25
    ravingbikefiend
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    Compared to you all I live in a biking mecca where the drivers are always considerate and respectful of the two wheeled machines they share the road with.

    But seriously...over coffee at work one of the guys was going on about how much he hated cyclists, that they didn;t belong on the road, and that he'd like to run them all over.

    I had just started working there and not very many folks knew how much of a cyclist and activist I am.

    Before I could say a word another co-worker came into the lunch room and told me how much he liked my bike and that he couldn't believe how far I rode to work.

    The generalized anti-cycling statements have stopped and I don't mind if people relate tales of bad or inconsiderate cyclists as I often get to work ranting about the idiots in their cars.

    I do seem to get more respect as a cyclist on the road than I do as a guy driving a compact car... it's like the other drivers are bulls and my car is red.

    Wait...my car is red.
    I ride with 65'er...he's a mountain goat....But then again, we need to throw him in the mud and pack his pockets with lead shot before a scale will read him. - Psycho Mike

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  26. #26
    Double-metric mtb man
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    I'm in the same city as 65'er and have some more mixed reviews. I generally try to avoid the roads where possible and for good reason.

    Mrs. Psycho and I have had folks honk, swerve and generally try to intimidate us off the road. Generally, I try to avoid the confrontations...just not worth the effort as most who would confront me are ignorant of the Highway Act that says I have as much right to the lane as they do. Generally, things aren't too bad, but you do get a few out there who are dorks. It is part of the reason I keep my cell handy....you can a) call the cops if something happens or b) watch them drive off in a hurry when you are snapping (or pretending to snap, depending on the capabilities of your phone) a photo of them at the next light.
    As if four times wasn't enough-> Psycho Mike's 2013 Ride to Conquer Cancer Page

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  27. #27

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    I used to commute between Milpitas and Morgan Hill so I had to ride Capital avenue,some side streets then First street then Monterey Road and finally Monterey Highway.
    Some drivers try do stupid things to piss me off but most of the times I just kept on going. I also have to keep in mind some drivers make mistakes so I need to watch my temper. The DMV Driver's manual has a page or two on rules of the roads that both drivers and cyclists have to follow but I guess some people skip those pages.

    As for the a-holes...Twice on Monterey road,near the Blossom Hill on-ramp,I had crossed over to the other side so I can grab something from the late night Taco-Bell drive-thru when two idiots in a Honda drove past and threw an egg at me.The first time caught me by surprise so I could do nothing about it. A month later,the same idiots did it to me again,at the same spot but they didn't expect me to pivot my bike around and chase after them.When they saw how pissed off I was and how fast I caught up to them,the driver floored it but I got his plate number. They were caught by the police a few minutes later which surprised me because you can never get a cop when you really need one around here. I stopped going to Taco-Bell after that.
    Like what the others have said,pick your routes and know your escape routes if you do get in a mess with someone.Flipping someone off will not do you any good unless you're prepared to kick someone's ass and win and escape in order to avoid an assault charge.
    These days I drive to work and there are times I have to pass a cyclist who is taking up the right lane or swerving suddenly to avoid a gutter,debris or whatever.I'll go around the rider but if I can't, I have to tap the horn in a way so as not to piss the rider off,but to let him know there's a car near him.I'll wave at him thru the sun-roof and hopefully he or she notices the Mavic decals on my side windows before they flip me off.
    I won't get pissed because I know what the rider is thinking. Too many a-holes on the road.

  28. #28
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    I really don't have too many stories about bad commutes myself. Just the typical name calling and so on. I was having a problem w/ one fellow here on base a few yrs back. Would see me coming down the street purposely cut me off. Well, Base security *Federal Police Officers* saw him do it one too many times and just so happened that that particular officer was a good friend. Light his ass up, gave him a ticket and I haven't had a problem since.

    The only really irate drive I ever saw was last yr on the MS150 ride I did. Was riding along w/ the pack that was kinda spread out. Now about half of these people were not regular cyclists. They were just riding for the cause. About 150 or so. Anyhow, this guy comes up behind us and is just laying on the horn and being a total d!ck. I mean, what does he want us to do? it was a mile long, spread out pack. Luckily, he wasn't more aggressive than that, but still. I heard him screaming stuff at us when he turned off.

  29. #29

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    Quote Originally Posted by Brutal Cycles
    So, I hammered, folded & rolled some body armor from sheet metal, that covered my forearm from a very hard point at my elbow to pretty good ball under my wrist. Lots of dented body panels and a few broken windows.
    .
    Yow, hardcore!

    I commute in a pretty bike friendly town, but I did have a punk honk at me while I was in the middle of the street to make a left turn. I backed up and asked him what his problem was, he said I should be on the sidewalk where pedestrians belong.

    We ended up having a fairly civil discussion in the middle of the road for about a minute, fortunately there wasn't much traffic. Couldn't convince him that bike are vehicles, some people just don't get it.

  30. #30
    pillage! plunder! 4 parts
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    Since I share your disgust....

    ...and have a real hard time w/ people who can't wait a couple extra seconds to press on the accelerator or brake pedal I just have to try and find some humor in it.

    http://www.cafepress.com/buy/cycling...t_/pg_/c_/fpt_
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  31. #31
    Nat
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    I try not to engage.

    I also try to pre-emptively be friendly, as if the driver is someone I know from the community. I figure it's easier to act like an ass at a stranger than to someone you might know from work, school, or some other social circle.

    Fortunately I live in a bike-happy city, so my negative encounters are rare to absent.

  32. #32
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    Last summer I was coming down a hill where the road makes a right turn. At the intersection the cars have a yield sign. It's not unusual to get cut off by a car who does not think he should have to yield to a cyclist, it also happens when I wear/ride my invisible cycling gear. On this day I get cut off and the car is not going very fast due to the cars in front of him. I sit up and make the shape of a yield sign with my arms. At the light 200 yards down the road I'm behind him and he gets out of the cars. Holy shet! Get unclipped and kick off the shoes because there's going to be a butt kicking and if I'm in road shoes it's going to be me. Before I can do anything he yells "Sorry Man, I don't know why I did that" Hey, no problem.

  33. #33
    Nat
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    Okay, can I admit I've had an urge to plow into a bicyclist with my car before?

    I was approaching a T-intersection in my car and had no stop or yield sign. My right of way was to continue straight ahead. From the right a guy on a bike (more of a DUI biker than a "cyclist") blew through his stop sign and turned left across my bow, didn't even acknowledge that I almost hit him. I slammed my brakes and my groceries went all over the place. I swear I was tempted to just gun it into his ass. Of course I didn't.

  34. #34
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    I agree this happens all to frequently. I've been living in Moncton (small for a city) Canada for a few months now and the 4-lane roads I have to ride on are barely big enough for the 4 cars. It really burns me that the city couldn't just make the roads a foot wider so that I don't jump out of my skin every time a car rubs my shoulder. My worst fear is that I will be quickly pushed over into the 6in sidewalk wall and get run over.I drive here too and the drivers are insane, so I decided to stop playing with my vitality and now ride on the sidewalk. It's not worth risking my life to ride on the road.

  35. #35
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    Quote Originally Posted by strat6
    I agree this happens all to frequently. I've been living in Moncton (small for a city) Canada for a few months now and the 4-lane roads I have to ride on are barely big enough for the 4 cars. It really burns me that the city couldn't just make the roads a foot wider so that I don't jump out of my skin every time a car rubs my shoulder. My worst fear is that I will be quickly pushed over into the 6in sidewalk wall and get run over.I drive here too and the drivers are insane, so I decided to stop playing with my vitality and now ride on the sidewalk. It's not worth risking my life to ride on the road.
    Sounds like there was absolutely no consideration at all given to cyclists. We have some cycle paths. I think catering for cyclists benefits everybody, cyclists obviously, but also motorists as more cyclists means less cars on the road.
    I have not had any aggression towards me at all, definately some bad driving - but not intentionally bad driving. There is very low contention between cars and bikes on my ride, a lot of it is on cycle-paths, some on road that has a very very wide shoulder and some where cars are only doing about 40Kmh so the bikes are going same speed, so I think that is key as motorists don't really have to contend with passing cyclists much so conflict doesn't happen as often.

  36. #36
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    Quote Originally Posted by JoelM
    ... I typically choose my battles, but one of these days I'm going to piss off the wrong person and get myself killed. I'm sure theres a plethora of similar experiences out there... How do you handle these situations?
    blow kisses.

    a-hole drivers really love that.

    generally i try to ignore the idiots who yell/throw things. when they play chicken (which hasn't happened to me recently but has in the past) i've done the same as you - reported the plate number to the police.

    i've pretty much learned to control my use of the middle finger as i did this once, while driving my car, to another driver who cut me off right before a toll plaza. when i stopped to throw my money into the basket the other guy stopped behind me, got out of his car, came up to my window and yelled at me about how cutting me off was an honest mistake blah blah blah. being the idiot i am i actually opened the window to yell back at him. really stupid move considering i'm 5'1, 100 lbs, and female. the whole experience scared the p*ss out of me and i've been much more careful about who i flip off.....even if (i think) they deserve it.

    on a bike i am more likely to yell explitives at rude drivers but if i'm going to make a hand gesture i'll smile & wave, or blow a kiss.

    but my best strategy, or at least the one that is likely to keep me alive for the longest period of time, is to ignore the offensive but less menacing morons and report the dangerous morons.

    rt
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  37. #37
    Nat
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    I've been appreciating the joy of trekking bikes the past few days. With big (for a 'crosser) tires I can ride around the city on dirt trails and back alleys, avoiding major streets. I'm liking it a lot.

  38. #38
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    I only ride the road to get to singletrack and in those miles of pavement which are far smaller in amount than many many many of you I've had a few run ins

    Had an old lady try to pull out in front of me from a gas station. I was fully prepared to go onto her lap through the window. She was pulling out and slammed on the brakes real fast. I was able to swerve enough to miss her. As I passed by I gave her the "Thanks you almost killed me look" She looks really upset so I guess it worked.

    Another incident happened when I was coming down a hill that has a multi-use path on it. I was off the side in the grass and 4 guys were walking towards me. As I got within 10 feet of them they jumped in front on me. I somehow managed to sidehop my bike and not wreck. I stopped and turned around. They were laughing at me and I calmly said "Next time I call the cops and get you for assult." They stopped laughing pretty fast.

    Other than that and a few cars coming closer than I liked I've been pretty safe. (Knock on wood)
    ~ it's all good ~

  39. #39
    Nat
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    Quote Originally Posted by ZoSoSwiM
    They were laughing at me and I calmly said "Next time I call the cops and get you for assult." They stopped laughing pretty fast.
    ...and then after a moment they really laughed their heads off!

  40. #40
    Elitest thrill junkie
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    Quote Originally Posted by strat6
    I agree this happens all to frequently.
    Does it happen more frequently than the rate at which cars hit other cars?
    "It's only when you stand over it, you know, when you physically stand over the bike, that then you say 'hey, I don't have much stand over height', you know"-T. Ellsworth

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    Quote Originally Posted by Nostromo
    Sounds like there was absolutely no consideration at all given to cyclists. We have some cycle paths. I think catering for cyclists benefits everybody, cyclists obviously, but also motorists as more cyclists means less cars on the road.
    I have not had any aggression towards me at all, definately some bad driving - but not intentionally bad driving. There is very low contention between cars and bikes on my ride, a lot of it is on cycle-paths, some on road that has a very very wide shoulder and some where cars are only doing about 40Kmh so the bikes are going same speed, so I think that is key as motorists don't really have to contend with passing cyclists much so conflict doesn't happen as often.
    Actually I never really thought about the benefit to the drivers as well as the bikers if there were designated pavement/trails. That's a good point. More paths for cyclists means less cyclists on the roads, which means less stress for everybody. Now I know that we have a right to be there, but this way there would be no confusion. Most of the drivers I know have a hard enough time not getting into an accident with their fellow traffic, then they see me taking up a foot and a half of their pavement and think it's all over for them.

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    I've been commuting to school and work for a few years and here are my two most notable incidents:

    1)The same lady almost hit me three times in a 5 minute span

    2)A farer in a cab purposely opened his door while the cab was moving to try and hit me.

  43. #43
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    Wow, that's nuts! I’ve been riding to work every day for over 5 years and can count the major confrontations I’ve had on one hand. But Seattle is a bike friendly city, people still do some dumb stuff, you gotta stay on your toes. But there are a bunch of bikes so people are used to them. Especially in the summer.

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    Quote Originally Posted by *rt*
    blow kisses.

    a-hole drivers really love that.

    rt
    I did that to a guy during a hockey game once; everyone tried to figure out what I'd said to him after he went postal, and no one believed me when I said "nothing."

    I can say that after commuting on the streets of Chicago 24 miles a day for some years, I've had some "fun" moments. The worst was a car full of kids from the 18k/year prep school that I pass who decided that I would be a fun target to throw their almost full bottles of soda at me as they drove by in daddy's SUV doing 30mph.

    The best response I've seen to an asshat driver was the other day on a ride out into the suburbs and back with some buddies; we were all buzzed by this Ford Valdez-sized SUV on a fairly wide road and one guy got clipped by the mirror on his shoulder. As luck would have it, the next light was red and we (group of 5) caught up to him. Knowing him pretty well, I was fully expecting window banging, screaming, and other niceties from the guy who was clipped, but instead he motioned (politely) for the guy to roll down his window and, as well as I can remember, said (nicely):

    "I'm not trying to start a fight, I just wanted to let you know that you drove really close to all of us back there and actually clipped my shoulder with your mirror. I hope that it wasn't on purpose, the only reason I'm saying that is because the road was pretty wide, we were riding single file, and there wasn't any traffic coming the other way. I don't know how you feel about bikes on the road, but I don't think making a point about it is worth killing someone."

    I couldn't hear everything coming from the guy inside the car, but there was a lot of apologizing and he honestly didn't realize he had driven so close to us. The exchange was pretty pleasant and the guy even initiated a handshake saying thanks for letting him know and he'd be more careful in the future.

    Had it been handled the aggressive way, there would've just been screaming, yelling, and a motorist who might have gotten even closer to the next biker in some sort of karmic passive-aggressive act of vengeance. For the cynics among us, the group consisted of three former bike messengers and an ex-cop who all agreed that the guy was genuine or the best actor we've ever seen.

    My new way of dealing with the asshats is ignore them unless I can have that polite conversation; anything else just adds fuel to the fire.

    And for those yelling to "get off the road," there's little point telling them that it was the League of American Wheelman (now League of American Bicyclists) who successfully lobbied Congress to form the Office of Road Inquiry (now the Federal Highway Administration) back in 1892, a decade before Mr. Ford made his first car and twenty years before the Model T made cars "affordable." Their small minds couldn't comprehend the fact that they're really our roads.

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    I have to admit my feelings on this matter lean more towards the start carrying a p7m8 and using it to give a wake up call to rude drivers side of the argument. How many would we have to shoot to get this to stop once and for all?

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    Im pretty lucky in the fact that I live in a bike-friendly area. Locals grew up with Rodale in the back-yard, as well as a Velodrome that is a county park. With that said, though, the area is growing (mostly people from -insert superhero voice- 'the CITY') where folks aren't as nice to cyclists, so you never know what you're going to get. For the most part, though, the sheer density of cyclists in the area pretty much force drivers to be aware- heck, we even get 'heavy cyclist area' signs when they work on roads that are known-routes....I only have one spot that is hairy, but other than that, the commute is back roads and mountains....

  47. #47
    Ride 2 Work, Work 2 Ride!
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    I just smile and wave.
    "Don't give up, Never give up!"

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    Quote Originally Posted by dankilling
    Im pretty lucky in the fact that I live in a bike-friendly area. Locals grew up with Rodale in the back-yard, as well as a Velodrome that is a county park. With that said, though, the area is growing (mostly people from -insert superhero voice- 'the CITY') where folks aren't as nice to cyclists, so you never know what you're going to get. For the most part, though, the sheer density of cyclists in the area pretty much force drivers to be aware- heck, we even get 'heavy cyclist area' signs when they work on roads that are known-routes....I only have one spot that is hairy, but other than that, the commute is back roads and mountains....

    As long as they don't put one of those signs in front of my driveway, lol

  49. #49
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    Tucson

    My boss used to live in Tucson. He got shot in the back while commuting with .45. Three surgeries later he is here in Colorado...but not back on a bike.....
    Free will is an illusion, people will always choose the perceived path of greatest pleasure.

  50. #50
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    A long time ago my SO got hit between the shoulder blades by a beer bottle, thrown by a guy in a car. Unfortunately for the guy, he wound up at a red light a few blocks away. The guy did not fair well once a very angry cyclist was done. Cops sided with the cyclist in the end.
    '07 Marin Rift Zone
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    Bwah, ha, ha!

    Quote Originally Posted by Kudzu
    I had a plastic coke bottle (half full...see I'm an optimist ) tossed at me
    Now THAT is funny!

  52. #52
    Art is Resistance
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    Quote Originally Posted by Jayem
    Does it happen more frequently than the rate at which cars hit other cars?

    No, but when a cyclist gets hit by a car, the cyclist doesn't have a ton or more of metal protecting them, so the danger is much, much higher.

  53. #53
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    The Way It Is

    I'm 58 and have been riding on 2 wheels for 52 yrs. I try to stay off all roads.The sidewalk is the only place I feel safe around cars besides off road .You have to ride as close to the curb as possible.Most of the world population is out of shape and riding a bike is not enjoyable.But we have to keep ourselves out of the way.Common sense.Cars rule the road.Harleys really do but bikes don't get in their way.A time will come when bicycles will still be allowed.Hummers and other gashogs will be outlawed.We'll be in bike heaven by thenYou know,like dead.I got the fk off the road and I'm alot happier.Sometimes I can't avoid it.The sidewalk works but you have to give peds a wide berth.Just don't let your saddle cause impotence.

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    Quote Originally Posted by michaelblade
    The sidewalk is the only place I feel safe around cars besides off road...
    I'll admit, when traffic condenses and the shiesse starts getting thick, that sidewalk starts looking pretty good. Being a new kid in this town though, I'm not sure if sidewalks are fair game. Since many roads have bike lanes, I assume they're not. Hey Lidarman, whaddya know?

    It is nice when sidewalks are legal though. It's great having an emergency exit to jump up on to, to duck out when things get tight in the road. With a quick hop, you get to switch from being a car to being a pedestrian, following a whole seperate set of rules and seeing everything from a different perspective yet again. Keeps ya on your toes. Pretty nice being able to use both sides of civil infrastructure to your advantage.

  55. #55
    luckiest of the unlucky
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    Quote Originally Posted by used2Bhard
    My boss used to live in Tucson. He got shot in the back while commuting with .45. Three surgeries later he is here in Colorado...but not back on a bike.....
    Woah, that is really nuts. Is there any more to that story?

  56. #56
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    Quote Originally Posted by NJMX835
    As long as they don't put one of those signs in front of my driveway, lol
    Dude- that is funny- I never even thought of it that way....

  57. #57
    ravingbikefiend
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    Quote Originally Posted by michaelblade
    I'm 58 and have been riding on 2 wheels for 52 yrs. I try to stay off all roads.The sidewalk is the only place I feel safe around cars besides off road .You have to ride as close to the curb as possible.Most of the world population is out of shape and riding a bike is not enjoyable.But we have to keep ourselves out of the way.Common sense.Cars rule the road.Harleys really do but bikes don't get in their way.A time will come when bicycles will still be allowed.Hummers and other gashogs will be outlawed.We'll be in bike heaven by thenYou know,like dead.I got the fk off the road and I'm alot happier.Sometimes I can't avoid it.The sidewalk works but you have to give peds a wide berth.Just don't let your saddle cause impotence.
    I teach riding safety... you can find the same info online if you question my advice.

    In most cases it's illegal to ride a bicycle on the sidewalk and if you ride on the sidewalk and cross intersections on your bike you run a high risk of being struck by a car as drivers look for slow moving peds and not fast moving bikes.

    riding on the wrong side of the street and riding through crosswalks is a near

    When riding on the road sticking close to the curb is an invitation for motorists to crowd you and perhaps drive you over the curb and a better strategy is to stay a metre / yard from the curb or any parked cars as getting doored sucks.

    You have to claim your space on the road.

    When one is commuting there is no such thing as being too visible and one of the best ways to do this is by using active lighting at all times.

    I use some very bright LED lights that can be seen for blocks in the middle of the day and several kilometres at night. I'm lit at the front, from the rear, and have a blinking LED mounted ot the rear of my helmets as the back of my head is usally above the level of cars and is easily seen..

    If the roadways are too crowded and too narrow for cars and bicycles then taking the sidewalk becomes a safer option... my strategy is to avoid roadways like this and if I have to ride them I do so at the same speed as the cars as to not obstruct traffic.
    I ride with 65'er...he's a mountain goat....But then again, we need to throw him in the mud and pack his pockets with lead shot before a scale will read him. - Psycho Mike

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  58. #58
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    Yup, I'd have to agree that riding on the sidewalk is far more dangerous than riding on the road. People simply do not see you on the sidewalk, even if you've been in front of them traveling in the same direction. They will still turn into you. I've been hit before on a crosswalk riding on the sidewalk. Fortunately I was on a MTB with hydros. Still didn't come to a complete stop, but neither I nor my bike got hurt. Road bike would have been a different story.
    I stay off of the sidewalk whenever I can.

  59. #59
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    Quote Originally Posted by dankilling
    Dude- that is funny- I never even thought of it that way....
    It's kinda like those signs that say "Caution Slow Children at Play"

  60. #60
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    Thing about sidewalks is that they come equipped with pedestrians, dogs, signs and so forth... a regular obstacle course....

    I'm with 65'er....I stay off the sidewalks (illegal here unless you're riding a sub 24" wheeled bike) and try to avoid the really busy roads...unless I'm on the roadie bike, in which case I just pick a nice car and follow along side
    As if four times wasn't enough-> Psycho Mike's 2013 Ride to Conquer Cancer Page

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    At work one day, I was in the break-room and the fact that I was a cyclist was mentioned. This one lady who lived up in this small town in a mountain canyon came unglued when she heard that. She practically lunged at me because of her frustration from dealing with road bikers. It’s like she blamed me personally for every problem she ever had while driving and dealing with cyclists on the road. I probably could have thought of some great come-backs if I had even remotely expected such a verbal assault but I was caught totally off-guard. The bad things about all this is that she (and many others around here) are petty redneck and don’t know anything about driving around cyclists, but many times, there are cyclists that do ride in a way that legitimately pisses drivers off. The worst thing I see around here that does give bikers a bad name is these team “group-rides” where racers get together in their team kits and ride like they own the road and won’t integrate single-file when a car comes from behind because they don’t want to sacrifice their “position in the peleton” and maybe that would make it harder for them to “win” the training ride. Testosterone takes over on those damn group-rides and I have come close to being hit by a car way more in those groups because some guy won’t move over than when I’m riding by myself. The worst example of this happens when there is a double paceline going up a hill and I pulled off to grab on the back of the pack. This guy tries passing me on the LEFT so we were 4 riders wide on the road as a car was coming up. All this even when I waved them to come through way before the car came up on us. Anyway…… it has been said on this forum many times, road bikers CAN be jerks. That makes drivers hate us even more

  62. #62
    ravingbikefiend
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    Anyone can be a jerk and sometimes those jerks ride bikes.
    I ride with 65'er...he's a mountain goat....But then again, we need to throw him in the mud and pack his pockets with lead shot before a scale will read him. - Psycho Mike

    -Environmental stickers don't mean shite when they are stuck to CARS!-

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    Quote Originally Posted by JoelM
    Yup, I'd have to agree that riding on the sidewalk is far more dangerous than riding on the road. People simply do not see you on the sidewalk, even if you've been in front of them traveling in the same direction. They will still turn into you. I've been hit before on a crosswalk riding on the sidewalk. Fortunately I was on a MTB with hydros. Still didn't come to a complete stop, but neither I nor my bike got hurt. Road bike would have been a different story.
    I stay off of the sidewalk whenever I can.
    Huh. I think a big part of riding on a sidewalk successfully is acting like you're a pedestrian, with regard to cars, and acting like a car with regard to pedestrians. You have to assume that cars aren't paying attention to you up there, and you certainly don't go lunging out into an intersection to cross on a crosswalk, especially at any kind of speed.

    When at least 5 seconds from overtaking a pedestrian, either hop off the sidewalk and hit the grass, keeping a few feet of room between you and the pave, or slow down to a near-trackstand (or drop a foot and tripod along next to em and little more than a walking pace. The visual of your foot down pushing along is very disarming) and let them pass, smile & nod, etc... you're a car on their road, so act like you'd like cars to act toward you on your bike in the street. Easy. If you hit the grass, the clanking of your chain & cables usually makes enough noise that they'll notice you. The key is to be far enough away that they hear you coming, not that you bust into an explosion of noise and speed next to them. Common coutesy, I think.

    When overtaking another bike, I give them an absurd amount of distance when I hop off the sidewalk into the grass. I get off to a side and stay there, cause as dramatic as a startled pedestrian can be, a startled cyclist who isn't paying attention is worse. They're usually travelling at speed, and they're unable to course correct as quickly.

    Where riding in the road is a guaranteed trip to the emergency room, I'll hit the sidewalks... unless they're busy with their own traffic. You certainly do have to ride just as defensively as you would riding in street traffic though. In all these years, I never had one accident involving sidewalks or coming onto or off of them. Probably had about a hundred involving idiots in cars driving recklessly though.

    If we had to invent a nationwide transportation system today, one where millions of people all individually pilot their own 2000 pound vehicles down a narrow strip into each other would never even be considered. It's asinine.

  64. #64
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    Quote Originally Posted by Brutal Cycles
    Huh. I think a big part of riding on a sidewalk successfully is acting like you're a pedestrian, with regard to cars, and acting like a car with regard to pedestrians. You have to assume that cars aren't paying attention to you up there, and you certainly don't go lunging out into an intersection to cross on a crosswalk, especially at any kind of speed.
    Yech, you might as well walk. Where's the fun in that?

    I do like the final point in your post though. If we had to reinvent transport from nothing, the current situation would probably seem insane.

  65. #65
    ravingbikefiend
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    I hate riding on the sidewalk and only do it when riding on the road looks like it will get me injured or impede traffic.

    I do ride the walkways in the winter as many of the bike paths are not plowed and the amount of snow in the streets can force a cyclist to ride in the middle of the road.
    I ride with 65'er...he's a mountain goat....But then again, we need to throw him in the mud and pack his pockets with lead shot before a scale will read him. - Psycho Mike

    -Environmental stickers don't mean shite when they are stuck to CARS!-

  66. #66
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    Hear, hear!
    As if four times wasn't enough-> Psycho Mike's 2013 Ride to Conquer Cancer Page

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  67. #67
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    Quote Originally Posted by Sixty Fiver
    I do ride the walkways in the winter as many of the bike paths are not plowed and the amount of snow in the streets can force a cyclist to ride in the middle of the road.
    Either that, or the bike lanes are where they plow the snow *into.* I think that you should scan the pic from Bikeworks and we can post it here....
    As if four times wasn't enough-> Psycho Mike's 2013 Ride to Conquer Cancer Page

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    So, is riding in the middle of one of the lanes on a 4 lane road (2 lanes north, two south) out of the question if you are going fast enough? I feel much safer taking up an entire lane so that cars aren't squeezing me constantly into the sidewalk wall at breakneck speeds (My neck). I feel much safer doing that, so they have to switch a lane to get around me if they intend on speeding. But that seems like I am being a jerk. Despite that there is no reason I should have to ride on the 6 or so inches between the cars on one side and the sidewalk on the other to avoid instant death. Doesn't seem right. It doesn't seem like I am asking too much. "Please switch lanes and go around me, because I don't feel like dieing a horrible bloody death today."

  69. #69
    Nat
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    Quote Originally Posted by strat6
    So, is riding in the middle of one of the lanes on a 4 lane road (2 lanes north, two south) out of the question if you are going fast enough? I feel much safer taking up an entire lane so that cars aren't squeezing me constantly into the sidewalk wall at breakneck speeds (My neck). I feel much safer doing that, so they have to switch a lane to get around me if they intend on speeding. But that seems like I am being a jerk. Despite that there is no reason I should have to ride on the 6 or so inches between the cars on one side and the sidewalk on the other to avoid instant death. Doesn't seem right. It doesn't seem like I am asking too much. "Please switch lanes and go around me, because I don't feel like dieing a horrible bloody death today."
    I could not ride right down the middle of a 4-lane road like that without suffering from severe anxiety.

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    The thing that scares me about taking the right-most lane is the people that tail gate a truck / SUV / minivan in the left, then quickly switch lanes to pass them on the right. They can't see what is in the right lane before they change into it. If it was a biker, they would be flattened. I usually try to follow the local traffic laws - right as far right as safe. If there is a shoulder and it's clean, I ride it. I don't ride sidewalks. I take the whole lane if I'm going at traffic speeds.

  71. #71
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    Gang Bangers

    Quote Originally Posted by JoelM
    Woah, that is really nuts. Is there any more to that story?
    A guy was out on his gang initiation, and according to statements "really hated the mother $#@$$##'s always riding around on their bikes like they owned the road" He decided that he would go to a popular training area and pick a few cyclists off. He shot one in the back (my boss) and forced another into the car at gunpoint after running him off the road. When the other guy found out that they were going to kill him, he tried to jump out the window. He got caught in the seatbelt and they drug him around town for a bit...that's how they got caught...kinda obvious....

    Pretty disturbing story....
    Free will is an illusion, people will always choose the perceived path of greatest pleasure.

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    I've actually got both a rant and rave.

    Rave: I seemed to noticed last night as I was commuting home at about 8-9PM that alot of cars were using the left lane to pass me even though I was on the shoulder. Not a great many, but enough for me to notice. I was see one pass me that was in the left lane and when they would get pass me; the blinker would come on and they would move over to the right. I like!

    To the lady that flew up to the intersection that I almost T-boned this morning on my way to work, I appreciate the fact that you actually took the time to roll down your window and say "sorry". I find it hard to be mad at someone like you. I know you didn't mean to almost hit me. Since you're new to the area evident because you were coming out of the drive where the new condos just went up, please keep in mind that this will probably not be the last time you see me. Thanks.

    Rant: Now I kinda take this w/ a grain of salt, BUT I know this guy and overall he's a good guy. Just that he hates cyclists. Typical "don't belong on the road","hold me up", blah, blah, blah stuff. Well anyhow, he was talking about a cyclist he saw this weekend that REFUSED to get out of the way of a fire truck w/ it's lights and siren going. Again, I work w/ this guy and I really have no reason to not believe him. He told me that the truck came up behind the cyclists (on a back road in S. MD.) and was in the middle of the road. Refused to move out of the way. I told him IF that was the case, then most cyclists I know would join you in beating some sense into this guy. I kinda find it hard to believe that someone would NOT move for a EM vehicle, but I don't know. If he didn't then he gave the rest of us a bad name that day.

  73. #73
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    I dont ride road enough to come across mean motorists, but what does bug me is how people cant comprehend in their mind that a Bike at an intersection is to be treated like it was a car (Or that bikes have the same rights as cars on a road in general), I cant count the number of times Ive come to this one 3 way intersection where the direction I am traveling has no stop sign but the other 2 directions do. I will ride to the intersection with my hand out signaling that Im making a left turn and about 8 times out of 10 the car opposite me that has a stop sign will start rolling through the intersection just as I am about to make the left causing me to have to take evasive action. Once I almost got pinned between cars when the car at the stop sign didnt wait for me to take my left turn and a car behind me decided that driving on the shoulder to pass me on the right was the best option leaving me about 2 feet of space between the cars, thank god road bikes have narrow bars.
    Hiking is just walking where its okay to pee... Sometimes old people go hiking by accident. -Demetri Martin-

  74. #74
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    I've posted before about the difficulties of trying to commute in my city (IMHO just not worth it for multiple reasons, safety, distance, work facilities). I have also posted regarding the great experience I've had on the roads near my new home (85-90% of cars changing lanes to pass me, cars slowing - waiting - and passing on left, complete recognition at intersections, etc). So, I understand every comment, good or bad, that has been posted.

    I'd like to share two recent experiences that made me realize some of the anger drivers feel toward cyclists.

    1. I pull up to a 4 way stop. A group of cyclists pull up to the stop sign opposite to me. I'm turning left and they are turning right (we'll all end up going the same direction). I was clearly stopped at the intersection prior to the first cyclist even approaching the stop sign. However, that cyclist did not stop at the intersection, but puts his hand out telling me to hold-up. He and the rest of the cyclists (~20) all go through the stop sign even though I clearly had the right-of-way. If I wasn't a cyclist, I would have been p*ssed at their lack of compliance with the law.

    2. During this same encounter I was in a hurry (traveling for a MTB race that weekend) and needed to meet some friends. That same group of cyclists took up the entire lane on the road as I turned in behind them. None of them even acknowledged my existence as another user of the road. As I was traveling behind them (no place to pass) I realized how slow 15-19 mph seems when the speed limit is 35-40 mph, especially when you are in a hurry. I eventually passed when it was clear and they still used up the entire lane, all the way to the middle of the road.

    During this encounter I realized how frustrated a motorist could feel by slowing to 20 mph on a road with a posted speed limit of 40 mph. Most motorist commuting to work are running late, or at the very least, used to traveling at 5-10 mph over the speed limit. Before everyone gets p*ssed at me, let me say that I DO NOT support the motorist. All that I'm saying is that there is often a reason, legitimate or not, why motorist get mad.

    How many of you who drive cars DO NOT get the slightest bit upset when you come upon another car traveling 1/2 the speed limit. At least until you pass and realize the little old lady driving the car looks just like your grandmother.

    OR

    How many cyclists would not mind pedaling to work at 5-10 mph when you usually travel at 15-20 mph?
    It is difficult for some people to use the two words "too" and "to" appropriately.

    "I had to go where I went, to get where I am. Any other path would have taken me elsewhere, and I may have missed the joy."

  75. #75
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    Quote Originally Posted by jspharmd
    1. I pull up to a 4 way stop. A group of cyclists pull up to the stop sign opposite to me. I'm turning left and they are turning right (we'll all end up going the same direction). I was clearly stopped at the intersection prior to the first cyclist even approaching the stop sign. However, that cyclist did not stop at the intersection, but puts his hand out telling me to hold-up. He and the rest of the cyclists (~20) all go through the stop sign even though I clearly had the right-of-way. If I wasn't a cyclist, I would have been p*ssed at their lack of compliance with the law.

    2. During this same encounter I was in a hurry (traveling for a MTB race that weekend) and needed to meet some friends. That same group of cyclists took up the entire lane on the road as I turned in behind them. None of them even acknowledged my existence as another user of the road. As I was traveling behind them (no place to pass) I realized how slow 15-19 mph seems when the speed limit is 35-40 mph, especially when you are in a hurry. I eventually passed when it was clear and they still used up the entire lane, all the way to the middle of the road.
    I'll admit, that sounds pretty ignorant of them. I'll also admit to rolling thru a few stop signs/lights myself. But I'm out in a rural area where I can see well down the road and know it's safe while I'm riding up to it. There's one intersection thats kinda messed up. I like to get through it ahead of the cars so I can have a clear crossing the busy highway. There's also other times I sit and wait for traffic to clear at other intersections so I won't hold up traffic any more than I have to.

    Quote Originally Posted by jspharmd
    During this encounter I realized how frustrated a motorist could feel by slowing to 20 mph on a road with a posted speed limit of 40 mph. Most motorist commuting to work are running late, or at the very least, used to traveling at 5-10 mph over the speed limit. Before everyone gets p*ssed at me, let me say that I DO NOT support the motorist. All that I'm saying is that there is often a reason, legitimate or not, why motorist get mad.
    I do get what you're saying here, but my typical response to someone that gives me that argument is Boo Flipping Hoo. Cry me a river. I added 15 seconds to your travel time. Unless you're an EM worker w/ lights and sirens going, you have nowhere you need to be that fast.

  76. #76
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    I do get what you're saying here, but my typical response to someone that gives me that argument is Boo Flipping Hoo. Cry me a river. I added 15 seconds to your travel time. Unless you're an EM worker w/ lights and sirens going, you have nowhere you need to be that fast.
    I was never justifying what they feel, only given a plausible explanation for there reactions AND asking the question for those posting whether or not you "feel" mad when someone slows down your pace (motorized vehicle/bicycle).

    If you can honestly say that you have NEVER cursed the person in front of you who is driving/riding slowly, then you are a better person than I am. Can you please tell me your secret to such calmness?
    It is difficult for some people to use the two words "too" and "to" appropriately.

    "I had to go where I went, to get where I am. Any other path would have taken me elsewhere, and I may have missed the joy."

  77. #77
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    The worst I've ever had besides people flying seemlingly inches from my handlebars was someone chucking a glass bottle at me from their window. They got me too... it hit the top of my camelbak, bounced off the back of my helmet and then landed on the road and broke behind me. That occurance helped me to realize my firm position on the often debated gun or no gun question... I can't carry else I'd probably get myself into trouble!
    Get a bicycle. You will not regret it if you live. ~Mark Twain

  78. #78
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    I can cruise along at approximately 40-45 kmh on my commute which is 5-15 km less than the posted speed limit and if I have to can exceed 50 kmh for short stretches if there's a lack of laneway.

    Even when I'm on my bke I curse slow motorists and slow moving traffic.

    I am really fortunate that I can spend 80-90% of my commmute on the bike paths and multi use trails.
    I ride with 65'er...he's a mountain goat....But then again, we need to throw him in the mud and pack his pockets with lead shot before a scale will read him. - Psycho Mike

    -Environmental stickers don't mean shite when they are stuck to CARS!-

  79. #79
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    Quote Originally Posted by TonyTheTiger
    That's really a shame man. I'm from NYC and my bike was my main means of transportation in high school and college. So, I know the type of crazy things that can crop up fighting traffic on a bicycle. In those days I was more of a daredevil and never even wore a helmet, which was dumb. Now a days I live in norcal and am in to mountainbiking. I walk to work, but if I couldn't I honestly don't know if I would bike just becasue of the crap you describe.

    I went to Holland for the first time a couple of years back and I was really impressed with the bikeway system they have there. Basicly, each road has a 2 lane paved bike lane which is physically seperated from the main road by a concrete divider. You can basicly travel throughout the whole country, very safely, by bike. Imo we need that here in the states.
    Holland sounds f'n awesome...

  80. #80
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    Anyone know what it's like to have a fully laden logging truck pass you at 100 kmph? It's suicide where I commute... I've had stupid f's pass by within inches and the resulting back draft nearly blows me off the bike...

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    Quote Originally Posted by crashedandburned
    I'll admit, that sounds pretty ignorant of them. I'll also admit to rolling thru a few stop signs/lights myself. But I'm out in a rural area where I can see well down the road and know it's safe while I'm riding up to it. There's one intersection thats kinda messed up. I like to get through it ahead of the cars so I can have a clear crossing the busy highway. There's also other times I sit and wait for traffic to clear at other intersections so I won't hold up traffic any more than I have to.



    I do get what you're saying here, but my typical response to someone that gives me that argument is Boo Flipping Hoo. Cry me a river. I added 15 seconds to your travel time. Unless you're an EM worker w/ lights and sirens going, you have nowhere you need to be that fast.
    Uh, yeah. Yeah, I do. (And I have taken kids to the ER in a private vehicle, before, so it has been pretty urgent.)

    When driving, I always give cyclists (and pedestrians when no sidewalk) a wide berth. I try to stay off the road in my bike, because it makes me nervous. When I am driving past a cyclist, I don't want to risk brushing up against them, so I change lanes, pass on the opposite side of the road if there is no on-coming traffic, or at the very least, I slow down and give as much space as possible.

    That said, I have honked and done the "get the %[email protected]% off the road" thing. We were behind road bikers riding double file, taking up a lane and a half. The speed limit was 25 on the road, and they were going about 5. There were at least 6 cars behind me. That's just rude (and illegal. In our state, cars are supposed to pull over if they are causing a back-up of at least 5 other vehicles). I am a big believe in taking others into consideration, whether I am on a bike or in a car. People can be jerks either way.

  82. #82
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    Quote Originally Posted by Cate
    Uh, yeah. Yeah, I do. (And I have taken kids to the ER in a private vehicle, before, so it has been pretty urgent.)
    Alright, ya wanna nitpick? OK. 99.99999999999999999999999999999999999999999999999 99999999999999999999999999999999999999999999999999 99999999999999999999999999999999999999999999999999 99999999999999999999999999999999999999999999999999 999999999999999% of people driving in their POV don't have anywhere they need to be that bad where a few seconds will make a big difference. I've never heard a single person complain to me that they were driving a person to the hospital in their POV and fell behind a cyclist who in turn held them up which in turn caused more injury or death. As far a taking the kid to the ER in your POV, well no matter how I say this SOMEONE will take it the wrong way so I'm just gonna say it. It must not been too bad if you took her yourself and the paramedics were not called. So again, I doubt a few seconds would've made a difference.

  83. #83

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    Quote Originally Posted by crashedandburned
    Alright, ya wanna nitpick? OK. 99.99999999999999999999999999999999999999999999999 99999999999999999999999999999999999999999999999999 99999999999999999999999999999999999999999999999999 99999999999999999999999999999999999999999999999999 999999999999999% of people driving in their POV don't have anywhere they need to be that bad where a few seconds will make a big difference. I've never heard a single person complain to me that they were driving a person to the hospital in their POV and fell behind a cyclist who in turn held them up which in turn caused more injury or death. As far a taking the kid to the ER in your POV, well no matter how I say this SOMEONE will take it the wrong way so I'm just gonna say it. It must not been too bad if you took her yourself and the paramedics were not called. So again, I doubt a few seconds would've made a difference.
    It's often faster to get a kid to the ER by driving yourself, but if you don't have kids, you probably don't understand the urgency. (You might not consider an imploded eye hit by a rock or a profusely bleeding head wound requiring 11 stitches to be urgent, but I do.)

    However, my point is just to have some common freaking courtesy. Don't take up the whole road and go significantly under the speed limit, impeding the flow of traffic. It's illegal to do that in a motor vehicle, therefore, get off the road! It doesn't matter WHY someone wants or needs to go the acceptable normal speed of the road. They should be able to do that without being blocked by some selfish jerk who thinks the world revolves around her/him. By the same token, as a motorist, I give bicyclists and pedestrians plenty of space and slow down to make sure I am not a danger to them.

  84. #84
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    Quote Originally Posted by crashedandburned
    Alright, ya wanna nitpick? OK. 99.99999999999999999999999999999999999999999999999 99999999999999999999999999999999999999999999999999 99999999999999999999999999999999999999999999999999 99999999999999999999999999999999999999999999999999 999999999999999% of people driving in their POV don't have anywhere they need to be that bad where a few seconds will make a big difference. I've never heard a single person complain to me that they were driving a person to the hospital in their POV and fell behind a cyclist who in turn held them up which in turn caused more injury or death. As far a taking the kid to the ER in your POV, well no matter how I say this SOMEONE will take it the wrong way so I'm just gonna say it. It must not been too bad if you took her yourself and the paramedics were not called. So again, I doubt a few seconds would've made a difference.
    People can be in a real world of hurt in a car headed to the hospital, so it's erroneous to think that only ambulances carry the severely injured.

    What's "POV?" Private occupant vehicle? "Point of view" is what I think of.

  85. #85
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    Cate: Again, unless an ambulance is called it must not be too serous or I guess I would say Life Threatening. I'm not saying that head stitches isn't serous, but chances are you're just going to wind up sitting in the ER waiting room for at least an hour anyways. Ask yourself this. If a cop pulled you over would he allow you to continue speeding to the hospital or would he call an ambulance? If he gives you the "lecture", then it isn't too bad. If he calls the ambulance, then it’s serous. Besides IF you do need to get there that bad and can't wait for paramedics, then you are SUPPOSE to have your flashers on. Then that way I know you need to get by.

    As far as "some common freaking courtesy", I'm guessing you don't know me that well. I actually do try to not hold people up anymore than I have to. I have pulled over and waited for traffic to pass, I've waved people by, I've even stopped to help people having car problems; BUT if I feel the need to use up the lane to prevent someone from passing me because I don't think it's safe to do so, then I have absolutely NO reservations about using the lane.

    nat: POV = Privately Owned Vehicle. Sorry, thought everyone knew that.

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    I have absolutely no doubt in my mind that a few of the times I have transported people to the ER in POV, there would have been no problem with the police..and those were times that we were admitted right away to be seen and did not spend time in the waiting room, so obviously we were not wrong (in two cases, we were transported to a much larger hospital by ambulance after the situation had been stabilized). I have been in ambulances and have driven separately and have made the decisions I did at the time because they were the smartest choice.

    I am glad you practice common courtesy; I am sure most on this board do. The people I had an incident with were not commuters. My husband who is way more of a bike fanatic (and spent many years with his bike as his sole mode of transport) than I am thought they were out-of-line, and giving the rest of the biking community a bad name.

  87. #87
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    Its funny, the other day well actually one month ago I was driving my motorcycle through my girlfriends neighborhood and well she lives in south orange county. Well anyways I am riding my motorcycle through the street and this parent gives me a dirty look because his kids are playing roller hockey in the street and I think he was upset because I just went around them rather stopping my bike and waiting for them to clear, Oh and I was only going about 15Mph. Well then I am leaving my girl's house and this parent flags me down and tells me that I need to watch out on the street that their are childern playing here and such. I tell this guy that this is a street and it is made for car, bikes, and motorcycles. Its not made for heavy equipment or childern playing. Now the guy starts threating me and such and I just start laughing at him. I later found out he went and told my girlfriend and she told him to go pound sand he informed her that he was going to call the cops if their is a problem, ha ha my chick is a cop. So next week he puts out those childern at play signs on the street. I come back up but this time I am in my truck and I actually stop because I need him to remove the sign so I can pass, this guy takes his sweet time, gives me a dirty little smirk finally removing the sign so I can pass. I was P.O.ed I waited for his kids to get off the street and ran over his signs. My point is this sometimes parents think they can do whatevert they want because they have kids.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Fired Yo Momma
    Its funny, the other day well actually one month ago I was driving my motorcycle through my girlfriends neighborhood and well she lives in south orange county. Well anyways I am riding my motorcycle through the street and this parent gives me a dirty look because his kids are playing roller hockey in the street and I think he was upset because I just went around them rather stopping my bike and waiting for them to clear, Oh and I was only going about 15Mph. Well then I am leaving my girl's house and this parent flags me down and tells me that I need to watch out on the street that their are childern playing here and such. I tell this guy that this is a street and it is made for car, bikes, and motorcycles. Its not made for heavy equipment or childern playing. Now the guy starts threating me and such and I just start laughing at him. I later found out he went and told my girlfriend and she told him to go pound sand he informed her that he was going to call the cops if their is a problem, ha ha my chick is a cop. So next week he puts out those childern at play signs on the street. I come back up but this time I am in my truck and I actually stop because I need him to remove the sign so I can pass, this guy takes his sweet time, gives me a dirty little smirk finally removing the sign so I can pass. I was P.O.ed I waited for his kids to get off the street and ran over his signs. My point is this sometimes parents think they can do whatevert they want because they have kids.
    That's another peeve of mine! Mr. Cate's friend lives on a cul-de-sac where the kids run rampant (they put up those children at play signs in the street, too!) I had a mom give me a dirty look when I was driving 5mph down the street while her kids were playing on the other side of the street. My kids aren't allowed to play in the street!! That's why we have a house and a yard! My parents do live on a cul-de-sac, and the grandkids (as did my brother and I when young) are supposed to watch out for vehicles and get the HECK out of the street the second they see one coming. I don't think people should speed in residential areas, but don't let your brats zoom in and out of the street like it's a playground.

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    You guys sound like somebody who would take a run at a biker, if he slowed you down on the way to work.

    Smile, if you in the cul de sac, you got what 15 secs and your there.

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    As a driver, it doesn't bother me, really. I don't care if I have to slow down or lose a couple of seconds. As a parents, I think the parents are IDIOTS and are raising spoiled little brats with a sense of entitlement. Not everyone is going to voluntarily slow to a crawl while watching for the little brats that dart out into traffic. I keep my kids on a tight reign, because people do speed (not me) through neighborhoods, and I don't want my kids to end up in the ER or dead over it.

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    Sorry you still sound like a hot head (IDIOTS), who could get out of control and hurt someone.

    Good news is so far you don't look like someone who could lose it.

  92. #92
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    I rarely commute to work because of the time I have to be to work is 4a.m. but I have done it several times . I usually don't have any problems when I go to work its on the ride home that I get trouble. I have been hit with just about everything you can imagine. Just two years ago I was riding alone and a carload of people rode up close to me and forced me into the dirt and thats when someone in the car leaned out and struck me with what seemed to be a leather belt . It wrapped around my arm but luckily it unwrapped before pulling me off my bike. I have been hit by bags of trash and have had bottles thrown at me. Usually I just ignore these acts because A) these people are cowards and are never alone in there cars and 3 on 1 in riding shoes is not going to be a fair fight.B) I have little time to ride and I can't be bothered by some moron who knows nothing but four letter words (but probably can't spell them) slowing me down. I have talked to a sheriff and he told me to carry a cell phone and when something happens to call in the tag # and report it he said it is a form of harrasment and they will take action..

  93. #93
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    Allright finally a parent that takes control

    Quote Originally Posted by Cate
    That's another peeve of mine! Mr. Cate's friend lives on a cul-de-sac where the kids run rampant (they put up those children at play signs in the street, too!) I had a mom give me a dirty look when I was driving 5mph down the street while her kids were playing on the other side of the street. My kids aren't allowed to play in the street!! That's why we have a house and a yard! My parents do live on a cul-de-sac, and the grandkids (as did my brother and I when young) are supposed to watch out for vehicles and get the HECK out of the street the second they see one coming. I don't think people should speed in residential areas, but don't let your brats zoom in and out of the street like it's a playground.
    Yes, this is a different time we live in now. I have seen in this day of age parents pamper and baby their kids too much. I actually rode my MTB bike back through my girlfriends neighborhood and I get the glares because on purpose I haul azz through the street. My point is this I actually drive slower than I do on my bike. I can't win. Anyways I wish it was like the old days when I was a kid all that I had to do was be inside the house before dark, and if I scrapped my leg or arm my dad would just tell me to spit on it. If I was doing something bad my dad would not tell me 1...2...3..., he would say you want to go to the bathroom

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    Quote Originally Posted by jeffscott
    Sorry you still sound like a hot head (IDIOTS), who could get out of control and hurt someone.

    Good news is so far you don't look like someone who could lose it.
    I am completely lost as to what you are actually trying to say. Am I an idiot hot head? Or someone who doesn't look like I "could" lose it.

    Yes, I am a big bad hot head rampaging maniac. Yes, me, who has accidentally killed all of one animal in my 18 years of driving (it was a squirrel that ran back under my tires after I had successfully avoided it, but was scared of traffic coming from the other direction and changed its mind at the last second. Oh, and I cried for about an hour and made my then boyfriend drive the car for the rest of the day.) Yeah, I'm a real hot head.

    What I am is about people taking responsibility for themselves and being AWARE AND RESPECTFUL of those around them. When I am on a bike or on foot, I am aware of and cautious of cars. I don't expect them to get out of my way automatically. I am of the mindset that I should stay as far away from them, as is possible (or legal). I operate under the assumption that they may be hazardous drivers or may just not see me. I am even more cautious when I have my kids with me, and expect them to treat automobiles with even more deference. When I am driving, I treat bikes and pedestrians with utmost respect, and go out of my way to stay as far away from them as possible. As stated before, I will change lanes to get away from them, and if that is not possible, I will slow down and stay as far away as I can within my own lane. Yelling at two bikers ONCE in years of driving who were illegally backing up traffic does not a hothead make. I didn't tailgate them, I didn't honk, I didn't get near them with my car. I yelled at them to get out of the way.

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