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It's all ball bearings
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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
So here's one that I hadn't heard before until today's ride: I was on my bike stopped at a red light and a car pulls up next to me with a older fellow driving.

The driver, with his window rolled down, asked me in a very frank, innocent manner, "Hey, why don't you ride that on the sidewalk? Wouldn't it be a lot safer?"

Well ummm...reason number one is that it's illegal to ride a bike on the sidewalk in this city. Is that enough, or do I need to think of a reason number two?


Just a couple of weeks ago, I was riding out in the boonies, rural farmland...and a big ol' huge pickup with like 9 feet of lift (of which there are many out that way) pulls up next to me at a stop sign and the equally big driver yelled out to me, "Hey bud, I got me one of them Lance Armstrong bikes that I'm tryin' to sell. Know where I can sell 'er at?"


So this all got me thinking...what kinds of unusual "converstations" have you had with motorists or pedestrians while on the bike??
 

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Road rage incident

Your first story reminds me of a road rage incident that I was involved in which ultimately cost me a lot. I was at a traffic light with a buddy of mine on our way to work (we ride the 85-90km to work every day) when we heard a woman shouting at us from behind. Neither of us had seen her before and we weren't sure what she was carrying on about but the upshot was that she told me to get of the f**king road and ride on the pavement. She also told me to ride off-road if I didn't like riding on the road. Quite how she assessed my happiness/unhappiness about riding on the road was beyond me, but suffice to say that this incident escalated into a full-on screaming match in the rush-hour traffic, the net result of which was me taking a swipe at her wing mirror and damaging it. The traffic light then turned green and the traffic moved off as if nothing had happened.
I was naturally very upset by the incident, not least because that type of behaviour is unacceptable in all civilised societies. I should never have done what I did and I should never have allowed the incident to escalate into something that will continue to have long-lasting consequences. I have not seen the woman again, but I am sure that she thinks about the incident often (she must have felt intimidated and violated) and views cyclists as aggressive and a law unto themselves.
Regarding the price I have had to pay, all I can say is that the incident destroyed two really good friendships. Both my close riding buddies severed all their ties with me – that includes one ‘friend’ who wasn’t even there! I ride alone now and I miss my friends but that it the price you pay for not controlling your anger in such situations.
I have lost a number of friends (dead) in biking accidents over the last 20 years and I have been hit by cars – all hit and runs – on three occasions. Most reasonable people would view those incidents as mitigating factors, although still, my reaction was unjustifiable.
I have since received extensive counselling relating to various issues, one of which is post-traumatic stress as a result of a brief military career.
All I can say now is that when you're arguing with motorists there are only degrees of losing; there can be no winner. Period. Don't make the same mistakes I did.
I'm still racing and I have moved on but if there was one day in my life that I could re-live so that I didn't have to make the same mistakes again, it would be that day.
 

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I always get asked directions by motorists. Since I typically ride longer rides and can be 30 or 40 miles away from home, I'm usually in neighborhoods and areas I don't know very well.

It confuses & seems to piss many of them off when I tell them I have no idea where the street they're looking for is, since they evidently assume I'm just riding around the block.
 

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Grey Manrod
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I once had a woman tell me...

She liked my shorts. She was kinda heavy-set, middle aged, etc. with a couple of similar gals in the car. There was much giggling. So I responded - "why don't you call me sometime?"

They got a big laugh out of that and sped off. :rolleyes:
 

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Deliciously Ironic
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once, wearing an ONCE jersey...

at a stoplight, the passenger rolled down her window and asked "are you partially blind? I'm amazed you can ride such a straight line..."

I explained that ONCE was a the national spanish society for the blind (hence the stick figure blind guy on my back) and they sponsor a team (also that a percentage of their winnings go to the society)
 

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litespeedchick said:
A lady stopped us the other day and said "I live on this road and I was just wondering if my dog ever bothers you."

Wow. Who expected that?

I do my best to just ignore comments unless they're a compliment or if they ask a legit question. This one's funny. I thought to myself a good response would be "not after tomorrow." Might have gotten her thinking....
 

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Ever been challenged at a stop light?

I was out for a short ride about 3 years ago, when a ferrari pulls up next to me...
The guy is probably in his early 50s... I looked into his convertible... He smiled...
I turn the cranks to their prime position... He revved the engine and the car whines.
I fake a little tuck positon... He steps on the gas a little harder... his tires spin at the light. I see the Yellow turn for the cross street and inch towards the line...
I glance back over my shoulder and thru the windshield as this guy peaks at me
over his Ray Bans... I smile, he smiles... the Light turns green...
I take off like a rocket... Propelled by my own ego, I'm at 20 mph, out of the saddle still.
25 mph, and I'm shitfing and still sprinting away.... 30, and I sit, spin that gear out, and shift again... I'm hitting near 35 mph... I'm breathing hard, I glance over my shoulder and I don't see the Ferrari, I don't remember hearing him after he squeled the tires off the line... I think to myself "Did I REALLY just drop a Ferrari, am I feeling that good today..."
I sit up, take a hand off the bars... Look around, and.....
the Ferrari made a left hand turn... Suddenly the word SISSY came to mind.

He must have sensed my prowess and decided that his ego couldn't bare to have an old fat guy on a $1200 bike beat his $120,000 import...

YEAH, Next time... Next time...
 

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Some guy in a porsche asked me once if I was planning to get snowtires for my roadbike.

Another time a couple of girls told me how fast I was going, they had followed me for a bit, that's actually happened a couple of times.

I've had female pedestrians tell me what a wonderful day for a ride it was.
 

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Take it easy!

gizzard said:
All I can say now is that when you're arguing with motorists there are only degrees of losing; there can be no winner. Period. Don't make the same mistakes I did.
I'm still racing and I have moved on but if there was one day in my life that I could re-live so that I didn't have to make the same mistakes again, it would be that day.
Sounds to me like you just had a bad day and made a bad judgement - who hasn't?
IMO you are being way too hard on yourself - find a good deed to do for some deserving soul then forget all about that road rage incident. As for your friends? they shouldn't have turned their backs on you after a single incident. And as for your degrees of losing argument - I'd agree, just wish I could remember that everytime some driver does something stupid.
 

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On the other end...

I was actually in my car when a cyclist pulls up beside me at a stop. He puts his hand on my roof to balance and just sits there. I was like WTF? I am just as anal about my car as I am with my bike, so hence my feeling. I usually cut fellow riders tons of slack on the road by giving them more space than usual (as a courtesy that I hope is returned when I'm on the saddle). However, this was a bit much. I roll down my window and look directly at him. He doesn't say a word, looks at me (while still holding on to my stopped car) and takes off right before the light turns green.

Guys like that are what makes other cyclists look bad. Totally no respect for my car. If I wasn't a cyclist and had a beater car, I may have just opened my door and knocked his ass to the ground. I really hope there is karma as I seem to be the 'nice' guy :rolleyes:
 

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scruffy nerf herder
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Deja Vu

BenWA said:
So here's one that I hadn't heard before until today's ride: I was on my bike stopped at a red light and a car pulls up next to me with a older fellow driving.

The driver, with his window rolled down, asked me in a very frank, innocent manner, "Hey, why don't you ride that on the sidewalk? Wouldn't it be a lot safer?" [/QUOTE=BenWA]

Thats strange that you say that, because I had the exact same conversation with a driver in a small ford ranger except you take out the "very frank, innocent" part and add "damn bike" after the word "that".

First, he said that we should get out of the way of cars. I told him to check his driving manual again, in Missouri, pedestrians and bicyclists have the right of way. He didn't like that, so he switched techniques.

Then he was of the opinion that since we don't buy gasoline and get taxed accordingly, then we should not get to ride on the roads. I told him that I had two cars, both of which were worth at least twice more than his ford ranger. Thus, I pay more higher registration fees every year AND pay more sales tax on them then he did on his... so I think the "tax" offset. So is it necessarily fair that I should pay more? Do I some how get more use out of the roads than he does? He didn't like that response either.

So then he said something about safety, to which I said, thank you for your worries, but let me worry about that. Then the light turned green and he squealed off yelling something and gesturing.

Its difficult to educate those not willing to learn....but I was impressed at his off the cuff debating skills.
 

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100% torqued
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I seem to talk to all kinds of people at stop lights. I often give direcctions, have received a few compliments on the bike I ride, talk weather with folks in convertibles. Ran into a guy on a Boss Hoss motorcycle once and said "Nice Hoss" which resulted in a quick chat about how no one knows what he is riding. http://www.bosshoss.com/view_bike.asp?x=BHC3ZZ4&CID=574153795.522991. These things are nuts.

I once pulled up next to a car in traffic going to a Reds game. The passenger was drinking a Sam Adams. I looked in and he thought I was a cop initially. I told him Sam was the man, talked pitchers for the game and said see ya after a laugh. Life is short. I have had my run ins with idiots, but now whenever I get the chance I talk to people in cars, I think it helps to humanize all cyclists and hope the guy behind the wheel thinks better of us on bikes next time he catches one of us out riding.
 

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my own incident of rage.....

I know i shouldn't have done this, but my emotions got the better of me....

i was out riding a few days ago and got aggressively honked at when i eased into a lane to turn. I had PLENTY of room and in no way cut the car off. I don't normally do this, but I flipped the guy off as i was rounding my turn (he continued on straight). His honking was too aggressive, too belligerent--he was just being MEAN as hell and I thought he deserved a finger.... We were both taking a shortcut through the VA complex near Westwood/Brentwood area of LA, where a fairly complex network of small streets wind this way and that.... Anyway, a minute or two later we met up again as he was slowing for a stop sign. I slowly drifted by him again on the right, where I had plenty of room, and was preparing to come to a stop at the stop sign. He honked again. This time I just ignored him. When I unclipped at the stop sign (cars were coming at the intersection) he started revving his car up and edging it toward me (i was still in front of but to the right side of him, completely out of his way). Then he just gunned his car at me and hit the brakes, inches from hitting me. With this I jumped off my bike and, with words and gestures, told him to get teh f*** out of his car, NOW. As soon as I got off my bike he raced away (pudgy little middle-aged guy in a newish Toyota Camry or some similar car). I've been pissed off a lot in traffic, but never have i been so outraged. I jumped back on my bike to try to chase him down. He got stuck at another stop sign behind a car turning right on San Vicente (for locals who know the area). I didn't know what I was going to do, but i was heading right for him. On a whim, I grabbed a full water bottle and, as I passed him on the right, hucked it at his passenger door as hard as i could (leaving quite a large dent). This got him all fired up again, so he again raced his car toward me. I hopped up on the curb, and again jumped off my bike telling him to get out of his car... Well, he sped off again and I went back for my bottle. As he drove away, i could see the huge dent I'd left in the side of his car.

OK, so I know this isn't very respectable behavior on my part, but I was enraged. I have had, like all of us, many--too many--incidents with cars, but this one beat them all. This guy was being completely disrespectful for no reason whatsoever, and he was being dangerous (gunning his car towards me).

Anyway, I had just recently resolved to not get angry at cars adn if people are jerks in traffic, approach them in a non-aggressive way. But this guy left no room for that.
 

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Racial Profiler
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BenWA said:
So here's one that I hadn't heard before until today's ride: I was on my bike stopped at a red light and a car pulls up next to me with a older fellow driving.
My last conversation with a motorist was something like this...

Him: "Why the ()*&(* couldn't you have waited 15 seconds to turn so I could pass you???!!!"
Me: "Why the *(&*%%% couldn't you have stayed in the lane and let me turn instead of swerving around me in the other lane at twice the speed limit?"
Him"You were taking up the whole lane!!!"
Me "There's only one lane here - where the hell else am I supposed to be?"

So far this year I have been run off the road twice and hit once.

I love the spring.


-->> and just so y'all know - I live in what is said to be one of the most bike-friendly towns in the US.
 

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n00bsauce
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Get his license plate number, report the incident to the police and let the professionals do their job. What's the worst that can happen? They do nothing. Even a talking to by a police officer will have more impact on the driver than you can ever acheive. He might get a warning or even a ticket. You can't be cited for property damage and the world is maybe safer but no less safe than before the incident.
 

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What a difference two states make

I'm only into my 2nd season on the road and guess I could consider myself pretty fortunate. I used to live in New Jersey (the southern part across the river from Phila.) and used my mountain bike for my two mile commute to the train station. Anyway I left work early one day to take care of some stuff and was riding the same as I did every day except at a different time of the day. The route I rode was basically two lane road but you could fit two cars abreast at certain spots. As I was approaching an intersection with traffic lights I noticed that construction was diverting the traffic from the straight/right turn lane to the left turn lane with safety cones. I'm cruising along about 20 mph with the green light in my favor when low and behold the car waiting to turn left from the opposite direction decides to make his move just as I enter the intersection. I grab the brakes and the bike goes into a skid, which I guess caused me to apply more pressure to the front brake. I start to somersault through the air and land helmet first on the street. The construction workers rushed over along with the two policemen there to attend to me. The driver of the car, a male in probaly his mid to late 80s gets out and comes over and asks if I'm O.K. and why didn't I stop to let him turn. I proceeded to try and explain to him in what I thought was a calm manner the motor vehicle laws of NJ regarding bicycles, luckily the one cop asked me not to say anything as the would take care of it. So I went to the emergency room with a concussion and cuts and bruises.

Fast forward to Jan. 2006, we move to Yardley, Pennsylvania, a very bike friendly area. I have found that 99.9% of the drivers here are very courteous to bikers provided we don't make complete fools out of ourselves. I haven't experienced anything like some of you other folks have but I feel your pain and frustration.
 

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century ride - car horn honking - girls yelling "way to go lance!"

ridiing home from volleyball 10 pm, car horn honking, girls yelling "hey sexy!"




BenWA said:
So this all got me thinking...what kinds of unusual "converstations" have you had with motorists or pedestrians while on the bike??
 
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