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· I ride in circles..
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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
So.. I'm sure you've all got them... The dumbass that thinks it's cool to taunt the cyclist because we're wearing spandex... tights... etc... What do you do? How do you react?

Since I got my road bike last year.. I've had a glass bottle thrown at me.. Missed my head by a few feet.. shattered close to me. Been swore at and called a ***, queer, barked at, honked at, and many other things. Hell.. 3 weeks ago I had a kid swing his arm at me from the side of a moving car on the highway.. yeah.. real cool.. Hit the cyclist while you're moving at 60mph..

So yeah... I've had my deal of jerks. Usually I ignore them or flip them off.. How is it for everyone else?
 

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Yeah, ignore them...or else ride in a group. I'm in the South and there is no shortage of ******** who love to torment single riders but won't bother with a group of 10. It's not worth flipping them off...they have a 4000 pound pick up to protect themselves, as well as to run you off the road with...plus usually gun or knife, plus they usually outweigh a skinny cyclist by a minimum of 50 pounds, and you aren't wearing shoes conducive to fighting.

One thing we are very big on is carrying cell phones and reporting licence plate numbers to the police if the behavior is truly dangerous, as some of your examples were. They usually don't do anything but at least there is a record of it for future reference if necessary.
 

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Ignore them...the first reaction is to flip them off or say something. Then you have to worry about some jackass flipping a u-turn and coming back to run you over (it's happened here). I learned to just totally ignore them, try to have nerves of steel. They are trying to get a reaction out of you in the first place so if you react you fall right into their hands. I try to pretend like they are not even there, take a swig out of your water bottle or whatever. Most the time it's teenagers who think it's cool to try and scare a cyclist. That is one reason I ride with a mirror. Of course you will still get mad, but it will pass.
 

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If I've got a hand free, I flip them off. Otherwise I ignore them or yell "idiot" or similar in their general direction. They probably don't hear it but it makes me feel better.

My favorite recently has been the idiots who honk at me when I've pulled over to the left side of the lane to make a left turn. Oh, did I mention said idiots were coming the other way, in the opposite lane? Yes, I can see your enormous SUV (and it's always an SUV), thank you for informing me of your presence... sheesh.
 

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Takes 2 for a confrontation

Like I've said before here in Washington state it is very bike friendly where I ride. Little shoulder if any and cars give me all the room I want. I guess I'm lucky I have lived in places just the opposite especially in North Carolina.

I agree with the other replies best weapon in my opinion is just to ignore them. Most likely they want you to flip them off or say something. They figure they got to you so in their minds they won.
Just my 2 cents worth

Ray Still
 

· What up, dog?
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473 Posts
The local talk radio station here in Minneapolis really seems to have a vendetta against cyclists as of late - almost to the point of inciting "terrorism". Yes, a ClearChannel station.

I just stay out of the way and follow the rules. Be predictable, and people are a little more at ease. Unfortunately, there are too many BAD cyclists out there. They make it tough for the good ones. I don't really blame motorists too much these days. Critical Mass has really been a big help as well - they set us all back years with their behavior. They aren't proving a thing.
 

· Knives, Guns, and Booze
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ZoSoSwiM said:
So.. I'm sure you've all got them... The dumbass that thinks it's cool to taunt the cyclist because we're wearing spandex... tights... etc... What do you do? How do you react?

Since I got my road bike last year.. I've had a glass bottle thrown at me.. Missed my head by a few feet.. shattered close to me. Been swore at and called a ***, queer, barked at, honked at, and many other things. Hell.. 3 weeks ago I had a kid swing his arm at me from the side of a moving car on the highway.. yeah.. real cool.. Hit the cyclist while you're moving at 60mph..

So yeah... I've had my deal of jerks. Usually I ignore them or flip them off.. How is it for everyone else?
Wow, sounds like you live in redneckville. And to think I thought I had it bad here in the San Jose bay area!!!:eek:
 

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Usually I am in a large group, and if not my mp3 player is on so that I can ignore them. I faintly made out a lady telling me that my ass was hanging out last week. She was yelling in spanish... I live close to the border with Mexico.
Music does wonders to drown them out. It's amazing how you can ignore someone that is yelling when you can barely hear them.
 

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about a year ago I also had that problem I riding down the street when some guy in a very large pickup honk at me and try to make me crash I also gave him the finger at the next
light he was waiting for me in a parking lot has I rode by him he got out of his 4X4 p/u he was very short all I could do is laugh at him ! and told him have a great day !
 

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It depends on you and on the situation. I almost always ignore these types of people because they're usually taunt and go. To that end, who cares? I have been harassed before though on a continued basis and once I had to put someone's head through a car window for their trouble. But, I'm not a stick thin guy either so I don't get very many people trying to mess with me in general.
 

· I ride in circles..
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Discussion Starter · #12 ·
Interestingly enough ignoring these jerks has been the easiest way to deal.. kind of like a little brother that won't stop. haha..

I actually talked to a state police officer I know and asked her opinion. Sadly unless they were to actually hurt me it's my work against theirs. Of course if they get out and beat me to a pulp I'm sure there would be a few witnesses. I really should start carrying a note pad or something for reporting these people..
 

· Large Suburban Male
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I haven't had any issues lately other than getting breezed.
I used to ride a lot in E. Ct, and that's where I've had bottles, fireworks, cigarettes, etc thrown at me. Never had any major issues, though.

Got cut off by a commuter bus in the city, and when I said something, the ignorant MF flipped me off. He's driving a bus with company name and telephone numbers all over it, and he's driving like a douche and flipping people off. I didn't care enough (I usually expect this behavior) to do anything, but I still wonder if this clown has a job.
 

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I have honestly in all the two years I have been riding never had anyone say or
do anything offensive to me. I've also never had a flat during a ride, never bonked
and never even been the slightest bit uncomfortable, even on the steepest hills.
I have perfected a force field which is generated around me when I ride which also
superoxygenates my immediate environment and recycles my blood continually with
a cadre of 24 year old Chilean mountain climbers. Seriously, when I first read the title,
I wasn't sure which @ssholes you might have been referring to, there numbers are
legion.
 

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I am a mountain biker, but I have been riding on the road quite a bit lately getting ready for a century ride on a rail trail. I have been really surprised at some of the stuff drivers do. I am running 2.4 Maxis Holy Roller tires on a hardtail mountain bike and I get off the shoulder into the gravel with no problems. I have never impeded any traffic.

I have had people swerve over as they pass so their tires are right on the white line after they get around me and had people honk and flip me off. My wife was riding with me the other night and we had a guy in a 4WD 4 door diesel truck with the lift kit and big tires drop a gear and stomp on it as he made a little swerve at us while he passed. It is just nuts.

A guy I work with rides road and is trying to get me on a road bike so we can ride together more. He told me that in addition to the stuff I have had happen, he has had people throw stuff at him over the years. He told me he almost got hit by a can of Coke once that went by him close enough that it got coke on his jersey and glasses. He also told me he had a guy open his door as he went around him once like they were trying to get him with the door. This guy won't even do a training ride anymore unless he has his girlfriend following him with the flashers on to block his back or he is riding in a pack with the local club guys.

To answer the question posed here, I have been ignoring them. I always knew that you road bikers had it pretty tough dealing with traffic, but seeing it first hand gives me a better appreciation of the issue.

I am 99% sure that I will be getting a road bike though. I never really paid much attention to them before, but after working with a couple of guys that ride road and checking their bikes out I am pretty interested in one now. I love my mountain bikes, but you guys ride some pretty sexy stuff. I can see a lot of training benefit for me too (if I don't get killed :) ).
 

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I always try to ride with a friend if possible. I can't remember anyone actually yelling at me, at least not in a threatening manner. Usually it'll be a little kid hollaring something out the car window. It's OK, I think I used to do that too! :D
 

· Squirrel Hunter
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Wave

I do most of my riding with groups as I find it safer for many reasons.

For verbal jerks it is typically a wave if I even choose to acknowledge them at all.

Threaten my life or my wife's and they will often get a water bottle banged against the side of their vehicle. This old beotch was tailgating me a couple of weeks ago and I simply pitched a water bottle into her grill which made her quickly back off. If you choose this approach be sure you have an escape strategy and remember to stand in the grass if you think it will get physical and you are wearing road shoes. Usually these moreons will pull into their house or a parking lot before they are out of sight as if nothing ever happened.
 

· Domokun!
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476 Posts
I take the other route...

I wave like mad and force a huge $#!& eatin' grin!

An a##hole at a light told me " you must be some type of ((words changed to protect the Innocent))(blankty, blankety, ouchy) biker right?" I said I sure am and thanks for that awesome complement. He didn't know what to say then. So he peeled his tires when the light changed.

It seems to work as they're always like WTF in the car afterwords.
 

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I have to vote to ignore these guys as hard as it might be. I had a serious incident three weeks ago that I am still recovering from. I was riding in a very nice area of North Scottsdale in a city designated 'bike friendly community' with designated bike lanes. a guy approximately 55 years old passed me with two tires on the paint of the bike lane. We got to the next light where he was stopped for a red light and he was still on the paint of the bike lane. I coasted by him as I was turning right and said 'you are in the bike lane' no yellin, screaming or cursing. He replied by honking his horn. I turned around and gave him the finger. I wish I had not done this because he decided to chase me down. He came flying up around me and pulled into my bike lane and slammed on his brakes. I had no chance to stop. I was going about 22-23 MPH and slammed into the back of his BMW SUV. He got out and looked at me in a pile behind his car and took off. Lucky for me three seperate cars saw everything. Two stayed wih me and one chased him down. I was taken by abulance to the emergency room with a concussion, separated shoulder, broken nose a fractured cheek bone. I also now have blurry vision in the eye where I hit. Luckily I was wearing my helmet, which I always do.

The guy was arrested, charged and I will follow up with a civil suit but the bottom line is I could have been killed and it is not worth it. What he did was horrible but I cannot help but feel if I had not given the guy the finger none of this would have happen.

There are a lot of angry people out there and you never know what will set them off. Next time I will keep my fingers to myself.
 

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From the Surly Blog, I'm sure you could have some fun with this:

Surly Blog said:
I play this little game while riding to and from work where I memorize the license plate of a passing car. When the next car drives by I memorize that one, and so on and so on. If there is an altercation, I've trained myself to look at the license plates first. So rather than use my middle finger to tell somebody how I feel, I can find out where they live based on that license plate and send them a letter of gratitude.

Flashback 10 weeks to Valentines Day in February. I'm riding within the law and hugging the curb as much as I safely can, doing about 20mph down the street, when a car lays on their horn for a good 10 seconds. They pass me, I memorize the license plate, approach them at the red light one block down, and stare into her window. No words said, no middle finger needed, I had her plates.

I "obtain" her name and home address (don't ask how) and write her the following letter:

"Dear Nancy,
Thanks for the extended horn honk this morning. It reminded me that today is Valentines Day and my wife just loves red tulips, the same red as your Cadillac. So thanks for the horn honk. Happy Valentines Day.
- Cyclist on 66th St."

I also enclose a fake traffic ticket and a copy of the Minnesota Department of Transportation rules of the road. No threats, other than she knows I know where she lives.

Fast forward to last Wednesday. I'm riding to work as usual, signaling my turns, flowing with traffic and abiding by the law when a car honks. I see the familiar license plate and verify the same red Cadillac with an older blonde woman driving. I wish you all could've seen her face when she pulled along side me at the red light and I said "Hi Nancy". All she could do was grip her steering wheel, look straight ahead, and figure out how she was going to get the poop off her panty hose once she got to work.

Score one for the cyclist.
 
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