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Teach me how to Bucky
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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
So one day after I posted in the "Am I the only one that chases and confronts retarded/dangerous drivers?" thread it turns out I was deemed worthy of the retarded/dangerous label by one of our spandex clad brothers.

I was leaving work at the Children's Hospital tonight and to get onto the main drag I have to come down a steep hill to a large lighted intersection where I turn right. The side road meets a 3 by 3 lane big thouroghfare. Traffic backs up on the side road at the light so I spent a few minutes slowly rolling down the hill to get to the light. There is a very short right turn lane, so most cars going straight pass turning cars on the left and cars planning to turn stay right and we slowly keep moving up to turn on red.

The line sped up for a second as more cars moved on a short green. We roll forward at about 10mph. The light goes red again but I just reach the turn lane and there are two cars ahead of me waiting. I am not fully into the turn lane but staying right with my front corner starting to turn.

About 60 seconds later... BAM!!! a fist slams the middle of my driver side window! :eek: I startle. I look up and there's a guy on a bike, in full spandex glory. I power down the window.

"TURN SIGNAL! GIVE ME BREAK! YOU ALMOST HIT ME!!!" I feel my adrenaline rush from the startle, and he's leaning in on me. (fight or flight)

It dawns on me that the only way he could have been somewhere to be "hit" by me is if he were passing the whole line of right turning cars down the hill on the right. I could not have "almost hit him", at best he would have side swiped me from behind because he was passing on the right in my blind spot. The cars behind are also turning right and he would have had to have passed them too. My heart rate is rising. (fight or flight)

But, I look down and sure enough my turn signal is not on.

I look him right in the eye and say... not sheepishly, loud and clear...

"I'm sorry", I flip my signal on as I lock on his eyes, but he leans back, looks down and rolls a foot or so forward. I can tell he did not expect an apology. He does not say another word as five or ten seconds pass.

By now the full irony is rushing over me. I wanted to break the tension, de-escalate. I wanted to tell him I'm a avid cyclist too, I share the road, this is first day this week that my Madone is not in the freakin' back seat. But I also wanted to tell him that my intention to turn should have been very predictable from the lane I was in. It would be one thing had I passed him and turned in front of him without signaling but if he is going to pass a whole row of slowed cars waiting to turn right, in our blind spot it's at least partly on his own ass.

So I reach down to grab my Trek Radioshack TDF waterbottle that is still sitting in my cup holder.

But before I can bring it up, he starts rolling as the cross traffic light turns yellow and jumps out onto the main drag while he still has the red! :mad2:

I shake my head as this wonderful ambassador for cycling rides away.
 

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turn signals are for wimps
 

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Masters Neophyte
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Wow, Brad, that's quite the ironic event.
Great description, BTW- I almost feel like I was there. Glad I wasn't tho! :lol:
 

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guys like that will be a**h***s no matter what vehicle they're on. I had an incident recently. One of the roads near my house is being repaired and they turned it into a one way road. This guy comes down the road in the wrong direction. I try to give him as much room as i can, which isn't much as they narrowed the road and I have an SUV but enough room to get by safely with a gap of at least a foot. The guy screams at me and knocks out my side mirror as he passes (by punching it with his fist). I stop to inspect the damage and he's at the end of the road shaking his fist and yelling. luckily he didn't come back down as I'm not sure how that would have ended.
Yet another fine ambassador.
 

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Karma
 

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My cousin was recently by the house and related having just seen a cyclist pull up to a car and get quite irate with the driver about some infraction. My cousin, as a non-cyclist, was a bit at a loss as to what could have made the cyclist do that. Of course, we all know the anger that rises when we perceive that a driver has behaved negligently and put us at risk, but the average witness just sees a cyclist behaving badly.

Upon leaving a start point after a training ride and driving home, I see a pro team kit clad cyclist, minus any head protection but a dew rag, telling the driver of a 80000 lb semi that he was #1 with the middle finger. The cyclist was on the shoulder on the wrong side of the road. the trucker was turning left and had the right of way. The cyclist appeared to be irritated that the driver did not yield for him. I'm sure most of the multitude of non-cyclist witnesses to this incident wondered what that guy on the bike in the silly shorts was all upset about and giving vulgar sign language in front of their kids in the car.

I've been guilty of getting hot headed at being buzzed, etc too. But you are right about being ambassadors for cycling. I just try to keep in mind that I am the inferior vehicle on the road. The motor vehicle is superior in speed, weight, power and the ability to squash a cyclist like a bug. An outburst of anger from me is not going to have any positive outcome, so it's a waste of time and energy, both of which are in short supply for me. Instead I just give thanks that, as close as it might have been, I didn't get squashed, then get on with my ride.
 

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Teach me how to Bucky
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Discussion Starter · #7 ·
Gimme Shoulder said:
I'm not sure that's how Karma is supposed to work. I argued against confrontation and it found me anyway. :confused:

It's more like the "No good deed goes unpunished" rule. :(

For those of you still wishing to confront drivers, I can tell you now from direct experience that suddenly pounding a window is scary as ****!
 

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Resident Curmudgeon
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We all can & do make mistakes. I know I certainly have made my share of them while operating bicycles, motorcycles and cars. Let he who is without sin cast the first stone?
 

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Our job is to be home in one piece and live another day to enjoy, we humans are prone to make mistakes and some of us do it proffesionaly (stupid they call them).
 

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Mr. Versatile said:
Let he who is without sin cast the first stone?
I admit I've made my far share of mistakes too. but what I don't get is the the small minority that flaunt the road rules and get agro despite being in the wrong. we've all encountered them and they're the ones that turn public opinion against cyclists.
 

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Bicyclists are people....people suck
 

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Escorted from the White House
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You're not the only one, Brad.

Not too long ago, I was driving about 35mph on a major thoroughfare, and got one of those quick red lights (i.e. a very short yellow light), causing me to have to brake pretty hard and come to a stop with my bumper maybe an inch off the white line of the crosswalk.

Turned out there had been some college-age dude on a bike sitting right there on the edge of the crosswalk, and the *instant* the light turned (probably a little before), he started sprinting across on his bike. When I braked hard and almost entered said crosswalk, I scared him. So he got mad.

He basically rode in tight little circles right in front of my bumper, glaring at me the entire time. I stared back at him, while starting to get mad and wondering about the odds of kicking his ass before the light turned green again. But I thought about it for a sec and said to myself, "Hey, I'm a cyclist too. If I was in his shoes, I might be ticked too."

Nothwithstanding the follow-up thought of, "But hey, I didn't even enter the crosswalk, dumbass, and you shouldn't be sprinting across in anticipation of the red."

But he rode off, and I drove on. Such is life.
.
 

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ReviewBikeRoad Member
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You really do have to watch for cyclists as you drive, which is compounded in the summer by all the fair weather riders who have just pulled their bikes out of storage for the season, you never know what they are going to do.

I feel like being a cyclist myself gives me a better idea of what to expect when I see someone riding down the street, but it scares me to think that there are a lot of drivers out there that just don't care. And apparently a lot of cyclists too who don't seem to take their own safety seriously or believe that riding predictably is a good thing.
 

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He hit your car? I'm all for saying something to someone who does something to scare me...but at 10mph, I fail to see what you could have done that was so aggressive.

I can tell you without question that had he hit my car like that...he would have been defending himself seconds later. That sort of behavior will never be tolerated by this jarhead. Pull up and talk to me like a gentleman and I will respond in kind. If I was in the wrong, I'll apologize and buy you a beer, but bring aggression to the table and you will receive it in kind.

Was there a bike lane and you were in it? If not, and he was skirting cars at a stop light, then it is up to him to make that pass safely. It is not the responsibility of the car turning right to not only check his blind spot, but to look for cyclists coming from 40 yards back. If there is no bike lane, and he has the rights and responsibilities of any other vehicle..then he should have waited his turn in the right turn lane....or he takes it upon himself to navigate his way to the front. Same as a motorcycle.
 

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yurl said:
..... the the small minority that flaunt the road rules and get agro despite being in the wrong. we've all encountered them and they're the ones that turn public opinion against cyclists.
The sad part is that they don’t even realize (or care about) the ill will they cause.

A big century rollled through the neighborhood last weekend. The neighborhood is two lane roads that aren’t straight, but the locals are really pretty good about sharing the road, so it’s a safe place to ride. I was driving through town behind some cyclists at 15 mph. I was startled when an idiot cyclist passed me on the right, between me and parked cars. Had I made a sudden right turn into an open parking place, I would have had a dented door but the cyclist would have been far worse off.

A short distance out of town I came up on cyclists riding two abreast – not only rude but illegal. A mile later it was safe to pass, and my wife rolled down the window and politely said “single up, please”. A non-cyclist might not have been so courteous, and the police would have ticketed them.

You would think that riders doing a century would know and follow the rules. Unfortunately, a tiny fraction of the cycling population gives the rest of us a bad reputation.
 

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Brad,
You're right. I misread the first line of your post. I thought it read "One day after I posted the...." instead of "One day after I posted IN the....". I thought you were the guy who launched that "Am I the only one...." thread. And I didn't go back to that thread and check the names or your entry. My mistake. Sorry.
 

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Honestly, I don't see what the big deal is in this story.

Your turn signal WAS off, was it not? Perhaps that man felt endangered. Perhaps he was just aggravated with motorists that day and you won the lucky number. And even if he himself broke a rule, cyclists and pedestrians still have little or no protection. In a car, you are insulated by over a ton of steel...what's it gonna do if someone slaps your car to demosntrate their disatisfaction with your driving? Nothing.


Why would you have an adrenaline rush when you're the one who's sitting safely in a car? I don't get it and I did have my own altercations with pedestrians or cyclists while I drived but I simply said sorry and went on with my day. I've had a few people slam their fists on my hood, sometimes for questionnable reasons but who cares when I'm comfortably sitting in a tank?

A kid on a bike once came rolling on my hood. He literally crashed himself on my car while I was stopped! He got up and started cursing and kicking my tire. I wasn't worried about my car, I was worried if he was OK. I gave him a ride home, even though he had just damaged one of the plastic cover on my tire but who cares I wasn't the one hurting.

The other day I slightly hit a pedestrian with my bike. She was actually the one who crossed the street without looking and jumped in front of me. The girl got up and cursed at me and made it look like it was my fault. I said sorry and moved on.

All you have to remember is that cars > bikes >*pedestrians.

People need to stop worrying about being "right".
 

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ColoRoadie said:
He hit your car? I'm all for saying something to someone who does something to scare me...but at 10mph, I fail to see what you could have done that was so aggressive.

I can tell you without question that had he hit my car like that...he would have been defending himself seconds later. That sort of behavior will never be tolerated by this jarhead. Pull up and talk to me like a gentleman and I will respond in kind. If I was in the wrong, I'll apologize and buy you a beer, but bring aggression to the table and you will receive it in kind.

Was there a bike lane and you were in it? If not, and he was skirting cars at a stop light, then it is up to him to make that pass safely. It is not the responsibility of the car turning right to not only check his blind spot, but to look for cyclists coming from 40 yards back. If there is no bike lane, and he has the rights and responsibilities of any other vehicle..then he should have waited his turn in the right turn lane....or he takes it upon himself to navigate his way to the front. Same as a motorcycle.

I think it's quite ironic and a little funny that on that other post, you called me a psycho and a nutjob for rolling up to people who drive dangerously and sarcastically comment on their driving, but you claim you would physically hit someone who dares to touch your precious car.

Remind me to ignore you when you give lessons on civility. :rolleyes:
 

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"El Bwana"
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I heard a story about a certain National Champion from Boulder having to slam on the brakes because a rider couldn't decide to ride on the sidewalk or the road. The rider then proceeds to give the middle finger, yell and curse, and generally exhibit douchebaggery.

If the rider only knew....
 

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Loves to Suffer
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You should have looked him straight in the eye, grabbed the door handle, and said calmly, but firmly "Do you wanna go??" And be ready to back it up.

Unless he was bigger than you, in which case you speed off and never speak of it again.
 
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