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Bike Wing Conspiracy
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Riding home across the Manhattan bridge the other day. I had crossed over Tillary and was in the right hand lane in plain view of all approaching cars. A car service car edges in from my left and pins me between the sidewalk and the car. We were still moving at close to 20mph.

This wouldnt have been bad because I have ridden in tighter spaces than what the car was creating for me. However the car started making the space even tighter and nearly pushed me right into the curb. At the last moment I slammed on my front brake and the car swerved exactly where I would have been if I had kept riding alongside. He actually clipped the front wheel of my bike as he swerved in.

I was furious. I rode up to the car that was now stuck in traffic and stopped my bike alongside and grabbed the mirror on the driver side and pulled it off. I leaned into the driver side window-which was closed-and yelled at him to watch out for bikes in the future.

Then I rode off.

I havent let a car's behavior get to me in a long time. For some reason this one really got to me.
 

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We are all better off turning the cheek, riding defensively, not provoking drivers...................
BUT when you do react it is best to something decisive and semi - aggressive, like what you did. That driver won't go so close to a cyclist again in a hurry because they know there may be consequences to their actions. I once punched a drivers mirror intending to leave it hanging on the springs - so the driver could replace it. [email protected] thing went flying off into the night and I don't know which of us - the driver or me - were most surprised. I've gone six weeks now deliberately avoiding arguments and run ins with drivers ( Road rage was building up really bad in me) but I doubt I could have ignored what happened to you.
 

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Colorado Springs, CO
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A slightly less damaging action, but very effective, is to just fold he mirror back against the car door or to the outside. Lots of mirrors on cars have a fold-back mechanism that won't damage the mirror, but will be major annoying and a constant reminder until the mirror gets put back in place. Guess the other thing you could do is to kick off the valve of the tire and ride away. The cost isn't much to replace (break the bead, put a new valve in, reinflate tire). But, a major hassle to coordinate the repair (change tire, go get it fixed, replace spare).

Bottom line for me is that I'm glad that a) you survived the run-in with the car and b) survived the run-in with the road rage -- the guy could have easily let his rage get the better of him and pulled out a gun or done something else nasty.
 

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Good Work

You certainly were justified in your actions as the driver's actions were malicious and not done out of ignorance. What you have accomplised is to let someone, namely a bully, know that there are consequences for their socially acceptable behavoir.

BRAVO!!!
 

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even more fun if you have time with the car is to get the valve core tool and pull the valve out of a tire... looks pretty much the same but when you try to re inflate it the air just wooshes back out..

Not good for road rage but funny anyway. it does NO dammage if you have the tool to fix it you can, but not many people do.
 

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Maybe I am the odd one out but I am not onboard with your actions. I am in no way saying that what the driver did was OK just to be clear. It is hard to tell from your post how long the "space was getting tighter" so that makes it difficult. Take it from a fellow commuter, I get the whole "we have equal rights" arguement, but when a 3000 pound car is challenging my position on the road I yield. I have done plenty of angry things, like hitting sides of cars and throwing water bottles, but it tends to do nothing more than make the situation worse.
I can remember a time when a driver was talking on a phone and swerved into the bike lane forcing me to lock the brakes. I smacked the side of the car in anger and frustration. The situation then escalated into a full on game of chicken with the car intentionally swerving and speeding up and slowing down to try to hit me. That is one examples of a few situations that escalated due to my actions.

You did what you did and I understand why you did it. The next time you may not come out of the situation in such a good position. Had that car not been stuck in traffic or if that driver sees you again you might have a much more serious problem. Just remember, you are on a bike with no protection, if a car has a problem with you the consequences can be deadly.
 

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c0braje7 said:
Maybe I am the odd one out but I am not onboard with your actions. I am in no way saying that what the driver did was OK just to be clear.

You did what you did and I understand why you did it. The next time you may not come out of the situation in such a good position. .

I have to agree.

Not only could you have been arrested for what YOU did. That driver may take it out on the next cyclist he sees.

Thank you for making it more dangerous for the rest of us.
 

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Old, slow, and fat.
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i wasn't there so I can't comment on how safe or unsafe the situation was, nor can I comment intelligently on the OP's reactions 'cause I wasn't there...

In most cases, I agree with the nancy boys that say 'ignore it and ride on...' I can shrug off lots as 'accidental' BUT if it were me and I saw someone doing something to INTENTIONALLY hurt me, I'd probably go ballistic too.

My $.02

M
 

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Bolo Grubb said:
I have to agree.

Not only could you have been arrested for what YOU did. That driver may take it out on the next cyclist he sees.

Thank you for making it more dangerous for the rest of us.
Yup, agree with you guys. Let it go, he probably just didn't see you! Now you've created a dangerous enemy.
 

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Aren't you the guy who collided with the woman near Union Square? http://forums.roadbikereview.com/showthread.php?t=63731 You are having a rough summer, bro.

I ride every day in NYC and I am behind you 100%. Most of the "professional" drivers here--taxis, livery cabs, delivery trucks, public buses etc.---tend to have absolutely no respect for cyclists. There are out to get from A to B as fast as possible to make a buck, and bikes are tiny, slow vehicles that just get in their way. I can't tell you how many times I've been buzzed by speeding taxis that drift into the bike lane in Central Park .

I've come to the conclusion that riding in NYC is different than riding in most big cities--here it is us against them. No amount of whiny letter writing or e-mails to the Taxi Commission or "ghost bike" exhibits are going to make drivers any less aggro. It's about survival--and this driver will think twice when he sees another cyclist. Good on you and watch your back.

Some advice: I will regularly have periods of "bad cycling" in the city, where I will have a have a run-in with a driver, get yelled at by the police, have a component stolen off my bike. When these start to add up, I change my routine: take the subway for a few days, change my cycling route, ride at different times of day. Maybe I'm superstitious, but sometimes I take these as bad omens and mix things up a bit just to change my daily patterns.
 

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team_sheepshead said:
Aren't you the guy who collided with the woman near Union Square? http://forums.roadbikereview.com/showthread.php?t=63731 You are having a rough summer, bro.
Rough summer? More like a rough life!

Snapped aerobars: http://forums.roadbikereview.com/showthread.php?t=52830
Constant flats: http://forums.roadbikereview.com/showthread.php?t=64765
Unpaid tickets: http://forums.roadbikereview.com/showthread.php?t=62831
Crushed bike: http://forums.roadbikereview.com/showthread.php?t=46848
Another close call: http://forums.roadbikereview.com/showthread.php?t=14573

Dude's got a back cloud over his head! :)
 

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Bolo Grubb said:
I have to agree.

Not only could you have been arrested for what YOU did. That driver may take it out on the next cyclist he sees.

Thank you for making it more dangerous for the rest of us.
The driver would do it to the next bike rider he sees anyway. That's the kind of ass a driver like that is--he doesn't give a **** about your life. Bike riders don't make angry drivers--they are full of rage whenever they are in their cars and if they don't have a wife or a child to abuse, they'll take it out on you.
 
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