Author Topic: inconsiderate drivers  (Read 3042 times)

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Offline fleutz

inconsiderate drivers
« on: December 23, 2006, 01:32:25 pm »
When traveling by bike how do you handle inconsiderate, rude, or stupid motorists on the road? Here in Northeast Ohio people can't stand cyclists riding with traffic. What do you do when blow, honk, or curse you while going coast to coast.  

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Offline Sailariel

inconsiderate drivers
« Reply #1 on: December 23, 2006, 02:39:13 pm »
I treat them like a road sign--mentally note the message, and drive on. These types hate to be ignored. They want you to respond so that they can escalate the situation. Concentrate on you form and cadence and enjoy the ride.


Offline litespeed

inconsiderate drivers
« Reply #2 on: December 23, 2006, 06:28:23 pm »
In many years and some 25,000 miles of bicycle touring around the country I have only had a motorist give me a hard time once. It was on winding, narrow Route 1 north of Fort Bragg CA. A woman pulled alongside and railed at me for "causing people to get killed". I smiled politely and said nothing. I quit arguing with women 30 years ago.
I consider myself an ambassador for cycling so I go to great pains to stay out of motorists' way and be courteous. If I top a hill and see that it's clear I wave a following car on. At stoplights I ask, with gestures, if the car alongside wants to turn right. If so, I move over and wave them on. If I hear air brakes or an air horn behind me (18 wheeler) I get off the road (if possible. It usually is). If I'm on a bad, shoulderless, heavily trafficked stretch of road where I can't avoid interfering with traffic I get a map and try to find another route or get up on the sidewalk (if no pedestrians. Usually aren't. Americans don't walk much). If a motorist is waiting to pull out of a side street and there is time for them to go before I get there I wave them on. I try to avoid large towns and cities during rush hours. I often give a friendly wave to motorists, especially truckers and cops. Insisting on "holding your ground" or maintaining your "rights as a vehicle" just makes motorists mad at all of us. The golden rule applies. Besides their vehicles are much bigger than ours.

This message was edited by litespeed on 12-30-06 @ 6:58 AM

tofubicycle

  • Guest
inconsiderate drivers
« Reply #3 on: December 23, 2006, 07:35:10 pm »
When I first began riding as a year-round commuter I still had a bit of an anger management problem. This would typically result in a sprint after the offending vehicle, which would generally put me in a more precarious position than the motorist had in the first place. I've knocked a few side views off with my u-lock, threatened a few folks with the same, yelled, screamed, cursed, raised the ol' middle finger and even threw my then damaged bicycle at a car. Eventually, I began working as a courier, something I did only for a short while, though long enough to learn that my angry reactions were going to get me killed, beat up or otherwise hurt or at the very least turn me into a stressed out mess -to say nothing of my position as an on-the-spot representative of cyclists on the road. Since then I've tried all manner reactions from none at all right up to riding to the driver's side door of the offending vehicle, should it come to a stop light, and calmly explaining to the mortorist why I'm riding where and how I'm riding and why they were in fact the one in the wrong. Some of the latter situations actually worked out in the positive, with the driver having been previously unaware of cyclists' rights and having driven away actually thanking me. Still, only a mere 9 years away from drawing my u-lock in a frenzy, and also having long since relocated to a city where approaching the driver's side door is an invitation for trouble, I find the best course of action is to focus on riding safely, act as though no is paying attention to me, and to keep my mouth shut and my fingers curled safely around my handlebars. There will always be those unique situations where you might need to call on your best judgement as to whether you should pedal for saftey or safely give someone a piece of your mind but I find those are much fewer and further between than I once belived.

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i'd rather be biking.

Offline Sailariel

inconsiderate drivers
« Reply #4 on: December 24, 2006, 01:42:21 pm »
Problems you really have to dealwith are rare. I once had a guy throw a beer bottle at me and it hit the one part of my STI shifter that was not padded. The bottle shattered and cut ny fingers pretty good. Had I gotten a plate number, I would have called it in. However, I was too busy trying to regain control of the bike. A couple of band-aids took care of the problem. Generally peopleare pretty decent.


Offline rreinarz

inconsiderate drivers
« Reply #5 on: December 24, 2006, 03:11:55 pm »
Courtesy works. I wear high visibility colors too. I give a friendly wave to every one as they move over to pass. I give them the same friendly wave when meeting at intersections. I do have drivers give me a gentle tap on their horn at times when overtaking. I always give a friendly wave back. Drivers respond in kind.


Offline biker_james

inconsiderate drivers
« Reply #6 on: December 27, 2006, 06:04:23 am »
I'll second the "bright colours" idea. I think that when you dress so that drivers will see you a long ways ahead, there is less surprise and stress for them, and less anger directed at you the cyclist. While there will always be some idiots, I really feel that you could probably ride your whole life and never have a physical confrontation about road use. What do you do-curse them under your breath for the idiots they are, then smile and wave and let it go. I also try to keep a balance between standing up for my rights on the road, and just being courteous to drivers, even if I have the right of way sometimes.


Offline dombrosk

inconsiderate drivers
« Reply #7 on: January 09, 2007, 06:08:33 pm »
In addition to bright colors, I ride with a Cateye 5-led red rear flasher, and a Cateye 3-led white front flasher running at all times, even on sunny days.  

On multiple occasions I've had drivers come up to me at cafes to thank me for being so visible.  My white front flasher uses  4 AA batteries which last about forever on flash mode, while the rear flasher eats 2 AAA batteries about once a week while on tour, or about once a month for commuting.

Being visible helps a lot, but there will be those times when you run into that driver who just seems to hate cyclists.  My approach has always been to not react. It seems to me any response is far more likely to escalate the situation while distracting me from my riding.

The sad thing is that there are also some bicyclists out there who's riding styles do incite justifiable anger in motorists.  By taking the kind of courtesy approaches mentioned earlier in this thread, we can make the roads safer for ourselves and our fellow riders.


Offline bruno

inconsiderate drivers
« Reply #8 on: January 10, 2007, 10:45:59 am »
u-lock justice. (jus' kiddin'!!). though i did put a dent in a guy's rear quarter panel when he actually made contact with me and when i chased him down at a stoplight and said to him, "hey buddy, share the road" and he replied, "shut the f*ck up."

usually i just pay 'em no mind.


Offline fleutz

inconsiderate drivers
« Reply #9 on: January 10, 2007, 10:51:48 am »
Bruno has it right. Why are these people so nasty easy-They Hate Change. Change is good we think besides we'll live a lot longer than they would. I can't stand these idiots especially going through towns I've never of.

And That's All There Is !
And That's All There Is !