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road attacks(20 posts)

road attacksDaveG
Apr 10, 2001 5:37 PM
It never fails. Every season, at least a couple of times, someone throws something out the window of their car at me on my bike. I've been hit by beer can (full and empty), a Slurpee, ice, and various other materials. Tonight, as I rode past the local High School (I should really know better) some punks threw something metal at me. I don't know what it was, but I heard a metallic sound when it hit my bike. When I got home, I had a nice gouge in my seatstay and a couple of paint chips lost. What drives someone to do this? Other than giving them the obligatory finger there was nothing else I could do. Is this just me? What do others do in this situation?
Ya got meErik W
Apr 10, 2001 6:23 PM
I'm lucky so far, in that no one has thrown anything at me. What part of the country do you live in? I think this kind of thing happening is pretty much nation wide, but I'm sure some locations are worse then others. Their are a large number of cyclists around here and it seems pretty safe from that kind of behavior.
Ya got meDaveG
Apr 11, 2001 8:25 AM
Erik, I live in southern New Jersey which is not exactly Iowa but it is an affluent suburban area. I've had the same occur in rural central PA also. In general, these have not been incident where traffic was being blocked, but usually teenagers just looking to antagonize.
tough neighborhood...once a snowball but that was all..nmjohn de
Apr 10, 2001 6:23 PM
re: road attacksSkip
Apr 10, 2001 6:37 PM
I would do my best to get their license number, and prosecute them to the fullest extent of the law.
You haven't gotten used to that yet???biknben
Apr 10, 2001 6:53 PM
I was once wacked in the ass with an umbrella. I guess someone thought I wasn't going fast enough. Can't remember having anything thrown at me. I usually just exchange obsenities (sp?) and move on.

A couple time a week someone will yell out a window as they drive by and scare the crap out of me. Someone once did that and then pulled into their driveway a 1/4 mile after. I embarassed the hell out of him in front of his neighbors.

I think has a lot to do with the roads you are on. The narrower the road, the more problems you have. Motorists have to slow down and pay attention. Drives them nuts.

I'm in Jersey. It's either high traffic or narrow roads. Take your pick. Sometimes both!
re: road attacksTypeOne
Apr 10, 2001 6:57 PM
A passenger in a car once tossed a half-empty Starbucks cup at me. This is Seattle, after all. I believe it was a grande, and it pissed me off. I remember the plate, and I have seen the same car parked a few miles from my house at a local business. I am really considering doing someting "extralegal" about this. I have no idea what the guy was thinking. Must have been done with the latte and there I was.
re: road attacksDuane Gran
Apr 11, 2001 4:33 AM
I would put coffee in his gas tank, and if that was locked tight I would pour coffee on his windshield, preferably in the winter when it could freeze. Of course, one should be absolutely certain that this is the offending car.
no way! ...really?junebride
Apr 11, 2001 9:09 AM
where? nothing like that has happened to me (regular routes through seattle, mercer island, and bellevue) but i'd be pretty indignant if did. (then again, my husband likes to say i'm offended 30 seconds out of every minute. all lies i tell you!).

have you followed up with anything "extralegal"?
Apr 11, 2001 11:45 AM
This happened along Leary Way in Ballard one morning. I have since seen the car parked near Hiram's near the Locks on two occasions and I am 100% certain this is the car--Same plates and very distinctive bumper stickers.
I don't really want to vandalize the car or anything. Afterall, it was a passenger, not the driver/owner, who chucked the Starbucks at me. And it doesn't make me a better person for doing it. I was at the Bike Expo and saw the Cascade Club's "Share the Road with Bicycles" yellow bumperstickers, and I thought 5 or 6 of those affixed to his car might be good. But again, I didn't do anything that makes me stoop to this mouth-breathing buffoon's level. If something like this happens again--with this guy or another--I'm reporting it to the police, who also won't do anything :)
re: road attacksmust_pedal_harder
Apr 10, 2001 7:30 PM
I think it depends on so many things, where you ride, how you dress, etc. I live in up(?)state NY and while generally we're all kind folks, there aren't alot of cyclists out on the road so you tend to draw a lot of attention to yourself when your riding. I don't even wear bike shorts if I'm going maybe 5 or 6 miles to the gym, things like that, in my eyes, just draw too much attention.

Of course some people like to stand out, then all I can say is grin and bear it.
What you have to do is...muncher
Apr 11, 2001 12:49 AM
Take the rough with the smooth, but really enjoy it when, having done some unspeakable act to you on the way past,a car driver messes up and you then catch him (always is a him) at the lights - I just lean in at the window with my "now I am going to eat your head" look (helps if you are 6" and 210 - pick your driver too) - and watch the tell-tale fear of God expression emerge, coupled with the "lock the doors fast, stare straight ahead and grip the wheel till your knuckles go white and pretend this isn't happening" approach - most satisfying.

A riding pal of mine does a nice trick with a big spit of waterbottle back into the car window - have to be a bit careful with escalation there though - works well in town with heavy traffic...
re: road attacksCartman
Apr 11, 2001 5:07 AM
Last Saturday, I went for a training ride witht the local club. There was probably about 10 riders. We were yelled at three times on a 50 mile ride. "Loosers! Get a life! and my favorite, You spandex wearing fa%&ots! I learned last year that words are just that, words. I escalated a sisuation where someone yelled to me, "You're a f*&% a-hole!" I yelled back, "No you're a f*&% a-hole!" He then said, "oh yea, I'll F%&*ing hit you. He weaved his car at me. Maybe if I had said nothing, He wouldn't have tried to hit me. I'm personally going to ignore verbal abuse. If someone tries to assault me, I will try my best to identify them and report them.
re: road attacksbirdrider
Apr 11, 2001 5:40 AM
Sometimes I feel like riding with a sawed off shotgun where my frame pump would be, or hanging a pistol holster between the two rails of my aerobars.

I think every cyclist has had experiences of the "brush-by". Hell, I think I was even shot at once, can't really tell. And it does take monumental effort not to let it get to you. But just remember, you are better than those people.

I often try to reason that if people are so constantly filled with bitterness and burning red rage that they have to do these things then their lives are already much more miserable than any justice we cyclists could ever impose (although nothing feels better than spitting in an offenders face and getting away clean).

Plus, don't you ever get the car load of teenagers who dive by, laying on the horn, banging on the side of thier car, hanging out the windows yelling expletives of encouragement as you struggle up your local cardiac-climb?

Go fast, have fun.
Perhaps the Blackburn folks could ...DaveG
Apr 11, 2001 8:28 AM
develop a combination mini-pump/dual-barrel shotgun. You would need a pump head that could convert between presta/Schrader/12 gauge. The technology is obtainable.
re: road attacksG
Apr 11, 2001 6:23 AM
Most stuff I ignore. For the serious incidents...that's why I carry a cell phone. Amazingly, the only serious problem I have had was with a dog owner who didn't seem to care that his dog had chased me for three straight days. It took taking my pistol with me and telling the jackass that the next time I was going to shoot his dog and him too if he had anything to say about it. Wasn't the smartest thing I have ever done and would not recommend carrying a firearm when riding, but no more problem with above mentioned dog. In retrospect, that was probably a real stupid way to handle that situation.
re: road attacksFlash
Apr 11, 2001 7:19 AM
I can't believe what I am reading. Sure I get angry when people do/say stupid things when I am on my bike. But someone on a bicycle vs. a 3000 lb. + car is just not a fair fight. So I will go on record to advocate a kinder, gentler approach. I usually just wave - open handed no fingers extended - to the offending motorist. I like to think that it makes them madder knowing that they did not make me angry. And all this talk about carrying guns on the bike -- who wants the extra wieght.

Just my opinions....
Just last week!keith m.
Apr 11, 2001 8:01 AM
I was riding along on a flat area at about 23mph in a bike lane when suddenly I felt something brush by my hip. It was the mirror on a Mazda pickup with two teens in it. The passenger then leaned out the window and gave a good hard shove to my hip, trying to push me off the bike and into the weeds. This is where the story gets good. Just then, as they were speeding off, coming over a small rise in the road was a Highway Patrol Officer. I pulled to a stop and told him what happened and ZOOM, he was off and in pursuit. Yes, he did get them! I love it. If only there could be an officer there everytime.
i count myself luckyHaiku d'état
Apr 11, 2001 11:41 AM
i'm typically 5'7" at 125# until i stop and ask what it was they just said, or catch 'em at a stoplight, or they turn around (tires squealing and burning rubber), then i'm back to 6'2" 195#. funny how loud-mouthed they can be until you're willing to confront them; i guess folks expect someone on a bike to run, which is the LAST thing i'd do on the road, unless i were close to sanctuary.

luckily, i haven't had anything thrown at me, but i'm pretty short-fused, so i'd probably set a human-powered land speed record matching them for the license number. there have been a few times in the last year when physical confrontation was imminent, but it never panned out, and that's good, 'cause i'm just a big softie.

otherwise, all verbal abuse and the odd car cutting ya off, speeding up just enough to make a right turn in your path, or catching up to you, slamming on the breaks to make that really obnoxious sound, then continuing on...i count myself lucky. and, i've banned the use of my middle finger. it's just not worth the satisfaction to risk four big drunk guys getting out of a tiny nissan pickup and working ya over with a baseball bat in the middle of nowhere.
re: road attacksthbirks
Apr 11, 2001 1:43 PM
obviously, you're not alone. it's a shame that we can all relate to this experience. in the six years that i've been riding i've had my share of these incidences. the best was getting water thrown at me by a little girl who was hiding in the back of her daddy's pickup as he drove by me. it was awful hot that day, so her thoughtfulness was appreciated. The worst was getting hit in the head with a half full jug of iced tea. Funny, i wondered why the car hadn't passed me yet and then WHACK!!!!! Glad i was wearing my helmet. at first i thought i got hit by a 2x4 or something sticking out of the vehicle. Then i realized it was just a couple of teenage boys having fun at my expense. i tried to catch them but i was on my singlespeed mountain bike. i have also wondered what goes on in these people's heads. i do know that people change when they get inside a car. i've been there myself. My advice is try to control your outrage and concentrate on getting the license plate number. Call a cop, call your congressperson, call the President. Get a paintball gun.