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Dealing with motorists(8 posts)

Dealing with motoristsnova
Aug 4, 2001 3:44 PM
I'm not entirely anti-car or anything, but my 40 mile ride today was tainted by a couple of pinheads in motor vehicles. The first was a man in a Rolls Royce honking at me and wagging his finger at me. He was wearing white gloves, by the way. I crossed the street in front of him with about 40 feet between the two of us. His speed was no more 25MPH - not even a near miss (we were in town). Regardless, he took it upon himself to admonish me about something but I'm not sure what it was. Perhaps it was just the fact that I was out on a hot, humid day. Who knows?

The second was a woman in a Kia "SUV". She refused to go around me on a quiet country road that can handle three cars abreast in a pinch. I was riding within three feet of the right-side edge of the road. She finally got fed-up on a slight uphill, rolled her window down, gunned her engine, and proceeded to shout something at me with her child in the back seat. Didn't hear what she said with the tire noise, the engine noise, and the wind in my ears. Not to mention the motorcycle that was tailgating her! That guy was no more than two feet from her rear bumper.

When I saw that she was obese, I yelled "Loose some weight!" which I should not have done I suppose. Seriously though, it seems to me that a lot of hostile people would feel better about themselves and the world around them if they just dropped the extra baggage. (It worked for me - 30 pounds worth.)

Anyway, I need a mantra or something to help me stay calm in these situations. What works for you?

(I own model year 2000 automobile and I love it - this isn't a bikes versus cars thing)
re: Be the bikeAkirasho
Aug 4, 2001 5:44 PM
Be the bike.
re: Dealing with motoristsTi
Aug 4, 2001 8:47 PM
Nova,

Funny you wrote this as I wrote a above yours titled "road rage" if you want to read it. The funny thing is that there are rude cyclists and whenever you tell a story to non-riders you feel compelled to explain that you were doing nothing wrong - to distant yourself from the "bad" bicyclists. From your description of the events it sounds like you did nothing wrong.

I kinda liked the 1st response "be the bike". It's kinda like this old wicked boss I had. Everytime I encountered her I just cringed in anger. Every word that came out of her mouth was stupid and demeaning. I hated her so bad I started to look for a new job. Meanwhile, I needed a shield to get me through my day until I quit. I remembered Brady Bunch when Jan was taking her driving test. She was nervous and so to distract her from the stress of the drivers test she was told to imagine the tester naked. I applied the same philosophy, sort of. I had this new watch which I bought myself as a reward for running a marathon. It was the most beautiful Festina which I waited 4 months to be delivered. Every time the wicked boss approached me I held the watch towards her like it was a weapon or shield. She had no clue what I was doing and I had such a laugh doing it. It was a childish game that I played with a ridiculous person. By the way, I did finally quit and I gave the reason as "her". She was fired a few weeks later:) Maybe I will become the bike.
Assume they're armed.grzy mnky
Aug 5, 2001 11:07 AM
In essence they really are - they're driving a minimum of a 1.5 ton weapon. In this day and age you can't begin to imagine what their problems are, what's their motivation, wqhat they may be on, or what they're likely to do. Fat people are more likely to resent in shape people - sounds like a harsh statement until you realize that the reverse is never true.

Using a helmet mirror will really give you "heads up" as to what's approaching and it's best to assume that for all practical purposes that you are invisible. You can bet they'll tell the cop that they never saw you no matter what happens. Don't let their sh!tty day/life become yours. Tell yourself you'll dance on their grave. When they go ballistic just smile and wave.
re: Dealing with motoristsfiltersweep
Aug 5, 2001 5:10 PM
Funny how it is usually a nicer vehicle that has been more prone to cause me trouble... I just had a man back out of his driveway in front of me today when I SWEAR we made "eye contact" as I approached- driving a large new Mercedes. I actually shook my finger at him. I was going about 20-25 on a residential one-way around a lake driving as far to the right as possible, and there was a string of cars behind me (the car directly behind me was more interested in parking than passing). It wasn't a close call, but close enough- On the flip side, wearing a helmet and shades, I end up being rather anonymous (so do I really know we made eye contact originally?), and I don't know if all these tattoos help or hinder (it was like 99 today, and I was in a tank top....). I literally believe these people have no idea what it is like to be outdoors, doing something physical, and this guy likely doesn't mow his own yard, or anything. When he finally passed me, he did everything he could to avoid looking at me. My mantra: "the world is full of idiots and people with issues, and I'm not one of them"- I'm convinced I must have a healthy degree of self-preservation or I'd be dead by know. For every incident like this, daily a car lets me across a busy street for no required reason when I'm in a commuter bike lane where I have to yield (there is no stop sign, signal, crosswalk, or anything there- an accident waiting to happen). I firmly believe cyclists in the city receive more respect than do pedestrians, and I'm generally more surprised at the deference shown to cyclists than the amount of disrepect- and optimism is not my nature! Then again I'm not biking through the "hood."

Getting back to the helmet/shades issue- it is against the law to wear disguises in public- and a few African women around here have been tagged for this (robes and scarves over the face)- these have been all dismissed in court, but I wonder if this adds to motorists discomfort at cyclists at some subliminal level.
questionWoof the dog
Aug 5, 2001 10:05 PM
so, would it be also illegal to wear a mask while driving a car? How about a motorcycle helmet with dark visor? I need references. Thanx.

Woof, the law-defying dog.
questionfiltersweep
Aug 6, 2001 3:35 PM
Obviously one can wear a full face helmet- not saying that is illegal- but I do find it interesting that they have this "disguise law" on the books- no doubt left over from the days of lawless masked bandits...

several months ago I saw a mime driving to work in full makeup....
referencesfiltersweep
Aug 6, 2001 3:49 PM
references- sorry this is so off topic

"
Article 23 of 28, Article ID: 9711200423
Published on November 20, 1997, St. Paul Pioneer Press (MN)
DISCRIMINATION SUIT SETTLED FOR $13,500

A Muslim woman who was arrested three years ago in the St. Paul skyway for covering her face with a veil will receive $13,500 to settle her lawsuit against the city claiming religious discrimination, illegal detention and excessive force. The St. Paul City Council approved the payment Wednesday.The arrest of Tayyibah Amatullah, then a 21-year-old student at the College of St. Catherine, sparked a nationwide debate about Muslim customs.Police officers, who suspected a number of shoplifters were d..."

paper wants a whopping $1.29 for the rest of the story