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Why Do People Keep Cutting Me Off?!(27 posts)

Why Do People Keep Cutting Me Off?!Aristotle
Aug 27, 2002 9:05 AM
[soapbox] I've been riding for a couple years now. Not as much as I'd like, but that's another story. Anyway, I've noticed that people in cars are always cutting me off at right turns.

Here's an example:

I was riding up Mass Ave in Cambridge, (MA), with its many, many side streets - there is also a dedicated bike lane - and as I was approaching a secondary street on my right (was not a red-light or stop-sign intersection, just a random side street), this girl in a purple Chevy Cavalier, who was a fair distance behind and to my left, floors the gas in order to speed up and make a right turn directly across my path - literally inches in front of me!

Fortunately, I had been keeping an eye on traffic, so I wasn't caught off guard, but WTF?! I can't even ride in a dedicated bike lane without being worried about getting plastered to a bumper?

Are people so impatient they can't wait the extra 2-3 sec. for the forward moving traffic (me) to clear before they turn - I thought I had the right of way? I wouldn't even think about cutting off a person like that. [/soapbox]
Try changing your name to Aristophanes or Euripedescarnageasada
Aug 27, 2002 9:25 AM
Philosophers never get the respect they deserve.
and playrights/poets do get respect? ;) (nm)ColnagoFE
Aug 27, 2002 11:41 AM
only if dead for thousands of years...nmmr_spin
Aug 27, 2002 11:49 AM
Aug 27, 2002 1:02 PM
Aristotle fled Athens to save his life and had there been automobiles back then he would have certainly been pancaked on his road bike by a semi. Euripedes & Aristophanes lived and died fruitfully(see Bacchus) in same Athens. P.S. Although Euripedes and Aristophanes wrote plays in various pentameters with colorful language, they were not poets. Poets get even less respect than philosophers. Ie. old joke. What's the difference between a poet and a pizza?
A pizza can feed a family.
Aug 27, 2002 9:28 AM
people are that impatient. Other reckless moves which save little-to-no time for the driver:

1. Passing cars when traffic is crawling.
2. Pulling out of a secondary street, right in front of an oncoming car which has no traffic behind it
3. Brusing a same-direction cylclist because on-coming traffic necessitated the choice of 'slow down for a second' or 'put cyclist at risk'.
4. Blowing through a damned-close-to-red light, just to get to the next red light 8 seconds later.

Plenty more, I'm sure. These people are just all to stupid and illogical to recognize that their recklessness isnt realizing benefit.
Aug 27, 2002 9:33 AM
"4. Blowing through a damned-close-to-red light, just to get to the next red light 8 seconds later."

Or worse yet. Blowing through a already red ... other light just turned green.
Has happened to me several times.brider
Aug 27, 2002 9:49 AM
And occassionally I can follow the person to their house and let them know what they just did. Sometimes it helps (I had no idea how fast you were going), sometimes not (get on the sidewalk, asshole).
Bike Lanes Suckfiltersweep
Aug 27, 2002 9:59 AM
I swear I always receive less clearance from vehicles when I'm in a bike lane- they are the worst of both worlds: drivers will pass within inches of you as long as they are in their lane and you are in yours, yet they don't treat it as a lane when making turns.

Many drivers cannot comprehend that bikes are traveling at the same speed as cars (20-25 mph).
I think it's a speed thing.Quack
Aug 27, 2002 10:32 AM
The average motorist does not encounter cyclists doing 20-25 mph very often. So when they make decisions based on the average 10mph cyclist and you're doing 2-2.5 times that speed, the timing gets all messed up. If you're going to ride fast in such areas, which I still think is the safest way to ride, just make sure and use all your senses to your advantage and try and give yourself an out. Occasionally, I will actually block the traffic lane slightly approaching intersections if I know the car behind me is turning just to avoid the potential cut-across turn.
Bike Lanes SuckTypeOne
Aug 27, 2002 10:33 AM
Some communities put a narrow bike lane between the lane and the parking area beside the curb, with a line on either side that plainly marks the bike lane. But here I get a bike lane with no markings until the curb, 8' (?) away. So cars pull in, pull out, and open passenger doors without regard for cyclists. This gives me the option of hitting the door or veering out into traffic.
Maybe the people don't realize what a narrow lane I have, or don't know it's a bike lane, or simply don't car. I may be better off riding on the edge of the traffic lane rather than right in the middle of the bike/parking lane -- but no doubt someone will buzz by and scream at me to use the bike lane.
T-Bone 'em.Sintesi
Aug 27, 2002 10:32 AM
Slam right into the side of their car and flip over the hood. That'll teach 'em. Sometimes you can work your way into the back seat if it's a convertible.
that reminds me a messanger I sawcyclopathic
Aug 27, 2002 10:41 AM
he had a cut down baseball bet neatly attached to fork.
It took him a split sec to pull it out and smash side window on cab.. talk about instant justice! 8-)
That was me.Sintesi
Aug 27, 2002 10:51 AM
I mean I wish that was me.

There's this book called the Gotham Cyclist Survival Guide or something like that. In NYC we have these 6 lb NY locks made by Kryptonite - they're real common. Anyway the book recommends swinging the lock over your head and dropping it down on the offending drivers windshield while they're stuck in traffic and you safely speed away.

I gotta tell you, I've been tempted more than once.
Aug 27, 2002 11:02 AM
I'll loop mine over aerobars next time when commute and keep it in mind 8-O
btw last time I flew to NYC I saw a bunch of commuters in Manhattan, and it is absolutely nuts to ride there. DC is much friendlier place
maybe you should try it.elviento
Aug 27, 2002 11:02 AM
A lot of motorists deserve this. The legal system is too much hassle to work in these situations.
have you seen 2 sec?cyclopathic
Aug 27, 2002 11:19 AM
there's an episode were messengers fill water bottle with piss to spray at cabbies through open windows.
have you seen 2 sec?aliensporebomb
Aug 27, 2002 6:51 PM
DUDE! That's totally hardcore. I mean, GEEZ. Talk about disgusting.

Geez, it could be WORSE than just PISS. Heh heh.

I can just picture it now. I shouldn't be laughing but.....THAT's FUNNY!
I wouldn't get in to a pissing match with NYC cab drivers...jose_Tex_mex
Aug 27, 2002 7:42 PM
... and by the way I have found them to be better than the everyday drivers I encountered in Northern Virginia.

Do this to the wrong cabbie and you are likely to become a hood ornament.
What did you expect to happen on Masshole Ave?kenyee
Aug 27, 2002 10:57 AM
I hate even driving down that road. Psycho drivers cut you off like crazy, psycho pedestrians walk across the street like you're not there (they don't even look at you), and potholes galore.

Just wait until the crazy college students come back in a few weeks. Talk about bad driving and aggressive stupid behavior...
Re: What did you expect to happen on Masshole Ave?Aristotle
Aug 27, 2002 11:52 AM
Just the thought of that makes me want to move far away!

Sintesi: your response above was HILARIOUS!
A stiff foot to their Quarter Panel, can solve it!K-Man
Aug 27, 2002 11:51 AM
Have that happen quite to often to me as well. Usually you can't see it comming, but when you do......Had a nice BMW do it to me a few months a go and I put a nice stiff foot into his soft Quarter panel. Of course he was pissed, but I just told him ever so nicely to call the police and I would be glad to wait for them as I was in no rush to get anywhere. I was laughing at him as he just drove away.

Felony (destruction of property)kenyee
Aug 27, 2002 12:21 PM
If he had called the cops, what do you think your criminal record would look like, exactly?

"Officer, the guy cut me off, so I kicked in his car"

"Sorry son, that's destruction of property. You're looking at jail time or a fine after you waste a few days in court and lawyers fees. I'm gonna issue the driver a ticket for failing to yield to traffic and he'll have high insurance rates for a few years.".

If the guy in the car hit you, it's totally a different matter. The cop would bust him, deservedly so.

A few years down the line, you'll have to explain why you did that when you apply for a new job...
BS Logicfiltersweep
Aug 27, 2002 12:52 PM
...sorta like if you let the car hit you, you have your medical bills and new bike paid for. If you take evasive manuevers, go down on the pavement untouched by the car, and maybe have minimal damage (scratched hoods, road rash, ripped bibs), it will all be out of pocket expense for YOU. Either way the BICYCLIST pays! Either a pound of flesh or a few hundred in damage... no win situation.

Makes a little street justice seem more economical... and besides, I doubt it would post as a felony... "deny, deny, deny." Not that I condone ANY of this sort of behavior. win scenariokenyee
Aug 27, 2002 3:00 PM
That's certainly what it seems like nowadays if you're a cyclist (pedestrians get coddled by politicians, drivers have armor).

It's even true for people who do the road rage thing in cars. True story: two guys were road raging away (this was a few months ago in the Newton area for those of you who know the area); they get out and scream at each other. One guy kicks in a door on the other person's car. The other guy pulls out a baseball bat and smashes a headlamp. They scream at each other. One follows the other and they pull into a a Newton Police parking lot. They go at it and yell at each other some more. Cops come out. Both charged w/ disturbing the peace and fighting (can't remember the legal term). One was charged w/ assault w/ a dangerous weapon (the bat). At least misdemeanors and one felony. This will show up on their records.

If you get seen by witnesses smashing a car's window or kicking in a panel, destruction of property is at the very least a misdemeanor. If the damage is enough (I think), it becomes a felony. If you get into it and punch the guy, assault and battery is definitely a felony...

All things have consequences...

p.s., I wasn't advocating getting hit while cycling. Just saying that it's one of the few times when a driver will get charged.
boston drivinggwendolynofthemountain
Aug 27, 2002 1:18 PM
one thing i learned when i lived in boston for (a very long) 1.5 years is that the only rule of the road is to get in front of everyone and not to let anyone pass you. as long as you know that, you should be able to survive there. hence, no road cycling for me in boston.
boston drivingnova
Aug 27, 2002 1:26 PM
I've been there two or three times on business. The government says that DC (my home area) is 2nd worse in the country in terms of traffic, after LA I imagine.

However, I'll take driving and riding in DC over Boston ANY time! Whadda nightmare!