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Gee, who's the dumb-@ss?(26 posts)

Gee, who's the dumb-@ss?Bike Fool
Sep 20, 2002 9:43 AM
I've read a lot of the cars-are-menace, bike-messenger-nazi stuff lately, so I felt I could share this one.
Just today, coming back from lunch with a couple of friends. I'm riding in the passenger seat of a Jeep, when we spy a guy riding along, so we slow (residential street coming up to a busy intersection) to spock out his ride. He's on an old Guercotti, with toe straps. Cool. We stop at the light, 2nd car back. Five seconds later, here comes Mr. Guercotti, gets into the left hand turn lane, passes us, and proceeds to run the light.

We catch up to him, slow down and I lean out the window and say, Hey bro, you're making us cyclists look bad when you blow through lights like that. His response? A hale and hearty "F*** You!!". Cool. Way to make us look even better. Especially on roads I commute four days a week. We just kept on driving, shaking our heads.
So, did you throw your drink at him?Bill is in Denver
Sep 20, 2002 9:46 AM
I'll bet you got a glimpse of why some drivers do things like that though didn't you?

Bill (on my way out for a ride right now)
You did what you couldRickC5
Sep 20, 2002 10:10 AM
Unfortunately, there are far too many "fellow cyclists" out there with attitudes like that guy's. No wonder so many drivers find cyclists to be obnoxious.
You did what you couldThe Human G-Nome
Sep 20, 2002 10:39 AM
honestly, what did you expect he was going to say? "ya, you're right, i'm a total dumbass." ?

no one likes pedestrians playing cop, especially those that already know they're in the wrong. you didn't try to play lesson-teacher to teach him a lesson, but rather because you wanted the satisfaction of putting him in his place. but of course, you knew that wouldn't happen. you knew rather, that he would just confirm your suspicions: "he's a dumbass", and then you could remove any shadow of doubt that you're the better human being. congratulations.

my bigger pet peeve is cyclists that scream at other cyclists to wear their helmets. that's quite a utilitarian concept... that one would raise their blood pressure so much as to get visably angry only under the guise of goodwill. shaming someone into wearing a helmet isn't going to do the trick and anyone with an ounce of psych 101 under their belt can tell you that only a nice bump on the noggin is going to get these morons to wear the gear.
DANG!! Busted...Bike Fool
Sep 20, 2002 10:53 AM
Ya got me, G-nome. Your tremendous powers of perception and extra-sensory perception exactly captured what was going through my head, and my companion's (who are also cyclists) comments while putting this idiot in his place. I thank you for your keen insight and also for your kudo's. Regardless of the fact I commute 52 weeks a year down this same road, why else wouldn't I talk down to another cyclist? Well done!
DANG!! Busted...The Human G-Nome
Sep 20, 2002 12:26 PM
fine, you did it for your own well being so cyclists on that road won't have a bad rep. i agree with you 100% that the guy is an idiot. that's obviously not the debate. however, as you are a cyclist, you must also realize that if anyone in a car yells at you from their window, you're not going to put their comments to good use in a constuctive way. no matter the words, it's more then likely going to feel aggressive and you're going to act defensively as the nimrod in question surely did. if that was your only movtive then my sincere apologies but it would seem there is a better way to get your message heard (like perhaps from a bicycle).
"while putting this idiot in his place"Ahimsa
Sep 20, 2002 6:27 PM
So.....that is in fact what you were doing? "putting this idiot in his place"

Hmmm....no wonder he told you to f*ck yerself.

I believe G-nome has scored a "Hit the Nail on the F-ing Head" award for his analysis.

A. (A joke: Three jerks were on a road, two in a jeep and one on a bike.......oh....wait....you already know how it ends.)
Don't think so...Bike Fool
Sep 21, 2002 6:16 AM
If you had read the whole thread ahimsa, you may have been able to determine that the quote you've taken out of context was a facetious response to g-nomes first post. Have a nice day.
psych 101 and wearing helmetsweiwentg
Sep 20, 2002 11:30 AM
while he will learn if he crashes (I did, although I almost always wore a helmet even before crashing), guilt is much more effective. alternatively, one could apply a dose of moderate fear (you know, you could get concussed if you crash) plus instructions on how to remove that fear (however, this risk can be avoided if you wear a helmet) are also effective.
you're being a bit pessimistic, even if you are correct that screaming at people will probably not get them to wear helmets (unless it induces guilt in people who normally wear helmets but can't be bothered one in ten times). and it's a bit silly to accuse the original poster of telling the guy off so as to be able to feel superior.
Careful there.Leisure
Sep 22, 2002 3:03 AM
Reread your post putting yourself in his shoes you might start to see yourself as the pot calling the kettle black. Even granting that you have exercised the option here of printing out your entire message to be more educational in making your point, you're certainly not holding back being confrontational and condescending. I also wouldn't draw so much in the way of personality conclusions off one post like this; it's usually more indicative of projection...same point as before.

In regards to your psych 101 comment, having spent the last four years in mental health, I find most people with entire psych degrees don't learn too much about how to effectively get people to change. It's too bad, and I don't claim to have found any final answers myself (I have an excuse though - no psych degree). It's a big step from identifying someone's problem to getting the person to change; that's the challenge and the beauty of psych. Usually it involves talking about it in a situation of diminished agitation (and therefore reduced defensiveness) in terms of potential consequences from a standpoint that removes you from any punitive role. Ultimately Bike Fool, you didn't have enough time at the right time to do anything to change the guy; better to let him make his own mistakes while you just show yourself to be a better example for everyone else.
He's Right!sidley
Sep 20, 2002 10:44 AM
Maybe his comment was not the classiest but I usually have some terse remark for someone who tells me how to ride my bike too.

While I am sure you were well-meaning and courteous, it probably sounded a little condescending and proselytizing.

Are you really concerned that his behavior will affect you?
Dumb-@ss?mr_spin
Sep 20, 2002 12:03 PM
It's not exactly clear who the Dumb-@ss is in your post. I'm leaning towards you.

I'll bet that anyone you ever do this to will respond the same way. It's not your business to tell other people how to live their lives. Especially someone who had no impact on yours. Mind your own business. And don't give me any crap about how "we have to educate each other." No we don't. No you don't. If this guy gets run over by a truck because he runs the light, that's his problem, not yours.

I'll just assume you also pull up next to all the drivers you see on the road doing stupid things, too? Give them a little of your brand of street education? Seems like a double standard if you don't.

What about people who walk through a door in front of you, and knowing you are right behind you, they let it slam in your face? Do you explain to them how they are making all people who walk look bad?
It takes a village to make an idiot. nmMel Erickson
Sep 20, 2002 12:13 PM
Not The PointLEW
Sep 20, 2002 12:17 PM
I don't think you understood his point. These are the roads he rides every day. This guy (DA)running the light will give all cyclist a bad rep. He's just looking out for his self, I don't think he cares if the DA gets run over, he just doesn't want some motorist pissed off at Mr. DA to run over him.
Bingo!!Bike Fool
Sep 20, 2002 12:29 PM
Total selfish preservation on my (and my friends part). Thanks (I mean that) LEW.

I also find it very ironic I got screamed at by a Navy officer in a Volvo when I yelled Look out when he cut me off at this same intersection, and by a redneck in a beat up pickup truck who told me to "get the f*** of the road" while stopped at light at the next intersection, all just last week. Hmmm, could Mr. Guercotti have started commuting my route lately?
three issuesDougSloan
Sep 20, 2002 1:03 PM
I see three issues:

1. His running the light -- he's clearly wrong, and he knows it.

2. Your speaking to him; your motive is honorable, I think, as it might make him think twice about it next time, and all cyclists benefit if fewer of us are scofflaws; nonetheless, the type that will blow through the light once will likely do it every time, despite being spoken to about it -- he couldn't give a crap what anyone else thinks. Attempts to influence this type rarely do any good.

3. His response to you. He reacted in a predictable way. Not good, but predictable, consistent with his actions.

Doug
maybe he doesn't know itrufus
Sep 20, 2002 4:18 PM
maybe he's just one of those selfish pricks that feel he can do anything he wants, and nobody better get in his way.
Thanks, Dog... (nm)Bike Fool
Sep 20, 2002 5:09 PM
There are a lot of fools out therelonefrontranger
Sep 20, 2002 1:23 PM
I applied a bit of psychology in a similar situation, although I was also on a bike at the time, so not as likely to be viewed as the "enemy" by the nimrod in question.

Let me preface this for the author of the "WTF" thread below with the observation that commuting by bike or otherwise riding at peak volume times brings out the worst in both riders and drivers, and that's just life. Ten years experience has taught me that if you can't handle the possibilities of getting hit, doored, yelled at, flipped off, honked, cussed, buzzed or having things thrown at you, then don't ride in metropolitan areas during weekdays between 7-9 AM or 4-6 PM. If you can't avoid riding at those times, you may just have to just shrug and accept the risk, because if you think about it, a huge proportion of driver-driver incidents also occur then as well.

Last winter I commuted frequently on a road that was a popular route for both cyclists and motorists. As I was riding home one evening after work, some no-helmet OCLV-riding, full-Postal kit jackanapes cut a long line of traffic and proceeded to blow a left, without even slowing down, through a busy 4-way stop. The driver facing him who's turn it was to proceed nearly T-boned the silly wanker, and had he been hit, I would have viewed it as a satisfying object lesson and given witness in favor of the driver. Here's the best part. Due to said moron's actions, I then arrived at the stop to find all the drivers in line now glaring angrily at *me*, obviously waiting for me to do something similarly idiotic, as they were now sensitized to view all cyclists as insane boors.

I happened to be going in the same direction as wonderboy, so I took my turn at the stop (careful to put my foot down to avoid further confusion to the drivers), and chased the jackass down, going uphill into a headwind (adrenaline is a wonderful drug!). I barked at him, to the effect of "go ahead and kill yourself but don't involve me", and proceeded to drop his sorry pretentious ass like a load of wet laundry.

My darkest secret wish is that getting utterly and condescendingly dropped by a wimpy-looking fat chick on an urban assault bike wearing a backpack that could house a third world family, might cause an ego bruise so severe as to precipitate his moving to Greenwich Village, changing his name to Noreen and taking up hairdressing.
WOW!Mel Erickson
Sep 20, 2002 1:52 PM
One of the finest posts I've read here in a long time. You sure you're not a writer? I could see the whole episode. Do I smell a movie?
Can I be your agent?n.m.koala
Sep 20, 2002 4:49 PM
Well said, lfr...Bike Fool
Sep 20, 2002 5:16 PM
Exactly my sentiments, but put forth in a more succinct way. If you're gonna commute during prime drive time, you already have to have the mental cojones to ride wit' da big dogs, or stay your butt on the porch.
There are a lot of fools out theresnapdragen
Sep 22, 2002 9:13 AM
Bless you! I haven't laughed so much in weeks!!

janet
If you're in a car, here's your best course of actionThe Human G-Nome
Sep 20, 2002 1:32 PM
If you are able to catch up to the cyclist/nimrod in question, tell him the following:

"hey, i'm not sure if you're from these parts but i'm a cyclist too and as of this year, they've starting giving out $275 tickets too cyclists who run red lights. i know because a buddy of mine just got one. anyway, just thought you should know. good luck!"

if you want to actually make a difference and not just feel the satisfaction of calling this spade a spade, this has the best chance of working.
re: Gee, who's the dumb-@ss?desmo
Sep 20, 2002 8:01 PM
Just calling me "bro" would get you an F.U., or more likely a F-Off from me. The fact that he's riding a cool old Italian bike with toe clips tells me he's going to get through the rest of his life fine without your goody two shoes advice. Gosh, I hope you don't get lynched on your next commute because of his selfish and reckless antics.
re: Gee, who's the dumb-@ss?U of A racer
Sep 21, 2002 2:39 PM
I keep re-reading the post, and the follow-ups. I still can't see anything condescending about BF's actions. Anybody with half a brain will agree that people who ride intelligently give us a good image. Idiots like him give us a bad image.
If we have a bad image, drivers react accordingly, ie-throwing rotten food, forcing us off the road, believing we don't belong on the road. When we see other cyclists being boneheads, we have three choices.
1. Say nothing. This gives them no reason to change the way they're riding. If you say nothing, don't bitch when people throw stuff at you. You had your chance to talk to him, and maybe he'll take it to heart and start riding smarter.
2. You can say something antagonistic or condescending like "Nice move there Einstein!" He'll get pissed off and form a negative attitude toward drivers, and probably keep riding like a bonehead.
3. You can try to point out his bonehead move in a fairly mild tone, like BF did. He made it clear that he was speaking from a fellow cyclist's point of view.
Too bad he chose to get all insecure. When punks know they've done something stupid, they get all insecure and embarrassed. They're brain freezes and all they can say is "F*** you."