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literally pushed off road by truck(10 posts)

literally pushed off road by truckmiko
Oct 25, 2002 6:32 PM
I see a lot of stupid motorists on my commute to and from work...but this was weird. Was climbing a long steady hill with a stop sign at the top. Traffic was really backed up(for about 1/4 mile, and just inching along). Naturally, I was moving faster than the cars and passing them at the edge of the road. I look ahead and notice a pickup truck moving toward the edge of the road for no apparent reason. Just as I was ready to pass him, he moves clear over and pushes me off the pavement into the dirt. Since he wasn't going very fast (and neither was I ) I just pushed off the side of his truck with my left hand and accelerated away. I guess he didn't like getting passed by a bike because it was obviously a premeditated move!
So what did you do???biknben
Oct 26, 2002 6:43 AM
Obviously a premeditated move? Why do people just ride away from these incidents as if nothing happened?

I've had a similar occurance but was I was able to see it coming. A motorist in the same situation turned the wheel and moved over to block my 3-foot shoulder. There was no where for him to go and he was moving towards a guiderail. He was just being a prick, fustrated because a bike was making better time in traffic than he was. I was still two car lengths back so I just moved to the left and went around the drivers side. He looked surprised at how easily I countered his move and I laughed at him as I went by.

Now, if I had been pushed off the road by him and he was forced to stay there due to traffic, it would be a much different story. I don't mind close calls, being "buzzed", or neglegence. It's part of the ride. But an intentional act to harm me is much different. I refuse to act as delicate as I look while riding. This fairy in neon spandex will put the fear of God in you if threatened.
"my shoulder"TJeanloz
Oct 26, 2002 10:14 AM
This is actually an interesting scenario, because when I think about car/bike interactions, the standard I use is: "what would they have done if I was a car, not a bike". Because I view myself as having the same rights and responsibilities whether I'm driving or riding. And in this case, if there's a car illegally passing on the right, it's fair game (IMHO) to block the shoulder. Or at least make the illegality a little bit less easy. It's not something I ever do, but I understand why it gets done.

So if we apply the "how would I be treated if I were a car" test, it appears that you were treated just like a car. Is it intentionally harming? I don't think so, I think the vehicle behind has the obligation to avoid obstructions in front of him. I'm sure this won't be a popular opinion, but in light of more egregious motorist/cyclist conflicts, this doesn't seem very bad at all.
"my shoulder"Snakebit
Oct 26, 2002 1:34 PM
If one is riding on the shoulder going with slow moving traffic, why would it be illegal, or even rude, to pass the slower moving cars? Most States put us as far to the right as practicable, and the shoulder is, essentially, a bike lane and where drivers want us to be and think we belong. I think intersections may change the picture, but open road with traffic, the driver was wrong.
It depends on your point of view,TJeanloz
Oct 27, 2002 6:44 AM
Cyclists argue both sides of the coin, whenever it is convenient for their argument. Sometimes, we are vehicles, like any other, with the same rights as cars. Othertimes, we are not vehicles, but a special category with our own special rules.

I subscribe to the first theory, and a car cannot use the shoulder to pass another car, ergo, a bicycle cannot use the shoulder to pass a car. Unless you want to say that bicycles are not vehicles and should not be held to the same standards as cars.

Part of the problem in these internet discussion forums is that we have a worldwide audience, and laws vary from state-to-state and even town-to-town; so what I say is "the law" might be true for me but false for somebody else. For example, it is illegal to ride in Colorado without having at least one hand on the handlebars at all times; this is legal in New Hampshire.
It also depends on the logic that appliesSteve98501
Oct 28, 2002 5:21 PM
Based on your perception of a bike being a vehicle with the same rights and responsibilities as motor vehicles, when you're on the road, a car shouldn't pass you unless it moves into the other lane (when safe) to do so. There is a fundamental difference between bikes and cars: sometimes we can simultaneously occupy the same lane, and sometimes we cannot. It depends on lane width. In the case of the original poster, cars were passing him as he rode on the right side of the lane. When car traffic slowed, it's equally reasonable for him to then pass cars on their right. The car was wrong to swing right to block the cyclist's progress unless the car "needed to take the lane for it's own safety or maneouver."

The requirement that bicycles keep as far right as practicable in order to share the road with cars makes for a series of exceptions based on the space needed to operate each vehicle type safely.
I understand why he did itPODIUMBOUNDdotCA
Oct 26, 2002 12:30 PM
I ride on the road all the time. Then I see fellow cyclists riding on the road and if I have one pet peeve its passing a cyclist then that cyclist flying past me at a traffic light only to get passed right after the intersection. As long as the line isn't ridiculously long (yours was) I'll wait in line behind another car just like a motor vehicle. We may be able to whiz past the cars when they are stopped but those people have to pass us again which increases the chances of us getting nailed as well as pissing people off. In your situation the guy was being a prick because if traffic is backed up for a long ways theres no reason why you shouldn't ride on the shoulder to pass them all but I just wanted to voice my opinion on the whole stop light thing. But either way you should have gotten his license plate and made a formal complaint to the cops.

I agree... Report it!skimoviestar
Oct 26, 2002 2:28 PM
You are all too kind. I believe it is called, "assault with a deadly weapon" and there is no excuse for it. I agree with Nick... get the license plate and report it. Jerks like this should have to pay a big fine, lose their license or be threatened with doing some time.
my response....miko
Oct 26, 2002 3:34 PM
I guess I ended up doing nothing for a variety of reasons. Yes, this guy was a jerk and put me in a potentially dangerous situation, but like the poster above, it was almost comical how easy it was (this time) to push off of him and keep going. It was also getting late, I was tired, and I was in a hurry to get home and wasn't in the mood for a confrontation. I guess my pacifist upbringing helped control the natural urge to do something more. You have to remember that for a lot of these guys, a response IS exactly what they are looking for. I often prefer to deny their quest for a reaction. Had he knocked me down it would changed everything though.
re: literally pushed off road by truckjagreenwald
Oct 27, 2002 4:52 PM
Maybe I don't get it. I ride in San Diego and most places around here have shoulders and/or designated bike paths. Assuming that you're already as far right as possible and not impeding traffic, are we supposed to pull to the left and stop behind traffic when we have a full lane (bike path/shoulder) available for us and possible get hit by the driver coming up to stop at the vehicle we're stopped behind? Now I think if you stop in the shoulder and block traffic, that's not cool but you should be able to at least utilize the road that's provided for you.