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Spat on today....(23 posts)

Spat on today....Higgins
Nov 19, 2002 9:26 AM
I went out for a fairly short ride earlier. I was going through town and I noticed two men in a van pointing at me and laughing whilst waiting at a roundabout. I presume they found the lycra gear amusing. I rode off down the road and then they caught up with me. The guy in the passenger seat spat at me. They were laughing as they accelerated away. They got caught up in traffic a bit further down the road, but I just hung back. Riding home, I felt so angry that I hadn't at least confronted them, but I suppose that could have ended up making things worse. It didn't do my ego much good though. I feel gutted!
You showed more restraint than I. Is that good or bad? (nm)onespeed
Nov 19, 2002 9:32 AM
You showed more restraint than I. Is that good or bad? (nm)Higgins
Nov 19, 2002 9:40 AM
I don't know. I was riding home thinking about all the things I'd like to have done, but didn't. I suppose I am intact though, as is my bike. It feels like like you're being bullied by people who have more power than you because they have their cars for protection. It's a horrible feeling.
In the long run, you did the right thing.Allez Rouge
Nov 19, 2002 9:53 AM
I felt similarly violated when my house was broken into some years back. The actual losses incurred were nothing compared to the emotional distress. One of my early thoughts was, "If only I'd been home, and had a baseball bat handy, I'd have taught that sonofabitch ..." But it wasn't too long before I realized that I might we'll have come out on the losing end of such a confrontation. What if the burglar had had a gun, or a knife? In your case, at minimum it would have been two against one, and if they were armed ...

You had a chance encounter with a world-class asshole. Don't let it redefine you, not in any respect. It would have served no purpose to have lowered yourself to that level, even for an instant. You're a better person than that. You're a cyclist.
Higgins.......CARBON110
Nov 19, 2002 10:20 AM
I think you were smart. Its a hard lesson to learn especially to a cmopetitive personality and healthy fit strong person to resist those impules for justice against the ignorant and adolescent that have drivers liscences. I think everyone has had 100s of those kind of situations. You were prudent. I remember walking down the Champ elysees on my first trip to Paris and some French guy smashed his shoulder into mine for no reason at all. He was a little stalky 4o something year old. At the time, my arms were huge ( and I was 20 )from lifting tons of weights( before I became a bike racer ) and I was with my girlfriend too. I turned around and said something "smart" and got in his face, he gt back in mine blabbing in fast French which sounded funny. I looked at my girlfriend and she shook her head "no" to me. I knew she was right.... I just tunred, took a deep breath and walked away. It felt great. I find myself taking alo of deep breathes every time I drive down town as a matter of fact LOL! It says alot more about you the way you handle the situation then the othr people. Soon it will become inherant wisdom and it wont be such a struggle to blow off the actions of such idiots... of course there is a limit to what you are willing to allow :)
next time get their tag numberterry b
Nov 19, 2002 10:09 AM
get the license number and report them. since the advent of our current collection of infectious diseases, spitting on someone can (in some jurisdictions) be considered assault. perhaps you don't want the hassle associated with reporting them to the police, but behavior like this should not be rewarded by ignoring it.
next time get their tag numberCARBON110
Nov 19, 2002 10:24 AM
Thats right.. in Mass. isnt it Illegal to spit on someone? I believe this was a law passed a year ago. Yeah, next time roll up them, take a look arond for a cop, then stick a knife in thier front tire and sprint away! BAHHAHAHA ...
Or you could replace your name on your top tube with " Harry Calahan " and carry a 44 magnum with a scope and shoot their tires out ! hmmmmm ahhahahahaahah
Smith & Wesson jerseys would deter a lot of harrassment. (nm)czardonic
Nov 19, 2002 11:23 AM
In New York state:Alexx
Nov 19, 2002 4:25 PM
Spitting on somebody is a felony. Saliva contains DNA, and can prove it. Could get the creep 1 1/3 to 4 years in the hoosegow!
As a group, we're so weird, people. Gods cracked vessals128
Nov 19, 2002 11:54 AM
Rouge hits it on the head that it's really an emotional, violated respose that sticks with us so cruelly. I feel for you, that whole thing sucks. Just out for a bike ride, and you have to collect some psyco's attitude.
What is it about men and lycra? Repressed feelings perhaps.

Yes it is assault(fear of harm) and battery (unwanted touching)...albeit not the sort most cops are gonna take too seriously. But this is the best thing about cell phones imo that you can call on "THE AUTHORITIES!" to chase these kind of fks down immediately and at least give them a little head snap in return...

All the best...
re: Spat on today....Nigey
Nov 19, 2002 11:54 AM
Higgins, I assume you're British by the use of the words "roundabout" and "gutted". Was this in the UK?

Doesn't really matter mind you. I'm really sorry this happened -I do concur with many other people that since normal people don't lean out of vans to spit at other people, they probably weren't normal(!) and hence you don't know what they might have done had you confronted them -especially since there were two of them.

Sadly, probably the best way to not take this lying down is to take the vehicle license plates and report the incident to the police..... course, they probably won't do anything about it, but you never know -they might even stop the vehicle for a check -that way at least they will be inconvenienced for their troubles. One can only hope.

Sorry again mate, try to think about the other really good individuals on the road. I think you did the best thing for yourself there.
re: Spat on today....Higgins
Nov 19, 2002 2:37 PM
Yes, you're right Nigey, I'm British.

I'm not half as angry now as I was when I originally typed the message (an hour or so after it happened), and glad that all I have to do this evening is wash my cycling gear instead of nurse a broken nose!

One day they'll do it to the wrong person though...
Oh, okay, since you're British ...Allez Rouge
Nov 19, 2002 3:20 PM
... I should've said "world-class ARSEhole." But I expect you got my drift. ;-)

Seriously, I think your speculation that they'll do this to the wrong person someday is exactly right. I'm a big believer in the old "What goes around, comes around" thing. You may not have the satisfaction of being there to see them get what they so richly deserve, but I think it's a safe wager that they WILL get it, sooner or later.
re: Spat on today....Mariowannabe
Nov 19, 2002 1:01 PM
You did the right thing. The fact is, there are a few assholes out there. Fortunately, there are a lot more good people. I've been spat upon, and even had a firecracker thrown at me from passing cars. Once, a kid had his windshield squirters pointed to the side of the car and he sprayed me! My consolation is that I'll probably live a lot longer and healthier.

On one ride in the country - a solo 92 miler on a hot day - this fall, two seperate guys gave me thumbs up as they drove by. That felt good.
re: Spat on today....Higgins
Nov 19, 2002 2:47 PM
You're spot on Mariowannabe! The whistles from the girls in their cars, and the smiles from the sexy horseriders in the countryside more than make up for the a$$holes out there!
re: Spat on today....xxl
Nov 19, 2002 3:10 PM
Go back to your earlier post, where you said the part about "as I was riding home." That proves you did the smart thing, as opposed to going confrontational. Sure, you might've gotten to kick some ass, or not, you can't be sure; by riding on, though, you are sure to avoid further trouble. As much as it sucks to have to deal with this stuff, you did the smart thing. Good for you, Higgins.
Spit and run?MasterBlaster
Nov 19, 2002 3:18 PM
Too bad you didn't have pepper spray to respond. Technically the passenger did assualt you when he spat on you. What if that a-hole has a communicable disease or yourself have an issue with your immune system that caused you sickness from this incident. Personally I think you did the right thing a vehicle can be used as a deadly weapon and staying away was a very smart move. If it happens in the future take tag number and report as an assualt or a "spit and run".
re: Spat on today....NewDayNewWay
Nov 19, 2002 5:48 PM
Not that this is a cure-all or anything, but in this situation you had noticed these guys looked like they were making fun of you before you got spit on. This might be a lesson to us all that if we get even the sense that someone has an axe to grind and they want to grind it on us, it might be time to pull over or take evasive action and avert the potential problem. I'm not saying this would have worked in your particular situation, but it's something for all of us to keep in mind.
re: Spat on today....deHonc
Nov 19, 2002 6:20 PM
Higgins Mate,

Don't let it worry you - I'm an Aussie - where Men are Men and sheep are nervous - and just what does this mean? It means that I too often get garbage thrown at me, people in cars yell at you, call you "fagot" etc. I just tune out to it - they are morons. As another post said - you are better than them - you're a cyclist.

Ride Safe.
Confrontation in Cycling Shoesbsdc
Nov 19, 2002 8:37 PM
I had a confrontation with a motorist once. He got out of his car and I got off my bike. I started walking towards him, giving him a piece of my mind. As I did, I started realizing that I didn't have a lot of stability in my cycling shoes. If he had even sneezed at me I would have probably fallen down. I was lucky. He backed down and went away. There are a lot of reasons not to confront a motorist. Unfortunately, we are very vulnerable on the road. Suck it up and ride on!
Confrontation in Cycling ShoesMariowannabe
Nov 20, 2002 8:30 AM
This reminds me of the time I stopped in a tavern (near home) after a nice ride with some friends. After a few, I noticed an altercation between a guy and gal getting a little phyisical. I lept up from the table with the intent of settling things down, and BOOM, fell hard on my ass. Yes, cleats are not the platform for anything but pedaling.
re: Spat on today....Ratite_Power
Nov 19, 2002 11:13 PM
There's an old East Indian proverb which states simply that: "the dogs will bark, but the caravan passes by" ... in other words if you are in a caravan, would you stop for every barking dog to "teach him a lesson for barking at YOU?" Of course not. The caravan riders don't give a sh$t about some barking dog.It's true--we are in an infinitely better position sweating it out on our bicycles and voluntarily embracing the DIFFICULT than the fat pathetic dogs in cars laughing and jeering (and spitting) at us. Of course even after all this philosophic stuff, I frequently regret not packing a little .25 in my jersey for all those damm rednecks here in the south who swerve to pretend to hit me or try to grab my helmet at 42 mph or throw beer bottles...However, in about fifty-three seconds all the Michael Douglas "Falling Down" rage dissipates into the the ether, and I realize that the adrenaline rage rush feels way too close to the pre-bonk jitteriness and I don't like it and just start mashing those pedals again.
It sucks on the hills but sure helps with the Rednecks...Grabnmcbutt
Nov 20, 2002 8:04 AM
Being an old football lineman who has thinned down to a petite 6'3 235lbs. I constantly hear about fellow bikers being harrassed but seldom experience it myself. In 10 years of riding I have only had 1 experience where a pickup truck stopped directly in front of me in the middle of the road and started yelling at me for not using what he called the "bike lane" which was about 1' of pavement outside the line on the side of a country road. The situation was resolved quickly when I pulled out my cell phone and dialed 911 and gave the police his plate number.

Size does matter.....