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Run in with motorist...(20 posts)

Run in with motorist...merckx56
Dec 29, 2002 3:03 PM
Coming home yesterday, I stopped to chat with a fellow cyclist who was in town from Jersey. We were on the shoulder of the road, at an intersection, nowhere near being in the roadway. We chatted for about ten minutes until a very angry african-american lady pulled up and began to yell at us for blocking the road and preventing her from making a right turn. She began hurling racial comments like there was no tomorrow and claiming that us "damn bikers" were always in her way. She then said that next time she ran up on a "biker" in the road, she would "run his pale, white ass over"! I explained that in SC, a bicycle has every right to the road that a motorist does and we are subject to the same laws. She, in turn, called me a "bitch" about twelve times and said she may go around the block, come back and run me over! I asked if she was threatening me, and she actually said YES! I called 911 and reported her to the police. She then got out of her car and began threatening us! The dispatcher said she could hear the woman screaming at us and would send a unit asap. I hung up and told her the police were on the way. She promptly got in her car and took off. The responding officer and I went to college together, so he wanted to know everything. We talked for about 5 minutes, I gave him her tag # and got ready to ride home. No sooner did this happen, than the woman pulled back up to the intersection! It was beautiful! My buddy the cop made her pull over and get out of the car. He then explained to her that I could go sign out a warrant for her arrest, for attempted assault. She was as belligerent with him as she was with us! I think he got a bit pissed and called for the K-9 unit to come, to search her car. He let us go on. I talked to him last night and said that he and the other unit held her there for 45 minutes after we left.
I don't know about the rest of you, but I'm glad at least some law enforcement is taking action in cyclist's favor. It may be a small step, but you gotta crawl first!
Just thought I'd share!
Good thing..........Len J
Dec 29, 2002 3:10 PM
she didn't have a gun. You could have been right but it wouldn't have mattered.

It only goes to show you that bad manners can be found everywhere.

Glad you were OK and it sounds like you stayed on the "High ground", Congratulations.

There sure are some scary people out there.

Len
Why would it have mattered if the motorist had a gun?kenyee
Dec 29, 2002 4:00 PM
The motorist had a perfectly usable deadly weapon: the car. It's much more efficient. It's not hard to aim it. She could have followed the cyclist until she found a good place to make good on her threat to run her white ass over. She actually did go around the block with what seemed like the intention to run the cyclist over when the cop pulled her over.

merckx56:
Nicely done. You did exactly as you should have and hopefully this psycho driver gets her license pulled. It sounds like this nutty driver would have committed road rage against someone eventually, whether another driver, pedestrian or cyclist.
Forethought.......Len J
Dec 29, 2002 4:16 PM
It takes forethought to get back in the car, ride around the block & run him over. If she had a gun, it sounds like she was incensed enough to shoot him on the spot.

I say, even though he was in the right, and handled it well, he was still lucky.

Be careful out there.

Len
No...merckx56
Dec 29, 2002 6:08 PM
I wasn't lucky! I was in one of the best neigborhoods in town and there were a myriad of witnesses to her tirade. If she would have gotten out of her vehicle with ANY kind of weapon, there would have been a physical confrontation and I still would have been in the right. I did nothing wrong and still catch a ration of shit from you. Go ahead and ride around, unwilling to give a little back to the shitheads that harass us on a daily basis. Personally, I'm sick and F'ing tired of it and made a conscious decision to make a point that we shouldn't be treated like assholes because we ride bikes. If anything, cyclists are far more affluent and educated than the vast majority of the populace and ought to band together to lobby a bit harder for laws that protect us. I sent an email to my state rep about what happened and he wrote back that he was horrified that a motorist would act in such a manner.
I know I handled the situation correctly. The point of the post was to tell people what happened, not to get the old "what if..." speech.
Good Job Merckx...serbski
Dec 29, 2002 6:29 PM
You did the right thing in taking a stand, not involving yourself in a name-calling contest and notifying a cop (I'm shocked that one happened to be handy!). Sure, you never know what can *possibly* happen but most motorists are shocked as hell if you actually call them on their behavior. I chased down a truckload of high school students who had nailed me with an orange on their way back from lunch and boy were they surprised that I followed them into the student parking lot and embarrassed the sh*t out of them. Particularly as one of them admitted that his dad rode bikes and that chucking hard objects at cyclists was maybe not the greatest idea. I really should have found a teacher and bitched to have these kids' off-premisis lunch passes revoked. Now, if you were on some country road in the middle of nowhere, it might have been better to just get the hell out of a freaky situation! Cyclists should make motorists aware that they will alert the authorities when possible to dangerous/threatening behavior!
You misunderstood......Len J
Dec 29, 2002 7:06 PM
the intention of my comment.

I heartily agree with the way you handled it. I hope that I, in the same situitation would have handled it half as well. I know that when confronted with an idiot, it is incredibly easy to stoop to their level and was impressed with your ability to stay in control and act as you described. Nontheless, I disagree when you say that you were not lucky. I'm not giving you shit, as I said in both of my previous posts, I thought you were in the right, but being in the right and being lucky are not mutually exclusive. I wasn't there and I suspect that you were enough in control to read the situitation and as such are in a much better position to judge how lucky you were or not. My experience, though, says that you can't always read people that precisly.

You say: "If she would have gotten out of her vehicle with ANY kind of weapon, there would have been a physical confrontation and I still would have been in the right. " I agree, you would have been in the right, but if she had a weapon, you still might be dead.

As far as the old "what if" speech, if that's the way you want to take it, that certainly is your perogitive, but it was neither intended that way nor was it intended to question your motives. Rather, it was intended as a measure of gratitude that nothing worse happened. To pretend that nothing worse was possible is not responsible.

Glad it worked out.

Len
road rage needs forethought?kenyee
Dec 30, 2002 9:09 AM
One twitch of a steering wheel at just the right time would cause life threatening injuries while allowing the driver to get away by saying "the cyclist swerved into her lane" and the driver could have taken out her road rage against another cyclist that happened to look like merckx. It just seems more efficient to use a car than a gun :-)

I thought merckx was a girl? Why would the psycho lady call him a bitch?
guns and confrontationDaveG
Dec 29, 2002 5:22 PM
Len, I don't really disagree with your since it is conceivable that an irate/crazy motorist could pull a gun. However, the alternative is that you back down, hide, and cower in any potentially confrontational scenario. Perhaps that is the safer alternative but I don't think I could feel comfortable with that tact. Every situation is different, but sometimes it makes sense (to me at least) to hold your ground. In this case Merkx handled the situation perfectly. Unfortunately I doubt the motorist learned anything from the incident and probably hates cyclists even more.
Good thing..........53T
Dec 30, 2002 6:05 AM
Shame the cyclist didn't have a gun. Taurus and S&W both make nice Ti frame revolvers in .38 Special. A little heavier than a cell phone, but works quicker.
Thanks :) nmAllen az
Dec 29, 2002 3:12 PM
Same problem in NCabicirider
Dec 29, 2002 3:42 PM
Motorist think cyclist have no right on the roadways once so ever. Don't know how many times I have confronted motorists to tell them cyclists have every bit a right to be on the road as they do. Its just the 1-2% of motorist that have to be the idiots.
Be careful you never know what a motorist might do if you tick them off enough. just remember a car is going to win when it comes to car vs bike.
Be careful out there.
Ray Still
Mooresville, NC
Well playedj-son
Dec 29, 2002 3:42 PM
Speaking from a police officer's perspective, I think you handled the situation superbly. It sounds as if you remained calm and rational, and instead of resorting to the driver's tactics, you maintained an appropriately circumspect attitude.

The only other "proper" way to handle a situation like this would be to say something like "I'm sorry you feel that way" to the driver and peacefully ride off. And I would suggest departing on the sidewalk, at least until the driver is far out of sight.

Hopefully, she learned a lesson from the experience. But, from my own experiences as a cop dealing with similar situations, I truly and unfortunately doubt it.

Regards,
Jason
Same problem in NCabicirider
Dec 29, 2002 3:42 PM
Motorist think cyclist have no right on the roadways once so ever. Don't know how many times I have confronted motorists to tell them cyclists have every bit a right to be on the road as they do. Its just the 1-2% of motorist that have to be the idiots.
Be careful you never know what a motorist might do if you tick them off enough. just remember a car is going to win when it comes to car vs bike.
Be careful out there.
Ray Still
Mooresville, NC
Damn! Bad girls, bad girls...whatcha gonna do...Breakfast
Dec 29, 2002 4:54 PM
...whatcha gonna do when they come for you!

Too Bad this won't make it on "Cops".
re: Run in with motorist...KeeponTrekkin
Dec 29, 2002 7:53 PM
I always ride with a cell phone; now I know another reason why! It's good to be lucky and smart like merckx56.
Umm.......just a suggestion:Alexx
Dec 30, 2002 4:55 AM
Up here in Noo Yawk, we generally move off the road to have a conversation. Only farmers block the roads for chit-chat.
we were off the road, on the shoulder. Read the post!merckx56
Dec 30, 2002 5:38 AM
and stay up in New York!
re: Run in with motorist...grettm
Dec 30, 2002 10:35 AM
I had a similar situation last year. I won't bore people with the details. What I was surprised about was the amount of anger and bile that fumed from the motorist. I was just shocked at how close this guy came to wanting to take my life. He wanted to kill me. My offense? I was screaming down a hill doing 40 (I was actually going faster than the posted speed limit). Knowing that the road goes to 1 lane going under and over pass, I moved closer the center of lane "blocking" him from passing. I have to do this to prevent cars from speeding up to "beat" me to the underpass. If this happens, I end up pushed into pot holes or the side of the under pass. Get this - it is on a military post in VA (Ft. Belvoir). Everyone is nice ...except on this day...

I really thought he would have shot me if he had a gun.
It never ceases to amazeRoyGBiv
Dec 30, 2002 10:49 AM
What happens to people when they get behind the wheel. They could be your friends, relatives, workmates, neighbours - good people, all - but they turn into seething, nail-spitting sociopaths with criminal intent when they get behind that wheel. I should talk. In my previous life, I was a maniac too. Wonder what it is about driving that makes you like that.