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another sobering road rage story...(43 posts)

another sobering road rage story...brian n
Sep 10, 2003 6:48 AM
The following is a posting on another board (mostly about punk rock music, but alot oabout bicycles as well). Prepare to be sickened, atleast the rider wasn't hurt.


well i got hit by a car on the way home from work tonight. this dude pulled a long side of me and said "get out of the street you f**king idiot" and i stopped at the red light and said "hey man i'm allowed to ride in the street" then he hit me and i jumped off and he ran over my bike and pushed it through the intersection. there were many witnesses. the cops showed up a whole half an hour later. only one witness remained.(another gave me his card and left, both witneses are lawyers) the cops didnt listen to a word i said and 100% listened to the guy. i didnt do anything wrong yet now my bike is destroyed. i called the bike lawyer and left a message. i hope he can help me out. this really stinks.

i am never going to stick up for cops again. they treated me like an idiot and treated the guy that assaulted me like a victim. this is so ass backwards i cant even believe it.


followup - this guy doesn't own a car and his only bike is now destroyed. lucky for him the lawyer is helping him out legally, but he is still without transportation. This bike was a medici pista.
Sounds like a silly, made-up story.MR_GRUMPY
Sep 10, 2003 7:00 AM
Sure, stuff happens, but if it really scares you, maybe you should stick to the bike paths, and stay off of those dangerous roads.
If I started to worry about all of the bad people out there, I would never leave my house.
I'm not so sure it made up - Police treat "kids" differentbimini
Sep 10, 2003 9:03 AM
I got tail ended when I was a long hair 16 year old kid back in the early 70's. It was a hit and run. It threw me over the top of the car. Another driver, a nice lady, saw me laying by the side of the road and drove me to the hospital. I remember when she first saw me she started screaming, I was a really bloody mess with the head cuts. When I was in the emergency room I was given what I felt then was the 3rd degree by the Police.

The cop was asking me why was I out riding my bike along a busy road. He stated that I had no business being out on that road and that I needed to stay off that road for my own good.

When I asked if there was anything they were going to do to find the driver, the answer was no. There wasn't anything they could do. Besides, the driver probably was not even aware that he hit you. Then I told the cop I remember flying over the hood of the car before I went out, they had to know. He said there was still nothing they could do. I asked if he need to see the bike, maybe you could get some paint samples or something he again said it would not be of any help and never even looked at the bike.

It sure gave me a bad opinion of the Police back then.

Heres the way it seemed to me back then.
There I was, trying to get to work on my bike, my only transportation. I get run down. The driver who hit me left me unconsious along the side of the road for dead. My bike is now only 18 inches long. The cops are telling me they weren't going to do nothing and that I should not of been on the road in the first place. It was almost like they were telling me I got what I deserved. The only thing good about the whole situation was that I was plain lucky in that I suffered no broken bones, only a concussion, some stiches in the head and a badly brusied up face.

Let's hope the police treat kids and bicyclist different now.
This is what happened to me last week.......CARBON110
Sep 10, 2003 7:04 AM
I just left my house and started my 3 hour ride. As I am approaching a red light, a Ford Ranger with a pink trycyle in the back flies past him and pulls over to the edge of the road slamming on the brakes for the red light. I pull up aside him anyway and gave him a dirty look. Sure I wanted to say something, but a cyclist was beatn almost to death in Asheville 6 weeks ago, and I know it wont do any good anyway. I give him a dirty look as I passed and he yells "better start following the traffic laws cause next time I see you Im going to run you over" I quickly turned around and said "what,what did you just say?" in a challenging tone. I pulled a u-turn in the road and headed back to him but the light went green and he took off. I found a cop very close by and explained what happened. She didnt say a thing. Not a word. When I finished having described the guy and his truck, she just said "ok" and walked into a gas station. An hour later I saw the same guy driving the opposite way. I thought about losening my water bottle and chucking it Cipolinni style at his open window, but I said it was a waste of H2O. He gave me the finger as he drove by, like its suppose to make me feel bad, showing me one of his fingers LMAO. I just threw up my hands hoping he would stop and maybe, just maybe I could be clint eastwood with a can of mace instead of a 44 :D Have not seen him since and lucky for both of us he didnt stop
I don't agree with his comment about running youJL
Sep 10, 2003 7:23 AM
over, but it reads like you ran a red light.

You should follow be following the law in that case. You're not helping the driver/cyclist situation by running lights, especially when there are cars right there.

Like I said, I'm not defending the drivers actions/comments. I'm sorry to hear the policewoman was not helpful too. If I read your description incorrectly, I apologize. I too hate it when the cars feel they need to be the "winner" at stop signs/lights.

Happy riding.

wrong responseThe Human G-Nome
Sep 10, 2003 8:04 AM
when someone says that someone threatened to murder them, you don't respond with "well you broke a traffic law so...." and qualify what was said. see this situation for what it is. there is NO excuse for threatening to kill a stranger, end of story. quite being an uncle tom for the enraged motorists.
wrong responseJL
Sep 10, 2003 9:33 AM
I was not defending ("being an uncle tom for enraged motorists") as you say. I have this situation, the passing to beat me to a stop sign/stop light, happen about once ride. Many times, too close for comfort. So I can sympathize with CARBON110's situation.

I've also had my own run in with a motorist who TRIED TO RUN ME OFF THE F*#*#ing road. And while the police did respond, I never ever heard a frickin' word from the DA/Police about it (2 years ago this week) again despite filing formal charges and a statement. It really burns my bubble when I see cyclists blatantly disregard the law in front of motorists because it only increases the friction.

I almost balked at responding to the original post, but as others have noted (and agreed with me) since, he didn't help himself with his response. I agree with you that there is NO excuse for threatening to kill a stranger, but don't paint me as someone defending stupid motorist actions. I'm the last person you'll see doing that!!

Happy riding.

wrong responsebrian n
Sep 10, 2003 10:26 AM

are you saying that he was wrong in saying that he had the right to ride on the road? he wasn't doing anything wrong, and when some guy threatened him for no reason he just told the guy he had the right to ride on the road (while sitting at the stopped light).

i'm not saying you're defending the motorist (nobody could!), i just think its odd that you thought his response was bad.
No sir...JL
Sep 10, 2003 10:47 AM
I'm not saying he was wrong in his statement. We definitely have a right to the road and I'm 100 percent for cyclist rights to the road. I'm saying his actions (as have others in this thread) after he was passed probably was not the best.

I'll refer to one of Funknuggets responses below (the one under JS Haiku's response), as I think he stated what I was thinking when I first responded. Mine just didn't come out as eloquently.

Happy riding.
i agree with you on this pointThe Human G-Nome
Sep 10, 2003 10:38 AM
It really burns my bubble when I see cyclists blatantly disregard the law in front of motorists because it only increases the friction.

but this is a non-factor when replying to the orginal problem which is the threat of personal injury. when a girl gets raped and then described to me the scantily clad clothes she was wearing, i don't say "well, next time watch what you're wearing."
i agree with you on this pointJL
Sep 10, 2003 10:41 AM
Maybe I worded it incorrectly, but looks like more than a few people thought similarly.

Happy "traffic/a-hole free" riding :)
Hmmm. Tricky?Kristin
Sep 10, 2003 8:33 AM
I agree about running the red light. I'm anal about this. I stop and unclip. Why shouldn't it piss off drivers when I go through. I'm thinking, "Hey, I have a break in traffic. If I go now before the light changes, I can get clipped in and out of their way so that they can pass me before I get to the other side." But, of course, they can't read my mind, so they think, "Hey, why does this person think they have the right to break the law when I have to sit here for another 20 seconds."

I'm going to have to be more disciplined about stop signs too. Like most cyclists, I loath unclipping. I reached a stop sign the other day at the same time as this guy in a mini-van. I didn't want to clip-out, so I rolled slowly and waited for him to go. He was appearantly confused about my intentions, because he kept hesitating. Finally, I just took off. This really pissed the guy off. But really, it was my fault. I am required to come to a full stop, even if it is a pain in the butt.
Very true (nm)Chen2
Sep 10, 2003 1:27 PM
This is what happened to me last week.......wspokes
Sep 10, 2003 7:25 AM
Yes, lucky for both he didn't stop. it would have been another stupid cycling incident started over two people with some road rage.

I have approached a red light and had cars come around at the last moment and stop...I then stop behind but out far enough to prevent another vehicle from coming up beside me just as I would if driving a car...when you zoom to the front beside are gonna get flack. You are a vehicle and want to get treated like stop in traffic. Use common sense. If you were on a motorcycle. Would you zoom up and give dirty looks...nope. You would stop and thus the guy wouldn't say...Obey the laws...which is you passing to go to the front of the light. not cool. So the guy got ticked...If you ignore 3/4 of the stupid little comments from these neanderthals...they don't react. They live for reaction, I am not judging you because I don't know all the details of lanes and traffic could have been fine and following the rules but if you did try and shoot up past the cars just to move to the front of the light...not worth the possible trouble it causes. These guys live for reaction...without a reaction...they just blow things off. I have gone to a cop once this year....after a bottle was hurled at me. if I went every time someone told me to stay off the roads...I would be there all the time.
Sep 10, 2003 8:07 AM
firstly, the people who claim they carry mace on this board claim it to be for self defense, apparently because the growing problem of assaulting spandex-wearing cyclists. Regardless, YOU were the aggressor in this incident:

1. You turned your direction to physically confront him.
2. YOU confronted HIM with, in your own words, a challenging tone.
3. You threw up your hands 'hoping he would stop'.

Hate to tell you buddy, if the Ship when down, you'd be equally, if not fully at fault for assault; Actions are louder than words in the eyes of the law.

Also, leave the mace at home. You're apparently not mature enough for it's responsiblity. Otherwise, In addition to the assault charges, youd be vulnerable to 'POW for Unlawful purposes' since you were not using it for its intended purpose (defense).

Secondly, What did you expect the policeman to do? Hold a sympathy parade? She probably saw how irrational you were, and questioned the legitimacy of your whining altogether. If you formally requested to file a complaint or issue a summons, she'd have no choice but to help you; else you could have her job. But you didnt. So she didnt.
Sep 10, 2003 8:16 AM
People are funny. Sometimes you are going to be yelled at, whether you are running, cycling, driving, whatever. Try not to be so thin skinned. Cyclists have to share the roads too. I was in Columbia, Missouri earlier this summer and was at the end of a 60 mile jaunt, and this Ford Ranger zipped by, one of the three passengers flipping a half empty Coors Light can at me. It didnt hit me, I got splashed a bit, but overall just one of those things. It happens every so often. However, some lady in a maroon 300M about ran me over trying to chase them. She slowed down waved, about pinched me off the edge of the road and sped ahead. Not sure what to think, about ablock and a half later, she zipped into a driveway not 6 feet in front of where I was at, I nearly t boned her passenger side door and endoed to a stop. She dropped the window and was giving me all this information about how she tried to chase them down, but they got away, but she got a partial license plate... so... I guess the moral of the story is to just deal with it. Dont be too zealous to punish them if no real harm was done, and watch out for people trying to do their own justice, as I was nearly crashed twice by the lady trying to catch the perps....

Let the police do their job.

Just my thoughts.
Sep 10, 2003 8:29 AM
Heh heh

Your story reminds me of a funny and scary experience I had last night.

There was a water bottle sitting in the middle of the road where I was riding yesterday. About 1/10 of a mile after I rode by the discarded bottle, a rather rotund woman in a little car pulled up next to me and, i guess since I din't have a water bottle with me, rolled down her passenger window to ask if I had dropped mine. She didn't realize it, but as she asked, and then told me mine was missing, and then ask if I was sure, etc. her car was inching ever closer to me and pushing me towards the curb. Eventually, it got to the point where I had to warn her that she was getting ready to kill me and I hit the brakes to let her by.

Had to laugh, almost killed me with kindness!
Wow...way off....... and I am surprisedCARBON110
Sep 10, 2003 8:38 AM
Look, I didnt provoke the guy. Perhaps I need to clarify some things. You are allowed by law to take a right turn at a red traffic light in most cases providing the on coming traffic is clear. Unless there is a NO TURN on RED sign. Secondly, Stev-O I found your comments a little shocking and would greatly appreciate you not being so condescending. Its inappropriate in this case and is more demostrative that you didnt understand what took place. I made a u-turn after his comment when: there was no on coming traffic, not to precipitate some kinda "episode" I ride my butt off and 99% of the time I keep my judgment very cool. However, when someone threatens me like that, when I am right there for no reason at all. I will take issue with it. I have no problem when people drive past me and yell profanity at me or step on the gas or burn tires to impress me or a group Im in. People turn in front of me everyday I ride, cut me off, drive to close and take crazy chances and I meet up with half of them at red lights. this was different. There wasnt even room for him to pass me before the light without accelerating too quickly then slamming on the brakes and pulling over to the right to try and prevent me getting by. I didnt break the law. I followed it. Sure I could have waited for the light to go green, but by law I have a choice to wait or take the turn. Plenty of people do alot of silly follish things out there on bikes and in cars. Sounds to me like you are having a bad day and made the focus on my actions rather then someone who threatened my life. Think about it in terms of domestic abuse, whatever a person says to another, you never have the right to threaten them. Having been hit by a car this year, at which I held no fault, I know what the potential of peoples judgment is or rather lack there of.
Sep 10, 2003 9:10 AM
Firstly, You know, as well as the rest of us, his 'threat' was idle, and you were not in any imminent or pending danger. Morso, you were placing yourself and himself in danger by pursuing confrontation.

Secondy, my comments were fully appropriate as I had a complete understanding of the events that took place as you described them. I do not beleive anything in my post infers otherwise. You failed to mention, until THIS post, that he pulled over to the right to 'prevent me from getting by'.

Lastly, I wasn't intending to be condescending; In light of your failure to recognize/identify true threats against personal safety, I believe you're too immature to be trusted with mace. You examplify this with 'I will take issue with it'. However, that reason I brought up the subject was to inform you that legally, you could be labled the aggressor; potentially an armed one. Have a blast chasing around motorists with Mace. Someday youre gonna have either a record, or a hole in your chest.

And please, learn to use paragraphs. Makes for much easier reading.
ummm thanks Stev-oCARBON110
Sep 10, 2003 9:41 AM
I will refrain from perpetuating this any further since its not conducive to the subject.

Traffic and cycling is a serious subject not to be taken for granted.

Your inept attempt to enlighten or inform people is lost by
demeaning insensitive and unusually hard personal remarks.

Especially over the net on a cycling board.

Your tone remains inappropriate as far as I am concerned however, if it means as little to you as it does to me I'm sure you wont give it a second thought.

Incidently, deciding whether a threat is idle or serious, recognising something for what it is and making people accountable for their actions is everyones responsibility.

Making them accountable doesnt mean physical confrontation in my world. A plate number works just as well and had the police officer taken into consideration what took place, She would have followed it up. Asheville isnt exactly NY city

I agree it wasted my time and ruined my mood. However, making a u-turn is illegal. Lucky for me there was no trffic around or I would not have made the u-turn to begin with.

I hope you can read this easily
no prob.Steve_0
Sep 10, 2003 10:16 AM
FWIW, I agree holding people accountable for their actions is everyone's responsibility. I simply disagree with what actions necessitate accountability, and the methods by which this is accomplished.

I'm truly sorry if I was 'demeaning' or 'insensitive' to your feelings. I incorrectly assumed a guy who intends to use mace to 'make peple accountable' would have thicker skin. I truly hope you're never arrested for your lack of judgement.

Peace out brother,


ps - much easier to read; thanks.
seriously, i can't f/n believe your attittudeThe Human G-Nome
Sep 10, 2003 10:51 AM
it's disgusting. someone threatens someone with physical violence and vehicular manslaughter and your comment is "well, you know it was an idle threat so...". you're the worst kind of cyclist. i'd gladly ride with someone who rode every stop light (which i despise) rather then with someone like you who wouldn't even have my back in a confrontation.

if your daughter was at a party and some guy said "if you wear a dress like that next time, i'm going to rape you", would you say "oh now honey... you were wearing scantily clad clothing, plus, you know he didn't really mean it right?" and god forbid she would have hard feelings for the person who threatened to rape her right??? afterall, she'd just be giving other women a bad name. "what's the matter? can't take a joke?"

there is NOTHING more serious for a cyclist then someone saying they will run them over with their car. feel free to turn a blind eye to this. i never will.

further still, your remarks toward CARBON were condescending and inappropriate. i hope my remarks toward you leave an equally bad taste in your mouth.
"there is nothing more seroius'Steve_0
Sep 10, 2003 11:13 AM
sure there is; We've all heard people say 'I'll kill you/him/her, without the subject truly intending or committing murder.

It happens in Bars, on the roads, on the softball fields. It's so common that in all but the most rare of cases, the law rarely recognizes it as a viable threat without evidence of intent.

Your party example supports my point. If someone made a statement like that to my daughter, and her response was to redirect her momentum TOWARDS the creep and squirt him with mace, she would most likely be charged with assault and quite possibly POW. For her to be cleared of this charge, she would have to show that she did, in fact, feel imminently threatened. For him to be charged with rape, the prosecution would have to prove intent. Good luck in proving either.

Same with Carbon....He was hot-headed that someone threatened him, he wasnt fearing for his safety. Else he wouldnt have been beckoning a confrontation even after the event expired. Why didnt he file a report for attempted murder if he was so threatened?

No, I think people like yourself are the worst kind of cyclist...rationalizing vigilantism under the guise of self-defense.
ummmmThe Human G-Nome
Sep 10, 2003 11:39 AM
rationalizing vigilantism under the guise of self-defense.

where was the "vigilantism"? Carbon said he "wished" he would have done something. in fact, he did nothing save act confrontational which is a hell of a lot more civil then saying "i'll run you over with my car." in your world, i think it's grand that people run about threatening your life and that your such a calm, cool and collected person that you can flick off such comments like a bothersome fly on your brow. in my world, if someone threatens to kill me and backs up that equation with the look of rage, i take the threat seriously.

.i love the fact that you're also willing to take the side of the man who threatens to rape your daughter over the physical and emotional well being of your daughter. you would go so far as ro repremand her for macing someone who just threatened to rape her. niiiiiicccceeee. all your mind is concerned about is how this is going to play to a judge or jury and in turn, how this will play on your pocketbook. nevermind the common sense. do you honestly think someone should give a damn if the "daughter" could prove it in a court of law? would your daughter's word not be enough for you?
Sep 11, 2003 3:34 AM
you seem to know me well, despite your incorrect inferences and conclusions.

God Bless,

unclear, but here's what i think you wrote:JS Haiku Shop
Sep 10, 2003 8:44 AM
truck guns it to beat you to a stoplight. you pass him on the right between truck and curb, then turn right (?). as you're passing, driver mouths off. you make u-turn on perpendicular road to escalate the situation. truck takes off when light turns green.

if that's right, then you were in the wrong. your acute responsibility to other drivers, and on the whole to cyclists and other non-motorized vehicles, was to obey traffic laws and move predictably with the flow of traffic. in this situation, you'd pull further into the lane (take the lane) nearing the stoplight to discourage what this guy did, then *wait your turn in line* with the other vehicles. by passing on the right (if that's in fact what you did), you negated your rights in traffic.

if you then went through the red light and continued forward, that's running the light. if however you took a right on red and then made a u-turn to face the loudmouth, that u-turn was also not cool. escalating the situation is your call. i'm dealing with my own anger magagement issues, so no room to talk.

the guy should not have gunned it to get around you, but it happens all the time; we have to be more aggressive taking the lane at stoplights and in traffic, where applicable and safe. i however would have been (not nearly as) incensed with your actions, bike or motorcycle. ya gotta wait your turn in line with the rest.

"share the road" goes both ways. like it or not, we immediately don and accept the role of emissary for the "sport" when we leave our driveway on a bike. we start not with a clean slate, but with strikes against us, as motorists frequently harbor misgivings provided by thoughtless or clueless folks riding bikes (note i didn't use the word "cyclists"). our part on the road is to set a good example and offer a bridge between two and four+ wheels.

above not meant as an arse chewin, just trying to figure out what happened from your post and offer an objective observation. after re-reading it, i sound like a new age group hugger, but it is my opinion nonetheless.
Amen Brother !Fatnslow
Sep 10, 2003 8:52 AM
Around here I see a lot of the same. I have to drive a lot on a daily basis and see my share of rude people on bikes and, percentage-wise, there's probably about the same amount as rude drivers.

Of course, there is absolutely no excuse for threatening someone's life, but, by making the u-turn, the situation was escalated. Had you chosen to continue your ride and forget about what happened, you wouldn't have had to taken time out of your ride to talk to a cop and encounter this person again.
the role of emissary for the "sport"funknuggets
Sep 10, 2003 10:14 AM
The same, but slightly different topic...

What do we do about fellow cyclists that don't follow the rules? I see it all the time, screw balls riding out in the middle of the road, going the wrong way, riding 4 across on busy roads, lah de dah. My wife sometimes mocks me, thinking when I yell "look at that idiot" as me saying that they are a FRED or whatever.. but that is not the case. I get mad at cyclists like this because they make the rest of us look bad. This may be one of those situations.

The perfect case in point is the group ride. You are hammering along in a pack and the light you are about to go through turns yellow. This is one of the most bizarre and dangerous situations that occur. Not only do some at the front speed through, some at the front and in the middle brake, some in the back, not wanting to drop sprint through, and then others just pedal in indecision and decide at the last minute to go through. Sheeshe... ends up that 3/4 of the group end up going through the red. Nice...real nice.

Seems to me that the only time we hear these types of issues is when something dramatic happens against the cyclist. We never hear a cyclist say, "hey, I almost caused an accident today by blowing a red light" or "haha, I cut off a motorist today"... funny how those things get swept under the rug and not mentioned and probably are "rationally justified" in one's own mind and therefore "not" a problem (but occur more frequently than any of us admit). However, we only hear these stories about teenagers, rednecks, etc that are blatently idiots. As cyclists, we do sympathize and can relate as most of us have probably been in a similar situation. Just don't expect all of us to say you are "right" in your actions.

Largely all we can do is follow the rules, share the road, and do our part to educate riders to ride correctly. As for the retards that accost us along the way... it happens. However, it happens when you are driving too. If you are driving and another driver cuts you off, you flip him off and he screams "If you do that again, I'm gonna to kill you" and drives off... are you going to hunt him down or tell the police? No, you are likely going to shrug it off and be on your way. Same logic needs to be applied here. Any action other than 'turning the cheek' in situations like this will most likely end up producing negative results one way or the other.

So sayeth the funk,
easy solution: pump through the spokesJS Haiku Shop
Sep 10, 2003 10:44 AM
every ride has a leader, "led" or not.

it's the leader's responsibility to state expectations before the ride and gently but firmly enforce/reinforce them during the ride. either the ride leader should be approached about these issues, or if the ride leader is unable or unwilling to introduce criticism, another must be chosen/promoted. if none of the above, find another ride.

sad state of affairs, but not uncommon.
If you take the role seriously, you let the other cyclist know..TNSquared
Sep 10, 2003 10:51 AM
On a century training ride recently with J and 2 others, we witnessed a cyclist riding in the wrong lane against opposing traffic in order to avoid waiting in line - IN A CONSTRUCION ZONE!! The two-lane road was down to one lane and the workers were alternating traffic flow from either direction.

While we waited our turn, this guy goes buzzing by on his bike and says "you didn't see me doing this." Well, not only did we see him, so did all the motorists that were waiting, especially the ones he cut back in front of suddenly when the workers let traffic from the other side through.

After we got through the construction, we met this guy in the parking lot where we finish. J promptly rode over to the guy, told him bluntly but without any insult, etc., that he pulled a bad stunt that reflects poorly on all of us and reminded what it means to share the road. Since hte guy was part of a sponsored training ride by a local company, J also contacted the organizers by email. Turns out the offender was the leader of the training ride, with lots of beginners as trainees. Talk about a bad time to set a bad example!

The guy ended up admitting that he made a bone head move and sent an email to his entire training team explaining and apologizing. If J hadn't taken it up with him, who knows if he would have tried to reverse any damage of his actions for those other riders. Unfortunately, any damage with the motorists is done. Coincidentally (or not) there was a letter to the editor in the local paper this week complaining about cyclists riding on the wrong side of the road and not obeying traffic laws.....hmmmmmmm.

I think situations like that need to be handled by letting the other cyclist know how what he/she does affects the resto of out there on the roads every day.
and if that doesn't work, a pump through the spokes will nmJS Haiku Shop
Sep 10, 2003 10:53 AM
BTW - I'm off topic, my post not a comment on CARBON110..TNSquared
Sep 10, 2003 11:05 AM
I am not suggeting carbon110 be taken to task. I wouldn't necessarily have taken the same course of action, then again I haven't been run over by an idiot ever, much less recently.

carbon110 broke one, maybe two traffic laws in the process, which has been pointed out to him and he acknowledges -'nuff said there.

my big beef is with those cyclicst who seemingly go out of their way to create problems on the road through stupid riding - like taking oncoming traffic head on to save 12 seconds or get to the parking lot first.
even though...The Human G-Nome
Sep 10, 2003 11:46 AM

even though i've been addressing the other side of this argument, i agree with you 100%. cyclists like this make me absolutely furious. the worst is when it's someone from your own group ride who is engaging in stupid/dangerous behavior. argh.
i still find it amazingThe Human G-Nome
Sep 10, 2003 10:57 AM
that the most common reply to his posting is that he broke traffic laws. whether he did this or not (and it seems clear that he did), isn't the point that someone threatened to kill him? is this just a "no big thing" for some people? i agree that escalating the situation and looking for confrontation isn't the right path here, but geeesh. the person MOST at fault here isn't CARBON for breaking traffic laws... it's the motorist for threatening to kill him.
re: amazingJS Haiku Shop
Sep 10, 2003 11:13 AM
to me, it read less "threatening to kill" and more "hothead spewing". "next time I see you Im going to run you over," from some guy i've never seen before and will probably never see again is not what i'd consider a valid threat on my life. the fact IMHO is that these words would not have been exchanged if the rider had maintained his place in line and not skipped ahead of traffic, *if i'm reading this right*. the driver was wrong in the first place; passing on the right doesn't make him any more or less wrong. it does however give a bad impression to other drivers and of all cyclists.

i'm not complaining about laws per se, but evaluating his approach to them.

#1 the guy was wrong to pass in his truck in that manner

#2 it reads like the rider was wrong to go around on the right. there was also a nasty look involved. these actions escalated the situation.

#3 it is possible that taking the lane approaching the stoplight and working *with the flow of traffic* might have curtailed the entire exchange.

#4 two wrongs don't make a right. or three, four, five...

let's agree to disagree and not cross words over semantics. i respect your opinion and am not interested in defending mine further. i'm still unclear on the whole situation, as the original poster has not clarified it yet.
re: amazingThe Human G-Nome
Sep 10, 2003 11:43 AM
you're right on all points. to me however, a car is a "deadly weapon" when used improperly (and according the vehicle code book). it is not equivilent to an unarmed pedestrian saying "i should kill you". if someone is in a car, and they're pi$$ed, and they're acting irrationally (dangerously), and they threaten me with physical violence, i have no choice but to take that seriously.

but yes, lots of this gets lost in semantics. and i also understand that nothing you said was personal in the least.
i still find it amazingFatnslow
Sep 10, 2003 11:48 AM
Here's what happened as I understand it:

CARBON is riding and approaching a red light when a truck speeds past him, slams on his brakes, and pulls over to the curb so CARBON can't pass.

CARBON pulls up alongside the truck anyway and gives the driver a dirty look.

Driver of truck yells threat "Better start obeying traffic laws or the next time I see you I'm going to run you over."

By the time the driver said that, CARBON had already taken a right on red. When he heard the threat, he turned around to (paraphrasing CARBON here) challenge its driver.

Driver took off.

Now, the way I'm seeing this, The driver of the truck was wrong to pass him the way he did, but CARBON escalated the situation by pulling up alongside (flouting a rule of cycling coutesy...if not the law). He further escalated the situation by giving the driver a dirty look.

The driver then escalated the situation by yelling the threat, but CARBON was already on his way so, by performing a illegal U-turn, he potentially escalated the situation further.

Think of the ramifications of what CARBON did.

1. He put himself in grave danger by confronting the driver of a vehicle that is 100 times heavier than his bicycle. In NC, where many people own weapons, the danger increased even more due to the fact that the truck driver may have been armed.

2. Any other drivers who saw CARBON do what he did may have a tarnished view of cyclists.

No one is defending the truck driver for doing what he did, but the whole situation could have been easily avoided had CARBON counted to 10. Sometimes, the smartest thing to do is swallow your pride and suppress the "alpha male" urges.
i agree with youThe Human G-Nome
Sep 10, 2003 11:57 AM
No one is defending the truck driver for doing what he did, but the whole situation could have been easily avoided had CARBON counted to 10. Sometimes, the smartest thing to do is swallow your pride and suppress the "alpha male" urges.>>>>

and i guess i have to admit that i'm just bias toward the cyclist. i'm always going to be quicker to defend the cyclist then the motorist, just like i'm always going to be quicker defending someone who just gave a dirty look as opposed to someone who threatened physical harm. CARBON was perfect by any stretch, but then again, if i just finished a 5 hour effort of race-pace on a club ride and i was leisurely riding back home in the Presidio and some guy in a car did that to me... well, i'd hope i'd just ride away, but really i have no idea. the idea of some guy saying he would run me over REALLY rubs me the wrong way. but still, yes, i admit there's fault on both sides AND then i'm probably bias.
I don't think that is in question.funknuggets
Sep 10, 2003 1:07 PM
I think he came here to get support, and some validation for his response. I dont think anyone here supports the driver in any regards. I think we support him, but differ on how we would have responded, that is the crux. We are saddened by this event, and probably angered as any one of us probably has been in this situation.


(ps... if we were riding together and been confronted, Im not sure I wouldn't have nearly come to blows either. But not sure it would have been right.)
Speak softly and carry pepper spray:Alexx
Sep 10, 2003 3:43 PM
Assunming that there IS any validity to this story (sounds rather false to me, BTW...), the first mistake the cyclist made was to pay attention to the hothead. The second was to respond to the hothead.

If this were me, I'd ignore the hothead, If the hothead confronted me, he'd get 2 or 3 good shots of pepper spray in the eyes, followed by a knuckle sandwich to the abdomen. I've had to do this before. I also pulled his keys out of the ignition and threw them in the nearest sewer grate before leaving.
Did we forget the original post?TNRyder
Sep 10, 2003 6:26 PM
A guy was hit by a car and the police did nothing. oh well

When riding road, I do some things to protect myself.

1. Always take the lane when approaching an interstection. This discourages drivers from trying to beat me to the light. (I can out accelerate most for the 1st few feet anyway) Also, if I am turning left and a left turn lane is present, I will cross over to it. This leaves no doubt in the drivers mind as to my intentions. Further, if there is a car in front of me at the intersection, I will slot in behind it like another car.

2. If the road has a wide enough shoulder (ie. 3 ft), I will ride to the right of the white line. That way I know if someone gets too close it was probably intentional.

3. If there is not enough shoulder to ride on safely, I will ride at least 18 inches (usually 2 to 3 feet) inside of the white line. This forces the driver to pass me like a car and decreases the temptation to squeeze by if there is oncoming traffic.

4. I do not run red lights (unless nobody is looking). I will stop at stop signs and wait my turn. If you don't like clipping out, try working on your track stands. It makes you look cool to sit still and stand on the pedals. If I have to wait too long though, I will put a foot down. (my name isn't Hans after all)

5. If somebody honks, I just wave at them. I can't tell a freindly honk from an angry one, so I assume that they are freindly (wishful thinking, I know). If they yell something that is not encouraging, I try to ignore it. I have been known to wave with only one finger though.

This seems to work pretty well for me, and most drivers do actually show me some respect. That is not saying that I never have any rednecks, A-holes, punk kids, etc. do something stupid to me. It happens at least once every other ride. Big deal, people do stupid stuff to me in my car almost every day too. lets face it, I wouldn't trust about 25% of the people on the road to wash a car much less drive one.
You can say anything you want, as long...MShaw
Sep 10, 2003 8:24 PM
as you're smiling and waving. I've been known to cuss out cars that have done stupid things, and all they see is a cyclist smiling and waving.

Mind you, I wasn't smiling when el b!tcho almost ran me over while riding my BMW today, but I'm not perfect either. Good thing I was wearing a full face helmet.

Most of the cycling-related incidents in my 16 years of riding can be chalked up to idiots behind a wheel being iditotic. 99.9% aren't homicidal. Unfortunately, the 0.1% can be tempted to harass cyclists 'cause we're "defenseless," as well as being a neon-clothed target on "their" road.

Its kinda like stepping on a bug just 'cause you can, not because the bug was doing anything in particular to threaten you.

That's my $.02,

Sep 10, 2003 10:49 PM
Darned near word for word, you've described what I do and how I act when out riding. Especially the shoulder and white line thing. I've always had very good luck with those techniques.

My only comment about CARBON110's encounter would be that nobody should ever threaten to kill another person. Never! It's just way too uncalled for. I also regard cars as weapons, more so than guns. Our (USA) licensing laws are way too lax.