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Warning Signs(44 posts)

Warning SignsAcesFull
Jan 20, 2004 12:32 PM
I decided to take a solo ride on my standard 50 mile route on Sunday (Silk Sheets in South Fulton/Atlanta). Everything was going fine until I decided to explorer some alternate routes.

The neighborhood started to degrade with every km. It was a downward spiral of trailers with scrap metal/cars/dogs/kids in various states of disrepair. Then confederate flags became more prominent than US flags.

This is when I should have sought the original route because in the next 10 mins I had two close calls and requisite fingers out the window.

Are there any similar warning signs that you guys see?
Riding in a wealthy neighborhood with self absorbe peopleDave Hickey
Jan 20, 2004 12:46 PM
talking on cellphones and watching DVD's in their car.

Take your pick.

Warning signs are all over the place
re: Warning Singsblackhat
Jan 20, 2004 12:51 PM
whats a "close call"? In my experience, either I'm run off the road, or I'm not. and if I'm not, I don't really have a term for it beyond, "normal". I've ridden through ghettos, downtown, uptown, 'burbs, lots of rural country roads, and most in between. in my experience,there really are no warning signs, you can get ditched or worse anywhere.
re: Warning SingsAcesFull
Jan 20, 2004 1:15 PM
I've never ditched, but I would have ditched had I known how close the second spray painted pick-up was going to come. When do you decide to ditch? Especially from behind? This is my biggest fear because there is absolutely nothing I can do to avoid vehicles from the rear.

A close call is hearing an approaching truck increasing speed and passing inches from you and then the driver giving you the finger.

It's uncomfortable to think about all of the unaware drivers on the road. That's why I like to ride where cell phone signals are weak. But it's another matter when people aim for you. In my experience, there is a correlation between the redneck population and inconsiderate drivers.

I realize that there is no solution, but damn, I wish I could engage these guys on different terms.
I guess it's where you live...Dave Hickey
Jan 20, 2004 1:27 PM
In 6 years of riding Texas roads, I've never had a negative encounter with a "redneck". My close calls with cars have all been distracted cellphone users or elderly drivers. I've had two breakdowns in the country where a "redneck" picked me up and took me back to my house(one was 25 miles).

I was a little worried about hopping in a pickup wearing lycra shorts but I've had no problems..
yeap, it is Florida!cyclopathic
Jan 20, 2004 1:44 PM
in kills per cyclist Florida leads nation by great margine. Rednecks in South/Central PA and western VA are very nice, much nicer then ignorant drivers from 'burbs.
Maryland rednecks are nice, tooms
Jan 20, 2004 2:16 PM
My experiences parallel Dave's -- my closest encounters have come in affluent suburbs. My "favorites" are -- teenagers in spiffy cars, soccer moms on the cellphone and -- best of all -- the octgenarians driving large American cars. Except for the overindulged teenagers, my encounters have not been with malevolent people just the distracted (i.e., soccer moms with cellphones) and those whose driving skills leave something to be desired (i.e., "the old, old" to use a term I heard a gerontologist once use). I never have had a problem with rednecks (or "good country people" as my mother-in-law would call them) and several times I have been offered assistance in rural areas. I still may hear the theme from "Deliverance" in my mind when I am cycling in some remote areas, but I probably am in a lot more danger in the "nice, safe" areas near home.
Hey!.....I'm a Maryland Redneck!!!!! LOL...nmHammy71
Jan 20, 2004 3:09 PM
re: Warning Singsgtscottie
Jan 20, 2004 2:21 PM
I know about those spray painted pickups. I sprayed mine gold because it hides the rust. The other day I came home and my buddy told me there was a guy riding around the hood in lycra shorts that had an a$$ that looked better than the old ladies. Well I tell you we just can't have that sort of thing in these parts. So I thought I better go chase him down before Thelma finds out. She will kick his butt if she thinks she has competition so I went looking for him and sure enough there he was on one of those skinny tired bikes that make you look like a dog humpin a football so I took a run at him just to save him the shame of continuing on in public lookin like that. The little Jasper deeked me out so I did the next best thing and flashed him a finger. Hopefully he will stay in his parts so Thelma don't find him.
I have difficulty believing anyone would be stupid enoughhuffer
Jan 21, 2004 8:44 AM
redneck or not, to attempt vehicular homicide for "fun". I always read these stories with utter disbelief that anyone would have such an utter disregard for anothers safety.
Usually not trying to kill you...Dwayne Barry
Jan 21, 2004 8:59 AM
just scare you, because there is nothing white trash enjoys more than "f*cking with" somebody. It is one of their defining characteristics. When you get 2 or more of them together it is bound to happen if they come upon a likely target.
not for fun but... (scary story)_rt_
Jan 21, 2004 10:14 AM
one of the guys i ride with was recently riding in an urban neighborhood (the original poster will recognize the neighborhood: Little 5 Points) and was stopped at a light in a line of traffic. he heard someone behind him yelling obscenities and then honking their horn. he ignored it for a while but it became more and more aggressive. he turned to look and there was an older couple in a car behind him: the passenger (female) was leaning out the window and yelling obscenities at him and the driver (male) was leaning on the horn.

the light changed and traffic started to move. my friend clipped in and as he started to move the car behind him burned rubber and came straight at him. he dove for cover and the car moved past, the light changed, and the car stopped.

my friend got up (mostly unscathed but fuming) and pedaled up to the car that had just nearly killed him. he asked the couple what they thought they were doing. the woman started screaming at him & telling him cyclists don't deserve to be on the road and he should be on the sidewalk and they would run him over because it was their right to do so!

surprisingly my friend managed to formulate a rational response and told the couple that he had every legal right to be on the road and if they hit him it would be assault. the couple continued screaming, honking, and cursing. knowing that there is a gas station where there is always a police car at the corner where the light is my friend pedaled off, split the lane, found the cop and explained the situation.

when the couple rolled up to the light the cop pulled them over and they repeated their story to the cop. they justified their assault on my friend by saying that only cars had the right to be on the road and as such they had the right to run anyone not in a car off the road.

the cop explained to them that they were completely wrong, took their licenses, and gave them a ticket.

nevertheless, i'd bet that given the chance they'd do the same thing again.

oh, yeah..litespeedchick
Jan 20, 2004 12:57 PM
I ride through some trailer/car on blocks/600-lb-guy-on-porch areas. I have considered getting a confederate flag jersey to ensure my safety in these zones :-) In general, being a girl seems to protect me from the wrath of rednecks. I saw my first finger last week after 3 years of road riding(mostly solo), but I was with a guy...I think it was for him !

I think the sign in the yard that says "trespassers will be shot, survivors will be shot again" can be considered a warning sign.
that's horribleThe Human G-Nome
Jan 20, 2004 1:17 PM
I truly pity cyclists that have to ride routes like these. we'll get the guy in the SUV trying to pull us over to tell us we ran a stop sign, but that's about it. everyone loves to play lesson teacher and cop but we don't have anything as bad as that.
it's a trade offlitespeedchick
Jan 20, 2004 2:13 PM
in exchange for having to look at the scary trailers i also get the benefits of rural living: I have done rides from my house when I was at 45 minutes before I saw the first car. I only live about 30 mins from a reasonable size city, but because I don't live in a suburban sprawl area, I can ride north toward the mountains and see little traffic.
it's a trade offMShaw
Jan 20, 2004 2:20 PM
IME it isn't the "rednecks" that you really have to worry about. Its the soccer moms in the SUVs/minivans that are "in a hurry" that'll run you over just to get where they're going a few seconds earlier.

My parents live out in the country. For the most part, the people that live out in the country are some of the nicest people I've ever met. As "civilization" creeps outwards towards them, the attitudes of the people I've met on the roads is deteriorating. Bummer.

The one thing about riding in the country I never could understand is two cars passing at the same time. I can ride hours without seeing anyone, then all of a sudden, the car coming up behind me is trying to pass me just as another car is approaching. Go figure!

Haha. I know you're jokingAllUpHill
Jan 20, 2004 2:13 PM
but I actually resorted to the "stars n'bars" technique for a brief time as disgruntled redneck protection. I had stopped for gas in Louisiana. Bought a little confederate flag in the store, removed the plastic stick and started pinning it on the back of my jersey for rides that went into particularly threatening territory. I stoped after a couple weeks cause ... it was just too embarassing.

I have to agree with another poster, it's the "average" redneck who is the most friendly companion to share the road with. But the deeply disturbed, gun toting, amphetamine loaded variety do deserve a little extra caution. They're in the minority of rednecks, but I find them in little pockets 'round here.
the "average" rednecklitespeedchick
Jan 20, 2004 2:34 PM
Agreed. Redneck is a highly subjective term. Most of them are friendlier and have better common sense than soccer moms and the like. Also, many of them are related to me!

You're right though, there is a subset that is way beyond redneck...people who don't have enough respect for their own lives not to throw their trash in the ditch in front of their house, or feed their damn horse starving in a 1/4 acre mud lot...I'm afraid they may not have much respect for my life either.
I think the term you're looking for is...Dwayne Barry
Jan 21, 2004 6:36 AM
"white trash", rednecks are mostly good people, "white trash" on the other hand are a danger to us all (and themsevles).
re: Warning SingsFender
Jan 20, 2004 2:33 PM
I think it's just luck. There are no specific signs that I've seen. When I used to live in Mexico, on this one particular road, a rider I knew got hit by a tire iron, another by a beer can and one got spanked. I never had any issues on that road. On the contrary, I almost once got into a fight with a driver (of a SUV with a bike in the back) while climbing out of Sausalito.
If you can't beat themtriple shot espresso
Jan 20, 2004 2:42 PM
wear redneck camo in the form of the mudflap girls on your butt. They seem to be able to identify with that and tend to hoot and holler instead of chucking the PBR can at your head.
try patriotic jerseyscyclopathic
Jan 21, 2004 6:55 AM
stars and stripes, 9/11, also Lone Star and/or state jerseys seemed to have positive effect.
YepDave Hickey
Jan 21, 2004 7:20 AM
In the country, I always wear either my Lone Star, Nashbar "Never forget", or Ameican flag jersey.

When in Rome........
strange butcyclopathic
Jan 21, 2004 3:36 PM
Lone Star gets universal respect no matter you cycle in or out of Texas. Maybe it'll work in Rome too, just match it with pink shorts :)
Trailer Parks are never a good signaOldMan
Jan 20, 2004 3:10 PM
I live in the country outside a major city. The rides are through horse country and up a local mountain. For the most part, drivers are friendly and considerate. They give cyclist lots of room. No problems with SUV moms on cell phones at all.

However, one of my rides takes me through part of a town that has a couple of trailer parks. It is the only down market section of the ride. Most people in this area are considerate, but this area scares me big time.

On many occasions cars have taken a run at me at high speed. Lots of yelling, fingers and close calls. The section of the ride is only 2 miles, but that is the most stressful 2 miles I do.

I hate to paint any socio-economic group as good or bad. But from my experience, trailer parks are never a good sign. But then again, the typical burb is probably worse with lots of cell phones and SUV's.
Ironic huh?RemmingtonShowdown
Jan 20, 2004 4:00 PM
I know it sounds silly considering all the complaints regarding aggressive or reckless drivers, but I've found more "close calls" come from drivers who are curious and want to get a closer look at one's bike. Unaware of their car's proportions they edge closer and closer until you're dodging side-view mirrors and slapping their passenger window thus making them angry and agressive to the piont where you're run off the road on purpose. Silly motorists, cars are for chumps.
Rednecks, et al:Dave_Stohler
Jan 20, 2004 4:45 PM
You must understand that there are subtle differences between po' whites, rednecks, white trash, and crackers. The guy who gave you the finger was obviously white trash. A redneck might gripe about y'all comin' 'round, but wouldn't stoop to giving an eye-talian saloot. A cracker whould've hit y'all with a bullwhip or a taahr ahhron. Po' whites would'nt cause you no concern.
Loose Dogs(nm)spluti
Jan 20, 2004 4:54 PM
I use the redneck camo techniqueTNRyder
Jan 20, 2004 6:32 PM
When I lived in East Tennessee, I found a jersey with an orange color similar to that used by UT. The difference in reaction was drastic and immediate. I went from fingers flyin and people trying to run me off the road to girls and even guys in some cases (weird) 'hootin and hollerin' to me. Thumbs up all the way. I guess that they thought that I was on the team;).
a large number of "urinating Calvin" stickers make me wary(nm)ukiahb
Jan 20, 2004 6:35 PM
Dennis Kucinich bumper stickers...Shylock
Jan 20, 2004 9:59 PM
At least, that was what was on the back of the only car to nearly run me off the Blueridge parkway last summer.

Here in Charlottesville, Virginia I've had alot more trouble with the "socially conscious" putzes in Volvos than I have with rednecks. Seems the more time people spend working towards some cosmic brand of social justice while sipping their vanilla lattes, the worse they drive.

Feel the gin
nice try..blackhat
Jan 21, 2004 9:37 AM
but you lost all credibility with Seems the more time people spend working towards some cosmic brand of social justice while sipping their vanilla lattes, the worse they drive. find a demonstrable correlation between the two and I'll buy you a Volvo, throw in a DK bumpersticker too...
I think you might want to consider...Shylock
Jan 21, 2004 11:26 AM
.....that it would be similarly difficult to establish a demonstrable correlation between confederate flags and bad driving.

Hence the reason for my point which, though poignant in many respects, was more an attempt at demonstrating the irony of the proposition that rednecks are, generally speaking, bad people because of their treatment of cyclists. Especially for someone like me who lives in redneck country but whose only riding incident last summer was with a Dennis Kucinich supporter.

Now what exactly is my credibility problem ? Are you suggesting my incident with a Dennis Kucinich suppporter never occured? Is that so unbelievable to you? Why ? Because the left has the considerate driving market cornered?

Feel the gin
did consider it, and agreeblackhat
Jan 21, 2004 12:34 PM
there's no correlation between any visual cue and bad driving. unless the visual cue is...bad driving. as I said a couple posts up, you're just as likely to have a problem in the suburbs as in the sticks. more so in my experience. just my opinion of course. I don't question someone with a DK sticker ran you into the ditch either, I only questioned the far reaching analogy that came after it. That, strains credulity. not a left/right issue. not to me anyway.
Welcome to America. Land of the haves and have notsstriker
Jan 21, 2004 1:57 AM
I hate to agree with this post, but almost all of my bad road experiences have been with these types of folks. I always try to wave and keep moving. In rural NC where I ride, you see this a lot. I had to kick a dog once right in front of a porch full of folks, and they just laughed. I don't condone kicking dogs, but when it's me versus them, my SIDI is taking action.

Different strokes for different folks. Never ride without a cell phone.
Shirtless guy in pickup with spiderweb tattoos on his backDream plus
Jan 21, 2004 5:02 AM
I mistakenly followed this guy into a liquor store parking lot to tell him I didn't appreciate something he did on the road. His buddy was laughing so hard at the situation that he couldn't lift his head off his car door. I sized things up after a little jawing and realized a puny 49 yo was no match for a 20 something redneck with prison tattos and decided that getting my ride in was more important than making a point. I got back on my bike and left.
Every environment has its problems.dzrider
Jan 21, 2004 5:42 AM
Impatient, angry people in the cities.

Distracted moms in the suburbs.

Teenagers are all kinds of problems everywhere.

Trucks are too big for small roads.

Old drivers make Lincolns and Cadillacs bigger than trucks.

Poor neighborhoods, urban or rural, can be scary even when nothing is happening.

All these are true, but we survive them, with few problems, every day. Keep your eyes and ears and mind open!
Bad roads, not bad neighborhoodsbimini
Jan 21, 2004 6:57 AM
When I have problems it is due to the road not the neighborhood. Narrow roads with a lot of traffic and a high speed limit are bad. Rush hours are bad. City primary roads are bad. Avoid them.

I would agree there is some correlation between big bulked up pickups / SUVs and close calls. Could be that they are just wider. But there are always the aholes that insist on holding thier line and seeing just how close they can get to you. A lot of them seem to be pickup trucks.

The wackos are everywhere. There may be a higher concentration in poor areas just because they may be having a hard time holding onto a job because of the personality disorder. (or the meth they are smoking)
Sure fire response that will end the discussiondctrofspin
Jan 21, 2004 7:25 AM
I simply take out my 9mm pistol from my rear pocket on my jersey and shoot. That usually ends the issue right there.
Sure fire response that will end the discussionMShaw
Jan 21, 2004 8:45 AM
The "rednecks" I've seen in my travels would laugh at your puny 9mm when they're pumping their 12ga. Its hard to argue with a barrel-full of #1 shot!

If they don't have the shotgun handy, the 30/30 will hit you from much further out than your pistol.

Ya gotta remember that these guys make a religion out of huntin and fishin!

Okay, but I move so fast...bubba gotta be quick! (nm)dctrofspin
Jan 21, 2004 11:09 AM
Back when I lived in Chicago (south side) we routinelydjg
Jan 21, 2004 8:45 AM
rode through various economically challenged south side neighborhoods, sometimes on the way to more rural scenery in Indiana. No trailers or confederate flags on Stony Island, thank you. My most uncomfortable moments were all related to Indiana country roads patrolled by unleashed dogs. Plus one time my buddy Kevin thought it would be nice to lead us onto a brand new, and still closed, stretch of interstate--the champagne asphalt of legend--and the authorities disapproved. That flashing blue light is always a warning sign in my book. Now that I mention the interstate, and Kevin, I was also a bit uncomfortable when, on the near north side, he led the group through Cabrini Green, not that anything happened.
don't have to worry about riding through Cabrini Green anymore.._rt_
Jan 21, 2004 10:02 AM
since they tore it down, shipped the residents to the north suburbs (bet Northbrook & Glen Ellen just loved that!!), and built million dollar condos where the projects once stood! probably no safer to ride through there now (lots of distracted soccer moms drinking lattes and chatting on the cell phone) but likely fewer bullets to dodge. ;-)

rt - remembers riding on I-40 (in NC) while it was being built....heaven!
Teenage punks in hot rods...6was9
Jan 21, 2004 11:01 AM
never fail to rev their engines and whiz by me.

I sometimes think if one of these brainless a#%3holes bump me off into a ditch or something and kill me who would ever figure out what happened?

Soccer moms or a secretary in rush hour turned devil with their swear-to-god-that-cyclists-don't-belong-on-roads belief will also nearly run you off the road.

Yikes, who would've thunk just riding bicycle would be this risky.