After reading this, and having my own similar event last week, I’m wondering how others deal with the personalities of traffic — avoid, confront, etc.
It depends, sometimes you have all the time and patience in the world, sometimes i have a short fuse, if theyve only mildy endangered me il probably hurl a bit of abuse and give them the finger etc, but a few times someone has carved up a group ride and put multiple peoples lives at risk, those actions require consequences, I know people who have taken side mirrors off, spat through open windows, opened rear doors, and layed drivers out on the pavement.
Obviously a lot of time the best thing to do is report to the police, or keep quiet. but some people get threatened and choose to fight back.
Theres something sad about flexing the huge power u maintain when in a metal box over cyclists.
I’ve only ever had two proper verbal altercations with motorists, neither of which were instigated by myself. On both occasions the driver had waited for me further up the road.
Personally I see no point in recreating the movie Duel whilst I’m on a bike so I just let them rant. It’s actually quite cathartic. They can’t have an argument with you if you don’t bite back. Plus, just resting on your bars and keeping silent is, I believe quite intimidating.
End of the day, if driver decides that they want to cause me harm, arguing about the law or the Highway Code isn’t going to save me.
@Tim_P that looks horrible, my friend…
Jeeeee zus H
I have never had an exchange with an inconsiderate or incompetent motorist that did anything to improve the situation. It really isn’t worth it.
Oh, except in my head, lying awake that same night, obviously.
I nearly get taken out at least 3 times a week on my short commute.
I find music makes me more relaxed about it (not a popular opinion but it works for me). Usually just shake my head and carry on.
Meh, driving a bunch and riding a motorcycle a bunch has taught me that it doesn’t matter what you’re driving/riding, there will be idiots. And screaming at them won’t change their behavior cause at their core, they couldn’t care less about other people. I do during spring to fall season about 100 to 150km of commuting per week so I’ve seen a few things. But overall my route is safer than others as it’s not in the downtown core.
Apart from the horrifying pic, that’s a sad solution. Akin to making motorists take the bus instead of driving. There’s a ton of reasons why motorists behave the way they do but no reasonable solution to any of them. Stopping outdoor riding should NOT be one of them!
Your quote reminds me of a cycling vid where the interviewer was talking with a racer who was warming up and asked him about the TT bike he was riding. The guy said he had no idea how it would handle because he got hit by a car last year and had only been riding indoors ever since. No sir, I don’t like it.
Beyond that, I too, like De Marchi, am fed up. After some 20+ years of commuting and open road training with the full scope of motorist run-ins…I’ve had enough. My solution? Take a pic/vid of the offending vehicle & operator and file a police report. I can do it online and takes maybe 10 minutes. The local constabulary is going to become very familiar with my bountiful submissions.
No more verbal retaliation et al. I’ll let my tax dollars do the work for me. Even if it does take months just for a non-actionable result. The fact that the driver is being confronted by the police about their dangerous (and quite frankly cowardly) driving behaviour could be enough to make them tone down at least somewhat. Or not.
I do consider myself a blend of very lucky and a bit good, as I seem to have many fewer encounters than what my friends report to me. There is luck, but there is also choice of roads, ALWAYS behaving as any normal traffic would do, using lights 24/7, and all the other little things. If it were only luck, I doubt it would run for 35 years at 100-200 miles a week. I’m 57 and last had a serious encounter when I was 20, knock on wood.
But, yeah, conflicts happen. Sometimes they get the bird, sometimes they get nothing. I do wish I had some real MMA skills because, no matter what they get, I do every time want to beat their faces to a pulp in front of God and everybody.
I’m hopeful the growing “caught on video” age can put a stop to some of this.
There is one more thing that we need to do: political agitation for separate bike lanes and a clamp down on smart phone use. See this:
I get it, I understand your point. I have front and rear Cycliq cameras. I have a varia radar. I’ve heard the rah rah cheerleading from places like Bike Law that say we need to stay strong and don’t be afraid and lee riding outside. And the more people ride outside, the safer it is for all of us.
It took about 8 months before I could ride again and I did go outside on weekend rides with friends. Have my cameras going and every…single…ride there was some kind of close call. A friend I ride with a lot last year got hit about 3 months ago, just like I was hit. She was in the hospital for 2 weeks with a husband and 3 kids at home. I took video footage of people passing our group of 5 and blasting their horn the whole way past us. I had a truck buzz me while his pit bull was hanging out the window barking and almost biting me (at 40mph).
You know what? Maybe it does make cycling safer for EVERYONE if more people are out riding. But having someone say at my funeral “well at least he made cycling safer for others” is little consolation for my family, and especially my young daughter.
I will be very selective on when and where I choose to ride outside. There’s some routes that are more safe, there are some organized rides that are well run, marked, and supported. But programs like TR meet my need for quality workouts that are more convenient and safer.
Oh also I took the video I got to the sheriff’s department and they wouldn’t even look at it. They said what the motorists were doing was a traffic violation, which need to be witnessed by law enforcement, and video won’t matter. Which is completely frustrating.
I sent it to the attorney who was handling all my medical stuff. He looked up the driver’s info from their plate and sent them a letter reminding them of the statute against harassing cyclists, and letting them know if they are caught doing it again, their insurance carrier will be notified. He’s a fellow cyclist and is sympathetic with what we go through.
Wow. Is this how it works now? State-wide or nation-wide?
As it was explained to me, a home surveillance camera catching someone stealing or vandalizing your property is a criminal act. Video is ok. Harassing or taunting cyclists is a traffic violation, and video evidence is not sufficient.
One valid point…even if you get the make, model, and plate number, you can’t verify if the registered owner was driving. Even so, I was still shocked.
What damages are you claiming?
All drivers are dangerous. As a society we’ve simply accepted that. What society has NOT accepted (at least not completely…yet) is malicious drivers. Those who intentionally put others lives at risk. Until those drivers are treated as the criminals that they are by charging them with reckless endangerment everytime they buzz or right hook a cyclist, or manslaughter when an ‘accident’ occurs, the behavior will continue.
This country has a very difficult time learning lessons. Mothers against drunk driving managed to create enough of a stir to criminalize drunk driving and change behavior. That should have translated to all forms of impaired/dostracted driving…but it didnt. We want to do everything the hard way.
The issue for us is that there are a hell of a lot more mothers than road cyclists. Society will be perfectly happy letting us die for the forseeable future.
One thing I’d like to add. I was given this advice by an older, far more experienced cyclist.
Always say thank you.
When a driver waits at a junction for you, gives you room and overtakes safety or gives you space at the traffic lights, acknowledge that.
I do this and part of me hopes that by doing so, I’m helping to change the opinion of motorists towards cyclists. The next rider that driver encounters might benefit from my actions.
Just treating each other with respect is half the struggle.