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How do you handle aggressive drivers while on the road?


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#1 SulseP

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Posted 07 March 2012 - 07:24 AM

Now that the weather is warming up, more people are getting out, with that more cars on the road.  I have to say, I have at least one encounter a week if not more.  I provide more than enough room for traffic to pass, but there is always that person that seems to think the road belongs to them and their vehicles exclusively.

 

I like to say that I just shrug it off a majority of the time, thinking of the other cyclist out there that will be adversely affected by my lack of restraint. But there are times that the I just loose it. 















#2 jhuskey

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Posted 07 March 2012 - 08:07 AM

We all have those moments but always remember that a car will win in a auto/bike contest. A car seems to give people a sense of false safety since they are surrounded by a metal shell.

They also have that feeling of power that most do not have in life. Add to that the false sense of entitlement that most people have and have todays winning combination.

Each situation is different but I have found that if you can catch them at the next light or intersection it makes them a little more humble even if you don't say anything.    


Do not worry about old age, it doesn't last that long.

#3 64Paramount

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Posted 07 March 2012 - 01:31 PM

I usually try just to ignore them and not let them make me angry, and most of the time I'm successful. 

 

If you're not impeding them in any way, and they still feel the need to express their displeasure at you for daring to breath their air and ride on their road, then I figure that they are probably just an angry person and they are going to vent their anger on anyone/anything that catches their attention. So, I try remember that I've got plenty of things to be happy about and I'm not going to let some unhappy person spoil my ride.

 

 

Most of the time that works for me.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

But, sometimes it really pisses me off!!


Sometimes you may have to look very close to see it, but a measure of grace exists within us all..

#4 Dave Cutter

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Posted 07 March 2012 - 01:56 PM

This time of year many motorist in my part of the world... seem to have forgotten that bicycles even exist. It isn't that today's idiot driver is the problem. It appears that we all take turns being the idiot... it might be my (or your) turn tomorrow.

 

Be careful... and remember it isn't your job to teach motorist how to drive. Your job is to make it home alive. Try not to yell... and when you fail at not yelling (and we all fail sooner or later)... try not to swear. Keep your hands (and fingers) on the handlebars.

 

Anger is part of the fight or flight reflex... its perfectly natural. Don't beat yourself up over being scared or getting angry... your human. Shake it off... and enjoy the rest of your ride.



#5 alienator

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Posted 08 March 2012 - 02:54 AM

Nothing gets solved by cutting loose on a driver. Doing so, however, could further endanger yourself and other riders.
You're so fetching when you're down on all fours.
..............................-David St. Hubbins

#6 Dave Cutter

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Posted 08 March 2012 - 04:56 AM



Originally Posted by alienator View Post

Nothing gets solved by cutting loose on a driver. Doing so, however, could further endanger yourself and other riders.


 

I completely agree. Cyclist are already disliked by many motorist. When I returned to cycling several family and friends commented to me about cyclist swearing and flipping fingers at them. I am convinced that the motorist that is angered by a cyclist today may well show his/her displeasure to another cyclist tomorrow.

 

But the fight or flight response is real... it's built into very being. Scare anyone and they ether stand to fight (get angry) or retreat or run away to safety (flight). I think... directing that emotional response is part of the fight or flight. No one nearly gets hit by a car... and yells and flips off their cycling partners. For me... learning that it was own fear and my own reaction that could cause a near overwhelming desire to fight... was helpful.

 

I [myself] haven't been able to completely redirect the emotion... like we naturally do when riding a roller coaster, watching a scary movie, or descending a steep hill. I don't enjoy it when drivers scare me. But I have found it pretty easy to shake off the anger and not allow it to spoil the ride.


 

 



#7 danfoz

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Posted 08 March 2012 - 07:16 AM

There was something nice about being a roadie in the early days of the sport in this country, well 80's early anyway. Not much support in the way of the multitude of bike stores, bike paths, yada yada yada, but there was little animosity either. Most folks just didn't know what to make of a fella dressed in lycra, or tight woolies which my first shorts were made of. I blame it on the triathaletes


"It is by riding a bicycle that you learn the contours of a country best, since you have to sweat up the hills and coast down them. Thus you remember them as they actually are, while in a motor car only a high hill impresses, and you have no such accurate remembrance."
~ Ernest Hemingway

#8 64Paramount

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Posted 08 March 2012 - 12:29 PM



Originally Posted by Dave Cutter View Post


 

 Snip........I am convinced that the motorist that is angered by a cyclist today may well show his/her displeasure to another cyclist tomorrow.

 

 

 



I've often thought that same thing when someone acts out towards me for no reason when I'm riding. They may just be venting at me because of the actions of another cyclist.

 

Not that one cyclist's actions justifies venting at other cyclists who have done nothing to disturb them, but it might help explain a general bad attitude towards cyclists.

 

 

 


Sometimes you may have to look very close to see it, but a measure of grace exists within us all..

#9 alienator

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Posted 08 March 2012 - 02:01 PM

Not that one cyclist's actions justifies venting at other cyclists who have done nothing to disturb them, but it might help explain a general bad attitude towards cyclists.

You're certainly right in that one idiot cyclist's actions don't justify venting or angry behavior toward other cyclists, but since when have humans only restricted themselves to justifiable responses? Unfortunately, in the real world the actions of a few can color the view of that group in the eyes of others. Ask Muslims how well things have worked out for them because of the actions of a minority of their group since at least 9/11. Sure that's an extreme example, but it is one that gets repeated over and over again. Cyclists who respond like idiots to idiot drivers only reinforce that view.
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You're so fetching when you're down on all fours.
..............................-David St. Hubbins

#10 davereo

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Posted 08 March 2012 - 03:55 PM

I am not above muttering an occasional WTF to myself. Although I do not bother to engage in any way with an aggressive driver. I have encountered out on the road just about everything and nothing surprises me any more. I do get a kick out of the amount of room a driver gives to a pothole after they have just about run me off the road. I guess they don't realize how much damage my bike would do to their undercarriage if it got caught up underneath them.



#11 Dave Cutter

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Posted 08 March 2012 - 04:15 PM



Originally Posted by davereo View Post

 I do get a kick out of the amount of room a driver gives to a pothole after they have just about run me off the road. I guess they don't realize how much damage my bike would do to their undercarriage if it got caught up underneath them.


Maybe a campaign.... warning motorist of the damage that can be done to cars.... when running over cyclist. That might be helpful to everyone!

 



#12 alienator

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Posted 08 March 2012 - 04:20 PM

I am not above muttering an occasional WTF to myself. Although I do not bother to engage in any way with an aggressive driver. I have encountered out on the road just about everything and nothing surprises me any more. I do get a kick out of the amount of room a driver gives to a pothole after they have just about run me off the road. I guess they don't realize how much damage my bike would do to their undercarriage if it got caught up underneath them.

I think we all mutter now and again out on the road. Muttering can be an excellent relief valve. I don't think most motorists or many cyclists realize the damage that a cyclist can cause when hit by a car. Some of that damage is stuff that may not be fixed and might be carried around for a long time.
You're so fetching when you're down on all fours.
..............................-David St. Hubbins

#13 Chavez

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Posted 08 March 2012 - 06:22 PM

I aim my body at the windshield as I'm hurtling over the hood. 

 


"The journey of a thousand miles begins with but a single pedal turn" - Confucious, if they had had bikes in ancient China


#14 nfeht

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Posted 08 March 2012 - 07:08 PM

Depending on how much of an idiot the driver is being I either just glance at the drivers seat, or glance and shake my head, while just continuing to ride, it makes them look like they are in the wrong.  Of course this only works if you are riding safely and obeying traffic laws yourself.  I ride through the Philadelphia ever day so I run into bad drivers constantly. At times I've even had other drivers have blocked the dangerous driver in and give me space to ride (rare but it has occurred on a few occasions, e.g below).  Due to the bad riders who flip off everyone and cut people off, etc. I try to give a little wave of thanks to any driver who gives me room to get around a parked car or lets me take my turn at a stop sign.  I'm not sure if it helps much but hopefully some drivers come to think that not all cyclists are bad. 

 

also +1 to alienator's "Nothing gets solved by cutting loose on a driver. Doing so, however, could further endanger yourself and other riders."

 

example
Of course there are always those "insert expletives" (insert whatever word you like) drivers.  Just yesterday I was riding back to my apartment at 8:00pm, in a bike lane, with flashing lights.  Some guy behind me railed on his horn to get out of the way.  Since I was in the bike lane already I just stayed put, I wasn't sure of anything else to do.  Looking back he was probably ticked that he couldn't pass the car in the actual traffic lane by using the bike lane because I was riding the speed of traffic; 24ish mph.  Eventually traffic allowed him to get past me and he made sure to swerve into the bike lane coming within two feet of clipping my front wheel (both lanes were clear in front of him I'm pretty sure he did it just because he is a "insert expletives". Of course he reaches a red light 50ft latter, and swerves to stop me from riding up to the light. When the light turned green the taxi in front of him moved so that no car could get by and drove slowly enough so the guy was always stuck behind me.  The "insert expletives" driver became rather pissed, but the taxi just sat there in front of him and waved for me to continue on (I gestured gratitude).  Of course I laughed and couldn't resist flashing a rather large smile at the "insert expletives" driver as I continued on my way.


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#15 alienator

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Posted 08 March 2012 - 09:47 PM

Just yesterday I was riding back to my apartment at 8:00pm, in a bike lane, with flashing lights.  Some guy behind me railed on his horn to get out of the way.  Since I was in the bike lane already I just stayed put, I wasn't sure of anything else to do.  Looking back he was probably ticked that he couldn't pass the car in the actual traffic lane by using the bike lane because I was riding the speed of traffic; 24ish mph.  Eventually traffic allowed him to get past me and he made sure to swerve into the bike lane coming within two feet of clipping my front wheel (both lanes were clear in front of him I'm pretty sure he did it just because he is a "insert expletives". Of course he reaches a red light 50ft latter, and swerves to stop me from riding up to the light. When the light turned green the taxi in front of him moved so that no car could get by and drove slowly enough so the guy was always stuck behind me.  The "insert expletives" driver became rather pissed, but the taxi just sat there in front of him and waved for me to continue on (I gestured gratitude).  Of course I laughed and couldn't resist flashing a rather large smile at the "insert expletives" driver as I continued on my way.

That's a great story.
You're so fetching when you're down on all fours.
..............................-David St. Hubbins

#16 vspa

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Posted 09 March 2012 - 05:25 AM

shouting and cursing as loud as possible

#17 Dave Cutter

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Posted 09 March 2012 - 08:02 AM

 .  You go for it!

 

I think if I lived that close to my emotions... I'd lose contact with the calmness where I find my true happiness. But maybe that's just me. I don't think promoting road rudeness... is productive. But... it could be that rudeness ISN'T in anyway related to road rage.. ether. I sure hope your response doesn't spoil your, or anyones else's, enjoyment.



#18 vspa

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Posted 09 March 2012 - 09:03 AM

yeah you will certainly lose contact with your calmness and your emotions once you are landing on the tarmac with a broken clavicule, broken bike and 30 miles away from home... p.s. remember people didn't carry a cell phone in the old days, for such emergencies

#19 alienator

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Posted 09 March 2012 - 11:38 AM

yeah you will certainly lose contact with your calmness and your emotions once you are landing on the tarmac with a broken clavicule, broken bike and 30 miles away from home... p.s. remember people didn't carry a cell phone in the old days, for such emergencies

I've been hit and injured. It doesn't change anything for me and how I respond to idiots in cars.
You're so fetching when you're down on all fours.
..............................-David St. Hubbins

#20 64Paramount

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Posted 09 March 2012 - 12:28 PM



Originally Posted by davereo View Post

 I do get a kick out of the amount of room a driver gives to a pothole after they have just about run me off the road.

 

 

 

Hmmm....maybe I should try wearing a jersey with a picture of a pothole on the back!

 

I'd be an arsehole wearing a pothole.....

 


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Sometimes you may have to look very close to see it, but a measure of grace exists within us all..




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