My first bad cycling experience.

Discussion in 'Commuting and Road Safety' started by Matthew Pearl, Jun 19, 2014.

  1. Matthew Pearl

    Matthew Pearl New Member

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    So today I had my first bad experience while cycling.
    Luckily it doesn't involve falling or getting into an accident but it deals with a jerk driving by.

    I've been riding bikes for what seems like my whole life, but I'm new to road cycling and just purchased my first road bike a couple months ago! :D (Specialized Allez)

    Well today on my way home I was riding on the right side of the road, as close as I could be! There was a car coming towards me in the left lane, and then behind me a car was approaching. Because the car in front of me was closer then the car behind me, the car behind me had to slow down and wait for the car in front of me to pass (I hope that makes sense).

    Because the guy behind me had to slow down he came up to the side of me and drove by me very close! I could have reached out and touched his car with no problem. Then he yelled at me and said "Get on the sidewalk" and then sped off really fast.

    Really sucked! I kept my cool and just continued to ride home.

    Wish people would understand sidewalks and cycling. The sidewalk that was to the right of me was really broke down and very bumpy with lots of rocks and dirt, just can't ride on that.


    Anyone else ever have this before? I know there are plenty of jerks in the world and they can yell at me all they want, but when they purposely get close and almost hit me on my bike that's when it gets crazy and wrong.



    Thanks for reading my post! Sadly my first post on here had to be crappy news.
     
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  2. Nitefeatherz

    Nitefeatherz New Member

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    I am in a very populated suburban area and I ride on a park trail that is also used by pedestrians- especially little old ladies and tiny little tots whose parents aren't paying as much attention as they really should. (Like when said tot darts out into bicycle traffic).

    I crashed more than once because someone wasn't paying attention to what was going on around them and stepped into the path of my bike when it was too close to stop.

    One was a little old lady that was walking off the trail so I figured it was safe to pass her. She wasn't on the trail, she was in a grassy area feeding ducks. Mind you, I'm on a road bike but I keep in mind that there are other people on the path and I slow way down until I am past them. Needless to say- she turned without warning and without even looking stepped into the path of my bike- like 6 inches from me. I wiped out and wound up in a creek. She didn't even ask if I was ok or if my bike was damaged- just told me that she wanted money from me "in case she needed to go to a doctor". I had a messed up shoulder, road rash, and I'm standing there bleeding. Can't say I was very sympathetic to her request for money "in case she is hurt- after all she could do something nice with the money". I also told her that if she wanted any money from me I could call the police, we could file a report, and she could sue me for it. (Still bleeding at this point- and she STILL hadn't asked if I was ok). She told me it was clearly my fault since I was on a bike and she was on foot. I replied that she had a responsibility to at least look up from her feet to see if the coast was clear before stepping out into traffic.

    She told me she wasn't hurt and she "didn't really need a doctor but I wasn't a very nice person." She then told me that if I was a nice young lady I should just "give her whatever money she asks for" because she was old and retired and I'm young and employed. She then told me again that, even though she's not hurt, I should again, give her money for a doctor and x-rays and she could "save the money for something nice on a rainy day to spend for herself to have a treat since how she spends the money for the doctor is up to her...and if she decides not to go she can just use the money for something nice".

    I was very horrified with myself for nearly running a little old lady down...until she started trying to use me like an ATM. Then all the sympathy was gone.


    With anything you do in life you will meet jerks. The majority of people aren't like that. There's a quote by Eleanor Roosevelt that is along the lines of "Everything you do in life will upset someone. Just do what you feel is right."
     
  3. Froze

    Froze Well-Known Member

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    So now what? Are you going to stop riding because of a bad experience? Not trying to sound like a jerk but just wondering why you posted this! Did you get on Facebook and post the first time you had a bad driving experience? Did you quit driving your car due to that? Quite worrying about stuff and just have fun riding your bike, there are a lot of jerks in this world and you have to share the road with them, just put yourself into a mindset of not being bugged by every little thing that occurs on the road because you will be filling this forum with threads a lot if you do.

    I've been riding for over 40 years and have had a lot of jerks I had to share the road with, I ignore about 99.999% of them, it's just who they are and they're not going to change. I hate to say this but guess what? I've seen my share of jerks on bikes too! They ride like they have a death wish, running stop signs and lights, cutting in front of cars then flipping them off when the car honks, riding on the wrong side of the road and expect you to move, turning illegally then flipping off drivers, eating their Gels and sports bars and throwing the wrappers on the ground when their done, or leaving their tubes and CO2 carts on the side of the road after a flat. So you see, there are jerks in the bicycle community too. Get use to it, but don't become one.
     
  4. Matthew Pearl

    Matthew Pearl New Member

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    Wow that sounds horrible and kinda crazy, almost something you would see on Judge Judy haha. Thanks for sharing though!

    No I'm not going to quit and I didn't say I was. What's the problem with me telling a story about cycling, on a cycling forum?
    I'm not saying just drivers are the problem I know this. I see other riders always blow past stop signs and going in and out of traffic. I just thought it may have been a good topic to see if anyone else had a similar experience.
    No need to get so offensive.
     
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  5. Bluman

    Bluman New Member

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    Despite how nasty drivers are in my corner of Ohio, some how I've only been yelled at by ON COMING traffic... which makes little sense because they're not the ones I'm holding up. However, I am occasionally passed too close by drivers not out of malice but rather out of ignorance/stupidity/carelessness. I make a habit of recording license plates and reporting them to my local police department. Even though they can't do anything about it, there it at least a complaint on file should something happen in the future.

    That story is soooooo Kafkaesque! Do you mind if I save that and try to expand it into a short story in the future? (Also, if her recklessness caused me to be injured, I would have filed a police report and especially a complaint that she was trying to get money out of you for it.)
     
  6. jhuskey

    jhuskey Moderator

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    If someone tells you an accident is your fault tell them you need a written statement of their theory of liability and proximate cause.
    As far as bad experience a hangover never stopped me from enjoying a beverage nor indigestion from eating.
     
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  7. maydog

    maydog Well-Known Member

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    Your experience is not unique. Drive by shoutings are a common occurrence. Being in a vehicle gives the operator a level of anonymity, empowerment and superiority over cyclists. When tempers flare, some drivers can vent without fear of reprisal.

    Don't dwell on it, you did nothing wrong. The driver was having a much worse day than you - at least you were able to ride your bike.

    Expect more bad behavior, one of my favorites is the Big D Trucker with loud pipes that sneaks up from behind and then hammers it once close - extra points if it is a diesel and covers you with soot.

    Regarding the lady demanding payment, I would have asked her for her phone number and address so that "I could send her payment." After which I would have submitted my own police report or consulted a lawyer friend to write a threatening letter. That is unless, she was suffering from dementia or not worth the effort.
     
  8. Froze

    Froze Well-Known Member

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    That is exactly what I was trying to convey, don't dwell on and move on.

    Speaking of truckers doing weird stuff, I had a trucker once come up behind me and blew his horn...except it wasn't the usual truck horn, it was VERY loud train sounding horn that made me jump, I bet he had good laugh.
     
  9. Nitefeatherz

    Nitefeatherz New Member

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    I wasn't really thinking about anything farther than "wow...did she really just say that?!" The first thing out of her mouth when I came up out of the creek was "well you need to give me a pen". Um. I have a granola bar, a camera, my ID, and a water bottle. Where in my cycling shorts and jersey does she expect me to have a pen and paper??

    We had to get past the "well you need to find a pen and paper to give me". I had to explain that, yes, I do keep a pen and paper in my car but it was 20 miles away, that I was hurt, my bike was possibly damaged, and that once I started the return 20 miles I wasn't coming back! (Apparently even if I was she wasn't interested in waiting).

    I've dealt with plenty of people like thisall the time as an LVT..I groomed one woman's dog and she came back the next day asking for $700 for "an exam and antibiotics for kennel cough since I put a leash on her dog." She was more than a little embarrassed when I asked for a detailed receipt of treatment,told her she overpaid and then proceeded to explain why her "kennel cough" diagnosis was bogus...apparently I was just supposed to give her the $700 that she asked for "to keep her as a client". For a $35 grooming bill, and a dog that only comes in twice a year heavily matted...so not worth it. Finally got her to admit that she never even saw the vet but "when the dog got home he was coughing a little bit for a few minutes...and she should get reimbursed for that since he was uncomfortable"... I have yet to see the woman in the shop again. The husband comes and flat out told us he thought it was a "cockamamie idea" and that his wife "just gets that way sometimes".

    Even worse- my 80 year old aunt who owns the shop I was working in was ready to hand over the $700 until I explained the woman was clearly lying.

    Mostly I just put off experiences like this to a "real nice try". For every person that tries to scam me another surprises me. I had someone walking on the trail chase me down because I dropped my state issued ID on the trail. I was pleasantly surprised since I didn't even realize I had dropped it!
     
  10. mickey123

    mickey123 New Member

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    with the bad experience while cycling i have many,but your experience is amazing .
     
  11. TeddyAllen

    TeddyAllen New Member

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    Yeah, I've also encountered some problems before, and I think you should just ignore those jerks. Quarreling with them makes more harm than goods.
    Keep on enjoy cycling and be aware on the street, that's all I could say!
     
  12. Froze

    Froze Well-Known Member

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    Encountering bad experiences when you're young is usually approached with brashness and bravado which usually will only make the situation worse, as most of us age we gain wisdom from these bad experiences to the point where they don't even bother us which makes riding more pleasant.
     
  13. urge2kill

    urge2kill Member

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    Standing out in any way makes you vulnerable. It's math.
    Suppose 95 of 100 people take the conformist option. That leaves you with 95+ potential detractors, with each detractor having a 1/5 chance of targeting you. It reverses if you conform.
     
  14. Froze

    Froze Well-Known Member

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    However conformity leaves behind a populace of mindless robots where change, even if that change may be for the good, may never see the light of day; conformity throws individuality and creativity out of the window; so there has to be a balance. Riding down the road and not letting people upset you as they do stupid things as they pass you has nothing to do with conformity, it has to do with being an adult and knowing you can't do anything legal to prevent stupid people from acting stupid.
     
  15. urge2kill

    urge2kill Member

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    You must be an american.
     
  16. Froze

    Froze Well-Known Member

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    Sure, what does that make you?
     
  17. urge2kill

    urge2kill Member

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    anally receptive
     
  18. Froze

    Froze Well-Known Member

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    Well, hmmm, urgh, gee, well, I'm at lost for words.
     
  19. BigSkyFatGuy

    BigSkyFatGuy New Member

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    I've had a couple of bad experiences. One of them ended with my hand hurting for a couple of days after the incident.

    Dickheads gonna be dickheads......ignore them.
     
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