Psychotic pedestrians

Discussion in 'UK and Europe' started by Mike Foster, Apr 24, 2003.

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  1. Mike Foster

    Mike Foster Guest

    Hi all

    I travel direct routes through Brixton down to the Croydon area and every week seem to get hassle
    from rather psychotic pedestrians - far more so than from cars etc.

    Usually this takes the form of pedestrians aged 12-20 suddenly barking at me VERY loudly with the
    aim of unsettling me (they seem to love doing it, usually when with their friends). On other
    occasions it's more severe, for example near Streatham Common about three weeks ago a lanky chap was
    walking towards me in the cycle lane and really threw himself at me!

    I don't do anything unusual, or look unusual, when biking so imagine that others may be suffering
    the same kind of unwanted attention as
    me. Are you? Any theories you've got would be greatly appreciated, not least because I'm into all
    my sociology/psychology stuff! More importantly, I'd like to know if screaming back at them is
    a good bet
    - I do it sometimes, but usually only to those smaller than me ;-)

    I bike because I don't like a world crammed full of cars. Ideally I'd like a world where most
    people were pedestrians, because I reckon the world would be a happier place (more localistation,
    less accidents, less pollution, more human contact, less big business etc). Accordingly, it
    frustrates me a bit to see those pedestrians - who I've elevated to the top of my 'kudos pile' -
    acting like such idiots.

    Any advice/views?

    Mike
     
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  2. "Mike Foster" <[email protected]> wrote in message
    news:[email protected]...

    > I travel direct routes through Brixton down to the Croydon area and every week seem to get hassle
    > from rather psychotic pedestrians - far more so than from cars etc.
    >
    > Usually this takes the form of pedestrians aged 12-20 suddenly barking at me VERY loudly with the
    > aim of unsettling me (they seem to love doing it, usually when with their friends). On other
    > occasions it's more severe, for example near Streatham Common about three weeks ago a lanky chap
    > was walking towards me in the cycle lane and really threw himself at me!

    That's all the more reason to ride out in the main traffic stream, so that people like this would
    get run over by other traffic if they tried these stunts!
     
  3. Simon Proven

    Simon Proven Guest

    Mike Foster wrote:
    > Hi all
    >
    > I travel direct routes through Brixton down to the Croydon area and every week seem to get hassle
    > from rather psychotic pedestrians - far more so than from cars etc.
    >
    > Usually this takes the form of pedestrians aged 12-20 suddenly barking at me VERY loudly with the
    > aim of unsettling me (they seem to love doing it, usually when with their friends). On other
    > occasions it's more severe, for example near Streatham Common about three weeks ago a lanky chap
    > was walking towards me in the cycle lane and really threw himself at me!

    > I don't do anything unusual, or look unusual, when biking so imagine that others may be suffering
    > the same kind of unwanted attention as
    > me. Are you?

    I do get this sort of thing from time to time. Not as frequently as you describe above, but it
    certainly happens. As it happens, I cycled from KX to Purley a month or two ago. Once I was past the
    Ikea towers I had someone shouting abuse from a car as they drove past, then later a nearly-empty
    (just the ice left) McDonalds drink carton thrown at me from a car.

    > Any theories you've got would be greatly appreciated, not least because I'm into all my
    > sociology/psychology stuff! More importantly, I'd like to know if screaming back at them is a
    > good bet
    > - I do it sometimes, but usually only to those smaller than me ;-) I bike because I don't like a
    > world crammed full of cars. Ideally I'd like a world where most people were pedestrians,
    > because I reckon the world would be a happier place (more localistation, less accidents, less
    > pollution, more human contact, less big business etc). Accordingly, it frustrates me a bit to
    > see those pedestrians - who I've elevated to the top of my 'kudos pile' - acting like such
    > idiots.

    Many pedestrians are teenagers and are idiots for other reasons than being pedestrians, as such. I
    had one of those the other day, in my local area (Cambridge).

    > Any advice/views?

    Ignore 'em.

    Simon
     
  4. Pete Biggs

    Pete Biggs Guest

    > I don't do anything unusual, or look unusual, when biking so imagine that others may be suffering
    > the same kind of unwanted attention as
    > me. Are you?

    Yes but usually it's just people shouting something "funny". I rarely get anything malicious.

    > Any advice/views?

    Speed up and give all dodgy-looking peds an extra wide berth - ride out into middle of lane/road or
    other side of path if necessary. Alternatively, pretending to head straight for them for a moment is
    one way of dealing with mischievous kids!

    ~PB (London)
     
  5. Simon Mason

    Simon Mason Guest

    [email protected] (Mike Foster) wrote in message
    > I bike because I don't like a world crammed full of cars. Ideally I'd like a world where most
    > people were pedestrians, because I reckon the world would be a happier place (more localistation,
    > less accidents, less pollution, more human contact, less big business etc). Accordingly, it
    > frustrates me a bit to see those pedestrians - who I've elevated to the top of my 'kudos pile' -
    > acting like such idiots.

    I've noticed this as well. I was riding through Hull city centre and this fat teenage girl shouted
    "f****** geek" at me, even though I only had shorts and Gore top on. I countered with "At least I'm
    not the same weight as my age".

    I think it's because you only have any gravitas if you're driving a car. If you're old enough to
    drive and still ride a bike , then there is something obviously wrong with you and are thus worthy
    of derision. You are an inadequate.

    Simon
     
  6. Dave Kahn

    Dave Kahn Guest

    [email protected] (Mike Foster) wrote in message
    news:<[email protected]>...

    > On other occasions it's more severe, for example near Streatham Common about three weeks ago a
    > lanky chap was walking towards me in the cycle lane and really threw himself at me!

    Dangerous places, cycle lanes.

    > Any advice/views?

    I think we all get it, from what Jeremy Parker calls "cardines" as well as pedestrians. People think
    it's amusing and, I imagine, don't realise how dangerous it can be. I recently had a teenager break
    out of a bus queue to leap into the road in front of me, spread his arms, and shout "Yah". It wasn't
    terribly witty but probably the best he could come up with at short notice. Fortunately it was
    raining and he found himself ankle deep in a puddle which probably startled him even more than he
    startled me. I was able to go round him but if there had been motor traffic about to overtake me at
    that moment I would have continued straight into him, a decision I made some years ago.

    On the same road a few weeks later I was harassed by an SUV. A shout of "Boo" this time (they like
    to show their full range) from the nearside rear window. The SUV was held up a hundred yards later
    and I repassed it. Woman driver looking very tense, and a car full of pre-teenage girls, all of them
    standing in their seats, all of them laughing hysterically at their wit. Completely out of control.
    I was extremely angry and slapped one of the windows hard as I went past, the wrong thing to do and
    an action I'm not proud of although it was satisfying at the time. I should really have parked my
    bicycle in front of the wretched thing and asked the driver what on earth was going on.

    --
    Dave...
     
  7. "Pete Biggs" <[email protected]> wrote: ( > I don't do anything unusual, or look
    unusual, when biking so imagine ) > that others may be suffering the same kind of unwanted attention
    as ( > me. Are you? ) ( Yes but usually it's just people shouting something "funny". I rarely get )
    anything malicious.

    I remember being followed one night by a large silver saloon with a youthful passenger hanging out
    of his window yelling incoherently at me. He kept up this running harangue which became more or less
    intelligible as they caught up with me at junctions or got left behind. Occasionally I could make
    out a word or two -- from time to time he mentioned irresponsibility, the law, various other
    abstractions, we sometimes get a higher class of abuse in Oxford -- but I reckoned it was safer not
    to stop and engage in conversation.

    It was only after they finally passed me and got away that it became dark enough to notice in a
    backward glance that my rear light had gone out. (Dicky switch -- why are BS lights so unreliable?
    That's meant to be a rhetorical question, in case anyone thinks this is a helmet thread.) Why he
    didn't just tell me that, I don't know.
     
  8. Gadget

    Gadget Guest

    I've had a couple of peds stand on kerbs shouting out insults but I've been able to catch most of
    them on a rainy day with a waist high wave of water, if I'm going fast enough. Speed is also
    required for the getaway as they stand there looking very pissed off. As for tin-box propelled
    insults. Its amazing how quiet they go when you pull up at the lights next to them and you've got a
    mad out of breath demonic grin on face, especially when your that close to their tyres, windows,
    paintwork etc. As for peds lobbing stuff at me, they'd need to judge wind speed and velocity to
    actually hit me, I've counted 12 items thrown at me and every one a miss. Artillery material I
    don't think.

    Gadget
     
  9. "Mike Foster" <[email protected]> wrote in message
    news:[email protected]...
    > I don't do anything unusual, or look unusual, when biking so imagine that others may be suffering
    > the same kind of unwanted attention as
    > me. Are you?

    Most serious event recently was a couple of months back as I was cycling through Whitechapel at
    dusk. One of a group of yoofs hanging about on the pavement decided to try and knock me off the bike
    by kicking a football at me as hard as possible. I wasn't dawdling at the time and if I'd come off I
    would have hurt myself badly. Fortunately he was crap and missed by yards. Furious, I stopped
    immediately, but managed to control myself and simply laughed at him ("Nice shot - do play for West
    Ham?" - not very witty, but one of the most deeply offensive things you can say around here ;-).

    By this time, the ball, having bounced off a wall on the other side of the road, was rolling back
    towards me. As I picked up the ball and rode off I felt a warm glow of civic responsibility having
    disarmed these irresponsible and dangerous hooligans.

    Mat
     
  10. Neil

    Neil Guest

    > Any advice/views?
    >

    Hello all,

    De -lurking for a while I'll tell what happened to me once a couple of years ago.

    Cycling along through Leicester, late middle aged woman was crossing the road in front of me, a good
    distance away, and got to the pavement, however, when I got level, she very deliberately took two
    steps backwards into the road. Low speed collision but splat, her, me, and shopping everywhere. A
    big crowd of angry shoppers encircled us as she was actually spitting blood at me, I think she had a
    tooth knocked out, and hurling abuse, and I thought I was going to get lynched! I asked someone to
    ring the Police, she was shouting to get the Police. The Police arrived and all the time until then,
    this lady was shouting 'My brother's a Solicitor, I'm going to sue you'. Some of the spectators
    became sympathetic with me after I stood there shocked for some time - some had told me to clear off
    before the Police arrived even! After some waiting around, the Policeman asked me if I was OK and if
    I could get home OK - apparently she'd said to the Policeman, 'cause he then told me, 'My son's a
    solicitor, I'm taking that lad to court and sue him' and to the Ambulancemen 'I think I can really
    make some money out of this one, my cousin's a solicitor'.
     
  11. Dave Kahn

    Dave Kahn Guest

  12. Geraint Jones <[email protected]> wrote:
    >It was only after they finally passed me and got away that it became dark enough to notice in a
    >backward glance that my rear light had gone out.

    LED taillights are cheap and light and don't eat batteries - mount two.
    --
    David Damerell <[email protected]> Kill the tomato!
     
  13. dannyfrankszzz

    dannyfrankszzz New Member

    Joined:
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    Interesting that you made this post as I have experienced similar problems in certain parts of London. My theory is that it's just part of the yob culture now where it's considered necessary amongst youths to be rude and aggressive. Part of the modern culture unfortunately. The other day I was cycling past a bus and some kid threw some water from the top of the bus narrowly missing me. It could have caused me to fall off my bike and damage myself although fortunately it wasn't the case.
     
  14. Dave

    Dave Guest

    "Mike Foster" <[email protected]> wrote in message
    news:[email protected]...
    > Hi all
    >
    > I travel direct routes through Brixton down to the Croydon area and every week seem to get hassle
    > from rather psychotic pedestrians - far more so than from cars etc.
    >
    > Usually this takes the form of pedestrians aged 12-20 suddenly barking at me VERY loudly with the
    > aim of unsettling me (they seem to love doing it, usually when with their friends). On other
    > occasions it's more severe, for example near Streatham Common about three weeks ago a lanky chap
    > was walking towards me in the cycle lane and really threw himself at me!
    >
    > I don't do anything unusual, or look unusual, when biking so imagine that others may be suffering
    > the same kind of unwanted attention as
    > me. Are you? Any theories you've got would be greatly appreciated, not least because I'm into all
    > my sociology/psychology stuff! More importantly, I'd like to know if screaming back at them
    > is a good bet
    > - I do it sometimes, but usually only to those smaller than me ;-)
    >
    > I bike because I don't like a world crammed full of cars. Ideally I'd like a world where most
    > people were pedestrians, because I reckon the world would be a happier place (more localistation,
    > less accidents, less pollution, more human contact, less big business etc). Accordingly, it
    > frustrates me a bit to see those pedestrians - who I've elevated to the top of my 'kudos pile' -
    > acting like such idiots.
    >
    > Any advice/views?
    >
    > Mike

    I think it's got a lot to do with the cloak of invisibility that cyclist inherintly don every time
    they get 'onabike'.... The peds aren't actually picking on you, they just do these things to
    entertain themselves...they can't see you. Next time you are out, not on the bike, look around.
    You'll see them doing these things with not a cyclist in sight. It's just statistically you
    occassionally happen to be cycling by them when they do it ;-) cheers, Dave.
     
  15. Frank

    Frank Guest

    "Dave" <[email protected]> wrote in message
    news:[email protected]...
    >
    > I think it's got a lot to do with the cloak of invisibility that cyclist inherintly don every time
    > they get 'onabike'.... The peds aren't actually picking on you, they just do these things to
    > entertain themselves...they can't see you. Next time you are out, not on the bike, look around.
    > You'll see them doing these things with not a cyclist in sight. It's just statistically you
    > occassionally happen to be cycling by them when they do
    it
    > ;-)

    I think the truth is they can't hear you.
     
  16. Dave Kahn

    Dave Kahn Guest

    "Gadget" <[email protected]> wrote in message
    news:<[email protected]>...

    > As for peds lobbing stuff at me, they'd need to judge wind speed and velocity to actually hit me,
    > I've counted 12 items thrown at me and every one a miss. Artillery material I don't think.

    During the last heavy snowfall I had a barrage of snowballs whizz by my ears as I rode past a
    school. This was actually funny, especially as they missed. The worst throwing incident I've ever
    had was several years ago now when descending a North London hill very fast. As I passed a group of
    schoolboys on the pavement one of them took careful and deliberate aim with a piece of branch and
    tried to hurl it into my front wheel. It was on target but bounced off the spokes. Had it gone
    through I would have been a hospital case at least.

    --
    Dave...
     
  17. Tony Raven

    Tony Raven Guest

    Neil <[email protected]> wrote:

    > apparently she'd said to the Policeman, 'cause he then told me, 'My son's a solicitor, I'm taking
    > that lad to court and sue him' and to the Ambulancemen 'I think I can really make some money out
    > of this one, my cousin's a solicitor'.

    There was a bus "accident" staged in IIRC New York which was followed by a rush of people getting on
    the bus so as to be able to sue the bus company for their "injuries".

    Tony

    --
    http://www.raven-family.com

    "All truth goes through three steps: First, it is ridiculed. Second, it is violently opposed.
    Finally, it is accepted as self-evident." Arthur Schopenhauer
     
  18. Tony Raven

    Tony Raven Guest

    Gadget <[email protected]> wrote:

    > Speed is also required for the getaway as they stand there looking very pissed off.

    As is the knowledge that you don't go that way on a regular basis ;-)

    >
    > As for peds lobbing stuff at me, they'd need to judge wind speed and velocity to actually hit me,
    > I've counted 12 items thrown at me and every one a miss. Artillery material I don't think.
    >

    I did my cycling appreticeship in Manchester Moss Side in the early 70's. Most jouirneys in the
    evening were enlivened by the odd flying brick but they never connected.

    Tony

    --
    http://www.raven-family.com

    "All truth goes through three steps: First, it is ridiculed. Second, it is violently opposed.
    Finally, it is accepted as self-evident." Arthur Schopenhauer
     
  19. Nick Kew

    Nick Kew Guest

    In article <[email protected]>, one of infinite monkeys at the keyboard of
    "Adrian Boliston" <[email protected]> wrote:

    > There should be an official list of witty retorts like this published somewhere!

    Premeditated != witty

    Just amuse yourself with the anecdotes of the genuinely witty .. WS Gilbert, Oscar Wilde, Groucho
    Marx, ... and savour it when you think of one at the time, rather than later:)

    --
    Axis of Evil: Whose economy needs ever more wars? Arms Exports $bn: USA 14.2, UK 5.1, vs France 1.5,
    Germany 0.8 (The Economist, July 2002)
     
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