What To Do About Jerk Drivers?

Discussion in 'Road Cycling' started by CyclingDrake25, Oct 19, 2015.

  1. CyclingDrake25

    CyclingDrake25 New Member

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    Hey guys,

    So I made this account for this one question. I am 17 years old I live in a suburb to Dallas, Texas and I wanted to get a cheap road bike to get around with. I only travel about 10 minutes away by bike at a time, so not far at all. I have cycled through the streets of Chicago and it was a great experience overall, no problems. I have found that cars in this area are absolute assholes to cyclists. Every single time I have gone out on my bike, maybe 20 times in all now, I have had a car get within a foot of me, or drive up on my ass honking their horn. I am riding down two lane streets, keeping to the right. I don't even take left turns, I do a box style turn when I get to intersections.

    The past two rides have been the worst. Today I had a woman LITERALLY a foot away from my bike behind me honking her horn for a good 3 minutes while I rode. I was going as fast as I could and keeping right but she was way too stubborn. I had to pull off to the sidewalk after to process what the hell just happened. Then the last time before that I cycled, I had a guy switch lanes into my lane the second I pulled out onto the street without using his blinker. He flies less than a foot to my side, to where if I had even slightly raised my arm I would have broken my arm. He was going maybe 35 miles per hour, probably faster.

    What do I do? I am a confident rider, I use hand signals, I keep right. I just am tired of going out and worrying that a car will get too close to me and hit me or that an asshole will blow my eardrums out with their horn.'

    Thank you!
     
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  2. BikeBikeBikeBike

    BikeBikeBikeBike Well-Known Member

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    Sounds like they don't like bikes down in Dallas.
    What can you do but be safe and keep your wits about you, perhaps make your way to a more enlightened part of your country (extra points go to anyone who can identify the movie I stole that from.)
     
  3. CAMPYBOB

    CAMPYBOB Well-Known Member

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    "I live in a suburb to Dallas, Texas"

    I found your problem.

    Tejas drivers.

    Shot them in the face. The word will spread.

    J/K

    Sorta.
     
  4. pwarbi

    pwarbi Well-Known Member

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    In most major cities it's the irate car drivers that are the biggest problem for cyclists and the problem seems to be getting worse not better.

    Filming them and putting them on YouTube, name and shame them seems to be coming quite popular these days. Might not make a difference but it makes me feel better!
     
  5. Susimi

    Susimi Well-Known Member

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    I'd agree with pwarbi.

    Keep a camera on you recording while you're riding and if you encounter any idiots in cars just upload the footage onto Youtube. It may not help the situation at the time but at least you have the last laugh.

    The only things you can do is to keep doing what you're doing. Ride safely, keep your wits about you and if you get another person like that woman behind you then put some plugs in your ears and keep riding, although I feel dropping a load of nails from your pocket might feel more satisfying.

    Stay safe out there!
     
  6. Mr. Beanz

    Mr. Beanz Well-Known Member

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    On a 10 minute ride?! :eek:

    I'll just stay the heck away from Texas myself! :lol:
     
  7. andrew787

    andrew787 New Member

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    Same thing happens to me in NC occasionally but it's rare. Hold your ground when safe, don't be afraid to start a fight. I'm never afraid to get into a screaming match. The other day some rude lady on a trail wanted to get into a screaming match with me and I didn't back down. At the end I told her "I don't care that you're a lady, I will kick your teeth in"
     
  8. CAMPYBOB

    CAMPYBOB Well-Known Member

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    Quote by Andrew:
    "I'm never afraid to get into a screaming match."

    Pro Tip: A whole lot of folks have a firearm on them these days and very little to lose if they get riled up enough to wax your Lycra-clad self. NC is home to a whole lot of good ol' boys. Good ol' boys often pack a firearm in that pickup truck / sport-ute and have been known to drink a lot before, during and after driving. That's a bad combination for a cyclist to scream at from the roadside.

    Just sayin'.
     
  9. jhuskey

    jhuskey Moderator

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    and you will never know if you won the argument.
     
  10. andrew787

    andrew787 New Member

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    I'm not afraid of "good ole boys" where I am but I am scared of Gang members at night, which I why I don't get into screaming matches at night, especially with men/teens riding 4 to a car.
     
  11. kmars

    kmars New Member

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    My only suggestion is that you ride where there is less traffic. If it is that you just generally ride in order to go to the supermarket or take care of business, then the traffic situation just can't be helped. But understand that there are so many inconsiderate drivers on the road and we just have to make sure that we look out for ourselves.
     
  12. moneyman

    moneyman Member

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    There isn't actually much you can do to them (at least legally). I am not that type person which gets easily mad and I have patience to the certain limit so I just deal with them. In addition wherever you go there are always some jerks so it doesn't matter what you do someone is always going to be upset.
     
  13. Corzhens

    Corzhens Well-Known Member

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    With your experience, I guess this thread's title is very apt. Truly those drivers are jerks. I'm quite surprised by this thread because I thought all along that drivers here are the most discourteous. But I still have to experience a driver taunting a rider for some minutes as if trying to push the bike. And that hoking of the horn? That is tantamount to cursing so it that happens here, it would probably result in an altercation where the rider would intentionally block the path of the car to pick a fight.
     
  14. Mr. Beanz

    Mr. Beanz Well-Known Member

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    I'm wondering if these are smaller guys that complain about these types of situations. Honestly I have never had anybody sit on my wheel and honk or shout negative things at me. But being 6'1 and 240 may be a bit of a deterrent of harassing people. :D
     
  15. jhuskey

    jhuskey Moderator

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    Me either. I have had drive by shoutings but it has been a long time and all those were young stupid punks driving at high speed.
     
  16. maydog

    maydog Well-Known Member

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    No.

    I get harassed even when I am sporting the sleeveless jersey showing off the "guns". Size on a bike doesn't matter much to someone in a 2 ton metal chariot powered by the rapid sequencing of controlled incendiary explosions.
     
  17. tumblecycle

    tumblecycle New Member

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    If I'm riding in traffic and somebody is being dangerous (such as being too close) or is harassing me (like yelling), I'll take the lane and just stay there for a while until I feel comfortable going back closer to the curb. You should always take as much space as you feel you need to be safe.

    If I catch up to the offending car while they're at a stoplight, I will definitely pull up in front of them and be sure to take the (entire) lane for a good minute or so. The honking sounds so good.

    Other than that an airhorn isn't a bad idea, and if you have a gopro or something like that mounted on your helmet you can catch and report license plates.
     
  18. CyclingDrake25

    CyclingDrake25 New Member

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    UPDATE: So today, I decided to take a different route that would increase my trip time by 5 minutes but allow a more comfortable ride. A very short amount of this trip is on a sidewalk but it all worked out very comfortably. Then I go to cross using a sidewalk, car forgets that I have the walk, flies in front of me, I swerve into the curb to prevent myself from dying, bike tire breaks, car drives off, I have to walk several miles home carrying a broken bike. God not being in a car in Texas where 70% of the people are rednecks in giant trucks who think they run the world sucks.
     
  19. Mr. Beanz

    Mr. Beanz Well-Known Member

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    So do you ride on the sidewalk then go into the street off and on? I know I myself have a hard time when riders do this, it's hard to see them coming at times when they do not ride on the road acting as part of the traffic.

    On tonight's ride, the traffic was very courteous to us as usual. We act as traffic thought with lights and all. We signal our turns , make complete stops etc.

    I saw a guy coming down the road blowing all the 4 way stops without any lights. It made me think about this topic and how even myself, I hate when cyclist ride like wild men and do things that are not only dangerous to themselves but also the drivers.

    Made me wonder how you ride and now that you mention sidewalks......... :huh:
     
  20. CyclingDrake25

    CyclingDrake25 New Member

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    No I don't switch from sidewalk to street. I am on the street the whole way except for when I actually arrive on the final street before my destination, I will ride the sidewalk down that street while before I cycled the street. It isn't significant. I am an EXTREMELY safe rider. I won't weave through cars, I don't turn left, I basically am just a bicycle glued to the side of the road, cycling my little heart out to avoid all the demon drivers.
     
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