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How Do You Deal With Harassment?

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How Do You Deal With Harassment?

Old 08-02-19, 03:41 PM
  #26  
Dingman
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Originally Posted by Brocephus View Post
I'm just posting this anecdotally, not as an endorsement or anything, but years ago I was reading a similar thread on another bike forum, and a guy said he was having serious problems with some jerk in a car. So at some point he caught up with the guy at an intersection, and as he was slowly riding by, he hammer-fisted the guys windshield, and busted it ! He said that there are two 'sweet spots', or weak points on a windshield, (at the 1/3 points) where a hard blow can break the window.
I've never tested this myself, but I did commit it to memory !
Sounds like a good way to break your hand, IMO.
And shortly thereafter, I suspect the police would be looking for you.

I don't agree with this option.
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Old 08-02-19, 03:49 PM
  #27  
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Originally Posted by Dingman View Post
Sounds like a good way to break your hand, IMO.
And shortly thereafter, I suspect the police would be looking for you.

I don't agree with this option.
No one suggested actually trying this, as I said, I read it years ago in a similar thread, and posted it here just conversationally. Try not to have an aneurism.
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Old 08-03-19, 02:29 AM
  #28  
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I'm not proud of this behavior, and don't recommend it to anyone sane, but I just explode verbally and with gestures at people who do this, including screaming, spitting, balling up my fists, and just looking as demented as I can. It's actually been pretty effective at completely intimidating the idiots who have initiated the interaction. It's calculated behavior on my part, I feel like the risk I'm taking on doing this is worth it if it's making some of these people reluctant to try it on someone else.

Probably coincidence, but since I started doing this, I've been getting harassed a lot less.

Don't bother telling me that this isn't a good idea. I'm aware someone might be nutty enough to use the vehicle as a weapon, but what I noticed is that most of these people seem to be more worried I'm going to break something on their car.
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Old 08-03-19, 04:24 AM
  #29  
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Originally Posted by AlmostTrick View Post
I get angry for a bit and then quickly remind myself of the much larger percentage of motorists who safely and quietly interacted with me on my ride.

Ignoring the harassers is the best. They are upset and hoping to get you upset. Don't give them the satisfaction.
I appreciate the risks involved, on the instant something occurs. At that moment, right then and there on the side of the road, it's hard to support "lashing out" or "retaliation" or any such ill-considered action. However ...

Ignoring things, though, doesn't alter behavior in the future, nor does it fix the problem.

In the long run, only disincentivizing harassment and assault is what'll change things. One perpetrator at a time, if need be, but overall as a community.

Education. Stiffer instruction during driver's education study. Better signage. Better patrolling. Stiffer fines and penalties. An easier process to level charges through the city's enforcement mechanisms. Changing attitudes among the City Council and Police members with regard to documented evidence people bring of actual examples of such behavior. And severely holding such nay-saying "officials" and towns accountable for when dire things do occur but where they've got a long documented history of doing nothing.

Isn't nice. Isn't neat. Isn't perfect. But it'll work. In the long run.

I have a hard time seeing how ignoring things ever would.

Last edited by Clyde1820; 08-04-19 at 01:14 AM. Reason: spelling
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Old 08-03-19, 06:34 AM
  #30  
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Originally Posted by livedarklions View Post
I'm not proud of this behavior, and don't recommend it to anyone sane, but I just explode verbally and with gestures at people who do this, including screaming, spitting, balling up my fists, and just looking as demented as I can. It's actually been pretty effective at completely intimidating the idiots who have initiated the interaction. It's calculated behavior on my part, I feel like the risk I'm taking on doing this is worth it if it's making some of these people reluctant to try it on someone else.

Probably coincidence, but since I started doing this, I've been getting harassed a lot less.

Don't bother telling me that this isn't a good idea. I'm aware someone might be nutty enough to use the vehicle as a weapon, but what I noticed is that most of these people seem to be more worried I'm going to break something on their car.
Interesting psychology here, and it reminds me of one from years ago. I was getting close to home after a long ride, and passed a little T-intersection out in the country around here, and there was a white Toyota pick-up truck with 2 guys in it, that looked to be about high school seniors, at the stop sign as I passed by in front of them. I was dressed like a typical cyclist, with some brightly colored Nalini Euro-team stuff on, and one of them yelled something that rhymes with "faa-gut".
Well, I normally would've laughed it off and kept riding, but for some reason, I just wasn't in the mood to take any crap, so without thinking, I whipped the bike around, sat up in the saddle, riding back towards them, and held my hands up as if to say, "What, you got a problem? Well here I am".
Kinda surprisingly, they stomped the gas and beat feet up the road, without a word or a middle finger out the window, or anything.
Probably not my swiftest move, because that could've gone very differently !
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Old 08-03-19, 06:43 AM
  #31  
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Originally Posted by Brocephus View Post
I a white Toyota pick-up truck with 2 guys in it, that looked to be about high school seniors ...
Negative interactions with motorists are very rare where I ride. But every once in a while I'll get some kind of yelling and it's always from young males. Having been one those myself many years ago, I just find it amusing.
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Old 08-03-19, 06:44 AM
  #32  
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Yeah, I just think to myself "insecure much?"
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Old 08-03-19, 08:06 AM
  #33  
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One time, traffic was at a standstill on the opposite side of the road, in the other direction, but not in the lane I was in. It was a downhill, and I was going fast. Yet, the truck driver behind me still decided to blare on their horn at me as they passed, once I moved over when it was safe to do so, without potholes. Meanwhile, no one else was honking in the other lane at any other vehicle, when they were the ones stuck in standstill traffic.

Yes, honk at the cyclist who's the only one keeping traffic moving. That makes sense. Not.
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Old 08-03-19, 08:35 AM
  #34  
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Yeah, it seems like pick-up truck guys are always the most annoyed at having to slow down for 5 whole seconds, or move half a lane to the left. The vast majority of any aggressive/hostile attitude I've seen, has been from pick-up truck drivers. I've long been convinced there's something peculiar in the psyche of guys that are attracted to big pick-up trucks.
They also love to show their displeasure by stomping the gas as they go by, hitting you with a blast of exhaust and that big scary engine sound (while probably sucking up a dollar's worth of gas in their 10-second tantrum!).
I see this routinely, and I mostly ride on rural roads, on a 1-2 foot paved shoulder, doing my absolute best not to obstruct what little traffic is going around me. (if I do find I'm at all impeding traffic, I have no problem pulling over and waving them around, unlike some cyclists I run across when driving).
I've observed for years that the most oblivious, selfish, inconsiderate jerks on the road, tend to be guys driving big, macho pick-up trucks. And about 98% of the time, they have no clue how their turn signal works.

Last edited by Brocephus; 08-03-19 at 08:40 AM.
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Old 08-03-19, 08:37 AM
  #35  
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Human nature. Just like how when you're driving in heavy traffic, if someone sees a gap in traffic start to close, they feel obligated to try to squeeze in at the last second. Even if they have absolutely no need to be there. They don't want to get "left out".

And how when you're on your bike, people actually speed up in order to position themselves so they can squeeze you off the road, such as when another vehicle is approaching from the opposite direction on a narrow road.

Self driving cars? How could they possibly be any worse than moody selfish humans, whose driving decisions are mainly made by emotion vs. logic?
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Old 08-03-19, 09:03 AM
  #36  
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Originally Posted by Brocephus View Post
Yeah, it seems like pick-up truck guys are always the most annoyed at having to slow down for 5 whole seconds, or move half a lane to the left........
Yes, the other day, I've encountered a pickup truck driver who was road raging against somebody. I don't know who.

I guess he was complaining about having a hard time making his right turn. Then when he did, he went to the left turn lane only to go straight when the light turn green to cut off the traffic next to him.

Later on when I caught up with him, he yelled out something that included "b*tch". Was he screaming at the girl riding her bike in front of me? Was he yelling at me? Who was he upset this time?

Good thing this street had a protected bike lane.

Last edited by Daniel4; 08-03-19 at 03:22 PM.
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Old 08-03-19, 09:08 AM
  #37  
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Originally Posted by Lemond1985 View Post

And how when you're on your bike, people actually speed up in order to position themselves so they can squeeze you off the road, such as when another vehicle is approaching from the opposite direction on a narrow road.
Yes, I can't tell you how many times I've been squeezed in a 3-in-a-row situation.

That's when the you're approaching a parked car and the car behind you is so impatient to pass you, the timing is always so perfect you're always in-line.

4-in-a-row occurs when there's a car coming from the opposite direction but the car behind you still tries to pass you even when there's no room.
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Old 08-03-19, 09:15 AM
  #38  
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Originally Posted by anon06 View Post
One time, traffic was at a standstill on the opposite side of the road, in the other direction, but not in the lane I was in. It was a downhill, and I was going fast. Yet, the truck driver behind me still decided to blare on their horn at me as they passed, once I moved over when it was safe to do so, without potholes. Meanwhile, no one else was honking in the other lane at any other vehicle, when they were the ones stuck in standstill traffic.

Yes, honk at the cyclist who's the only one keeping traffic moving. That makes sense. Not.
If you take the lane, one of the risks is being run over.

If you move over to the side, one of the risks is being run over.

Removing the common factor, we have
1) taking the lane and being part of traffic;
or
2) moving over and encouraging road bullying is an acceptable practice.

One other thing I do is to regularly spit a gob to the left side.
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Old 08-03-19, 09:20 AM
  #39  
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Apparently the answer to the OP's question has become -whine about motorists, with no advocacy or safety content.

I doubt that the OP's city council nor his local bicycle advocacy group will take much heed to a whinefest consisting of anecdotes about motorist behavior that resulted in no harm or threat to anyone.
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Old 08-03-19, 10:31 AM
  #40  
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Originally Posted by I-Like-To-Bike View Post
Apparently the answer to the OP's question has become -whine about motorists, with no advocacy or safety content.

I doubt that the OP's city council nor his local bicycle advocacy group will take much heed to a whinefest consisting of anecdotes about motorist behavior that resulted in no harm or threat to anyone.
On behalf of everyone, I sincerely and humbly apologize for your having been offended by random (but completely on topic) discussion taking place......on a discussion board !!!
Oh the humanity !
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Old 08-03-19, 12:12 PM
  #41  
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Originally Posted by Brocephus View Post
I'm just posting this anecdotally, not as an endorsement or anything, but years ago I was reading a similar thread on another bike forum, and a guy said he was having serious problems with some jerk in a car. So at some point he caught up with the guy at an intersection, and as he was slowly riding by, he hammer-fisted the guys windshield, and busted it ! He said that there are two 'sweet spots', or weak points on a windshield, (at the 1/3 points) where a hard blow can break the window.
I've never tested this myself, but I did commit it to memory !
Broken ceramic shards like the ones you find in an old spark plug work a lot better, though I'm not condoning this. You don't respond to negligence by damaging someone's property.
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Old 08-03-19, 01:00 PM
  #42  
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Originally Posted by JW Fas View Post
....... You don't respond to negligence by damaging someone's property.
Again....I wasn't suggesting, advocating, recommending, endorsing, anyone doing this, I was merely posting it conversationally, as a peripherally-related, 3rd hand, anecdote. And, as best I recall in the original story, the guy that got the busted window wasn't merely being negligent or inconsiderate, I believe he had gotten into the realm of "assault with a deadly weapon", and he was fully deserving of it, and got off light with only a busted window.
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Old 08-03-19, 01:27 PM
  #43  
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Originally Posted by MattTheHat View Post
That sounds more egregious than a close pass. It's probably a good thing that her significant other wasn't around to witness it.


-Matt
I agree. I seriously thought she was either going to run me over from behind or swerve into me to knock me into the ditch. It was one of the most aggressive experiences I've had. I'm not sure her significant other would be much help, I've seen passengers cower in their seat as the driver goes off the deep end with road rage. Seems like that style of anger reduces the other people in their life to walking on eggshells all the time.
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Old 08-03-19, 02:19 PM
  #44  
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Originally Posted by Brocephus View Post
On behalf of everyone, I sincerely and humbly apologize for your having been offended by random (but completely on topic) discussion taking place......on a discussion board !!!
Oh the humanity !
No problem and no offense taken; posting anecdotes about motorists in traffic and whining about occasional auditory "harassment" apparently is always on topic on A&S.

Making sly "random" references to ignorant responses likely to lead to hostile and possibly violent reactions fit right in on such banal discussions.
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Old 08-03-19, 02:30 PM
  #45  
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Originally Posted by I-Like-To-Bike View Post
No problem and no offense taken; posting anecdotes about motorists in traffic and whining about occasional auditory "harassment" apparently is always on topic on A&S.

Making sly "random" references to ignorant responses likely to lead to hostile and possibly violent reactions fit right in on such banal discussions.
Not ignorant, I know exactly what I am doing. Scaring the crap out of the bullies without saying a single threatening thing. If they choose to escalate it to physical, that's on them. I didn't escalate, I responded in kind.

You might think it's a good idea to passively accept acts of harassment, but it ain't whining when I dish some of it back.
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Old 08-03-19, 02:45 PM
  #46  
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I really only find one kind of harasser out there: The teens in Jeeps. Ok, there are a few other jerks out there too, but really it's the car full of teens goofing off that I am confronted with on at least a third of my rides. Night rides are worse for this, because my lights are more visible, evoke more of a reaction, the cover of darkness emboldens harassers, night times are more "goofing around" time for teens and 20-somethings... a perfect storm.

On the other hand, traffic is minimal at night, so I still feel pretty safe.

Anyway, there's no good way to handle them. I lose my cool once in awhile. I ignore them most of the time. Sometimes they startle me and I stew about it for the next mile or two down the road, but the whole reason they feel emboldened to do this sort of thing is because they rightly recognize that they have the ability to disappear into the road ahead quickly.

A couple of times they've been met with a stop light and I find myself alongside them. And then what? I've tried to engage in a "Why would you do that?" conversation but have never gotten a good answer, mostly because there is no good answer. But usually the window rolls up as I approach, and I'm not inclined to want to start knocking on the window, risking being seen as the aggressor.

Riding in groups, even with one other cyclist helps a little. We're even more the target, sometimes, but at least have each other to complain to for the next mile or so rather than being left alone with our thoughts.

I've fantasized about passing a parking lot a mile down the road and seeing the car there. Only happened once, but again, then what? I don't carry a pencil and paper. I'm not going to vandalize a parked car. Even if I encountered them inside a convenience store, what conversation would I have? "Why would you do that?" I already know there's no good answer to that question.

Nobody much cares. It will keep happening, because there will always be idiots. Idiots existed long before bikes and cars, and we haven't evolved past them continuing to exist. It will always be fun to some cars full of kids to shout incomprehensible things as they pass by at 2x to 3x the speed of the cyclist. Cyclists will always stew about it for the next mile or two down the road.

True road rage incidents are less frequent. I've only experienced two, and only one of them felt the least bit dangerous. They both were over in seconds, and the offending vehicles were gone before I knew what was happening. It's a problem, for sure. One incident is a problem. None would be wonderful. But again, there will always be idiots.

Still we ride... or at least I still do.
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Old 08-03-19, 02:51 PM
  #47  
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Originally Posted by livedarklions View Post
Not ignorant, I know exactly what I am doing. Scaring the crap out of the bullies without saying a single threatening thing. If they choose to escalate it to physical, that's on them. I didn't escalate, I responded in kind.

You might think it's a good idea to passively accept acts of harassment, but it ain't whining when I dish some of it back.
Are you referring to your behavior that you are not proud of and wouldn't recommend for anyone sane?
"I'm not proud of this behavior, and don't recommend it to anyone sane, but I just explode verbally and with gestures at people who do this, including screaming, spitting, balling up my fists, and just looking as demented as I can. "
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Old 08-03-19, 02:52 PM
  #48  
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Take the bull by the horns and make your complaint formal and in writing send it as certified return receipt mail
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Old 08-03-19, 03:45 PM
  #49  
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Originally Posted by Brocephus View Post
Again....I wasn't suggesting, advocating, recommending, endorsing, anyone doing this, I was merely posting it conversationally, as a peripherally-related, 3rd hand, anecdote.
I didn't imply you were. I made my follow-up statement as clarification that I wasn't endorsing the use of broken ceramic since it is certainly more efficient at breaking tempered glass.

Originally Posted by Brocephus View Post
And, as best I recall in the original story, the guy that got the busted window wasn't merely being negligent or inconsiderate, I believe he had gotten into the realm of "assault with a deadly weapon", and he was fully deserving of it, and got off light with only a busted window.
This brings up an interesting point. If you are, in fact, assaulted via vehicle but not physically contacted, there is a gray area on what you can do. If the immediate danger is no longer present, chasing the assailant down and damaging them or their property could incur criminal charges on you in addition to the aggressor.
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Old 08-03-19, 04:34 PM
  #50  
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Originally Posted by I-Like-To-Bike View Post
Are you referring to your behavior that you are not proud of and wouldn't recommend for anyone sane?
"I'm not proud of this behavior, and don't recommend it to anyone sane, but I just explode verbally and with gestures at people who do this, including screaming, spitting, balling up my fists, and just looking as demented as I can. "
Y'know, you're right, I am proud of it and I do recommend it to anyone sane!

I feel much better saying it. Thanks for your encouragement! It's really touching that you cared so much.
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