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How Do You Deal With Harassment?

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How Do You Deal With Harassment?

Old 08-03-19, 04:52 PM
  #51  
billyymc
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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.
Maybe the BS police would be looking for the guy for telling a BS story about breaking a windshield - or any car window - with his fist. Tempered car window glass is strong as hell and a fist won't break it. A fast impact from a small sharp hard object will cause it to crumble, but a fist won't do it.
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Old 08-03-19, 06:44 PM
  #52  
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Road rage man disagrees:

It's just glass laminate, it's not AR500.
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Old 08-03-19, 07:16 PM
  #53  
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Originally Posted by Clyde1820 View Post

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 every would.
I don't disagree. If someone else wants to camera up and dedicate their time to reporting harassers to the authorities I say good for them. Doing that would just add to my stress levels... and frankly I have better things to spend my time on. Better for me to just quickly get over the few incidents I have. And again, 100% ignoring them when you can, is the best way to deny them any satisfaction. I don't even acknowledge that I heard their silly ass.
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Old 08-04-19, 04:24 AM
  #54  
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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.
Do you, yourself have anything positive to add? Or are you just contributing to the noise?

The most safe and sane suggestions seem to be "ignore" or "smile and wave."

You, on the other hand, have offered nothing but criticism. Nice touch.

Yup, I could have ignored you... but instead, I will just smile at your empty gesture.

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Old 08-04-19, 07:25 AM
  #55  
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Op: analyze, moment to moment, how much mental/physical threat you are willing to handle, understanding that the gashole is doing the same. Where are you prepared for this to go? Are you willing to go full physical, whether that means dodging punches, a vehicle, multiple assailants, or neutralizing another human being? Would you do best to disengage?

It is situational with me. Gotta admit, after nearly being clipped on a double yellow, uphill blind portion, just seconds from the stop sign, I was an adrenal-charged, irrational machine of fury, and ready for whoever was in that suv! They even seemed to be waiting.... Then the best thing probably happpened: they chose to drive away....

I have only two choices on this intersection: approach from either end, and though I have had encounters both ways, the other way was less... so I changed route again.

It is frustrating.... It is also better when rethinking outside the moment.... And we live to ride another day....
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Old 08-04-19, 01:22 PM
  #56  
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How Do You Deal With Harassment?
Originally Posted by anon06 View Post
Hi, everyone. I was wondering how all of you manage to deal with being harassed by motorists (i.e. honked at or shouted at to "use the sidewalk"), for not doing anything illegal, but simply by cycling, legally, on the road (sometimes, cycling in the middle of the lane, for safety reasons, due to potholes and unsafe crack on the far side of the road)....

I'm almost tempted to put a sign on my back, in an attempt to educate drivers and, as a way to possibly stop being harassed (because I have no other way-some drivers have their windows closed and others with their windows down drive off quickly after shouting or honking at me, so I'm unable to explain to them that ...

I'm tired of feeling angry at being harrassed for following the rules of the road; I'm tired of letting the harassment ruin my mood, yet, I don't know how I can encourage myself to feel calm and unaffected when it's a serious matter.

How do all of you manage to stay calm and unaffected, while being harassed, often? I've tried being silent and not saying anything to motorists, but that still caused me to feel angry at being treated like this. I don't have the energy or ability to try shouting myself hoarse at every motorist who harasses me, trying to see if they can hear my explanation, as they're farther down the road.

I don't like feeling bitter about being harassed; I know it negatively affects a person's health.

I don't understand why some drivers are so angry at cyclists, simply for existing, some of whom might not be able to afford a car. I've never harassed anyone in public, whether trying to learn how to drive, while walking, or cycling.
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.
Originally Posted by Gresp15C View Post
I've rarely been harassed, but one thing I do is to have a prepared response that's safe and neutral, that I can execute without having to think about it much. I simply slow down.

Very few drivers will slow down to match your speed. If they're ahead of you, then they can yell into the wind all they want. If they slow down too, then they're perceived as the ones who are obstructing traffic -- guess who gets honked at.
Originally Posted by bakerjw View Post
I love it when the passenger yells something behind the anonymity that the door pillar provides. I usually point at my ear and shrug like I didn't hear what they said.

If I catch up to them, I ask politely what they yelled as I didn't catch it. That usually doesn't happen as they'll drive through a wall of fire to get away from a cyclist that catches up to them.

The other is to keep a bit **** eating grin on my face.
Originally Posted by caloso View Post
Smile and wave, boys. Smile and wave.
Originally Posted by I-Like-To-Bike View Post
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.
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.
Threads about harassment are indeed recurrent, and FWIW I have previously posted:
Originally Posted by Jim from Boston View Post
Do you ever confront bad drivers?

How to get the message out? I find threads about what to say to a driver futile, since these are brief, often emotion laden encounters, and often the cyclist makes a bad impression

I have in the past posted about giving “bicyclist curses,” and “bicyclist blessings”; about 5 blessings a day, and about 3 curses a week.
Originally Posted by Jim from Boston View Post
I always think those self-absorbed cagers are only restrained by the thought of scratching their cars, or the hassle of filing police reports.

My only satisfactory retribution is to give them my previously-described Bicyclist Curse. (I repeatedly jab my pointed right index finger in their direction, while shouting an accusatory, ”You, you, you…”). The possibility of metaphysical retribution is more satisfying than the middle finger.

I do also bestow Bicyclist Blessings on drivers who show even a modicum of respect, with a wave of the hand….
Originally Posted by Maelochs View Post
i tell good drivers they will be blessed by the Pope of Boyleston Avenue.
Originally Posted by Jim from Boston View Post
...So, @Maelochs, tell the bad drivers, woe unto them, for they shall be cursed by the Pope of Boylston Street.

*https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Boylston_Street
Just two days ago I posted this other fanciful response: .
Originally Posted by Jim from Boston View Post
For those who use airhorns, in a sudden situation such as car door opening, are you able to react quickly enough to reach and pull the trigger?

An air horn would seem to be more appropriate as an acoustic "middle finger" to motorists who honk or in other ways offend...
Originally Posted by Jim from Boston View Post
“Catching people at stoplight after they aggravate you”

I think that airzounds could be a really great response to a cager since it would be so unexpected, compared to insults and obscenities.

It would be really cool if it came in obnoxious sounds, like flatulence, or "rasberries." I have seen such noise makers in joke shops, but I wonder if they would be loud enough. Pthftttt.

Last edited by Jim from Boston; 08-04-19 at 03:22 PM. Reason: Added quote by Maelochs
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Old 08-04-19, 01:45 PM
  #57  
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Originally Posted by Brocephus View Post
I've found that it's a good idea to avoid the county roads anywhere near the local high school, around the time school lets out. Those hormonal bastages are like prisoners after a jailbreak, and are quick to yell insults, and even toss plastic drink bottles, and they have no concern with giving the cyclist some elbow room. It's best just to not be in the vicitinty around 3:00 p.m.
The students can be a pain in the neck too.

Last edited by Gresp15C; 08-04-19 at 02:06 PM.
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Old 08-04-19, 03:59 PM
  #58  
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Im 81 and have ridden my bikes here in Nebr all my life. I dont ever remember of being harassed. The only harassment I ever got was from my friends that golfed. They rode their golf carts and got very little exercise. They are now all stove up and cant play golf anymore. In the mean time at 81 I still ride approx 25 miles every other day. If you set you rust.

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Old 08-04-19, 04:48 PM
  #59  
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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.
"Whinefest"? Other countries, like the Netherlands, who have a significant cycling population and dedicate themselves to educating everyone about having respect for pedestrians and cyclists don't have this problem (like there is in the U.S.) of being harassed, just for cycling. They have heavier penalties for motorists for hitting cyclists, as well.

And the Netherlands used to be a more "auto-centric" country. But, thanks to the groups of people who cared to complain and protest in the 70s, where many people, including children, were being hit by vehicles, it helped change their country.

So, it shows that it's not common, all around the world, for all drivers to act arrogant.

I've read that this is one reason why more women don't cycle: they fear being harassed. Now, I understand what they're talking about.

American drivers can learn to mind their own business, rather than feeling as though they know everything about what other people should do, as though they have the right to harass cyclists and tell them to ride on the sidewalk when they're not a cyclists and don't know anything about how unsafe that is or why the person is cycling in a certain way on the road (i.e. in the middle of the lane to avoid dangerous potholes and cracks).

It's ridiculous that these drivers think they know everything when they don't, despite driving on old roads with potholes. Good for them if they don't care if their tires get punctured, but some of us do care, as it can get expensive, having to constantly replace them.

"Whinefest"? I've heard plenty of locals whine for years and complain about other people who are different (saying that they don't belong here), who move there from other parts of the country, LGBT+ people, etc.

Where I live has one of the highest rates of pedestrian and cycling fatalities in the country, due to motorists. It might seem like nothing to others who don't live here, but it is a serious issue that the state cycling group and others who cycle here, take seriously, attending vigils for cyclists and pedestrians killed on the roads, every year. It's also why they ride together and drive to certain parks with bicycle paths, trails, etc. and advise others that they can cycle on a military, where they know there won't be drivers.

However, cycle commuters have to deal with drivers.

I have no way of knowing whether a local might decide to purposely hit me with their vehicle, just because they can tell I'm "different" from them and wasn't born here, am not politically like them, etc. (Yes, I've overheard them laugh about gay people and make a racist and political joke about those who aren't like them). There's many who carry weapons around here, too.

If locals acted respectful of others and responsible adults, rather than angrily honking their horns at drivers and cyclists just for being slower than the speed limit (seemingly like impatient, spoiled brats because it's not as though it's the end of the world if someone is a bit slower: others can still pass them; traffic is a lot worse, elsewhere, in larger cities), then I wouldn't have anything to worry about.

So, it's no big deal for drivers to honk their horns and harass a child for cycling, too?

I've tried not reacting to drivers, who were honking, but that hasn't helped. Now, it seems they've resorted to shouting at me because I wasn't reacting to their honking. I don't know. Maybe, they're assuming I'm an ignorant child on a bicycle who needs to be told what to do.

I've read other cyclists point out that drivers' sudden honking can surprise a cyclist and cause them to loose control of their bike. I've jumped a few times, too, because I wasn't expecting it, but, luckily, I didn't lose control of my bike, because I've ridden for many years.

This is a safety issue; I don't harass other drivers or ring my bell at them, as though I'm angry with them, even though I see them not follow road rules.

Some states and places have laws where motorists aren't allowed to do these types of things to pedestrians and cyclists because it's that serious of an issue.

I've been a passenger in a vehicle when it was hit by another driver, who missed their turn and decided to quickly turn into the wrong lane. I wound up with a concussion that made my head ache for at least a week (concussions aren't "nothing;" they're serious). My parents' vehicle (which was a bright, different color that most drivers don't have) was hit around 3 times in nearly two years, by other, speeding drivers, who were at fault; the car became totaled by the last accident. They'd never been hit that many times, in all my father's years of driving.

Drivers, here, are the "whiny" ones who act entitled, just because there are others who aren't as fast as them. They don't have to speed and honk at others, just for being slower: they can chill and pass them without comment.

Yeah. It's "whiny" to care about being hit by impatient drivers when I and one of my parents was injured by their driving. Sure.

Last edited by anon06; 08-04-19 at 05:30 PM.
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Old 08-04-19, 05:03 PM
  #60  
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Originally Posted by rydabent View Post
Im 81 and have ridden my bikes here in Nebr all my life. I dont ever remember of being harassed.
Probably depends on how inclusive the term harassment is for including any and every possible annoying motorist (or pedestrian) behavior a bicyclist might experience or how frequently; also on how much they choose to extrapolate a rude catcall or equivalent into a threat of bodily injury.

It is obvious that some posters go in to a tizzy and recall any and every slight and demand a police crackdown on motorists who annoy cyclists with verbal stupidity, and play the victim card when they have had their right to ride blissfully in traffic without a care in the world disturbed.
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Old 08-04-19, 05:35 PM
  #61  
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Originally Posted by rydabent View Post
Im 81 and have ridden my bikes here in Nebr all my life. I dont ever remember of being harassed. The only harassment I ever got was from my friends that golfed. They rode their golf carts and got very little exercise. They are now all stove up and can play golf anymore. In the mean time at 81 I still ride approx 25 miles every other day. If you set you rust.
Hey, that's really cool that you're still cycling at that age! I've hoped I can do that, too, but I wasn't sure if I would be able to because my older relatives who are younger than that have/had a lot of medical issues, surgeries, body aches and pains, etc.

Oh, yeah, I forgot to mention: a driver crashed into the neighbor's mailbox the other day, two doors away, and the vehicle ended up in our front yard. Last year, another driver hit one of our neighbor's mailboxes. And another driver crashed into our mailbox, in another place (even though the road was wide).

These things never used to happen in any of the other places I'd grown up (drivers crashing into our or neighbor's mailboxes, which are not in the road; my parent's vehicle being crashed into), and we lived in many different places. But, yeah, I'm being concerned for no reason, apparently.

Just like I've "whined" about how inconsiderate neighbors let their dogs loose and don't seem to care whether someone else gets bitten by their dog (despite local news reports of children and adults being bitten and dying from loose dogs who've bitten and attacked them). It's totally great to be bitten and worry for several weeks about being permanently disabled for life, having only one arm. It's no big deal that the dog owner chose not to pay for what their dog did and left my family with the expensive medical bill.

(My mother told me, at 5 years old, to never let our dog loose because it was dangerous for other people and rude; I don't understand why many older adults who own dogs and let them loose don't seem to care whether their dog might bite and kill someone).

Boy, cyclists in the Netherlands are so lucky not to have to deal with drivers harassing them, thinking they know everything. But, unfortunately, I can't live there.

So, if being concerned about road rage drivers becoming more aggressive and petty (and possibly trying to injure a cyclist because they feel that the cyclist has been disobeying their order to "use the sidewalk" several times or is wrong for being in the middle of the lane) just because a cyclist is in the road, legally, and trying to avoid getting a flat tire, etc. is being "whiny," does this mean that women who are concerned about their safety are being "whiny," too? Or is it only considered to be "whiny" if one is presumed to be male?

Last edited by anon06; 08-04-19 at 06:45 PM.
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Old 08-04-19, 06:41 PM
  #62  
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I personally act completely mental and if there's even a chance, try to force eye contact. That being said 90% of the motorists I am subjected to are nice or at least OK. I'm also a very confrontational person so maybe don't take anything I say as advice, but lots of people don't like eye contact after they act in a passive-aggressive manner, and get visibly shaken. Maybe it makes them think twice.

I should say, I only wig out if whatever said motorist did put either of us in danger. If it's just honking the horn once or twice I don't care. People's bark is most of the time worse than their bite.

Last edited by Awl; 08-04-19 at 07:08 PM. Reason: ammendment on second paragraph
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Old 08-04-19, 06:52 PM
  #63  
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Originally Posted by anon06 View Post
Trying to do something by contacting the town and a state cycling advocacy group, feels a bit better than just fuming about it at home all the time, feeling helpless. If nothing happens, fine; that's typical and expected. If something does, great.

But I really hope that the situation doesn't become worse, with a driver(s) becoming so angry from assuming that I'm doing something wrong and illegal when I'm not, that they might purposely decide to hit me or graze me with their vehicle, pull out a weapon, etc.
Definitely contact people. You'll never know if it'll work until you find out.

As for the harassment; Sweetie, they don't care if cycling is legal or not, you're just a convenient target for their ambient rage. Feel sorry for them being stuck in their bank's gas-guzzling money pits, unable to enjoy the scenery or the feeling of moving along under your own power. I second the "smile and wave" response.
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Old 08-04-19, 07:02 PM
  #64  
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I guess some people, like me, are more concerned when witnessing angry drivers shouting and honking at me and others, because we've already experienced witnessing angry people who aren't driving decide to escalate their behavior and become more abusive, more willing to physically injure another person, just for having a different opinion than the other person, being different, etc.

Last edited by anon06; 08-04-19 at 07:13 PM.
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Old 08-04-19, 07:39 PM
  #65  
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Originally Posted by anon06 View Post
Hey, that's really cool that you're still cycling at that age! I've hoped I can do that, too, but I wasn't sure if I would be able to because my older relatives who are younger than that have/had a lot of medical issues, surgeries, body aches and pains, etc.

Oh, yeah, I forgot to mention: a driver crashed into the neighbor's mailbox the other day, two doors away, and the vehicle ended up in our front yard. Last year, another driver hit one of our neighbor's mailboxes. And another driver crashed into our mailbox, in another place (even though the road was wide).

These things never used to happen in any of the other places I'd grown up (drivers crashing into our or neighbor's mailboxes, which are not in the road; my parent's vehicle being crashed into), and we lived in many different places. But, yeah, I'm being concerned for no reason, apparently.

Just like I've "whined" about how inconsiderate neighbors let their dogs loose and don't seem to care whether someone else gets bitten by their dog (despite local news reports of children and adults being bitten and dying from loose dogs who've bitten and attacked them). It's totally great to be bitten and worry for several weeks about being permanently disabled for life, having only one arm. It's no big deal that the dog owner chose not to pay for what their dog did and left my family with the expensive medical bill.

(My mother told me, at 5 years old, to never let our dog loose because it was dangerous for other people and rude; I don't understand why many older adults who own dogs and let them loose don't seem to care whether their dog might bite and kill someone).

Boy, cyclists in the Netherlands are so lucky not to have to deal with drivers harassing them, thinking they know everything. But, unfortunately, I can't live there.

So, if being concerned about road rage drivers becoming more aggressive and petty (and possibly trying to injure a cyclist because they feel that the cyclist has been disobeying their order to "use the sidewalk" several times or is wrong for being in the middle of the lane) just because a cyclist is in the road, legally, and trying to avoid getting a flat tire, etc. is being "whiny," does this mean that women who are concerned about their safety are being "whiny," too? Or is it only considered to be "whiny" if one is presumed to be male?
Good grief, where do you live?? Seriously, I'm curious. What is that big city you live near?

If someone's dog bites you, call the police. The owner should be legally and financially responsible for the dog.
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Old 08-04-19, 08:04 PM
  #66  
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Originally Posted by anon06 View Post
"Whinefest"?

....
Well, it was a good thread until you-know-who "contributed".

But, you see, it appears he's never had a bad experience. Either that or he's the bad driver that the rest of us post about.
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Old 08-04-19, 08:32 PM
  #67  
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Originally Posted by anon06 View Post
I guess some people, like me, are more concerned when witnessing angry drivers shouting and honking at me and others, because we've already experienced witnessing angry people who aren't driving decide to escalate their behavior and become more abusive, more willing to physically injure another person, just for having a different opinion than the other person, being different, etc.
I believe it is extremely uncommon for a driver to willingly, knowingly, attempt to physically injure a cyclist. Most injuries happen when the motorist (or cyclist) isn't being properly attentive, or one of them makes one mistake or another. Practically NO ONE wants to hurt a cyclist or pedestrian. This is why being "seen" helps us so much.

Your opening post mentioned getting honked or yelled at. This happens to me every week. By far, the vast majority of these crabby drivers deal with me in an otherwise safe manner, leaving me in no more danger than I'm in with all the "quiet" motorists. In fact, I'd say they may even be less of a risk. Once they honk or yell that assures me that they've seen me, and are unlikely to accidentally take me out.

Last edited by AlmostTrick; 08-04-19 at 08:35 PM.
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Old 08-04-19, 08:33 PM
  #68  
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Originally Posted by Daniel4 View Post
Well, it was a good thread until you-know-who "contributed".
Have you ever found a thread that began with, or degenerated into incessant complaining, ranting and even free form whining about whatever actions mean ol' people, especially motorists, did somewhere to upset the equilibrium of an A&S poster that you did not think was "good" advocacy or safety advice?
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Old 08-05-19, 09:29 AM
  #69  
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Originally Posted by I-Like-To-Bike View Post
Probably depends on how inclusive the term harassment is for including any and every possible annoying motorist (or pedestrian) behavior a bicyclist might experience or how frequently; also on how much they choose to extrapolate a rude catcall or equivalent into a threat of bodily injury.

It is obvious that some posters go in to a tizzy and recall any and every slight and demand a police crackdown on motorists who annoy cyclists with verbal stupidity, and play the victim card when they have had their right to ride blissfully in traffic without a care in the world disturbed.
Or, y'know, people might actually be interpreting threatening behavior as being threatening. Right after I read one of your pointless posts yesterday, I was riding and I signaled a legal shift of lane into a left turn lane, with a car about a block behind me. We were not going fast, so I was able to shift across the lane without impeding the car in any way. While I'm pulling into the lane (leisurely as I had to wait out the red left turn arrow), the guy deliberately shifted his overpowered little car to as far on the left side of the right hand lane and gunned the engine, close-passing me within a foot on my right side. He actually sped up a lot to do this so he could catch me before I had a chance to get to the center of the turn lane. As far as I'm concerned, that sort of thing is really no different than firing a bullet so it hits right next to a person.

It is a very small minority of drivers who do crap like that, but the problem is that I encounter so many drivers while riding that I end up running into a lot of these guys just by chance.

The honkers I just hassle back in kind, but I absolutely think that deliberate close-passing should be punishable by law, and that advocating for the enforcement of such laws is hardly whining.
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Old 08-05-19, 11:09 AM
  #70  
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Pretend you're a foreigner who doesn't speak the language. Works for me.
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Old 08-05-19, 11:55 AM
  #71  
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Originally Posted by livedarklions View Post
... As far as I'm concerned, that sort of thing is really no different than firing a bullet so it hits right next to a person...

Originally Posted by sjanzeir View Post
Pretend you're a foreigner who doesn't speak the language. Works for me.
If you're in the US, you'll get real bullets.
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Old 08-05-19, 12:02 PM
  #72  
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Originally Posted by Daniel4 View Post
If you're in the US, you'll get real bullets.
Been riding in the US my entire life. Can't say I've ever actually been shot at or had a gun drawn on me.
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Old 08-05-19, 12:02 PM
  #73  
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(Apologies if this is off-base because I haven’t taken the time to read the whole thread.)

Berkeley has an anti-harassment law on the books, but it only enables the cyclist to bring a civil suit against the motorist (with a minimum penalty of $1000, though). In addition to actual assault, injury or forcing a cyclist off the road, prohibited conduct includes threatening assault or injury and intentionally distracting a cyclist.

As I see it, however, unless you have a (sympathetic!?) cop witness the incident or great video footage, forget about it!

Los Angeles supposedly got a law like this on the books a year before Berkeley did, so the classic line is that if L.A. can pass a law to reign in motorists, any city can.

Here’s the text of Berkeley’s law:

Chapter 14.26
PROHIBITING HARASSMENT OF BICYCLISTS

14.26.010 Findings and purpose.

Harassment of bicyclists in Berkeley occurs solely based on their status as bicyclists. Persons who harass bicyclists solely based on their status as bicyclists endanger bicyclists and discourage bicyclists from using bicycles for transportation. (Ord. 7221-NS § 1 (part), 2012)

14.26.020 Definitions.

"Bicycle" shall have the same definition as set forth in Vehicle Code section 231.

"Bicyclist" shall mean a person riding a Bicycle. (Ord. 7221-NS § 1 (part), 2012)

14.26.030 Prohibited conduct.

A person is prohibited by this Section from doing or attempting to do the following:

A. Physically assaulting a Bicyclist because of, in whole or in part, the Bicyclist’s status as a Bicyclist.

B. Threatening to physically assault or injure a Bicyclist because of, in whole or in part, the Bicyclist’s status as a Bicyclist.

C. Intentionally injuring a Bicyclist because of, in whole or in part, the Bicyclist’s status as a Bicyclist.

D. Intentionally distracting a Bicyclist because of, in whole or in part, the Bicyclist’s status as a Bicyclist.

E. Intentionally forcing a Bicyclist off a roadway for a purpose unrelated to public safety. (Ord. 7221-NS § 1 (part), 2012)

14.26.040 Remedies.

A. An aggrieved Bicyclist may bring a civil lawsuit, including a small claims court action, against a person who violates this Chapter.

B. A person who violates this Chapter shall be liable for (1) treble compensatory damages for each violation, or $1,000, whichever is greater, and (2) attorney’s fees and costs of suit. Additionally, a jury or court may award punitive damages, if warranted.

C. Violations of this Chapter shall not be considered a criminal offense, except where the underlying act independent of this Chapter constitutes a criminal offense.

D. The remedies provided in this Section are in addition to other remedies that may be provided by law. Nothing in this Chapter is intended to preclude a Bicyclist from pursuing any other remedy at law in addition to the remedies provided here. (Ord. 7221-NS § 1 (part), 2012)
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Old 08-05-19, 12:23 PM
  #74  
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I've often thought about ordering a shirt that says "Video recording in progress" on the back. Most motorists will not risk a lawsuit if you have their infraction on film...
.
.
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and I don't even have a bike/helmet camera! LOL
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Old 08-05-19, 01:33 PM
  #75  
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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. 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.
I sadly have to agree with this. It is rare that I have to deal with an aggressive driver, but both times that it escalated involved pickup trucks. Last week while commuting to work I heard a beep from behind. Did not put much thought into it as I was riding the white breakdown paintline and thought it might be a concerned driver. Two lane road, very light traffic, I was going about 18mph. Mind you I had a backpack on and did not have the lycra look that seems to set some drivers off. A blue pickup truck passed me with maybe 6 inches to spare- definitely an oh sh*t moment and got me emotional real quick. I raised my arm in a what are you doing motion and the driver just held his arm out and middle finger extended as he drove on. I screamed a bit (not how I normally handle things but it was way too close) and it took a few miles to settle back in. I will not ride that area again.
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