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what would you do in this situation?

popettepopette Posts: 2,089
edited February 2008 in The bottom bracket
you're in a cycle lane approaching a parked car, you can see there is oncoming traffic and you can hear a cement lorry accelerating behind you (definitely accelerating - no intention of slowing down for oncoming traffic) on a road not wide enough to accomodate, parked car, you, cement lorry and oncoming traffic. What would you do?

I chose to wait behind the parked car for the lorry to pass. It did involve a bit of a hard brake when I heard his engine not slowing.

A little distance on, the lorry passenger leaned out of the window and started shouting and gesticulating to the cycle lane: telling me where it was. At this stage, I lost it! The lorry stopped at lights, I came to lights, got off bike and approached on the pavement. Me and the two blokes had a bit of a barney, I explained, at volume, about the parked car and then he drove off. I actually really did lose it - he was effing and jeffing at me and I reacted. I called him something truly bad. I let myself down a bit there. I should have just let it go but to have him shouting about the cycle lanes was just too much to take when I'd had to stop to avoid an accident because he wasn't going to stop to let me out. I really believe that how we behave on the road affects other cyclists - that's why I never jump red lights and always try to be courteous to other drivers - but I just looked like a nutter today.
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  • ParkeyParkey Posts: 303
    It's always best to smile and be courteous. That way if they want an argument it really winds them up when they don't get one.

    Not easy to do mind, especially if you've nearly been smeared all over by the road by some nutter who thinks his steering wheel is the centre of the universe.
    "A recent study has found that, at the current rate of usage, the word 'sustainable' will be worn out by the year 2015"
  • lateraluslateralus Posts: 309
    popette wrote:
    you're in a cycle lane approaching a parked car, you can see there is oncoming traffic and you can hear a cement lorry accelerating behind you (definitely accelerating - no intention of slowing down for oncoming traffic) on a road not wide enough to accomodate, parked car, you, cement lorry and oncoming traffic. What would you do?

    I would have done the same - put it another way, do you gamble on the accelerating cement truck jamming on the anchors? I wouldn't.

    As for the aftermath, I always tell myself to stay calm, and that there's nothing to be gained by losing it, but the way that motorists will casually put your life at risk just to indulge their impatience really makes my blood boil :evil: Every now and then it leads to words being exchanged!
  • redddraggonredddraggon Posts: 10,862
    Everytime I get passed too close they get a hand signal.
    I like bikes...

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  • had a similar event the other day - A van beside me (I was level with his passenger window) simultaneously indicated left and pulled into my lane in a busy London Street before a big junction. All I could do was sprint in front of him to get safe as there were another 2 lanes of traffic to my left. I looked back at him as if to say what the **** are you doing, and then he blasted his horn, revved his engine continuously, spun his wheels and mouthed all sorts of stuff at me. I just calmly cycled on, not slowing or speeding up. I think he must've thought I came from nowhere and cut him up on the inside. I do accept that we can get into someone's blind spot before they see us, but I read that responding agrily to anger is the worst thing you can do as they think they have won. Just be sharper and more alert!
  • Harry BHarry B Posts: 1,239
    I had a situation where I was out of the saddle puffing up a hill on a narrow stretch of road. I was right over by the kerb but there still wasn't room for a van behind me to get by. He had to slow for a couple of seconds (less than a minute) but as he went by I got the verbal about getting out of the road. As I was still cycling up hill I couldn't do more than just call him an effing t*sser. I didn't realise that there where 2 vans with 2 blokes in each :? Which could have been an issue if they decided to stop :oops:

    When I came down the other side of the hill they were parked in a petrol station. I calmly cycled by and called them all a bunch of complete w*nkers. As they raced to get back into their vans to come after me I simply cycled down an alley and off with a big grin on my face :lol: 8)

    It was a bit daft I know but boy did it make me smile :):)
  • Ken NightKen Night Posts: 2,005
    Courtesy and an irrefutable argument about safety for all on the road ...."how much room should you give a cyclist?" is a good one to get things started

    ......followed by "I felt threatened by ....."


    and a parting shot...."I've got your registration (and company) and will be in touch"

    follow it up asap
    “It is by riding a bicycle that you learn the contours of a country best..." Ernest Hemingway
  • popettepopette Posts: 2,089
    Ken Night wrote:
    Courtesy and an irrefutable argument about safety for all on the road ...."how much room should you give a cyclist?" is a good one to get things started

    ......followed by "I felt threatened by ....."


    and a parting shot...."I've got your registration (and company) and will be in touch"

    follow it up asap

    this was more fishwife meets deliverance. I hope the butcher didn't recognise me.
  • lateraluslateralus Posts: 309
    popette wrote:
    this was more fishwife meets deliverance. I hope the butcher didn't recognise me.

    Well, if he did, he'll probably give you a bit more room next time! :wink:
  • Mike WillcoxMike Willcox Posts: 1,770
    Keep calm and don't react. Looking back over the years no good has ever come from name calling and gesticulating. The driver has a problem, in all probability he has had incidents with other cyclists giving him some verbals. You can put yourself at further risk if the driver ends up losing it.
  • lateraluslateralus Posts: 309
    sound advice Mike, but sometimes it requires some serious biting of the tongue. The outrage comes from how little idea some drivers have of the potential consequences of a moment's aggression or thoughtlessness. The urge to "educate" them is extremely powerful although, as you say, best avoided.
  • geoff_ssgeoff_ss Posts: 1,234
    Just reading this made my blood boil. You did the right thing, obviously, by waiting behind the parked car but I've had similar confrontations and lost it just like you.

    On my regular commute I was passed several times by the same bus which never gave me much room. Then one morning I was passing a long line of parked cars and I ended up riding in a gap of about 3 feet and terrified. I caught the bus up at a stop and had 'words'. I then reported the matter to the police providing the drivers PSV licence details and as much information as I could. A few days later I had a call from a policeman who told me he'd spoken to the driver and he wouldn't do it again - and he didn't.

    That's just one of many similar incidents. Fortunately, now I'm retired I rarely ride in town so I get far less trouble. In fact I find now that I'm very nervous in heavy urban traffic and I've lost my nerve to some extent something I thought would never happen to me.

    Geoff
    Old cyclists never die; they just fit smaller chainrings ... and pedal faster
  • I think I loose it with every 20th dickhead, regardless of transport mode. I also believe just 1/3rd of road users should be there.

    Another 1/3rd I frankly think just manage to work out how to flush a toilet, let alone concentrate for long enough to operate 1,000kg+ of machine on the highway.

    The final censored , er, 1/3rd, just want to 'teach you a lesson boy'. If that means accidentally driving right at you, then you - road-scum-vermin-cyclist - have to get out of their way. Or risk denting their prized bodywork as your skull bursts across their vehicle.

    I think helmet cams are the way forward, and then post the dickhead on the internet. We have a few Stagecoach bus drivers in Cambridge who like to crush cyclists once overtaken. A helmetcam caught one such incident, and the rider went to the driver at the next set of traffic lights and said he's be posting the video footage onto YouTube and sending a letter to Stagecoach, local MP, local highway safety officers, the local police and including the URL link for all to see.

    Take a look: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=tY1MZyCQqHk

    So, Stagecoach. Your employee of bus reg mark AE55 DKL on 21st February 2007, in Cambridge, leaving the Rail Station and travelling towards the bridge at the top of Cherry Hinton Road, drove so badly, instead of waiting behiind the cyclist for a few seconds, he instead overtook and then pulled into the cyclist, very nearly crushing him under the wheels of your bus in the process. Is this a good advert for Stagecoach? Look at how many entries Stagecoach now has on YouTube...etc.

    Cement company - do the same. Taxi firm - the same. Courier van - the same. Helmetcam - get one!
  • oldwelshmanoldwelshman Posts: 4,733
    I might be in a minority but I never use those green cycle lanes.
    They often end abrubptly, are full of drains, lots of potholes and flints.
    I usually ride out a bit, but in this case sounds as if lorry driver was taking the pish so you did the right thing.
    I am a very patinet person when being sworn at by ignorrent motorists so would probably have smakced him !!! 8)
    We don't all reactthe same I guess it depends what they are like, some peole appologise and you can stay calm, some are tossers and no matter who much you try, cannot stay calm!!
    I have a lead lined bike pump !! 8)
  • NWLondonerNWLondoner Posts: 2,047
    I think I loose it with every 20th dickhead, regardless of transport mode. I also believe just 1/3rd of road users should be there.

    Another 1/3rd I frankly think just manage to work out how to flush a toilet, let alone concentrate for long enough to operate 1,000kg+ of machine on the highway.

    The final junk, er, 1/3rd, just want to 'teach you a lesson boy'. If that means accidentally driving right at you, then you - road-scum-vermin-cyclist - have to get out of their way. Or risk denting their prized bodywork as your skull bursts across their vehicle.

    I think helmet cams are the way forward, and then post the dickhead on the internet. We have a few Stagecoach bus drivers in Cambridge who like to crush cyclists once overtaken. A helmetcam caught one such incident, and the rider went to the driver at the next set of traffic lights and said he's be posting the video footage onto YouTube and sending a letter to Stagecoach, local MP, local highway safety officers, the local police and including the URL link for all to see.

    Take a look: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=tY1MZyCQqHk

    So, Stagecoach. Your employee of bus reg mark AE55 DKL on 21st February 2007, in Cambridge, leaving the Rail Station and travelling towards the bridge at the top of Cherry Hinton Road, drove so badly, instead of waiting behiind the cyclist for a few seconds, he instead overtook and then pulled into the cyclist, very nearly crushing him under the wheels of your bus in the process. Is this a good advert for Stagecoach? Look at how many entries Stagecoach now has on YouTube...etc.

    Cement company - do the same. Taxi firm - the same. Courier van - the same. Helmetcam - get one!

    Bloody Hell :shock: That clip is scary

    I hope he gets the book and his P45 thrown at him
  • NWLondonerNWLondoner Posts: 2,047
    Well, I would have done what you did and waited behind the parked car until he passed.

    I would NOT have argued with him later on though.

    It's not worth the risk. When a man gets killed on a London bus for asking a guy to stop throwing his chips at him, you know its time to be VERY careful.
  • Of course, one should remain calm etc etc. On my good days I even remember to blow kisses at idiots who abuse me for delaying their arrival at the next set of lights by 3/10 of a nanosecond.

    And on other days I am a foul, loud, angry Yorkshireman [1] who'd leave a trail of bullet-riddled vehicles along his commute route if not for the fact that it's illegal to carry a gun around in NSW...

    [1] Those who know me well consider this my true state.
    John Stevenson
  • SalsicciaSalsiccia Posts: 405
    NWLondoner wrote:
    Well, I would have done what you did and waited behind the parked car until he passed.

    I would NOT have argued with him later on though.

    It's not worth the risk. When a man gets killed on a London bus for asking a guy to stop throwing his chips at him, you know its time to be VERY careful.

    Very sad, but very true. It is hard, but it really is best not to rise to it because who knows where it will end. And it really isn't worth risking health/sanity for.

    Just ride on, knowing that you were right and the problem is with the other driver. Then when you get home/to work, have a quick moan to whoever but congratulate yourself on maintaining your control and your dignity.
    I was only joking when I said
    by rights you should be bludgeoned in your bed
  • vermootenvermooten Posts: 2,697
    I feel sorry for the 2 blokes.
    You just have to ride like you never have to breathe again.

    Manchester Wheelers
  • vermootenvermooten Posts: 2,697

    Take a look: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=tY1MZyCQqHk

    So, Stagecoach. Your employee of bus reg mark AE55 DKL on 21st February 2007, in Cambridge, leaving the Rail Station and travelling towards the bridge at the top of Cherry Hinton Road, drove so badly, instead of waiting behiind the cyclist for a few seconds, he instead overtook and then pulled into the cyclist, very nearly crushing him under the wheels of your bus in the process. Is this a good advert for Stagecoach? Look at how many entries Stagecoach now has on YouTube...etc.
    Hmmm... Was this an act of aggression on the part of the bus driver? From what I see, all he did was to overtake the cyclist and not leave room for the cyclist to proceed on the bus' inside. There's no cycle lane, and the bus clearly is just within the lane marker for that inside lane. Where else could he go? The cyclist would have seen all of this unfolding before it happened.

    Maybe I was just expecting something more dramatic, or maybe the perspective or whatever from the camera lens didn't show it the way it was. But what's shown on the youtube clip happens to me all the time on my commute and I don't consider it anti-bike or anti-me. (The time a coach driver stuck his hand out of his window and tried to grab my head was the only time I can think of that anything like that has happened to me... but then I just figured that he's a coach driver so no wonder he's angry with the world.)

    Here endeth my $0.02...
    You just have to ride like you never have to breathe again.

    Manchester Wheelers
  • nolfnolf Posts: 1,287
    He cut the cyclist up was more the problem.

    if you overtake someone, leave them no room while braking sharply- thats at the very least bad driving, and potentially dangerous. The cyclist didn't accelerate and if he hadn't braked very sharply would have been sent completely off the road. Vermooten for the cyclist to have avoided that situation he would have had to start braking as soon as the bus overtook him.

    Popette- yes, he was stupid- but it is a very very bad idea to stop and shout at someone for being an idiot. All you're doing is aggravating a clearly aggressive driver, just let it go and don't let it ruin your ride.

    Favourite/worst driving i've seen is when a car tried to overtake a 30 man strong club ride (whoch i was on) and a car came the other way so he tried to pull in on the group. He blatantly cut the group in 2 and we were lucky that nobody crashed. He got a hell of a lot of abuse...
    Really unless I'm with other people I won't get angry- unless I'm having a seriously bad day, then I welcome the idea of a conflict! :twisted:
    "I hold it true, what'er befall;
    I feel it, when I sorrow most;
    'Tis better to have loved and lost;
    Than never to have loved at all."

    Alfred Tennyson
  • Richie GRichie G Posts: 283
    I might be in a minority but I never use those green cycle lanes.

    Have to agree with you - i'm afraid they're often so badly thought out that they can be best avoided. There's a strecth on my commute that's normally covered in (illegally) parked cars. I just ride further out so i'm not weaving in and out of the stream of traffic. Unfortunately, i reckon the increase of cycle lanes and paths is making life worse for us - people see a cycle path (no matter how impractical and poorly designed) and assume you should be on it. I always keep to the road, as i often feel it's safer for both myself and pedestrians. There also now seems to be an assumption that it's ok to cycle on the path, even if it's not a cycle path. It all adds to more pressure from drivers to get off their road. :roll:

    Popette

    I know it's infuriating (i think i might have lost in your situation), but i find it's better for my own sanity to try not let the idiots on roads ruin what is often the high point of my day. However, a smug grin as you sail pass said idiot (who's now snarled up in traffic) is always satifying :lol:
  • Random VinceRandom Vince Posts: 11,374
    Salsiccia wrote:
    NWLondoner wrote:
    Well, I would have done what you did and waited behind the parked car until he passed.

    I would NOT have argued with him later on though.

    It's not worth the risk. When a man gets killed on a London bus for asking a guy to stop throwing his chips at him, you know its time to be VERY careful.

    Very sad, but very true. It is hard, but it really is best not to rise to it because who knows where it will end. And it really isn't worth risking health/sanity for.
    .

    is that not how it got this way? people not caring

    when things like this happen you know something has gone very wrong and that its time to take this country back.

    behavior is contagious, polite and well mannered behavior will gradually affect people you come into contact with, they are treated well and so treat the next person they see with a raised level of courtesy and politeness.

    long and slow way of changing acceptable behaviour, but it can happen. and will work
    My signature was stolen by a moose

    that will be all

    trying to get GT James banned since tuesday
  • grayo59grayo59 Posts: 722
    Popette, are you as impressive as your avatar? If so, it would be an unwise person who would shout at you on the road! :D
    __________________
    ......heading for the box, but not too soon I hope!
  • popettepopette Posts: 2,089
    Actually, no. Nowhere near that impressive! I feel a bond with that avatar though - I bet she wouldn't fit into ladies cycling gear either. I bet I've got bigger feet than my avatar though :)

    The incident yesterday is still on my mind. I see loads of idiot drivers, driving too close, cutting me up etc and I just cycle on; ignoring it. Yesterday, it wasn't just the fact that he'd driven dangerously, it was that he'd actually had a go at ME about it. I'm not confrontational in the slightest - usually, I will just inwardly grimace and then come home and tell my husband all about it. Something just snapped yesterday. You're all right about it being dangerous to react. I hope never to repeat yesterday.

    I did once tackle a group of teenagers who were revving their mopeds and frightening a lady in a car - I had my husband in the car behind me though (and he is seriously impressive) but even so, that could have ended up being another sad news story as well. It's depressing.
  • Last summer I lost it big style with a 50 something driver who pulled out on me on a roundabout. He then proceeded to follow me to the next lights and leave his car to attack me with a riding crop. However, I did lose the moral high ground as for every (rather feeble) blow I received I sunk my right foot into the side of his car. It was only afterwards my partner reminded me it could have been a hammer/spanner/a.n.other object that I was attacked with. The funniest part of the whole episode was watching him run out of energy/adrenaline and when he realised he was confronting someone nearly 6 inches taller than him the immortal words "I've got heart problems" came from his mouth!

    Since that incident I now try to remain calm and remind myself that I'm the one having fun getting from A to B, not getting wound up with being stuck in traffic etc. though there are times that I really do have to remind myself that it's simply not worth it - just let it slide and not let it ruin my ride/day
  • Mike WillcoxMike Willcox Posts: 1,770
    Once when I was commuting I had a confrontation with a driver about something (I can't remember what). About 2 miles up the road he had parked up and as I approached he started to wave his arms and legs about. It was only as I got closer that I realised he was going through some sort of Kung Fu routine. Unfortunately he was middle aged and porky and he looked absolutely ridiculous.

    I just rode past him laughing my head off. :D
  • I lost it with some old road captain on saturday morning at the end of what was up until that point a very pleasant ride. Whilst track standing patienetly at a busy roundabout waititng to go straight over I positined myself in the middle of the LH lane to stop people cutting me up by turning left across me. Out of the corner of my eye i see the car behind rolling up alongside my rear wheel, so moved forward a couple of yards slowly. He then gets closer, squeezes alongside and chops across my front wheel. I had to dismount and move my bike out the at this point as he drive across the space i was occupying moments earlier. I decided the best course of action was to whack the side of his car and utter a few choice words seeing as i could have quite easily have been under the car had I not have moved. He then stopped on the middle of the roundabout, got out his car and came over to give me a lecture. His arguement was that he saw me wobbling and I shouldn't have been, and as he was going straight on as well he was allowed to barge past, also I should have been six inches away from the kerb all the way round the roundabout. I pointed out that if I was wobblling like he said I was it may have wise for him to stay back a bit. He then informed me that for a moment he thought he'd clipped me and was annoyed that i'd deliberately thumped his car, at which point I suggested that if he thought he was close enough to hit me then maybe he was too close. During the middle of this debate he recieved a stream of expletives from a young lad in a car who had seen it all happen, who also informed him that he was an idiot and to leave it alone. His final gambit was that he'd been driving for 55 years, and there were enough problems in the world without me causing more.

    The moral of this story - no matter how you behave in an attempt to preserve your space on the road there's always an idiot in a car that knows better.

    I have now taken to listening to classical music whilst cycling to try and chill my beans
    Has the head wind picked up or the tail wind dropped off???
  • pugwashcppugwashcp Posts: 120
    I was involved in a slight altercation with a young lad in a clio last summer.

    He was stopped in the middle of the road waiting to turn right and myself and a couple of cars were heading towards him. As soon as the cars had cleared the entrance to the road he wanted to take he turned right. I had to hit the brakes and veer left into the side street to avoid hitting him. I was NOT a happy chappy and communicated this to him through his passenger window. His response was to force me into the kerb and speed off waving a single digit at me as he did.

    At this point I went from being NOT happy to being SEVERELY P*SSED OFF!! and took off in pursuit. I caught up with him at a set of traffic lights about half a mile further on and illustrated my dismay at his reckless attitude by dumping the contents of my bidon through his open window and into his lap.

    I then scarpered leaving an irate teenager stood in the middle of a line of traffic waving his fists and screaming obscenities.

    I'm not necessarily condoning this course of action or any form of confrontation....but it felt bloody good!!
    He who dies with the most toys wins!
  • Know what you mean :twisted: :P :D .....but TBH I'd normally just wave at them [hate is the way to the Dark Side, Grasshopper :wink: ]
    "With just a little luck
    A little cold blue steel
    I'll cut the night like a razor blade
    Till I feel the way I wanna feel"
    [Cheap Trick]
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