Abuse from Road users

baz101
baz101 Posts: 14
edited September 2008 in Road beginners
Been out on my new road bike clad in lycra (me not the bike) and had a couple of very different reactions already.

Positive - while finnishing my drink at traffic lights I went to put the empty bottle back in my jersey pocket, and a lad walking back from school asked if I wanted him to put it in the bin further down the road for me, a nice surprise.

Negative- Car full of chavs shouting abuse, I was able to get a few expletives off back at them to which I received all maner of jestures from all in the car but then thought better of doing anything else and carried on with my ride.

I gues I'm wondering what anyone else's experiences are and whether I should get used to this. Although the positive reaction far outweighed the negative :D:D
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Comments

  • The benefits of being an MTBer...no chavs/a*seholes/crap drivers to worry about....just fellow people out for a bit of fresh air in the country.

    I've given up getting p'ed off with driving standards in the country to be honest and I'm very rarely surprised at some of the things I see.
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  • I'd say so far the good outweighs the bad. A few people have stopped to tell me I have a nice bike (pedestrians as well as drivers) - I think it's the tartiness of the red bar tape, as the bike itself is hardly something to write home about in the grand scheme of road cycling. A nice middle-aged woman extolled the benefits of cycling in making me look so 'healthy'.

    However, I've also been given moderate abuse - my personal favourite being the chap on the cheap motorbike who enquired why I didn't put a 'f*cking engine on that thing' and proceeded to RLJ right in front of me. Also, quite a few drivers I've upset by cycling in the middle of the lane at roundabouts, and who told me so in many, not so pretty words. Nothing too bad though! I think being a small woman does help to a certain extent.
  • Nothing negative for me so far, but I've only been road biking for a couple of months.

    As for the positive, apart from lots of friendly hellos from other cyclists, I did pass a nice lady on a horse (who had stopped to let me past), and after I said thanks for stopping she said "Nice legs".


    p.s. Helene - forgive my ignorance, what does RLJ mean?
    Never argue with an idiot - they drag you down to their level and then beat you with experience
  • Hornetto wrote:
    Nothing negative for me so far, but I've only been road biking for a couple of months.

    As for the positive, apart from lots of friendly hellos from other cyclists, I did pass a nice lady on a horse (who had stopped to let me past), and after I said thanks for stopping she said "Nice legs".


    p.s. Helene - forgive my ignorance, what does RLJ mean?

    Red Light Jump.
  • This has come up regularly. Try the comments in the thread below. There are others.
    I've not had any for a while, so I must be due.... :x

    http://www.bikeradar.com/forums/viewtop ... t=12580646
    Spring!
    Singlespeeds in town rule.
  • agnello
    agnello Posts: 239
    daily abuse from mouthy chavs to neandethal van drivers to idiotic SUV school runners to middle aged sexually frustrated closet nazis - you name it

    some of which I reply to fairly militantly

    they don't realise how much adrenaline one builds up when caning it on a bike. and how much stronger and more athletic we are when they get out of their boxes

    it does my head in when motorcyclists cut me up or drive too close as they really ought to know better
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  • Hornetto wrote:
    Nothing negative for me so far, but I've only been road biking for a couple of months.

    Oh don't worry Hornetto - you'll get some soon.

    I find it is mainly the Chavs :evil: in Corsas/Fiestas/Civics etc and they only come out to play in the nice weather which was at the start of our so called summer - so you're likely to have missed them.

    Don't worry.....They'll be back. Mwha ha ha. Mwha ha ha.
  • Lagavulin
    Lagavulin Posts: 1,688
    I've not had much bother. Once had an orange thrown in my general direction and told to get on the cycle path by a few idiots.

    My gripe is with road users who don't seem to know how to drive when approaching or being approached by a bike. My main issues have come at those priority junctions. Despite following a trail of cars and riding a good way out, oncoming traffic who should give away just don't appear to think a bicycle counts as oncoming traffic.
    Yesterday I nearly had a nasty accident at such a location. Got a partial plate and a couple of witnesses who said if I needed them they'd give me contact details.
    Just wish I'd gone after him now as the silly old git slowed to ridiculously slow speeds for the ensuing bumps.

    The so-called traffic calming measures seem to have the opposite effect when a cyclist is involved IMO. I don't ride anywhere near the kerb yet the number of people who think they can get by while you're passing through one of those carriageway narrowing island crossings is stupefying.
  • cougie
    cougie Posts: 22,512
    I think the best policy when you get abuse is to just ignore it and try not to respond. I've had a couple of instances when abuse from a car got returned by me or my riding pal, and the situation got nastier and dangerous.
  • whyamihere
    whyamihere Posts: 7,702
    The only verbal abuse I've had was from another roadie because I was hopping over speed bumps in the park. He was just jealous. :D
  • cougie wrote:
    I think the best policy when you get abuse is to just ignore it and try not to respond.

    I second that.

    I nearly had a run in with a white van man a few weeks ago. He looked tiny when I called him something my mother wouldn't approve of but then he got out.........................House S**t and Brick could not describe him.

    I could chuck down my (then newish) expensive bike and get a ruck so I scarpered. :oops:

    I can look back and laugh now. :lol:
  • bigjim
    bigjim Posts: 780
    I find the abuse varies with the bike. If I am lycraed up on the race bike I do tend to get abuse. But when I nip out on the old MTB with normalish clothes on people seem to steer clear and I do not have problems. As I am 6'2" and 14+ stone it may help and the fact that they probably think I am a scally that has just nicked the bike and will punch them in the mouth as soon as look at them. Nice to keep them guessing. Why do they think you are soft if you are wearing lycra? I think it must be the nerd hat.

    Jim
  • maybe its the lycra, maybe its the hat and my curly hair sticking? Still if anything I'm doing can stir up such extreme reactions in those sort of people, it can't be a bad thing!!! :o
  • bice
    bice Posts: 772
    I think the trannies with shaved legs do excite comments, and who knows what else besides
  • Surprisingly enough I'm yet to encounter a car full of idiotic chavs.
  • Lycra'ed up yesterday. Assos brazil top did it I think.

    Chav leans out of fiesta and calls me a fu**ing pr**k to impress his chav Mrs.

    He failed to notice that the green light 200 yards ahead had just turned red.

    Thus giving me the opportunity to question him about his behaviour at the lights. And the next set, and the ones after that :)
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  • Jez mon
    Jez mon Posts: 3,809
    bice wrote:
    I think the trannies with shaved legs do excite comments, and who knows what else besides

    Sir, I resent that comment, hairy legs in Lycra looks stupid :lol:

    I've got a drinks bottle thrown at me up a hill, and various forms of verbal abuse, some chavs overtook us and preceded to cut in and emergency stop!

    Some good things, drivers stopping to see if I was OK after falling off up a hill when a branch got flicked up to my front wheel and of course fit lasses admiring my quite frankly henchly ripped (smooooooth) legs!
    You live and learn. At any rate, you live
  • Definately chavs who think they're funny, MY OWN BROTHER told me that he chucked a drink at a cyclist cycling down a country lane and he came off :shock: :evil: :twisted:
    un-fortunately i was quite drunk and gave him a good hiding breaking one of his front teeth :oops:
    But he is a chav and i don't understand why he thought i'd find it funny..... ar*e hole :!:
  • bice
    bice Posts: 772
    I am afraid cyclists look comical in the full lycra and the sci-fi headgear. I think they look daft, too, but then I am new to road bikes and still wear baggy shorts or ordinary clothes. Just as most people don't look good naked, most people dont look good in cycling gear.
  • a couple of chavs shouted " got any drugs mate " as i road by , unfortunately i hadnt as i could of ripped them off :D best to ignore it , try fighting in cleat shoes !
  • hothead
    hothead Posts: 123
    I agree fighting in cleats isn't good!

    I love it when they get all cocky in a car, then you catch them at lights. I will be honest its best to ignore it, but having a full can of coke just miss your head can get you a bit mad and on that occasion more than words got exchanged.

    It will happen sooner or later.
  • bice wrote:
    ...Just as most people don't look good naked, most people dont look good in cycling gear.

    Speak for yourself! It's all in the eye of the beholder I suppose. I feel comfortable with the way I look, helped by the fact my girlfriend likes teh way I look. So I'm not too bothered what others think (despite all that naked cycling... ;). It did take me a while to build up confidence to ride out in full lycra gear. Riding in a group helps, but I still felt a bit awkward riding to group meets. Now I can't imagine getting on my road bike without bibs and jersey. Still wear 3/4 humvees and regular tops on my commuter though.

    It nearly started a rant against the "people not looking good naked" quip - perhaps you mean people don't think other people conform to the stereotyped media images of "normality" that we have forced upon us... but that's not the topic of this forum, so I'll not bother :)

    Er... rarely get abuse when out on road bike but LOADs of abuse when cycling around town. Mostly taxis, buses, drivers shouting at me for cycling when I come up on the outside in traffic - the same rivers that shout when you go up the inside. Most common expression is "haw, bawbag!" but maybe that's regional. Or maybe that's just me ;)
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  • whyamihere
    whyamihere Posts: 7,702
    bice wrote:
    I am afraid cyclists look comical in the full lycra and the sci-fi headgear. I think they look daft, too, but then I am new to road bikes and still wear baggy shorts or ordinary clothes. Just as most people don't look good naked, most people dont look good in cycling gear.
    Most people, true. Most people are fat wastes of space.

    Most proper cyclists, however, look absolutely FANTASTIC in cycling gear.
  • Have a gander at the commuting forum some time - you are not alone I promise you!

    Having said that (and I commute 17 miles every day through the Bristol traffic - and have done for the past 5 years) I reckon most drivers are alright. Some are a bit thoughtless and some can be intimidated and a bit scared by having to negotiate cyclists on the road which makes them do crazy things (or can make them a bit defensive or angry). But most do try I reckon.

    Thing is, there ARE some real w*nkers out there as well and they're always the ones your remember..
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  • bice wrote:
    I am afraid cyclists look comical in the full lycra and the sci-fi headgear. I think they look daft, too, but then I am new to road bikes and still wear baggy shorts or ordinary clothes. Just as most people don't look good naked, most people dont look good in cycling gear.

    Ha! Thing is, if I flash past a group of 'hot chicks' in my bike gear, in my head I think they're thinking something along the lines of 'woohooo rock me Amadeus'. However, my wife assures me that what they're ACTUALLY thinking is more 'what on earth does that fat guy in lycra think he's doing'. Black 3/4 length lycra bib shorts - or 'arse-expanders' as the missus calls 'em - may be part of the problem.
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  • Rich Hcp
    Rich Hcp Posts: 1,355
    On my roadie in lycra:
    I get the odd shout by a passing car, but what they don't realise is that with a chav tail pipe, you hear them coming miles away!

    On the trail in baggies
    I've found that on the trails some walkers shout stuff.

    One bloke wound down his window and asked for directions,luckily I had enough breath to help.

    The best was when I was on my roadie, lycra'd etc when a pink Ka full of fit girls went past, they waved the first time they went past, stopped at a house for a bit, picked someone up, went past me. Waved again when they went past. Stopped at another place for quite a while about 20-25 mins.

    Eventially caught me up and went past, waves and cheers!

    Then they stopped at the last place, got out and were talking to some other girls, cheers etc and 'you're doing really well'

    I suppose I'd covered about 10 miles in the time I'd seen them, made me feel guilty for thinking they'd be abusive when they first went by.

    I'm 43, a car full of girls cheering made me feel much better!

    So, it's not all abuse
    Richard

    Giving it Large
  • Apart from people peeping me impatiently and yelling things at me, I can't say I've had much abuse whilst cycling. However up till I bought a new Elite about three weeks ago I was on a mountain bike... and I haven't yet been converted to full Lycra!!

    Two incidents come to mind - both of them backfired in some way on the other people :-D

    First was on a baking hot day when someone threw some water at me. This was more of a favour really because I was considering asking the next person using a hose to spray me with it!!

    The other was when a schoolboy swung his bag at me, but fortunately I was turning right just at that moment so he just looked like a complete idiot...
  • chuckcork
    chuckcork Posts: 1,471
    I always think a fit cyclist in Lycra looks less ridiculous than the alternative, certainly less ridiculous than someone who doesn't get any exercise short of lifting a fork....
    'Twas Mulga Bill, from Eaglehawk, that caught the cycling craze....
  • Rich Hcp wrote:
    I'm 43, a car full of girls cheering made me feel much better!

    So, it's not all abuse

    Doesn't that just make your day.. :D:D
    Happened to me a while back on a rare warm evening with an open-topped thing full of whistling waving girlies out for the evening.
    Loved it.
    I suppose that sort of evens out some of the abuse....
    Spring!
    Singlespeeds in town rule.
  • Garry H
    Garry H Posts: 6,639
    Er... rarely get abuse when out on road bike but LOADs of abuse when cycling around town. Mostly taxis, buses, drivers shouting at me for cycling when I come up on the outside in traffic - the same rivers that shout when you go up the inside. Most common expression is "haw, bawbag!" but maybe that's regional. Or maybe that's just me ;)

    Never had any abuse hurled at me, but plenty of experiences involving crap driving mainly in the Morningside area. Fannybaws, the lot of them :lol: