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'Punishment Passing'

nweststeynnweststeyn Posts: 1,574
edited July 2013 in Road general
I try and not moan about drivers but just need a wee vent!

In early May, I had my bars clipped and was brought down by a car who 'punishment passed' me (as they're apparently calling it now). The driver didn't stop, my bike was written off and I had a fair bit of blood to clean up.

Today, in the last 2 miles of a 60 mile morning out I hear a car behind hooting constantly. They then overtook me and my riding buddy (he was behind) and the driver was easily within an inch of my bars again.

I sprinted after him as I knew there were lights coming up about a km later, but as he approached them he stopped, obviously saw me coming and jumped the red light! Probably lucky for me as I don't really know what I would have said.

It's tiring and frustrating and I'm absolutely fed up of it. Ruined my ride.
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  • ugo.santaluciaugo.santalucia Posts: 25,092
    Wy cars find it so difficult to pass you?
    Normally drivers do these kind of things out of frustration... it is obviously 90% their fault, but that 10% is the difference between moving to the left to allow room for them to pass or not and it matters
  • nweststeynnweststeyn Posts: 1,574
    The 10% difference made by me moving to the left would have meant me riding in the grass :P and 100+ cars managed to overtake safely and without much inconvenience today. Some people are just angry.
  • I followed 2 riders yesterday, the 2nd on a Boarman obviously struggling to keep up with his cycling buddy.
    What made it difficult to pass was that he was riding behind his buddy and a bike length out from him into the middle of the road.

    It was impossible to pass. It look as though the 'lead' rider didn't know his buddy was causing a problem.
    I'm sorry you don't believe in miracles
  • nweststeynnweststeyn Posts: 1,574
    So I assume you hooted at them incessantly and then passed close enough that the slightest wobble would have taken the riders down despite there being an entire empty lane with no oncoming traffic?

    Can't believe I'm getting wound up by trolling attempts :P
  • ugo.santaluciaugo.santalucia Posts: 25,092
    nweststeyn wrote:
    So I assume you hooted at them incessantly and then passed close enough that the slightest wobble would have taken the riders down despite there being an entire empty lane with no oncoming traffic?

    Can't believe I'm getting wound up by trolling attempts :P


    If you want sympathy, you can get that easily... what I have found is that those situations can be "eased" if you communicate with the angry rider, giving some sign that you are willing to slow down and let him pass, or move to the left... or even stop. If you stubbornly persevere in the know that you have exactly the same right to be on the road, these are the consequences when you are dealing with idiots... there is nothing wrong in stopping, if that prevents an accident.
    Then if you want you can take the plate number and go to the police, but I can tell you nothing will happen... I have tried that route twice and nothing has happened. The police is too busy and unless you get hurt, they have no interest in near misses
  • antflyantfly Posts: 3,448
    I don't think we should have to stop in those circumstances, or that it would help much..
    Smarter than the average bear.
  • TheSmithersTheSmithers Posts: 291
    Some drivers just don't like cyclists and think they have no right to be there. If in a situation where they can't pass the cyclist immediately, they are going to react badly no matter what the cyclist does. It's a sad fact unfortunately. I'm personally really angry for the OP, especially for the incident where he was knocked off. I wonder if that driver slept easy without conscience that night. You have my sympathies OP.
  • joenobodyjoenobody Posts: 546
    ...on a Boarman...
    Is this relevant?
  • thegreatdividethegreatdivide Posts: 5,085
    There seems to be a particular breed up here Nico. I went out the Fife side of the Tay today and it was incident free. But when I got on the A912 towards Perth I was passed by a handful of cars who gave plenty of space then one guy came by who was driving so close to the wee cycle lane that his wing mirror was inside the white line! A few more cars passed then whoosh - another one. The Carse lanes however are getting beyond belief. It's just a daily occurrence and it won't be long before one of the regulars ends up in hospital.
  • ugo.santaluciaugo.santalucia Posts: 25,092
    These topics are weekly and ranting won't change a thing... my approach is to see what I can do to avoid accidents happening... which might even involve stopping. I am no saint, I jump lights and do all sorts of bad things, but the priority is always my own safety... if there is an idiot in a car, he is 1 ton I am a lot smaller, pointless to get frustrated and into an argument while I am pedalling. If you really want to do something, carry a stone and smash his window, that might send a powerful message, otherwise forget and forgive like I do...
  • nweststeynnweststeyn Posts: 1,574
    I think what frustrates me most is that I spend so much time arguing in favour of drivers and saying that the vast majority are safe and patient. I like to think I communicate with drivers well, allowing opportunities to pass and giving hand signals where possible to warn of dangers approaching or my acknowledgement that they are there and I'm happy for them to pass.

    I had just got in from a ride and was still pissed off and the adrenaline was up... happens to all of us I know but it was the horn tooting from 50 metres back that made me the angriest, because the driver had obviously decided it was going to be a close call before he was nowhere near us. Usually a close pass is just met by a sigh and a shake of the head but this one got to me.

    Donno why I posted about it really... perks of the job innit. I'll be out again tomorrow and will forget about it. I'll gladly put my hand up and say that my complaints don't extend to the vast majority of drivers. The problem is that it only takes one nutter with a knife to stab someone, if that is an appropriate analogy.

    (P.S. the time I got hit, whilst I mentioned it, was a different problem I think... a case of driver not paying attention and genuinely having no idea I was there - no revving, no speeding up, no speeding away, possibly an old dear/gent).
  • amaferangaamaferanga Posts: 6,789
    Any 'punishment passing' I've had has been without warning and usually after holding up motorists for ~20 seconds. More than often the motorist will then do that pointing thing after they've passed to tell me I should have been in the gutter so as not to delay their much more important journey by a few seconds.

    I've yet to see any motorist punishment passing the lorries/buses/tractors/OAPs that hold then up for several minutes or more or those other pesky motorists queueing at traffic lights and roundabouts.
    More problems but still living....
  • I had this on Friday, was actually very shocked with what happened.

    Cycling out of a town (village ish), as leaving town car pulls out from right side road in front of me, I wave at him with signature "hello dickhea!;-) " wave.

    He gets very annoyed as his revving fails as red lights ahead Lol.

    I shout thanks and he then attempts to push me off the road by driving over to the left before I accelerate away.

    Total idiot, don't these numpties realize even if theirs room you don't pull out in front of cyclists/motorbikes.
    Wish I had camera
    London2Brighton Challange 100k!
    http://www.justgiving.com/broxbourne-runners
  • Mikey23Mikey23 Posts: 5,028
    @OP... So was the first incident the result of some previous between you, or were you a random victim?
  • nweststeynnweststeyn Posts: 1,574
    Completely random, no idea who it was and something tells me the driver probably isn't even aware to this day that it happened.
  • Hollow-legsHollow-legs Posts: 142
    I was out on a 50 mile loop on wednesday and returning home down a pretty rural country road ,hedges close to my left and a lack of tarmac really close to the undergrowth ,a drop of 6 inches into the muddy gutter...I was cycling as close to edge as i could becuase it was pretty narrow road but plenty of room for traffic to pass me if safe,the road was straight no bends for ages,, when i hear a car travelling at speed,i hate that sound ,accellerating,fast revs ,,,it triggers my safety instincts,i feel uneasy when i hear a car behind accellerating,you know the sound?
    I wait for the car to overtake ,it speeds past me ,the wing mirror within an inch of my bars,i feel the gush of air ,the hole left in the air by rapid movement,then the backdaft hits me in the face ,this guy was really moving ...at least 70 mph,i was freaking angry .if i hit a bump or he, i would have been clipped and off !
    Now this was a new black astra ,i never saw the number plate he moving too fast!!! I was very pissed off ,i had no chance of catching him up ,no traffic lights for ages,,i was so angry ,but in the back of my mind i was counting myself lucky,it brothered me for the next few miles ,but then it was gone!
    These drivers will always drive that way ,they will be selfish,they will consider themselves as good drivers,they will take risks ....and in process endanger other road users ,be it cyclists or other drivers!
  • These topics are weekly and ranting won't change a thing... my approach is to see what I can do to avoid accidents happening... which might even involve stopping. I am no saint, I jump lights and do all sorts of bad things, but the priority is always my own safety... if there is an idiot in a car, he is 1 ton I am a lot smaller, pointless to get frustrated and into an argument while I am pedalling. If you really want to do something, carry a stone and smash his window, that might send a powerful message, otherwise forget and forgive like I do...
    And that, in a nutshell, is how to be a vulnerable road user and live.
    Mangeur
  • gubber12345gubber12345 Posts: 469
    had a woman in a car one time give me serious cheek as I was coming up to a set of lights as she thot I was holding her up.when I got to the lights her passenger window was still down giving me all that.i looked in her window and told her that I never saw anyone in such a big hurry to sit at a redlight(plus a few other expletives as well).

    but why all that as she was going absolutely nowhere anyway...cant figure some people out.
    Lapierre Aircode 300
    Merida
  • Mikey23Mikey23 Posts: 5,028
    @ugo.santalucia plus one ... Forget and forgive, smile, wave, even dare I say apologise. Just don't engage and stay alive. I have an imaginary zapper gun that helps me to deal with idiots and stay sane...
  • CamusCamus Posts: 189
    I sympathise nweststeyn, there are some inconsiderate idiots out there.

    I have to agree with Ugo S though about cycling defensively, sad as it is, because it means these inconsiderate drivers think they can continue to do what they like, I wouldn't have retaliated or chased him down as I wouldn't want the situation to escalate.

    Last time something like this happened to me was when I was slow getting off from a red, struggled to clip in and some guy got his wife to let the passenger window down so he could scream abuse at me. I just ignored it and laughed it off.
  • diydiy Posts: 6,680
    Get in the habit of saying thanks with a hand wave to every driver who gives you plenty of space. It becomes infectious.
  • markhewitt1978markhewitt1978 Posts: 7,614
    I was out on a 50 mile loop on wednesday and returning home down a pretty rural country road ,hedges close to my left and a lack of tarmac really close to the undergrowth ,a drop of 6 inches into the muddy gutter...I was cycling as close to edge as i could becuase it was pretty narrow road but plenty of room for traffic to pass me if safe,the road was straight no bends for ages,, when i hear a car travelling at speed,i hate that sound ,accellerating,fast revs ,,,it triggers my safety instincts,i feel uneasy when i hear a car behind accellerating,you know the sound?
    er saw the number plate he moving too fast!!! I was very pissed off ,i had no chance of catching him up ,no traffic lights for ages,,i was so angry ,but in the back of my mind i was counting myself lucky,it brothered me for the next few miles ,but then it was gone!!

    Ah very much so. You get used to listening for engine notes and so can tell what a car / van is about to do without looking. And yeah, that constant high revs means they are about to pass without slowing. And most of the time that means the pass will be close.
  • GiantMikeGiantMike Posts: 3,139
    Drivers 'average out' all the riders they see, just as a lot of cyclists make assumptions about drivers. After a day in London watching all the idiot cyclists jumping red lights, wobbling over the road and having no road sense, I had a different view of cyclists. It's not surprising that some drivers treat us badly if some riders ride badly and inconsiderately and illegally and dangerously.
  • PituophisPituophis Posts: 1,025
    I feel for the OP, but it does happen to us all.
    Some days it makes me mad and I will try and catch them and tell them what I think of them, and others it makes me laugh as its so ridiculous and scarey :cry: I don't know how I will react to it at the time :oops:
    I always try to ride defensively though, so I like to think I'm not causing drivers any problems.
    May pal on the other hand (who is a decent chap and not antagonistic at all) has shocking road sense, and often makes me cringe! I will probably be killed when someone swerves to miss him, but he treats my well meaning advice as something to ignore :shock:
    Drivers shouldn't take their frustrations out on us, but they feel invulnerable in their little boxes and you don't know what censored of a cyclist they have just met before they come across you :roll:
    Two wrongs don't make a right and all that, but we're talking about human beings here after all!
  • davep1davep1 Posts: 753
    I get apopletic with anger when it happens to me. I scream and shout and sign etc etc. I'm no good at fighting and I don't want it to escalate, but if you ignore them, they will keep doing it. My rationale is my reaction might make them think about their actions, might make them not do it again (probably futile!) and it usually makes following cars give me a bit more room (I think).

    It's the frustration that their deliberate actions could kill or maim me that stokes the fire. I thank everyone that slows down for me, gives me room, and I don't go through red lights or ignore the rules of the road. Should I get help?!

    And OP, I have every sympathy for you. I wish something could be done.
  • MindermastMindermast Posts: 124
    I normally ride on the middle of "my" lane, which is perfectly legal in Germany, not sure about UK. Well, it is legal, because I am allowed (and supposed) to stay clear of parking cars where a door could open suddenly. Anyway, it seems to be much safer than hugging the side of the road, because even if you get passed closely, you have at least one way to go. But that is not the main point. There is a psychological effect: cars can't ignore your presence, they have to treat you like any other vehicle on the road - and it seems, that most of them actually do. I do give way, where I can, but I don't jump off the road and say "sorry, that I exist". This will provoke some drivers, but hardly anyone would deliberately run you over, so you have time to react.

    Actually, now I have more trouble with drivers who think that their car is too big, while I am waiting for them to pass me, because I want to turn left (Germany - turning left is the long way).

    Not sure, if anyone, who hasn't tried it, can get the idea, and I suppose those, who haven't understood, will rather not try it. But imagine what you would do as a car driver, if there was a basked in the middle of your lane. you would rather stop than run over it. But if the basket was on the very side, you would try to go around it, even if there wasn't much space.
  • nweststeynnweststeyn Posts: 1,574
    I'm happy to report, as an update to this thread, that whilst out on a 50ish mile ride to Glenshee yesterday (along a winding road with lots of dips, blind summits and bends) I had nothing but good experiences with drivers waiting and signalling their thanks to me when passing (with plenty of room).
  • Mikey23Mikey23 Posts: 5,028
    So am I to understand that punishment passing is retribution by motorists for some perceived wrongdoing by cyclists?
  • MindermastMindermast Posts: 124
    Mikey23 wrote:
    So am I to understand that punishment passing is retribution by motorists for some perceived wrongdoing by cyclists?

    Yes, and the "wrongdoing" is being on the road at all.
  • peatpeat Posts: 1,243
    My brother in law in a policeman. He likes to "try and pass cyclists without crossing the central line. Sh1ts them right up! haha!"

    That's an actual quote.

    he also came up with the gem "To be honest, if you ride a bike on the road, you deserve to get hit."

    If you ever report dangerous behaviour, you'd better hope you don't go through him or his ilk. Cretin.
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