People Be Crazy

As some of you know, I ride my bicycle to the office every day. Been doing it for almost 2 years now. Today, I nearly had my first fistfight with a motorist.

This guy came up behind me as I was riding through a Wal-Mart parking lot and starts honking his horn. I was poking along behind the car in front of me, and there were pedestrians going every which way, so I had no reason to think he was honking at me and didn't even turn and look. Then when I turned to ride into the Target parking lot next door (we've got a Super Target right next to a Super Wal-Mart), he pulls up alongside me, honks again, then rolls down the passenger window and leans over, pokes his finger out at me, and shouts, "You are not a **** car! Get out of the way! Get off the **** road!"

I knew I wasn't holding him up in any way, and as I think I've mentioned on here before, I'm always extremely courteous on the roads because I know there's no future in making drivers angry at cyclists, even when the driver is in the wrong. But this guy just pissed me right the hell off. So I looked right at him and yelled, "Shut the *** up!"

Well, he didn't like that one bit. He gunned his engine and swerved over behind me, like he was trying to make me think he was going to run me down. I ignored him. Then he pulled up alongside again and poked his finger out at me and yelled, "You are not a **** car! You've got no right! Get off the **** road!"

So I turned and yelled, "I've got the same right to the road that a car does! Ask your **** lawyer!"

Then he repeated the bit about me not being a **** car (which, truth be told, I already knew) and added, "I'm gonna beat your **** ass!" Well, I had completely had it with this guy by then, so I said, "Come on, then."

I pulled up onto the curb in front of Target to lock my bike to the rack, like always, and he went and parked. It takes me a couple of minutes to lock my bike up, so I was still standing there when he came walking up to the store. Instead of going to the door, he came over toward me. He got within, I dunno, about 15 feet, and shouted, "Did you say 'come on'?!" I looked at him and shrugged and said, "Yeah, if that's what you want to do, let's get it over with."

At that point he looked to his left and saw a police car parked there. He looked back at me and said, "If the cops weren't here, you'd be in trouble!" Then he walked on into Target.

A guy walking by as I finished locking up my bike rolled his eyes and smiled and said, "Kind of a hothead, huh?" I chuckled and said yeah, I guess so. Then I went on into the store to get my bagels. The cop was standing just inside the door, so I told him what happened and gave him the guy's license plate number. No idea if he did anything about it. I went on about my business.

I'll admit I could've handled the situation better than I did, but, damnation, this guy was just 100% out of line. Way, way out of line.

So, anyway, yeah, I could've handled it better, but, honestly, what is wrong with people?

Comments

  • pnaylonpnaylon Posts: 214
    Shoulda kicked his ass!

  • zeebrazeebra Posts: 3,174 ✭✭✭
    yes people are crazy. and yes, a bike has every right to be on the road, except freeways and interstates unless you can pedal 50 mph at least...

    should have tried to get in front of him in the line and stalled him there also...lol
  • undulacundulac Posts: 1,129
    Next time, pretend to lock your bike up and have the chain tucked in the back of your pants. Then kick his ass in the head.
  • xmacroxmacro Posts: 3,402
    I'd carry some pepper spray if I were you - both for the unchained dogs and for the people who should be chained.
  • stephen_hannibalstephen_hannibal Posts: 4,317
    OK so this chick on a bike cut me off today... I didn't even care.
    You're riding safely and this dude flips, bro you handled it well.

    Keep your cool, guys like him are hotheads till someone badder fecks em up.
    He will be the cause of his own destruction.

  • FourtotheflushFourtotheflush Posts: 2,555
    You were right, I hope you enjoyed the adrenalin rush!
  • urbinourbino Posts: 4,517
    Yeah, there definitely are cyclists who aren't good sharers of the road, stephen. Some of them think just because they've got a legal right to take the lane, it's okay for them to do it all the time, regardless of the effect on traffic flow. That's incredibly rude. And some seem to think the rules of the road don't apply to them at all. Those kinds of cyclists make me nervous; they're just pissing off motorists for no good reason, and making it more dangerous for the rest of us. Motorists need to be able to count on us to behave predictably, according to the rules, just like we need to be able to count on them.

    But I'm not one of those cyclists, and I wasn't holding this guy up one iota. If I had been sitting at home on the couch, this guy couldn't have gone 1 mph faster through that parking lot. Not unless he was planning to run over half a dozen pedestrians and plow into the back of the car that was in front of me. I was going as fast as it was possible for either of us to go.

    That's why it pissed me off so much.
  • urbinourbino Posts: 4,517
    xmacro:
    I'd carry some pepper spray if I were you - both for the unchained dogs and for the people who should be chained.
    I've thought about that from time to time. But this is the first run-in I've ever had with unchained people, and I've only ever had one dog chase me. I cranked it up to 25 mph and outran him; son of a gun chased me for over a mile, though. I was absolutely gassed for the rest of that ride, lol.
  • plaidbanana1plaidbanana1 Posts: 187
    As I once heard a wise drunk guy at a hockey game in south Louisiana say "Paunch Him!!".
  • urbinourbino Posts: 4,517
    Drunk guy + hockey game + south Louisiana = the trouble trifecta
  • pnaylonpnaylon Posts: 214
    plaidbanana1:
    As I once heard a wise drunk guy at a hockey game in south Louisiana say "Paunch Him!!".
    WHere did you find a south louisiana hockey game!?

  • plaidbanana1plaidbanana1 Posts: 187
    pnaylon:
    plaidbanana1:
    As I once heard a wise drunk guy at a hockey game in south Louisiana say "Paunch Him!!".
    WHere did you find a south louisiana hockey game!?

    Believe it or not, we do have a minor league team called the Ice Gators. They were on espn a few months back when the coach went nuts.
  • doromathdoromath Posts: 576
    Sorry to hear that Urbi. I found one constant theme in life is that I'm continuously surprised at just how careless, selfish and moronic humans can be (And yes, I lump myself in here too at various stages of my life)

    I used to bike to class all the time in college and had a run-in once. It was surprising since the campus was very bike friendly and car-prohibitive. I was in the left turn lane at a red light waiting for it to turn green and this guy out of nowhere comes up VERY close to my rear tire. The light turned green and he's riding right on me into the middle of the intersection, at which point he GUNS it, swerves around me into the oncoming traffic lane (which was empty) honks and flips me off.

    As it happens the way we were both headed had an extremely steep downward grade so I pedalled it hard and caught up with him half-way to the next red-light. He had the windows up and didn't notice me as I coasted up on his passenger side. I took out my pocket knife (which isn't all that impressive), tapped it on his window and gave him a shrug when he looked over. He was definitely startled and didn't look like he wanted to carry the discussion any further...

    Large over-reaction on my part as well but damn it's frustrating when you're that exposed and folks (idiots) play around with you. Hope your commute goes better in the future.

  • urbinourbino Posts: 4,517
    Too many people in Memphis are packing. If I pulled out a knife, I'd just get shot.
  • TatuajeVITatuajeVI Posts: 2,378
    xmacro:
    I'd carry some pepper spray if I were you - both for the unchained dogs and for the people who should be chained.
    Yep. Good advice. Pepper spray is a great way to prevent a fight and not do permanent damage. I try to never leave the house without pepper spray and a handgun. Far too many crazy idiots out there to think "it won't ever happen to me."
  • HaysHays Costa del Sol, SpainPosts: 2,338 ✭✭✭
    TatuajeVI:
    xmacro:
    I'd carry some pepper spray if I were you - both for the unchained dogs and for the people who should be chained.
    Yep. Good advice. Pepper spray is a great way to prevent a fight and not do permanent damage. I try to never leave the house without pepper spray and a handgun. Far too many crazy idiots out there to think "it won't ever happen to me."
    LMAO
    ¨The cure for anything is salt water: sweat, tears, or the sea¨ - Isak Dinesen

    ¨Only two people walk around in this world beardless - boys and women - and I am neither one.¨
  • HaysHays Costa del Sol, SpainPosts: 2,338 ✭✭✭
    BTW Urbi, I do have professional security experience and will lend my services in exchange for cigars... ;-)



    No lie, I have legitimately lifted a car's back end off the ground - watch the guy want to f*ck with you when his car won't move ;-) lol...
    ¨The cure for anything is salt water: sweat, tears, or the sea¨ - Isak Dinesen

    ¨Only two people walk around in this world beardless - boys and women - and I am neither one.¨
  • lilwing88lilwing88 ChitownPosts: 2,812 ✭✭✭
    I used to ride my bike to work (in the summer, of course), and that lasted for about 3 weeks. The roads, in my opinion, are no place for cyclists. There are waaaaaay too many bad drivers out there. You're definitely taking your life into your hands riding on city streets. In my line of work I've seen a few bad accidents involving cyclists where brain matter on the pavement was involved. In a perfect world the streets should be a safe haven for pedestrians of any kind. But in the real world........ not so much.

    I like to ride my bike in the forest preserves. Much more quiet and safe. Just have to dodge the occasional whino passed out on the trail.... LOL!
    Guns don't kill people, Daddies with pretty daughters do…..
  • urbinourbino Posts: 4,517
    Heh. I don't think I can afford enough cigars to get you here from CA, room & board you, Hays; and you're too big to fit in my humidor.

    That's a helluva lift. This guy was driving a Nissan, though, so you'd have to lift the front end -- which would really be a helluva lift.

    I've got a little self-defense training. Just enough that, when crap like this comes up, I have a plan and enough practice that I can execute it quickly and effectively. I'm certainly no bad-ass, but it gives me an advantage over most people. And having been the smallest kid in my class/neighborhood all the way through high school, I don't have to decide on the spot whether or not I'm willing to take a beating if necessary; that decision was made long, long ago. I'm not going to let somebody treat me like they can whoop me without first proving they can do it. My experience has been that about 90% of people don't have the heart to actually attack somebody when it comes right down to it (which is a character strength, in my book), most of the other 10% don't have any idea what they're doing once it starts, and even of the ones who really can get the job done, very, very few can do it without taking more punishment in the process than it's worth.
  • urbinourbino Posts: 4,517
    lilwing88:
    I used to ride my bike to work (in the summer, of course), and that lasted for about 3 weeks. The roads, in my opinion, are no place for cyclists. There are waaaaaay too many bad drivers out there. You're definitely taking your life into your hands riding on city streets. In my line of work I've seen a few bad accidents involving cyclists where brain matter on the pavement was involved. In a perfect world the streets should be a safe haven for pedestrians of any kind. But in the real world........ not so much.

    I like to ride my bike in the forest preserves. Much more quiet and safe. Just have to dodge the occasional whino passed out on the trail.... LOL!
    From what I can tell, city riding is much, much safer than riding on country roads. Even though there's a lot less traffic out there, it's going a lot faster and nobody's expecting to encounter a cyclist. Drivers just zone out. (I do the same thing.) Plus, there's almost no shoulder. Of all the stories I've heard of cyclists getting killed by cars, nearly all of them have been on two-lane highways out in the middle of nowhere.
  • kaspera79kaspera79 Posts: 7,259 ✭✭✭
    Hey urbi, sorry to hear someone gave you a bad time. But I do like the idea of a bike lock along the side of that jack-offs head !
  • Garen BGaren B Posts: 977
    urbino:
    lilwing88:
    I used to ride my bike to work (in the summer, of course), and that lasted for about 3 weeks. The roads, in my opinion, are no place for cyclists. There are waaaaaay too many bad drivers out there. You're definitely taking your life into your hands riding on city streets. In my line of work I've seen a few bad accidents involving cyclists where brain matter on the pavement was involved. In a perfect world the streets should be a safe haven for pedestrians of any kind. But in the real world........ not so much.

    I like to ride my bike in the forest preserves. Much more quiet and safe. Just have to dodge the occasional whino passed out on the trail.... LOL!
    From what I can tell, city riding is much, much safer than riding on country roads. Even though there's a lot less traffic out there, it's going a lot faster and nobody's expecting to encounter a cyclist. Drivers just zone out. (I do the same thing.) Plus, there's almost no shoulder. Of all the stories I've heard of cyclists getting killed by cars, nearly all of them have been on two-lane highways out in the middle of nowhere.
    I live in an area where a lot of cyclists ride around (side note: Floyd Landis lives out here) and it's pretty harrowing for everyone involved when you have to pass a cyclist at the same time as a car is coming at you in the opposite direction. At best the bike lane is 6 inches wide and at worst, you're riding on the line or risk going into traffic or the dirt. Those guys have some cajones to ride on a 55 mph road.
  • urbinourbino Posts: 4,517
    Thanks, kas. Next time I'll tell him I've "got people" in Chicago.
    Garen B:
    I live in an area where a lot of cyclists ride around (side note: Floyd Landis lives out here) and it's pretty harrowing for everyone involved when you have to pass a cyclist at the same time as a car is coming at you in the opposite direction. At best the bike lane is 6 inches wide and at worst, you're riding on the line or risk going into traffic or the dirt. Those guys have some cajones to ride on a 55 mph road.
    Unfortunately, most cities don't give us many choices. Having a bike lane at all is extremely rare, and with cities feeling the economic pinch, a lot of them almost never sweep the roads anymore, which leaves the shoulders very hazardous to ride on, too.

    One thing to keep in mind is you almost never have to pass a cyclist at any given moment. You can wait until the other car gets by. I know that seems easy for me to say, since I'm the cyclist. OTOH, I've only been cycling for 2 years, and I've been driving since I was 14. I know it's annoying to have to slow way down. It's why I stay as far out of the way as I possibly can, and never ride where the speed limit is that high.
  • Hmm this sounds familiar......
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