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  1. #1
    Join Date
    May 2010
    Location
    ATL
    Posts
    11

    Yelled at by moron and now discouraged

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    Hi everyone.

    The other day, I stopped at a stop sign, signaled, and took my turn (as a car would) to take a right. There's quite a steep hill after the turn, but it's short, and I did what I always do -- kept in the middle of the lane so I'd be visible and powered up the hill.

    Suddenly the driver behind me lay on the horn like all hell has broken loose, and hollered out of the window in a jeering tone of voice, "You better get out of the way, lady, or you're gonna get hit!" Scared, I wobbled a bit and looked at her. She was a middle-aged woman in a giant faux-sporty SUV. She then accelerated and passed me on the right, which nearly pushed me over the yellow line.

    What was the rush? There was a line of traffic waiting at a red light less than 100 feet up the road. Furious now, I yelled back, "Bikes are vehicles! It's the law!" I kept riding, the light changed, and continued across the intersection. She pounded on the horn again, yelled again, "Get out of the way!" to which I yelled back, "Stop lecturing me and drive!" She passed, and the encounter was over. For her, anyway.

    For about 6 weeks I've been working to get back in shape to do my commute to work (lots of hills) and this week I've finally been able to do it. Most of my route is on low-volume roads, and I'm always very careful and obey traffic rules just like I do when I'm driving a car.

    But now I don't even want to ride. I keep hearing that nasty tone of voice in my head, and keep feeling embarrassed that I engaged with such a scumbag, and just generally find my sense of pleasure and accomplishment totally spoiled.

    Any ideas on how to feel better about this and do better next time?
    wouldn't give nothin for my journey now
    2009 Raleigh Alysa
    2009 Fuji Finest 1.0

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Sep 2008
    Location
    Beautiful NW or Left Coast
    Posts
    5,619
    please think of the 250 other drivers you encountered that same day. There are nasty jerks every where. But they are the tiniest minority! Don't let one creep spoil your life. Get back on your bike and smile and wave at every driver you can!!

    And if you see her again, get her license plate number and report her for harassment!
    I like Bikes - Mimi
    Watercolor Blog

    Davidson Custom Bike - Cavaletta
    Dahon 2009 Sport - Luna
    Old Raleigh Mixte - Mitzi

  3. #3
    Join Date
    Apr 2006
    Location
    I'm the only one allowed to whine
    Posts
    10,557
    It's going to happen every week.

    There is always someone, always a jerk who refuses to pass when it's clear or insists on passing when it isn't. Always someone who will lay on the horn and cuss you out.

    Welcome to America, land of the free and home of the bravely-bullying-others. (as long as their vehicle is bigger and they can get away anonymously)

    I've found the majority to be heavy-set women driving big cars with "fish" on the back. To the point that I cringe WHILE DRIVING IN MY OWN CAR when I see a "fish" sticker. http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Ichthys
    Last edited by KnottedYet; 07-17-2011 at 05:02 PM.
    "If Americans want to live the American Dream, they should go to Denmark." - Richard Wilkinson

  4. #4
    Join Date
    Mar 2008
    Posts
    2,698
    Ditto what Biciclista said. DH and I had a similar, almost verbatim experience a few years ago. When DH called 911, he was informed that threatening physical harm like that is a crime and they can arrest the driver. Don't engage, but don't hesitate to call emergency services either.

    I'm glad that you're ok....don't let the haters win!

  5. #5
    Join Date
    Jul 2006
    Location
    Looking at all the love there that's sleeping
    Posts
    4,171
    Quote Originally Posted by greyfeather View Post
    Any ideas on how to feel better about this and do better next time?
    Congratulations!!!

    You are now a cyclist!
    2007 Seven ID8 - Bontrager InForm
    2003 Klein Palomino - Terry Firefly (?)
    2010 Seven Cafe Racer - Bontrager InForm
    2008 Cervelo P2C - Adamo Prologue Saddle

  6. #6
    Join Date
    Apr 2007
    Location
    Land of 1,000 Bicycles
    Posts
    581
    Congratulations!!!

    You are now a cyclist!
    Yup, it's a badge of honor.

    Don't let that dimwit spoil everything you've accomplished. You've been riding and building your skills and strength and having fun. She's probably just a big knot of meanness and jealousy, and you never want those people to win, do you?

    Have fun, ride safe!
    2001 Cannondale R500 <3
    2011 Specialized Ruby Elite Apex
    2021 Tangential Speedarama

  7. #7
    Join Date
    Nov 2005
    Location
    Between the Blue Ridge and the Chesapeake Bay
    Posts
    5,203
    Those encounters can be rattling. Passing on the right is illegal, but its hard to retain one's wits and get a license plate number in those situations. In my state, bicyclists are required to ride to the right, but I take the lane when it is safe and practical to do so, like an upcoming left turn. But if there are cars behind me, I generally let them go by. They are bigger than me.

    You could always think of it this way: at least she saw you, which was your goal afterall.

  8. #8
    Join Date
    Apr 2008
    Posts
    3,176
    I imagine these morons yell at me when I drive my car too, I just can't hear them. Enjoy yourself and your bike!
    Each day is a gift, that's why it is called the present.

  9. #9
    Join Date
    May 2010
    Location
    ATL
    Posts
    11
    Quote Originally Posted by Biciclista View Post
    please think of the 250 other drivers you encountered that same day. There are nasty jerks every where. But they are the tiniest minority! Don't let one creep spoil your life. Get back on your bike and smile and wave at every driver you can!!

    And if you see her again, get her license plate number and report her for harassment!
    This is good advice, and I will remember it. Thank you.
    wouldn't give nothin for my journey now
    2009 Raleigh Alysa
    2009 Fuji Finest 1.0

  10. #10
    Join Date
    May 2010
    Location
    ATL
    Posts
    11
    Quote Originally Posted by KnottedYet View Post
    It's going to happen every week.

    There is always someone, always a jerk who refuses to pass when it's clear or insists on passing when it isn't. Always someone who will lay on the horn and cuss you out.

    Welcome to America, land of the free and home of the bravely-bullying-others. (as long as their vehicle is bigger and they can get away anonymously)

    I've found the majority to be heavy-set women driving big cars with "fish" on the back. To the point that I cringe WHILE DRIVING IN MY OWN CAR when I see a "fish" sticker. http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Ichthys
    Haha. Yes, it is bullying, nothing more.

    Lots of people around here have the fish thing (so much so that others respond with versions that say "gefilte" and "flying spaghetti monster" and even "linux"), and are diverse. This lady didn't; instead, she had a license plate frame that announced her support of one of the local college football teams. And was, as you say, heavyset. I took from this that her "faith" was that sports were for spectators. Ugh.
    wouldn't give nothin for my journey now
    2009 Raleigh Alysa
    2009 Fuji Finest 1.0

  11. #11
    Join Date
    May 2010
    Location
    ATL
    Posts
    11
    Thanks becky, 7rider, and tangentgirl. I'm going for a ride now.
    wouldn't give nothin for my journey now
    2009 Raleigh Alysa
    2009 Fuji Finest 1.0

  12. #12
    Join Date
    May 2010
    Location
    ATL
    Posts
    11

    Red face

    Quote Originally Posted by tulip View Post
    Those encounters can be rattling. Passing on the right is illegal, but its hard to retain one's wits and get a license plate number in those situations. In my state, bicyclists are required to ride to the right, but I take the lane when it is safe and practical to do so, like an upcoming left turn. But if there are cars behind me, I generally let them go by. They are bigger than me.

    You could always think of it this way: at least she saw you, which was your goal afterall.
    Absolutely right. This was going through my mind after the fact.

    I'll do better next time (I hope).
    wouldn't give nothin for my journey now
    2009 Raleigh Alysa
    2009 Fuji Finest 1.0

  13. #13
    Join Date
    May 2010
    Location
    ATL
    Posts
    11
    Thanks, muirenn and Malkin!
    wouldn't give nothin for my journey now
    2009 Raleigh Alysa
    2009 Fuji Finest 1.0

  14. #14
    Join Date
    Sep 2008
    Location
    Beautiful NW or Left Coast
    Posts
    5,619
    Quote Originally Posted by tulip View Post
    You could always think of it this way: at least she saw you, which was your goal afterall.
    wow, this is great!!
    I like Bikes - Mimi
    Watercolor Blog

    Davidson Custom Bike - Cavaletta
    Dahon 2009 Sport - Luna
    Old Raleigh Mixte - Mitzi

  15. #15
    Join Date
    Jul 2011
    Location
    Maine
    Posts
    2
    Please don't let that jerk discourage you. There are so many more courteous drivers than there are idiots out there--or at least that's been my experience as a newbie--so try to remember that the next time when (if) somebody gives you a hard time.

    P.S. I wouldn't bother trying to get in the last word with the jerks--you never know what axe they have to grind so you're better off just pedaling away and gettin' your healthy on!

 

 

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