Venting frustration

by bike_food   May 20, 2013  

How do you do it when you are wronged by a motorist e.g. close pass, left hook, general crappy driving?
I used to gesticulate a lot but you only end up winding yourself up even more and can put yourself in more danger drifting over the road while waving your arms about.
Not to mention you get the odd nutter who will stop; fighting in lycra with cleats and a ton of miles in the legs isn't a good idea.
I tend to mumble or if it's really dangerous shout knowing full well no one can hear. I think the more it happens the less it bothers you which isn't a great way of viewing bad driving.

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I like to wave my arms in a suitably 'continental' manner, unless of course they look double hard in which case I simply put my head down and contemplate starting a thread on it later.

posted by thebungle [94 posts]
20th May 2013 - 9:09

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I give them the fist pump and offer them a fight, what I have always wanted to do is carry marbles in my bike pouch and launch one at the offending car, jujitsu for 8 years I can handle myself, I explained that to a driver once and asked him which arm he would prefer I broke lol, sensibly he drove off. funny enough it was my fault at the time ha.

I would recommend to others just to carry on and ignore them, you never know what they have with them, baseball bat in the boot etc

posted by billyman [115 posts]
20th May 2013 - 10:32

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Clapping sarcastically is quite fun.

But to be mature, and safe, best thing to do is just roll your eyes and carry on with your journey.

posted by Tom Amos [175 posts]
20th May 2013 - 10:47

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After many years of near misses in London, I've come to realise that reacting angrily does nothing. If you get a chance, calmly explaining to the driver what they did wrong can sometimes help. Otherwise, smiling and waving cheerily can throw people for a loop.
It's really, really hard though at times. The natural reaction to nearly being killed is a massive adrenaline boost and a load of anger. It's very, very hard to stay calm. That's probably why cyclists have a reputation for being angry - so many near death experiences, so frequently.
Not sure what drivers' excuses are though....

posted by bashthebox [410 posts]
20th May 2013 - 10:55

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I disagree with the "carry on regardless" as it gives the driver the impression that what they did was right and perfectly acceptable. Let the sods know you are not happy with their idea of sharing the roads. How many times do driver hit the horn when they feel aggreived?I have a full range of reactions from simply eye-balling them to full on contact with the car. The later soon sharpens their focus.

IME the vast,vast,vast majority of near-misses are caused by the driver being in too much of a hurry and as such they don't stop. If they do stop, I just simply cycle past as if nothing has happened.

I have asked "Does 10 seconds of your time really mean more than my life?"

posted by Yorkshie Whippet [119 posts]
20th May 2013 - 11:38

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Anger breeds anger so I find it best to mutter quietly, be glad to still be alive and save it to vent at the pub.

Chances of someone stopping to apologise or discuss the issue are pretty remote, more likely you'd get someone who thinks the exact opposite, isn't willing to listen and is spoiling for a fight. None of which you really want on a ride.

posted by madhouse [25 posts]
20th May 2013 - 11:47

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I'm going through a horrendous spell of nearly being cleaned out by young women on their own, so by the time I'm about to start bollocking someone I have to bite my tongue as I don't really have the heart to scream at a girl on their own.

I usually go with "Have a look before you kill someone", which may be padded out with a few other words.

Funnily enough I tried to get a motorists attention the other week after they had nearly whalloped me on a roundabout by looking through their rear windscreen but their view of me was almost completely obscured by an A4 sized sticker proclaiming "THINK BIKE".

I did have a chuckle to myself when the irony of this clicked.

posted by farrell [610 posts]
20th May 2013 - 12:11

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farrell wrote:
I'm going through a horrendous spell of nearly being cleaned out by young women on their own, so by the time I'm about to start bollocking someone I have to bite my tongue as I don't really have the heart to scream at a girl on their own.

I usually go with "Have a look before you kill someone", which may be padded out with a few other words.

Funnily enough I tried to get a motorists attention the other week after they had nearly whalloped me on a roundabout by looking through their rear windscreen but their view of me was almost completely obscured by an A4 sized sticker proclaiming "THINK BIKE".

I did have a chuckle to myself when the irony of this clicked.

I was passed by a young lady last week, she squeezed between me and an oncoming car.
After passing she realised it was a bit unnecessary and put her hand up to apologize, lost control of the car and mounted the near side kerb with both wheels, luckily she was a good few metres in front by then.
I felt a combination of relief and despair while laughing at the same time.

posted by bike_food [84 posts]
20th May 2013 - 12:37

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Slightly off topic I know but I had a white van man squirt me with water (well I hope it was water), the debt was repaid a couple of miles later when the same van got stuck in heavy traffic - half a bottle of sticky blackcurrant carb solution redressed the balance.

I don't condone retribution, its not wise I know and I should have reported it to the Police - but in this instance my response seemed proportionate.

posted by andycoventry [54 posts]
20th May 2013 - 12:43

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I offer them a fight and they usually drive off but some have stopped and felt my anger

posted by Shanefutcher [56 posts]
20th May 2013 - 13:07

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I usually give them the shaking head of despair at their driving and hope they feel shamed (if they even notice).

If I get honked/shouted at I often swear back although I try to maintain my calmness and wave.

posted by adamtaylor [11 posts]
20th May 2013 - 14:40

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If someone is aggressive towards me, honking etc, I tend to smile and wave. Meeting aggression with aggression isn't the best way to go. It's always amusing if you can get a whole group ride grinning and waving at a driver that's a bit pissed off with you! If I'm feeling brave I sometimes make the call me sign Call Me just to leave them a bit confused

posted by pirnie [136 posts]
20th May 2013 - 14:53

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Problem is there is too many motorists out there with anger issues to risk swearing at or whatever. As was proven in several posts recently. I usually resort to a didainful shake of the head though if they didn't see me they are highly unlikely to see me in the rear view mirror. Then indulge in a few sprints to shift the anger. On a very rare occasion has the motorist responded positively to my shout in the paSt.
Another tactic I employ is when entering a traffic calming obstacle I drift into the middle and drop my outside arm to a 45* angle and waggle my fingure in a disproving manner if the vehicle behind is trying to squeeze through. The track stare is equally useful and intimidating. Especially when wearing mirrored lenses. A bit like arnie in the terminator

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posted by giff77 [770 posts]
20th May 2013 - 16:14

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If you meet them at traffic lights, motion to roll down window and ask how there day is, where they are heading, if they are having a pleasant journey. Grin at them, and laugh at everything they say. Sets em right on edge...

If I get a close pass I usually stick my arm out.
Sometimes I shake my head.
I swore once or twice but then I realised that it looks generally bad on all cyclists, yes there is a bad driver there but people forget him but will remember your reactions/actions.
I had a guy swerve at me once pulling in front of me and then have an arguement about road positioning, just asked if he'd like to call the police to discuss it properly. 4x4 driving wanker soon moved on.

posted by Cycle_Jim [266 posts]
20th May 2013 - 17:30

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This is a topic I've been giving increasing thought to due to a burk who always hurls abuse at me when he passes me, or more accurately his mate in the passenger seat. I've come to think that this could easily get out of hand and its me who is at most risk. In the same way that there is always someone faster than you (unless you are the Manx missile), there is always gonna be someone harder or more psychotic than you. One day last week I was already wound up after nearly being knocked off, then 5 miles later being blasted by a scroat with a huge water pistol, when the above Burk passed me again on my return commute. When I caught him at the traffic lights I gave a dirty look, and sure enough when he passed me again later he hurled out even more abuse. With every passing week of this it runs the risk off getting out of hand.

posted by Steveal [17 posts]
21st May 2013 - 10:19

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The other week I had a taxi driver block the cycle lane at a set of lights on me so I went up his outside. He then started yelling at me telling me I should be in the cycle lane. My continued silence caused him to rant and foam at the mouth even more. By this stage the lights were in green phase and in my best patronising voice I told him to drive on whilst pointing at the lights. He went bright red, muttered some obscenity and took off.

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posted by giff77 [770 posts]
21st May 2013 - 11:15

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Track stares and head shakes, as well as a 'what are you doing shrug' usually work for me. On the odd time they speak to me, I mention the rules of the highway code, being polite is the best way, if they expect confrontation and don't get it they generally get confused and drive off.

posted by pdows47 [84 posts]
21st May 2013 - 11:27

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blow a kiss if they are really worked up, they don't know how to respond to that!

On the whole I have now changed most of my commute to quiter roads. Now doing 19 miles each way instead of 15, and feeling a lot more relaxed for it.

posted by gw [30 posts]
21st May 2013 - 14:39

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The track stare is particularly effective when combined with a track stand at the lights. The go on I dare you to...

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posted by giff77 [770 posts]
21st May 2013 - 14:55

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I made mistake, after nearly being knocked off by one car, then the second coming even closer, and in order to avoid ending up off the road i genstured using my foot to get away. this in turn made the driver uncontrollably angry, leaning out of his drivers door while driving shouting at me telling me he was going to f'ing kill me! then nearly knocked me off again stopped his car at an angle across the road to block my path. then hurtled towards me standing over my front wheel arms raised telling me is was this and that (cannot swear on this forum i guess!) and i could have damaged his car. he was so aggresive my partner called the police as he was completely out of control! The police arrived about 7 mins later, he had calmed down knowing the police were on their way. The police turned up talked to him and another driver who had also cut me up before this maniac! while the female officer was talking about our bikes and she was ding London to Brighton this year all very calming. The Male officer came over did not even get my side of what had happened (even though we had called them in fear of of this crazy lunatic!) and actually said he was coming over to have a word with me making out i was in the wrong!! the driver walked past us before the officer had even finished talking to us. he had made his mind up before even talking to me about his public order offence and dangerous driving offences which they were!! the policeman actually came over and said he was gonna have a word with me! i was the one that called them in fear of this muppet in charge of a car! i have made an official complaint ot the police as i have not had my side heard and they think it is case closed saying it is a road rage offence and that i could have been arrested!

posted by darrellthfc [3 posts]
22nd May 2013 - 14:18

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gonna put that in my Armour, Cool

posted by darrellthfc [3 posts]
23rd May 2013 - 12:06

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wave or slow hand clap, coupled with knocking on the window if i then catch them at the lights

Take a few GoPro's, attach 'em to a dashboard and drive 3,000 miles across America in 12 days.
Sit back and enjoy the result!
http://themartincox.co.uk/raam-2013/

posted by themartincox [172 posts]
23rd May 2013 - 20:23

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I am following the Giro around Italy right now. For the past two weeks I have been amazed by how good Italian drivers are. Chaotic, yes, and with a total disregard for the law, but with hardly any agro at all. Then last night as I rode the ITT course I was actually knocked off my bike. You can read the full details in my blog at http://www.tourletour.com/Giro2013WP/of-all-the-days-to-not-have-the-vid... , but basically I am still impressed by Italian drivers, and suspect he was a visitor.

When there really is agro though, I just wave. Not going to help getting worked up about it.

I'm riding the 2013 Giro d'Italia for charity! Check it out and follow my progress live at www.tourletour.com

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posted by Tour Le Tour [89 posts]
23rd May 2013 - 21:56

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