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I got spat at -- a first!!

Discussion in 'Commuting' started by JamesAC, 30 Nov 2007.

  1. JamesAC

    JamesAC Senior Member

    Location:
    London
    There I was, cycling along a one-way road, parked vehicles both sides, so, to avoid door-swipes I'm in the middle of the carriageway.

    I'm aware of a grinding, clanking racket from behind: I glance back and see a battered Ford something or other, about 1 yard from my rear wheel. I keep churning along (I'm about to make a right turn in 10 - 20 yards time) and then there's a load of hooting and engine revving from behind. So I turn my head back, and politely say, at the top of my voice "F*CK OFF!!!". As I begin to turn right, the car shoots through the widening gap, slows, window goes down, and the woman (??) driver gobs at me, and her boyfriend hurls a stream of abuse.

    Now, I'm quite a mild chap really. I have to say that I was quite shaken up and disturbed to think that there really are people out and about who behave in this appalling way. A sort of semi-animal sub culture.

    I bet she (or possibly "it") had neither insurance nor a drivers' licence.

    I just hope I never encounter them again.:biggrin:
     
  2. John the Monkey

    John the Monkey Frivolous Cyclist

    Location:
    Crewe
    Horrible.

    Hope you're ok - I suspect it'd take me a while to get over that.
     
  3. Tynan

    Tynan Veteran

    Location:
    e4
    lots of people find being told to '**** off' provocative and will react to it

    it really is that simple I'm afraid, you're raising the stakes right up to and including violence

    by all means do it but don't grumble about the reactions, I'm not saying you are

    I'm more of an 'up yours' finger man myself but I had someone pass me, jump out and punch me as I went past, and someone drive up the pavement to chase me more recently, it's to be avoided where ever possible imho
     
  4. Jacomus-rides-Gen

    Jacomus-rides-Gen New Member

    Location:
    Guildford / London
    Report it!

    Yet another case of cyclists being abused by motorists recently. If we make enough fuss, one day, maybe just maybe our rights will be taken seriously. That will only come when it is more hassle to ignoor bad driving complaints, than deal with them.

    I was mildly repremanded by the officer who took my statement after some moronic woman tried to crush me into the barriers outside the HoP simply because she didn't want to to go past her. I put in the statement what language I had used, and that I had shouted at her. He asked me if it was necessary to shout things like that, and I simply replied that yes it was, I don't have a horn to sound angrily, so I used my voice instead. And was scared for my life.

    Of course they did nothing about it, but I made them write a reply to a follow up letter to me.

    My latest "happy-slap" which has hopefully broken/dislocated the arm of the twunt who did it, will be filled in the bin by the Police. In a weeks time I will be chasing it, copying in my MP.
     
  5. Fab Foodie

    Fab Foodie hanging-on in quiet desperation ...

    Nasty.

    Unfortunately there are these people around and every so often we have to deal with this stuff. I have found that it's best to Ignore them (difficult though it might be when the adrenalin is pumping). There is no reasoning with them and all you'll achieve is fuelling their anger further.
    If you Ignore them or refrain from expletives (and it's bloody hard to do) then at least you'll have the moral high ground to occupy. Also, If things escalate you cannot be accused of using insulting language and "kicking it off".
     
  6. Jacomus-rides-Gen

    Jacomus-rides-Gen New Member

    Location:
    Guildford / London
    Indeed - I agree with FF and Tynan about the ignooring thing. At most an open palmed "what?" gesture should be used.

    I fairly often do that after I have been brush passed.
     
  7. JamesAC

    JamesAC Senior Member

    Location:
    London
    Yes, I wish I had shouted "Back Off" rather than what I did shout. Often I just shout "Oi!!" at the top of my (rather loud) voice.

    I'm beginning to think that long one-way streets are a nighmare for cyclists: it really isn't safe (because of parked cars on each side, and the possibility of a door swipe) to cycle anywhere other than in the middle of the lane; and I can't cycle as fast as the following car wants to go ('cos car drivers nearly always want to go faster than you, whatever the circumstances). I usually find that if I indicate my right turn good-and-early, the guy (or guy-ess) behind will be a bit more patient. Unless, of course, they want to turn right, too!
     
  8. Maz

    Maz Guru

    Is this possible? Politely and at the top of your voice?
     
  9. nilling

    nilling Über Member

    Location:
    Preston, UK
    I just smile and wave, if nowt else it just bemuses them :biggrin:

    Swearing and hand gestures can just escalate the situation. I guess it all depends on your "fight or flight" response to a given situation.
     
  10. Cab

    Cab New Member

    Location:
    Cambridge
    I don't find that they're any less aggressive if you don't swear at them.
     
  11. Tetedelacourse

    Tetedelacourse New Member

    Location:
    Rosyth
    Ignoring is probably best in the personal safety stakes, which is of course your (our) number 1 priority. Trouble is though that the idiot/ animal/ motherhubbard will never know how they've made you feel and may never ever be aware of the danger they've placed you in.

    In an ideal world I'd tell them to back off and if it escalates then I'd report it. This isn't an ideal world though.

    No luck anyway.
     
  12. Cab

    Cab New Member

    Location:
    Cambridge
    If you've got someone right on your rear tyre, sounding a horn at you, then the person doing it is trying to scare you off the road; its the equivalent of standing next to you with a hammer and threatening you only much, much more serious.

    Frankly, swearing at them isn't escalation. Its trivial, when compared with the provocation. I doubt very much whether it often causes the motorist, in this situation, to behave any worse.
     
  13. Cab

    Cab New Member

    Location:
    Cambridge
    Ignoring it rarely makes them back off; I'm not convinced thats the best approach. Swearing rarely makes them back off either.

    On some roads the best approach is to gently slow down to a stop and carefully dismount. In some situations you're better off shouting for the person to back off; if they don't back off then making one heck of a racket to attract the attention of anyone else who may be looking is no bad thing, it makes assault a lot less likely. If drawing attention to whats happening will, in your view, be better with loud swearing then go for it.
     
  14. BentMikey

    BentMikey Rider of Seolferwulf

    Location:
    South London
    Shame, that's not very nice James, poor you.

    I think I would slow down, call a loud "Back Off", and even come to a stop if the driver was driving that close to me. I'd even take the camera off and pointedly film their number plate and face. In the past that's had real effect in calming down aggressive drivers. I might even be tempted to blow a snot rocket over my shoulder, but that would be just plain naughty.
     
  15. Tynan

    Tynan Veteran

    Location:
    e4
    I have to disagree completely with both points, someone rear ending is showing impatience, perhaps in a dangerous way but that's secondary

    And swearing at someone is provocation and is escalating the situation, almost anything that doesn't defuse the situation escalates it to some degree