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improving at berations but still not great yet

Discussion in 'Commuting' started by bonj2, 26 Feb 2008.

  1. bonj2

    bonj2 Guest

    this morning on holmewood road (single carriageway, fairly straight and not too wide, either 40mph or NSL) had a two motons overtake dangerously close, one must have been only about 6 inches from my right handlebar.

    Then just about at the point of crossing the M1 (similar road, but wider, slightly curvier and slightly downhill) some absolute tosser in a people carrier overtakes, not TOO close, but not exacty considerately wide berth, then LITERALLY 10 yards ahead pulls in and puts his right indicator on, and stops, blocking the road waiting to turn right. So I knock on his rear window, and he fairly decisively (i read it as angrily) abandons the right turn and pulls onto the verge, to talk to me. I pull up to the right of his car, and he gets out and says 'what's your problem?' I managed 'what's the point in overtaking dangerously like that?'
    and then he says 'come over here onto the verge, you're blocking the road'.
    I thought, (a) that's a bit rich coming from this twunt, (:biggrin: i'm standing in the middle of the lane, so any passing vehicles can pull out as they would do a parked car, they probably would need to do that anyway to overtake his car as it was only half on the verge half in the road.

    But i didn't bother to engage with him further, I just looked away as if to say "i wouldn't give you the time o' day, pal", and cycled off.

    i at least managed to not be aggressive, even though he was a bit pissed off at me having stopped him by knocking on his window, but i didn't manage to do what i would ultimately have liked to have done, which was to educate him and part on good terms. I don't think he was particularly aggressive, i think he just wanted to stand on the verge and discuss verbally, but he could have been the next kenneth noye for all I knew, which was why i just buggered off. I was also a bit pissed off that i pulled him up for the wrong thing - i was a bit narked at the two idiots who overtook me dangerously but got away, then this guy wasn't dangerous but was just incredibly selfish and impatient - but i managed to stop him.

    What would anybody else have done?
     
  2. tdr1nka

    tdr1nka Taking the biscuit

    Let 'em go Dude, let 'em go.
    If I were to confront every instance of human selfishness I meet on a daily basis I wouldn't get 1/2 a mile from my front door, or out of the house in the first place!

    Where there is evident danger when out with Ms tdr1nka on the tandem I will attempt to draw the attention of the driver concerned and say my piece.

    But after years of road riding, near misses, doors being opened etc. fingers crossed I have not yet suffered physically from someones bad driving. Unecessary heart stopping moments by the shedload but nothing that my riding and common sense hasn't been able to cope with.

    The big problem is we can all too easily extrapolate the worst case scenario from every near miss which is frankly demoralising. If there was any real truth in our imaginings we would either be dead or vowing to never ride a bicycle ever again.

    The guy you encountered had obviously not seen you or considered you which in both cases means that when you knocked on his back window you probably gave him a real shock. The fact he pulled over to talk was probably as encouraging as it was unsettling. Remember, you have broken his concentration, no bad thing maybe, but this guy will be feeling uneccesarily(in his mind)threatened and will give you all the defencive body language in the book.

    The fact you stopped him to no mutually beneficial end is the real rub, and this I believe is the reason you have asked for the opinions of others here.
    Believe me and know how desperately I used to try to educate car drivers who basically don't or don't appear to give a damn about safe driving but attempting to (re)educate these drivers in the field and in motion, as it were, is thankless and never going to be an exact science it is basically not our job.

    Speaking as someone who had free dental work from a Ped I tried to educate and hiding for an hour and a half from a driver who chased me after I had simply flicked the finger at, I feel I have some experience in what your feeling Bonj.

    Be confident in your riding and know your limits.
    Hard though it is you must keep peddling for all the good that cycling can be and learn to let the lesser wrongs slide.

    Funny thing is tonight I was getting off the bus with Ms. tdr1nka when an 'older lady' cyclist, caught behind our bus in the bus lane shouted angrily
    'F*ckin' hurry up bus driver' at the top of her lungs!
    I caught her eye and shouted back at her to shut the hell up and mind her language around my kid, which to her credit she duly did.
    What on earth was all that about?

    Let 'em go Dude, let 'em go.

    T x
     
  3. I understand where you're coming from Td but I cant let the bastards off the hook. If some twunt threatens my safety I'll catch them up and berate them. If we just shrug it off they'll never learn.
     
  4. tdr1nka

    tdr1nka Taking the biscuit

    Thump the car by all means, in fact this is why I wear steel toe cap trainers , I give very short thrift where I see fit.

    But I think, in the instance that Bonj discribes, a positive dialogue is fruitless or unlikely, a/ if you cycle off and don't follow through with what you've started, or b/ if you fail to exercise this method with every braindead driver you encounter.

    There has to be some limit to which you let discourtesy dictate your behaviour, time and enjoyment of cycling, hence what I said about not getting more than 1/2 mile from my front door, which on revision is more like 200yrds.

    The guy that Bonj met asked him the classic, 'what's your problem?', this is a fairly ambiguous question as it can be levelled as a veiled threat which can mean trouble.
    *My few falthe teeth thpeak as tethtiment to that one*

    When you meet the motorist that asks, 'what's the problem?' I think you can then feel safe in making overtures.
    What is to be gained by possibly sustaining physical injury through trying to explain how that person 'almost' physically injured you?

    Two weeks ago I reported an articulated lorry driver to his company for pulling into a 24hr dedicated bus lane almost knocking Ms tdr1nka and I off the tandem, the guy was shouting and wouldn't stop rolling towards us even when I took out my phone to photograph the cab and number plate.

    With a bawling 6 year old in tow I had to mount the pavement to get out of his way. Had Ms tdr1nka not been with me I would have had him out of his cab receiving harsh words, in which ever form he chose to accept them.
    I had every assurance from his transport manager that the driver would be given short thrift. I have heard nothing since.

    There is something amusing, sadly flaccid or even pointless in the eyes of the public when they see the cyclist enraged, sometimes, and I only mean sometimes, we have to admit we choose to share the roads with a whole lot of frustrated and ignorant motorists and if we are try to educate or berate them all, then our only practical course of action would be to become traffic cops.

    If I was so truely cynical about the matter I wouldn't ride at all and I did have nearly 5 years out of the saddle because of PTSD(post traumatic blah). During this time I couldn't trust the aggrieved and justfiably raging cyclist in me seeing the 'red mist' descend and then taking it out on every vehicle that came too close, let alone left hook me or put me in any greater danger. Cycling had become, for me, a very stressful crusade.

    This is what I mean about finding your limit and saving your stress.
    A driver that will take time to listen to a cyclist with an open mind will already believe they look out for or will be happy to be considering cycles as a general rule. The ones who don't, simply don't.

    Anyway who am I to say all this, I wish that any driver caught driving while using their mobile phones were given an immediate 1 year ban, a travel card and their car impounded and sold to pay for the travel card.
    Alternatively, shot.(joke)

    Me, the tdr1nka? Old school militant London cyclist?
    Damn rumours, all rumours I tell you....

    T x
     
  5. OP
    OP
    bonj2

    bonj2 Guest

    hmmm... good words, from experience, tdr1nka, cheers
     
  6. OP
    OP
    bonj2

    bonj2 Guest

    well as karma would have it almost the exact opposite happened today, in exactly the same locations :biggrin: just at the point of crossing the m1, there's islands in the middle of the road, and a Mansfield Bitter lorry behind could easily have just barged past before them but waited behind, not revving, and then overtook going completely in the other lane, gave a wave of appreciation.
    Then on the way back an AA van which was towing so couldn't go that fast waited patiently behind me for a good few hundred yards, gave him a wave too.
    In fact f**king great riding today on the whole!