Losing it with drivers - any tips on how not to?

Discussion in 'General Cycling Discussions' started by Glow worm, 22 Jul 2012.

  1. Glow worm

    Glow worm Guru

    Near Newmarket
    A good piece of advice I read on here once was 'don't let the bad ones live inside your head for more than a millisecond' and one I try to follow - but it can be diffcult. I have relatively few incidents with drivers but on the rare occasion I do, I can sometimes find it hard not letting the red mist descend, and it really spoils the ride.
    I had a particularly unpleasant and quite dangerous episode with a 'get out of ''my'' road and onto the cycle path' from a neanderthal WV moron last week which really lit my fuse and tbh has really had me dwelliing on it since. You know the kind of thing- could I have handled it better?- should I have just let it go?
    No one is going to bully me off the road, but maybe it's a point I could have made at the time more constructively without going off on one. I guess the question I have in a rambling kind of way, is how do you stand up for yourself on the road and balance dealing with the idiots in an assertive way without losing it? Just ignoring them seems a bit of a cop out to me and at least there's one WVM out there who will think twice before he tries to bully the next cyclist off the road.
  2. TonyEnjoyD

    TonyEnjoyD Veteran

    Try blowing them a kiss - average Neanderthal just can't handle that and mumbles to themselves a they drive off revving the sh!t outta the engine
    400bhp and Glow worm like this.
  3. I had one this afternoon. I indicated to turn right about 20 yards before the junction. Now if i was the motorist i'd think "well at least he's indicated his intentions, he's moving about 14mph in a 20 mph zone, the road isn't really wide enough to safely overtake, and there's no rush so i'll stay behind him". No that wasn't good enough for him, he revved and revved, so i thought"no way is he passing, we're
    nearly at the junction". Anyway, i held him off then as i was about to turn right he shouted "next time i'll knock you off you bastard"! I replied.."what are you jealous of fat arse. my tan or that i can ride a bike better than you can drive"?, followed by a J Arthur rank signal. I know we shouldn't rise to these idiots but the prat was threatening to do me some serious harm, all because i wouldn't let him become the superior road user. By the way his actions were witnessed by his young son in the back of the car. He probably thought he'd teach junior from a young age that cyclists aren't worthy of life, but the fat idiot just showed the child what a troglodyte he has for a father!
    Sorry, i can't give you advice on how to keep calm because i can't keep calm myself, but at least i didn't empty my water bottle over the slobs face like i've done in the past!:laugh:
    Glow worm likes this.
  4. Eddy

    Eddy Guru

    I found this funny then thought what if the guy blows you a kiss back?:ohmy:
  5. Pauluk

    Pauluk Senior Member

    I find the more I ignore bad driving and bad road behaviour the quicker I forget about it and the less I dwell on it afterwards. I agree though, its very hard. I just need to try and practice it more.
  6. Norm

    Norm Guest

    I had one (in a Range Rover **shock** ) who tried to cut me up in the car last week. He was apoplectic with rage that I wouldn't let him barge in front of me, ranting away and pulling all sorts of hand gestures, which wasn't too appreciated as I had my 12 year old daughter in the car. So I blew him a kiss. And then another, and then my daughter started up too. I've never seen anyone turn quite that shade of red.

    One thing his ranting didn't change though, was that he still had a micro-penis.
    Glow worm likes this.
  7. gbb

    gbb Legendary Member

    I dont think you can always control it, this evenings ride for me was a perfect example.
    In cycle lane, car approaches a junction some way ahead, ive spotted her, she appears to be looking straight at me.....and pulls out :whistle: forcing me to swerve right out into the road.
    I shout WHOAAAH, and turn angrily on her, gave her a rollicking, pointed to my eyes then her....and she gestures to me angrily...WTF !!!!.
    So i catches her up at the next TLs and give her some more....'i can understand we all make mistakes...but dont talk to me like I'M the one at fault :angry:'

    Basically i gave her a right tongue lashing...did she deserve it...IMO yes. If she'd put her hand up and apologised, i'd have ridden off slightly miffed...but the nerve to have some sort of go at me, i'm not having it, female or male. If they think they can drive off and think i'm the one thats wrong, theyve got a serious lack of judgement and/or morals.

    Do i feel good about it ?...no.
    Did she deserve it...probably.
    Would i do the same again...maybe, maybe not. On another day, i'd probably react completely differently.
    Near misses are fairly par for the course if you cycle regularly, its very rare i really go off on one...you dont plan it, it just happens.
  8. 400bhp

    400bhp Guru

    I am particularly known for having a short fuse and being a stubborn what not.

    For a few months now if I start welling up I shoult hello rather than [insert expletive] and wave. It does the trick for me.

    I now can't remember the last time I shouted expletives.
  9. 400bhp

    400bhp Guru

    Yeahhbut Norm, did he get past you?
  10. Berties

    Berties Fast and careful!

    just think to your self ill get them back latter and try to remember their reg,by the end of the day I've forgot them all,to many dicks and regs to remember,and don't want to take up cells in my over used grey matter!!!so i feel better at the time,and the world is at peace
    or just rub your ear lobs Bad boy stylee, hoosarr...........
    Glow worm likes this.
  11. Norm

    Norm Guest

    Twice... but we passed him twice too (it was on the A404M) so, as we started in front, we beat him through the lights. :thumbsup:
    400bhp likes this.
  12. OP
    Glow worm

    Glow worm Guru

    Near Newmarket
    That sounds like the kind of thing I should do more of.
    Though the driver behaviour in my OP was just so vicious/ dangerous, add to the fact I knew where the moron's rat hole is, I just felt to not make a stand would have been the wrong thing to do.
  13. Pauluk

    Pauluk Senior Member

    I know what you mean and quite often we just react, almost instinctively or out of the sheer injustice we feel. That's why I need to practice biting my tongue (or controlling my middle finger) as in most cases like this it doesn't change the way people drive or behave, just ends up with me going over it in my head for longer than is necessary.

    Not only that, but I believe if you give them a reaction to that kind of abuse that gives them a sense of "winning" because they have achieved an effect/reaction. Ignore it and they get nothing. Just my opinion.
    Glow worm and slowmotion like this.
  14. slowmotion

    slowmotion Quite dreadful

    lost somewhere
    It is an incredibly difficult subject. Part of you wants to punish the offender, or at least point out to them that they have been stupid or nasty. Part of you realises that to do so will probably make no difference at all. Knock off their mirror and they will just take it out on the next random cyclist. I just try and ignore the bad stuff, but I'm not always successful. The problem is that you spend hours afterwards practicing snappy comebacks that you can't deliver!

    I came about as close as I ever have, last week, to being killed by a Royal Mail lorry that swerved across two lanes of a RA to make a late exit with me in the middle lane. He had his hand on the horn as he came across my bows. Crazy. I thought for a couple of seconds of chasing him down, reporting the driver, etc etc. On the third second I realised that it might be best for me to just put it out of my mind, which I have until now. Frankly, CBA. Some people will say that you have a duty to fight that kind of crap for the greater good of the cycling community. It was my problem....I dealt with it in the way that best suited me. If that is selfish, so be it.
  15. Tiberius Baltar

    Tiberius Baltar Active Member

    This thread has hit home with me today because as a taxi driver (dont judge me) I spend an inordinate amount of time on roads within the city. My main source of income involves driving on roads that surround and service housing estates and major routes into and out of the city centre so I feel that along with "white van man" and "idiot bus driver" and "tunnel vision school run driver" I have a major input into what causes congestion and ultimately stress.
    Now my point of view is as follows; everyone is trying to get somewhere. Even (dare I say it?). Pedestrians. One way or another we are all trying to get along on our individual day and not looking to have grief with our fellow humans. In a perfect world we would all get along fine and be polite in our everyday behaviour but somehow somewhere something changes in the attitudes of people depending on our individual circumstances.
    I have never lost my temper with a cyclist and I have never lost my temper with a pedestrian while driving in my taxi. I have on more than one occasion screamed with anger at other drivers who have driven stupidly, dangerously and above all inconsideratly. I see the vulnerability and difficulty that pedestrians and cyclists have without me adding to it by being a dick. This point of view is based entirely on the fact that I myself am also a pedestrian and a cyclist therefore I can empathise with their plight.
    The problem occurs when people "forget" their manners and their humanity. I could pretty much 90% say that the bloke in question with his child in the back isn't a bad man. He isn't the spawn of satan who's sole purpose is to drive like a maniac and shout abuse at other road users, but something changes in him when he is behind the wheel. Something which I feel if we were all honest has happened to us all at some point in our lives as drivers (those of us who do drive).
    The rules by which a cyclist rides are somewhat different to which a person drives. When you learn to drive, the rule is "mirror, signal, manouvre." This means that you give the signal of your intention to move but you only do so if it is safe to do. If you miss your junction because you are in the wrong lane then unfortunately you have to take a detour. Now the difference becomes clear when you consider that in a car you can signal and then force your manouvre onto other people because you are in a nice big metal box. You may still get the abuse from other drivers but your not as vulnerable so you don't worry as much. However, when you try and move out into the flow of traffic on a bicycle then all the issues are multiplied ten fold. I am not for one minute suggesting you back down to other road users but just try and remember that irate car driver will never give way to a lowly cyclist. Especially if he/she is doing something as important as going to the shops!
    Just remember guys that we are flesh and bone and its not worth arguing with two and a half tonnes of metal being driven by someone who thinks they are in the right. People change when they get behind the wheel and they see us as a pain and a hindrance to their journey. There is nothing we can do to change their opinion so look after yourselves and try to remember that your family wants you home safe.
    Enjoy your riding and leave the nutters to themselves.
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