Friday, July 17, 2009

The Opposite of Bike Love

Who: Biking with husband-- Kids-Free!

Where: Well-traveled road in town just north of New Haven on our way to our favorite local toy store (looking for gifts for our soon-to-be seven-year-olds)

When: Mid-morning, hot summer day

What: An Audi convertible with top down with three young guys, likely driving mom's/ dad's car. A sneering shout, "GET OFF THE ROAD. GET ON THE SIDEWALK!"

Why: Showing off for friends? Annoyed that they might have to get over a bit in the lane while rushing up to a red light? Just general ass-hats who like yelling at strangers?

Bike indifference is one thing. Why full-out bike antagonism?

12 comments:

Doohickie said...

If the guy was on the heavy side, the proper retort is, "Get some exercise!"

Dottie said...

Definitely general asshats. An Audi convertible is straight from the douchebag toolbox.

Hilary said...

R-who used to bike 8 miles each way to work everyday before he moved 30 miles away from work AND who owns 3 cars AND who is a car enthusiast-gets yelled at all the time. Particularly ironic are the guys who tell him to get a car... Although I have to disagree about the Audi convertible, especially if it was a TT. That's a sweet ride. Don't judge a car by it's driver... : ) I never get yelled at though. I wonder if guys attract such taunts more than gals?

MamaVee said...

I have heard Men get yelled at more than women, but I know Dottie has had her fair share of yells and stupid people so I don't think any of us are safe.

Poop on those stupid boys. And I will call them boys too.

Terra said...

WTF? so weird. it is bound to be the first of many in a lifetime of biking, so you just have to laugh it off, and feel sorry for them. my personal favorite is when you actually catch up to them at a stoplight and you can just stare. :-)

Terra said...

Also in some places, it is actually illegal to harass cyclists, and their actions would definitely constitute it. Not that it would change their behavior buts just FYI.

Jennifer said...

In DC, if you're on the sidewalk, people yell at you to get off, and if you're on the road, people yell at you to get on the sidewalk. It turns out that in the downtown area of DC, cyclists cannot be on the sidewalk, but they can be in the rest of the city. I tend to do both depending on how wild the traffic is and whether there is enough space for a bike. Unfortunately recently I've had more negative encounters with other cyclists than with car drivers but it's still great to be using my bike to get around town (thanks to your great role modeling).

Andrea said...

Ever considered carrying raw eggs around for just such a moment? (or water balloons perhaps?)

Jen said...

Most drivers are ok but it's alway the one jerk who stands out in the mind.

Terra said...

Jen: re: "get off sidewalk!" "Get off road!" LOL it's like you can't win. I too am equal opportunity on sidwalks- and correct, in the DC business district cycles are not allowed on sidewalks. Re: negativity/agression: Just think of every day as our chance to be bike ambassadors. Smile, wave, nod, say thank you when a pedestrian or car yields way, follow biking rules and show that we can be good road sharers too, and keep a good attitude. I just joined WABA and they have great resources to help us do this!

Jennifer said...

I agree Terra that WABA is a great organization, so is Potomac Pedalers.

I try and keep it friendly when I'm out there but have seen some bike rage on some of the trails that is a little over the top. That's when reminding myself of that funny bit from Seinfeld, "Serenity Now!" keeps me laughing when cars or bikes get fussy.

Nick said...

Aaaargh!!! I hate it when people do that! I haven't tried this yet, but I'd like to next time a motorist acts aggressively: when you next come within earshot of the car (which you often do in an urban setting, as it waits at a red light), strike up a conversation with the occupants, talking overly loudly and with a huge smile on your face. Say something like, "HI!! I LIKE MY BICYCLE! I LIKE YOUR AUTO-MOBILE! WILL YOU BE MY FRIEND?!" Keep it going even if they continue to act like jerks, e.g., "YOU'RE VERY NICE!", etc.

In New York, there are definitely asshats on all sides. The asshat-age among many cyclists I see during my bike rides is of the "I'm superior and wait for no one" mentality, regardless of whose right of way it is or how close they cut in front of a pram or an elderly person, nearly giving people heart attacks. Gives us a bad, bad rap. But I've never seen a cyclist randomly yell at other road users for no reason.