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How do you react?

  • 29-07-2021 10:38pm
    Moderators, Category Moderators, Home & Garden Moderators, Recreation & Hobbies Moderators, Social & Fun Moderators Posts: 20,705 CMod ✭✭✭✭ Pawwed Rig

    A question for the regular cycling commuters here.

    I wouldn't call myself a cyclist more than I am person that owns a bike that I use for exercise purposes when my feet get too sore for running (tendon issues).

    I have, however, taken to cycling to work on the one day a week that I am not wfh as I do not really want to use public transport during covid.

    This evening I was coming home and had an incident where a car pulled into the lane I was in and took the space I was occupying nearly running me off the road. She came from behind me so must have seen me but did the manoeuvre anyway*. She had not even fully gone past me when she had to stop for other traffic so I am stumped by the purpose of the manoeuvre. I raised my hand in that questioning wtf manner and she just shrugged her shoulders clearly not giving a ****. I was fairly shook (shaken?) to be honest as she came very close to wiping me out.

    The question is how do you normally react to these situations? My first instinct was to pull her from her car and beat her senseless but obviously I am not a psycho so didn't ;) Do you just cycle on chalking another one to experience?

    Also, how regularly do you have near misses?I assume with experience you can better anticipate these things although given that she came from behind at a 45 degree angle I don't see how one could anticipate that.

    *I am 25 years driving so believe me when I say were she to have hit me there would have been no apportionment of blame. She would have been 100% at fault. Take that as a given for the purpose of this thread as I have no interest in going into minute detail as to the clothes I was wearing, my speed, my positioning on the road etc.

    TLDR - Cut up by car. Driver didn't care. What to do?


  • Registered Users Posts: 24,252 ✭✭✭✭ Cookie_Monster

    flip them off or scream some obscenity to vent and move on.

    Also just get used to it and expect it; it will continue to happen cos nearly all motorists are **** arseholes when you are on a bike.

  • Registered Users Posts: 552 ✭✭✭ nicksnikita

    Move on and forget about it. Those 2.5 meters seem to be essential to commuting drivers.

    I do feel sorry for people who waste say 3 hours a day, 15 hours a week, 60 hours a month in the car commuting. What a waste of life.

    With that perspective, I can normally give their glum faces a break and get on with the ride.

  • Registered Users Posts: 443 ✭✭ TP_CM

    My first thought when getting on a bike or doing just about anything is that most people around me are absolute morons who can barely function as normal humans let alone exceptional ones who know and follow all the rules everyday. So if, sorry, when a car pulls in front of me I brake as safely as I can, check around me for idiot cyclists who are up my backside, or idiot car drivers who are on their phone, and go around. I then look out for idiot pedestrians who hop into a cycle lane for some reason. I get to work and do fairly well because most people there can't do basic things either. If you lower your faith in humanity instead of concentrating on what they 'should' be doing, you'll live a way happier life.

    Or to put it in a less depressing way - treat humans like weather - there will always be days which are more dangerous than others and you need to be prepared and look after yourself instead of thinking about how nice it would be if the sun shined with a gentle cool breeze every day.

  • Registered Users Posts: 615 ✭✭✭ Timfy

    Just accept the fact that Irish roads have turned into survival of the fittest and that there is some hierarchy here. You, as a cyclist, are at the bottom of the food chain, forever being annoyed by car drivers. however, that car driver will be cut up many times by white van man and he in turn will be pushed off the road by lorries and buses. Unless you drive a massive, European registered super juggernaut you are simply trying to survive!

    In all seriousness, reacting will make not a jot of difference and will most likely go one of two ways...

    1) Said driver will stare straight ahead and completely ignore you.

    2) Said driver will remember that time a peloton of bikes held him up for 40 minutes on a country road in Connemara and his anger levels will reach maximum. You may then end up having to have your bike surgically removed!

    Defensive riding - Even though it's not your fault and shouldn't be your problem, always anticipate the actions of idiots because I can guarantee that you'll meet at least one every time you jump on to your bike or into your car.

    Don't get into the mindset that all motorists are arseholes like some posters here. The vast majority of motorists are just wanting to get home, just like you. Believe it or not, they are not all out to get you! The videos of cyclists going through towns acting like the gards and screaming obscenities at drivers (and their children) who have gone 2" over a white line at the lights or are blowing cigarette smoke out of their windows make me cringe and only brings a bad name to all cyclists

    No trees were harmed in the posting of this message, however a large number of electrons were terribly inconvenienced.

  • Moderators, Sports Moderators Posts: 42,365 Mod ✭✭✭✭ magicbastarder

    main thing is - unless you're already doing this - adopt an assertive road position (when and where suitable, caveats apply etc.)

    many motorists who, if they see a gap they'll just fit into, will go for it. but if you make that gap too small to be worth it, they won't be able to muscle in.

    as to how i react, always one of those 'it depends' circumstances. i haven't commuted on the bike in 18 months, so i've not found myself in the situation where i can easily catch up with errant motorists to pass the time of day in a good while, but i used to find a 'did you not see me?' approach worked occasionally. as in, if they say no, they're in the wrong, and if they say yes, they're admitting to having seen you and gone for it anyway. but that only works occasionally, they usually get their backs up and deny everything. plus, shouting through a window is not a dignified look.

    speaking of which, if a driver starts shouting at me with their window up, i always do the comic 'hand to the ear, i can't hear you' routine. most of the instances which have ended well have been ones where i've been able to communicate with the driver.

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  • Moderators, Sports Moderators Posts: 22,089 Mod ✭✭✭✭ CramCycle

    Your belief that she must have seen you is your first mistake. I've had drivers tell me I came out of nowhere despite being in the lane beside them for a few km. Personally once I see it happening I let a guttural roar as they are pulling in to let them know I am there but if they still proceed with the manoeuvre, I back off. Graves are filled with people who were in the right. If so inclined, take her details and report to the local station as you pass but that's about all you can do. As tempting as it can be to drag them from the car and beat some sense or decency into them, it simply will never work.

  • Registered Users Posts: 162 ✭✭ Steoller


    Anger is my go to reaction. I can't help it.

    I try to contain myself and limit engagement to a shouted 'woah!' and a cross face, but sometimes I'll shout ' waken up' or 'open your eyes you dozy X' or loudly question their driving choices. If they get shirty, I ask why they've stopped to jaw at me when they're obviously in such a rush they can't watch where they're going, and that I have plenty to say to the guards and nothing more to say to them.

    If I'm running my cameras, I don't feel as helpless, and so am less angry.

    As for how often it happens, my commute is short, mostly off-road, and I wfh half the week, so...once a month? When I was commuting every day, I'd get one a week, but it's usually at predictable spots, so I can limit my exposure.

    The Near Misses thread might give you better understanding of reactions, if not regularity.

  • Registered Users Posts: 7,953 ✭✭✭ 07Lapierre

    What you need is a €3.99 mirror from Decathlon. its a lifesaver apparently.

  • Registered Users Posts: 17,972 ✭✭✭✭ fryup

    was she a young naive driver OP?

    maybe a tap on the window and calmly explain the dangers of her maneuver, if she gets ratty then contact the guards for dangerous driving that might wisen her up!

  • Moderators, Category Moderators, Home & Garden Moderators, Recreation & Hobbies Moderators, Social & Fun Moderators Posts: 20,705 CMod ✭✭✭✭ Pawwed Rig

    Mid thirties I'd say. In a medical uniform of some sort.

    Would the Guards actually do anything if it was reported?

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  • Registered Users Posts: 17,972 ✭✭✭✭ fryup

    probably not without bike-cam footage😐️

  • Moderators, Politics Moderators Posts: 32,817 Mod ✭✭✭✭ Seth Brundle

    Even with bike cam footage, the gardai will probably do nothing!

  • Moderators, Category Moderators, Home & Garden Moderators, Recreation & Hobbies Moderators, Social & Fun Moderators Posts: 20,705 CMod ✭✭✭✭ Pawwed Rig

    Well that is the point. Do regular cyclists just suck it up and accept that someone could potentially try to kill them at any moment with no consequences?

    I don't think commuting by bike is for me tbh. I am liable to key an asshole when I catch up with them at the lights just to get a sense of justice.

  • Registered Users Posts: 1,124 ✭✭✭ Rechuchote

    If it's really dangerous (as this sounds to have been), tap on the window and motion to roll it down, and say calmly, "That was really dangerous."

    If she reacts with an excuse, say, "It was still dangerous."

    Ride off.

  • Registered Users Posts: 20,460 ✭✭✭✭ AndrewJRenko

    This ^^^ or some variation of this. It is often possible to get them to open the window without tapping, using a wave and a big smile.

    Find some way of marking their cards. Even if you get a hostile reaction or denial, every little helps.

  • Moderators, Sports Moderators Posts: 42,365 Mod ✭✭✭✭ magicbastarder

    i've also had what i think was some luck with 'you just scared the **** out of me there; please don't do that again', and just repeating 'please don't do that again' as sincerely as you can a couple of times before leaving.