emergency preparedness for motorist confrontation advice
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  1. #1
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    emergency preparedness for motorist confrontation advice

    I have been cycling for a while and I have rarely had issues with motorists...

    But within the last two weeks a car stopped and driver had a verbal confrontation with a rider in the ~5 person group. Yesterday a car passenger gave us the finger after the car had passed. Riding partner was starting to yell and I told him people were not worth the effort. Turns out they were low lives (I was correct) but that is a long story.....

    After these altercations, I want to be prepared for a motorist confrontation by having a specific plan. Please critique and add to my emergency plan scenario when at least two cyclist riding in a group.

    If a car stops after passing group in a hostile manner:
    1. Stop the group as soon as safely possible. Keep distance as far away as possible between car and riders and still keep an eye on automobile and persons.
    2. Do not get in any verbal confrontation or make any threatening actions.
    3. One person calls the police with cell phone.
    4. One person takes pictures/video.
    Please make any additional suggestions or modifications. Kinda sad that this type type of topic has to be covered in the pre-ride..........
    Maybe just get a camera with the rear and front lights?
    Thanks in advance,
    RC

  2. #2
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    Just smile at them and wave.
    If your opinion differs from mine, ..........Too bad.
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  3. #3
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    Quote Originally Posted by RoadCube View Post
    I have been cycling for a while and I have rarely had issues with motorists...

    But within the last two weeks a car stopped and driver had a verbal confrontation with a rider in the ~5 person group. Yesterday a car passenger gave us the finger after the car had passed. Riding partner was starting to yell and I told him people were not worth the effort. Turns out they were low lives (I was correct) but that is a long story.....

    After these altercations, I want to be prepared for a motorist confrontation by having a specific plan. Please critique and add to my emergency plan scenario when at least two cyclist riding in a group.

    If a car stops after passing group in a hostile manner:
    1. Stop the group as soon as safely possible. Keep distance as far away as possible between car and riders and still keep an eye on automobile and persons.
    2. Do not get in any verbal confrontation or make any threatening actions.
    3. One person calls the police with cell phone.
    4. One person takes pictures/video.
    Please make any additional suggestions or modifications. Kinda sad that this type type of topic has to be covered in the pre-ride..........
    Maybe just get a camera with the rear and front lights?
    Thanks in advance,
    RC
    Low life or low lives?

  4. #4
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    Your plan works for YOU as a single rider, but unless the rest of the group looks to you as a leader and follows/is trained to follow your orders, the response will be unpredictable and varied based on the personalities of the riders.

    If you want to implement your 4 step plan of action with good results, practice your leadership skills; the other riders must respect you and be prepared to defer to your authority. Your plan only works if everyone responds as you do.

    Sorry to sound pessimistic, but that's the way I see it.

  5. #5
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    Generally, groups get nothing worse than insults yelled at them. Cowards rarely pick a fight with a group.
    "L'enfer, c'est les autres"

  6. #6
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    Quote Originally Posted by No Time Toulouse View Post
    Generally, groups get nothing worse than insults yelled at them. Cowards rarely pick a fight with a group.
    Guess you ride where there are very few aggressive drivers who seemingly enjoy staining your chamois with close, high-speed drive-bys. Consider yourself fortunate if that's the case.

    To the OP, I'm not a shrinking violet by any stretch, likely because having worked in jail and now an ER, lol. It's almost reflexive for me in those situations to at least crank out an expletive. That said, I've also pulled alongside drivers exhibiting bad behavior and attempted to point out to them just how dangerous what they did was. Sometimes I get an apology, sometimes I'm told to eff off.

    Do what you are comfortable doing, but always remember that there are shhitty people out there.

  7. #7
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    Thanks for the response.
    Oops life’s Instead of lives.
    Not too much leadership; for immediate response plan I was mainly thinking about pictures and calling police if a vehicle stops and occupants are threatening. Other elements were just ideas for safety.
    I did not say that after the first incident, one of the riders asked another rider if he “got it”. Must be running a camera.
    RC

  8. #8
    tlg
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    Quote Originally Posted by No Time Toulouse View Post
    Generally, groups get nothing worse than insults yelled at them. Cowards rarely pick a fight with a group.
    Yea. We've had many confrontations over the years. Typically it's a motorist driving slow next to you shouting out the window. Or at a red light/stop sign shouting out the window.

    Only once has someone got out of the vehicle. Guy in a pickup truck flew around us, slammed his brakes on and blocked the road right in front of us, got out of his truck and starting getting aggressive and yelling. Of course his daughter was in the passenger seat. Probably to his surprise, several of the 'pansy' cyclists were bigger than he was. And there were a bunch of cell phones in his face. He continued shouting for a little while, then got back in his truck and sped off.


    Quote Originally Posted by RoadCube View Post
    After these altercations, I want to be prepared for a motorist confrontation by having a specific plan.
    My best advice is tell everyone to have their phones handy. Pull them out and start recording immediately.
    I've diffused a few situations by pulling out my phone and just holding it up (not even recording, they don't know). A few times I've yelled back, "keep it up, I'm recording all this on my GoPro" (even when I don't have my Gopro). Most people do not want to be famous on YouTube for being a douche, or have evidence of their potential crimes.

    If you truly think you're going to get into a physical altercation, get off the pavement and into the grass if possible. You don't want to be going toe to toe with someone on pavement with bike shoes on.
    Custom Di2 & Garmin/GoPro mounts 2013 SuperSix EVO Hi-MOD Team * 2004 Klein Aura V

  9. #9
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    Quote Originally Posted by No Time Toulouse View Post
    Generally, groups get nothing worse than insults yelled at them. Cowards rarely pick a fight with a group.
    This is true MOST of the time. However, you don't want to do anything which could escalate the situation. They could be packing heat for all you know.

    Yes, get out the phones and start recording. A smile, a wave and a peace sign throws them off so much they don't know what to do.
    "With bicycles in particular, you need to separate between what's merely true and what's important."-- DCGriz, RBR.

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  10. #10
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    Thanks for the response!
    I have learned a couple more tactical moves.


    RC

  11. #11
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    Also, get taillight and helmet cameras to have recordings of pre-confrontation recordings, just in case.

    Have safe riding

  12. #12
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    When I worked at a LBS we had a customer that carried throwing stars in a handlebar mounted pouch for defense against motorists. He was an interesting guy.

    My wife and I have both had rude encounters with motorists but never anyone stopping to mess with us. Conversely, we each had an instance where we eventually caught up to the guy and had a "WTF is your problem conversation" with them.

    I wish I was there when my wife had her's. It sounds like d-bag male motorists become pretty sheepish when a 5'2" woman confronts them in the middle of their fancy suburban neighborhood.

    That said, people are f-ing nuts these days. The "smile and wave" policy seems more prudent lately.

  13. #13
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    Given todays world, I try to avoid engaging if possible. Too much concern about a weapon being pulled out (and I'm a gun guy). I try not to respond or engage. It does bother me to act like this, but I do not want to die on the side of the road. I like your general plan, as it tries to avoid a direct confrontation. It's just not worth the risk.

  14. #14
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    Quote Originally Posted by tlg View Post
    ... to his surprise, several of the 'pansy' cyclists were bigger than he was."
    Had the same happen a few times. I think they see pro cyclists on TV and assume we're all built like that. When we pull along side them at the light (after they've done a 2' flyby or yelled)... you can tell they're thinking "Oh... so, not little skinny guys, but 6', 200lbs, fit... oh, and there's 8 of them... "

    But and it's a big but... Guns. And the part that sucks, if we engage, it gets heated... and the motorists shoots one of us, he'd be justified. Sure he may have started it. But look at it from the cop, judge and jury's perspective - "These eight (normal-sized, really fit) guys surrounded me, yelling... I feared for my life..."

    I don't know that we need a multi-point preparedness plan. Just recognize the situation for what it is. You're dealing with an ignorant redneck (or the equivalent) who's mad. He doesn't know you. He's not mad at "you" - but what you represent...
    - You're in his way
    - You're reminding him he should quit smoking and lose 40 pounds
    - He's mad that he's on his way to spin the "SLOW" / "STOP" sign at work while you're riding your bike with your pals

    This all boils down to: He's not worth even getting mad at, let alone engaging. Look at it this way - do you get down on all fours and bark back at every untrained dog whose owner can't shut up? Nah, you just ignore it and smile at the owner... 'cause your dog's better trained.

  15. #15
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    Just pack some gun and open fire first. Man you guys live in the USA,I wish guns were legal here in Italy.

    One the more serious side : that’s the second reason why i’ve sold my road bike and starte riding gravel. On top of the distracted or DUI drivers there’s too many frustrated idiots on the road nowadays. Simply not worth it.

  16. #16
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    Yep, it seems like people are getting crazier and crazier across the board. Unfortunate. And yes, there are A LOT of people out there just looking to get into a fight.

    Taking out your phone and recording and/or saying your calling the police is a good idea. If they ever actually stop and try to come after me, I'm as loud and aggressive as possible and tell them to not come near me.

    I honestly wonder if phones and Rx abusers are worse now than drunk drivers?

  17. #17
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    Quote Originally Posted by nayr497 View Post
    Taking out your phone and recording...
    A couple years ago, an 80-something man driving a 30-something Cadillac gave me about 12" at 30 mph. At the light, I pointed out that 3' rule. He *$#&ing lost it. You guessed it "Get back on the sidewalk..." I pointed to my handlebar (where I had a light and computer... but no camera) and said "You don't have to agree with me. Georgia law does and I recorded the incident and you - right now." It was like a switch flipped. He shut up and drove away.
    Last edited by OldZaskar; 3 Weeks Ago at 04:17 PM.

  18. #18
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    Sad to say but having video evidence for you, or God forbid, your heirs, is probably the best preparation.
    In reference to the Assault on Mt Mitchell...
    Quote Originally Posted by merckx56
    The easier solution is to find a biker bar in Spartanburg the night before, go in and pick a fight. The ass-whipping you'll get will be far less painful than the one Mitchell will give you the next day!

  19. #19
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    This. That’ll make things right.

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  20. #20
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