What was your first experience in the hustle and bustle

How to deal with the motorist's road traffic (after prevention fails)

I had my first experience a few weeks ago where I was really worried about my well being from an angry driver. So what can a cyclist do if he is threatened and pursued by a motorist?


I was driving on a street with lots of parked cars and driveways, so I drove a little more "center" than what a certain guy was happy with because he yelled at me to get off the street and onto the bike path after honking and trying to to overtake me. I told him I don't have to because cyclists have the same legal rights on roads as motorists, and then I drove closer to the center to prevent him from trying dangerously past me. Then he started shouting profanity at me as he drove behind me, and I gave him the one-fingered greeting he, his wife, and son returned in a perfect Kodak moment.

I admit that I did the opposite of allaying the anger on the street, but I also admit that until now I (stupidly) never expected to meet someone on the street who could willingly hurt me : At the next set of traffic lights he told me to drive by so we could discuss this face to face and I said, "No, I don't have to do that either." What started to frighten me was that after losing him in traffic he managed to catch up with me and follow me for a very long time and stare at me. I finally pulled out quickly to the sidewalk and slipped my keys from my pocket into my pocket (it was the sharpest thing I had) but luckily he had to follow the flow of traffic and didn't meet me on the street again.


My safest course of action would have been not to provoke the driver at all, but frankly, I had no expectation that telling a driver about traffic laws would provoke someone into potentially murderous anger; Even if I became a mouse on a bike, there is still the possibility of (accidentally) making someone angry, no matter how small they are. So my question is, what can someone do in a case where even an attempt to prevent the hustle and bustle has failed and they are now exposed to the unadulterated wrath of the gods of the exploding dinosaurs - I really don't think the guy in the above is Story it was with the intention of "discussing" the matter when he caught me off my bike.

Daniel R Hicks

Just get out of his way. You know you can't talk to the guy so don't try.


In some countries (Czech Republic and others) you must use a bike path if it is available. Plus, you've acted like a douchbag cyclist - you should have let him drive past you if you could - you're sharing the road you don't own


@cherouvim wow - has to be some really good bike paths you're coming from. In my country, bike lanes are often covered with rubbish, stones, broken glass and parked cars, as you said. On a bike path, you also have to give up right of way at every driveway and back road, which means it's difficult to actually make decent progress. That's why I mostly drive on the road.


We (in Greece) are still pretty primitive about cycling. Cycle lanes are sometimes used by parked cars.


@cherouvim: 5 of my 7 actual or near car-bike accidents occurred on a bike lane (4x almost taken out of a car turning sharply onto a back road and ignoring the partially separated bike lane, collision often prevented by me, instead they slipped on the Soil off (1x was divided into an integrated wheel lane) and two run-offs were caused by poor conditions on a cycle path (slipping on black ice while trying to turn left from the right wheel lane than using the left turning lane; sliding on wet pavement, also broken by tree roots); cycle paths = death.

D. Salo

Get off the road earlier. Sure, you have the right to be there, but it was pretty clear that this horror wasn't ready to accept that. Your safety is more important than the track.

It's also a good idea to write down his license plate and make / model of car if he disappears in the distance, in case you see him again.


Basically, should I recalibrate my Crazy Meter to trigger the alarm at much lower Crazy levels? - I only realized he was following me after making a few turns on less arterial roads (as the likelihood of having to leave the road, the exact same path decreases with each lap).

D. Salo

Yes I think so. Unfortunately, but safer.

Unknown zombie

@errantlinguist: My Crazy Meter started pinging as soon as it started honking and screaming, because that's not how a well-adjusted person should behave. Be careful with one-finger greetings; They are basically an open invitation to confrontation. And someone in a motor vehicle is not someone you want to run into on a bicycle. You might even provoke a sane person to follow you with that finger for a while.


@UnknownZombie: Unfortunately (especially in this part of town) you get used to people yelling at you from cars on their bikes. The likelihood increases with the amount of hair gel and creatine they use and when they're in a BMW or Audi. I guess I feel a bit too much used to it.


Call the police.

Get his license plate number, his description and report him to the authorities. Such idiots are too fat to talk to. You need an officer to get through to them.

Call the police while you are riding, tell them you fear for your safety and let them hear the idiot yelling at you.


Even that Look, than calling, can help. While I am the author of this answer, I have found that when a driver becomes aggressive, reciting their registration number gives them the message that you know who to report.


I wanted to call the police, but I felt I had no more than a minute to solve the problem. Plus, using a smartphone on a racing bike isn't easy, even if you're not afraid for your life - and it's illegal where I live (and trust me, they'll call me even if my life is possibly in danger).

Unknown zombie

I don't necessarily agree that this is a good answer. The police can only help if they see what's going on. So, if you are not very lucky and happen to pass a police officer during the event, this is not useful advice. You are much better off off the road and into a well populated area. A police officer cannot retrospectively confront the license plate owner just because they have no way of knowing if you are being honest or if you are just messing with the driver because you hold a grudge against them.


Since purchasing a camera, I have seen very few incidents of street traffic. Once a driver starts in the trouble, I just point at the camera and ask them to smile for YouTube. You can get decent helmet cameras for around £ 30 if you shop around.

Daniel R Hicks

And you can probably make what looks like a camera for even less money.


Fortunately, I've never been in this situation, but if the driver doesn't let you go or gets out of the car, you can take advantage of the advantages of the bike over the car:

  • Walk one way the wrong way (possibly on the sidewalk)
  • Get off the street with pedestrian facilities (sidewalk, park)
  • Quickly change direction or return on the same road the other way

All of this is hard for a car to keep up with, sure you might annoy some pedestrians and be illegal in some places, but it's still better than letting the crap out of you.