General Discussion Triathlon Talk » Catching up to the people that Heckle or buzz you Rss Feed  
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2010-03-26 7:37 AM

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Master
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Subject: Catching up to the people that Heckle or buzz you
The heckling thread got me thinking (and some people talked about it there but its slightly off topic), have you ever caught up to the people who heckled you or honked at you or buzzed you while running or riding?  What did you do?

I get a super adrenaline rush when there's a close call...I caught one guy at a red light after he cut me off doing 30 mph forcing me to swerve into traffic (luckily the cars behind me saw it and reacted by preemptively braking, otherwise I was smoked), but it was my closest call ever.  When I caught him I was so amped I was shaking and had a few choice words for him, he got out of his truck but then the light turned and he drove off.  I definitely don't condone doing this, nor am I proud of it, it was just a pure adrenaline reaction.

The other day I'm riding and a car blares there horn as they are passing me (definitely not a friendly honk, and a somewhat typical occurance) and it startles me and I swerve a little.  I see them turn a couple hundred yards ahead, so I speed up to have a chance to ask them why they thought that was necessary (I was calm enough to do this in a non-aggresive manner)...but it was into a church and it was a mom and very young kids so I kept riding.


Have you every caught someone after a run in?  What happened?

NB: I'm not trying to promote or condone aggression, but its so hard to contain sometimes (its your life vs. them wasting 15 seconds)...so what do you do to calm down, besides just keep riding?


2010-03-26 7:41 AM
in reply to: #2750010

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Member
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Subject: RE: Catching up to the people that Heckle or buzz you
I haven't been lucky enough to catch someone on a bike, yet.  Once I was on a run and a car rolled through a stop signed and "bumped" me while on a crosswalk.  Little to say I had some very choise words for that woman.  At first she seemed frustrated/angry but then I guess a lightbulb went off in her mind and she was apologetic.  I'm just hoping she never does that again (and I'm glad that I wasn't actually hurt).
2010-03-26 7:42 AM
in reply to: #2750010

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Subject: RE: Catching up to the people that Heckle or buzz you
A church?  Oh, I would have HAD to say something like "Would Jesus Honk?"  That's just me though.  You are right though, arguing with someone in 2000 pounds of steel with multiple jack/bat/golf-club/handgun hiding places is probably not the best thing to do. 
2010-03-26 7:51 AM
in reply to: #2750010

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Subject: RE: Catching up to the people that Heckle or buzz you
I tend to just let it go. Of course there is a part of me that wants to speed up and drag them out of their car. However, in all reality yelling at people like that is not going to change their behavior. They are going to keep doing what they do.

Then you have to also be aware that there are some insane people out there. There is always that chance (I'll be it a really really small one) someone pulls a gun on you. Then your day just got real bad.

 
2010-03-26 8:14 AM
in reply to: #2750010

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Master
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North Alabama
Subject: RE: Catching up to the people that Heckle or buzz you
Let it go. Get a tag number, call it in and ignore it.

Riding in a pace line one afternoon, our leader took a passenger side mirror to the arm and got shoved out of the road. LUCKILY, we didn't all go down. We got a tag number, description, and called it in to the local authorities.

Funny how that works, because they found the vehicle and the person that did it. The best part, the passenger mirror was still folded in.

His belief: the shoulder is where they ride and he was just "encouraging her to move over". Needless to say, that didn't fly, they went to court, and the cyclist won.

Much safer than chasing them down and taking a chance! 
2010-03-26 8:22 AM
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Melon Presser
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Subject: RE: Catching up to the people that Heckle or buzz you
I make it a point not to screw with people who have five or six thousand pound weapons at their disposal when I already know they use them carelessly.


2010-03-26 8:27 AM
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Subject: RE: Catching up to the people that Heckle or buzz you
As tempting as it is, I wouldn't confront.  You just never know, all it does in incense them further and if they don't take that out on you they might on the next cyclist/runner.

Oddly I sometimes try to become even MORE law-abiding (e.g. won't run the red if I do catch up to them at a light) to just prove the point.  But that's not always the case either.
2010-03-26 8:27 AM
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South Florida
Subject: RE: Catching up to the people that Heckle or buzz you
I have caught up to people twice and yelled at them. Both times they seemed so utterly clueless I knew I would have a better chance yelling at a brick wall. When something happens that ticks me off, if I am able to catch up to them usually by that time I have calmed down enough to  know it won't do any good to yell.
2010-03-26 8:31 AM
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2010-03-26 8:48 AM
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Expert
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Bucks County
Subject: RE: Catching up to the people that Heckle or buzz you
agree w/ lost sheep above. get their tag number and report them. if you do catch them they're in a two ton vehicle and also the next time they will hold a grudge against all cyclists. as much as they deserve a good chewing out - don't escalate it. look at the cali raod rage case. he started by yelling at cyclists and they'd flip him off and yell back so he gets even madder and escalates by slamming the brakes in front of cyclist until he injures two guys
2010-03-26 8:49 AM
in reply to: #2750010

Champion
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Columbia, South Carolina
Subject: RE: Catching up to the people that Heckle or buzz you
A mom taking her kids to church honks in anger?  Wow.  She needs therapy.

I've caught them a few times, rarely (but occasionally) trying, more often by the vicissitudes of traffic.  Fortunately, one of my few personal virtues is calmness.  I just look at them and ask "Was that really necessary?  What did you hope to accomplish there apart from possibly causing a major injury?"  I've almost always got nothing but blank stares in response.


2010-03-26 8:51 AM
in reply to: #2750010


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Subject: RE: Catching up to the people that Heckle or buzz you
When I lived outside of Chicago my running buddy happened to be a cop. We got buzzed by some teenagers and one through a bottle at us. He got the license number and called it in.

He told me it was priceless to see the look on the father's face when he showed up at their house to issue a ticket. It got real expensive for that guy and I think his teanage son lost his license for a long time.

Since then if someone in a vehicle does something, I try to get the license and call it in. It is better to get even rather mad.
2010-03-26 9:02 AM
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Extreme Veteran
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Rockville, MD
Subject: RE: Catching up to the people that Heckle or buzz you
I keep a Javelin shoulder-fired anti-armour missile launcher in my spare kit. Its a bit heavy and not very aerodynamic but it gets the point across.

Edited by nhunter344 2010-03-26 9:02 AM
2010-03-26 9:14 AM
in reply to: #2750298

Master
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North Alabama
Subject: RE: Catching up to the people that Heckle or buzz you
nhunter344 - 2010-03-26 9:02 AM I keep a Javelin shoulder-fired anti-armour missile launcher in my spare kit. Its a bit heavy and not very aerodynamic but it gets the point across.


If that doesn't, you may have bigger problems to deal with!  
2010-03-26 9:18 AM
in reply to: #2750010

Extreme Veteran
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Burke, VA
Subject: RE: Catching up to the people that Heckle or buzz you
I do 2 things. I spend about 5-10 minutes thinking about what I would say and then how he would respond and then what I would say. Then a few witty comebacks that I can think of about the state they are from or the type of car they drive. About 10 minutes down the road, I realize I have done a good 10 minute interval session. The other thing I do is count how many times I was honked at. I always ride as far to the side as possible, as to not anger the fear mongering minivan drivers, but inevitably, someone honks. Then, when I get home, I can tell my wife the number or honks I got that day. I also assume they honk because they like my rear in bike shorts. Maybe they are also saying, beep, wow that red bike sure looks fast. I should have bought a red car.
2010-03-26 9:19 AM
in reply to: #2750250

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Subject: RE: Catching up to the people that Heckle or buzz you

browncd - 2010-03-26 8:51 AM When I lived outside of Chicago my running buddy happened to be a cop. We got buzzed by some teenagers and one through a bottle at us. He got the license number and called it in. He told me it was priceless to see the look on the father's face when he showed up at their house to issue a ticket. It got real expensive for that guy and I think his teanage son lost his license for a long time. Since then if someone in a vehicle does something, I try to get the license and call it in. It is better to get even rather mad.

Love it!



2010-03-26 9:35 AM
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Champion
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Subject: RE: Catching up to the people that Heckle or buzz you
I used to live in a very secluded neighborhood that was off of a very busy road (I still do actually - but it's a different neighborhood).  I was riding down said busy road (the only way to get to said secluded neighborhood) and this group of three teens honked and swerved at me.  They were obviously thinking it was a gas.  I noticed that they turned right at the next intertsection - which is the intersection to said neighborhood.  I also watched as the turned left two streets down from mine, whcih was a dead end (backs up to a golf course).  I decided to ride down to that street and saw the car - a little blue Impala - sitting in the driveway.  I also saw a guy out in the yard walking behind a spreader with grass seed or some such.  I pulled over to the curb and the guy was very friendly asking if I needed help.  I asked him if he knew the owner of the car in the drive.  He said that he was, in fact, the owner, but his 17 year old son drove it.  I told him what had happened and I would hate to see him get sued because his son was trying to show off for his friends and misjudged the space.  The guys face just turned red.  He hollered for "Tim" and the kid comes out followed by his two buddies.  I am pretty sure they crapped a brick each.  The look on their faces was priceless.
I drove by that house everyday to go to work (or rather, where I could see that house from the street).  That car didn't move from where it was parked for at least a month.   
2010-03-26 9:38 AM
in reply to: #2750025

Atlanta, Georgia
Subject: RE: Catching up to the people that Heckle or buzz you
kagoscuba - 2010-03-26 7:42 AM A church?  Oh, I would have HAD to say something like "Would Jesus Honk?"   


Lol, yeah a church parking lot might be one of the only places I'd actually say something!

When I get buzzed, I often gesture and point with my left hand to "MOVE OVER" and shake my head dramatically. When I get honked at I will grin like an idot and wave "hello" like I know the person - like maybe they were just saying "hi" to me and I'm saying "hi" back (that really pizzes people off for some reason). I usually get flipped off either way.

I'm too scared to say something when I catch up to cars. You never, ever know what's going to happen.



 
2010-03-26 10:15 AM
in reply to: #2750010

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Subject: RE: Catching up to the people that Heckle or buzz you
Sometimes they might regret it: In the last car that buzzed me the people were screaming so loud and driving so fast they lost control, crossed the road in front of me (barely missing me: very SCARY) and they ended up in a roller-over crash. They survived, but I was terrified about a lawsuit for months afterwards, because when I gave my report to the Sheriff, one of the officers kept implying that I had somehow CAUSED the crash.
2010-03-26 10:18 AM
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Subject: RE: Catching up to the people that Heckle or buzz you
I generally just let it go, assume they were being careless (not that it's an excuse but it's not malicious) and don't get into a confrontation.

There were two times where I got into altercations.

I've only had one instance where I caught up to the guy. I was going down a hill that ended in a t intersection with the downhill road I was on being the one you had to stop. Speed limit was 25 and I was doing 35. As I approached the sign I moved out into the lane because there wasn't room for a car to pass before the stop sign and it wasn't like I was slowing anyone down at that speed. Some douche in a bronco tries to pass me before the stop sign. The only reason he was able to get back over is because I slammed on the breaks and he still skidded up to the stop sign. I let him have it. He started to get out of the truck and I would totally have gotten in a fist fight, but for some reason he got back in a drove away. Maybe it was because he finally got a good luck at me when he open the door? 6'1" guy built like a football player and enraged.

My buddy had a bottle thrown at him and then the idiots pulled into a gas station within sight of him. The gas station was only a block from the bike shop and it was closing time so he sprinted back to the shop (he was an employee there with me) and we jumped into our cars with a third shop rat in his car. We just missed them at the gas station but we caught up with them, forced them to pull over and called the cops. I'm not sure what happened, when the police arrived Lou told them his story, gave them his info and they told us we should take off because we were slowing traffic. I do know we scared the poop out of the 3 teenagers that threw the bottle. 3 cars surrounding them on the highway and forcing them to stop is enough to scare anyone.

I don't think I would do either of those things now.
2010-03-26 10:31 AM
in reply to: #2750010

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Subject: RE: Catching up to the people that Heckle or buzz you
I had a guy nearly sqaush me when he vehemently rolled through a stop sign to make a right turn. I had to swerve out of the way, fortunately there weren't any cars coming or I would have been pancaked.

I threw my arms up and said something to the effect, "What the!?!?"

He pulled up beside me, rolled down the passenger side window and apologized. How about THAT!?!


2010-03-26 10:51 AM
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Subject: RE: Catching up to the people that Heckle or buzz you
I was buzzed and honked at while on one of runs and they happened to be held up at a four way stop.  It was rural road and I was running with traffic on the shoulder/ dirt (I know do not run with traffic).  I caught up to them and slapped the passenger side window as hard as I could and gave them the 2 finger salute as I passed them.  I know it will not make a difference, but the look on their faces gave me enough satisfaction for a great run though
I also live in Ontartio, so the chances of guns in peoples cars are very slim.
2010-03-26 11:10 AM
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Master
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Baden
Subject: RE: Catching up to the people that Heckle or buzz you

As cyclists/runners we have very little power when it comes to a fight against a vehicle. I normally give them the hands up question (why would you do that??) and normally I get the finger back. You can't teach these people common courtesy.

I have yelled at guys for buzzing me and they just yell back, like I'm the problem. They just don't understand. I have thought of installing a camera on the front of my bike so I can get the tag # and report them.

A couple years ago, I had a tow truck operator pull out of his driveway in front of me... causing me to hammer the brakes and barely slowing in time to prevent slamming into the back of the truck.  The very next week, the same driver passed a dump truck coming right at me, forcing me off the road. A little while later he buzzed me VERY close going up a blind hill. That was the last straw. Since I knew the name of the company he worked for (written all over the tow truck), and knew his address (because he pulled out of his driveway), I wrote a letter to the company and carbon copied the local police force. After that letter, I rarely ever see that tow truck when I'm riding to or from work... and if I do, he gives me a great deal of space on the road.

I agree with one of the other comments. Use the adrenaline to get in a great interval set in... but also try to remember that plate # and report the incident as soon as you can. It's best to do it in writing, which allows you time to think about your words and calm down. Most of the time, it's the adrenaline that's fueling the reaction.

2010-03-26 11:25 AM
in reply to: #2750010

Master
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Subject: RE: Catching up to the people that Heckle or buzz you
I definitely think it's a bad idea to verbally (or worse, physically) retaliate against getting buzzed. A warning shout of "watch out!" if they're too close is definitely ok, but chasing them down is extremely bad form, since drivers usually interpret this as the first stage of an assault.

I bike commute and witnessed 2 young men riding singlespeeds get mildly cutoff by a woman rushing through the intersection in busy traffic. I watched them chase her down 2 stoplights later, and aggressively verbally confonted her, with some yelling involved and lots of gesticulations.

It looked really, really bad. I was embarrassed to be a cyclist near them - I think the other 30 people in cars all got a very bad impression of cyclists that day - I certainly did.

I also have been on a trigroup ride on a MUP where we had the right of way but a family with a few kids <5 yrs old spilled onto the path from the parking lot, forcing us to slow fairly quickly (but safely). Inconvenient, but that's the price you pay for riding on a MUP. Strangely, the originally pleasant 40s lady next to me starts swearing at the family and giving them the finger as we go by. Then she reverts from Frankenstein back to a super-sweet lady. I don't think that behavior helps us cyclists at all as well.

When I get buzzed (usually on bike commuting in traffic), I give a very disappointed looking shake of the head, but that's it. I think that allows the driver to think more about their own actions and responsibility rather than flipping it around and blaming it on us "crazy cyclists."
2010-03-26 11:53 AM
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Subject: RE: Catching up to the people that Heckle or buzz you
I just let it go, if I catch up to them at a light, I'll just ignore them (and usually you can tell they are doing the same thing, hoping not to make eye contact).   Then sometime later that night I'll come up with the perfect comeback that I should have said. Laughing   I'm a bit slow in that way...

And for what it's worth, I can't think of a more stressfull thing to be doing than going to church with 2 kids, that would freak me out too so cut that woman some slack. Sealed
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