The Chainlink

In the pouring rain. Not a big deal, but it doesn't necessarily put me in the best of moods. It was one of those teeny tiny little raindrop-rains that HURT. So I'm already somber...

I had almost made it home from work, and was maybe a block from my car (which is where I store my bike. yup. ghetto) and came to a 'funny' intersection where the right lane ONLY turns right. I didn't want to go right, so I was riding the line between the right and left lane. I was where I was supposed to be, but then...

Some guy honks at me. Not some polite little 'meepmeep' but LAYING on it. I ignore him. He does it AGAIN. Being pelted with teeny tiny raindrops for 40 minutes, and now some guy is blaring his horn at me?? I went off on him. Obscenities were spewed. Birds flew. WHY WHY WHY do people think that just because they have the bigger vehicle they have the right-of-way. I wasn't enough in anyones lane that either side couldn't pass if they wanted to. I was walking the line of bike-dom. The guy looked so shocked that he didn't want to pass me until I turned off the road towards my car.

People are idiots. And then the idiots get offended when you blow up at them. UGH.

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Yeah, I have done the same a fair share of times.

I tried something different a little while ago, though. I was riding in the middle of my lane (correctly, b/c no shoulder) on a road that I've had no problems with before, and a taxi on my left slid into my lane after seeing me there. It's not cool when a taxi is trying to push you into a wall at 20mph...

I caught up to him and stopped him at the next light. We were both ready to start yelling at each other, but I just said "Hey, sorry if I was in your way, but I'm legally required to ride in the road. I might have slowed you down for a few seconds, but think about what would happen if you hit me. You'd be forced to give up a lot of time and money, and I might be dead. Give cyclists a little room next time."

Honestly, it didn't give me the same pleasure as cussing and giving the finger--but the taxi driver calmed down, apologized, and told me to be safe.

There's anger between cyclists and drivers because we have to share the same space, and we each think that we belong there in preference to the other. The best thing we can do is to take angry drivers off guard and talk to them, not argue. Let them know you're a real person, and they'll give you a little space next time.
Do it Eric, for all of us.

Eric said:
I got cut off by a bus on Sunday riding down Roosevelt. I know there's a bike lane, and I was in it! This driver thought he'd just go ahead of me then cut me off to get to his next bus stop! Then he proceeded to drive IN THE BIKE LANE from Halstead almost the whole way to Ashland. I was so ticked off when I finally rode past him I slapped his window and scared the shit out of him. I'm still kinda peeved about it and still considering calling CTA about it. I still remember the bus number and the exact time of day. I think my gps even has where I had to slam on my brakes because he started merging right in front of me.
That is chicago for you. I constantly get honked/meeped at for waiting at the stop light on the right side of traffic (where it says no turn on red).

One cab driver kept on honking at me (lincoln and sheffield), I pointed to the no turn on red sign. So he got pissed and when the light turned green, he dangerously zoomed past me and almost sent me flying off my bike trying to avoid being hit with his side mirror.

Just recently I was almost doored (twice this week), the guy swings out his door to the point that it bounces. He is jus sitting in his car digging around, I scream out "watch your ******* door!!!!!"
Then he blows my mind saying extremely apologetically "I am very sorry" . Then I felt bad for yelling so loud.

These drivers do not realize how scary it can be for us on a daily basis.
People in Chicago use the horn way too much. They also drive like idiots most of the time. One other thing why are the no speed limit signs or protected left turns.
agreed. What I can't stand is the drunk heckling of people outside thier cabs. I've had people shout all sorts of unspeakable things at me while riding drunk in cabs.

Stickfiguredanny said:
People in Chicago use the horn way too much. They also drive like idiots most of the time. One other thing why are the no speed limit signs or protected left turns.
I had two ladies in a cab call me a dike once. We were at a stop light, so I calmly explained that I was riding home to my male-friend, and they were in the cab...alone.

I'm not even sure where dike came from, considering I was in the girliest clothes I'd had on all week. Given I was sweaty and gross, but still. My jersey was PINK for god's sake!

Asshats abound. Beware. lol
I mutter to myself, "many people believe in the myth that a car horn actually does something," when people honk at me and continue to go about my business. All that name calling and fist shaking just pisses me off soooo much. For my own sake and sanity, i stopped yelling at people.
This is true. I should probably contain myself, and just ignore them. Except for that guy who took a right turn directly in front of me. He got a fender whap with my hand. Or the guy who thought he'd be a badass and try to sideswipe me. His passenger got a facewhap (I was trying to hit the window. Seriously. And if they tried to sue, I was signaling!! *winkwink*)

But for real...it's probably a better idea that I tune it out. lalala sounds prettier than f*ck you anyhow. :)

Kevin Mulcky said:
I mutter to myself, "many people believe in the myth that a car horn actually does something," when people honk at me and continue to go about my business. All that name calling and fist shaking just pisses me off soooo much. For my own sake and sanity, i stopped yelling at people.
every thing you guys all describe happens to me daily. ive vowed never to ride a cta bus and its been about 4 years for me now cuz those bastards everyday are in my bike lane and then when i signal and head around to pass in the lane they shoot out and run me into oncoming traffic then when i get in front of them they ride right on my tail honking! i fuckin hate the cta! For christ sake you have a bone to pick id be more than happy to fight you but theyre carting many other people on the bus that have nothing to do with this fight so you must drive safe always! ive worked really hard to calm down as a rider and it works during the summer and nicer weather months but the worse the weather is for the ride the more people fuck with me. what can i say if they honk at you at least they see you i guess. if they dont see you then youre at the greater risk.
Great thread guys....I was hoping to first share something I do, and then get reactions on it.

I use "Yo!" probably about 40 times in my daily commute. I use it to say:

- Hey, do you see me? I see you maybe don't and I want you to know I am here
- Hey, you are doing something potentially dangerous to me
- Hey, maybe that was f**ked up of you to do just now

I also stare down those double parked in bike lanes and when I get their attention, I give them an un-approving nod.

Now, here is something I need advice on. Root and I live in Humboldt Park, and it only seems to happen within that area, but have you encountered other bikers biking the wrong way down the street? It seems that when this happens to Root, he is able to make it through most of the time without issue. I assume because he is bigger than me and looks like he poses an actual threat with that big chain around his waist.

But for me...they seem to look right through me as if I am not there and often what ensues is a game of chicken resulting in me ending up in a parking space (which there aren't often) or in a dangerous traffic situation (much more common). Any advice on dealing with other bikers not following the rules of the roads? Also, anyone know why this is so prevalent?
That's true Chris...I probably shouldn't have yelled at the guy, but situations were not ideal and (__Fill in obligatory excuse here__).

I'd straight up say something Abby. When you see them coming, say loudly, 'Hey! We wouldn't have to play this game if you were on the CORRECT side of the road!!' And perhaps tell them it's illegal. And unsafe.

Isn't it anything with a 'Mechanical Advantage' that has to be ridden on the road/bike lane??
hah, I especially love it when the bike lane becomes a lazy passing lane for cars.

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