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, and that's when people get my trademarked 'smacks'. I just reach out and open hand whatever part of the car gets to me first...windshield, bumper, quarter panel, passenger's face......
I've done that, as well as kicking thier doors closed and spitting on thier hoods. =X
Jessica said:
Yeah, and that's when people get my trademarked 'smacks'. I just reach out and open hand whatever part of the car gets to me first...windshield, bumper, quarter panel, passenger's face......
a recent, and fun, encounter riding east on division comes to mind - there was a bit of a stretch between lights so, as we know, cars gun it up to about 40mph to get to the next red light and stop... although I was as far to the right as is reasonable i got a long honk - i did my sit up, put left arm straight and way back like WTF? and then swing it forward showing how much room they have to go by me and that they really just should stop being a douche

the car guns its engine and flies past me, honking again, government plates - so i pick up the pedaling a bit, knowing i will catch the fool in a light or two... two later the traffic is very clumped, backed up, and stopped - i cannot ride down the right side if i wanted to ...

so i slither between two lanes and roll up alongside Mr. Honker (driver side) with all windows down. i lean down/in and loudly say "HONK!" into his car as i pass -- and again a longer, drawn-out honk comes from the driver

light went green as i got to the intersection and traffic was so backed up that i was able to continue my way down division while he sat wasting gas and time
Nevermind.
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.
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.
If you don't call, the drivers don't think there is a problem and they will keep on doing that to you or others. Just call, it's very quick. I have called CTA twice and both times a manager called me back within the week to take down more details. I don't know for sure what action was taken on the driver (not my business anyways), but they got my details, knew who was driving given the route number and bus ID I gave them, and took down my side of the story.

If you don't do anything about it, just get used to it happening.
This summer the 66 (Chicago Avenue) bus brushed past me about a foot away on the Chicago River bridge and again east of the bridge after I'd passed while the bus was picking up passengers. After I unleashed a string of profanities, a pedestrian yelled at me that I should report the driver. So I went to CTA's site and emailed customer service (ctahelp@chicagotransit.com) with the approximate time and the bus's number. In polite language I explained what happened and received an almost immediate reply that the CTA takes safety seriously and that the driver would be reprimanded. I don't know whether that actually ever happened, but it made me feel better.

One time my sister confronted a bus driver after he squeezed her off the road. He opened his door and yelled at her threateningly, "Just who do you think you're talking to?"

She looked directly at him and his CTA patch. "I'm talking to CTA operator number 4329" (or whatever it was). That shut him up pretty fast, and he closed his door and drove off.

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.
I usually tell the person to ride on the correct side of the street, pointing to the opposite side. Strangely enough, 80% of the time they tell me that they are, and that I'm wrong because you're supposed to ride against traffic so cars can see you more clearly. Every time I hear this my jaw kind of drops. If I'm in a bike lane at the time, I can usually find a huge arrow on the pavement pointing in the direction they're coming from, and ask them what they think that means...

As for honking, carry a $2 air horn in your pocket, and if they honk at you, "honk" back :P
Wow jeff, thats interesting. Now that you said it, I asked around and several people in my office admit they were told that as children learning to ride.

I wonder why this is taught in the first place?

Jeff Koss said:
I usually tell the person to ride on the correct side of the street, pointing to the opposite side. Strangely enough, 80% of the time they tell me that they are, and that I'm wrong because you're supposed to ride against traffic so cars can see you more clearly. Every time I hear this my jaw kind of drops. If I'm in a bike lane at the time, I can usually find a huge arrow on the pavement pointing in the direction they're coming from, and ask them what they think that means...

As for honking, carry a $2 air horn in your pocket, and if they honk at you, "honk" back :P

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