The Chainlink

Has anyone found it neccessary to kick a car door to get drivers attention?

Maybe, knock a window?

Last week on Chicago Ave I had a Taxi on my tail who then kept crowding into my lane.

I had to fold his mirror  after 3 rd time.

When he tried to squish me I booted his Taxi , pulled over to sidewalk and stopped, He sped off.

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Kicking a persons car is like poking an aggressive Pit Bull with a stick. Eventually it is going to bite. I wonder how many people here on chainlink actually drive also?

Kick smash and yell... it's the only thing that gets their attention. If they get "nuttier" on you -- endanger your safety -- invite them to exit their vehicle for a discussion. Then slam their door on them as they are exiting, or throw the bike on them and pummel happily away!

My driving experiences mirror this---no confrontations with cyclists, but plenty with other drivers. 

I've had someone put their car in 'P' right behind mine in the middle of a busy spot of North Ave, exit their vehicle and then proceed to bang angrily on my window while screaming expletives.  This was a result of my stopping at a crosswalk while waiting for an elderly woman and young child to cross.  Actually, I've had multiple experiences where stopping for folks at a crosswalk have resulted in other drivers getting extremely upset that I've done so.

I've also found a strict adherence to posted speed limits or not dipping into the parking lane and going around on the right when waiting for someone to make a left at an intersection can yield those same results on pretty regular basis.

think most of us would agree that biking safely in Chicagoland can be challenging, regardless of how defensively you ride/proactive you are about avoiding situations that can end badly.  I think the exact same can be said of safe driving as well, but its not something I often see acknowledged here.

I can't think of any situation where I've had conflicts with a car while cycling or driving that I think would have been improved by me kicking someone's car.

Jeff Schneider said:

I drive a lot, of necessity.  I don't have conflicts with cyclists, because I slow down and give them plenty of room to maneuver.  I've never had a conflict with a cyclist (though some drivers get impatient with me when I yield for pedestrians or change lanes to pass a cyclist).

I think being in a car causes a person to have an over inflated sense of right-of-way.  Bike are slower and smaller therefore not worth as much, have less rights on the road.  Also once I was riding next to this dude on clark street in rogers park, and we was all talking, riding side by side, he was on the left side close to the passing traffic, and a minivan passed him and honked cause he was sorta in the way, so this guy who I was cycling with gave the minivan the birdie.  At a red light the minivan had stopped, and we were riding up to pass it, and the door opened, and hand slapped him in the face and he fell off his bike with a crash. I looked back when I heard it, and saw him pull out a knife from his back pocket and stab the back tire he was laying next to on the ground.  the van took off as soon as the traffic got moving again.  a bunch of people came over to help him.   he was ok except for a big red mark on his face and broken glasses.  This all happened within 30 seconds.  I think both were to blame, but the minivan took it way to far.  Maybe they didn't deserve the finger, but he didn't deserve to get smacked off his bike.  People are just waiting to snap it seems like.

No sane person would expect that kind of response from giving someone the finger. It's not illegal to flip someone off, but assault and battery sure as hell are. I hope you got the assailants plates and called the cops.

It's not a smart idea to provoke someone operating a deadly vehicle, but let's not resort to victim-blaming here.

Robert Underwood said:

I think both were to blame, but the minivan took it way to far.  Maybe they didn't deserve the finger, but he didn't deserve to get smacked off his bike.  People are just waiting to snap it seems like.

Certainly not versus people on bikes based on what I see in town.

Robert Underwood said:

I think being in a car causes a person to have an over inflated sense of right-of-way.

Every person is entitled to get to where they are going in a way that does not put them in danger – regardless of mode. When anyone does something that shows they just want to get there faster by putting others at risk, they lose that entitlement.

Tricolor said:

Certainly not versus people on bikes based on what I see in town.

Robert Underwood said:

I think being in a car causes a person to have an over inflated sense of right-of-way.

That response is totally insane, but I'm struggling with the unexpected part.  Based on your posts and videos, I would think you'd know just how quickly a motorist can lose their marbles for any reason and a situation can escalate.

Treat people how you want to be treated, especially when they're being jerks.  It's often pretty disarming.

Adam Herstein (5.5 mi) should have said:

No sane person with absolutely zero experience cycling in Chicago would expect that kind of response from giving someone the finger.

Good advice. I guess I should reword it to say that from an outside observer, that kind of response is completely unexpected. But yes, for someone who has ridden a bike in pretty much any American city, this is not that uncommon of a response. It still doesn't even come close to excusing the driver's behavior, though. In no way is it right to physically attack someone who said something to you that you didn't like.

Andrew N said:

That response is totally insane, but I'm struggling with the unexpected part.  Based on your posts and videos, I would think you'd know just how quickly a motorist can lose their marbles for any reason and a situation can escalate.

Treat people how you want to be treated, especially when they're being jerks.  It's often pretty disarming.

Adam Herstein (5.5 mi) should have said:

No sane person with absolutely zero experience cycling in Chicago would expect that kind of response from giving someone the finger.

I do my best to not react negatively against the horrible drivers. A very loud "HEY!" has worked well to get the attention of inattentive drivers. A smile and a wave really throws off the aggressive ones trying to provoke a reaction. In our battle against the monsters lets not become monsters ourselves.

I used to be excitable, slapping fenders and such. I try not to anymore. It never got me anything but aggravation. I only use a fender slap in cases where I believe I'm in imminent danger. When a "HEY!" (or more often, "HEY! HEY! HEY!") escapes from my mouth, it does so before I'm aware of it. Pure reaction, not conscious thought.

WalkThroughWater said:

I do my best to not react negatively against the horrible drivers. A very loud "HEY!" has worked well ...

Play the same game & you have yourself a war. I'm imagining a video game of cyclists with bazookas that shoot bunches of flowers & zap SUV's into pedal cars...& the drivers into clowns.

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