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  • Road Rage

    I was on the receiving end of a road rage incident for the first time yesterday while I was on the bike. I was on a three lane road near the edge of town riding in the middle lane. The speed limit was 35. I was going probably 47-50 miles per hour. I had probably half a block of open road in front of me before a red light. A man in a Camry pulled out into my lane and slammed on his brakes in an attempt to brake check me. I braked hard and briefly locked the rear tire. There was some fishtailing but I managed to maintain control of the bike and stay upright. I then attempted to go around the car in the right lane, the driver of the car cut me off a second time (at much lower speed). I then attempted to go around the car in the bike lane and the driver drove into the bike lane to stop me from going around him. At this point the driver of the car had me in a position where I was completely stopped and had to back up the bike to go around him on the left. He then exited his vehicle and was screaming at me that I deserved to die for driving like a jack ass (speeding) and was trying to fight me.

    After backing the bike up I did what, after some reflection, I probably shouldnt have done, and kicked out his left rear taillight as I took off... I took a right and sped off to my destination that was probably only three blocks away (the grocery store). At first I didn't see the driver was following me, but a minute or two after parking my bike, there he was in the parking lot. He again exited his car and screamed at me for what felt like 5-7 minutes. I was being kind of a smartass back and telling him to move along. I briefly considered walking away and going in to the store, but then I didnt want to leave my bike to get thrashed by this man who obviously has anger issues. He went to drive off and I watched him as he was driving away. He pulled a U turn and came back because "I was staring him down." Really, i was just watching to make sure he was actually leaving. Upon his return he screamed for another 5 minutes or so.

    At this point we have spectators pulling out cell phones to video tape. I myself had left my cell at home for this grocery run so I didn't have a phone on me to call the cops. Once others started taping him he finally decided to leave.

    i stayed on my bike in the parking lot for about 10 minutes (to ensure he wasnt coming back a third time). I then proceeded to buy my groceries for the Monday Night Football game.

    This whole ordeal took between 15-20 minutes. It is the first time I've ever been on the receiving end of anyones road rage (in a car or on a bike). I never really thought anyone would purposefully attempt to injure me with their car. I now know this to be untrue.

    I've been replaying the incident in my head over and over to consider what I could have done to avoid the incident. I suppose slow down is one of those things (though I was probably only going about 5 mph faster than the flow of traffic). I also obviously shouldnt have kicked out dude's tail light (though it is some consolation that that asshole needs to spend a few bucks to replace his plastic). I also learned that the bike lane is not a very good emergency escape path.

    I don't carry any weapons on me or the bike. I'm considering getting some pepper spray. I think a nice shot of pepper spray would have ended the altercation when the man exited his car the first time (in the middle of the road). What do you guys think? Is this a bad idea? Have you ever experienced someone else's road rage? Particularly on the bike.

    Stay safe out there. People are nuts.

  • #2
    Pepper spray? What if it goes in your eyes?

    Comment


    • J89k
      J89k commented
      Editing a comment
      You've mentioned living in Tucson. I do too, this happened on Speedway. I was wearing a helmet while I was on the road. I've never pepper sprayed anyone before, but I think I can figure out which way is forward.

    • Penguin
      Penguin commented
      Editing a comment
      it isnt a matter of spraying it the proper direction. It will get blown around by any breeze and you WILL get some of it.

  • #3
    Gun. Not a club. Not a whip. Sure as fuck not pepper spray. Gun. Period. Or don't carry anything at all. I carry daily and am 6ft 2in 245 lbs and strong and relatively trained in self defense....but in would never do anything overly aggressive to a car....they killed us on accident by texting....sure don't want a 3000lb-8000lb vehicle all pissed off at you...especially considering that most new cars/trucks are as fast or faster than out bikes. Just let it go until you get to a stop and then do something....but never while riding. Sucks to be on a bike because it's almost impossible to follow a car, get the plate number, video an altercation call the police all while riding....just isn't going to happen.

    just learn to let it go and realize you can't control what other people do on how they think. You CAN follow them and flatten all their tires and beat the shit out of them (if no cameras/witnesses).

    Comment


    • #4

      Let it go is usually the best option. Gets you home and on with your life with nothing but a story.

      Still doesn’t hurt to carry a gun and know how to use it in case you actually need to defend yourself against someone who is trying to do you harm. Shooting someone isn’t like in the movies though. All kids of legal headaches...

      Punching someone in the face (or whatever) isn’t like the movies either. Good way to break your hand and then how are you going to go to work, ride the bike, etc?

      Comment


      • Spydr
        Spydr commented
        Editing a comment
        Nothing like getting arrested for assault & battery because some idiot tried to Kill you. Gotta Love our legal systen!

      • J89k
        J89k commented
        Editing a comment
        I hear ya. I'd rather buy a roadwing than a lawyer lol.

      • Spydr
        Spydr commented
        Editing a comment
        Yup! A far better use for your money. Haa!Haa!Haa!Haa!

    • #5
      Shit like that happens all the time, happened to me once in my wife's mini and i carry. Best just to walk away and l live for tomorrow. Remember (nobody ever really wins in a fight). Stay safe.

      Comment


      • #6
        All this because you were going 50 in a 35 zone? Some people really need to worry about themselves and leave others alone. If you weren't driving recklessly whats the big deal?

        Comment


        • J89k
          J89k commented
          Editing a comment
          The 2nd confrontation ended up being more about me kicking out his light than me driving fast. Initially he claimed I was "riding his ass" but he clearly swerved into my line and immediately slammed on his brakes with no one in front of him. I was not behind him until he put himself in front of me. The third confrontation was about me about me "staring him down." as he left the parking lot. But yes... All this for going 50 in a 35. Him attempting to crash me was about me driving "too fast" though. He never at any point said that he wanted to kill me. He did several times say that I deserved to die.

          I'm not sure what this guy's deal was. I've never had an interaction like this with anyone before. It was intense. I'm not really sure what anyone gets out of trying to injure a stranger then following, berating, and threatening them for 20 minutes. All I knew is that I did not want to leave this man alone with my bike. I have no doubt he would have at least tipped it over had I left it in the parking lot and walked away.

          I was wearing a Reggie White Green Bay Packers jersey. Maybe he was a bears fan.

        • Spydr
          Spydr commented
          Editing a comment
          Dude! I'm a Bears fan. Now I live in Dolphin country.
          A damn football team is a really Stupid thing to fight about.

      • #7
        In my neighborhood, we gain access to our garages and driveways via a narrow alley. One neighbor, an immigrant from India or Pakistan or wherever, is notorious for blocking the alley for extended periods of time while he jockeys his SUVs around (can't park one in front and move them around that way, where there is more room for parking- has to block the alley while he takes his sweet time to finish moving his cars). He makes the other neighbors wait while he dawdles about. Sometimes, he'll step out into the alley as I'm coming through (not more than 20MPH) and cause me to swerve to keep from hitting his dumb ass . the other night, he was blocking the alley, so I attempted to pass his SUV between it and the alley wall, since he showed no sign of moving. In order to avoid hitting his rear view mirror, I ended up scraping my Reckless fairing on the wall to get by. The next day I filed a complaint with the city, only to be told that they couldn't do anything unless they saw him doing what I (and other neighbors) were talking about. An employee at my optometrist is his next door neighbor, and has regaled me with horror stories they have experienced with this family.

        Comment


        • roadiemort
          roadiemort commented
          Editing a comment
          Quick blade stab in the sidewall of a tire might cure him.

      • #8
        --

        Let's talk about important things. Is the RoadStar okay?

        --

        Comment


        • J89k
          J89k commented
          Editing a comment
          The bike is unscathed!

      • #9
        Lots of folks running around the good 'ol USA who are little more than spoiled brats who throw tantrums when they don't get their way. A direct result of shit like Pop Warner Football, no spanking, and increased Federal intrusions into the way we raise our children. Couple that with a 50% divorce rate, lots of kids growing up without Mom or Dad, and the TV being the babysitter. This is what you get, excessive road rage, mass murders, people playing Grand Theft Auto for real, and no hope of putting it all in check. The only thing that surprises me is that it's not much, much worse.

        Comment


        • Kroyleahcim
          Kroyleahcim commented
          Editing a comment
          Well said FP

      • #10
        My own experience: I waited till I was 40 to purchase my first firearm, thought I was all mature and everything ya know. Well was I wrong. While sitting at a traffic light this guy pulls the nose of his car in front of my truck, sticks his hand out his window and points down as if to say that this is now his spot. Not the first time I've been cut-off, cut in front of or any other version of someone non politely pulling in front of you. Only this time I had a couple of pistols, in a lock box with me. Well long story short, after a few hour chase, passing on shoulders and median strip . And yelling and waving pistols begging to pull over the guy finally got away from me. So while understanding the need to protect yourself and family is important, being able to be rational and be around another day is way more important. I learned a great lesson about myself that day. . Not worth trying to prove a point to an idiot.

        Comment


        • #11
          Spray As a career LEO I threw my Mace in the pursuit case as the stuff seemed to get on me as much as the idiot who didn't want to comply to my simple instructions Some restraint is what a reasonable and prudent man will exercise BUT there are times when that goes out the door to protect yourself. I'm "hot" ( S&W ) whenever I leave the house and accessible at home. Never had to drop the hammer in my career and hope I never have to BUT I don't carry concealed for vanity either

          Comment


          • J89k
            J89k commented
            Editing a comment
            As a career LEO maybe you can give me some advice on how to handle a situation like the one I described above. This man absolutely did attempt to hurt me with his vehicle. When he was unsuccessful, he exited his vehicle and attempted to bait me into a street fight. He did not touch me once he was outside his vehicle. He told me numerous times that I deserved to die. I took that as a threat - but he never said "I am going to kill you." I asked him to leave numerous times. I absolutely feared for my safety, and the safety of my property. If I had had a weapon (of any sort), would I have been within my rights to use it? Would a GoPro be more useful? If I had footage of him attempting to use his vehicle to crash me on my bike would he be looking at charges?

            I would have called the police if I had had my phone on me, but as others have mentioned, not always an option when you are on the bike. As a 30 year old I grew up right on the cusp of the cell phone era. I remember what life was like before the internet and cell phones became ubiquitous. I try to be more "in the moment" by leaving my cellphone at home as much as possible. It also makes me much better at knowing where I am (instead of relying constantly on a GPS). This time it seems to have backfired on me a bit lol.

            I realize that kicking out his tail light certainly didn't de-escalate the situation. That said, I think it is still very likely he would have pursued me as he did (though of course I can't know for certain).

            After he cut me off and brake checked me my instinct was to get off of the road. I didn't think he would follow and continue to harass me. Now that I see that crazy has no limit - I'm not so sure how to handle a situation like this if it were to happen again. I would like to be better prepared, I'm just not so sure what that looks like.

        • #12
          I usually leave it alone.....

          Comment


          • J89k
            J89k commented
            Editing a comment
            Apparently my physical presence isn't as intimidating as Holyfield's.

            It was the first time a person has ever tried to intentionally injure me with their vehicle. I was under prepared literally and emotionally (or I probably wouldn't have kicked the car).

        • #13
          I went to work for the Texas Department of Corrections when I was 18. I hated that job, but I am so thankful I worked there. I was so nieve when I started there, I had never even been to a funeral, much less come upon a dead body in the middle of the night. I worked there 14 months and it really opened my eyes to the world. The main thing it taught me is that a man is capable of doing anything, at any time, for any or no reason whatsoever. If you walk through the world with this in mind, you won't be surprised at the things you may encounter. Having experienced this first hand just reinforced the lesson. I have encountered some situations in my adult life that I probably would handled differently had I never worked for TDC. Cool heads will always prevail.

          Comment


          • #14
            When the day was done it seemed to work out in the end, no one hurt even though it came close and we all have to be aware of todays mentality with some folk. Never know who will pull a weapon these days seems more so than yesteryear. Especially us on two wheels which makes us an easy target for those pissed off. As we all say every situation is different and we all can arm chair QB the what "ifs". In the end try to avoid it, get to a public place and do what you got to do to protect yourself or others. As the old saying goes, " I'd rather be tried by 12 than carried by 6 ". Don't know what else to tell ya.........

            Comment

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