Advice needed - A'hole on road bike

cdrmtbiker

Active Member
I have a question. What is the law/etiquette for bikes sharing the road with automobiles?

Background: I'm a mt biker who is always courteous to bikers on the road. I had an incident today that p'ed me off. I was driving down a road (speed limit 45) with about a 4 foot shoulder and I came upon peloton of about 20 riders riding down the middle of the road. I waited patiently until they settled back in line and I began to pass them. While passing them I was on the wrong side of the road to be courteous and provide them with room in case they decided to start passing one another again. When I got to the front there was a tandem road bike way ahead of the others and I was behind him. At this point there was traffic coming in the other direction. I politely beeped my horn to let him know I was behind him and he didn't move over so after traffic cleared I proceeded to pass him on the wrong side of the road again. As I was passing him he gave me the finger and came right up next to my vehicle and punched it as I look in my rear view mirror the guy is cursing me out and giving me the finger. It really pissed me off and I restrained myself from running the %$^^& off the road. I did the right thing by avoiding road rage and any confrontation. So I remained calm and just continued on my way.

My Question: What are the rules of the road? Was I wrong? Please provide honest feedback because I sincerely didn't think I was un-polite to any of them. I gave them plenty of room. Should I not have passed them?

I know there are roadies on this side so please help me understand this.

Thanks
 

ellbiddy

Active Member
If someone punched my car there would be a load of trouble for them. I'd probably hold back my urge to run them off the road but I sure as hell wouldn't let it go.
 

cdrmtbiker

Active Member
If someone punched my car there would be a load of trouble for them. I'd probably hold back my urge to run them off the road but I sure as hell wouldn't let it go.

Believe me I wanted to stop but what was I going to do. There is one of me and 20 of them. I guess I could have called the cops but what is that going to do?
 

tommyjay

Not-So-Venerable Asshat
No particular form of cycling - nor any sport, for that matter - has exclusive rights to douchebags. Unfortunately, they can spoil the reputation of a sport as a whole when that's the only exposure ppl have. (of course, the same applies to the toolboxes among us mtb'ers that go bombing downhill or thrpugh blind corners without regard for who may be coming the other way. And don't even get me started on the "unsolicited concert in the parking lot" types.)

IMHO, it sounds like you handled the situation appropriately (though I guess the horn honk is open to interpretation, as the manner in which it was intended may not be the manner in which it was received). I think you just ran into a jerk.
 

KenS

JORBA: Director
JORBA.ORG
Getting honked at from behind scares the living shit out of you. Makes your heart skip a beat.

The guy was wrong to punch your car, but he was just full of adrenaline thinking he was about to get hit, which is what your brain thinks follows a horn blowing from behind, so I would sort of let it go.
 

cdrmtbiker

Active Member
No particular form of cycling - nor any sport, for that matter - has exclusive rights to douchebags. Unfortunately, they can spoil the reputation of a sport as a whole when that's the only exposure ppl have. (of course, the same applies to the toolboxes among us mtb'ers that go bombing downhill or thrpugh blind corners without regard for who may be coming the other way. And don't even get me started on the "unsolicited concert in the parking lot" types.)

IMHO, it sounds like you handled the situation appropriately (though I guess the horn honk is open to interpretation, as the manner in which it was intended may not be the manner in which it was received). I think you just ran into a jerk.

It is funny you mention courtesy on the trails because I had just finished a ride where I had yielded to two hikers and two women riding horses. I actually waited several minutes for the horses to be clear from the trail. I agree with your horn comment, however, it was two quick beep beeps, not one long one.
 

Cyclopath

Shop Owner / Employee
Shop Keep
If you did everything as you said you did then yes, you were being courteous and had the safety of the riders in mind.

But be aware that honking, even if you are intending it to be polite can scare the crap out of a rider. If it's an unskilled or tired rider or even someone caught off guard, it can be enough to cause an accident. Better to slow down, wait 3 seconds until the left lane is clear and move over again.

Not to defend, 'cause the rider was totally in the wrong to react in that way, and stupid as snot to punch your car, but maybe 5 minutes ago someone tried to run him off the road.

Let it go.
Chalk it up as one idiot among many good folks.
 
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ellbiddy

Active Member
lmfao at that clip... on an aside playing out each scenario in my head I think you did make the best decision everything else could have ended much worse :(
 
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dualfisted

Member
go get yer gun.....

Jus kiddin. U did the right thing, pro'ly forget the horn thing as it's probably a fifty fifty shot @ being taken the right way.
Those guys could've been in a double paceline and you'd have still been good with all that shoulder. You ran into some jerks, I'd have tried to avoid the fight, but punching the car would've had me stop up ahead of him and try to talk to him and figure out what their expectaions were. A twenty man group doesn't justify congesting a 45mph road with a large shoulder. I want to catch them and pass them on my SS fixxy and teach em all, haha. A tandem road bike???? Only if one of em is missing a leg, woosies. They were probably all wearing brightly colored lycra shorts and jerseys too, what a bunch of pansies, haha, I make me laugh.
 

Frank

Sasquatch
Chris, you are a nice guy and you probably did nothing wrong. If you can't let someone know that you are behind them with a tap on the horn, what are you supposed to do?? Watch a Nascar race and learn how to 'bump and run"?
It's nice to know that road rage isn't limited to automobiles. Chalk it up to New Jersey's attitudes. Were they using Ipods?
 

Jim & Val

Active Member
Getting honked at from behind scares the living shit out of you. Makes your heart skip a beat.

The guy was wrong to punch your car, but he was just full of adrenaline thinking he was about to get hit, which is what your brain thinks follows a horn blowing from behind, so I would sort of let it go.

Cars beeping at you is part of riding on the road, kinda like finding horse crap on trails. I don't even flinch anymore:)
 

MEAN IRISH GUY

Horse-faced space dog
you have d-bags no matter where you go in this state. you did the right thing by not adding insult to injury. oh well. maybe when that guy gets off his bike today he will fall and break something. karma is a bitch.:D
 
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