Mick Dee wrote:Another tactic is never, ever to engage with abusers. Studiously ignoring them takes the winds out of their sales and I reckon makes them feel slightly foolish.
Good thinking Mick. The strategy is similar to the online 'Don't feed the trolls' approach. The psychology of both is quite similar, except of course that trolls do not physically attack and run us down in their landcruisers.
The aggro around Perth is more common and expected than it was, say, a decade ago, but I have noticed that same agro across society, possibly due to the rapid population-growth we had with the mining boom or something like that, not directly related to road users. The occasional (monthly?) horn-blast from behind or shout from passers by is new to me having only begun cycling around again six months ago, but Australia seems a more aggro place now than it was 2001-02 when I last did any intensive cycling.
I thought it was best to toot my horn in reply, smile and show a friendly thumbsup or O.K. signal in reply, but that could stil be misuinderstood as an angry toot or an aggressive hand signal from a distance, (if not a retard at the handlebars), so now I will try to remember to follow your advice in future, and just ignore anything like that (unless it is warranted for some reason in which case the 'Apology' charade is required).
After reading a few of the threads here this week, I first went for a proper ride yesterday morning, and it occurred to me throughout that ride, as well as at the destination amongst car drivers, that my bike and I are not just invisible commuters going silently about our journey unnoticed. Once I get on that bike and ride out the driveway, I am a live advertising billboard for for cycling and cyclists, whatever I do is going to be remembered by 'the enemy'
and talked about, and written about and negative publicity may not fall back on me personally, but upon any of us; any cyclist anywhere.
I have changed my style at red traffic lights when turning right now. When turning right at the lights I'll still filter down the right of the right lane, just like I will still run alongside on the left side of a car that just passed me before the T-junction if we are both turning right, but now I seem to have learned the sense to stop at their back door, rather than tarry on up to the white line in front of them. It all depends on the plan of the intersection. If there are green painted bicycle signs across the front of the lane, then I'll naturally stop there, because that is what looks the correct place for a bike to stop because it is painted on the tarmac, Otherwise, I won't get in front anymore, because I can imagine what that front driver at the lights sees out their window: a dirty great big arrogant cyclist blocking their view of oncoming traffic.
I am not on the stopwatch in any way at all thesedays, so a couple of seconds it takes a slow-witted driver to take off after a light turns to green is NOT my problem. I lose nothing by waiting a bit for the first car to go if I am turning right.
Straight ahead is a different story. I still have an ego problem if I am heading straight on after the light turns green because I DO get some great satisfaction in getting across the Stock Road lights on South Street from a standing start before police car that was first in the left lane, I'll have to work on getting over that one this Autumn.
In brief, reading the threads on this forum has had a significant impact on my riding style after a few days reading, and I am more concerned about not making car drivers angry with YOU by my actions than I am with making the best time to the post office for the sake of my own reckless ego. I am not alone anymore. Thanks.