Getting startled whilst commuting

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Getting startled whilst commuting

Postby gretaboy » Thu Feb 23, 2012 12:01 pm

I am wondering how many others out there get the motorist (car/motorbike) coming up from behind with the sole purpose of trying to startle a bike rider. I have this happen to me nearly once a week and mainly in the afternoons.

I have had people yell out, engines drop a gear and horns blasted with what I can only assume is the sole purpose of trying to startle me or make me crash. The worst of it is that they usually get me too, as I am simply concentrating on how my body is feeling, what the traffic in front and to the side of me is doing..not expecting some idiot from behind.

The amazing thing, well maybe not, is that 99% of the idiots doing this have a red or green P plate showing. I rarely get someone without a P plate doing it.

As of yet, I have not been able to catch up to one of them, and even if I did I am not sure if I would say too much as the youth of today seem to be willing to punch on without much thought, especially if there are a couple of them present.
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by BNA » Thu Feb 23, 2012 1:08 pm

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Re: Getting startled whilst commuting

Postby MikeyD360 » Thu Feb 23, 2012 1:08 pm

I unluckily (or luckily) am usually riding into a headwind to and from work - so all I can hear is wind in my ears (AT) 40km/h.
Usually if someone is yelling abuse or beeping the horn all I will hear is;

Wind wind wind wind "STUP-" wind wind wind wind

It's definitely something to be wary of as the last thing you want to do is be surprised into losing control and falling into traffic.

If it's happening often enough I would recommend investing in a camera and videoing your rides so you can report dangerous idiots to the police.
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Re: Getting startled whilst commuting

Postby gretaboy » Thu Feb 23, 2012 1:22 pm

Given the road(s) I have to ride I have been seriously considering getting cameras fitted to the bike regardless of these idiots..front and back. Just have to save up the money for them.

I think it is good insurance for any potential future accidents. Cameras would be pointed slightly inwards towards the road too in order to ensure the licence plat was picked up.
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Re: Getting startled whilst commuting

Postby Oxford » Thu Feb 23, 2012 1:28 pm

mirors allow you to not be startled if you're aware they are coming. but rest assured, even on my moto, if a car is coming the other way with a barking dog, it can scare the poo out of you if the dog does it just as they are passing, cyclists are not alone in this.
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Re: Getting startled whilst commuting

Postby CommuRider » Thu Feb 23, 2012 1:55 pm

Get a video cam and record these hoons. Report them accordingly. They want to cause accidents, at least they're on the record.
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Re: Getting startled whilst commuting

Postby Xplora » Thu Feb 23, 2012 4:35 pm

gretaboy wrote:I have this happen to me nearly once a week and mainly in the afternoons.

If you're a pacificist, or general nice guy, just get a camera and report them to the cops. Over and over again. Do NOT advertise the camera. These people are imbeciles, so they might take it as an invitation to escalate.

If you are getting buzzed every week, you have to take action. Definitely pay more attention to the road, because I don't really get that much crap and I am REALLY hogging up some space. I'm psycho aggressive though, so it is clear from my riding that they shouldn't mess with me. I will successfully chase cars as well if they start something LOL
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Re: Getting startled whilst commuting

Postby waramatt » Thu Feb 23, 2012 5:51 pm

At the risk of sounding like a snob, this happens to me mainly in what I consider to be bogan locations. The ABS would probably describe them as postcodes with lower average $value tax returns. It seems to amuse some small minds to ride close to a cyclist and sound a loud horn. Ho hum.....
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Re: Getting startled whilst commuting

Postby Mulger bill » Thu Feb 23, 2012 7:19 pm

Not necessarily from the lower branches of the financial tree. :roll:
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It seems this pic was taken a fraction of a second before the snapper was clipped, sound familiar?

Some may even say it demonstrates something of the subjects mental capacity and state, but I wouldn't...
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Re: Getting startled whilst commuting

Postby gretaboy » Fri Feb 24, 2012 7:33 am

Xplora wrote:
gretaboy wrote:I have this happen to me nearly once a week and mainly in the afternoons.

If you're a pacificist, or general nice guy, just get a camera and report them to the cops. Over and over again. Do NOT advertise the camera. These people are imbeciles, so they might take it as an invitation to escalate.

If you are getting buzzed every week, you have to take action. Definitely pay more attention to the road, because I don't really get that much crap and I am REALLY hogging up some space. I'm psycho aggressive though, so it is clear from my riding that they shouldn't mess with me. I will successfully chase cars as well if they start something LOL


Xplora, the roads I am on are on average 80-100 k's/hr...I ride on the shoulder which in most cases is wide but filthy with debris due to speed of the cars/trucks. In a few areas I am forced onto the edge of the left lane, but to date have not had issues at these points as the speed limit is 100. I certainly pay attention to the road as the slightest mistake at the speed the cars/trucks are going will cause my death.

It seems like it is a sport to these young kids.

One example - I was chugging up a hill, at this point the road is sign posted as 90k, I am on the shoulder and not interfering with the traffic, yet a P plater in a crappy hyundi excel decides to drop a gear, causing his engine to scream loudly whilst his passenger hangs out the window screaming. The first I knew anything was when the engine screamed loudly next to me. The smiles on the idiots faces showed it was done on purpose. Coming from behind, having lots of traffic going by..I dont know what else I could have done to be "aware" of what their stupid intentions were.

As I have stated before...this issue seems to only come from P platers.

I will be getting cameras front and back for my safety and protection. I know it is only time before something bad occurs which is sad. I can try and control my actions but can't do anything re others out there.
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Re: Getting startled whilst commuting

Postby gavinr » Fri Feb 24, 2012 10:16 am

I had this happen to me yesterday, first time ever in over three years of commuting pretty much every day.

I was in a (not active) bus lane, which is the inner lane of three in this stretch of road. I keep an eye on the mirror in this section, most traffic doesn't get into the bus lane but you get the occasional person turning left so it's good to be aware. Checked, nothing behind me, look again about 5s or so later and I see a car zooming toward me in my lane. This guy wasn't there before, he's definitely pulled over to get in behind me. I start to move to the left, as I do the car pulls out slightly, drops into bottom gear and screams past me at about 100dB.

Yes, I could see his P plate clearly visible as he shot off down the road. :roll:

Quite scary really. I wasn't expecting it at all.
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Re: Getting startled whilst commuting

Postby teak81 » Sat Feb 25, 2012 12:01 pm

Happens to me all the time also. I have had people hanging out the window trying to grab me on numerous occasions, beeping of horns and yelling. I did catch up to one idiot at a set of lights and lent down and yelled back at him whist he was waiting at the lights ,and scared him. :D
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Re: Getting startled whilst commuting

Postby Oxford » Sat Feb 25, 2012 12:25 pm

AirZound has similar effect, but it also scares them while they are moving. :D

Actually the best situation is when you start to have a normal conversation when stopped, then Zound them, would really like to see a HRM readout of that moment. :mrgreen:
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Re: Getting startled whilst commuting

Postby KonaCommuter » Sat Feb 25, 2012 3:04 pm

I have been startled a few times. It’s disconcerting that’s for sure.


I feel uncomfortable if I’m not riding with at least one camera recording.
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Re: Getting startled whilst commuting

Postby Crawf » Sat Feb 25, 2012 8:02 pm

Best thing is to try not too respond or show that you are fazed in any way - stone cold response, by doing so they will feel like a d*ck and realise they just wasted their time and effort along with looking like a tool to surrounding road users.
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Re: Getting startled whilst commuting

Postby MikeyD360 » Sat Feb 25, 2012 9:30 pm

Crawf wrote:by doing so they will feel like a d*ck and realise they just wasted their time and effort along with looking like a tool to surrounding road users.


If only - the unfortunate part about non-cyclist morons like this is that regardless of what reaction they get they will drive off thinking they are a hero to the people and deserve the order of australia medal.

How much would you love to ride with a paintball gun over your shoulder and just unload a few into the car when you get to the next red light :twisted:
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Getting startled whilst commuting

Postby Max » Sun Feb 26, 2012 6:41 am

Crawf wrote:.. they will feel like a d*ck


No, they won't. The people who do this sort of stuff don't feel any empathy towards the people they harass.

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Re: Getting startled whilst commuting

Postby waramatt » Sun Feb 26, 2012 10:52 am

Max wrote:
Crawf wrote:.. they will feel like a d*ck


No, they won't. The people who do this sort of stuff don't feel any empathy towards the people they harass.

Max



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+1 to what Max said. Apart from other factors, most P-platers are in their teens using brains that still have wiring issues......
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Re: Getting startled whilst commuting

Postby Comedian » Sun Feb 26, 2012 12:56 pm

I find a mirror means I'm rarely surprised by people passing. :)
Once you can climb hills on a bike it's all downhill. :mrgreen:

Hopefully I'll know what that's like..... one day. :shock: :lol:

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Re: Getting startled whilst commuting

Postby Mulger bill » Sun Feb 26, 2012 6:56 pm

Comedian wrote:I find a mirror means I'm rarely surprised by people passing. :)

Can't argue with that :wink:
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Re: Getting startled whilst commuting

Postby blossy84 » Sun Feb 26, 2012 8:14 pm

It happened to me last night. I was riding on the path next to the road going in opposite direction to the traffic next to me and some people scream at me out the window of their car as they drove past. Just to scare me I suppose and it worked. I jumped.
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Re: Getting startled whilst commuting

Postby MikeyD360 » Sun Feb 26, 2012 10:09 pm

blossy84 wrote:It happened to me last night. I was riding on the path next to the road going in opposite direction to the traffic next to me and some people scream at me out the window of their car as they drove past. Just to scare me I suppose and it worked. I jumped.


Bonus - use the adrenalin to beat your PB for that section of ride :)
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Re: Getting startled whilst commuting

Postby Aenveigh » Mon Feb 27, 2012 8:45 pm

Had this happen after a milk run to the shops the other day. 4 guys in a 4WD, front passenger shouted out as I was just starting to relax after going up a hill.
anyway, they got stuck at the next set of lights after trying to bypass on the left of the other cars already queued, I rolled up in the gutter and asked the passenger if he knew me.
He was ever so polite... I know I probably shouldn't have confronted them but they were clearly astonished and guilty that I had and showed them up for the young kids being stupid they were. Hopefully they'll refrain from such behaviour in the future... fingers crossed...
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Re: Getting startled whilst commuting

Postby Big_Red » Tue Feb 28, 2012 1:37 am

I too had this happen to me whilst riding home via Riding Rd, Hawthorn yesterday - i was hitting 40kph+ (on a 60kph road) and taking the lane due to the hordes of cars parked in the bike lane and this knobhead proceeds to sit just off my back wheel until i hand signaled to turn off into a side street. As i'm about to turn off (at speed) i hear a shouted "foooookkk oooooffff" from this imbecile. Time to invest in some cameras methinks...
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Re: Getting startled whilst commuting

Postby gretaboy » Tue Feb 28, 2012 8:01 am

the amazing thing for me is the simple fact that only P platers are the ones who try and do this...yell out, rev engines, with the intent to startle

other non P plate drivers may honk or cut you off, but I have found in my own personal experiences they dont go out of their way to try and startle you

I guess respect for others has gone out the window or is it simply that this "group" are simply brain dead and have the "small things amuse small minds" disease
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Re: Getting startled whilst commuting

Postby AussieCJ7 » Tue Feb 28, 2012 3:17 pm

I am new to this whole cycling commuting thing and will prob get flamed for this but I do believe it is a 2 way street and when there is no bike lane cyclist who lane split at lights do cause an impact on the flow of traffic that can get extremely frustrating if as a motorist you give a bike the space and overtake them safely and then they lane split at next lights and this is repeated over and over

So while there is no excuse for either side abusing someone do take a moment to consider if your actions contributed to their frustration as the solution is mutual respect and I know I have seen both sides of it and rarely is both parties 100% innocent
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