BJL wrote:What's even more bemusing is the number of cyclists who refuse to retaliate against motorists after having their very life put at risk for fear of upsetting them. I bet cyclists wouldn't be so forgiving if someone had pointed a gun to their head or held a knife to their throat. But a motor vehicle? 'Oh no, you can't retaliate, it will just make them hate us even more'. Screw that. If someone idiot puts my LIFE at risk, then they had better hope I don't catch up with them.
Cyclists in this country should be getting more angry and more organized. If I had my way, every time a cyclist is killed because of a motorist, major intersections in all capital cities would be blocked by cyclists for one hour at 5:00pm on the following Friday afternoon. Anything less is a pointless exercise. You may as well go invent a hashtag or something.
I would fall into your "bemusing" category. But I would say that that is more useful than your recommended response as implied very strongly by your closing "then they had better hope I don't catch up with them" Hmmm, shares a lot to my mind with the attitude of the worst of motorists.
Because I and you and everyone else that drives a car (or a bike for that matter) will have, on occasion, not seen a rider, or not seen a ped as you back out of the shopping centre car bay looking in five different directions at once or had your focus taken by something else, maybe important or had to move over to avoid an unseen hazard. It is a given that we will occasionally bugger up or have to make an awkward choice without any intent whatsoever and sometimes even with all due attention.
So my first response is to assume that very common failure that anyone of us will have done ourselves. And indeed I have had the occasional angry blast of a horn and the two finger salute when the person doing it does so without having seen whatever it was that dictated my movements that offended him. I'd hate to think that you would also go on the aggression route when you yourself may be the one that did not have all the information when the driver did. Such as an errant child on the other side of the road causing the driver to move unexpectedly to the left. It happens.
Whereas carrying a gun is not a given. Anyone pulling a gun and pointing it am is going to NOT have me extend any doubt. I mean, where IS the doubt? There is none.
None of this is to say that there are not people who also screw far too often up because of habitual inattention, habitual lack of care, irresposibilty, attitude and so forth. Just saying that most situations that we may find alarming are not because of evil people or people any worse than me.
I'd suggest that a better course of action than to go on the attack is almost always to try to get them to see the problem from my POV. And to couch it in a way that shares the problem rather than loads it on him because human nature makes otherwise a loser. And if you can't do that then just move on because "better hope I don't catch up with them" will NOT achieve any improvement.
I trust that you do not claim to never be susceptible to those human foibles or the odd bit of serendipity as you travel about. Because, the worst kind of fool is the one that does not know he is a fool. And there are lot of bad drivers that fall into that category. Ditto cyclists.