Is the agro on the roads getting worse?

bella26
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Is the agro on the roads getting worse?

Postby bella26 » Fri Feb 23, 2018 10:30 am

So over the last four weeks I have had quite a number of unpleasant incidents when out on my road rides. I'm not including the close passes where I haven't been left a metre - I think we are all sadly used to that. Rather these are incidents where abuse is hurled at me and the other in my group - often other ladies, aggressive horn beeps (again sort of used to that one) and then yesterday the most pleasant experience of being yelled at extremely aggressively (called a F$$$ing C%%%) and then being spat at right in the face by a passenger in the ute drivers car. I have the rego details and have reported it to the police. Unsurprisingly the driver of the vehicle is known to them! Spitting is a form of assault so something may come of this.

I know sadly that there is no quick fix to having these oxygen thieves start showing us some respect. But do you think the agro is getting worse out there? Since yesterdays' incident I've started thinking also about filming my rides. It really upsets me to think I need to go down that path. If I did I'm not sure whether I should film from behind or from in front.

Hmmm....
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Tim
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Re: Is the agro on the roads getting worse?

Postby Tim » Fri Feb 23, 2018 7:56 pm

I'm not sure it's any worse than it ever was.
I vividly recall 2 nasty run-ins with aggro motorists from nearly thirty years ago.
Thankfully things have been nice and quiet for me in recent times however several incidents stand out from the last few years.
I think it's pot luck, I do seem to suffer a run of them, then nothing.
Sure as eggs there'll be another some time sooner or later.

Noviss
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Re: Is the agro on the roads getting worse?

Postby Noviss » Fri Feb 23, 2018 10:26 pm

With me at the moment there are as many agro cyclists as motorists.

A couple of weeks ago a guy in a (vintage) car pulled alongside myself and another rider and informed us that we would be much safer if we didn't ride on the road. At the time we were on the service road which runs parallel to the Federal Highway.

Today, as I crossed an intersection which has a green "walk" sign only when the relevant button is pushed - like most non CBD intersections - I was informed by a fellow cyclist as I disappeared in the distance that I was the reason that people hate cyclists. The fact that I was not endangering anyone (including myself) because he was not familiar with the traffic light operation was obviously lost in the moment.

Of the two interactions I find the second one more offensive and aggressive than the first.

I am sorry for your experience. Last year I did around 9,000 km's on shared paths and road riding. I am fortunate not to have experienced any aggo motorist run ins. I have had my share of the usual "didn't see you" near misses with motorists but that seems to be par for the course. If you ride defensively you can usually avoid a nasty incident. My experience with other cyclists is not quite as good though.

bella26
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Re: Is the agro on the roads getting worse?

Postby bella26 » Sun Feb 25, 2018 9:46 am

Well I have made a purchase on a Cycliq fly12 CE front camera. I do a lot of riding - just under 15000kms last year so obviously exposing myself to more agro. That said my riding has been the same for the past 3 years and I sadly think the agro is increasing and the vitriol at least to me has gotten worse.

Stay safe out there everyone.
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Howzat
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Re: Is the agro on the roads getting worse?

Postby Howzat » Sun Feb 25, 2018 4:45 pm

Cool. Consider a rear camera as well, it's good to have both.

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ColinOldnCranky
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Re: Is the agro on the roads getting worse?

Postby ColinOldnCranky » Sun Feb 25, 2018 9:26 pm

Speaking from WA.

With no science or stats to back it up, it seems to me that I hear a lot less negative articles in the media and don't heave many acquaintances bailing me up about what they saw the other day etc.

But I wouldn't bet on it, it's just a feeling.
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Nobody
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Re: Is the agro on the roads getting worse?

Postby Nobody » Mon Feb 26, 2018 1:05 pm

ColinOldnCranky wrote:...and don't heave many acquaintances bailing me up about what they saw the other day etc.

How far do you heave them? :P

Mick Dee
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Re: Is the agro on the roads getting worse?

Postby Mick Dee » Fri Mar 02, 2018 8:44 am

I understand the distress being abused on the road causes, it tends to colour your view of the human race, particularly that subset known as motorists. It used to upset me a lot but I've a developed a strategy to deal with it, that works for me. Each time I'm abused (and it's not often in the ACT and I ride a lot on the roads) I remind myself that 100 cars have passed me on my ride, one has behaved badly, and 99 have passed me safely and courteously. It puts a smile back on my face.
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. They're desperate to get some confirmation that they've upset their target and would be bitterly disappointed when they don't

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Re: Is the agro on the roads getting worse?

Postby Nobody » Fri Mar 02, 2018 9:23 am

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. They're desperate to get some confirmation that they've upset their target and would be bitterly disappointed when they don't

^This.

I have a non-engagement policy when out on the bike these days. I don't engage with anyone unless I have a collision. It's a form of self protection. Nothing usually escalates if you don't engage. Also it's my time to exercise and reflect. I'm not going to hand it over to fools who lack self control, just to prove I also lack self control.

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Tequestra
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Re: Is the agro on the roads getting worse?

Postby Tequestra » Fri Mar 02, 2018 9:38 am

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.
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