15 posts • Page 1 of 1
I was commuting home from work this arvo on the bike and everything was sweet, I was feeling pretty fit and the traffic was reasonably light and I had green lights all the way home which has never happened before! Anyway I decided to take a slight detour as I was nearing home, just to break up the routine. I decided to ride up Yarrawonga St and then turned right onto Jabanungga Ave and then I was going to make a right turn up Manity Cct. As I turned onto Jabanungga I was aware of a car turning right out of the shopping centre (about 100m back) and coming up behind me, didn't sound like anything out of the ordinary, just like a normal car, nothing special.Still on Jabanungga Ave I was about 100m from the intersection of Manity Cct where I was turning so I held my arm out as a signal and moved to the centre of the road. A couple of seconds later I heard this almighty screeching skidding of car tyres very close behind me. I was quite concerned that I was going to be hit so I jumped up onto the middle traffic island out of the way.
I was then abused by a motorist (male probably under 30yo) driving a green VN or VP Commodore sedan. He started going on about how I was unlicenced and unregoed and to GTFO the road or next time he would run me over and hoped he'd scared me by screeching his tyres. He also reckons I was slowing traffic down during peak hour (Ngunnawal is just a suburb, not like it's the city centre - I think 3 other cars went past during our 'discussion'). It seemed to me he was slowing the traffic down while he was stopped at the roundabout abusing me.
I must admit I let fly a few four letter words back at him but then things were escalating and it looked like violence might be about to start so seeing as how I'm a worse fighter than I am a bike mechanic I decided to keep quiet. This seemed to satisfy Mr Green Commodore because he drove off in the opposite direction down Bargang Cres, still yelling abuse and threats at me.
It was about 5.30pm, just going on dark but not completely dark. I had a PB SF light flashing on the rear and my AYUPs flashing on the front and wearing white, maroon and red jersey and knicks so I don't see how he could not see me.
I don't see that I provoked this attack in the first place, sure I reacted back, but he started it for no apparent reason. This is the first encouter like this I've had. I've had a few people drive a bit too close and the odd d!ckhead throw stuff at me but nothing like this. Makes me want to go out and buy a gun.
http://maps.google.com.au/maps?f=q&sour ... 08776&z=16
A Commodore driver?? Surely not!
Sounds like you handled it well.
Two possibilities spring to mind... maybe he didn't see you until the last minute, panicked and skidded then shot his mouth off while the adrenaline was flowing - or maybe the skid was intentional and he was just a tool. Either way I reckon you did the best thing by letting him have the last word - you can't win arguing with an aggro idiot.
Did you get his plate? Always hard to do in the heat of the moment!
There are four phases of bicycle commuting; first there's fear, then rage, then self-righteousness and finally, fun.
Sorry to hear, Ross. People like him are total wastes of space. I still strongly believe people who cant contribute positively to society should be removed from it. Strong, but fair. Glad he didnt clout you. I have noticed Gungahlin is a bit hows your mother in terms of idiot drivers with Alan Jones philosophies. Have a beer and relax and try to forget it. Dont let the tosspot spoil your evening. That would let him win.
As for future strategies, I would try to remain calm enough to get his plate. My strategy is to keep my phone handy and set to video so if a knob like that tries that kind of crap, I can film him, making sure I get his rego. It would make the guy mad as hell, but short of assaulting you and destroying a phone in public, he would be in deep doo doo.
I feel for you. I had a nasty experience on Saturday. Approaching a left hand turn, I had initially headed up towards a footpath but changed my mind and stayed on the far left of the road instead. I mean far left as in on or left of the white line (no shoulder). There were cars beside and behind me and everyone was nearly stopped for the turn. My change of direction was of no consequence to any of the cars, but I heard a quick "beep" behind me. Then as I went round the corner that vehicle accelerated past and cut in super close to me. It was deliberate because it was the same car and I saw the driver (boofhead in a station wagon) craning his neck in the rear vision mirror to see how he did. Very depressing.
Glad it didn't end badly. I doubt you did anything to provoke the attack. I see people do stupid things on the road all the time (not saying you did anything stupid or wrong) but the normal reaction of drivers is to just tolerate it. I see lots of stupid behaviour but rarely any reaction. I might get the occasional beep from motorists but I have never seen a motorist yelling at a cyclist like that. I would say it is quite unusual which would put the motorist "at fault" so to speak, rather than you or anything you may have or may not have done.
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Not that I think the cops would do anything if I did. A couple of years ago a small bunch of about 6 or so riders I know got mowed down by a car on Cotter Rd (at the Tuggeranong Parkway overpass) and the driver kept going. I was riding in a different bunch and came across the carnage less than a minute after it happened. Broken bikes and people strewn all over the road. A witness in another car got the rego details and gave them to the cops who seemingly reluctantly went to interview the offender and he claimed he "didn't see them" yet all the riders had lights and were in the bike lane and the cops just left at that and didn't charge the guy.
Another story I heard today about another cyclist having been run down and the cops were called and they just told him basically to HTFU and hop on his bike and go home. He explained that his bike was trashed and unrideable because a CAR HAD JUST RUN IT OVER (not to mention his cuts and bruises) but the cop just shrugged his shoulders and said he (the cyclist) shouldn't of been there!
Is this typical of bike/car relationships in Aus? .... I'm thinking of moving there from UK and considering Hervey Bay or Canberra area. I've summised from areas elsewhere on this site that Hervey Bay isn't a great place for road riding but thought (through internet reading only) that Canberra was well geared up (excuse the pun) for it? Would welcome opinions. Cheers.
Mate, I have just passed 5000kms around Canberra for the year to date. I have had maybe 10 altercations with cars over that distance/time. I actually think Canberra is pretty safe on the road. You always have a proportion of the community who are complete tosspots, but thats life anywhere.
23,000+km's since I took up cycling again, less than ten occasions where I've felt that my life was in danger. And it really does depend on where you ride.
I ride, therefore I am.
...real cyclists don't have squeaky chains...
Cheers. Seems comparable to where I live then.
Not sure where my post went from yesterday, maybe I forgot to hit submit
I have done just over 6500 so far this year and had only one near incident. I ride 90 bike paths and 10% minor roads.
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