Equipment and On Road Behaviour, Laws and Rules. Cycling Promotion and Advocacy
Soory big ranting vent - you don't have to read it
This afternoon I went for a very pleasant ride - until I was on a roundabout and heard a bus - rumble rumble - then got blasted by his horn and he drove me almost into the curb - it was definitely NOT a polite toot-toot here I am - it was a get out of the way.....
Then he stayed right next to me and yelled and then pulled into a bus stop. I stayed behind to make sure I did not get squashed and then he opened his window to give me a serve - and I rode up and said - quite calmly at that stage - couldn't you have waited 10 seconds rather than trying to push me off the road - he told me he was allowed on the road - I said I was allowed on the road, I was keeping to the left and he needed to be patient - rather than blasting the horn and scaring me to death - i said that kind of stuff causes accidents - he said that I was wobbling all over the road and unaware of him so he was just getting my attention. I said I knew he was there, it was a roundabout , I was allowed on the road and I would have moved left as soon as I left the roundabout.
He said the road was no place to exercise - I said I was allowed to ride on the road, I was following the road rules, why did he try and pull in front etc etc and on it went until I shouted at him that I WAS ALLOWED TO RIDE ON THE ROAD and to my horror I smacked him on the arm and said for the last time - I am allowed on the road - His arm was sitting on the window ledge......
I should not have done it...but I was so angry and he scared me so much when he pushed me over that I guess I snapped. I rode off then and then he pulled over on me left again to turn right and nearly squashed me again - it was so close that people on the footpath asked was I OK..
Anyway after calming down, feel very ashamed that I lost my cool - and I flagged down a police car and told them what I had done -so now they have my name and address etc and as I techincally assaulted him we have to wait and see if he makes a complaint. - Could be my last post for a while....
There was no way the bus driver could have identified me but given I had given him such a serve about road rules I felt really bad that I had completely lost it and smacked his arm like he was a stubborn kid - it really was a smack - not even a slap but I should not have done it. This guy obviously did not like bike riders to begin with and now will hate us.
What is worse is that I have sympathy for these guys and the job they do - my dad did it once between projects and had to put up with a lot. anyway to wrap up a perfect afternoon, another guy went through a give way sign and didn't even see me and as I turned into my suburb a lady pulled out on top of me and I had to skid to a stop. I am a careful rider, I have flashy lights, I try and stay left, use bike paths where ever they are and always say thank you when a car gives way.
I think I will hang up the bike - I feel gutted and ashamed of myself - thanks for letting me vent. Fiona
Most of us don't even get the chance to speak to the drivers who do this to us!!! Right now, you are the voice for us...
Definitely have a well earnt "sleep on it", and then go enjoy a ride on your favourite course... Get back on the horse, as you would have done back in your past...
Remember that close calls happen whether you are on a bike, in a car, or walking... Stuff happens... That's life... Embrace it, soak it in, sleep on it, and then get back up and don't look back... Life is too short...
Loving my Merida's and working towards adding a Pinarello to the stable... Go go go...
I really should not have smacked him - I am an old woman and should have known better.....if I go to court I am going to cry a lot and blame a combination of fear and hormones - I wish I had just stuck to yelling at him...
I feel really bad about it- and I really can't complain about him to his company given that my behaviour was so over the top -but he was just so rude and entitled and thought nothing of running me off the road - it was like I was totally expendable cos I was in his way... have had people "not see me' before but not had this kind of aggression -
hopefully will feel better in the morning - unless I get arrested in the meantime......sometimes I wish we could say swear words on this forum.
thanks all Fiona
Please don't give up because of one censoredwit Fiona. He was in the wrong, he created the situation that led to your losing it because he thought he had a soft target. Give the game away and the bogans have won another round.
Knowing the date, time, location and company involved, it should be easy for plod to identify the vehicle concerned and chances are that it will be fitted with video recording. Should this go any further, I'd be finding out if those tapes can be used as evidence of the idiot making threats to kill with his multi tonne deadly weapon.
Good luck and stay strong.
...whatever the road rules, self-preservation is the absolute priority for a cyclist when mixing it with motorised traffic.
London Boy 29/12/2011
Don't beat up on yourself Fiona. The guy endangered your safety. Your reaction was understandable. When we are frightened and put in danger, the adrenalin goes in to overdrive and we react in ways we wouldn't in normal circumstances. Don't let it put you off riding. But maybe a few days sticking to quiet paths and roads to get your calm and confidence back.
Fiona love you are being WAAY too hard on yourself, you have not brought any disrepute on cyclists at all, you stood up for yourself, showed extraordinary restraint given the circumstances and you should be mighty proud of that. As you have said, yes you should have stuck to yelling but the bloke could have killed you! Regardless of your actions (and a slap on the arm really is nothing, especially compared to what i would likely have done to him) HE is the one in the wrong, and HE is the one who should be feeling the full force of the law, he should lose his job over that, no doubt about it.
DO NOT feel sorry for him, he is an adult and knew full well what he was doing, attempting to kill someone has consequences.
You should say "i made a small error in the heat of the moment but i can hold my head high".
When man invented the bicycle he reached the peak of his attainments- Elizabeth West.
If you do want to use some fruity words to vent big, bang out a PM. I'm a big boy, I can take it
...whatever the road rules, self-preservation is the absolute priority for a cyclist when mixing it with motorised traffic.
London Boy 29/12/2011
I'm with everyone else Fiona....don't beat yourself up about it.
Considering the course of events that occured, I'd be hoping he takes you to court.
I wonder what the court would think about a smack on the arm vs a bus running a cyclist off the road (in front of witnesses - though I imagine you didn't get any names and numbers of anyone who saw this occur??).
I'm tipping you'd get a warning and he'd get alot worse....
This is a perfect example why helmet cams can be a great idea.
Had you a video (and audio) of what happened, along with the heated discussion, you could have sent the bus company a copy of the video and asked them to call you once they had viewed it to let you know what they propose to do - before you take a copy of the video to the police.
I get that bus/truck/car drivers just don't tolerate cyclists being on the road but I don't understand how they can justify to themselves that using a large and heavy vehicle to run a cyclist off the road isn't walking an EXTREMELY fine line between road-rage, harassment and murder.
Don't let this guy put you off your enjoyment of cycling....but if you know the bus company involved I would seriously consider giving them a call and letting them know what transpired (along with owning up that you smacked the driver's arm and have notified the police).
The bus company SHOULD take this seriously as this could have ended very badly for both yourself, the driver and the bus company....and there is no place for a person like this in a professional driving role.
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I feel for you Fiona, he took advantage of you being a single female cyclist riding by yourself...if you'd been with other cyclists or your hubby he'd never have done it in the first place...
Sound like the driver is a right coward...a friend had a similar experience with a male driver who started ranting to her about being on the road...the usual blah, blah, blah, once the rest of our group, including the blokes arrived at the intersection he shut up and looked like he would have rather been somewhere else....coward!
And +1 to what everyone else has said...if you'd been a bloke it probably wouldnt have been a slap he would have had a fist slammed into his face
Please keep at it Fiona once the blood pressure drops a bit. We all get a bit worked up when we get threatened like that. It's instinct. Some bolt, some stand their ground. I don't think a cyclist worth his/her salt would look down on you for how you reacted. I nearly got cleaned up by a bus a while ago and would have loved to say my piece.
Like said above not everyone would have let him off with just a tap on the arm. People hiding in big steel cages are no better than keyboard warriors when they seek to intimidate others.
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2012 Avanti Giro3
you guys are awesome, thank you so much.
rang my hubby, had a little weep, and he was lovely, supportive and all for me complaining to the bus company - I will probably write to them on Monday - I was going to go to Brissie tomorrow for the cancer ride but will give it a miss -
my girls have been great, ready to go into battle for me - am sure no one would say no to a ride with me now wouldn't be game to let me out on my own-
am hoping that tomorrow will feel OK about it - and be brave and get back on - maybe only on road with marked bikes lanes for a while - (not that that means anything really)
Thanks again - I still am ashamed though that I actually smacked him - can't believe I would do that - never in a million years... it feels awful
Sorry Mulga Bill
I meant to say thanks for the PM full of rude words but I think I better practice being a bit more ladylike for a while - I actually feel more like howling my head off now - not angry just really sad that this jackass scared me so much - I was loving the bike, and starting to get brave enough to ride a bit further afield on my own, even my av speed was heading in the right direction - I don't get why people think its OK to treat each other this way - at my age you'd think I would be more blase about it all.
At least the ones that 'don't see you" lack real malice - (not that I excuse them for not taking care but hopefully you know what I mean) - this guy thought it was OK - it was my fault for daring to be on the road - there must be thousands like him - it might just be too scary - I hope not
thanks so much Fiona
PS IT IS NOT COOL TO HIT ANYONE - I HAVE A THREE YEAR OLD GRANDSON - Can you imagine what he would think.........MY mum and dad would die if they knew
Did you also told the police what the busdriver did ??
All you have to do is print out the following, and say, this could have happened to me.
http://www.brisbanetimes.com.au/queensl ... z2CwhhiaOa ?#comments
the bus driver directly compromised your safety.
you may have used your hand, but he used a whole bus !!
Thats 10 times worse.
One could also say, you smacking him was self defence.
Cause he did provoke you , big time .
The only thing you done 'wrong' , was after smacking him , you went back into 'his' path.
Next time, stay behind the bus, or ride a different route.
But whatever you do , Please dont stop riding, keep on going !!
The dutch have one word to describe the aussie MHL, this word is ;
Hmmmm, yes there is a bus driver in your area that has form for harassing cyclists - and has been mentioned in the forums here previously.
You should have given him a slap on the face - maybe it would wake him up.
I'd be approaching the bus company about it.
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These days I find Melbourne's bus drivers, on the whole, seem very respectful towards me - always give plenty of room, and often sit behind at 25kmh when they know they need to stop at the bus stop 300m ahead.
My general policy is to never engage in discussion of road incidents, it is inevitably going to lead to angry words. If it is bad enough I will report it to police. With bus drivers its really easy - if you get their rego number (easy to remember as it is a letter or two [AO?] followed by 4 digits) then put in a complaint to the company concerned, or if really bad put in a complaint with your state RTA or similar regulatory authority. They'll have a complaints avenue and in your case this is the route I'd be taking. The driver may well have put his licence in danger.
I believe that Melbourne bus drivers are apparently behaving much better because:
1. lots of cyclists are riding with min-cams and recording/reporting incidents, and
2. some of the bus companies have CCT on their buses to verify any incidents (not sure whether this is inside or outside the bus)
Riding bikes in traffic - what seems dangerous is usually safe; what seems safe is often more dangerous.
All I can say is good on you Fiona for not only standing up for your self but also for all cyclists........and yes I can understand how such a confrontation can leave you shaky and upset.
Then to make matters even harder for you, unfortunately you struck another couple of careless drivers after that on the way home.
Please keep in mind that you will be a tougher, and a more prepared cyclist for having gone through this ordeal.
Update - police car pulled into my street this morning and I nearly died - not after me - now a paranoid menopausal woman - my poor husband.......
I also wanted to say that I am usually quite feisty, self controlled and resilient and don't want to appear pathetic so sorry if I did....not very knowledgeable about cycling but pretty independent and reasonably tough usuallly....so this incident really shocked me.
Back on the bike...
3 of my 4 girls came up for a ride - with all the flashinglights we must have looked like a Xmas parade - we went to favorite coffee shop - 22km - on the road but with marked bike lanes most of the way - broke my diet and ate 1/2 almond croissant
Only one bus -nearly had heart failure when it came behind me but all good - nice motorists today -
Have thought long and hard about the idea of complaining to bus company but do not think I should given my behaviour was also very wrong. I will however be very careful and if I see/experience anything like it again I will stay away from engaging with the driver and report it. I don't have his rego details - looked but forgot - and I did not ask for names etc of the people who stopped to see if I was Ok after the second side swipe.
Of course if he makes an assault claim against me then it is very different and I will have no hestitation in telling my side of the story to anyone who will listen.
In hindsight I think he came came around the round about too fast and did not see me until he was on top of me - hence the frantic horn blowing and then the comment that I was swerving on the road and oblivious to his presence - (they do have cameras so he was probably getting his story straight if I reported him) Only now do I realise that his language was very formal to begin with - "the road is not a place for exercise" for goodness sake - 'you were not paying due regard to the traffic situation" - of course I always play chicken with buses...
But I blew the opportunity to take further action in any righteous way because of how I reacted in smacking him - Hindsght is wonderful - My stomach was churning the whole ride this morning....everything seemed like day one all over again - I got nervous of getting in and out of the cleats - so crossed any intersections walking
anyway thank you all so much for your kind support - will try another ride this afternoon - no speed records but no cake either!!!! and try and learn from this - as I said in the beginning of the initial post - I wish I had not smacked him cos I am sure I have given him all the more reason to disregard cyclists safety - I hope that no one else experiences this prat because of me...... thanks again - Fiona
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Sorry to get all preachy here, but for the sake of your Sunny coast sisters and brothers, you have to report him. His next victim might not be as lucky as you or may be even more willing to stand tall. Either possibility is not pleasant.
Keep on rolling!
London Boy 29/12/2011
I feel for you fiona, especially when it is not accidental, rather is intimidation.
In the heat of the moment, someone decides to play games with your life, I know the frustration.
One approach, you feel bad for what you did and that is fair enough - I would consider writing the letter as an apology. Though legally a lawyer may not recommend this, as decent people we can choose to do what we feel is right.
By all means, in apologising back it up to explain why as in the grand schemes of things, the bus drivers actions were much worse, much more dangerous an it is inexcusable that after your confrontation that they would once again use the bus to intimidate.
Remorse and action to demonstrate this would IMO go a long way in the unlikely event that this went any further.
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Regardless of your actions in that event, that driver needs to be told from his management that bikes are allowed on the road so lease report the incident. At the least a directive to all bus drivers to remind them of cyclist road rights could occur, similar sorts of public responses prompt memos that go out to all teams where I work.
bychosis (bahy-koh-sis): A mental disorder of delusions indicating impaired contact with a reality of no bicycles.
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