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This page contains a single entry from the blog posted on July 31, 2008 9:34 AM. The previous post in this blog was Way to call 'em, Chief. The next post in this blog is Crossroad blues. Many more can be found on the main index page or by looking through the archives.

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Thursday, July 31, 2008

The bike rage thing, according to Elaine

I’ll tell you this much: the next time you slam your hand on the hood of my car (with Baby G present) while I’m trying to pull out of Trader Joe’s (after an awkward conversation with Austin) because I pulled out of the driveway during rush-hour because it was the only way to enter traffic, I will hunt you down and use every tactic I learned in my girl-power self-defense class to beat the living s**t out of you.

GOD, that felt good!

The woman is on a roll lately (no pun intended). Check her out here.

Comments (36)

OMG, it's my alter ego - with even worse language.

(and that's meant as a nice comment)

Baaahahahahaa! Thank you for the link, Jack. So true about the "Jakes".
Could not have said it better.

Dear Prof,

Thanks for the love!

xoxo

Elaine

Couldn't have said better, or more passionately, myself.

You GO, girl!

Thanks for link Jack!!! Elaine is very entertaining

That blog was better when Haley was on board.

A homicidal mom with a kid on board is just so cool.

A jerk on a bike thumping someone's car with their hand is just so almost dead. It will happen, and soon, in Portland.

I laughed out loud. Hilarious. Elaine said it better than I ever could.

A couple years ago, I watched Critical Mass clog up the whole of McLoughlin Blvd southbound on a Friday afternoon during rush hour traffic. The drivers were fairly patient, but even so---. What would have happened if one of those drivers was trying to get a sick family member to a hospital?

I agreed with everything but the criticism of the sweet, hot a**.

Yes, self-righteous bicyclists are annoying as hell. Not exactly a new sentiment. Unfortunately though, for every idiot on a bike, they are many, many more in cars, by number alone. It's not a bike vs. car issue. Hasn't this been said before?

I've slapped cars before--but while running. There've been a few occasions where I was nearly hit by folks quickly backing out of driveways and not paying attention, or simply rolling through stop signs in residential neighborhoods. It wasn't done out a desire to damage the car, but to get them to stop. No big deal.

Somehow, I don't think Elaine would ever need her "girl-power self-defense classes" if she ever got out of the car to pointlessly chastise some biker. She'd just need to start talking and I'm sure that would be enough to make anyone apologize profusely and run for the hills.

Her main problem is Austin.

She'd just need to start talking and I'm sure that would be enough to make anyone apologize profusely and run for the hills.

The smart ones would skip the apology and start running...

...but then we are talking about bicyclists;-)

Ahh, the funny side of road rage. Nothing like the fun of pulling your car enough into the path of a person that they actually can slap their hand onto your hood, and then running them down to beat them for having the audacity to touch the car you almost hit them with. That's just so FUNNY!

That's just so FUNNY!

Who says bicyclists have no sense of humor?

...I mean hubris.

Here's a helpful hint:

The side mirrors they put on cars these days are hinged to move back and forth horizontally. But if you smack them on top with a downward motion they come off like they're connected with a stick of butter. At least they used to.

People making honest mistakes never upset me as a biker, but someone who went out of their way to act maliciously usually got taxed.

running them down to beat them for having the audacity to touch the car you almost hit them with

Right or wrong, it's going to happen, and soon.

BTW, whatever happens in a close call with a vehicle, you don't have the right to hit it, with your hand or anything else.

"It will happen, and soon, in Portland."

The .25 ACP bobcat I pack when riding are just waiting for that moment. Please someone make my day.

Yeah, it's pretty stupid.

The problem is that every car is a 3,000-pound bullet. When someone is holding a weapon in a way that bothers you, it's generally not a good idea to try to smack the weapon with your hand and ride away.

My comment is not a threat, it's an observation. The more cyclists mouth off -- and especially the more they whack people's cars as a way of showing their displeasure -- the sooner the day that one of them will be killed by an enraged driver.

Your best bet when confronted by a careless driver is to get away from them.

The .25 ACP bobcat I pack when riding are just waiting for that moment. Please someone make my day.

Thanks for making my case about why escalating that behavior is stupid.

The nut ratio is way too high these days.

Let me clarify - I was pulled out trying to enter traffic before the the dude on the bike was even there. There was no close call. I was idling, waiting for someone to let me in when this guy decided to ride by me and slap his hand on the hood of my car.

Sorry, if you weren't on a bike, you were wrong.

Everyone just needs to just calm down. It's really not that bad out there. By far most bike car interactions in Portland pass without a hitch. Just like most car-car interactions.

Of course cyclists have no "right" to smack a car. But no-one has asserted such a right, so that's really a false choice. Likewise, there is no "right or wrong" about beating someone for touching your car. It's simply wrong. It's a grossly and criminally disproportionate response to a minor offense.

Most everyone are just trying to get around in a way that works for them. A tiny minority of people, whether in cars, on bikes, or on foot, do things that disrupt other people in their attempts to get around. That's a problem, but joking about beating people over this stuff is distasteful, at best. It sounds to me like the joking about beating Hispanics as likely "Illegals" or gays, just for fun.

Hopefully all of the "debate" will help heighten awareness for everyone to reduce the ranks of that minority that are exacerbating some of the problems.


""Elaine - Let me clarify - I was pulled out trying to enter traffic before the the dude on the bike was even there. There was no close call. ""

Not to at all justify your car being slapped, but I'll just try to put that reaction into the context of the cyclist. If this is the Hollywood Trader Joe's, I suspect you had to pull out across the bike lane and stop as you worked your way into traffic.

With cars backed-up in front of you, and you across the bike lane, the cyclist could stop until you got through, or pull into the already-full traffic lane that was blocking you in. By some interpretations of state traffic code (not saying I agree with them), you shouldn't be using/blocking the bike lane to make a turn, whether a right- or a left-turn. Hence the frustration of the cyclist. Again, not to justify slapping your car, but it's a conflict rooted in the laws trying to trying to balance different road users. Maybe all road users, whether on bikes or in cars, could use a refresher and clarification of how different situations like yours are supposed to be handled.

1) BoJack, please pay attention. We are over Austin.

2) If the bikers in this town could have a sense of humor, life would be a lot sweeter. It's really not as simple as "car bad, bike good."

Maybe all road users, whether on bikes or in cars, could use a refresher and clarification of how different situations like yours are supposed to be handled.

Maybe all road users should take an a**hole test.

Not to put too fine a point on it.

The bicyclists - as is obvious from this comment thread - didn't get that memo.

I think PDXMark has a good idea. Drivers and cyclists around here both need some education. Maybe as part of its "platinum" ambitions, Portland could come up with a one-hour course -- do it live, put it on the internet, etc. As a driver and a cyclist, I'd welcome the education.

Eventually, there could be a part of the driver's test on bike rules. I'm told the written test in California now includes this.

I'd also favor some sort of test and licensing for cycling, but that's another can of worms entirely.

As for it "not really being that bad out there," I beg to differ. Just now I encountered some jerk cyclist cruising up Williams, refusing to get in the bike lane, and blowing through the red light at Fremont. When he's dead, I'll cry for the driver whose life he ruins.

We are over Austin.

You say that, sure.

Maybe, if both motorists snd bicyclists read the DMV manuals, and considered responsibilities as important as "rights" some of the frustration would could be muted.

BillC cuts to the heart of the matter!

BillC for Mayor.

Insight like that is the missing link in Portland city government.

et al

I'm going to ride the line on the "slap the car" issue. Have I slapped/knocked cars before? Yes. Should you? Absolutely ... under certain circumstances. Unlike your car, my bike isn't equipped with a 110 decibel horn (you hate cyclists now, imagine them with airhorns); when you are not looking and turning into me (i.e. the dreaded right hook), its the only way you're going to notice. My 60 decibel voice isn't going to be heard through your insulated car and over your premium Bose sound system. Sometimes, the right thing to do is knock. Which would you prefer ... the silent cyclist under your car or the slap that prevents you from killing another human being?

Retaliatory hitting a car AFTER the problem has been corrected? That's just a jerk-move. My preferred strategy is to frown at the driver; it communicates your disappointment without the instigation of, say, flipping them off. I'd wager Elaine's rage is directed at one of these jerk-moves.

"With cars backed-up in front of you, and you across the bike lane, the cyclist could stop until you got through, or pull into the already-full traffic lane that was blocking you in. By some interpretations of state traffic code (not saying I agree with them), you shouldn't be using/blocking the bike lane to make a turn, whether a right- or a left-turn. Hence the frustration of the cyclist. "

Since we're talking hypotheticals, replace the bike lane, and cyclist with another car lane, and another motorist in the situation above. Does it still feel okay for the blocked motorist to get out of his car and go cave in her quarter panel?

Traffic and property law apply the same, regardless of mode of transport. If the lane is blocked, you wait for it to become unblocked, or attempt to legally go around by switching lanes. You might be frustrated by the blockage, but boo freakin hoo.

I used to refer to my job on a bike as "dodging traffic." Because that's what a messenger spends most of his time doing -- avoiding other people's mistakes.

Had I only let all those cars hit me (at the low speeds downtown) instead of spending my day avoiding their mistakes, I'd be a millionaire now instead of just owning an expensive bike paid for by an oblivious driver's insurance company.

The No. 1 rule for truly safe cycling in the city: The only safe traffic is the traffic that's behind you.

"blocked motorist to get out of his car and go cave in her quarter panel"

Its amusing how a "slap on the hood" has morphed into "cave in her quarter panel". The next time someone cuts me off in a bike lane I will definitely give their vehicle an affectionate slap. Thanks for the motivation, Elaine.


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