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There were never any "good old days" — they are today, they are tomorrow
Bicyclists: BIGTIME beware of the car with license plate 6LHR371 
13th-Dec-2010 01:48 pm
no more surrogates
Had a run-in with a real prize of a cager this morning. I was riding up 14th Street towards Broadway when I heard a honk, pretty far back, and then with increasing volume the sound of a revving engine, clearly coming up on me at speed. Before I knew it, this scheisskopf had moved to the right, into the empty row of parking spaces, and had zoomed past me on the right before veering abruptly left back into the traffic lane in front of me:

Of course, since I was able to catch up to him at the next light (which is where I snapped this picture), it didn't do him a whole lot of good.

I truly do not understand cagers. It's downtown Oakland. It's a business district. There are pedestrians — many of them from the senior center and healthcare facility located across the street from where this idiot pulled this little maneuver — and delivery vehicles all over the place. And this self-entitled asshole decides it's perfectly fine for him to go playing Dukes of Hazzard on 14th Street because he's offended at the presumption of a bicyclist taking the lane.

One of these days, something like this is going to happen when I'm not on my way to something scheduled (like work), and I'm going to be able to shadow the asshole (from a safe distance back) until they park and leave their vehicle... at which point I'll leave a UBC leaflet on their windshield:

Most cagers are cowards. Last week some guy in a pickup truck honked at me and gestured angrily get over to the right! get out of the lane! I pulled up next to him at the next stop light and gestured roll down your window, I want to talk to you. The driver shook his head alarmedly at me and looked away. I scooted over a step and knocked on his window. Roll. Down. Your. Damn. Window. I. Want. To. Talk. To. You. He shot a nervous glance at me then seemed to become utterly engrossed in something on the passenger window. So I stood there, glaring at him and gesturing roll your damn window down! any time he even glanced toward me. As soon as the light turned green, *screech!* he was outta there.

Typical. Big tough cager when behind the wheel and with the windows rolled up turns out to be a spineless, gutless wonder when confronted by (ooh, scary!) a skinny middle-aged woman on a bicycle armed only with knowledge of the vehicle code and an attitude of "I am not going to take this shit from you, asshole."
13th-Dec-2010 10:13 pm (UTC)
and you never meet anyone while driving somewhere
14th-Dec-2010 12:46 am (UTC)
On 14th? That's insane! That area is a deathtrap even if you are in a huge cage.

Someone does something like that and you can catch up, I'd do more than leave a leaflet. Maybe a bright fluorescent semi-permanent sticker on the windshield. Then again, I'm that jerk who, when a car runs a red light on Market trying to smear me, slaps my hand on the side of the car as it goes by. Funny how they never stop.

There is http://www.citysourced.com/ but it seems woefully underpowered and underused.

Edit: Holy cow, that really is central downtown. I recognize it quite well. How in the world did he find enough space on the right to pass you? I'll just repeat "insane"...

Edited at 2010-12-14 12:51 am (UTC)
14th-Dec-2010 02:13 am (UTC)
Maybe a bright fluorescent semi-permanent sticker on the windshield.

A la Snow Crash, perhaps?
14th-Dec-2010 06:33 am (UTC)
I was thinking more visible to the outside than the inside, but in general, yes. ;-)
14th-Dec-2010 09:45 pm (UTC) - Had same interaction with "cheater" during BRC...
Exit process.

We pulled him over and gave him a "time out" when he cut off, perhaps a thousand people, while trying to exit. Black Lexus, no camping gear, "sense of entitlement much?" was my first question. He tried to drive around me/through me, so I put three volunteers, in front and both sides of him, and explained the process in no uncertain terms. Writing, "Bad Burner, does not play well with others" in playa on back of trunk. Wish I had done it with green scrubby pad. (added to my camping list)

Wants stickers for next year. "This vehicle has been found wanting by our volunteers. Law Enforcement: Please show them *all* possible due diligence" (Big Target for bumper and explanation sticker for roof, just above drivers window).

He was stopped 3 more times (totaling 1.5 hours), and was so pissed off, he blasted through Gerlach at 75 MPH and got written. It should be noted that our frequencies are monitored by the LEA's and giving repeat broadcasts of his vehicle, description, license plates and location were not without intent.
22nd-Dec-2010 08:03 am (UTC)

Since most police officers consider traffic stops extremely dangerous, I, as a car driver, would assume that anyone who knocked on my window was armed at least as well as the police are, and I'd certainly not get into an argument with them. If you act crazy, people might assume you are. Sometimes bravery and insanity don't look all that different. What if he'd pulled a gun on you?

Of course, one key difference between me and the driver you encountered is that I never, ever behave in a conflict-inducing manner myself when driving. Amy learned that lesson the moderately hard way when a guy jumped out of his car and threatened her for flipping him off. Years of my warning her not to do that had no effect, but she's never done it again.

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