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forrest_m

aggro bike messenger

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<vent>

I know some of you guys are current or ex bike messengers, maybe you can comment on an experience I had this morning. I’m coming into downtown on Stewart street. As the light turns green at Fairview, I get passed by a bike messenger, but pretty soon we’re both going the same speed; traffic is pretty heavy. Passing the new courthouse, we’re separated by one vehicle, a big pickup truck. We (and the truck) all move into the middle lane to get past a row of 4 buses stopped on the right.

 

Picking up speed as we head down the hill, I move back into the curb lane and start accelerating – I want to beat the truck to the next intersection in case he’s turning right, so he’ll see me and I won’t have to slow down and lose my momentum. The messenger is still in the middle lane, in front of the truck, though on the right side of the lane. Suddenly, just when we’re almost at the light, he cuts across my lane into the sharp right turn onto Westlake. But at this point I’m only like 10 feet behind him, right next to the curb; I would have had to absolutely stand on the brakes to let him cross in front of me, so I squeak in front of him as he’s turning and tuck straight through the intersection. My only thought at this point is “shit, that guy’s lucky he didn’t run into me.”

 

Three blocks later, I stop at another light, and it turns out that the guy has followed me and as soon as I stop, he starts shouting at me. He’s obviously super-hyped on adrenaline, but between calling me a “fuckin amateur” and threatening to “beat my slow ass” if I ever get in his way again, I gather that he’s pissed off because I was behind him, which meant he thought I should yield. I respond that he cut me off, but I can’t get much of a word in. He’s a lot more angry than I am, which gives him the advantage in verbal confrontation. When the light changes, I just ride away, I’m a little too old to stand on a street corner shouting insults, and it’s not like I’m going to change his mind through logical argument.

 

But now I’m wondering, is he right? I was behind him, true enough, but in a different lane. If we had been driving, I would expect the person changing lanes to yield. But I’m not talking so much about the law, but the “code of the street.” I could probably have slammed to a stop, but it happened pretty fast and I would have had a very good chance of going down. On the other hand, if he had hit me, it would’ve been a pretty ugly accident for both of us. How was I supposed to know he was going to turn right? Was he just pissed off because he didn’t expect me to have kept up with him at all, so I shouldn’t have been there in the first place? Am I just an inferior species because I’m a bike commuter and not a messenger?

 

</vent>

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I'm sure that happens to him about 1000 times a day, especially if he's all over the lanes. Don't worry about the confrontation, just don't hit anybody.

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If a bike enters traffic lanes without a bike lane, it should behave as a car. In downtown Portland, at least, traffic is slow enough to make it easy to do this on a bike. Guys like that put all bike commuters at risk.

 

But it is easy for bikers to get ticked off at traffic, since they get cut off all the time by either clueless or inconsiderate drivers. You have to be the brains for about 6 people around you at all times on the bike, and that wears on your ability to remain calm when someone almost kills you because they HAVE to make a right turn before the light changes.

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If he had been in the lane ahead of you and needed to slow for a turn, you would have had to yield. However, he was changing lanes. A vehicle changing lanes must yield to another vehicle already in that lane. When changing lanes he should have allowed for a reasonable amount of time for you to respond before slowing for the turn. When I'm riding a bike, I usually go by the tonnage rule: everything else is bigger and can kill me so everything else get's the right of way.

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As a messanger you get almost run over daily, sometimes hourly, and it does foster the rouge mentalty and agressive biking. That aside, if the dude didn't signal his intentions it's his fault. I'd have to admit to some of this behavior while a messenger. I'm older and creaker now so I'm pretty conservative and give the cars all the respect they're due. But I also give the bikers an extra wide buffer because some are "ametures" and some are hot shots. Don't sweat it. Both your days would have been a lot worse if he endedup under your car. bigdrink.gif

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i reread my post and realized that maybe it's not clear that I WAS ALSO ON A BICYCLE. that's why i was so pissed off, from my perspective he cut ME off, and then got aggro on me because we came close to crashing.

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what an ass. I've never seen someone do that to another biker, though I've encountered some "holier than thou" racer types. They're usually pissed because some commuter in a rain slicker and panniers just passed them.

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If he was such a pro bike messenger kewl dude that he should have been in better control. If he cut you off, he was wrong according to my code of the street.

I remember when I almost crashed into my older brother when I was about 10 and he was 14. (he was riding a motorcycle, and I was riding a bicycle). It was a similiar situation to what you describe, and I immediately said to him "You're lucky I'm such a good rider or we both could be hurt!" He got pissed and beat the crap out of me... yelrotflmao.gif

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Carry pepper spray.. and wait for the first moment he threatens you.. then unload in his fkn Eyeball

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Oh I didn't realize you were biking either. Although my previous comments still stand. You just surprised him because in all the glory of his messenger badassness he didn't realize that you could actually go faster than him, and that he needed to be aware of where you were when he was cutting you off.

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You should have just clubbed him boxing_smiley.gif with your bike pump. That way next time he was an ass to a fellow biker he would think twice about who he is messing with before tirading.

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I think that you guys are missing the fact that forrest was on a bike too. Not in a car.

 

Correct, I assumed he was driving a car. That said - the messenger is even more of a jerk to bother chasing you down. Messenger overdrive, Big "L" on his forehead.

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Right turn from the middle lane? That guy was in the wrong no matter what his mode of transport. I'm glad your post didn't come from your laptop in the hospital. Your low key response was right on, just because someone else is an asshole there's no reason for you to be one too. Shrug it off and mutter the mantra to yourself, "must suck to be you."

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I'd have probably played it like you did, but afterwards I'd wonder if I should have assumed he didn't see me and just slowed up a bit to whip past him on the left but still in the curb lane? In any case, chasing down another rider just to go off on them is just wrong madgo_ron.gif

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My turn to rant. madgo_ron.gif

 

I was out for a run today and crossing at a three-way interestion in the cross walk at a moderate run. A woman in a black SUV is coming way too fast. "Hey!", yelled. I slow down to avoid getting run over and yell at the top of my voice, "HEY!!!", as she blows the stop sign at 25 mph. She looks at me with a shocked look on her face and I give her the stink eye.

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you don't know how often that happens to me running in lake oswego down here. It's like a damn game of frogger.

 

Yukons and Suburbans with timid (and often shocked when they realized they almost mowed someone down) mommies behind the wheel.

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I was a mesenger in Seattle for 3 years. I saw lots of strange people who ride. Some companies, including mine, hire some very lame people. Some of these guys needed mental help.

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You should have just sat on his wheel for the rest of his ride! (possible snot rocket opportunity if you could drop him at some point.)

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Cool. Missed you by a year.

 

Man, those were some free times for me.

 

Just lovin' ridin' thumbs_up.gif

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I guess she was thinkin' too hard about how to get her little Bratleigh and Snotleigh into The Right School.

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