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This is a question Road Rage

Last week I had to stop a guy attacking another one in the middle of the road - one had run the lights whilst on the phone and the other had objected. I actually had to take the attacker's car keys out of their car and tell him he wasn't getting them back till he calmed down.

Looking back on it, I was lucky I was feeling all parental and in control or the situation could have panned out very differently.

Have you lost it on the roads, or have you been on the recieving end of some nutter?

(, Thu 12 Oct 2006, 21:31)
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I'm a cyclist
So basically you all hate me now.

I ride at a good fast pace, look behind me, give good clear hand signals and obey the rules of the road (including stopping at red lights and not pavement cycling).

I know that there are lots of bad cyclists out there but there are also bad drivers, inconsiderate pedestrians - basically a fair proportion of users of any mode of transport thinks that:

A) They are a great driver, cyclist, motorcyclist, pedestrian etc.

B) Everyone else is a bad driver, cyclist, motorcyclist, pedestrian etc.

C) If it wasn't for all those people getting in their way, breathing their air, shagging the pretty women/men etc, then their life would actually be like the car and lifestyle adverts.

Deep down we are all selfish fucks and we are all afraid on the road; afraid for ourselves and afraid of other people. Sadly this fear is usually expressed through anger. Anger at others, and ultimately towards ourselves.

Cyclists and pedestrians are at the lower end of the food chain and tend to be viewed as having no rights.

Bad behavour by cyclists is viewed as the behaviour of the group as a whole. Like many semi-serious cyclists that I know, I like to chase down the Red Light Jumpers and pass them as effortlessly as possible. My favourite tactic is to freewheel past them at about 25mph. Then listen as their little hearts burst as they try to keep up.

This doesn't stop people shouting at me/and or trying to kill me (had a guy jump out at lights with a baseball bat once because I 'complained' when he spat at me). I have been driven directly at, been shunted from behind, been 'doored' by moving vehicles, I think basically because of what the frustration of being stuck in traffic does to drivers. It does something to people on a primal level. Mainly because they think that they can be aggressive as possible and get away with it because they feel insulated in their little metal box.

Road rage is a stupid term. It's almost an excuse or apology for irrationally violent behaviour. Call it what it is. It's violence, plain and simple and we all indulge in it and are victims of it from time to time.

I ride in central london and my journey to work by bike is about 15 minutes faster than the public transport alternative, and 25 minutes faster than the journey by car would be (if I could afford the parking), so I cycle. If I lived somewhere whre the 'value of time' benefits favoured another transport mode, then I would probably use that.

Apologies for lack of humour but I have lost two relatives and far too many friends to death on the roads. It isn't funny.

Unless it's royalty.

EDIT: Actually, I regret using the term "I'm a cyclist". I'm a person who chooses to use the cycle for some but not all of his journeys. I would also love to own a big old dirty V8 some day...
(, Thu 12 Oct 2006, 23:28, Reply)

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