I usually just ignore them, but if they slow up, like they are waiting for a "come-at-me-bro" response, I just look slightly away from them and wave slowly with all 5 fingers plainly visible, then take a side detour to stop and see if they go on ahead.
One guy here used an interesting approach. If the driver yelled at him in English, he ask "Haba Espaniol" (and ok I don't speak spanish) or something to the effect of No English. If they yelled in Spanish he just politely said English only. He used French and a few other choices depending on his mood. They would get so frustrated that they would just move on. He got such a big kick out of it he told his friend that happened to be African American and a rather large man. When he used that approach, the car was so confused they took off.
I usually ignore them. If they slow down in an attempt to further harass me I can't help myself. I go ballistic without regard for my own safety. I have lived dangerously and am stupid enough to confront a carload of idiots. Generally once they realize they are not dealing with a scared kid, but an out of control adult, they go away. The cell phone is my last resort.
1. They are looking to demonstrate dominance-superiority.
To you, their buddies, even themselves.
2. They are desperate for attention, to re-enforce self-worth.
Even negative attention ... feeds their twisted ego.
Making you lose your temper is their aim ... and victory.
Either type is frustrated-diminished by being ignored - deemed unworthy of attention.
Rather than getting upset, just realize that they are insecure-pitiable, desperate for attention. Making you their superior, higher up the pecking order-evolutionary ladder ... if! ... you maintain your composure.
I just pictured myself, biking along, a brief glance at "them", then looking ahead ... a slight smile coming to my face ... as I am casually chewing gum.
Practice this mental "video", get familiar enough with it, that you can pull it up, when needed.
Hmmm? Not sure why I am chewing gum ... but it does make a "nicer" mental picture.
Nice response ViBiker. As I read Joe's response I was concerned about his safety when using the "out of control adult" method. But I didn't want to appear heavy handed with a response that wouldn't resonate with him.
As I don't really know him, I just moved on to the next thread. Your response was perfect and had something for all of us to consider. It presents a win-win kind of solution. I often give a friendly wave at these type of people and then they wonder if I know them. I know it has defused the situation in a number of situations for me.
Disengaging from a moron or group of morons is always the wise thing to do. You never know if they have a gun.
I did include in my post that I usually ignore them. If it's just yelling and acting stupid I can just put on a stupid grin and know after they leave they are still idiots. A few (maybe 3) times a car has blocked my path and people started to get out of their car to continue their tirades because they were ignored. Those conditions spark an aggressive part of me. Previously when this had happened it was prior to cell phones. I felt trapped and did not think there was a polite way to talk my way out of it. I don't put in 5,000 plus miles a year looking for trouble, but if there is going to be trouble I'm not going down without a struggle. I'm 55 years old, well beyond the times of fierce encounters with cars. Out in the country there can be the type who have got themselves so worked up that no amount of calmness is going to diffuse the situation. As I stated I will use the cell phone for police. That will typically scare any yayhoo away that's just looking for some good ol fun harassing somebody who is not like them.
Joe, I didn't me to diss you; we've all been there. The guys I hate are the ones that run you off the road. Happened to me in the '70s as I heard a pickup coming from behind.
I hit the ditch and there was a hail of empty beer cans and ruckus laughter as they sped away. I was just glad I didn't get hurt in that encounter. And no, I didn't get the license plate. To this day I have no idea what they were thinking.
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