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By: Likes:
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[Posted by permission from an off-list post:]

So as bike rider in Baltimore for the last year, I have learned a few tactics to keep myself from being run over and for the most part only had two incidents last summer when I first started city riding. I use to try to take up as "little room"as possible.
Until today. . . .
I was headed south on Harford Road (a supposed 30 mile per hour newly named Baltimore main street) When the car behind me lays on it horn because I had the nerve to get in the lane in front of her. (some how the horn and brake are connected and I had caused her to slow from the average 45-50 mile per hour pace) As the parking lane on the right had a break in it I moved over only to have the female driver pull up along side of me and ask me, "What the hell I thought I was doing?"
I felt silly informing her that I was riding my bike in Baltimore "the Bike Friendly City". She and her passenger yelled at me that I was stupid and that what did I think would happen with her 4 wheels vs my 2 wheels?
I responded with its called MAN SLAUGHTER!
Where she then screamed f*** you and speed off while her passenger dumped a bottle of water out the window making sure it would hit me.

Several cars when by and I moved in to the left turn lane at the light where she was stopped. We both sat there at the red light until it changed and we went our separate ways. I was slightly shaken at my first verbal assault and threat on my life ( I never imagined that the way I would die would be because someone felt it was there right to run me over if I was in their way).
As I recounted this fresh experience to a neighbor and friend at my destination. She said that it was funny that someone just did a radio story saying how safe and friendly drivers are in Baltimore and that I was the second friend that this type of Car/ Bike verbal/ physical threat she had heard of in the past two weeks on Harford Road.

Thank you for letting me vent my story that leads to my ultimate Question:
So what is a biker to do when this happens?
When a driver verbal and physically assaults (throws something at or on) a biker, what are the steps to take in Baltimore?
Can the Mayor's Bicycle Advisory Board lobby for some type of education or driver training?

Thank you for your time and advise.

- Molly in NE

Registered: 06/14/05
Posts: 47
Location: Baltimore MD
By: Likes:

Wow, I'm sorry to hear about this. I'm curious what section of Harford Rd it was on. I am a Hamilton resident and ride along there often, but I avoid the area from White ave to Echodale, because space is tight and speeds are very high around 40ph, ironically this is the shopping district of Hamilton, good luck crossing the street there too.
The other day on Harford I got a "get on the sidewalk" and an Ice cream thrown at me within about two minutes, you can't let it discourage you if riding makes you happy. Oh, and the backstreets around Hamilton are awesome, quiet, and scenic, and people wave to you.

So you asked what should you do if you are verbally assulted? I would say, don't flip the bird, don't even make eye contact, don't try to educate them about cycling laws, it will escalate the situation, and I will distract you from the road, just try to get the plate and be ready to call the police.

But I must say rarely do nothing because I have a terrible temper, but I'm better than I used to be!

Any physical threat I would say call 911 immedeately with the tag no.

Dont let it discourage you!


2 posts :: Page 1 of 1