why is my commute making me angry?

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  • why is my commute making me angry?
  • Premier Icon amedias
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    I’ve been commuting by bike pretty much forever, I do drive but rarely use the car as I find it frustrating and unnecessary, normally I enjoy my ride to work in the morning, it’s short (<3 miles) and the roads aren’t particularly bad, I often take the long route (10 – 20 miles) home just because I enjoy it but recently the ride *in* to work has been stressing me out, I’ve not altered my route, I’ve not altered my riding but I seem to be getting a lot more aggro from drivers over the last few weeks and it’s really beginning to get on my nerves.

    I don’t know whether the frequency of aggro is actually going up or if I’ve just become more sensitive to it and started noticing it more, but the close passes, beeping, angry revving, and in a couple of cases shouted abuse just *feels* like its on the increase.

    Riding on the road has never really bothered me, whether solo or on club runs, I don’t dawdle, I’m well lit, and I’ve never really had much bother before other than occasional idiots, but a bizarre situation this morning where a guy in a car beeped and yelled abuse at me for using a cycle path to avoid the red light he was stopped at, then when I circled back and pointed out it was a cyclepath and specifically designed to take you past this particular set of lights so that you don’t get squashed at the junction he then told me to ‘get back on the fu**ing path then you w**ker before I run you over’ it’s pushed me over the edge a bit…

    I’ve been thinking about altering my route to have a bit of a change, problem is that will be slightly less direct and in the mornings I’m never that motivated and prefer the easy/direct route, and save the exploring for hometime.

    Anybody got any Zen words of wisdom to impart to help regain my former immunity to the madness?

    Premier Icon cloudnine
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    Dress in pink bib tights and blow kisses..
    Smile…. It confuses people

    Premier Icon simon1975
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    Just let them got on with it and enjoy your ride. Most importantly, preserve yourself by remaining calm, and smile. They’re only angry because they’re jealous of you πŸ™‚

    Premier Icon Speshpaul
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    Zone out, don’t engage with the idiots.
    smile at the nice people.

    the monkey in the car – he will always be right in his own small mind. Pointing out his error is a waste of time.

    Premier Icon D0NK
    Subscriber

    I don’t know whether the frequency of aggro is actually going up or if I’ve just become more sensitive to it and started noticing it more

    I think there’s definitely an element of getting more sensitive to stuff. Reading about all the people getting killed in left hooks or clipped by a close overtake and subsequently getting hit by following traffic, that stuff points out to you that a close pass is more than just annoying, it’s potentially lethal (and no, I don’t think that’s being melodramatic)

    Guess it just underlines your vulnerability and how so many people don’t seem to give a shit about your safety.

    thomthumb
    Member

    don’t argue with idiots.

    Report them to the police if they are a problem.

    Premier Icon amedias
    Subscriber

    Dress in pink bib tights

    who says I don’t already πŸ˜‰

    Just let them got on with it and enjoy your ride. Most importantly, preserve yourself by remaining calm

    This is the state I want to get back to, been there for the last 15-20 years…

    the monkey in the car – he will always be right in his own small mind. Pointing out his error is a waste of time.

    I know, I normally wouldn’t have said anything, but today it got to me πŸ™

    asterix
    Member

    dare I say it, but don’t read all the crappy threads on’t internet about road rage etc

    Premier Icon kimbers
    Subscriber

    I saw a bell-end in a white van move to block in a female cyclist as she was flitering through traffic and then swear at her
    really annoyed I didnt take not of the company and reg and complain to them.

    Is it just january blues for all?

    mostly I blame clarkson

    Premier Icon D0NK
    Subscriber

    dare I say it, but don’t read all the crappy threads on’t internet about road rage etc

    reading the crappy threads about road rage tend to make me want to be a bit more chilled out on the roads, it’s reading the obits in the CTC* and other news stories about cyclists deaths that gets me riled.

    As others said ignore the shouty angry types, I blow them kisses, it’s only when they actually endanger me that I get a bit nowty.

    *there’s a depressing number of members who die on the roads.

    Premier Icon njee20
    Subscriber

    Zone out, don’t engage with the idiots.
    smile at the nice people.

    This.

    Premier Icon DezB
    Subscriber

    I have the odd angry little burst, but it doesn’t last long (unless something particularly dangerous has been inflicted upon me) – just think, the alternative is to be in a shitty car with all the other shitty car drivers.

    I listen to music when commuting, which definitely helps take my mind off the idiots.

    Premier Icon daverallye
    Subscriber

    Are you more stressed at work than before? I find that makes a difference as I’ve found myself stressing about stuff I need to do on the way in, and then struggling to switch off on the ride home. I changed to a less stressful job and now all is better.

    Also definitely agree with smiling at the idiots to confuse them πŸ™‚

    Premier Icon MoreCashThanDash
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    To be fair most of the obituaries on CTC are for people who have passed away in their 80s after joining the Essex Section in 1934….

    Premier Icon woody2000
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    DONK – I reckon a cycling organisation is going to have it’s fair share of people that die on the roads, just like a climbing organisation will have a fair few who die in the mountains. I don’t think it’s necessarily a reflection of how safe or unsafe something is, it’s just a clustering of the stats (if you see what I mean).

    OP – find a new route, that’s what I did and it really helped. Still get some idiots, but it’s been vastly reduced. Either thsat or get a big effing gun and go wild 😈

    Premier Icon D0NK
    Subscriber

    it’s just a clustering of the stats

    true, but they are still depressing, in most cases probably easily avoidable, deaths.

    To be fair most of the obituaries on CTC are for people who have passed away in their 80s after joining the Essex Section in 1934….

    yep it’s either live to a grand old age or get wiped out on the roads (or both), just hope I manage the former.

    Sorry, getting a bit OT

    Premier Icon mrblobby
    Subscriber

    Don’t let them pass their anger and frustration on to you. Smile, wave, enjoy the ride πŸ™‚

    ChunkyMTB
    Member

    amedias – Member

    I’ve been commuting by bike pretty much forever, I do drive but rarely use the car as I find it frustrating and unnecessary, normally I enjoy my ride to work in the morning, it’s short (<3 miles) and the roads aren’t particularly bad, I often take the long route (10 – 20 miles) home just because I enjoy it but recently the ride *in* to work has been stressing me out, I’ve not altered my route, I’ve not altered my riding but I seem to be getting a lot more aggro from drivers over the last few weeks and it’s really beginning to get on my nerves.

    There has always been a large number of idiot drivers on the road – it’s just these days there are an equal number of idiot cyclist on the road.

    You were probably riding like most of us way before cycling became a lot more popular (Olympics, recession etc).

    It’s good that lots of people are riding, but conflict will massively increase due to genetic morons that either drive or cycle.

    All my life I’ve seen some pretty shocking driving on the way to work and these days it’s matched with equally shocking dicks on bikes.

    tomkerton
    Member

    The dickheads in the car who shout/beep/pass too close – stressed because they are fat with high blood pressure because they don’t ride a bike to work! Laugh at them.

    Hope you find your zen like state back.

    Premier Icon didgerman
    Subscriber

    I’ve changed my usual routes a bit, going for quieter areas and making the effort to leave early. Seems to help.
    Planning routes on google and hitting the walk button also reveals the odd joined up bit you may have missed before.

    Premier Icon amedias
    Subscriber

    Thanks guys, really think a change of route might be in order, even if just for a few weeks, just don’t want to feel like I’ve been bullied off my normal route if that makes sense?

    Going to take the long route home tonight, stop off at the seafront, smell the ocean and look out across the waves and try and try to regain my former calm πŸ˜€

    Premier Icon jameso
    Subscriber

    Zone out, don’t engage with the idiots.
    smile at the nice people.

    the monkey in the car – he will always be right in his own small mind. Pointing out his error is a waste of time.
    This again. And wear civvies. I ride the same section of roads through town in my roadie kit as well as sometimes in jeans or trackie bottoms, a down jacket and trainers with a beanie hat on. I notice less dumb passes and more general space as a bloke on bike rather than a ‘cyclist’. Dress chav, people are scared of chavs )

    sangobegger
    Member

    Ride a penny farthing to work. Better than blowing kisses and dressing like a total fanny. Guaranteed to raise a smile as well.
    2 miles eh! – easy peasy as well.
    Think about the kudos at work when you rock up on one, folk will never look at you the same again. “Ordinary”, not me mate!

    Premier Icon MrOvershoot
    Subscriber

    jameso – Member

    This again. And wear civvies. I ride the same section of roads through town in my roadie kit as well as sometimes in jeans or trackie bottoms, a down jacket and trainers with a beanie hat on. I notice less dumb passes and more general space as a bloke on bike rather than a ‘cyclist’. Dress chav, people are scared of chavs )

    I think you have a good point there, if I ride the same route on my road or CX bike in cycling gear I get way more agro than on my city type bike in more conventional gear.
    I think its probably the idiots that find it frustrating your getting through the traffic quicker as a “cyclist”, but if you look like joe public your just on a bike?

    grum
    Member

    Is it because you keep reading STW where apparently getting really angry all the time is the best way to deal with things as a cyclist? πŸ˜‰

    Premier Icon BigDummy
    Subscriber

    I can remember a point about 5 years ago when I actually managed to flip my switch on this.

    I was out riding in Surrey with a friend I’d not ridden with before. We were riding 2-abreast on an otherwise very quiet road, and a driver coming the other way (who had masses of room) honked and screamed at us to get into single file.

    My friend was unflustered. As we rode on, he simply said “we shall not allow these people to pollute our minds with anger”.

    I have been successfully repeating that to myself over the years since. It works well.

    llama
    Member

    …… then when I circled back and pointed out it was a cyclepath and specifically designed to take you past this particular set of lights ……

    that’s your problem there, you need to let it go

    Premier Icon amedias
    Subscriber

    @grum and llama, normally I would, and maybe I’m in the minority but I’m actually disappointed with myself for getting angry, I don’t find it to be a constructive use of my time and normally very much like BigDummy’s mate, but lately I find it’s been creeping in and I want to put a stop to it.

    I would try the riding in civvies but it’s uncomfortable/impractical for the longer rides on the way home and I prefer the safety blanket of my reflective gear, even if it does nothing for the angry ones, it makes me more visible to the inattentive ones (I hope) and I want to make sure I’m doing as much as possible to be seen.

    Premier Icon woody2000
    Subscriber

    we shall not allow these people to pollute our minds with anger

    Nice mantra πŸ™‚

    Premier Icon zbonty
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    Good advice BigDummy. I do sometimes want to hurt the fools though, but it’s not the answer.
    Anyway, I’m off the bike with commute related broken arm at the mo- 100% rider error too.

    grum
    Member

    Try some mindfulness/meditation.

    Premier Icon Lifer
    Subscriber

    BigDummy – Member
    “we shall not allow these people to pollute our minds with anger”

    Yeah I like that, nice and succint.

    Premier Icon jameso
    Subscriber

    I would try the riding in civvies but it’s uncomfortable/impractical for the longer rides on the way home and I prefer the safety blanket of my reflective gear,

    True. Less lycra, more 3/4 shorts or general outdoor trousers over lycra shorts, ‘normal’ colours, reflectives on bike and lid, bag? Daft as it is, I just think there’s something about the pro-roadie look that riles some. Makes you less ‘normal’ in their eyes and bad driving is all about stressed reactions, snap decisions and not processing thought.

    ti_pin_man
    Member

    yes defo find that chill pill, maybe take a slightly different route into work, a bit of variety might help take your mind off the plebs. they’ve always been there and always will be.

    Premier Icon TPTcruiser
    Subscriber

    we shall not allow these people posts to pollute our minds with anger

    Could be a lesson for us all πŸ™‚

    Premier Icon D0NK
    Subscriber

    I just think there’s something about the pro-roadie look that riles some

    cool, remember your baggies, peaked helmet and camelbak and you’re safe πŸ˜‰

    mattrgee
    Member

    Drivers hate cyclists. They believe you shouldn’t be on the road and if you get hurt it’s your own fault because you shouldn’t have been there in the first place. Unfortionately, I think that’s the view of most drivers at the moment.

    I’ve been finding commuting irritating lately due to what seems like an increase in the number of cyclist-hating bell-ends on the roads.

    My own theory on it is that the number of cyclists in Leeds has increased, there are more cycle paths/lanes than there used to be, and drivers resent cyclists sailing past them when they are stuck in traffic. Whilst my cycle commute can be stressful, it’s still nowhere near as stressful as sitting in a traffic jam, dealing with taxis cutting you up/pushing in, and an ever-burgeoning number of temporary traffic lights, so I just try and pity the drivers, thinking they are probably more miserable than I am.

    devash
    Member

    I’ve been finding commuting irritating lately due to what seems like an increase in the number of cyclist-hating bell-ends on the roads.

    My own theory on it is that the number of cyclists in Leeds has increased, there are more cycle paths/lanes than there used to be, and drivers resent cyclists sailing past them when they are stuck in traffic. Whilst my cycle commute can be stressful, it’s still nowhere near as stressful as sitting in a traffic jam, dealing with taxis cutting you up/pushing in, and an ever-burgeoning number of temporary traffic lights, so I just try and pity the drivers, thinking they are probably more miserable than I am.

    I’ve actually stopped commuting on my bike in Leeds because of the increased aggro / near misses / general feeling of vulnerability on the roads. Even walking into work now I feel very vulnerable as a pedestrian and it is not uncommon to see cars flying through red lights at crossings, dangerous overtaking in 30mph residential zones etc.

    There seems to be a general angry / aggressive feeling in the UK at the moment. It’s a shame people have to direct their anger and frustration at their fellow man instead of at the politicians who have screwed us backwards.

    Premier Icon amedias
    Subscriber

    True. Less lycra, more 3/4 shorts or general outdoor trousers over lycra shorts, ‘normal’ colours, reflectives on bike and lid, bag? Daft as it is, I just think there’s something about the pro-roadie look that riles some. Makes you less ‘normal’ in their eyes and bad driving is all about stressed reactions, snap decisions and not processing thought.

    Ah, I’m already pretty much there then on the way in, 3/4 length outdoor shorts and dayglo jacket, no bag, use a rack on the commuter, I only swap to proper gear and stow the baggies for the longer ride home.

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