Two blogs have come out with lists on avoiding or defusing anti-cyclist road rage. Treehugger has a 6 point list and Planet Green has four. Please share your own! I find their tips a bit underwhelming:
- Obey all traffic laws. (Drivers hate "salmon biking" and cyclists running red lights.)
- Be courteous.
- Avoid daredeviling.
- Keep a low profile. (Even if the driver is wronged, don't exacerbate it. Concentrate on your biking instead. Ask yourself, are the potential consequences worth it?)
- Drive your bike. ("One drives a bicycle, a scooter, or a motorcycle, not rides one. People ride in things over which they don't have control.")
- Lobby for the Idaho stop (rolling stop).
- Arm yourself with a smile and a wave.
- Don your finest, brightest plumage.
- Remember biking as a bell curve. (Remember that cycling is not particularly dangerous, and in fact the health benefits far out weigh the risks. The Raise the Hammer blog looks in depth at all the cycling risks including that you're just as likely to die in an SUV crash as a bike crash.)
So let's think of some more. My significant other suggested:
"Carry a bouquet of flowers. Everyone smiled today as a I carried flowers in my backpack to work."
I would add:
Don't keep a low profile, instead command respect. Rather you want to look like you own that lane - give people a bit of room to pass you but don't let car drivers squish you into the curb.
Take quieter roads where possible. Find an alternative route that has much less traffic and provides room for drivers to pass.
Take a cycling skills course like CAN-BIKE. A little bit of training goes a long way towards knowing how to deal with tricky driving conditions.