Why Address The Positive Drivers (Even Worse)

Was pedaling on AV. United States, in Sao Paulo, when I saw a pickup dropping the largest imported cigar smoke. She followed a bit in front of me and I was forced to suck up all that smoke.

When traffic stopped, Melissa and I discussed the driver with a smile, saying a phrase that thought has effect, since he probably was proud of having an SUV import:

-A beautiful car that dropping all this smoke is ugly, huh? – said smiling and in jest.

The conversation followed well, with smiles on both sides all the time. The reception was much better than I expected (I was actually ready to go “escaped”, thinking that the driver could leave for ignorance):

-is, stay, right … – he replied, also smiling, half-ashamed. – need to fix. Is it the fuel pump blah blah blah [technical argument irrelevant]. I have to get even. But I have to work to pay, right…

Thought I’d say something, but he amended:

-Okay okay you go by bike! Not pollute, exercise … Could have less car on the street so we can ride a bicycle.

-is true. But if they pass some distance in time to overcome helps as hell … [still smiling]

That the traffic’s been, we said goodbye and still won a ” God be with you “. Unburdened, did gently the man be ashamed of smoking that his car was dropping, I left a good image of the rider and still spent the message to overcome with a reasonable distance. It was worth it to have used a friendly approach. If I had cursed out (look that made me want), I couldn’t have done any of this.

On another occasion, was walking at night by Pedroso de Moraes (also in Sao Paulo), almost on Faria Lima, when a car passes by taking a thin to me. Stopped some 5 meters after. I took a deep breath to calm myself. I went to the Hall, I stopped on the driver’s side, smile (Yes, I know how I did it) and said, quietly (on the outside), for the guy who was driving and take a friend as a passenger:

-good night, all right? Does not pass so close so no, if it’s a less experienced cyclist the man falls just …


-my bad. I passed very close, sorry.

-sometimes we have to dodge a hole, take a desviadinha with the handlebars and in one of the car tips.

-I know, right? Have enough SINKHOLE.

We exchanged a few more two or three sentences about the holes – a problem common to both and that helps establish an ID (something called by some of rapport) – and got a smile from him. This will certainly be more careful when you see the next cyclist.

Driver honking behind. Do I sign with his hand him off to the left, but don’t change my trajectory in a millimeter. He passes away, with the window open, body leaning forward, ready to call me names. I throw a “thanks!”, smiling, with a thumbs-up. Broke dude, who swallowed the swear word. (this has happened several times)


I’m not an example of virtue. I already sent a driver to take that place, screaming that at his window after an assassination attempt clearly deliberate. Ever felt like beating someone who almost had left my children without a father.

But, with the goal to make the stories above my standard of conduct, I have managed to avoid losing your temper. Better for me and for all cyclists the driver will see from then on.

When the guy pull over behind and Horn, I usually look back with that expression of ” put, but you want me to do what? “, with open arm, shrugging and SMILING. Usually he plays and lane changes. Sometimes cursing, sometimes taking thin, but at least I had a little note, I avoided a stress and maybe even a fight.

I have managed to be so. And for me it is difficult: who knew me to 20 years would never say that one day I would be so patient, talking smiling instead of sitting hand in unhappy or smash the windshield with a Boulder.


Violence begets violence and

This isn’t just rhetoric or Eastern philosophy. Even if I smash the mirror or beat a driver who tried to kill me, he’s not going to learn anything from it, will not serve as a lesson. Will only serve to increase your anger of cyclists. Probably he will put at risk the next that has the misfortune of being in front of him, which can be a person with little experience and balance, an old man, a child, and can have fatal results.

That sometimes makes you want to hit, ô is given … But do not want to be part of the retaliation to another person who may be after, not even indirectly, not by a long shot. Every action has consequences. I don’t want to create or amplify an absurd and unjustifiable generalized hatred to cyclists. Our role has to be the opposite, to reduce these edges, for all our sakes.

If you can talk about pleasant manner, with a smile, treating the asshole that tried to kill you as a friend of misguided, the result will be much more positive. The person may even learn from it, rethink your attitude and to be ashamed of what you did, spend to see you as a person and not as an obstacle.

The result of this will be better for you and also for other cyclists who that person find thereafter. You don’t know them, but they are also your brothers.

See also:

Travel effect or coincidence? Conversation with a bus driver who passed too close