Once I pounded the side of a commercial van in anger crossing the N. Lynn & Lee intersection, the driver got out and started chasing me on foot. luckily there was a lot of traffic and congestion crossing the key bridge so i got away. stupid me, won't do that again.
First of all, I try to be a PAL and do my part to avoid getting in situations where I'm way too close to a car, like anticipating right hooks, etc. But sometimes it can't be helped.
Like dcv, I got a reaction once that I wasn't expecting, but mine was different. A couple of years ago, I was riding in downtown DC, controlling the lane. A car was weaving in and out of traffic and twice, within the span of one block, changed lanes right into me so that I had to take evasive action to get out of his way. When he was stuck at the inevitable next red light, I pulled up next to him and motioned for him to roll down his window (did not touch the car). He did, and I used a polite but emphatic tone to tell him he'd almost run into me twice and to please keep an eye out for cyclists. He nodded his head yes and looked like he was about to start crying. His response was the opposite of confrontational, which is what I had been expecting.
I think some actions, tone of voice or demeanor can be interpreted as confrontational or angry. Probably can't help it, but what I seem to project in these circumstances is stern mom or teacher, which gets a completely different response from drivers.
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