A Lexus Love Tap

Having been arrested and prosecuted for a car/bike road rage incident, I try my best to just ride away from a-hole drivers, but yesterday when a motorist drove his car onto the bike path in front of me, I decided that was “over the f’ing top” and gave his Lexus a Love Tap. A Love Tap is a gentle reminder to a car that you’re nearby, that they’re in your lane, or have rolled past a stoplight into your path. Dude wigged out when he heard the tap on his trunk and I was all, “seriously dude you’re on the bike path with your car.” I rode away and he parked his car. Never saw him again.

It’d been a while since an altercation and the last incident was in Maui where ironically a hippie-driven, bio-diesel, end-the-Iraq-war-stickered Mercedes tried to run me off the road. I’d never yelled at a hippie before, but this went down harsh and could’ve ended badly, if I’d not backed off, and that was a straight-up defensive-protective measure. I later concluded it was karma for me flipping off this Mercedes the year before.

Tip: a good Love Tap technique is to pop a breakaway mirror. That’ll get their attention and not do any damage.

What’s your Love Tap story or worst incident with a car?



14 Comments

Byron, drop by the shop some time and I’ll show you the gloves I ride with. Fox Racing full finger carbon knuckles! They’re B E A Utiful!

I’m not going to share any ‘love tap’ stories however that I have found when your trailing a city bus if you knock on the back of the bus and come into view of the driver (via their side mirror) wave and give a courtisy nod they are very appreciative.

The gloves do come in handy when you need to wake a mutha ****er up though!

Hippies are the fucking worst. they wrap their deep-seated anger in a purple new-age package.

i am not trying to start a fight, but aren’t there more constructive ways to solve car/bike tension than yelling and rage?

@Ron,

yes and that’s the point of my post . . . I lost it a little bit with the Lexus dude as, well he was on the bike path, and I strongly encourage people to ride away. We all lose it sometimes, I suspect and I could’ve been killed with that Maui Hipppie and also rode away. The road rage incident I mentioned was equally bad. A car tried to run me off the road and I reacted to it. In WA, road rage is like domestic violence and if you show aggression back, you’re as guilty as the other person. At the least, if something happens get out of there.

The title of the post is “love tap” because that’s a term we use for smacking a car: good or bad. So I’m asking, what’s the worst love tap or close call with a car you’ve had? I’m owning mine and talking about it.

@Rambn

I’m not calling out all the hippies, just found it ironic that I’m probably doing more vacationing with my bike to reduce oil consumption and she comes at me full of hate and anger.

Worst (Best?) love tap incident I ever had was with a full-sized diesel pickup truck in the bicycling mecca of Charleston, SC. The guy pulled up alongside of me and shouted something to the effect of “get off the road, Lance!” At this point, the truck started to inch farther and farther to the right while closely matching my speed.

(Side note: Charleston civil engineering code requires no shoulder for roads; as a result few are built, allowing most roads to be two laned in each direction. Most drivers will accommodate bicycles by merging into the left lane, but a few will attempt to buzz by you at speed. Most bicycle/car accidents in Charleston are some permutation of side mirror hit to the cyclist’s back or head.)

Just as the driver was about to push me off the road into the guiderail, I locked up my brakes and let him pass. Turns out a few miles up the road, I saw the same truck sitting in the parking lot outside a chicken wing dive bar. I’m usually not the passive-aggressive type, but I couldn’t help but let the air out of all six of his tires before I rode off.

do those of you in “civilian” dress get treated this way?  i’ve had my share of a$$hole drivers, but no one’s targeted me, and i ride a lot.  if drivers are targeting our roadie brothers and sisters, it could be a start to finding the source of their negative feelings and maybe stop it.

This ain’t about lycras v. levis, but an interesting supposition. Maybe motorist hate our flashy helmets? Also love tapping is cross-species. I’m pretty sure that Mark loved tapped a snow monkey that was chasing him up a steep climb during his tour of Japan.

i didn’t mean to make it a roadie vs. fred fight, sorry if it came off that way.  none of my yehuda moon type friends ever gets harassed by drivers, but a lot of my roadie friends do.  having ridden with them, i can’t see anything very different in their riding except for their bikes and what they wear.  i mean, they act similarly.  maybe drivers don’t like competition from roadies?  i don’t know.  but it makes me wonder why yall get targeted more when a lot us all ride the same way and relate to traffice the same way.

@Ron—fair enough and that’s a good observation.

Me, I ride in jeans, and it may be that the drivers show some agression and/or rage occasionally, but I really can’t be bothered to pay any attention.  If they honk, I have a 100 db air horn, and I honk back, as if to say “Yes, I have a horn, too, isn’t it great?”  They usually don’t seriously mess with me, and any shouting they do is not worthy of notice.  I have better things to think about; I am riding a bike, after all.

I had a prius right turn right in front of me.  I shoulder checked the car and then took off the side mirror before being ejected from my bike..Not sure how it all happened.  It was pretty scary. 

Note:  I didn’t take out the mirror out of anger, It just came with the accident.  I did it with my forearm somehow.

Ummm… I dunno if this is a love tap or not but I got hit by a guy in a white Lexus who was waiting to make a left turn as I descended a hill.  I was the only other thing on the road and it seemed clear that he was waiting for me to pass as he sat in the turn lane, facing me and presumably watching my approach.  Then, at the last minute, the guy decides to gun his left turn RIGHT INTO ME as I’m entering the intersection (on a green light and in the bike lane).  I locked my breaks and tried to swerve around him but ended up eating his rear quarterpanel which caused him to slam his breaks at the sound of my careening into his car (at over 25mph).  I’m not quite sure how I rolled/slid out of the crash so smoothly but the next thing I knew, I was on my feet and walking back toward my bike (which was partially under his rear bumper).  Without thinking, the adrenaline of the crash took over and I dropkicked his shiny white lexus with a hard cleat to the rear quarter panel opposite the one that I had just collided with.  His response was to peel out and flee the scene… which is too bad because I probably could have gotten some money out of him if I hadn’t scared him off.  Since then, my love tapping regimen consists mostly of throwing full waterbottles at the windows of motorists who seem to think they are untouchable as they pull away after slinging unnecessary insults at law-abiding cyclists (like myself).

Back in the day…when I was a messenger in D.C., certain other messengers used the butt end/keyway of their Krypto U-Locks to pound holes in the trunks and hoods of offending motorists. Not something I would advocate but it seemed to get people’s attention.

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