i’ve def mellowed in my approach to these people. a while back, i was way aggro toward these folks, but i also feel there were less of us out there, and the car drivers were way more aggro as well. i think just that the sheer number of shitty incedients has declined for me after the boom of cyclists, so it doesn’t get to me as much as it used to, when it was a daily occurance. i don’t know if i’m riding differently, i’m def taking better routes as i’ve learned them, but overall i think it’s better than it was a bunch of years ago.
with that said, my response is usually situational and highly dependant on my mood. back in my aggro days, i had several close calls, the most memorable are one by the guy in your pickup truck, and was actually saved by a really cool police officer, and the other by some older frat guy in which my u lock saved the day and made him back away.
in order to avoid this, i now try to do eric’s approach and smile and wave. sometimes i act surprised and yell “hi mom!”
Sometimes i ask them “is this your first time driving in the city?”
It makes them kinda think and usually stumble their words like, “no..uh uh i drive here all the time! jerk!”