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What makes cyclists think they're special?

DocHolliday

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I once ran over a cyclist. He tried to pass me on the left when I was making a left turn. Thankfully, he was not hurt. I was young, and so was afraid to call the cops. At best, it would have driven my insurance through the roof. I ended up buying him a $450 bicycle, though the accident was not my fault. I'd even been using my signal.

I tend to think bicycles shouldn't be allowed on the highway. They are hard to see; they can't keep up with the flow of traffic; they offer zero protection in the event of an accident. I now live in fear of hitting and killing a cyclist.

I know this stance won't be popular among some here, but if it's any consolation, I don't think tractors should be allowed on highways either.
 

gamelan

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Originally Posted by Bandwagonesque

Oh yah, and those stretchy black bike panties rock... they make farting in the general direction of you and your geezer Subaru much easier.


As a Subaru owner, I must respond:



-Jeff
 

SUPER K

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Doc,
As a cyclist, I also wish we did not have to share the road with motorist, but in most areas, there is no choice. I try to use the back county roads, avoid traffic, and have a great respect and awareness of the damage a collision can cause. Most cyclist are not out there to ruin your weekend morning. Yes, you may have to wait 10-20 seconds to pass safely, but did that really disrupt your day, or make you that late? Cyclists are your neighbors, your doctor, your policemen, your friends, even that cute girl at the gym.
 

Renault78law

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Oh god, I can't believe I'm getting in so late on this thread. I don't even know where to start.

As an avid recreational cyclist and occasional commuter, I'm dismayed by the ignorance displayed in this thread.

I guess I'll make a couple of points:

1) I don't want to be treated special. Note, however, that the law compels cyclists to ride a certain way, and gives cyclists certain rights on the road, with respect to cars. In California, we have to ride in the road (with good reason, riding on the sidewalk is extremely dangerous), in the same direction with traffic. To that extent, cyclists are entitled (not wrongly) to these rights on the road. To the contrary, I think its the drivers that think they're "special" because they think they're entitled to the entire road. They are not: The streets are for the benefit of all citizens, not just cars.

2) If you're in a car making a left turn, and there is traffic oncoming (bike or otherwise), you are not supposed to turn your wheel. Anyone who's studied Driver's Ed knows this is just bad practice. Worse, you're not supposed to creep forward. Doing either of these makes your intentions ambiguous. Even more so, if you're on the phone. I don't see how anyone would dispute that acting this way is dangerous.
 

LA Guy

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Originally Posted by ATM
I've been nearly hit by cars while cycling more times than I can remember and yelled at for no reason even more. There are jerks on bikes and jerks behind the wheel. In my experience, the more expensive the bike/car, the more likely the cyclist/driver is one of them.

I've noticed the same. Wait, rich folks feeling entitled? That's just talking crazy.
 

DocHolliday

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Originally Posted by SUPER K
Doc,
As a cyclist, I also wish we did not have to share the road with motorist, but in most areas, there is no choice. I try to use the back county roads, avoid traffic, and have a great respect and awareness of the damage a collision can cause. Most cyclist are not out there to ruin your weekend morning. Yes, you may have to wait 10-20 seconds to pass safely, but did that really disrupt your day, or make you that late? Cyclists are your neighbors, your doctor, your policemen, your friends, even that cute girl at the gym.


I'm actually very sympathetic to cyclists. I'd like for them to have a place to ride. My concern is really just about safety. That's my why I mentioned tractors. They're motorized vehicles that can go far faster than a bicycle, and ostensibly offer more protection for the rider. Yet I don't think they should be on the road either. They're simply out of place, and too much of a hazard for all involved.

Part of the problem is that there's no margin for unavoidable human error. If I collide with a cyclist, regardless of whose fault it is, there's a good chance that cyclist will get seriously hurt or killed. A 25-mph crash involving two cars is a nuisance, but if everyone is buckled up, rarely deadly. A 25-mph crash involving a cyclist and a car is probably going to leave someone dead and someone else's life ruined.

Here, the law prohibits me from driving without a seatbelt, and from operating a Vespa on the road unless it has an engine the size of a small motorcycle. Can't ride a skateboard, or a three-wheeler, or a scooter, or even a large-engine four-wheeler. Why a bike?
 

j

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Originally Posted by SUPER K
Doc,
As a cyclist, I also wish we did not have to share the road with motorist, but in most areas, there is no choice. I try to use the back county roads, avoid traffic, and have a great respect and awareness of the damage a collision can cause. Most cyclist are not out there to ruin your weekend morning. Yes, you may have to wait 10-20 seconds to pass safely, but did that really disrupt your day, or make you that late? Cyclists are your neighbors, your doctor, your policemen, your friends, even that cute girl at the gym.

I think you misread his post, (unless I have misread it) - the cyclist was going in his direction and passed him on the left while he was making a signaled, legal left turn. In any state that is illegal and stupid, and entirely the cyclist's fault. It's not up to us to check for every conceivable situation before moving - that is why we have laws that people follow, so we can make assumptions that allow us to get anywhere at all.

I don't want to get into this because I am capable of ranting indefinitely about irresponsible, unsafe, arrogant cyclists (and I know that's not all of them). But I'd simply like to say that if you ride at night with no lights (or sometimes even reflectors - ?!!!), expect to die painfully and expect me not to feel sorry when it happens.
 

Tokyo Slim

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double
 

Tokyo Slim

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The Seattle cyclist's "rights"

1: At any time, and without warning, may switch from being a pedestrian (on the sidewalk/in a crosswalk) to being a vehicle (cutting across three lanes of moving traffic to make an ill-advised left turn, without signalling)

2: May decide to congregate in numbers large enough to choke traffic to a complete halt, and ride in "pack formation" like its the Tour De Friggin Whatever.

3: Never have to stop for red lights, stop signs, or yields. As a motorist, you are to always assume that any bicyclist will completely disregard any and all traffic laws on a whim.

4: If you get within five feet of any bicyclist, expect to be berated for not "sharing the road" with enough venom to peel your paint. The only acceptable retaliation for this is mace.

5: A bicyclist, for no apparent reason whatsoever is not required to have brakes, lights, or more than one forward gear. These people are then allowed to ride in the middle of the street, using their feet to stop a bike built for a velodrome, at night, when nobody can see them.

6: A bicyclist is required to either:
a: Dress like Lance Armstrong. Spandex, $600 helmet, and carbon fiber armored booties.
or
b: be practically nude and hairy. Black nike/reebok/adidas shorts and flip flops are maximum attire for this type of rider. You will often see them miles from anywhere on a bike that would probably serve best as an anchor for a garbage scow. They ride with one hand on the handlebar, and will usually be drinking a Sparks with the other.

7: Groups of urban bikers (the aforementioned velodrome bike punks) may congregate in large numbers, take up the entire width and breadth of an intersection or causeway, and circle as menacingly as they can manage, while verbally taunting halted traffic. Supposedly as some sort of "social statement". When there are too many to mace, make multiple peel-out dragstrip runs through the crowd (preferrably in a large, solid vehicle) to "thin out" their numbers. When there are only half a dozen or so left alive, then mace them.
 

hopkins_student

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Tokyo, great post.

Renault,

I would like you to point out one action on the part of the motorist that was ILLEGAL or at least one that would have endangered the life of the cyclist. For what it's worth, when I saw the kid standing outside his car, he had a bluetooth headset on, so I'm assuming he was using that rather than driving with his phone to his ear. And before you call me ignorant, you might re-read my statement and see that he wasn't creeping forward, he had come to a stop on our side of the lane divider.
 

Tokyo Slim

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forgot one:


8: Any and all rules - as always, are subject to change BY THE BICYCLIST at his/her discretion, even though they are on a public roadway, paid for, no doubt by taxes paid on GASOLINE and AUTOMOBILES.
 

Bandwagonesque

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Originally Posted by Tokyo Slim
forgot one:


8: Any and all rules - as always, are subject to change BY THE BICYCLIST at his/her discretion, even though they are on a public roadway, paid for, no doubt by taxes paid on GASOLINE and AUTOMOBILES.


My delicate pink lungs are damaged by the emissions from gasoline consumed by automobiles
teacha.gif
I'm not asking for monetary compensation, but I'll take free use of your roadways instead. Thanks.

/prefers to ride on dirt
icon_gu_b_slayer[1].gif
 

Renault78law

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Hopkins,
I'm sorry, I wasn't referring to you. Nor am I condoning that cyclist's behavior. I wasn't there, so I'll take your recollection of the incident at face value. I'm just shocked that there is so little compassion for cyclists here. Also, I find it ironic that automobile drivers accuse cyclists of a false sense of entitlement when it is the other way around. This is compounded on the road because most people behind the wheel tend to think of themselves as anonomous. As others have mentioned, you can't go long on a bike without getting hassled for no reason. This animosity against cyclists astounds me: I think commuting to work via bike and exercise are two things we, as a society, should encourage. Especially when the alternative is sitting in a car.

btw, I used to play golf at Brookside often. I never got shouted at by a cyclist midswing, but I have been honked at by a car. Maybe I'm twisted, but I appreciated the humor. It's just a game.
 

j

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We're mad at you guys for freaking us out and making us feel nervous, and for generally ignoring the rules we all agree to follow for our collective safety. That's the reason (for the most part).

I get some of the same attitude on a motorcycle, but at least I have lights, reflectors, horn, helmet, pads and abrasion resistant gear, autonomous power, training, etc...
 

Saucemaster

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Originally Posted by j
We're mad at you guys for freaking us out and making us feel nervous, and for generally ignoring the rules we all agree to follow for our collective safety. That's the reason (for the most part). I get some of the same attitude on a motorcycle, but at least I have lights, reflectors, horn, helmet, pads and abrasion resistant gear, autonomous power, training, etc...
I bike around Center City Philadelphia all the time, and while I agree 100% that plenty of cyclists get really... creative... with traffic laws, and can be total assholes, surely you guys can understand why urban cyclists, at least, are going to be on-edge and very quick to jump on drivers. You think *you're* nervous and freaked out? As bad as it would be to end up running over and killing some poor guy, it's infinitely worse to be the poor guy who's run over and killed. I can't count, for example, the number of drivers who see me--and I know they see me because I make eye contact with them--in the bike lane on the right-hand side, then speed up so that they can make their right-hand turn directly in front of me, cutting me off. If, let's say, Josie Maran was walking by on the street right as the asshole started to speed up to make the turn, I could very well end up dead ('cause sure as hell I wouldn't notice the car). I'm not saying there aren't plenty of asshole cyclists, but have a little sympathy for those of us who are whizzing along at 15/20 mph surrounded by people in literally tons of fast-moving metal, some of whom are assholes just as stupid as we are, only infinitely more dangerous. Ideally, there'd be some sort of bike-only system between sidewalks and the road or something, but since that's not realistic, we have to share the road. I don't necessarily like it any more than you.
frown.gif
 

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