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What makes cyclists think they're special?

LabelKing

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That's why Italians drive compact well designed cars such as the Fiat 500 not the hideous bloats that count for cars here.
 

MrRogers

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Drivers can be assholes in the same way as cyclists can. Several years back I used to compete in time trials and trained around Long Island NY on a daily basis. One day, i was rolling down the shoulder of a main road at about 35 mph. I was completely out of the right lane, hugging the inside of the shoulder. As I was making my way down the road a car pulled up along side me at about the same speed with her right turn signal on. I made eye contact with the woman for a few seconds; she sped up about 20 feet infront of me and made a hard right. The force of hitting the side of her car I will never forget; I went from 35-0 in an instant, flipped over my bike and over her car and landed about 25 feet from the corner. I can still remember being disoriented, face covered in blood as this stupid ***** got out of her car and proceeded to yell at me.

All to often, drivers think we cyclists will somehow just "get out of the way" and proceed on their journey as though we do not exist. I'm an extremely respectful to drivers and actually will not ride on a road that has alot of traffic, unless there is a lane-wide shoulder to ride on. Yes some cyclists can be jerks but its a 2 way street guys.

MrR
 

Kai

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Where I live, there are tons of cyclists.

Provided that they are courteous, I've got no issues with sharing the road with them. If they are riding single file, I have no problem waiting to pass them until I can give them a wide berth. The cyclists that drive me nuts are the ones that ride 2, 3, or 4 abreast (sometimes in big groups of 10-20) creating a slow moving roadblock for the cars behind them. I've even seen groups of cyclists taking up an entire lane, and part of the oncoming lane. (This happens quite often on the roads near my home, which are seldom travelled and are a favorite riding destination for big groups.) In fact, I almost ran head on into such a pack of morons riding the wrong direction coming over a blind hill near my home a couple of weeks ago. If the car I was driving didn't have some serious brakes and a.b.s., I would probably have ploughed into 4 or 5 of them. And yes, they screamed and flipped me off for almost running over them. These are the jerks that make me wish I had Darth Vader's Jedi powers.
 

Renault78law

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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...

This is the part that I find most surprising because I always thought that cyclists and motorcyclists face the same challenges. Shouldn't we be on the same side?
 

Saucemaster

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Originally Posted by Renault78law
This is the part that I find most surprising because I always thought that cyclists and motorcyclists face the same challenges. Shouldn't we be on the same side?

One wears leather, the other wears spandex. I think that sums it up right there.
tounge.gif
 

j

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Originally Posted by Renault78law
This is the part that I find most surprising because I always thought that cyclists and motorcyclists face the same challenges. Shouldn't we be on the same side?
Except that cyclists make it even more dangerous for me to be on my motorcycle. Cars stuck behind an illegal rolling roadblock will come full on into my lane giving me almost nowhere to go. Purposely invisible bicycles (last time I checked, they come with reflectors, and if not reflectors are cheap) at night come out of nowhere in the wrong part of the roads and other unexpected places and if I were to hit one not only would it be my fault (no matter whose fault it really was), but I would probably get hurt, possibly very badly, or die. And my bike would most likely be messed up.

The way I look at it, my responsibility level for driving a motorised vehicle that has the necessary power to avoid many accidents, along with proper licensing (and thus accountability) is so much higher than the average cyclist who really doesn't give a damn about anyone else and who flaunts his automatic no-fault victim status and anonymity like a badge of honor, that we're barely from the same planet once we get out on the road.

I just simply don't understand why cyclists think they should be allowed out in public roads that have no safe place for them, without people getting irritated. Shouldn't rollerbladers and skateboarders be allowed out too? How about 3-foot-tall children pulling wagons?

Please don't interpret this as animosity toward you personally. In reality I coexist very peacefully with cyclists. I'm just trying to explain the aggravation you face and so many cyclists seem to refuse to understand. A lot of the times you get yelled out there, it's pretty likely you almost died and just didn't know it.
 

JBZ

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I think this thread is the reason I ride an exercise bike in my basement.
 

Renault78law

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Well, that's the thing, you need to draw the line somewhere, and "the people" draw the line at bicycles. Not only are cyclists entitled to use the road, your elected public officials often encourage it.

I wish people would step back for a moment and acknowledge that the road does not exist for your personal use. Trucks and buses often act as rolling (and stationary) road blocks too. They're slow, cumbersome, and add congestion, and due to their size, are much harder to get around than a bike. Most would agree that it would be unreasonable to advocate the abrogation of their use. I think the same way with *legally* operated bicycles. The bottom line is that we all need to share the road.

I don't understand the relevance of "responsibility level." I don't believe that an "automatic no-fault victim" exists anywhere in the USA, and "anonymity" is more often associated with drivers behind a winshield, rather than the flesh and bone sitting on two wheels.

Nothing personal here either. This discussion is enlightening.
 

j

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Whether or not the "automatic no-fault victim" thing appears in a law text, I think pretty much everyone, including myself, assumes that it is true if a driver hits a cyclist. It's your fault no matter what, you are to blame, you should have been sharing the road and watching out, and the guy is probably hurt way out of proportion to how bad the accident would have been if he had been wearing any protective gear or been in a car.

This is not to mention that if a guy dies because of an action you took, no matter who is to blame, it's going to weigh heavily on any normal person's conscience.

Maybe if I started seeing bikes with license plate numbers visible, lights and signals, and getting pulled over for the blatantly illegal and unsafe moves I see them pull all the time, I'd have more respect for them in general. As it is, there seems to be zero accountability for their behavior, and that is probably the most irritating thing to me.
 

Renault78law

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Setting aside the fact that I find it hard to believe that most people assume the "automatic no-fault victim" rule, automobile drivers could make the same flawed argument against motorcyclists. Similarly, your second paragraph could be used to argue against the use of motorcycles on the road. Anyone's who's listened to the morning traffic report knows that motorcyclists often die after a collision with a car. Maybe those deaths would not have happened had that person been in a car. The death of that motorcyclist weighs just as heavily on that driver's soul as it would if it were a cyclist.

Further, although most motorcyclists wear some protective gear, but many lawfully do not. Among those that do, there's an argument that cyclists wear commensurate protective gear, relative to speed.

And if it makes you feel any better, I know for a fact that cyclists in Southern California get cited by the police for running stop signs. I've never suggested that cyclists should be exempt from the laws applied to other vehicles. To the contrary, cyclists need to be informed of their obligations under the law, and comply. I have already mentioned that cyclists are required by law to have lights. All I want from drivers is an acknowledgment that cyclists allowed to be out there.
 

Bandwagonesque

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Just curious if those here who are claiming cyclists make up their own road rules have ever jaywalked.
 

LabelKing

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In China the law prescribes that if you hit and kill someone in a traffic incident you pay 200,000 RMB or somewhere thereabouts to the family.
 

j

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I mostly agree with all you've said. But motorcyclists are expected (except in CA where lane splitting is legal) to follow all the same laws as cars in terms of their behavior on the road. So basically, it's at least relatively fair.

Contrast this with cyclists - who even knows what laws they're supposedly following? Certainly not most of them. And even less so those of us who are forced to cut a large portion of our attention away from all the other factors we're dealing with, to them. I'm sure you see what I mean. Re: laws, I agree that they are legally required all these things (lights, etc), but where I live they are not enforced at all, apparently.

Re: gear, I don't expect cyclists to wear more, because I assume it would make their physical task a lot more difficult. But it's just another thing that adds to the risk they assume and the risk they force us to assume out on the roads with them.

Like I said, I usually get along fine with cyclists on the road, but I'm a pretty good driver and multitasker and I have very quick reflexes. If I were dumber or more distracted, they would freak me out a lot more or maybe my brain would simply not register them so as to allow me to survive the task of driving in a straight line without overload. Keep in mind, the average person's IQ is 100.
lol8[1].gif
 

j

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Originally Posted by Bandwagonesque
Just curious if those here who are claiming cyclists make up their own road rules have ever jaywalked.
Of course, all the time. But I don't do it when someone would need to watch out for me, and just assume they will.
 

SUPER K

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"zero accountability for their behavior"

like injury or death?
 

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