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Thread: Lane splitting

  1. #1
    Sumanitu taka owaci LittleBigMan's Avatar
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    Lane splitting

    I've often heard this term used in reference to bicycles or motorcycles. But motorists who pass lawful bicyclists without allowing a minimum of three feet space are lane-splitting, aren't they? And aren't motorists are supposed to slow down to a safe passing speed? What about illegal use of the horn, which happens every time a motorist honks out of irritation? Such antics can startle a bicyclist enough to cause a crash. And the, "rolling stop." I almost never see a motorist come to a complete stop, but bicyclists are blamed for this all the time (forget about the fact that not all bicyclists are expert at track-standing.) Don't forget that bicyclists very rarely are guilty of speeding!

    Seems to me that bicyclists are often seen as lawbreakers, but motorists are actually just as guilty (if not more so.) Moreover,
    if a bicyclist breaks a traffic rule (which I'm not advocating) he is mostly risking his own life, but a motorist who behaves dangerously towards a bicyclist (or anyone else, for that matter) is risking the lives of others.
    No worries

  2. #2
    山馬鹿 Spire's Avatar
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    While I agree that what you say is true, there is a small percentage of cyclists who are recless and give the rest of us a bad name. Using downtown Montreal as an example, I see on a very regular basis, cyclists running through red and forcing cars on green to slow and/or stop. Let alone cyclists who cut cars off.
    I have had a number of similar incidents while driving a car, one so close that it gave me a right scare.
    My light turned green for me to proceed strait ahead, the light had been green for about a second or two, I pull out and a cyclists goes careening by within inches of the hood of the car. Had I pulled out earlier, the accident surely would have been nasty. After all that, he gives me an ugly gesture.
    Its incidents like that that have people generalise about cyclists and traffic rules. Liek they say, its much easier to get a bad reputation than a good one.
    http://www.cyclistsroadmap.com/eng/ - Cyclists' road map. Checkout which roads are good for cycling and rate roads in your area.

  3. #3
    Every lane is a bike lane Chris L's Avatar
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    Originally posted by Spire
    While I agree that what you say is true, there is a small percentage of cyclists who are recless and give the rest of us a bad name.
    Why do so many people use the old "you are responsible for what others of your kind do" when confronted with any kind of minority group asking for a fair go. Yes, there are cyclists who break the road rules from time to time, but that offers absolutely no justification for some redneck motoring primate honking or abusing the next cyclist he happens to see.

    Just imagine the outcry if all motorists were fined everytime one of them broke the speed limit.
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    Originally posted by Chris L

    Just imagine the outcry if all motorists were fined everytime one of them broke the speed limit.
    Well, this has nothing to do with ... well, anything.

    You see, there are bicyclists and there are militant bicyclists. There are those of us that realize that we're smaller than cars and that we share the roads with vehicles for which the roads were originally built. (Can this be argued? Roads are for cars, buses, and trucks. If this weren't true, then all roads would be, maybe, 10 feet wide.)

    Then there are the militant cyclists who seem to think otherwise; and manage to offend a cadre of motorists who then, in their thinking, turn their wrath back on us.

    But in my 5+ years of serious bike-commuting, though urban, high-traffic areas I have yet to be involved or to witness a single untoward event by a motoring "primate".

    For those non-militant cyclists, continue to do your best to abide largely by the rules, be predictable, be smart, and don't be militant.

    For those miltants, please get off the road. You're making it more dangerous for the rest of us.

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    Can this be argued? Roads are for cars, buses, and trucks
    And bicycles!
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    Originally posted by Andy Dreisch


    There are those of us that realize that we're smaller than cars and that we share the roads with vehicles for which the roads were originally built. (Can this be argued? Roads are for cars, buses, and trucks. If this weren't true, then all roads would be, maybe, 10 feet wide.)

    I think roads were developed from cart tracks.

    At the end of the day, the driver of a car should have a greater responsibility for safety as the potential consequences of a mistake are greater. Similarly, a truck driver carrying flammable liquid.

    A superpower with nuclear capability likewise.

    I'm an assertive (not militant ) commuter. In Edinburgh's traffic, I have to be, mixing it with black cabs and buses.
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  7. #7
    cycle-powered nathank's Avatar
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    There are those of us that realize that we're smaller than cars and that we share the roads with vehicles for which the roads were originally built.
    andy

    hmm... that's a shaky position although unfortunately i think most motorists believe that (that the road is MADE for cars)...

    cars are a new thing, being a novelty until after WWI and then still only for the rich until after WWII when they were then mass-sold to the public. roads existed before cars and were for horse-and-buggy, wagons, horses, and foot traffic - whoever needed to use it. actually the history of large-scale public roads goes back to at least the Romans (this was already discussed on BF a few months ago)

    with the advent of automobiles, we began to build roads wider and more durable to accomodate cars and to take the abuse that the heavier, more destructive cars caused... plus there was a call to increase public spending to improve roads so that we could effectively 'utilize' the new technology of cars (and auto makers could sell more too)

    as far as i know in the US, all public roads are made not just for cars, trucks and busses, but for all vehicles (and most states classify bicycles as vehicles) with the exception of a few bridges (where bicycles have been deemed 'unsafe') and the Interstate which was also not built for the use of personal automobiles: the Interstate was built for the military to allow the US to move troops and military supplies quickly and efficiently. it was later opened to private use since most of the time it has a massive unused capacity... actually, in light of the newest Homeland Security defense and military craze in the US i'm surprised that we haven't heard any complaints from the military that the private auto traffic impedes our readiness and ability to respond militarily... maybe the military does say this we just don't hear it?

    so to argure that the roads were built for cars is misleading: under this thinking, personal autos should be no more allowed on the Interstate than bicycles on normal roads because the Interstate was not built for personal use so cars don't belong there.

    now in recent years, most roads have been designed primarily to serve cars because autos have been the major user. yes, if the numbers were reversed and most people cycled then the roads would probably be designed differently. but unless the legal status of bicycles is changed in the US so that bicycles are not vehicles (which would be a HUGE loss to cycling and forever move us into the subordinate position of using bikepaths) or the states go on a huge crusade in the name of 'safety' and ban bicycles from lots of roads, bicycles are just as legally privileged users of the public road system as motorists.

    now, because cyclists are so much more vulnerable, it is in our best interests to ride safely and defensively... although legally it should be as chewa said
    At the end of the day, the driver of a car should have a greater responsibility for safety as the potential consequences of a mistake are greater. Similarly, a truck driver carrying flammable liquid.
    your training, responsibility and legal punishment/consequences of errors and mistakes should be proportional to the danger you present to others on the public roadway. therefore, car drivers should be better trained and held more accountable for their actions - as opposed to the often "i didn't see the bike" or "it was just an accident" when a driver fails to pay attention or drives to fast and injures or kills a cyclist.
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  8. #8
    Every lane is a bike lane Chris L's Avatar
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    Originally posted by Andy Dreisch
    There are those of us that realize that we're smaller than cars and that we share the roads with vehicles for which the roads were originally built. (Can this be argued? Roads are for cars, buses, and trucks. If this weren't true, then all roads would be, maybe, 10 feet wide.)
    Well, as a matter of fact, it can be argued. How about the fact that roads were there long before cars were? How about the fact that the League of American Bicyclists were campaigning for improved roads before the motor vehicle was even thought of? As I've said before, if they don't want bikes on the road, don't take cyclist's taxes to fund the road. Very simple.

    Originally posted by Andy Dreisch

    Then there are the militant cyclists who seem to think otherwise; and manage to offend a cadre of motorists who then, in their thinking, turn their wrath back on us.
    Then they are fools. I generally don't lose a lot of sleep over the opinions of fools. The mere fact that a motoring primate was pissed off by a cyclist earlier in the day gives them no right to simply abuse or threaten the next cyclist they see. I've heard the old "you are responsible for what others like you do" argument directed at minorities for years and it really is a load of crap.

    15 years ago people were trying to beat homosexuals with the old "pedophile" stick because 1% of them happened to have that tendency, when we all know it's just as common in heterosexuals too. People in this country are still trying to beat Aboriginal Australians over the head with the old "drunk" tag, even though most of them aren't. As I said, it's just another excuse for bigotry. Nothing more.

    Originally posted by Andy Dreisch
    For those miltants, please get off the road. You're making it more dangerous for the rest of us.
    Maybe you could define "militant" for me. Do I fit the militant tag because I actually stop at red lights and marked pedestrian crossings? Those occasions seem to be when I get most of the abuse, yet all I'm doing is following the road rules. Does that make me militant? Does that mean I should get off the road because some cager thinks of me that way? Or should I just ignore the bigots and get on with life?
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    Somehow I knew my post would ignite the passions of more than few Bike Forumites.

    To "Nathank" I say right on. At least somebody stuck to my salient points:

    now, because cyclists are so much more vulnerable, it is in our best interests to ride safely and defensively...
    To "Chris L" I ask: What the #&$%*&(*@! does this have to do wth anything?

    15 years ago people were trying to beat homosexuals with the old "pedophile" stick because 1% of them happened to have that tendency, when we all know it's just as common in heterosexuals too.
    Does this somehow mean that auto drivers are pedophiles? Or us? I'm not really sure where this is going. Nor do I really want to know.

    If this is meant to imply that bikers are some "minority", I wholeheartedly agree. If this is meant to imply that bikers should attain some special dispensation arising from that minority status, I disagree.

    Again, we can argue all we want about roads. We can say nasty things about "primates". But we have to take responsibility for our own actions. This running argument began with a claim that some bicyclists act dangerously. I agree with that. I carried the argument to a class of bicyclists who somehow believe the road is theirs first and characteristically imbue notions of other struggles (irrelevant, all) into their wishful thinking.

    I have seen many instances of stupidity among bicyclists, either individually or as a group. Who can argue, for instance, that blocking traffic in San Francisco is not a stupid thing? That riding two abreast on mountainous switchbacks is wise? That flipping "the bird" to a motorists after a minor incident is a good thing?

    My point once again is simply that bicyclists have to be responsible for their own actions.

    And roads are of course meant for cars, trucks, and buses. We can kid ourselves all we want with history lessons. But we ride every day on roads designed and constructed NOT for bikes but for big, heavy machines.

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    Donating member Richard D's Avatar
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    Originally posted by Andy Dreisch
    And roads are of course meant for cars, trucks, and buses. We can kid ourselves all we want with history lessons. But we ride every day on roads designed and constructed NOT for bikes but for big, heavy machines.
    I can't comment on your part of the world, but I would estimate 90-95% of the roads I ride on were in existence before cars - yes most of them, nearly all of them, have been modified for automobiles but they were NOT originally constructed or designed for them.

    Richard
    Currently riding an MTB with a split personality - commuting, touring, riding for the sake of riding, on or off road :)

  11. #11
    Sumanitu taka owaci LittleBigMan's Avatar
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    I understand exactly what both Andy and Chris are saying.

    Andy is advocating cyclist responsibility. I have known Chris for some time now and I can say confidently that he also takes this position, as do I.

    Yet the point of my original post (as I clearly stated) was not to justify the types of dangerous cyclist behavior Andy mentioned. I have written many other posts (and started threads) ranting about dangerous cyclists who ran red lights, cycled on the wrong side of the road, didn't wear helmets, weaved in and out of traffic, etc. I believe (as does Chris) in lawful vehicular cycling and that we cyclists should set an example to others.

    It is this belief in lawful use of the road that makes it so distasteful for me to see drivers speed, run stop signs, squeeze cyclists and cut them off, honk angrily, etc. Yes, I do see this behavior far too often, and yes, it's more dangerous coming from two-ton vehicles than from 175-pound vehicles.

    As for lane-splitting, I must say again that my habit is to queue up in traffic behind other vehicles and "wait my turn." At intersections, it's never safe to ride beside, or pass, another vehicle, but it's better to take your position in the traffic queue, avoiding the right-hook.
    No worries

  12. #12
    Every lane is a bike lane Chris L's Avatar
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    Originally posted by Andy Dreisch
    To "Chris L" I ask: What the #&$%*&(*@! does this have to do wth anything?

    Does this somehow mean that auto drivers are pedophiles? Or us? I'm not really sure where this is going. Nor do I really want to know.
    I thought it was obvious what the connection was, but apparently not. I was not accusing anyone of being pedophiles, I was merely pointing out that for some stupid reason, individuals who happen to be part of minority groups are always expected to be responsible for the actions of other individuals of that minority group. I was merely using a couple of examples to illustrate where that has happened in the past. It used to be directed at homosexuals and blacks, now it's directed at cyclists. It's still a pathetic excuse for bigotry.

    Originally posted by Andy Dreisch
    Again, we can argue all we want about roads. We can say nasty things about "primates". But we have to take responsibility for our own actions. This running argument began with a claim that some bicyclists act dangerously. I agree with that.
    I'm all for taking responsibility for my own actions, but if I'm riding in a law abiding manner, I have no intention of taking responsibility for other cyclists who don't. It seems that many drivers around here think I have some obligation to do so, I don't!

    Originally posted by Andy Dreisch
    I have seen many instances of stupidity among bicyclists, either individually or as a group. Who can argue, for instance, that blocking traffic in San Francisco is not a stupid thing? That riding two abreast on mountainous switchbacks is wise? That flipping "the bird" to a motorists after a minor incident is a good thing?
    Nobody said any of these were a good thing, but let's point out a few things that I see drivers do everyday and ask if they're at all sensible shall we? We'll start with running red lights, blabbing on mobile phones, speeding, etc etc. The anti-bike rednecks like to use the "cyclists break laws" argument to further their cause. Well guess what? Motorists break laws too. However, because they're a majority group, the whole group is not expected to take responsibility for the actions of a few individuals.

    Originally posted by Andy Dreisch
    And roads are of course meant for cars, trucks, and buses. We can kid ourselves all we want with history lessons. But we ride every day on roads designed and constructed NOT for bikes but for big, heavy machines.
    The way I see it, roads are funded not by cars or bikes, but by people. Machines don't pay taxes, people do. As one of those people, I believe the road was designed for me just as much as it was designed for anyone else, and as a consequence, I have the same right (no more, no less) to use it in the way that I see fit just as much as they do.
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    OK. OK.

    My central point: I cannot think of a single instance of "primate behavior" in my 5+ years of full-time, year-round bike-commuting in urban areas. And believe me: I am an aggressive rider.

    Yes, of course, I have had some close calls. Most of the time it had to do with inattentive drivers. I expect their inattentiveness. I do everything in my power to predict their inattentiveness. But this doesn't make them bad drivers, per se.

    The road is ours to share. It's just that I don't share the angst of some Bike Forumites with regard to autos (and trucks, buses, etc.).

  14. #14
    Every lane is a bike lane Chris L's Avatar
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    Originally posted by Andy Dreisch
    My central point: I cannot think of a single instance of "primate behavior" in my 5+ years of full-time, year-round bike-commuting in urban areas. And believe me: I am an aggressive rider.
    Firstly, Andy, can I apologise if I got a little heated earlier. For some reason I was expecting this to turn into a flame war and I'm glad it didn't. Secondly, allow me to explain the whole "motoring primate" thing. It basically stems from the fact that many people I see who are perfectly rational outside the car, tend to lose all capacity for basic thought when they get in.

    I've had many examples of drivers shouting abuse and whatever else at me, only to apologise the minute they got out of the car (and believe me, I am not a physically intimidating presence). I don't know about your part of the world, but drivers around here tend to behave with excessive aggression (and it's not just cyclists who say that). That is what I consider "primate behaviour".

    Originally posted by Andy Dreisch
    Yes, of course, I have had some close calls. Most of the time it had to do with inattentive drivers. I expect their inattentiveness. I do everything in my power to predict their inattentiveness. But this doesn't make them bad drivers, per se.
    I expect their inattentiveness and aggression too, but that doesn't make it right. I also believe that inattentiveness is too often used as an excuse for outright aggression (like the motorist who deliberately drives closer to the cyclist than he needs to, swerving onto the shoulder to do so, then later claims 'I didn't see him').

    Originally posted by Andy Dreisch
    The road is ours to share. It's just that I don't share the angst of some Bike Forumites with regard to autos (and trucks, buses, etc.).
    Yes, the road is to be shared. I have no problem with this. However I do have a problem with breaches from one group attracting more attention than breaches from another.
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    Chris L, no need whatsoever to aplogize (!!!). It seems we can agree that your experiences differ from mine in that you've evidently experienced abhorrent behaviour from our roadmates.

    Now you have me wondering ... why is this so? Can drivers in our two countries be so different? Somehow I just don't think so. Although California is more tolerant than other areas I've lived (Baltimore, mid-state Pennsylvania, Atlanta), the areas I bike-commute through are anything but tolerant in their approach to bicyclists.

    But, again, I honestly can't think of a nasty situation where a mototrist purposefully got nasty.

    I think this is an interesting question.

    Andy

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    Senior Member John C. Ratliff's Avatar
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    All the above, and not one word about wearing helmets. Oh, well...I wouldn't be writing at all without one. I ran instead of biked yesterday, and reminded a family about helmets. Their girls were out riding while the parents carried the helmets.

    What does this have to do with this string? Well, when worst comes to worst, and the pavement looms, it would be nice to wear one. My experience shows that even if people are fairly good drivers, there is still the chance of causing a car/bike accident due to unforseen circumstances. We can talk about responsible behavior, but when I see a bicyclist without a helmet, I know he or she is literally taking his or her life in his or her hands (how's that for being PC?).

    Concerning being cut off in a lane, it happens all the time. One time I actually left the bicycle lane to walk up on the grass, approach the jeep which had stopped in the lane for a red light, and asked them politely what they were doing. The driver had the odacity (sp?) to say that I could leave the road at will. With these guys (and gals) on the road, helmets are a must.

    Just a little thing to think about.

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    cycle-powered nathank's Avatar
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    allow me to explain the whole "motoring primate" thing. It basically stems from the fact that many people I see who are perfectly rational outside the car, tend to lose all capacity for basic thought when they get in.
    chris

    i think it's been discussed before, but i am amazed how true this is. actually i used to be this way - i'd get in a car and become a speed maniac with absolutely no patience for anything in my way - i think i was less aggressive than many of the drivers today and never inattentive, but wow did driving stress me out! i think my blood-pressure would shoot up as i sat down and turned the key and every second at a stoplight or behind a 'sunday driver' annoyed me beyond end.

    sometime in the last few years i switched to bicycling as my main transportation and now rarely drive - and when i do drive i am very relaxed and not "struggling to gain every foot of half a second on the next guy" like i used to.

    i also see it in other people - friends for example - nice, friendly people when behind the wheel are metamorphisized: screaming, honking, tailgating, accelerating rapidly only to brake a few feet later, cutting people off...

    so what is it about getting behind the wheel of a car that makes people act like this? is it the idea from our culture and advertising that it's our "right" to drive unimpeded to wherever we want to go and how dare anyone infringe on our God-and-American-given-right to drive? and how can this be changed? because not only for cyclists, but also for road-rage and safety on the road in general...
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  18. #18
    Every lane is a bike lane Chris L's Avatar
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    Originally posted by Andy Dreisch
    Now you have me wondering ... why is this so? Can drivers in our two countries be so different? Somehow I just don't think so.
    To be honest I think it's more of a regional thing than different countries. In my time on this forum and others, I've heard many US cyclists complain about over aggresive behaviour from motorists. Additionally, when I head to the mountains west of the Gold Coast on weekends, I encounter drivers that are much more polite than what I get around here.

    There are three incidents that stick in my mind for outright aggression directed at me personally (and a fourth one that I wasn't sure about). Two of them involve motorists accelerating through red lights when I was going through the green one in what I'm convinced were little more than blatant murder attempts. One night last year I got hit in the back of the head by an egg thrown by one driver (I took his # and paid a little visit to the cops, I think I posted about that here somewhere).

    Earlier this year, the Gold Coast had a cyclist killed in a high-speed hit and run, and another was bashed by two car-loads of thugs (both of these are also described on this site somewhere). Incidents like these explain why I refer to "motoring primates" and why I get annoyed when people try to suggest that cyclists contribute to this particular problem. There is no excuse for this violence. None.

    I get people shouting stuff from car windows almost every day (I ignore them in light of the above incidents, they're bigger than me after all). Last friday I got the honk from behind, moved a little wider onto the shoulder than I would have liked and found another high-speed redneck passing within inches of me (also noticing his little excursion onto the shoulder). I saw the same guy run a red light seconds later.

    Admittedly, these are the extreme end of behaviour. Mostly I just get honks or shouts that can be ignored quite easily, but there's no point pretending that it doesn't happen.
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  19. #19
    Every lane is a bike lane Chris L's Avatar
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    In spite of the above, I still think the Gold Coast is a wonderful place to ride. One can choose flat rides along the coast or mountain climbs to the rainforests (that somehow grow without rain) and many choices in between. It's just a shame that a few rednecks try to ruin it for everybody else.
    "I am never going to flirt with idleness again" - Roy Keane
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  20. #20
    cycle-powered nathank's Avatar
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    Now you have me wondering ... why is this so? Can drivers in our two countries be so different? Somehow I just don't think so.
    i pretty much agree with Chris that there are some differences between the countries, but also a lot of variation within countries in different places.

    In the US you primarily encounter 3 problems as a cyclist:
    1) innattentive drivers who don't expect a bicycle, or who aren't familiar with bicycles (e.g. misjudge a bicycle's speed and pass and then right-hook), or are surprised or scared and honk to 'warn' the cyclist
    2) impatient and/or aggressive drivers who want every obstacle out of their way, be it a bike or an old lady in a car or a moving van - these guys tailgate cars and honk at cars too and take more risks in the interest of getting there faster (also the "hurry up and wait" syndrome) --- they often use the size of their vehicle as a physical threat to smaller cars which is even more of a threat to cyclists ---- these are also the drivers who think that bikes should not be on the road (it's one less obstacle to their desire to go as fast as possible and rid any obstacle from their path
    3) people (mostly teeneagers) who use violence or intimidation as fun -- these are the egg-throwers or the guys who pull up next to a cyclist and then yell "Booh!" at the top of their lungs, or drive behind you and rev the engine ----- as well as those who think it's fun to run a cyclist off the road into a ditch

    within the US there are big regional differences with the South generally being less friendly and the coasts better and the West Coast the most cycle-friendly (big generalization). but even within a region, say Oregon, there are big differences: within urban Portland cycling is highly supported and there are rarely problems with motorists, then in the suburbs it is not so good and drivers are not used to cyclists and often agressive towards cyclists (because they have to drive so far and are impatient from always being in traffic and delayed), then out in the country it is again great (because of the low traffic volume) with the few exceptions of the redneck folk who sometimes view cyclists as "them strange city folk" and sometimes act agressively (but are usually extra-friendly)

    just for comparision, i think Germany:
    1) has fewer inattentive drivers and since there are more cyclists AND drivers are trained to look for cyclists AND punished if they don't, drivers tend expect cyclists and look for them
    2) Germany has just as many impatient/agressive drivers, although fewer of the extreme cases -- i think this is a general thing, as violence is higher in the US, and enforcement/punishment in the US is less (i.e. an agressive driver in Germany will lose his license very quickly while in the US he has to kill someone or run into a cop car before locense revocation MIGHT happen)
    3) intimidation as fun: Germany has less for sure
    * although on roads where cyclists are not expected b/c there's a bike path for example, Germans tend to be MORE aggressive than American drivers

    i think Canada and Australia are both similar to the less extreme areas of the US --- fewer huge roads and less traffic and less driver-stress = better for cyclists

    Asia (i'm generalizing and NOT including Japan, but more Thailand, China, Indonesia, Malasia, India, etc... and i have no idea about Russia??) tends to be generally OK for cyclists, but there is much more of the "big vehicle has right-of-way" thinking such that smaller users being motobikes, cyclists and pedestrians are routinely forced off onto the shoulder or into the grass - this happens much more rarely in the 1st world where the combination of laws and attitude TRY to inverse the hierarchy so that the weakest most vulnerable have more rights and protection...pedestrians, then cyclists, then motocycles, passenger cars, trucks and vans and busses, 18-wheelers --- in Asia if a truck is coming you should prepare to get out of the way!

    depending on the type of road, the normal traffic speeds, the level of traffic and the urban/rural setting, drivers act very differently ---- i.e. trying to cycle on a multi-lane moderate speed (40-45mph) auto commuter road during rush hour is virtually impossible in almost all countries i've been to (without some kind of extra lane or shoulder), whereas riding down small lightly-travelled residential streets is usually quite pleasant

    oh yeah, i also forgot drunk diving, but that is not just a danger for cyclists, but anyone on the road...
    why drive when you can ride?
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  21. #21
    Grounded Inkwolf's Avatar
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    Originally posted by Andy Dreisch
    t we share the roads with vehicles for which the roads were originally built. (Can this be argued? Roads are for cars, buses, and trucks.
    Not to beat a dead horse, but according to the Leeks' book "The Bicycle--That Curious Invention" the first modern long-distance paved roads were built in response to pressure from BICYCLE CLUBS! So you could argue that it's the motorists who are invading OUR turf. (Though, like the Indians, having been there first isn't likely to get us our territory back. )

    As to regional differences in motor behavior, I have to say that here in Northern Wisconsin, about 99% of the motorists I encounter are careful and courteous around bicyclists. (Even if they mostly don't think you should be on the road! And even when I occasionally do something stupid...)

  22. #22
    Sumanitu taka owaci LittleBigMan's Avatar
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    Originally posted by John C. Ratliff
    All the above, and not one word about wearing helmets.

    Just a little thing to think about.
    A very big thing to think about.

    Originally posted by LittleBigMan
    I have written many other posts (and started threads) ranting about dangerous cyclists who ran red lights, cycled on the wrong side of the road, didn't wear helmets, weaved in and out of traffic, etc.
    :thumbup:
    No worries

  23. #23
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    From all this we can conclude:

    • Idiot, inattentive motorists exist the world over
    • Some regions/countries are worse than others
    • Some bicyclists have worse experiences than others
    • Helmets are a MUST


    All I can say is that my bike doesn't even move without a helmet-clad rider mounted on it.

    Andy

  24. #24
    Every lane is a bike lane Chris L's Avatar
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    Originally posted by Andy Dreisch

    All I can say is that my bike doesn't even move without a helmet-clad rider mounted on it.
    OMG! We agree on something!

    Yep, helmets are a must for me, too. One saved my skull Last October. Mind you, the Darwinist within me doesn't want them to be made compulsory though (they are out here).
    "I am never going to flirt with idleness again" - Roy Keane
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  25. #25
    Donating member Richard D's Avatar
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    Certainly in Britain there is a perceived idea that 'road rage' is on the increase.

    I've only been commuting since last October so my experiences are relatively limited -

    I meet a surprisingly high number of 'bullies' for example, I daily have to cross a narrow bridge (just wider than a single car) where there is clearly signposted priority to one direction, and it's far from uncommon when on a bike to be forced to give way to a car that should wait for me. Similarly I've had several incidents of cars pulling out of side roads, deliberately forcing me to brake to avoid hitting them, and few of these have been due to inattentiveness.

    Yes I also get drivers who pull out and give me plenty of room, but probably no more than squeeze past to avoid slowing down.

    Probably most drivers are pretty neutral in their behaviour, but cyclists do seem to provoke a minority of drivers into inexcusable behaviour.
    Currently riding an MTB with a split personality - commuting, touring, riding for the sake of riding, on or off road :)

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