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Old 07-06-05, 10:06 AM   #1
woodboy
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I don't listen to the radio show in question, but this was posted on my cycling club's listserver. I think it was an extremely irresponsible comment and should not go un-punished...

"I usually listen to Terry J on WJJR in the morning
before work. This morning the answer to "The Almost
Impossible Question," a contest that airs at 7:20 each
morning, was spandex(I think the question was "Only
20% of women think men look good in this.") This
caused Terry J to remark that a lot of bike riders who
wear spandex think they can ride the centerline of the
highway, especially on Route 133, and they should know
if they do that they may get "run over," and bike
riders should "share the road." This is a little much
to let pass without a response. I would be happy to
write to the Management at the radio station, but I
don't want to do so without getting some feedback.
Your thoughts?"

Last edited by woodboy; 07-07-05 at 06:31 AM.
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Old 07-06-05, 10:32 AM   #2
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Umm, not to be a voice of dissent here but riding near the centerline of the highway is an extremely bad idea as this guy suggests. Cars passing coming towards you could get you into a head on collision because you would not be able to get off the highway quick enough. Riding in the right side tire-track is the safest place to ride making you visible being in the road but still keeping you close enough to the side so you can bail if you have to. Even when I am riding 45 mph I don't ride the centerline. I myself have never seen someone riding the centerline though so maybe there are some goofy cyclists in his neighborhood. I would ask him to please differentiate dangerous cyclists and ones who ride safely though.
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Old 07-06-05, 12:03 PM   #3
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When I read the quote I thought "Jee riding the centerline sounds like a real dumb idea."
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Old 07-06-05, 12:48 PM   #4
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That's part of the outrageousness of his statement. Nobody rides on the centerline.
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Old 07-06-05, 01:04 PM   #5
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If you really want to make an impact contact the sponsor of Terry J's Almost Impossible question with your complaint. Their website lists the sponsor as North Shire Bookstore.
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Old 07-06-05, 03:38 PM   #6
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The comments by the radio person don't seem to be out of line (any more than our criticism of automobile drivers). I've seen enough cyclists interfere with traffic to even get me frustrated. My suggestion is leave it be; his comments are tame and can even be viewed as somewhat constructive.
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Old 07-06-05, 05:01 PM   #7
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Paul L.
Umm, not to be a voice of dissent here but riding near the centerline of the highway is an extremely bad idea as this guy suggests. Cars passing coming towards you could get you into a head on collision because you would not be able to get off the highway quick enough. Riding in the right side tire-track is the safest place to ride making you visible being in the road but still keeping you close enough to the side so you can bail if you have to. Even when I am riding 45 mph I don't ride the centerline. I myself have never seen someone riding the centerline though so maybe there are some goofy cyclists in his neighborhood. I would ask him to please differentiate dangerous cyclists and ones who ride safely though.
The "centerline" statement was evidently a moronic lie from one of those stupid drive time radio shows. It is not a statement of fact about cycling practices. Many cycling safety experts would disagree with your statement that The right tire track is the safest place.

When and where do you ride 45 mph?
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Old 07-06-05, 11:42 PM   #8
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Are you sure he wasn't talking about the center of the lane? It almost makes sense that way.
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Old 07-07-05, 06:40 AM   #9
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Roody
The "centerline" statement was evidently a moronic lie from one of those stupid drive time radio shows.
That's how I perceived it. But also, it's tough enough for cyclists out on the road with drivers not paying attention, and some of the ones that do pay attention throwing bottles, without stirring up additional anti-cyclist sentiment. Motorists rule the road so they are the ones that need to share it. It's the cyclist's responsibility to exhibit caution and common sense, but beyond that, it's all in the hands of the motorist. It's like the old rhyme about the grasshopper stepping on the elephant's toe and the elephant crying about it.
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Old 07-07-05, 07:01 AM   #10
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I think it was said with a bit of dramtic exaggeration. Motorists routinely think "cyclsits are all over the road" or "in the middle of the road" or "riding down the centre of the road".

It COULD be viewed that way if a cyclist was moving to the centre to make a left turn thus - "Damn cyclists think they own the roads, look at this guy all over the road riding down the centre line"

It's just lack of understanding and education on what a cyclist does to TRY and be part of traffic.

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Old 07-07-05, 07:05 AM   #11
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The last time a motorist yelled at me not to ride in the centerline, I was in fact positioning myself towards the left of the lane as I was approaching an intersection with the intention to turn left (after scanning and indicating). That's what they usually call riding in the centerlane.

Oh, I forgot to mention, the guy also made an illegal maneuver by squeezing in between me and the curb to do this.
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Old 07-07-05, 01:14 PM   #12
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Quote:
Originally Posted by woodboy
That's how I perceived it. But also, it's tough enough for cyclists out on the road with drivers not paying attention, and some of the ones that do pay attention throwing bottles, without stirring up additional anti-cyclist sentiment. Motorists rule the road so they are the ones that need to share it. It's the cyclist's responsibility to exhibit caution and common sense, but beyond that, it's all in the hands of the motorist. It's like the old rhyme about the grasshopper stepping on the elephant's toe and the elephant crying about it.
I do not agree. We do have laws (motor codes) that actually are rules of the road. Motorists rule the road when we let them rule the road. If you ride predictably, authoritatively, and within the law, YOU will rule the road.
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Old 07-07-05, 02:07 PM   #13
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Originally Posted by Roody
The "centerline" statement was evidently a moronic lie from one of those stupid drive time radio shows. It is not a statement of fact about cycling practices. Many cycling safety experts would disagree with your statement that The right tire track is the safest place.

When and where do you ride 45 mph?

I would challenge you to find one expert that recommends riding the centerline. Most experts I know recommend riding in the lane but to the right of center of the lane which would be the area of the right tire track as I see it. I often ride 45 going down hills near my house that are on highways. I find getting 4 -5 feet from the fog line puts me right in the right tire zone of a vehicle and also well into their path making me visible to them. As the speed limits through there are 50 mph I am moving at or close to the speed of traffic (it is a fairly well patrolled area) so could probably legally ride the center line in that situation but why would I want to since I have plenty of room? I guess if the hill was curvy it might be another story but I can tell you if the road is that curvy that I have to hug the centerline, no car is going to be keeping up with me without making their passengers lose their lunch.

Their are several hills capable of producing these speeds between Mesa, Az and Saguaro lake which are the ones I ride most.

Sometimes I think we as cyclists get too caught up in trashing anyone who dares say anything about cycling if they are not an expert cyclist. This person's comments taken at face value don't seem too crazy or antagonistic to me..
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Old 07-07-05, 04:15 PM   #14
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20% eh?
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Old 07-08-05, 04:43 AM   #15
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Paul L.
I would challenge you to find one expert that recommends riding the centerline. Most experts I know recommend riding in the lane but to the right of center of the lane which would be the area of the right tire track as I see it. ..
That's correct.

But I do believe that when they say cyclists are riding the centre line the cyclists is merly moving left, near the centre line, when taking a left turn. No one is suggesting riding the centre line at ALL times, just when turning.

Problem is, as soon as you do that (move left) motorists perceive you to be "all over the road and riding the centre line".

Again, lack of acceptance of bicycles as vehicles using vehicular cycling and following the rules of the road. This problem, IMO, stems from certain cyclists who ride unpredictably and do not obey traffic rules. Hence, motorists believe them (cyclists) to be all like that - unpredictable, unsafe, crazy, stupid, etc. Of course when you do ride following the rules of the road you're slowing them down and they still get angry.

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Old 07-08-05, 10:29 AM   #16
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Quote:
Originally Posted by digger
That's correct.

But I do believe that when they say cyclists are riding the centre line the cyclists is merly moving left, near the centre line, when taking a left turn. No one is suggesting riding the centre line at ALL times, just when turning.

Problem is, as soon as you do that (move left) motorists perceive you to be "all over the road and riding the centre line".

Again, lack of acceptance of bicycles as vehicles using vehicular cycling and following the rules of the road. This problem, IMO, stems from certain cyclists who ride unpredictably and do not obey traffic rules. Hence, motorists believe them (cyclists) to be all like that - unpredictable, unsafe, crazy, stupid, etc. Of course when you do ride following the rules of the road you're slowing them down and they still get angry.

Digger

I agree with you completely. I guess my beef with the thread title is the word "Outrageous". I guess there really aren't enough specifics to call it outrageous. If we assume he meant the worst possible interpretation then he is bordering outrageous but anything in between and I think he just made a rather uninformed and hazy comment.

In any case, my philosophy is that radio personalities are by nature not that intelligent as they can't think too deeply or it will slow the flow of words coming out of their mouth and lead to unfortunate pauses. Probably a gross generalization but anyone that talks for a living continuously can't be thinking at a high level all the time. I have heard some pretty stupid things said over the radio. It is almost like their mouth has an auto-pilot sometimes. Nevermind the fact that as soon as someone starts showing them up they can give a quick or witty insult (memorized for just such a purpose) and take another call.
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Old 07-08-05, 01:54 PM   #17
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Originally Posted by Paul L.
I would challenge you to find one expert that recommends riding the centerline. Most experts I know recommend riding in the lane but to the right of center of the lane which would be the area of the right tire track as I see it. I often ride 45 going down hills near my house that are on highways. I find getting 4 -5 feet from the fog line puts me right in the right tire zone of a vehicle and also well into their path making me visible to them. As the speed limits through there are 50 mph I am moving at or close to the speed of traffic (it is a fairly well patrolled area) so could probably legally ride the center line in that situation but why would I want to since I have plenty of room? I guess if the hill was curvy it might be another story but I can tell you if the road is that curvy that I have to hug the centerline, no car is going to be keeping up with me without making their passengers lose their lunch.

Their are several hills capable of producing these speeds between Mesa, Az and Saguaro lake which are the ones I ride most.

Sometimes I think we as cyclists get too caught up in trashing anyone who dares say anything about cycling if they are not an expert cyclist. This person's comments taken at face value don't seem too crazy or antagonistic to me..
Nobody here ever said it is safe to ride in the centerline. I doubt if any sane cyclist ever said that, or did it. In fact, I don't think the radio guy actually saw any cyclist riding on the centerline, because anybody riding there would get hit, and I wouldn't feel too sorry for them. In fact, the radio moron made this up to support his dubious point, or exaggerated. In other words, he lied. He used the pivilege of having a public forum to tell a lie. That is why many cyclists were outraged by his comment. I think the moron deserves any "trashing" he gets.

I agree that you have a right to the lane when you are going "45 mph" down a hill. But I would go further and say that you also have a right to the lane when you are going slow uphill. If the center of the lane (not the centerline!) is the safe place to ride, then ride there, whether you are going "45" or 15 mph. According to most state's Vehicle Codes, you only have to ride as far to the right "as is practicable." Not as far right "as is possible."

The reason that many of us feel safer in the center of, especially, a narrow lane (again, not the centerline) is that in that position, cars are less tempted to "buzz" you when overtaking. Instead, they will realize that it is unsafe to share the lane, and either pass in the opposing lane, or wait until you can safely move to the right to give them a little more room.
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Old 07-08-05, 03:36 PM   #18
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Wasn't disputing taking the lane. Just the centerline. Yeah the guy is probably a moron but with the exact quote we got I can't disagree with it without guessing about the background, speculating that he likely has never seen cyclists hugging the centerline. As quoted, I don't necessarily disagree with him. If I guess about what kind of a moron he is yeah I can see your point. It just seems to me sometimes that Cyclists in their eagerness to spread the good word about how everyone should share the lane often times take the worst interpretaion of what people say and occasionally blow what they say out of proportion.

If I don't read anything into his quote or guess about what he really meant he said the following (btw I don't wear spandex to parties or dinners, most of us don't, so who really cares if it looks good or not):
1-It is dangerous to ride the centerline of the road.
2-There is a risk of getting run over if you ride in the road (never mind the fact that this also holds true for riding a motorcycle there, Walking alongside it, Driving a small car, etc)
I don't consider either of these "facts" outrageous. Now perhaps he said something else? Or perhaps he has a past that I don't know about?

The centerline comment came because I didn't see that you were reacting to my right tire track comment instead of the centerline comment. Sorry about that.

I guess my beef with this is that there seem to be much worse comments out there to do a full court press on than this one. I mean we have the car is king guy, and the nudge bicycles off the road guy at clear channel. These seem to be a little more clearly defined cases of guys advocating dangerous attitudes than a guy who insults our lycra and makes a sweeping (and most likely inaccurate) statement about bikes riding in the middle of the road..
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Old 07-08-05, 08:41 PM   #19
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Centerline is pretty much a no-no...

I can imagine this chain of events leading to this:

cyclist riding properly

Cager whizzes an inch past, trying to not go into the next lane

Cyclist get pissed after this happens again, and takes the entire lane

Mr radio guy was behind him when this happens and spend a minute or two before he can pass

mr radio guy makes stupid statement because he's just venting.

Really it just sounds like a person venting, not really anti-cyclist.
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Old 07-09-05, 04:34 PM   #20
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I guess my anger comes not so much as a cyclist but as a radio listener. These boneheads think they can say anything they want on the air because they think it titillates listeners. They have the ethics of a serial killer. Then, typically, if someone calls to challenge their lies, the radio guys bully and insult the caller. They will not engage in meaningful discussion because they think listeners will tune out. That's fine if they're only talking about sports or celebrity gossip, but they should try to tell the truth when they are discussing real issues in the news.

Let's look at it this way. Have you ever seen a cyclist riding on the centerline of a highway? Have you ever read a post here advocating it? If the answer is no, you must conclude that riding the centerline is not typical cyclist behavior. Therefore, radio moron made it up whoe cloth, or exaggerated to prove his "point." Therefore, radio moron is a big fat liar. That is for sure "outrageous." Change the station.
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Old 07-09-05, 06:50 PM   #21
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The only time I "take" the centreline on a two-lane road with shoulders is during a left-hand turn just above the crest (on a plateau) of a particular hill, where visibility is greater for me and the motorists behind.
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