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Old 10-18-05, 06:43 AM   #1
galen_52657
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Newbie cycling commuters everywhere…..

Has anyone else noticed lots of new cycling commuters out and about? I saw two this morning. But, I worry about them because about half of these cyclists are clueless about riding in traffic.

First guy I saw this morning I thought had it all going properly until I got closer too him. First, he was easy to see in the early morning with a day-glow green jacket and large rear blinkie light. I saw him up ahead at a stop light easily from way back. But as soon as the light changed and he got going, he pulled over to the right and started riding in the gutter! His pedals were missing the curb by about 3”!

I gave him plenty of room when I passed…and noticed he had a nice headlight on his bike….but was riding with headphones….

Second guy I saw had a back pack on and was walking his beach cruiser bike up the sidewalk to a very busy intersection very close to an interstate interchange. He wanted to cross the road (walking his bike) against the light. I was right-turning on red, so I waited for him to get across the half of the road I was going to turn into, so at least he could get to the median in one piece. How he faired after that… I don’t know. It would have been much easier for him to be in the road and split the lanes between the right turn and strait lane and he could have crossed quite easily (I do it there all the time).

I am hopeful for these new cycling commuters braving the cold, hard world at rush hour. But, I fear for their lack of cycling knowledge about dealing with traffic.
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Old 10-18-05, 06:56 AM   #2
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This morning I saw a guy, like your first cyclist, hugging the curb. So much so that he would move right between every parked car on the street, even where the empty space was only one- or two-cars long. When he approached a parked car, he'd swing back left, then return immediately to the curb once he'd passed it. It was if he was riding a slalom course.
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Old 10-18-05, 07:55 AM   #3
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I really worry about them...

There's an opportunity, though. Hand them your card, ask them to call you to find out more about how to ride correctly. Then point them to some training resources.
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Old 10-18-05, 08:06 AM   #4
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It's been all too prevalent in London recently.

Since the July 7 bombings a lot of people have taken to cycling. Ultimately I'm all in favour of this, with enough cyclists the quality of riding ceases to be an issue. But all too often I end up stuck behind someone with a poorly fitted bike cycling in the highest possible gear, listening to an iPod whilst slaloming their way around the traffic and street furniture. How more people haven't died is a mystery to me, afterall people haven't been changing over from cars, just public transport. I think that in a way this makes them even worse road users as they've been relying on someone else to pay attention to the road and don't really understand the subtle sentitivities of negotiation your way around the eejits.
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Old 10-18-05, 08:47 AM   #5
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These are examples of why I am skeptical of calls for utopian "bike freeways". It's one thing to enjoy riding on a sparsely-trafficed sidepath, but what happens when that sidepath is full of slaloming, cell-phoning, ipodding newbs?
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Old 10-18-05, 09:03 AM   #6
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I think that you'll find it won't be like that.

A certain amount of peer pressure would exist that would incline people away from acting stupid and more towards riding in a courteous and law abiding manner. This is certainly my experience of Holland which, on top of millions of active cyclists, has also purposefully and successfully removed large amounts of street furniture such as lines painted on the road.

Maybe it's a matter of attaining that critical density of cyclists at which culture change escalates.
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Old 10-18-05, 09:39 AM   #7
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Quote:
Originally Posted by lws
These are examples of why I am skeptical of calls for utopian "bike freeways". It's one thing to enjoy riding on a sparsely-trafficed sidepath, but what happens when that sidepath is full of slaloming, cell-phoning, ipodding newbs?
A few bike cops patrolling the area and actually citing people for their reckless behaviour would clean such a situation up fast. Nothing like losing a bit of money to focus you on proper behavior.
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Old 10-18-05, 11:39 AM   #8
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Quote:
Originally Posted by galen_52657
Second guy I saw had a back pack on and was walking his beach cruiser bike up the sidewalk to a very busy intersection very close to an interstate interchange. He wanted to cross the road (walking his bike) against the light. I was right-turning on red, so I waited for him to get across the half of the road I was going to turn into, so at least he could get to the median in one piece.
I don't fully understand this one. Was he using a cross walk? An implied cross walk? Should I read this that this area is dangerous to cross as a pedestrian? What do pedestrians do?

Al
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Old 10-18-05, 12:07 PM   #9
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Originally Posted by noisebeam
I don't fully understand this one. Was he using a cross walk? An implied cross walk? Should I read this that this area is dangerous to cross as a pedestrian? What do pedestrians do?

Al
There would be an 'assumed' crosswalk. There are no crosswalk markings at all at this intersection noor are there pedestrial signals. He was crossing a six lane road. If he waited for the light, he could have crossed legaly. At this particular intersection there are only very infrequent pedestrians.
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Old 10-19-05, 09:56 AM   #10
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Quote:
Originally Posted by galen_52657
Has anyone else noticed lots of new cycling commuters out and about? I saw two this morning. But, I worry about them because about half of these cyclists are clueless about riding in traffic.
I must've missed those two guys, during my commute from Essex to Towson. But, if I would have seen them, I'd have been a little hesitant about giving advice, because sometimes it's like talking religion or politics to people. I'd rather try to set a good example by being well illuminated, using as much of the lane as I can get away with lawfully, and following the traffic laws in the same manner that I do when I drive a motor vehicle on the road.

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Old 10-19-05, 10:13 AM   #11
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Originally Posted by NoRacer
I must've missed those two guys, during my commute from Essex to Towson. But, if I would have seen them, I'd have been a little hesitant about giving advice, because sometimes it's like talking religion or politics to people. I'd rather try to set a good example by being well illuminated, using as much of the lane as I can get away with lawfully, and following the traffic laws in the same manner that I do when I drive a motor vehicle on the road.

.
Congrats on your long commute! You are right that many folks don't take friendly advice...
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