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Advocacy & Safety Cyclists should expect and demand safe accommodation on every public road, just as do all other users. Discuss your bicycle advocacy and safety concerns here.

View Poll Results: Riding on roadways, how do you appear to motorists?
I act like and appear to be a vehicle driver. 33 60.00%
I act like and appear to be a rolling pedestrian. 9 16.36%
Other 13 23.64%
Voters: 55. You may not vote on this poll

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Old 09-28-06, 10:34 AM   #1
Helmet Head
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When you're riding on the roadway, how do you appear to motorists?

When you're riding on the roadway, how do you appear to motorists?

vehicle driver
Do you act like and appear to be a vehicle driver... someone with the same rights and responsibilities on the same roads as drivers of vehicles?

rolling pedestrian
Or do you act like and appear to be a "rolling pedestrian"... someone with different rights and responsibilities on roads from those of drivers of vehicles and pedestrians? In particular, you have a right to be on the road, but it's not the same right as other vehicle drivers. In particularly, you have a responsibility to stay out of the way of vehicular traffic as much as is reasonably possible, not just when faster traffic happens to be traffic, but all the time. You belong "out of the way", near the outside edge, in the bike lane, in the shoulder... In fact, you have a special right that to that space.

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Old 09-28-06, 11:21 AM   #2
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I appear to be a big fat guy on a bicycle who just climbed out of a hole on Chernobyl.

Of your options above, I am both, but 99% of the time I'm a vehicle driver. On my commute there is a 200 yard stretch where I must ride a sidewalk to reach the MUP, otherwise I'd have to ride 3 miles, taking full lane, on a major Parkway where motorists hit each other at least 2 times a day.
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Old 09-28-06, 11:27 AM   #3
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Depends on the bike and the location and how I chose to ride.

However in all modes I ride in a vehicular manner... but how motorists perceive me is vastly different.

When I ride my beach cruiser and wear shorts and a Hawaiian shirt, I am treated in a different manner than when I wear a kit and ride fast on my Sannino. Much of it has to do with my speed and appearance rather than my road position... the latter of which is pretty consistent.
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Old 09-28-06, 11:30 AM   #4
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I act like a vehicle but I answered "other" because I don't really know how I appear to cars. I guess it depends on who you ask.
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Old 09-28-06, 11:32 AM   #5
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Many seem to believe I'm handicapped and riding a hand-cycle. Others probably think I'm a UFO. All I know is when I ride a recumbent trike or recumbent bike I'm given more respect than when I ride an upright bike. And I cannot presume to know exactly why that is.
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Old 09-28-06, 11:35 AM   #6
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Quote:
Originally Posted by CrosseyedCrickt
I appear to be a big fat guy on a bicycle who just climbed out of a hole on Chernobyl.

Of your options above, I am both, but 99% of the time I'm a vehicle driver. On my commute there is a 200 yard stretch where I must ride a sidewalk to reach the MUP, otherwise I'd have to ride 3 miles, taking full lane, on a major Parkway where motorists hit each other at least 2 times a day.
You have no choice but to be a rolling ped when on the sidewalk, and that's fine.

My question is about how you act when you're on the road.
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Old 09-28-06, 11:35 AM   #7
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Originally Posted by sbhikes
... Others probably think I'm a UFO ...
You mean UGO (Unidentified Grounded Object)...
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Old 09-28-06, 11:39 AM   #8
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I present myself as a confident and legitimate vehicle driver. How others see me is anybody's guess. Who cares what cagers think? How can their inner thoughts harm or help me? No matter what they think, I have as much right to be there as they do!
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Old 09-28-06, 11:45 AM   #9
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Helmet Head
You have no choice but to be a rolling ped when on the sidewalk, and that's fine.

My question is about how you act when you're on the road.
When on the road, I try to blend in and be another vehicle. Though sometimes I do not get the respect of other vehicles. Sometimes I'm "better" than most other vehicles around here because the operator of my bike uses signals, comes to complete stops, and knows that the big fat white line on the road is where you are supposed to stop and not just a major paint spill.
The problem around here, or so it seems to me, is that there are very very few bike commuters, sometimes I feel I'm the only one. So motorists are not familiar with people on bikes who ride in a vehicular manner. Most all others on bikes are people out for joy rides, homeless folks, and DUI bikers; all of which have no respect for obeying traffic laws because like many of the motorists, they feel that a bike is not a vehicle so why should they obey "car" laws.
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Old 09-28-06, 11:56 AM   #10
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Helmet Head
When you're riding on the roadway, how do you appear to motorists?
From the reaction of the bloke who said, "Where did you spring from?", I can only assume the Starship [sexually active] Enterprise
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Old 09-28-06, 11:57 AM   #11
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Roody
No matter what they think, I have as much right to be there as they do!
Do they know that... Do they treat you like a fellow user of the road or as some object that they need to avoid, and pass as quickly as possible with little consideration for theirs or others' safety as they do so?
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Old 09-28-06, 12:12 PM   #12
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Quote:
Originally Posted by genec
Do they know that... Do they treat you like a fellow user of the road or as some object that they need to avoid, and pass as quickly as possible with little consideration for theirs or others' safety as they do so?
Do you mean "pass as soon as possible" rather than "as quickly as possible?" They pass quickly, but then cars are a lot quicker than bikes. But I rarely see them passing too soon to be safe.

Most cagers are a little more courteous than they need to be. Like they wait for us to go first at intersections, even when they have the right of way.
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Old 09-28-06, 12:14 PM   #13
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Not that I agree 100% with your choice of words for rolling pedestrian, I chose that one because many of the comments are correct in my context. For me, the shoulder is MY LANE. By that I mean I am on the shoulder, except in unusual circumstances; and the solid white line between the car lane and the shoulder means cars should be on the shoulder only in unusual circumstances. Since I ride predominantly in rural and rural suburbs, this happy medium seems to persist.

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Old 09-28-06, 12:20 PM   #14
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Old 09-28-06, 12:24 PM   #15
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I appear to be an infidel.
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Old 09-28-06, 12:51 PM   #16
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Helmet Head
When you're riding on the roadway, how do you appear to motorists?

vehicle driver
Do you act like and appear to be a vehicle driver... someone with the same rights and responsibilities on the same roads as drivers of vehicles?

rolling pedestrian
Or do you act like and appear to be a "rolling pedestrian"... someone with different rights and responsibilities on roads from those of drivers of vehicles and pedestrians? In particular, you have a right to be on the road, but it's not the same right as other vehicle drivers. In particularly, you have a responsibility to stay out of the way of vehicular traffic as much as is reasonably possible, not just when faster traffic happens to be traffic, but all the time. You belong "out of the way", near the outside edge, in the bike lane, in the shoulder... In fact, you have a special right that to that space.
If motorists are used to seeing us as drivers of vehicles, making vehicle-like maneuvers, following the same rules they follow, they will expect us to behave as vehicles.

If I can understand that bicycles are vehicles that can be ridden in the lane with traffic, so can motorists. If I can understand that bicycles can also be ridden in bike lanes, on shoulders, or bicycle facilities in addition to the street, so can motorists.
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Old 09-28-06, 01:27 PM   #17
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Quote:
Originally Posted by CrosseyedCrickt
I appear to be a big fat guy on a bicycle who just climbed out of a hole on Chernobyl.

Of your options above, I am both, but 99% of the time I'm a vehicle driver.
I could not have described my appearance any more eloquently than that.

I am vehicular most of the time, but there are stretches of my rides were auto don't/won't recognize my soverignty as a vehicle. Those spots I ride in the street, but move over when being passed to avoid being road-kill.
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Old 09-28-06, 02:26 PM   #18
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I operate as a vehicle, because bikes are vehicles, and as an operator I follow the law.

(a) Every person operating a bicycle upon a roadway shall ride as near to the right side of the roadway as practicable, exercising due care when passing a standing vehicle or one proceeding in the same direction.

So, as the law requires, I ride to the right side unless there's gravel on the side or any other possible hazard.
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Old 09-28-06, 02:26 PM   #19
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It depends...
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Old 09-28-06, 02:46 PM   #20
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To some women I appear as their sexual fantasy incarnate riding a bicycle. Then of course, there are the women who can actually see, to whom I appear as a sweat soaked, middle aged guy who refuses to shave his legs or beard.
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Old 09-28-06, 03:17 PM   #21
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I'm pretty much forced to be a 'rolling pedestrian' where I ride.

I'm a college student living just off campus and the route I take to school currently has 2 lanes closed causing lots of mess, and riding in the road would definently not work with the mass amount of college students driving, I would estimate that atleast half are talking on the cellphone while driving and a good percent of the rest are agressive drivers and even how traffic is slow allready, they don't want to be slowed down anymore by a guy on a bike. So right now I just ride along dodging everything that comes my way and weave back and forth on the sidewalks full of kids listening to their iPods and paying no attention. I seriously doubt a college education is going to teach these people about being attentive and courteous.

When I do want a nice ride I can go on campus in the late evening when everyone is gone.
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Old 09-28-06, 03:23 PM   #22
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When I cycle, I appear as a cyclist. Not a pedestrian, not a motor vehicle (of two, three, or four wheels), but a cyclist.

EDIT: I fail to see how one could appear as a vehicle driver when one is a cyclist. Do you have some holographic system which projects the image of a car around you attached to a dynamo hub?
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Old 09-28-06, 03:28 PM   #23
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How anybody interprets the appearance of either of these two riders is pure speculation based on whatever pre-conceived notions you may have about any number of things. This is pretty much what I look like.
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Old 09-28-06, 03:29 PM   #24
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In Ottawa, a bike lane is not "out of the way". It is part of the public road system and blended into part of the traffic, together with lanes for cars, trucks, OC Transpo buses, and later, LRT railway. Here in the City of Ottawa, bike lanes can be on the left side of the left lane, between traffic lanes, between traffic lane and bus lane, between bus lane and side walk, or between the curb lane and the shoulder, etc, in short, it can be in the middle of a multilane roadway. You are certainly not a rolling pedestrain riding on such a bike lane system. So, if you ride on the bike lanes, (both Municipal and Federal paths) you appear to be part of traffic (at least in Ottawa).

However, if you ride on the sidewalks, or on bus lanes, or on the Transit Ways, or anytime you do not ride your bike like a vehicle, you appear to be a cash cow to Government coffers.
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Old 09-28-06, 03:44 PM   #25
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Quote:
Originally Posted by SingingSabre
When I cycle, I appear as a cyclist. Not a pedestrian, not a motor vehicle (of two, three, or four wheels), but a cyclist.

EDIT: I fail to see how one could appear as a vehicle driver when one is a cyclist. Do you have some holographic system which projects the image of a car around you attached to a dynamo hub?
A vehicle driver is a person, not a car.
What defines whether a cyclist appears to be acting like a vehicle driver, or a rolling pedestrian, is his behavior.
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