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  1. #1
    POWERCRANK addict markhr's Avatar
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    sad news and bad comment

    Sorry, but this is the first place I could think of to post this. I didn't know the guy but the comment is out of order.

    the sad news

    Randy Van Zee of Sheldon killed in car-bike crash

    http://www.desmoinesregister.com/app...7014/-1/NEWS04

    ...and the bad comment

    Quote Originally Posted by beemergirl515
    It's sad that another person was killed and now a young girl will feel the horrid of this accident for the rest of her life. When is it that Iowans will realize that the road is made specifically for automobiles? Really...when? These things keep happening and everyone just goes on with doing the same old same old expecting this to never happen again? I mean, why is it that we pay taxes for the roads for VEHICLES and then have to wait in line behind a biker waiting for oncoming traffic to clear before we can safely pass and yet we have these fine bike trails thru out our state? Iowa alone has over 1,200 miles of bike trails for the sole use of bicycles. Lets use them people! They are there for a reason. You wont see me driving on your bike trails so dont use my roadway.
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  2. #2
    One speed: FAST ! fordfasterr's Avatar
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    I would like to *****-slap beemergirl515....
    Florida Velodrome Association.
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    CAT-2. Road Bike: 2011 Specialized Allez SRAM Apex. .. and yes, I am vegan.

  3. #3
    Senior Member ajay677's Avatar
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    Wouldn't surprise me if she texted in her commentary while she drove along "my roadway".

  4. #4
    Yabba-Dabba-Doo! AlmostTrick's Avatar
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    Even my wife once told me that the roads were made for cars. When 99.99% of the vehicles on the roads are motor driven, and the few bikes you see are on the sidewalk, it's pretty easy to come to that conclusion.
    Have Bike, Will Travel

  5. #5
    Pedaled too far. Artkansas's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by markhr View Post
    Sorry, but this is the first place I could think of to post this. I didn't know the guy but the comment is out of order.

    the sad news

    Randy Van Zee of Sheldon killed in car-bike crash

    http://www.desmoinesregister.com/app...7014/-1/NEWS04
    Everyone should read the thread on the desmoinesregister. beemergirl515 is getting plenty of flack for her comments, though the truth just doesn't seem to sink in. The thread is about 6 pages long now.
    "He who serves all, best serves himself" Jack London

    Quote Originally Posted by Bjforrestal View Post
    I don't care if you are on a unicycle, as long as you're not using a motor to get places you get props from me. We're here to support each other. Share ideas, and motivate one another to actually keep doing it.

  6. #6
    Al noisebeam's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Artkansas View Post
    Everyone should read the thread on the desmoinesregister. beemergirl515 is getting plenty of flack for her comments, though the truth just doesn't seem to sink in. The thread is about 6 pages long now.
    I didn't look at this particular new story comments, but they typically bring out the nastiest of comments just to draw a rise. Worse than trolling on a subject specific forum as they are made to an audience of the generally uninformed. Sometimes the informed step in (as it sounds like in this case) and the unmoderated argument chain gets pretty nasty.

    Al

  7. #7
    genec genec's Avatar
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    Once again the lack of knowledge leads some in the public to assume that motorists have certain "rights" over other vehicles due to the fees motorists pay for their privilege to drive.

    We are not properly educating people if they feel that "cars rule" and that fees and taxes pay for their right to "own the road."

    The only way this is going to change is if the public is well informed.

  8. #8
    Senior Member murphstahoe's Avatar
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    After reading the comments on the Des Moines Register I cannot believe the US allows Iowa to hold the first presidential caucuses. My eyes have been blinded by the poor quality of grammar and spelling. My tenure in the Bay Area has led me to forget how the other 49.5 states live...

  9. #9
    Banned. timmyquest's Avatar
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    The papers in this state are a joke, and the people are...different.

  10. #10
    tinydr
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    I lived in eastern Iowa for a year, while Mr. Van Zee's death is certainly tragic, I think there may be a little more to the issue of bicycle safety in Iowa than meets the eye... state law requires drivers to pass entirely within the other lane, which in many ways is a good thing, and cyclists are allowed to ride two-abreast... sounds good. The problem being, many cyclists don't actually "share" the road (for instance, despite the "2-abreast" rule, cyclists are required to move over to allow cars to safely pass, I've seen cyclists taking up an entire lane on an otherwise empty highway and refuse to move over, thereby creating a situation in which cars are forced to pass all the way in the other lane while still passing very close to the "inside" cyclist).

    Where I think the law in Iowa creates problems is that it puts cyclists in a situation where they're ostensibly "demanding their rights" yet in fact exacerbating what is already a potentially dangerous situation for themselves and others. How to balance this?

    Drivers in Iowa still need more education about sharing the road with cyclists, and it needs to be strictly enforced (anyone who's ridden on a back highway in Iowa has likely been "buzzed" by a passing motor vehicle going 4 times as fast; for some reason they always seem to be trucks). But the same goes for (*some*) cyclists, rather than relying on "the law" to protect them in all situations, a modicum of sensibility and respect for other users (yes, I mean cars and trucks) might make for an altogether safer situation for everyone. Having a law that puts the onus of safety *entirely* on drivers doesn't seem entirely workable.

    To clarify, I don't mean to suggest that any of this makes Van Zee's death any less tragic, nor to suggest that he necessarily bore contributory negligence. With his experience I would expect he was doing everything in his power to be safe.

  11. #11
    Al noisebeam's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by tinydr View Post
    I lived in eastern Iowa for a year, while Mr. Van Zee's death is certainly tragic, I think there may be a little more to the issue of bicycle safety in Iowa than meets the eye... state law requires drivers to pass entirely within the other lane, which in many ways is a good thing, and cyclists are allowed to ride two-abreast... sounds good. The problem being, many cyclists don't actually "share" the road (for instance, despite the "2-abreast" rule, cyclists are required to move over to allow cars to safely pass, I've seen cyclists taking up an entire lane on an otherwise empty highway and refuse to move over, thereby creating a situation in which cars are forced to pass all the way in the other lane while still passing very close to the "inside" cyclist).
    Can you or someone else confirm this passing rule (must entirely use adjacent lane) I hadn't heard that.

    If it is true then what is the motivation for cyclists to be 'required to move over to allow cars to pass' If the first law is correct, then moving over would only encourage the illegal behavior of not using the entire adjacent lane to pass.

    (I suspect the passing law you mention is not correctly cited)

    Al

  12. #12
    tinydr
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    you're on a computer, you look it up. use google, I'm sure you'll quickly find it and can correct any inconsistencies.

    PS: not "trying" to be a jerk, just busy...

  13. #13
    Al noisebeam's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by tinydr View Post
    you're on a computer, you look it up. use google, I'm sure you'll quickly find it and can correct any inconsistencies.

    PS: not "trying" to be a jerk, just busy...
    I started to look it up actually and could find no evidence it is a law but my search was cursory. If you are posting about law I'd hope you had done your own checking before posting as fact.

    http://www.legis.state.ia.us/IACODE/2001/VIII.html
    http://www.legis.state.ia.us/IACODE/2001/321/
    http://www.legis.state.ia.us/IACODE/2001/321/299.html <-the only passing law I could find

    Al

  14. #14
    tinydr
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    I found it last summer, will try to look later tonight to "refind" it...

  15. #15
    Arrogant Safety Nanny
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    http://www.iamvd.com/ods/dlmanual/section5.pdf

    Scroll down to the 14th page (page #52). It's in the section on sharing the road with bicycles. Of course the driver's handbook is just a bunch of suggestions, some of which are based on law and some of which are based on an unknown group of peoples' opinion on how to be safe. One of the suggestions in the manual reads:

    "When passing a bicycle rider, pass as if the cyclist were a vehicle and move into the other lane."

    I like that section on bicycles. It even points out some stuff many motorists wouldn't recognize, like a cyclist riding in the gutter is a sign of inexperience, a bike can maintain speeds of 15-25mph on level ground, vehicle occupants should look for bikers before opening car doors, and cyclists can choose to ride on the street even when a bike path is available nearby. It even tells motorists they should merge into a bike lane, if present, including checking over their shoulder, prior to making a right turn.

  16. #16
    Senior Member Keith99's Avatar
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    Beemergirl!

    That is all you need to know. In the real world I'm sure she also resents having to share the road with those driving lesser cars.

  17. #17
    Al noisebeam's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by JeffB502 View Post
    http://www.iamvd.com/ods/dlmanual/section5.pdf

    Scroll down to the 14th page (page #52). It's in the section on sharing the road with bicycles. Of course the driver's handbook is just a bunch of suggestions, some of which are based on law and some of which are based on an unknown group of peoples' opinion on how to be safe. One of the suggestions in the manual reads:

    "When passing a bicycle rider, pass as if the cyclist were a vehicle and move into the other lane."
    Note the very following sentence after the one you quoted is:
    "On multi-lane roads with wide outside lanes, allow at least three to four feet between your vehicle and the bicyclist for clearance."
    I doubt they are suggesting breaking the law and there is no law I can find indicating the former suggestion is a legal requirement.

    Al

  18. #18
    tinydr
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    I have to admit, thinking back on it I believe I read about the "law" in the local Iowa paper (it was RAGBRAI time and a cyclist had recently been killed by a passing motorist) and I wonder if they were simply quoting the driver's manual (the same language is used in an online publication on bike safety from... Ames I think)... Illinois apparently has a 3ft rule, that would seem more sensible (and might explain the "cyclists should move over" thing).

    I think I need to dig through my email, I had a conversation with someone at bikeiowa at the time about the "law" and he supported the other lane argument... strange though that it doesn't seem to appear in the Iowa code... maybe he could provide an actual Article and section, lexis isn't coming up with anything.

    (I'd like to point out, however, and I apologize for not using a modifier such as "I believe" or "My understanding" that the only basis for believing I'm an expert in the laws of Iowa was that I said I'd lived there... for a year).
    Last edited by tinydr; 04-07-08 at 05:48 PM.

  19. #19
    tinydr
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    I emailed the bicycle safety coordinator for the Iowa DOT... hopefully she'll be able to clear this up.

  20. #20
    52-week commuter DCCommuter's Avatar
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    I have a lot more respect for beemergirl515 than the typical anti-cyclist ranter. It's an intellectually defensible position to say the current law is outdated and needs to be changed, albeit a position I don't happen to agree with. The typical ranter has no logical argument, he just hates cyclists, makes fun of their otherness, questions their sexual orientation, and maybe for good measure throws in a threat to run them off the road.

    I would much rather have an advocacy discussion with someone who appears capable of intelligent thought.
    The United States of America is the only democratic nation in the world to deny citizens living in the nation's capital representation in the national legislature. District residents have no vote in either the U.S. Senate or U.S. House of Representatives. www.dcvote.org

  21. #21
    Senior Member Kurt Erlenbach's Avatar
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    The arguments in that thread are actually more mature and well-reasoned than similar ones that follow bike-car accidents elsewhere. I agree that beemergirl is misguided, but she states the cager-centric argument pretty well. From the number of her posts and the amount of time she has to waste on a Monday morning, it also seems like she needs a job.

  22. #22
    __________ seeker333's Avatar
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    Randy Van Zee in the 2004 RAAM, about 1/3 of the way down the page.

    http://www.ultracycling.com/results/raam2004.html
    Attached Images Attached Images

  23. #23
    Senior Member
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    beemergirliesomestupidnumber should know that property taxes pay a large portion of road construction. She should be angry at homeless cyclists.

    She should also read a history book. Some modern roads are made for cars, others were made for a large conglomeration of odd vehicles from human, to animal, to combustion powered.

    Then someone should smack her upside the head. "Should'da had a V8."

  24. #24
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    I think I'm nit-picking now as I'm greatly angered by beemergirl's comments, but I think someone needs to info her that it's bimmer.

    BMW Motorcycle = Beemer
    BMW Car or SUV = Bimmer

  25. #25
    tinydr
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    As for passing in the other lane, I think I may have riddled that one out:

    bicycles are to be treated in the same way as other vehicles (read: cars), so then look at the
    regulation related to passing motor vehicles, other motor vehicles, for purposes of passing, are
    entitled to their lane (the passing regulation, if I remember correctly from last night, likely says something about passing at a reasonable or safe distance)...

    I haven't found anything in the Iowa code about staying to the right when possible to allow others to pass... might have to wait for the DOT-person to riddle that one out (if there is in fact support). I'll update when I hear from her.

    (to be clear: IANAL and TINLA)

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