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  1. #1
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    Road Rage against cyclists in mid Michigan

    Boy do we need suggestions

    The rage against cyclists is going the wrong direction. Its getting worse here in mid Michigan. In the span of 7 days two of our club rides have experienced road rage. In the first incident, on a virtual minimal traffic back road, a motorist passed the group and immediately put on the brakes to an almost stop. In the chaos the resulted 2 riders went down, but fortunately no major injuries but one bike was damaged beyond rideability. The motorist shouted something about "you cannot ride two abreast. Its the state law". We did not get a license plate number but did file a police report and have the car pretty well described.

    In the second instance and again on a less traveled back road a motorist started laying on the horn about a 1/4 mile back, passed the group in a brush by (very close), stopped at a stop sign and started hollering at the group. The club members did not engage this person and kept going. Again we did not get a license, but in this case we should have been able to do so. But a decent car description was made.

    How do we get road rage eliminated or at least minimized. We believe from what we have seen that things are getting worse. Is it the economy that is P------ ing people off or what? We have a very active club and are willing to meet with police, sheriff, community leaders and do what is necessary.

    I just recently spent a week in the hill country of Texas and it is just a joy compared to here at home. Most drivers actually initiate a salutatory wave to you on the back roads. Maybe they are proud of Lance. I don't know but what a difference.

    Suggestions needed for our club on this isssue.

    Thanks, Curt
    Tri City Cyclists- Midland Michigan

  2. #2
    Senior Member Itsjustb's Avatar
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    You know things are bad when the attitude towards cyclists is bad compared to Texas.

  3. #3
    Dogs like me. Ajenkins's Avatar
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    Mid-Michigan? Are you talking, like, the home of the self-destructing American Auto Industry?

    Of course motorists hate you -- those damn cyclists are part of the problem! If you weren't riding that damn bicycle, you'd be in a car, which you purchased, and thus the motorist, or his wife, or brother-in-law, or whoever, wouldn't be out of a job. In fact, you're the entire reason the economy is in the hole, and you damn well deserve to be run off the road. On top of everything else, you're probably one of those communists, too.

    I think the only thing to do is keep a camera and cellphone handy and wait for the dinosaurs to die off.

  4. #4
    What, me hurry? Boston Commuter's Avatar
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    MICHIGAN VEHICLE CODE (EXCERPT) Act 300 of 1949

    257.660b Operation of bicycle upon highway or street; riding more than 2 abreast.
    Sec. 660b.

    Two or more individuals operating bicycles upon a highway or street shall not ride more than 2 abreast except upon a path or portion of the highway or street set aside for the use of bicycles.

    May I humbly suggest that club members stop riding two abreast.

  5. #5
    Senior Member Itsjustb's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by curtwally View Post
    ...The motorist shouted something about "you cannot ride two abreast. Its the state law".
    Quote Originally Posted by Boston Commuter View Post
    MICHIGAN VEHICLE CODE (EXCERPT) Act 300 of 1949

    257.660b Operation of bicycle upon highway or street; riding more than 2 abreast.
    Sec. 660b.

    Two or more individuals operating bicycles upon a highway or street shall not ride more than 2 abreast except upon a path or portion of the highway or street set aside for the use of bicycles.

    May I humbly suggest that club members stop riding two abreast.
    Apparently the motorist in the OP was incorrect; cyclists may ride 2 abreast. They may not ride more than 2 abreast.

    Since (apparently) you were obeying the law but the driver didn't know what the law said, let's approach this the other way. Does your area have a bicycle advisory committee to local government? If so, have your club take this issue to the local government and ask for actions--PSAs, changes to driver's licensing to require knowledge of laws concerning bicycles, etc.

  6. #6
    One speed: FAST ! fordfasterr's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Boston Commuter View Post
    MICHIGAN VEHICLE CODE (EXCERPT) Act 300 of 1949

    257.660b Operation of bicycle upon highway or street; riding more than 2 abreast.
    Sec. 660b.

    Two or more individuals operating bicycles upon a highway or street shall not ride more than 2 abreast except upon a path or portion of the highway or street set aside for the use of bicycles.

    May I humbly suggest that club members stop riding two abreast.
    The same statute was incorrectly interpreted by a police officer to me in person....

    She was as wrong as you are...

    You cannot ride "MORE THAN 2" ...

    No more than 2 is still more than 1.... right?
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  7. #7
    MOLON LABE rabidchicken's Avatar
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    As a cyclist myself I get annoyed when I see a group of roadies (25+) taking up an entire lane of a two-lane highway in a no-passing zone. I haven't resorted to road rage since it isn't worth it, but it sure as hell annoys the piss out of me.
    "I predict future happiness for Americans if they can prevent the government from wasting the labors of the people under the pretense of taking care of them." - Thomas Jefferson

  8. #8
    Senior Member Speedo's Avatar
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    There is no excuse for motorists behaving in ways to intentionally endanger cyclists. But if you are interested in minimizing or eliminating road rage, give a thought to how your group is riding on the road. You really didn't say much about that.

    In Massachusetts, until recently cyclists were required to ride single file unless passing. The law has been changed so that riding two abreast is allowed. On low traffic back roads, some of the local racing clubs seem to like to take up the entire road. Maybe 5, 6 or 7 abreast. This is with a group of 50-100 cyclists. I've seen oncoming traffic have to come to a complete stop while the peloton squeezes over to the right side of the road. I find that kind of behavior both unsafe and obnoxious.

    If your group is not monopolizing the road then those drivers are just jerks. If your group is monopolizing the road then they are still jerks (for intentionally endangering you), but they might have not acted out their jerkiness if they hadn't been provoked.

    Speedo

  9. #9
    Domestic Domestique UnsafeAlpine's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by rabidchicken View Post
    As a cyclist myself I get annoyed when I see a group of roadies (25+) taking up an entire lane of a two-lane highway in a no-passing zone. I haven't resorted to road rage since it isn't worth it, but it sure as hell annoys the piss out of me.
    Why? It's a no passing zone. You think you can pass a long string of single file roadies in a no passing zone safely?

    This is one of the dumbest arguments I've heard.

  10. #10
    drive-by poster fetad's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by rabidchicken View Post
    As a cyclist myself I get annoyed when I see a group of roadies (25+) taking up an entire lane of a two-lane highway in a no-passing zone. I haven't resorted to road rage since it isn't worth it, but it sure as hell annoys the piss out of me.
    Given the option of passing 25+ cyclists riding two abreast vs passing 25+ cyclists riding single file I'll choose the two abreast group. The less time I spend in the left lane the better, you know?

    I don't think people realize that cyclists are doing them a favor by effectively shortening the group. 3 abreast would make it even easier.
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  11. #11
    Senior Member juggleaddict's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by UnsafeAlpine View Post
    You think you can pass a long string of single file roadies in a no passing zone safely?
    I agree. Even in a section of road where it's safe to pass, it is easier to pass the group if they are NOT riding single file. If the cyclist were in a big line, it would be like trying to pass a semi-truck. Apparently people think that it makes it "safer" if they don't have to get over as far to the left, when in fact, they should ALWAYS give you that room. This tells me that people think that they can squeeze between an oncoming car and a bicycle if they had to. I'm not sure where that mentality comes from, but it makes it an even more dangerous situation if the driver approaches a line of bikes and tries to pass. I had a city bus try to pull that crap around a blind curve, and ran me into a ditch because he had to swerve back over and nearly hit me to avoid the oncoming car.

  12. #12
    ♋ ☮♂ ☭ ☯ -=(8)=-'s Avatar
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    We have met the enemy, and it is us.
    Until roadies learn "share the road", stop sign etiquette, etc we can
    always expect this.
    Last edited by -=(8)=-; 04-14-09 at 01:33 PM.

  13. #13
    Sophomoric Member Roody's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Boston Commuter View Post
    MICHIGAN VEHICLE CODE (EXCERPT) Act 300 of 1949

    257.660b Operation of bicycle upon highway or street; riding more than 2 abreast.
    Sec. 660b.

    Two or more individuals operating bicycles upon a highway or street shall not ride more than 2 abreast except upon a path or portion of the highway or street set aside for the use of bicycles.

    May I humbly suggest that club members stop riding two abreast.
    May I humbly suggest that you learn how to read brefore you make high handed judgments? Also you shhould know that the section of the Michigan Vehicle Code that you quoted is no longer in effect, although riding two abreast is still permitted in Michigan.
    Last edited by Roody; 04-14-09 at 01:39 PM.


    "Think Outside the Cage"

  14. #14
    Who farted? Ka_Jun's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Ajenkins View Post
    Mid-Michigan? Are you talking, like, the home of the self-destructing American Auto Industry?

    Of course motorists hate you -- those damn cyclists are part of the problem! If you weren't riding that damn bicycle, you'd be in a car, which you purchased, and thus the motorist, or his wife, or brother-in-law, or whoever, wouldn't be out of a job. In fact, you're the entire reason the economy is in the hole, and you damn well deserve to be run off the road. On top of everything else, you're probably one of those communists, too.

    I think the only thing to do is keep a camera and cellphone handy and wait for the dinosaurs to die off.
    Don't joke. Asian-Americans are well aware of the type of mentality you describe.

  15. #15
    Sophomoric Member Roody's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by curtwally View Post
    Boy do we need suggestions

    The rage against cyclists is going the wrong direction. Its getting worse here in mid Michigan. In the span of 7 days two of our club rides have experienced road rage. In the first incident, on a virtual minimal traffic back road, a motorist passed the group and immediately put on the brakes to an almost stop. In the chaos the resulted 2 riders went down, but fortunately no major injuries but one bike was damaged beyond rideability. The motorist shouted something about "you cannot ride two abreast. Its the state law". We did not get a license plate number but did file a police report and have the car pretty well described.

    In the second instance and again on a less traveled back road a motorist started laying on the horn about a 1/4 mile back, passed the group in a brush by (very close), stopped at a stop sign and started hollering at the group. The club members did not engage this person and kept going. Again we did not get a license, but in this case we should have been able to do so. But a decent car description was made.

    How do we get road rage eliminated or at least minimized. We believe from what we have seen that things are getting worse. Is it the economy that is P------ ing people off or what? We have a very active club and are willing to meet with police, sheriff, community leaders and do what is necessary.

    I just recently spent a week in the hill country of Texas and it is just a joy compared to here at home. Most drivers actually initiate a salutatory wave to you on the back roads. Maybe they are proud of Lance. I don't know but what a difference.

    Suggestions needed for our club on this isssue.

    Thanks, Curt
    Tri City Cyclists- Midland Michigan
    I haven't noticed a change in cager attitudes in mid-Michigan. But I do a different type of riding than you do. I'm mostly in the city, riding alone, and wearing more "regular" clothes. (I am NOT by any means implying that it's OK for drivers to hate on, harrass or endanger club riders.)

    I sometimes think that I see a worsening of civil behavior in general around here. Unemployment and economic insecurity seem to be weighing on people's minds. I haven't seen this on the roads yet, but I'm not surprised if you are.

    During a heat wave, my mother used to say something like, "People are more irritable in this weather, so we need to make a special effort to be kinder to others. If we all work together, we'll get through this a lot easier." I wish more people would adopt this philosophy in this economic "heat wave."


    "Think Outside the Cage"

  16. #16
    Sophomoric Member Roody's Avatar
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    This tragic incident happened a few blocks from where I was living at the time. There has been no repeat in almost 30 years. Maybe people should start putting it past them.


    "Think Outside the Cage"

  17. #17
    Senior Member John C. Ratliff's Avatar
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    KA_Jun,

    Thank you for providing that link. Mine is a mixed-race family (Chinese-Caucasian), and I had not heard of the Vincent Chin murder. Maybe it is because we were in the rural area of Oregon. It is not an enjoyable piece to read, but very educational.

    John
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  18. #18
    Cycle Year Round CB HI's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Boston Commuter View Post
    MICHIGAN VEHICLE CODE (EXCERPT) Act 300 of 1949

    257.660b Operation of bicycle upon highway or street; riding more than 2 abreast.
    Sec. 660b.

    Two or more individuals operating bicycles upon a highway or street shall not ride more than 2 abreast except upon a path or portion of the highway or street set aside for the use of bicycles.

    May I humbly suggest that club members stop riding two abreast.
    Pretty bad when a cyclist quotes cycling law and cannot even understand it.

  19. #19
    MOLON LABE rabidchicken's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by UnsafeAlpine View Post
    Why? It's a no passing zone. You think you can pass a long string of single file roadies in a no passing zone safely?

    This is one of the dumbest arguments I've heard.
    If they were all in the bike lane I would have no problem passing them. Are you not allowed to pass cyclists in a bike lane when there is a double yellow?
    "I predict future happiness for Americans if they can prevent the government from wasting the labors of the people under the pretense of taking care of them." - Thomas Jefferson

  20. #20
    Domestic Domestique UnsafeAlpine's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by rabidchicken View Post
    If they were all in the bike lane I would have no problem passing them. Are you not allowed to pass cyclists in a bike lane when there is a double yellow?
    It has to be a bike lane, not just the white edge line.

  21. #21
    Cycle Year Round CB HI's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by rabidchicken View Post
    If they were all in the bike lane I would have no problem passing them. Are you not allowed to pass cyclists in a bike lane when there is a double yellow?
    Sounds like another motorist who just happens to also own a bicycle.

  22. #22
    Randomhead
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    I guess people don't think a car fits into the opposing lane. I wonder what they do when they are going the other way?


    As far as the OP goes, you need to emphasize the importance of memorizing the plate. I my memory is no better than any other person's memory, but I have always managed to memorize the plate. Read it a number of times, and continue to repeat it to yourself. I don't use mnemonics, but it helps some people.
    Last edited by unterhausen; 04-14-09 at 09:00 PM.

  23. #23
    Senior Member degnaw's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by unterhausen View Post
    I guess people don't think a car fits into the opposing lane. I wonder what they do when they are going the other way?
    When I prepare for left turns on two lane roads, nowhere near the yellow line, I can clearly see people on the other side moving towards the white line and sometimes onto the (1 inch wide) shoulder. There are also extremely narrow roads in my area where opposing SUVs regularly pass at a relative speed of 80mph with 6" or less between mirrors (the lane being about 2 feet wider than the average midsize car).

    Point being, people by nature give way more room to bikes than to cars, and a bike anywhere near the yellow line would likely make people freak.

    Interestingly, this seems to only be applicable on high speed rural roads; I lane split in the center of local/urban roads regularly, with no explicit reaction from drivers.

  24. #24
    "Per Ardua ad Surly" nelson249's Avatar
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    I remember the Vincent Chin case. I was in grade school growing up 40 miles south east of Detriot (on the igloo side). The attitudes described here also apply to Windsor across the river. There have been incidents along Riverside Drive as car drivers have been irked by the presence of cyclists. The local media several years ago was all bent out of shape because cyclists dared to use "their" roads.
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  25. #25
    P7 Fanboy JinbaIttai's Avatar
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    I suggest that your club pools money to together for a decent helmet camera and then finds a lawyer that will represent the club beforehand, so when it happens again and you have it on video, you have a strong case.

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