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  1. #1
    Doomsled funbun's Avatar
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    What is the deal with wrong way cyclists. Why do they ride against traffic? That has got to be the dumbest idea since doctors drained blood from sick patients thinking the disease would leak from the body.
    Last edited by funbun; 10-25-04 at 09:19 AM.
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  2. #2
    Senior Member
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    Road systems are designed for cars and a half mile diversion to achieve a smooth traffic flow at an intersction is nothing to a car driver. When a cyclist can avoid this diversion by going against the traffic for 50 yards, the risks are worth taking. You have to watch for cars coming into the street from the side who are not looking in your direction etc. The important thing is keep looking to see what all the traffic around you is doing.

  3. #3
    feros ferio John E's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by AndrewP
    Road systems are designed for cars and a half mile diversion to achieve a smooth traffic flow at an intersction is nothing to a car driver. When a cyclist can avoid this diversion by going against the traffic for 50 yards, the risks are worth taking. You have to watch for cars coming into the street from the side who are not looking in your direction etc. The important thing is keep looking to see what all the traffic around you is doing.
    On very rare occasions, I resort to wrong-way and/or sidewalk cycling for precisely the reason AndrewP states. If I am on the sidewalk, I ride very slowly and give full right-of-way and courtesy to pedestrians, as I am invading their space. If I am on the road, I give full right-of-way and courtesy to right-way cyclists, to the point of slowing and cowering against the curb, if necessary.

    I stress however, that wrong-way cycling and other nonvehicular maneuvers should be the rare exceptions, not general procedure.
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  4. #4
    Doomsled funbun's Avatar
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    Explain please. I dont understand. 1/2 mile diversion? What does that mean?
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  5. #5
    Bent_Rider
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    Quote Originally Posted by AndrewP
    Road systems are designed for cars and a half mile diversion to achieve a smooth traffic flow at an intersction is nothing to a car driver. When a cyclist can avoid this diversion by going against the traffic for 50 yards, the risks are worth taking. You have to watch for cars coming into the street from the side who are not looking in your direction etc. The important thing is keep looking to see what all the traffic around you is doing.
    I'm with you on the 50yd diversion, but most of the wrong way cyclists ALWAYS ride the wrong way.

  6. #6
    Disgruntled Planner bpohl's Avatar
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    I live in a downtown area, where all of the streets around me are one-ways. Every morning, I take teh sidewalk for 20 feet, then I turn the wrong way onto a one way street for about 50 feet. It's more of an alley than a street, but it's still a one way, and I'm still going the wrong way. Yeah, I know.... it's bad, but it's the ONLY time I take the sidewalk or ride the wrong way. Still not smart, and nothing I could say concerning my justifications for doing it would stand up in court.
    Don't waste your breath to save your face when you have done your best.

  7. #7
    Al noisebeam's Avatar
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    Most don't know any better. The vast majority of wrong way riders here do it on the sidewalk and ride very slow, still just as bad, but not as crazy as on the street wrong way.

    I do have to ride 1/2mi wrong way on my commute home - on a sidewalk offset 5-15ft from the road. The road is actually a freeway overpass/access road. If I didn't ride the wrong way I'd need to ride an extra 4mi detour and cross thru two very busy mulilane freeway intersections. The city has recognized the problem and are building (and have been for the past year) a cyclist/pedestrian freeway overpass, but its not going to be open until January if the schedule doesn't slip again. I can't wait. At least this 1/2mi stretch of wrong way has no side street entrances and about 1-ped on it every 3 days or so.

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  8. #8
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    Quote Originally Posted by scarry
    I'm with you on the 50yd diversion, but most of the wrong way cyclists ALWAYS ride the wrong way.
    These are also the cyclists who ride at night in dark clothes with no lights or reflectors. I am amazed that the fatality rate for cyclists is so low.

  9. #9
    mashedtatersngravyplease
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    oh **** this is my biggest hatred. when people ride on the wrong side of the road. i have only been hit by a car twice in my long carreer and it was because i took a shortcut on the wrong side of the road. to put things simply, at intersections, auto drivers DO NOT LOOK TO THE RIGHT AT ALL, which is right where you will be. hate hate hate
    love, rymodee

  10. #10
    cab horn
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    We just had this discussion like a week ago.

  11. #11
    I drink your MILKSHAKE Raiyn's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by operator
    We just had this discussion like a week ago.
    ...and the week before that, and the week before that, ad infinitum

  12. #12
    Senior Member TuckertonRR's Avatar
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    If i remember right, weren't we taught as kids in the 70's & 80's to ride against traffic on a bike? Not saying it's right.

  13. #13
    Al noisebeam's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by TuckertonRR
    If i remember right, weren't we taught as kids in the 70's & 80's to ride against traffic on a bike? Not saying it's right.
    I was born in '70 in the New England area and learned to ride quite young. I clearly remember being taught (not just by my parents) to ride a bike the same direction as traffic and walk against traffic. Where I grew up there were no sidewalks, all riding, some on a busy road, was done in the traffic lane/shoulder.

    Al

  14. #14
    Jazz from Hell glomarduck's Avatar
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    I do it but only when needed
    I carried it around with me for days and days.. playing little games like not looking at it for a whole day and then.. looking at it. to see if I still liked it. I DID!

  15. #15
    Every lane is a bike lane Chris L's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by TuckertonRR
    If i remember right, weren't we taught as kids in the 70's & 80's to ride against traffic on a bike? Not saying it's right.
    Back in the 80's I was taught to ride with traffic, not against it.

    Learning to ride in Werris Creek

    However, that seems to go against conventional "wisdom" these days. For "conventional", read: someone who has never ridden further than their driveway in their life. Sadly, "bicycle safety classes" these days are rarely taught by people who actually know anything about bicycle safety.
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  16. #16
    Lord of the Manor MassBiker's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by AndrewP
    Road systems are designed for cars and a half mile diversion to achieve a smooth traffic flow at an intersction is nothing to a car driver. When a cyclist can avoid this diversion by going against the traffic for 50 yards, the risks are worth taking. You have to watch for cars coming into the street from the side who are not looking in your direction etc. The important thing is keep looking to see what all the traffic around you is doing.
    The worst crash I have ever had in 21 years of cycling came on a Sunday morning with no motor traffic. I was hit head-on by a wrong-way cyclist who flew out from behind a van, swerved around the cyclist in front of me, and then slammed into me. My teeth are still broken from this incident.

    When people tell me about how victimized are cyclists by motorists, I think about this incident. I've had crashes with automobiles, but it was never this bad.

    The important thing is that people who do what you do are taken off the road. Either ride right, or ride on the sidewalk.

  17. #17
    Doomsled funbun's Avatar
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    Yeah, every crash I've bad was no where near cars or the road exept one when I ewas getting used to my clipless pedals.
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  18. #18
    Bookworm on Wheels! lisasimpson's Avatar
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    like most of you i refrain to riding the wrong way only for short periods of time when trying to avoid stuff. although my brother in law feels more comfortable riding against traffic and does feel that this is the correct way to ride. why i still have no idea lol. maybe it is a lefty thing. but i must say i usually hate seeing cyclist going the wrong way. cause here i am going down the road the right way with traffic passing next to me with some idiot riding straight for me. not my favortie situation.

  19. #19
    Doomsled funbun's Avatar
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    With rear view mirros you can see behind you just as well as in front.
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  20. #20
    Senior Member closetbiker's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by AndrewP
    These are also the cyclists who ride at night in dark clothes with no lights or reflectors. I am amazed that the fatality rate for cyclists is so low.
    and guess what? The vast majority of cycling fatalities are caused by just these things but then somehow, people end up saying it's bicycles (and not what people do on them) are dangerous so they stay off them.
    "My two favourite things in life are libraries and bicycles. They both move people forward without wasting anything" -Peter Golkin
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  21. #21
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    eh... in grade school phys ed they taught us to ride on the wrong side of the road... I think that's where it gets started

  22. #22
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    [SIZE=3][FONT=Georgia]
    Quote Originally Posted by funbun
    What is the deal with wrong way cyclists. Why do they ride against traffic? That has got to be the dumbest idea since doctors drained blood from sick patients thinking the disease would leak from the body.
    THEY ARE STEWPID!! I think they ususally are taking a short cut and riding on the left side just before a left turn into a new street (super dangerous) thinking that that is the shortest route. I ride fast and they usually have no idea I'm coming up on them at 17mph and they are doing 10mph so it's a 25mph aproach. I make then swerve into the street and I yell "WRONG WAY" or HEADS UP. Most ride old clunky bikes and seem to have no clue that there are rules to the road.

  23. #23
    Senior Member Dchiefransom's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by noisebeam
    Most don't know any better. The vast majority of wrong way riders here do it on the sidewalk and ride very slow, still just as bad, but not as crazy as on the street wrong way.

    I do have to ride 1/2mi wrong way on my commute home - on a sidewalk offset 5-15ft from the road. The road is actually a freeway overpass/access road. If I didn't ride the wrong way I'd need to ride an extra 4mi detour and cross thru two very busy mulilane freeway intersections. The city has recognized the problem and are building (and have been for the past year) a cyclist/pedestrian freeway overpass, but its not going to be open until January if the schedule doesn't slip again. I can't wait. At least this 1/2mi stretch of wrong way has no side street entrances and about 1-ped on it every 3 days or so.

    Al
    There is no "wrong way" riding on a sidewalk that's separated from the street. As long as you stop at any crosswalks and walk across, that's perfectly okay.

  24. #24
    Al noisebeam's Avatar
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    It still doesn't feel right.

  25. #25
    Caffeinated. Camel's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Dchiefransom
    There is no "wrong way" riding on a sidewalk that's separated from the street. As long as you stop at any crosswalks and walk across, that's perfectly okay.
    --As long as you cycle at average walking speed (<4MPH), and include stoping & walking at EVERY curb cut (driveways etc) as you would for crosswalks.

    IMO sidewalk cycling is second only to wrongway cycling as the easiest way to get hit by a car.

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