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Old 11-12-11, 01:09 PM   #1
orionz06
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Educating local cyclists of their faults

How does one bring up a few really bad habits that cyclists may have? I mentioned one instance where a driver was clipped by a cyclist who ran a stop sign and have been told to basically **** off. While as a cyclist I agree that many laws are stupid and not the safest for us on two wheels, but some are not. Sometimes cyclists do stupid things, sometimes they are not visible enough when riding against traffic (no lights at all), and sometimes it is better to mention something to people so they might not get hurt.

Is there a way to do so?

ETA: When I mentioned it I posted it on a local message board which I am most certain a few of the riders who are running stop signs frequent. The general consensus was that they didn't care.

Last edited by orionz06; 11-20-11 at 11:30 PM.
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Old 11-12-11, 01:18 PM   #2
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Originally Posted by orionz06 View Post
How does one bring up a few really bad habits that cyclists may have? I mentioned one instance where a driver was clipped by a cyclist who ran a stop sign and have been told to basically **** off. While as a cyclist I agree that many laws are stupid and not the safest for us on two wheels, but some are not. Sometimes cyclists do stupid things, sometimes they are not visible enough when riding against traffic (no lights at all), and sometimes it is better to mention something to people so they might not get hurt.

Is there a way to do so?
Depends. Are you good with your fists?
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Old 11-12-11, 01:35 PM   #3
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How does one bring up a few really bad habits that cyclists may have?
There is no percentage in giving unsolicited advice to strangers about their "faults".

Mind your own business and enjoy your ride. You'll be better off for it.

Last edited by corvuscorvax; 11-12-11 at 01:38 PM.
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Old 11-12-11, 01:42 PM   #4
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I guess you're right, they already clipped a car and cannot be that oblivious to their close calls as it is. I will just hope that they don't get hit or that I am not a witness.
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Old 11-12-11, 02:21 PM   #5
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Suggest you start by observing that their mothers wear army boots. That should get things off on the right foot.
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Old 11-12-11, 02:31 PM   #6
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Do you go around teaching fellow motorists some lessons when you're behind the wheel also?

Haha. Get a grip.
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Old 11-12-11, 02:39 PM   #7
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When the average person reaches a certain age (usually about 13), they decide who they will & won't listen to in life. If you're not in a recognized position of authority, even the best won't listen to your unsolicited advice.

Just give 'em a quick editorial ("Nice move, stupid..." is popular with me, both for drivers and riders), and roll on. But, yeah -- unless you mentally cocoon yourself, make sure the fists work.
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Old 11-12-11, 03:27 PM   #8
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Do you go around teaching fellow motorists some lessons when you're behind the wheel also?

Haha. Get a grip.
I use what is available to relay whatever I can regardless of my mode of transportation, so yes.

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When the average person reaches a certain age (usually about 13), they decide who they will & won't listen to in life. If you're not in a recognized position of authority, even the best won't listen to your unsolicited advice.

Just give 'em a quick editorial ("Nice move, stupid..." is popular with me, both for drivers and riders), and roll on. But, yeah -- unless you mentally cocoon yourself, make sure the fists work.
Kinda what I figured. I mentioned it on a local message board and I was told that we can only ***** about people on 4 wheels and that any form of self regulation with the idea of staying alive is not welcome.

It is unfortunate that this behavior, from cyclists, will eventually lead to someone getting hurt badly and then the cycling community erroneously blaming the driver. That is not to ignore that most issues come from the those riding in a cage.
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Old 11-12-11, 03:57 PM   #9
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Pointing out something obvious or that is a matter of opinion will do no good. In the case of the cyclist running a stop sign, he was almost certainly aware that there was some risk involved and was of the opinion it was worth taking. Experience might modify his opinion, but you won't. Same thing goes for wearing protective gear etc. In some cases you might be able to educate somebody about something they weren't aware of, but opportunities to do that productively are rare.
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Old 11-12-11, 04:06 PM   #10
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Yeah. I wasn't thinking too rationally earlier. I was approached by multiple co-workers on the matter. Posted on the local message board but I might suggest that the co-workers report it to the city.
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Old 11-12-11, 04:13 PM   #11
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Ha ha, I ride tandem a lot with my wife. I learned quickly not to say anything. There's just no "winning" there. I mean, I can get away with complaining about her driving a car well before I can get away with complaining of her biking.

Yet, she seemed to accept some pointers from the guy with good hair from the bike shop during a recent group-ride... even while on the back of our tandem. I don't even care... if she'll actually accept some pointers, I'll pay the young bike-shop-guy-with-good-hair to give her some useful pointers.
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Old 11-12-11, 04:25 PM   #12
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I use what is available to relay whatever I can regardless of my mode of transportation, so yes.
Well good luck, the last guy I heard of got stabbed with a screw-driver for telling the other guy he was improperly following traffic regulations. Well i guess there was the girl who got run off the road and up onto the sidewalk barely escaping with her life.

Point is, you're not in a position of authority and eventually your nitpicking out in the streets is gonna earn you a screwdriver(not the kind made of OJ) from somebody at the end of their rope.
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Old 11-12-11, 04:28 PM   #13
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It might not be me getting the screwdriver, could be someone who just hit a new BMW with their fixxie who gets it.
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Old 11-12-11, 04:35 PM   #14
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It might not be me getting the screwdriver, could be someone who just hit a new BMW with their fixxie who gets it.
No, it will be you, that is the point - you go around telling perfect strangers how to conduct themselves are you're gonna get into a fight pretty quick.
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Old 11-12-11, 04:37 PM   #15
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Depends. Are you good with your fists?
That kind of response only breeds hostility in the OP. Try something more positive.

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Originally Posted by corvuscorvax View Post
There is no percentage in giving unsolicited advice to strangers about their "faults".

Mind your own business and enjoy your ride. You'll be better off for it.
Again, The OP asked an honest question. There is no need for a hostile answer. It is a matter of how the OP gives their advice.

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Suggest you start by observing that their mothers wear army boots. That should get things off on the right foot.
Hmmm......

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Pointing out something obvious or that is a matter of opinion will do no good. In the case of the cyclist running a stop sign, he was almost certainly aware that there was some risk involved and was of the opinion it was worth taking. Experience might modify his opinion, but you won't. Same thing goes for wearing protective gear etc. In some cases you might be able to educate somebody about something they weren't aware of, but opportunities to do that productively are rare.
While said cyclist was aware of the risk s/he was taking, there is no problem in saying something to them.

I am proud of the OP for wanting to reach out to cyclists' who seem to care nothing about the responsibility involved in riding a bike.
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Old 11-12-11, 04:41 PM   #16
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No, it will be you, that is the point - you go around telling perfect strangers how to conduct themselves are you're gonna get into a fight pretty quick.
You really don't know what is going on here then. As for traffic confrontations, regardless of my mode of transportation if I say something I am prepared for the repercussions.

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While said cyclist was aware of the risk s/he was taking, there is no problem in saying something to them.

I am proud of the OP for wanting to reach out to cyclists' who seem to care nothing about the responsibility involved in riding a bike.

Thanks. FWIW the general response elsewhere was "you own a car, you are bad, we ignore the notion that we could actually be putting ourselves into harms way needlessly."
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Old 11-12-11, 07:11 PM   #17
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I pondered about what I would do if another cyclist pointed out something that I was doing wrong. First, if they were way off base, say telling me that I should ride on the sidewalk or something like that (no - bad example, they would never catch up to me that way). Ok, say I encountered a salmon rider who started to lecture me about needing to ride facing traffic. I would probably be irritated because, first, this guy almost took me out riding the wrong way, and second because he implied that I was wrong. Well, I think I would get over the irritation and then direct him politely to the State DMV Driver's handbook that spells out rules for cycling. Then I would go about my way.

But say, instead, that I really did something wrong, and I knew it. If another rider saw and pointed it out, I think I would say something about not knowing where my head was, and thank him or her. I may be a bit embarrassed about being busted, but I'm ok with others trying to help me with my shortcomings.

The last permutation is that I did something wrong and did not realize it. I think I would appreciate another cyclist pointing it out as long as a good explanation of the whys and wherefores was provided. I like to learn from others and especially like to discuss the specifics.

I think it all boils down to not starting the conversation with "Hey, bonehead ..."

-G
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Old 11-12-11, 08:09 PM   #18
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I'd consider it a waste of my time, one inattentive motorist can communicate more info in an instant than a thousand words from me.
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Old 11-12-11, 10:09 PM   #19
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You really don't know what is going on here then. As for traffic confrontations, regardless of my mode of transportation if I say something I am prepared for the repercussions.
Do you have a badge? Or maybe just a pitch fork.. hmm.
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Old 11-12-11, 10:24 PM   #20
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Do you have a badge? Or maybe just a pitch fork.. hmm.
What good will a badge do me?
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Old 11-12-11, 10:41 PM   #21
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What good will a badge do me?
Orionz- Good on ya mate for pointing it out. That said...

The whole badge thing drives me straight up the wall! "You wouldn't be so tough if you didn't have that badge!"... Look bud he's got a stick, a gun, and a radio to call more guys and girls with sticks and guns to beat/shoot you so the badge is probably the *LEAST* and *LAST* thing you want to pointing out when it comes to "being tough"!

As to polite ways of handling it Orion... There really isn't one. But sometimes it just has to be said. Personally I will point out politely that an upcoming action being contemplated is not such a smart one but only once and usually very very politely. After that its on the guy/girl depriving a village somewhere of their idiot to either take it or do the stupid thing.
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Old 11-12-11, 11:17 PM   #22
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How does one bring up a few really bad habits that cyclists may have? I mentioned one instance where a driver was clipped by a cyclist who ran a stop sign and have been told to basically **** off. While as a cyclist I agree that many laws are stupid and not the safest for us on two wheels, but some are not. Sometimes cyclists do stupid things, sometimes they are not visible enough when riding against traffic (no lights at all), and sometimes it is better to mention something to people so they might not get hurt.

Is there a way to do so?
What I'll do is if I can catch up to them without actually chasing them down is pull up along side of them and say something to the effect of "Do you mind a little friendly of advise" or "Can I give you some friendly advise." And point out to them to what they're doing that might need correcting.

Such as not too long ago when I was coming home from the VA I encountered a cyclist who had a red blinkie mounted to the front of his bike. And pointed out that red goes in the back and white in the front. He thanked me and said that he only had the one light. About (I guess) two or so months before that I encountered a different cyclist on the newly widened sidewalk on 1st St. N. who had a white white light hanging from his backpack. I was able to easily catch up with him as we were both traveling in the same direction. I told him while he was at least trying, that he really needed the white light up front, and a red light in the rear. About a month ago I encountered another cyclist without lights. I told in a friendly manner that he needed lights and the cops could ticket him for not having them. He was surprised to learn that he could be ticketed for not having lights.
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Old 11-13-11, 12:34 AM   #23
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If you really want to express road etiquette to other cyclists, the best place to do that is within the community of cyclists. If you know of a LBS that is big on advocacy, then you can try to get the word out through those channels.

We have to change mentality by example, and outreach that convinces cyclists in general that bad behavior has a negative impact on us all. Make people change because they know that it is unpopular among their peers. Approaching group ride leaders is another way to get message out.

I do know that cops here will ticket cyclists for traffic violations. Probably more so than they would ticket someone in a vehicle.

I heard tell of a group ride recently here in Atlanta, where several people were ticketed for running stop signs.
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Old 11-13-11, 10:05 AM   #24
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If you're going to appoint yourself hall monitor be ready to take the flack that comes with that position.
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Old 11-13-11, 10:13 AM   #25
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If you really want to express road etiquette to other cyclists, the best place to do that is within the community of cyclists. If you know of a LBS that is big on advocacy, then you can try to get the word out through those channels. .
I did just that. They don't want to hear it. It could not possibly be the fault of a cyclist.

What they fail to see is while I cannot tell every driver that they are doing ****ty things I can exercise the contact with a bulk of the local cyclists and perhaps make a small difference. Their attitude about that is quite depressing though.
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