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  1. #1
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    Odd experience yesterday

    So I was riding home from the monthly Pathways Committee meeting (township group responsible for installing MUPs), and was in the wide shoulder of a busy road (40mph limit) around rush hour. Lots of cars passing, but being safe about it.

    I'm doing about 12mph up a hill approaching a cross street and a car passes me and then puts her turn signal on to turn right. She should have waited, but whatever, I slow down to let her turn.

    She starts her turn and then stops, blocking both the shoulder and the lane and causing me to almost stop and traffic behind to completely stop. I motion to her to keep going and shout, "Go ahead". She then completes her turn and I continue going.


    Did she have a sudden attack of conscience and decide to let me go first? Was she on crack? Did she not see me at all until her turn?
    Last edited by spivonious; 09-28-12 at 11:31 AM.

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    Been Around Awhile I-Like-To-Bike's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by spivonious View Post
    Did she have a sudden attack of conscience and decided to let me go first? Was she on crack? Did she not see me at all until her turn?
    Probably the latter; and she had the immediate response of "when in doubt, stop and figure it out". Probably not a bad response in many cases. Better than stomping on the gas.

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    genec genec's Avatar
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    It always baffles me how folks can just pass you, and not even see you. They obviously didn't hit you... of course the real question is did they really see you or are you just some anonymous obstruction that they just avoided.

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    Happens to me constantly. It gets me when the completely block the crosswalk too, where exactly are they intending me to go?

    A few times it was just exactly like you mention and they blocked the crosswalk on the NEAR side, that is they took the curve too short and ended up just a few feet from the trail on their LEFT side leaving NO room for me to go around even if I wanted too. One lady had her drivers window open just a few feet from me as I stopped and stood waiting for her and I point blank told here to go ahead as I would not cross in front of here; "I won't trust someone who does a stupid ass stunt like that". She acted all offended and went on after a good long pause, I guess she had to have the final "say" in the matter, even if it was just showing me that SHE controlled the situation. I let fly a few choice words about being a female dog as she pulled off too.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Rootman View Post
    Happens to me constantly. It gets me when the completely block the crosswalk too, where exactly are they intending me to go?

    A few times it was just exactly like you mention and they blocked the crosswalk on the NEAR side, that is they took the curve too short and ended up just a few feet from the trail on their LEFT side leaving NO room for me to go around even if I wanted too. One lady had her drivers window open just a few feet from me as I stopped and stood waiting for her and I point blank told here to go ahead as I would not cross in front of here; "I won't trust someone who does a stupid ass stunt like that". She acted all offended and went on after a good long pause, I guess she had to have the final "say" in the matter, even if it was just showing me that SHE controlled the situation. I let fly a few choice words about being a female dog as she pulled off too.
    Good work. Nice use of profanity. You told her. She probably came away from the interaction with a more positive impression of cyclists.

    Seriously, these drivers are stopping (and yielding when they actually have the right of way) in an attempt to avoid collisions with cyclists. They may not be doing it exactly, perfectly, precisely as you would have them do it, but as ILTB said, at least they are not stomping on the gas.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Daves_Not_Here View Post
    Good work. Nice use of profanity. You told her. She probably came away from the interaction with a more positive impression of cyclists.

    Seriously, these drivers are stopping (and yielding when they actually have the right of way) in an attempt to avoid collisions with cyclists. They may not be doing it exactly, perfectly, precisely as you would have them do it, but as ILTB said, at least they are not stomping on the gas.
    I WOULD of been nicer and most of the time I am, she was parked all the way across the white striped clearly marked crosswalk with her drivers door only feet away from the WRONG side of the drive having taken the corner way too short, this just after one of the many street signs indicating the MUP and the bike lane in the street. Had I not glanced over my RIGHT shoulder and seen her coming and "got that feeling" I would not of stopped and probably been hit, she was way to fast and actually skidded to a halt.

    And NO she did NOT have the right of way, she was on the WRONG side of the intersecting drive crossing a well marked pedestrian / bike trail, going too fast and stopped blocking the entire width of the MUP, too close for anyone to go around easily OR safely as she was on the wrong side of the drive someone might be turning in on the CORRECT side form the other direction and would not see me till I cleared her improperly aligned vehicle. YES, it was a stupid ass stunt, whether she was a ***** or not I'll just have to surmise. I am more interested in being safe then placating someone over at an rather poor attempt at courtesy. Had it been one of the hundreds of kids traveling through there then I would of had the same or WORSE opinion of her when watching the report of an accident on the evening news. I frankly don't care what she felt as long as she at least had an inkling that she did something unsafe and stupid. I expect people to call me out if they see me doing something like that.

  7. #7
    genec genec's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Daves_Not_Here View Post
    Good work. Nice use of profanity. You told her. She probably came away from the interaction with a more positive impression of cyclists.

    Seriously, these drivers are stopping (and yielding when they actually have the right of way) in an attempt to avoid collisions with cyclists. They may not be doing it exactly, perfectly, precisely as you would have them do it, but as ILTB said, at least they are not stomping on the gas.
    How do you get that they have the ROW? In CA motorists are supposed to merge with cyclists to make a right turn. (motorists are required to turn right from as close to the curb as possible) In Oregon, motorists are supposed to give way to cyclists. In either case, the motorist just passed the cyclist to make the turn.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Rootman View Post
    I WOULD of been nicer and most of the time I am, she was parked all the way across the white striped clearly marked crosswalk with her drivers door only feet away from the WRONG side of the drive having taken the corner way too short ... I frankly don't care what she felt as long as she at least had an inkling that she did something unsafe and stupid. I expect people to call me out if they see me doing something like that.
    Peace, brother. You were there and I wasn't, so I can't Monday-morning-quarterback your situation with any accuracy.

    If I can do so without offending you, I would offer two items for your consideration: (1) you mentioned in your first post that these kinds of situations happen to you "constantly" -- I'd ask why, because I don't think this is the experience of most cyclists, and (2) it's possible that she came away from your interaction with the inkling that she had done something unsafe; however, calling a woman a biatch tends to close her mind rather than open it. Look at your reaction to my initial response to you -- I was rather more gentle with you than you were with her, yet if I read your reaction correctly, you may feel attacked and are less than willing to be persuaded -- multiply that by 10 to get the reaction that most people have to being cursed at in public by a stranger.
    Last edited by Daves_Not_Here; 09-28-12 at 04:00 PM.

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    24-Speed Machine Chris516's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by spivonious View Post
    So I was riding home from the monthly Pathways Committee meeting (township group responsible for installing MUPs), and was in the wide shoulder of a busy road (40mph limit) around rush hour. Lots of cars passing, but being safe about it.

    I'm doing about 12mph up a hill approaching a cross street and a car passes me and then puts her turn signal on to turn right. She should have waited, but whatever, I slow down to let her turn.

    She starts her turn and then stops, blocking both the shoulder and the lane and causing me to almost stop and traffic behind to completely stop. I motion to her to keep going and shout, "Go ahead". She then completes her turn and I continue going.


    Did she have a sudden attack of conscience and decide to let me go first? Was she on crack? Did she not see me at all until her turn?
    In a situation like this(on a hill), I don't slow down, in order to maintain momentum. Also, Passing on a hill is extremely dangerous. This is why, I will get in the highest gear possible in order to maintain that momentum, and, ride on(or close to) the yellow/white broken, line. So a vehicle can't pass, without being stupid. Yes, I know, a motorized vehicle always wins in a bike-vehicle collision. But, In the event of a motorist buzzing a cyclist that is riding line, the cyclist will have room to suddenly move despite the close pass.

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    Quote Originally Posted by genec View Post
    How do you get that they have the ROW? In CA motorists are supposed to merge with cyclists to make a right turn. (motorists are required to turn right from as close to the curb as possible) In Oregon, motorists are supposed to give way to cyclists. In either case, the motorist just passed the cyclist to make the turn.
    I could be wrong in Rootman's particular situation -- I was speaking about these kinds of situations in general (car unexpectedly stops, blocking a cyclist, when the cyclist had expected the car to proceed -- I think that's what the OP had described).

    In the case of the OP, I think the car may have had the ROW. I don't know how far ahead the car was after the recent pass, but I think once they are ahead, they can then pull to the right, close to the curb, proceed to turn, and in doing so, they have the ROW. If they become alert to a potential hazard (such as right-hooking a cyclist), they can then stop even if it means they block an approaching cyclist.

    I guess that's my general point -- sometimes cars stop unexpectedly. Usually, it's to prevent a collision. This is a good thing, although occasionally a cyclist may have to react.

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    Nope, not offended. What happened, happened. She could of hit me and I reacted. I could of raged at her and screamed, instead I said what I said rather calmly and with little emotion. It happens to me or something like it weekly, our cities MUP for the section through the town proper is basically a giant 8' wide sidewalk next to a wide busy street and crosses a LOT of commercial businesses driveways. I use it to get to the more isolated sections that have more limited access and crossings. Arguments against MUPS aside I'm a slow (10 mph) rider and prefer a nice leisurely ride over a quick pace. The MUP is marked with signs for the users AND on the street advising drivers of it's existence. The crossings are all demarked by wide white stripes all the way across the drives. In this instance I was citing happened like this:
    • I was on the MUP headed S on the EAST side of a 5 lane city street, street is 2 lanes each direction N and S with a central turn lane
    • Auto was traveling S and therefore on the FAR side of the street from the MUP coming from BEHIND me
    • My spidey sense went off and I got an ill feeling so slowed down anticipating SOMETHING
    • I heard a squealing of tires behind and to my right and STOPPED with my wheel just on the low "curb" that delineated the MUP from the drive
    • The auto ( a big SUV) failed to turn into the drive (about 3 lanes wide) into the FAR side or RIGHTMOST lane and instead was cutting short on a line on the NEARSIDE LEFTMOST lane of the drive, that is the lane nearest me.
    • The driver hit the brakes hard and screeched to a stop skidding a little stopping with her front bumper almost past the the entire width of the MUP only about 2 0r 3 feet from my front wheel
    • She looked out and sad "Go ahead" urgently waving at me like I was holding HER up on purpose - there was really no place to go and after these actions I did not feel safe being in the drive with her aiming her SUV at me. In order to pass BEHIND her I would of had to almost ride into the street so that was out of the question.
    • I then said what I said, to the best of my recollection was "I won't go because I wouldn't trust someone who just did a stupid ass stunt like that".
    • After she huffed and puffed and sat there for maybe 10 more seconds she SLOWLY drove off not crossing into her proper lane for maybe 4 or 5 more car lengths. Just after she started pulling off all I could say was "Stupid *****", again not screaming. I don't even know if she heard me.


    It's not the closest call I've had but it was, like the OP stated and odd experience. I've rarely seen so MANY ill conceived mistakes by one motorist. Unless I want to limit my riding to just riding up and down my cul-de-sac or haul the bike somewhere in the van I have little choice but to use the MUPS. I have learned to be VERY cautious on this section. I have written the city asking for more signage and perhaps work with the businesses to try and advise their workers to be more careful. I am always worried for all the kids I see using the MUPS, they will not be as cautious as I am.

  12. #12
    genec genec's Avatar
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    MUP is a Multi Use Path. Usually paved, often open to any and all users from walkers to kids to rollerbladers to you name it.

    It sounds more like you were in a bike lane. But I can't be sure... can you give us a Google maps location of where this happened?

    Usually with MUP, you should consider that you are not on the road, and thus have no ROW, and have to establish your Right of Way just as another vehicle entering a major road.

    With BL, you are on the road, and technically in another lane... in most states motorists are required to merge with you to make a turn across the BL... However in Oregon, motorists are required to stop for approaching cyclists and then make a turn right across the Bike Lane. (not actually merging, but turning from outside the BL across it)

    Now that all said... your best bet is to be prepared for nearly anything that a motorist might do... and don't depend on motorists to stick to the laws.

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    Quote Originally Posted by genec View Post
    MUP is a Multi Use Path. Usually paved, often open to any and all users from walkers to kids to rollerbladers to you name it.

    It sounds more like you were in a bike lane. But I can't be sure... can you give us a Google maps location of where this happened?

    Usually with MUP, you should consider that you are not on the road, and thus have no ROW, and have to establish your Right of Way just as another vehicle entering a major road.
    Nope, it's a MUP, as stated an 8' wide concrete sidewalk paralleling the road, designed as you say for walkers, skateboards, and bikes. This section, along with several parallel sections on adjacent streets, are along major thoroughfares. In order to get out of town I've got to put up with these till it opens up to the country.

    Here it bisects what's labeled as SE 10th ST, but this is actually a private street for access to various WalMart facilities. She came from the South bound (western most) lane of J street, swept across the turn lane and both North bound lanes and drove on SE 10th ST ending up in the WEST bound lane heading EAST stopped cleanly across the intersection of the MUP over the white lines, at an angle about 3' from the "curb".

    Yes, I realize I didn't have the right of way but she was also driving recklessly and at and unsafe speed and took me by surprise, had I not gotten the heebie jeebies and stopped I would of been hit. It's as the OP said, very odd.

    Scroll down (south) enough and you can see it labeled South BentonvilleTrail.
    https://maps.google.com/maps?hl=en&l...00628&t=h&z=21
    I drew this map, hopefully it will work right: https://maps.google.com/maps/ms?msid...a83a792c75b257

  14. #14
    20+mph Commuter JoeyBike's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by spivonious View Post
    Was she on crack?
    Yes, in the shape of an iPhone.
    "For all we know his skills may be excellent, allowing him to ride like an idiot without actually being one." - FBinNY

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    genec genec's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Rootman View Post
    Nope, it's a MUP, as stated an 8' wide concrete sidewalk paralleling the road, designed as you say for walkers, skateboards, and bikes. This section, along with several parallel sections on adjacent streets, are along major thoroughfares. In order to get out of town I've got to put up with these till it opens up to the country.

    Here it bisects what's labeled as SE 10th ST, but this is actually a private street for access to various WalMart facilities. She came from the South bound (western most) lane of J street, swept across the turn lane and both North bound lanes and drove on SE 10th ST ending up in the WEST bound lane heading EAST stopped cleanly across the intersection of the MUP over the white lines, at an angle about 3' from the "curb".

    Yes, I realize I didn't have the right of way but she was also driving recklessly and at and unsafe speed and took me by surprise, had I not gotten the heebie jeebies and stopped I would of been hit. It's as the OP said, very odd.

    Scroll down (south) enough and you can see it labeled South BentonvilleTrail.
    https://maps.google.com/maps?hl=en&l...00628&t=h&z=21
    I drew this map, hopefully it will work right: https://maps.google.com/maps/ms?msid...a83a792c75b257
    Well specifically that is a sidepath, and probably the worst of all facilities to be on... as it crosses every driveway, and every intersection (the latter at odd points) and gives you no right of way at all. On such a facility you are basically on your own... You should probably ride at no more than a fast walking pace and be prepared to be cut off at each and every crossing. Those things are terrible. It really is no more than a glorified sidewalk with no rights to those that use it. Motorists are not going to look... and cyclists will be overlooked.

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    Quote Originally Posted by genec View Post
    Well specifically that is a sidepath
    Well, whatever, it's what the city provides as a (M)ulti (U)se (P)ath, people bike, walk, run, push baby strollers and whatever up and down it and it's got a painted stripe down the middle. I was simply adding my own ODD experience to the OP's experience and then was asked to explain it more. Right of way or not she had no business cutting the corner and screeching to a halt across the path / trail / super sidewalk and then sit there in the wrong lane flapping her hand aggravated at ME for holding HER up.

    I NEVER assume I have the right of way and travel especially slowly through these sections, even slower than my usual pokey pace. I was just stunned as I had stopped completely after checking to make sure no one was coming when I normally would of continued crossing, I just had that odd feeling SOMETHING was going to happen. While I did not see her turning from the far right behind me the hair just stood up on the back of my neck as I heard her tires chirping from her turn cutting off the corner at speed and saw this bulky SUV screech to a stop just feet from in front of me. I was dumb struck for an instant and said what I said about refusing to go, I would not go around her when she pulled a dumb ass stunt like that. The words "dumb b****" just tumbled out of my mouth in my numbness as she pulled away and I realized how close I had come to buying the farm.

  17. #17
    genec genec's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Rootman View Post
    Well, whatever, it's what the city provides as a (M)ulti (U)se (P)ath, people bike, walk, run, push baby strollers and whatever up and down it and it's got a painted stripe down the middle. I was simply adding my own ODD experience to the OP's experience and then was asked to explain it more. Right of way or not she had no business cutting the corner and screeching to a halt across the path / trail / super sidewalk and then sit there in the wrong lane flapping her hand aggravated at ME for holding HER up.

    I NEVER assume I have the right of way and travel especially slowly through these sections, even slower than my usual pokey pace. I was just stunned as I had stopped completely after checking to make sure no one was coming when I normally would of continued crossing, I just had that odd feeling SOMETHING was going to happen. While I did not see her turning from the far right behind me the hair just stood up on the back of my neck as I heard her tires chirping from her turn cutting off the corner at speed and saw this bulky SUV screech to a stop just feet from in front of me. I was dumb struck for an instant and said what I said about refusing to go, I would not go around her when she pulled a dumb ass stunt like that. The words "dumb b****" just tumbled out of my mouth in my numbness as she pulled away and I realized how close I had come to buying the farm.
    Your spider sense saved you.

    The reason I mentioned that these are called sidepaths is that they are often the worst kind of facility for cyclists, and if you are able to mention the name of this path in any kind of cycling or roadway engineering meeting, it may help others understand.

    Frankly I would not use the thing... not where and how it is built.

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    Quote Originally Posted by genec View Post
    Frankly I would not use the thing... not where and how it is built.
    Yeah, I wish I didn't have to but I'm hemmed in by an interstate and 3 other 5/6 lane major streets with speed limits of up to 50 MPH so this is about the only way I can get any distance, other than hauling the bike to a destination. The same trail system further north is superb, it's off the street with NO crossings, I just have to be on my toes when using this one. The same cities path parallel the next road over to the east to this one is actually WORSE. I force myself to stop at every crossing and look both ways and fore and aft before continuing. Saturdays and Sundays they are a breeze, it's during the work week - when my "incident" took place - that they are treacherous.

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    Quote Originally Posted by JoeyBike View Post
    Yes, in the shape of an iPhone.
    Ha, usually I'd agree, but she had no phone (that I could see). What's even weirder is that I thought she moved to the left a bit to go around me before her turn. I'm sure it was just a misjudging of my speed, but I found it odd that she stopped halfway through her turn.

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    Quote Originally Posted by spivonious View Post
    Ha, usually I'd agree, but she had no phone (that I could see). What's even weirder is that I thought she moved to the left a bit to go around me before her turn. I'm sure it was just a misjudging of my speed, but I found it odd that she stopped halfway through her turn.
    Another thought -- when she initially saw and started to pass you, she was looking directly at you. Once past, she would now need to find you in her mirror. If you were on the right, you could have entered her blind spot. You said that she should have waited, so it sounds like you were pretty close. She may have realized she lost track of you and stopped out of caution.

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    Post deleted, I was responding to something not directed at me.
    Last edited by Rootman; 10-02-12 at 09:39 AM.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Rootman View Post
    Possibly, but I was always on her LEFT as you can see by the second Google map I provided. She cut the turn too close heading SOUTH and crossed into the intersection into what would be HER left lane heading the wrong way (EAST in the WEST bound lane) on the street / private drive and blocking the trail and did so AT SPEED, at least enough to chirp her tires in the turn and cause her to skid. Had she hit me it would of more than likely been 100% her fault, but regardless of who would be at fault, I, as the bicyclist would of LOST, like nearly ANY car vs. cycle encounter would have. While I may have the right of way, in this situation or any other, it is that fact that a cyclist nearly always loses in an encounter with a car, it makes me extra cautious. When in doubt I yield, and when the spidey sense goes off (as it did in this situation) I try and heed it and again, in this case, it saved my bacon.

    The whole situation was odd, her actions and the creepy sense of doom I had which ended up keeping me from harm.
    would have/would've, not would of

    And Daves_Not_Here was responding to my situation, not yours.

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    Quote Originally Posted by spivonious View Post
    would have/would've, not would of

    And Daves_Not_Here was responding to my situation, not yours.
    Ahh, I see, my apologies. I would not of responded had I been paying attention
    Last edited by Rootman; 10-02-12 at 09:40 AM.

  24. #24
    Senior Member jfowler85's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by spivonious View Post
    Did she have a sudden attack of conscience and decide to let me go first? Was she on crack? Did she not see me at all until her turn?
    Kudos for being on the committee - most people are apethetic to affect change but quick to whine when they percieve that the system is not par with their standard.

    The motorist was acting as someone who does not know how to behave on the road with a cyclist. Plain and simple. It is easy for cyclists to not understand why someone would behave on a roadway in such a manner, when the motorist has no inclination to understand the situation from the cyclist's point of view. The DOT (at least here in CA) does not promote proper cyclist-vehicle interaction on public roadways, which means that if you do not cycle, there is no way to know the ill effects that motorists can have on cyclists when silly decisions like the aforementioned are made.
    Last edited by jfowler85; 10-05-12 at 11:01 PM. Reason: Punctuation.

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