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  1. #1
    24-Speed Machine Chris516's Avatar
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    Excellent response to 'motorized road hogs'

    A friend on an e-mail discussion group sent me this:http://albertmcwilliams.com/post/540...o-kill-someone knowing that I am cyclist.

    It has responses to common motorist stupidity. It reminded me of a couple days ago, when there was guy behind me in the pickup hauling a utility trailer sitting on his horn for long block, trying to intimidate me.

  2. #2
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    Quote Originally Posted by FBinNY View Post
    We all have problem encounters, but if you're having much more than average, the problem might not be your fellow road users, but you.
    The single best response I have seen on this forum.

  3. #3
    SeŮior Member ItsJustMe's Avatar
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    Um, I don't think it's true that you can't pass a cyclist without crossing the line without breaking the law. This depends on the local law and the width of the lane. If it's legal and safe to pass within the lane (IMO it is both where I am) then it's not illegal to pass with oncoming traffic present either.

    My biggest gripe where I live (yes, I'm incredibly lucky to live in an area where this is my biggest gripe) is that people refuse to pass me even when it's ridiculous not to. I can be riding to the right in a 3 foot wide shoulder outside of a 15 foot wide lane and someone in a Fiat 500 still refuses to pass me. There's plenty of room for a UPS truck to pass me on these roads, but some people will hold up a huge line of traffic when they could easily give me 6 feet of room and still stay within their lane.

    It looks like the author is in Ann Arbor. I live about 10 miles from him. I don't know if things are that much worse 10 miles from where I am, but I have 30,000 miles on my bikes in the last 10 years and I've had very few close calls (though for some reason, more in the last 2 months than in the previous 10 years).
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  4. #4
    24-Speed Machine Chris516's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by ItsJustMe View Post
    Um, I don't think it's true that you can't pass a cyclist without crossing the line without breaking the law. This depends on the local law and the width of the lane. If it's legal and safe to pass within the lane (IMO it is both where I am) then it's not illegal to pass with oncoming traffic present either.

    My biggest gripe where I live (yes, I'm incredibly lucky to live in an area where this is my biggest gripe) is that people refuse to pass me even when it's ridiculous not to. I can be riding to the right in a 3 foot wide shoulder outside of a 15 foot wide lane and someone in a Fiat 500 still refuses to pass me. There's plenty of room for a UPS truck to pass me on these roads, but some people will hold up a huge line of traffic when they could easily give me 6 feet of room and still stay within their lane.

    It looks like the author is in Ann Arbor. I live about 10 miles from him. I don't know if things are that much worse 10 miles from where I am, but I have 30,000 miles on my bikes in the last 10 years and I've had very few close calls (though for some reason, more in the last 2 months than in the previous 10 years).
    Yes, Exactly, Not every jurisdiction allows for crossing the yellow line to pass a cyclist.

    I agree about motorists' who don't pass when they can. I am glad for you it might be someone in a Fiat 500 or a Fiat Spider. For me, in the D.C.-Metro region, while I still get those who won't pass when they can. Instead of a Fiat 500 or Spider, they drive vehicles like the Ferrari, Lamborghini, Porsche, Cadillac, and Hummer.(I didn't mention Alfa Romeo and BMW because they are about the same size as Fiat). With the bigger and/or faster vehicles, comes greater intimidation, even if they do wait to pass.

  5. #5
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    Quote Originally Posted by Chris516 View Post
    Instead of a Fiat 500 or Spider, they drive vehicles like the Ferrari, Lamborghini, Porsche, Cadillac, and Hummer.(I didn't mention Alfa Romeo and BMW because they are about the same size as Fiat).
    This comes across as envy, since you chose to describe expensive vehicles typically owned by the wealthy...

    Quote Originally Posted by Chris516 View Post
    With the bigger and/or faster vehicles, comes greater intimidation, even if they do wait to pass.
    If the vehicle type makes a difference in the intimidation your feeling then frankly the driver isn't attempting to intimidate you since even a fiat 500 is very capable of killing you.

  6. #6
    Transportation Cyclist turbo1889's Avatar
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    I'm sorry but I have to say that the writer of that piece is doing just as much harm as good by his piece since some of what he posted is legally incorrect and spreading blatantly false information and even legitimizing criminal behavior in some cases:

    . . .When you pass a cyclist without crossing the yellow line you are breaking the law. . . .
    That is only correct some of the time, it is a false statement when the cyclist is riding to the right of the white line on the shoulder edge or in a bicycle lane to the right of the main travel lane or when the main travel lane is wide enough and/or the other drivers vehicle is narrow enough (if for example the other driver was driving a motorcycle or one of those really narrow smart or mini cars) to allow him/her to pass the cyclist in the far left part of the lane but still within the lane while giving safe, legal, considerate, and proper passing distance between them and the cyclist (3-feet by law in many states).

    Granted, more often then not, that is not the case and most motorists driving most motor vehicles in most lane widths cannot pass a cyclist in their lane while giving safe, legal, considerate, and proper passing distance between them and the cyclist without crossing the yellow line. That, however, does not justify a blanket statement that it can never be done, there are cases when it can, it is just that they are a minute minority.

    . . . When you pass a cyclist while oncoming traffic is present you are breaking the law. . .
    Depends on the situation. Lets start with the choice of using the phrase "while oncoming traffic is present". Using that wording is too ambiguous, oncoming traffic can still be "present" and be far enough away that a safe pass can be made fully moving into the oncoming lane to make the pass provided the oncoming traffic is far enough away for a safe pass to be completed long before any potential conflict occurs.

    But that is quibbling about the author not being specific enough and clear enough in his wording. I do get what he is trying to say ~ "You must make a safe, respectful, and legal pass of a cyclist and if doing so means crossing over the yellow line into oncoming traffic which is usually required for a safe, respectful, and legal pass in most situations then you must not impose on the legal right of way of oncoming traffic and must wait for a large enough gap with good visibility in the oncoming traffic stream to allow you to complete your pass before doing so." I believe that is what the author is trying to say and I agree with that whole heartily. I just wish the author would have better chosen his wording to be more precise. Think of it like you were writing a letter to a lawyer. You need to be precise and specific enough and cover all the bases otherwise they will find some true exception to what you have stated and try to use it to dismiss your entire statement on a minor point or try to find a loop hole around it.

    . . . When you pass a cyclist in a no-passing zone you are breaking the law (this should be obvious yes? Because itís called a ďno passing zone.Ē) . . .
    Depends on the state, some states do allow special exceptions for passing bicycles or other slow moving vehicles such as farm equipment while passing over a double solid yellow line, but those that do are very clear that the pass must still be done safely and respectfully of other road users right of way. It is true that in some states there is no such exception and for those states that statement is true.

    . . . ďBut, Cyclists disobey laws all the time, they run red lights and stuff, so screw them!Ē

    Yes, I do. I ride my bike safely. The rules say Iím supposed to pretend that Iím a car, but see, thatís dangerous if Iím the only one obeying that rule. Iím pretending Iím a car, and you think Iím a bike, and you run over me and kill me with your car. This is bad for both of us. So, the minute you treat me like a car, Iíll start acting like one. In the meantime the difference between when you break the law and when I do is that youíre endangering my life, and Iím endangering your Ö wiper blades? Maybe? Probably not even that. . . .
    There are other road users out there that besides cars that a cyclist moving at speed and running red lights and such can indeed endanger. Including but not limited too ~ Other bicyclists, motorized two wheeled vehicle operators who are also open and exposed (A bicycle handlebar end in the gut during a collision can cause just as much damage, potentially even lethal damage to a motorcycle, scooter, or moped driver as another pedal bicyclist and having a motor on their two wheels doesn't give them any extra protection), pedestrians, and yes even drivers of full size heavy vehicles where the occupants are more open and exposed then normal such as open top and/or sides jeeps and convertibles where if for example a red light running pedal cyclist T-bones them from the side at speed while they are going through a green light they can be injured including even potentially fatal injuries (back to that whole handlebar end in the gut thing with ruptured internal organs and internal bleeding at least for a jeep with open sides and potential head impact injuries which can be potentially fatal for those in a convertible with the top down.

    So while I agree that the potential for cyclists injuring or killing another road user as a result of doing things like running red lights is sufficiently less then when a much heavier and faster vehicle does so there is still a risk, just a lower one that is all.

    As to not riding by the rules until heavy vehicle operators start treating us with respect. That's a never ending circle, that spirals downward like a whirl pool sucking everyone down to their death !!! Bicyclist refuses to ride by the rules of the road until everyone else on the road starts treating him with respect as an equal road user. Motorist refuses to treat cyclists with respect as equal road users until all of them start riding by the rules of the road and quite running red lights and such. Someone has to take the "high road" and be above that level of 5 year old spoiled brat temper tantrum level of stupidity and that "what goes around comes around" spiral downward needs to be reversed into a spiral upwards, so start being part of the solution instead of part of the problem. That's what I have to say to the writer of that piece on that one. Along with knocking it off with encouraging illegal behavior, if you have to violate the rules of the road in a desperate maneuver to avoid being harmed or killed by the immediate threat of an actual homicidal raging motorist that is one thing, just doing it for spite is entirely different. If some road raged motorist is actually trying to run you down I don't have a problem with you filtering through stopped traffic and running the red and trapping the homicidal maniac behind the other cars stopped for the red in order for you to escape but otherwise knock it off and especially don't run reds in deliberate knowing spite of motorists making them slam on their brakes to avoid hitting you while you are running the red while they are going through on the green.


    --------------------


    Everything else the writer of that article said was good stuff.

    Unfortunately, he severely weekend all the stuff he got right and was well said by the false, incorrect, and even encouraging illegal activity on a "downward circular spiral" he engaged in as well.
    Last edited by turbo1889; 07-12-13 at 09:07 PM.

  7. #7
    Senior Member PatrickGSR94's Avatar
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    Perhaps the guy was referring to the laws of his own state. And it seems to me obviously that those "breaking the law" statements are mainly directed towards riders and cyclists on 2-lane roads with no shoulder (so many of those around here). However TN and I believe MS also do say specifically that you can pass a cyclist or other slow-moving vehicle in a no-passing zone if it's safe to do so.
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  8. #8
    Transportation Cyclist turbo1889's Avatar
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    The incorrect information (I'd have to research his state laws specifically but I doubt he got everything right even for his own state only) was a minor annoyance to me.

    My major problem with what he had to say was his insistence on lowering himself to a 5 year old spoiled brat temper tantrum level of stupidity and stubbornly insisting upon and out right encouraging what I called the "never ending circle, that spirals downward like a whirl pool sucking everyone down to their death !!!" where cyclists refuse to follow the rules of the road until all the motorists start treating them as equal road users and motorists in return refuse to treat cyclists as equal users of the road until all of them start following the rules of the road. The author is encouraging the continuance of that never ending circle instead of rising above it and is encouraging and justify spiteful criminal behavior on the part of cyclists.

    I mean seriously ~ GROW UP !!!

  9. #9
    Senior Member kmv2's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by turbo1889 View Post
    The incorrect information (I'd have to research his state laws specifically but I doubt he got everything right even for his own state only) was a minor annoyance to me.

    My major problem with what he had to say was his insistence on lowering himself to a 5 year old spoiled brat temper tantrum level of stupidity and stubbornly insisting upon and out right encouraging what I called the "never ending circle, that spirals downward like a whirl pool sucking everyone down to their death !!!" where cyclists refuse to follow the rules of the road until all the motorists start treating them as equal road users and motorists in return refuse to treat cyclists as equal users of the road until all of them start following the rules of the road. The author is encouraging the continuance of that never ending circle instead of rising above it and is encouraging and justify spiteful criminal behavior on the part of cyclists.

    I mean seriously ~ GROW UP !!!
    I think what he meant was that the rules are designed for licensed/motorized vehicles. They are. Personally, I'm fine to obey them when I can.

    If you've ever used bike lanes, MUPs, etc.. you'll quickly realize when the MUP spits you out into a crosswalk against traffic, or maybe it just ends and there is a barrier of some sort.. maybe.. perhaps the rules of motorized vehicles don't really work for you. Perhaps cruising that new segregated bike lane in a busy downtown street you realize the lights are timed for motorized vehicles and as much as you try you always end up at the next red. Maybe you'll understand as you have your own painted line or shoulder when all of a sudden that shoulder disappears (no 100' ahead merge sign like for a car lane that ends..), hmm... maybe they actually didn't think of bicyclists when they designed these rules and roads?

    Sorry if I sound like a 5 year old on a tantrum. I mean, I try my best and my darndest to "follow the rules" but sometimes infrastructure throws you a curveball and you have to just make up your own rules.

    On the flip side, try driving on a two lane high speed road (solid line no passing) at or under the max speed limit. Try doing legal stops at stop signs. Stop, look left/right, wait 3 seconds, proceed. Do it during a really busy time when lots of cars are around, in an area with lots of stop signs. Maybe those rules don't work for most drivers either?

  10. #10
    Transportation Cyclist turbo1889's Avatar
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    ^ The specific behavior the writer of the article was addressing was red light running by cyclists and motorists using that as an excuse not to treat them as equals on the road. With the one exception of a red light which is sensor based and the sensor does not pick up the presence of a cyclist and there are no heavy vehicles in the same area of road with the cyclist to trip the sensor for him/her that is not a matter of the roads not being built to accomidate cyclists but rather a brazen case of scoff lawing. I personally am willing to reluctantly tolerate those who run reds when they can do so without violating the right of way of cross traffic which has the green but I see no reason to even entertain the very idea of tolerating those cyclists who willfully and knowingly run reds and force cross traffic with the green to slam on their brakes to avoid hitting them.

    The author of that article in the first two words of his reply openly admits to the charge of running reds and indicates he will continue to do so to spite motorists who don't treat him as an equal road user and has no intention of stopping that behavior until all the motorized users start treating him as an equal user of the road. That is what I call stooping down to the 5 year old temper tantrum level and very much reminds me of the attitude of those cyclists who run reds knowingly and willfully violating the right of way of cross traffic with the green forcing them to slam on their brakes to avoid hitting them (and the spitful cyclists usually gives them a one finger salute as thanks for them taking drastic action to avoid hitting him/her to add an additional insult).

    I completely understand what you are talking about as far as the roads not being built for bikes and I for one strongly believe that 90% of stop signs could be replace with yield signs to the benefit of all road users (start out with an additional yellow sign below the red triangle yield sign that says [Yield] "to ALL other traffic and pedestrians" until drivers get used to the idea that a yield sign is just like a stop sign only you don't have to come to a complete stop if the way is clear to go only slow down and look but that yield does actually mean yield and to all other traffic and peds in the cross walk. Making such a change to the way things are generally laid out would in the long run allow all road users to proceed easier and make for a smoother traffic flow so long as drivers were made to understand that yield actually does mean yield and all but a very few stop signs at dangerous intersections with low visibility could easily be replaced in that way. It would be a huge benefit to cyclists and other road users as well.

    And yes, there are a lot of other infrastructure issues as well that could be addressed in a much more sensible matter - but none of that excuses the spitful attitude displayed by the author of that article that results in a never ending circle on a downward spiral as the two parties of cyclists and motorists deliberatly spite each other over real or precieved past wrongs. Its like two nations or two back-woods hillbilly clans who have been feuding with each other for so long with a long list of past wrongs that go back hundreds of years. The only way a downward spiral like that ends is when individuals within the parties choose to take the high road and act properly towards each other instead of lowering themselves to a juvinal level of demanding that everyone on the other side stop all hostilities before they will even consider ceasing and desisting making deliberate aggressive spiteful acts of aggression instead of limiting themselves to only defending themselves when necessary instead of being an aggresser.

    I personally have chosen not to be an initual aggressor and to not deliberatly and knowingly make an ASS out of myself by violating any traffic rule in the book as it is convenient to me and claim I have every right to do so because some motorist are equal ASSes and don't treat cyclists right as equal users of the road and until all of them reform themselves first I ain't going to change my ways. No, I'm not going to lower myself to that kind of 5 year old temper tantrum, when necessary to stay alive and uninjured I will bend the rules slightly but I don't do so to spite motorists or for my own selfish convenience. The author of that article doesn't appear to have reached that same level of maturity and until he does that kind of an attitude is going to hurt his ability to effectively communicate whatever else he has to say that is correct.

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