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Old 03-19-05, 05:12 PM   #1
tippy
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Motorist "rants" to local newspaper

Here's what someone sent to our local newspaper. This motorist used almost every "I hate cyclist" cliche that could be used. The scariest part is this motorist is out there on the road somewhere nearby.

http://www.hometownnewsol.com/rantsnraves.html Scroll down to see "Cyclist Frustration"
The text of the rant:
Bicyclist frustration
This is in regard to the bicycles. Again I was held up and put in danger by a person on a bicycle on the road. Even though there was a sidewalk parallel to the road, they chose to ride in harmís way, and why, I donít know. Is there a reason these people feel that they have a right to endanger others as well as people driving a car? The roads were built for cars and trucks; they werenít built for bicycles.
What happens, God forbidding, if a motorist hits a person riding a bicycle? First time that happens, the bicyclist becomes hurt or even worse than that. Secondly, the driver would usually be sued, probably lose everything heís ever worked for in his life, all because of a bicyclist that wanted to ride down the center of the road and show they have the authority to do that.
What makes people do these crazy things? Iíll never understand. Hopefully, theyíll stop doing it and take other people into consideration. They put their self in danger, they put me in danger, they put everybody around them in danger just so they can Ė it must be an ego thing.
I hope this makes it in the paper. Maybe some of these bicyclists will see theirselves and not do that. Ride on the sidewalk if you have to, but theyíre not doing that.

Editorís note: Florida Statute 316.2065 gives bicyclists the right to ride on the road itself, though they are to ride as close to the right-hand curb or edge of the road as possible, unless they are passing another bicycle or vehicle, preparing to make a left-turn, or avoiding obstructions and hazards that make it unsafe to continue along the right-hand edge of the road. On a one-way highway with two or more marked lanes, bicyclists may ride as close to the left-hand curb as practicable.

At least the newspaper editor did a public service by adding the reference to the Florida Traffic Code that says the cyclist does have a right to be there. I sent an email to the newspaper thanking them for adding the clarification. Heaven forebid, other motorist should read this and start thinking the same way... ooops, to late.

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Old 03-19-05, 05:20 PM   #2
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This person is certainly ignorant (and probably stupid), but does not seem to be a danger to cyclists. He/she is clearly worried about getting sued if a cyclist is hit, so presumably he/she is careful not to hit anyone.

When people start talking about "tort reform" or "stopping nuisance lawsuits," remember how much the fear of litigation protects innocent citizens from ignorant people like this letter writer.
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Old 03-19-05, 05:21 PM   #3
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Poor baby. It's so sad that the big bad bicyclists put him in such unspecified danger. He's a brave motorist to take such risks with all those crazy two wheelers running rampant in his town.
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Old 03-19-05, 05:37 PM   #4
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I can't tell you how many times I've been driving my 5,000lb Toyota Landcruiser down the road, and nearly get wiped out by some 150lb menace on his 20lb road bike. Those guys must go 20MPH! Imagine what would happen to me in my steel cocoon if he hit me. Terrifying.
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Old 03-19-05, 06:00 PM   #5
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Quote:
Originally Posted by tippy

At least the newspaper editor did a public service by adding the reference to the Florida Traffic Code that says the cyclist does have a right to be there. I sent an email to the newspaper thanking them for adding the clarification...

d.tipton
- - Thanks for sending the email. Did the paper print it?

There is a key phrase used by the author of the letter:
" ... all because of a bicyclist that wanted to ride down the center of the road... "

I, for one, really don't know the circumstance that prompted the letter, but if the cyclist really was riding down the "center of the road", then the motorist might have a right to complain. As all responsible cyclists should also complain.

.
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Old 03-19-05, 06:11 PM   #6
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Quote:
Originally Posted by tippy
The roads were built for cars and trucks; they werenít built for bicycles.
Interesting statement. I was always under the impression that the roads were built for horse & carriage. Cars have only been widely using them for the last 70 - 80 years.

And actually the first US nation wide road improvement effort was spurred by bicyclists.

THE GOOD ROADS MOVEMENT
There initially was a great deal of rural resentment against "elitist" idle rich bicyclists by farmers who feared that road improvements would increase property taxes. The League of American Wheelmen then began an educational program for the "good roads movement". They claimed that good rural highways would increase land values, open new markets for food, provide consumer access to manufactured goods, increase school and church attendance, end rural poverty and isolation, reduce wear and tear on horses and wagons, and save money on road maintenance. To support their cause they placed articles in magazines such as Outing, Century, and Scribner's and produced their own journal, Good Roads. They also allied with other organizations with a rural or agricultural focus, such as the national Grange and the Eastern Seaboard Association, supporting such projects as a continuous highway connecting Boston and Washington D.C., which would include a rebuilding of the Boston Post Road through Connecticut. In 1892, these organizations formed the National League for Good Roads, whose mandate was to campaign for state aid for roads and to push the establishment of the National Commission on Highways. The newly formed League was run by several prominent Wheelmen, including Arthur Pope, as well as some distinguished road reform proponents such as General Roy Stone of New York and Senator Charles Manderson of Nebraska. State divisions of the league worked for state appropriations to improve roads and drafted model state-aid laws. On a national level, their work resulted in an appropriation of $10,000 to the Department of Agriculture in 1893 for the creation of the Office of Road Inquiry (ORI), a bureau whose mandate was to provide information on improving roads. General Roy Stone was to be its head. Placing the ORI (the forerunner of the Federal Highway Administration) in the Agriculture Department signified the federal acceptance that rural roads needed improvement more than city streets, particularly to allow farmers to get their goods to markets. The machinery was now in place to head the nation and Connecticut toward improved roads. The ORI provided a center of information for a locally oriented good roads movement and created model legislation for the formation of state highway departments, legislation that was initially drafted by Stone. New Jersey (1891) and Massachusetts (1892) immediately formed highway departments. Connecticut requested copies of the model legislation and California, Maryland, New York and Vermont also began to plan for state highway departments. Clearly, roads were on their way to improvement.


http://www.ct.gov/dot/cwp/view.asp?a...tr=%7C40015%7C
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Old 03-19-05, 06:20 PM   #7
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Originally Posted by Roody
This person is certainly ignorant (and probably stupid), but does not seem to be a danger to cyclists. He/she is clearly worried about getting sued if a cyclist is hit, so presumably he/she is careful not to hit anyone.
Wrong, the root of the rants is in his first sentence.

Quote:
Originally Posted by an Ignorant motorist
This is in regard to the bicycles. Again I was held up and put in danger by a person on a bicycle
Completely laughable, he was put in danger? Danger from what?

The rest of his ignorat garbage is a result of him trying to make it sound like that was not the SOLE reason of his complaint (re: referring to cycilsts own saftey, yeah right like you would give a **** about that). And the his argument about "getting sued" to get other motorists on his side.

What a piece of garbage.
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Old 03-19-05, 06:44 PM   #8
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For some reason, I assumed a woman wrote this. Again, I hate being held up by cyclists. They always do that, and then I'm put in danger by having to drive at or under the speed limit.
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Old 03-19-05, 07:18 PM   #9
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Quote:
Originally Posted by 77Univega
- - Thanks for sending the email. Did the paper print it? ...
I just got the paper out of the mail today (03-19, Saturday) and replied today. It's a local community newspaper. Not one of those biased newspapers you have to pay for. It's a weekly newspaper so won't see it in print until next week (if printed at all).
I'm not in a bike club but know that there are a few around. I'm hoping the local club members
respond to the article as well. I think I'll hit their websites and forward them the link also.

I've read most of the sources for vehicular cycling and this article in the newspaper caught my eye.
Seems the writer took all "pro-motorist" positions and dumped it into one article. Never seen something like this so close to home.

The newspapers coverage area is Merritt Island, Cocoa Beach, and Cape Canaveral, FL. The article was in the Viewpoint section so essentially it's the Opinion section and was not an article that the newspaper itself was writing.

Again, I'm glad to see that someone on the staff of the newspaper is aware of the Florida Traffic Law and added to the rant to show that bikes do have a right to use roads.

d.tipton
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Old 03-19-05, 07:30 PM   #10
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The pedal on the left, or the center pedal if you have a clutch, will slow your vehicle down to avoid hitting anything. Some people need to be reminded of that fact constintanly.
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Old 03-19-05, 07:46 PM   #11
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Quote:
Originally Posted by 77Univega
- - Thanks for sending the email. Did the paper print it?

There is a key phrase used by the author of the letter:
" ... all because of a bicyclist that wanted to ride down the center of the road... "

I, for one, really don't know the circumstance that prompted the letter, but if the cyclist really was riding down the "center of the road", then the motorist might have a right to complain. As all responsible cyclists should also complain.

.
There is alot missing from the rant as far as details go. One of the exceptions in the Florida Traffic Code that allows a cyclist to ride away from the right is if the lane is not wide enough to allow a another vehicle (typically motor vehicle) to pass safely in the same lane. So if the lane was narrow enough to warrant riding away from the right side, the cyclist could infact be in the middle of the lane legally. This may not have anything to do with the circumstances the ranter was ranting about.

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Old 03-19-05, 07:51 PM   #12
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This is in regard to the bicycles. Again I was held up and put in danger by a person on a bicycle on the road.
Held up by a bicyclist? Where are your driving skills, Mr. Motorist?

Put in danger? Again, I have to ask: where are your driving skills? Your lack of skill is what's dangerous.

Quote:
Even though there was a sidewalk parallel to the road, they chose to ride in harmís way, and why, I donít know.
Harm's way? Mr. Motorist, are you saying a bicycle on the road where you are driving is in "harm's way?" If so, you need to have your license revoked!

Quote:
Is there a reason these people feel that they have a right to endanger others as well as people driving a car? The roads were built for cars and trucks; they werenít built for bicycles.
Mr. Motorist, you should study your history, and also the vehicle code.

Quote:
What happens, God forbidding, if a motorist hits a person riding a bicycle? First time that happens, the bicyclist becomes hurt or even worse than that. Secondly, the driver would usually be sued, probably lose everything heís ever worked for in his life, all because of a bicyclist that wanted to ride down the center of the road and show they have the authority to do that.
Mr. Motorist, here you admit the cyclist has the authority to ride on the road. Secondly, you admit the courts would award legal damages for your negligence if you hit the cyclist who is lawfully operating on the road.

Quote:
What makes people do these crazy things? Iíll never understand.
Mr. Motorist, perhaps you never will understand. By your own admission, the cyclist is lawful and your negligence could get you sued. As a wise man once said, "It's better to remain silent and let people think you are a fool than to open your mouth and remove all doubt."

(Thanks, D. Tipton, for the quotes.)
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Old 03-19-05, 08:05 PM   #13
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As a wise man once said, "It's better to remain silent and let people think you are a fool than to open your mouth and remove all doubt."
That's actually a paraphrase from an old book called The Bible, if I recall correctly.
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Old 03-19-05, 08:22 PM   #14
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Expatriate
For some reason, I assumed a woman wrote this. Again, I hate being held up by cyclists. They always do that, and then I'm put in danger by having to drive at or under the speed limit.
I got the impression that this was an older person. I sense that they are worried about getting hit from behind by another car because they are going slow behind the cyclist.
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Old 03-19-05, 08:38 PM   #15
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i saw a ton of these in my paper this summer. most were crappy rants that were from people who did not know that cyclists have a right to ride on the road, but there was one that made a very good point. It said that he [the driver] had no problem with bikes on the road. his problem was when cyclists rode four or five wide and blocked the entire road without acknowledging when a car was trying to get around them .He suggested that groups of cyclists should ride no more than two abreast, which seems perfectly reasonable to me. i guess my point was that, while motorists do seem to ***** a lot and not understand the laws that grant us protection, we always say that we have equal rights, and yet so many of us fail to respect motrists while demanding that they respect us. I know that the majority of cyclists are perfectly respectful and reasonable to motrists and are law abiding riders, but the ones that aren't seem to ruin it for the rest of us. sorry if it was a little OT, but i guess the letter to the paper part strirred up some memmories
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Old 03-19-05, 08:52 PM   #16
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Those packs of roadies, bunch of road hogs. Terrible.
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Old 03-19-05, 09:06 PM   #17
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Sometimes papers print stuff like that to get more letters in. Especially if they printed it with those glaring grammatical errors and an editors note about what the law really is underneath.
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Old 03-19-05, 10:10 PM   #18
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With all the complaining we (me too!) do here about cagers, it's hard to fathom why we get upset when they do the same thing.
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Old 03-19-05, 11:00 PM   #19
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If you think about it, this motorist ignorance on getting sued by cyclists is probably keeping us alive! If he discovered how lax the courts are in convicting someone who kills a cyclist, I can just imagine the kind of monster he would turn into!

The only danger this motorist has is with his own kind!

Last edited by Dahon.Steve; 03-20-05 at 08:32 AM.
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Old 03-20-05, 05:19 AM   #20
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Quote:
Originally Posted by tippy
This is in regard to the bicycles. Again I was held up and put in danger by a person on a bicycle on the road. Even though there was a sidewalk parallel to the road, they chose to ride in harmís way, and why, I donít know. Is there a reason these people feel that they have a right to endanger others as well as people driving a car? The roads were built for cars and trucks; they werenít built for bicycles.
What happens, God forbidding, if a motorist hits a person riding a bicycle? First time that happens, the bicyclist becomes hurt or even worse than that. Secondly, the driver would usually be sued, probably lose everything heís ever worked for in his life, all because of a bicyclist that wanted to ride down the center of the road and show they have the authority to do that.
What makes people do these crazy things? Iíll never understand. Hopefully, theyíll stop doing it and take other people into consideration. They put their self in danger, they put me in danger, they put everybody around them in danger just so they can Ė it must be an ego thing.
I hope this makes it in the paper. Maybe some of these bicyclists will see theirselves and not do that. Ride on the sidewalk if you have to, but theyíre not doing that.
Translation: I don't know how to drive, or how to pass a slower moving vehicle and I certainly don't know the motor vehicle code for my state. And I have no intention of trying to learn any of this as long as I can still drive my car without having to know these things.

Last edited by CommuterRun; 03-20-05 at 05:37 AM.
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Old 03-20-05, 05:42 AM   #21
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Quote:
Originally Posted by tippy
Here's what someone sent to our local newspaper. This motorist used almost every "I hate cyclist" cliche that could be used. The scariest part is this motorist is out there on the road somewhere nearby.
There is nothing scary about this motorist who is simply stupid, seemingly not aggressive however.
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Old 03-20-05, 06:17 AM   #22
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Originally Posted by Expatriate
That's actually a paraphrase from an old book called The Bible, if I recall correctly.
Actually it is a quote from an old book called The Tao Te Ching

Geez, didn't you Aussies ever watch the old Kung Fu series?
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Old 03-20-05, 08:55 AM   #23
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Key here is education. Before cycling (and comuting) I had no idea that bikes were allowed on the road and thus while totally wrong, the assumption of some people should be expected.

I think cycling organizations should lobby that bicycle facts be emphasized on DMV tests, maybe a few public safety commercials made as I'm sure we'll all be surprised that some people who we think are just being jerks just really don't know any better.
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Old 03-20-05, 02:04 PM   #24
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Quote:
Originally Posted by sbhikes
Sometimes papers print stuff like that to get more letters in...
You mean newspapers have trolls just like newsgroups do. In the immortal words of Johnny Carson, I did not know that.
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Old 03-20-05, 02:28 PM   #25
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I think the guy should lay off his crack pipe... Its probalby some fat **** hick who drives his beat up chevy drinks beer all the time and has NO friends...
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