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Old 03-23-05, 10:02 AM   #1
DCCommuter
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Not just bicycles

The Washington Post does a thing they call "Live Online" where a columnnist answers reader questions in real time. Usually on Mondays the subject is transportation. This past Monday they got on the topic of whether motorcycles should be allowed to "split" lanes by going between cars. Here's what a reader wrote:

"Clifton, Va.: If lane splitting was allowed and I saw a bike coming, I would either open my door or move over enough to jam him in so he couldn't go any further. Sorry if I have to sit in traffic, so do you on your bike(motorcycle)."

Very magnanimous. By contrast, here's what a reader wrote the preceding week about bicycles:

"Arlington, Vs.: I find most cyclists riding in a inconsiderate, dangerous manner on the roads.
They make life difficult for cars. They are in fact violating the law. They won't get three feet from me. I get as close to them as I can. I mountain bike and these roadies need to learn law not me. A little road rash will cure this!"

The conclusion I draw is that there are a lot of serious troubled people out there.
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Old 03-23-05, 10:04 AM   #2
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and alot of misunderstanding about the law.
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Old 03-23-05, 01:26 PM   #3
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Once people get their drivers license they typically persue the knowledge of driving, traffic and vehicle laws no further prefering to drive around in a state of ignorant bliss. Looking back on when I got my license in Florida, I was on cloud 9 when I passed the driving test, but it was far too easy and inexpensive.
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Old 03-23-05, 01:41 PM   #4
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Quote:
Originally Posted by DCCommuter
"Arlington, Vs.: I find most cyclists riding in a inconsiderate, dangerous manner on the roads.
They make life difficult for cars. They are in fact violating the law. They won't get three feet from me. I get as close to them as I can. I mountain bike and these roadies need to learn law not me. A little road rash will cure this!"
And a little dangerous driving charge accompanied by a lawsuit may fix their ignorance of the law. People like that scare me.
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Old 03-23-05, 02:37 PM   #5
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Originally Posted by DCCommuter
"Arlington, Vs.: I find most cyclists riding in a inconsiderate, dangerous manner on the roads.
They make life difficult for cars.
Translation: They are in front of me and I don't like it!

Better Translation: Waaaah!
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Old 03-23-05, 03:05 PM   #6
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I saw that live online chat Monday. I was at least happy to see that Clifton, VA was rebuked by not only the chat host but also a few other participants. Of course, there is no way of knowing whether other similar nasty posts weren't allowed to appear.

This past Monday's chat transcript is still available if you feel like registering.
http://www.washingtonpost.com/wp-dyn...-2005Mar7.html
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Old 03-23-05, 03:50 PM   #7
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Quote:
Originally Posted by jeff-o
And a little dangerous driving charge accompanied by a lawsuit may fix their ignorance of the law. People like that scare me.
There will be 12 car drivers sitting on that lawsuit jury.
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Old 03-23-05, 04:12 PM   #8
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Wow. These are the sort of people that make VC scary. I live in a military town in Virginia with pretty nasty amounts of drunk driving and rednecks in preposterously large monster trucks. Hopefully not all of them think that way- but I know many do.
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Old 03-23-05, 05:31 PM   #9
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Scary is right. Although something is legal, these people still can't live with it, and become judge, jury and executioner.

Yeah, I used to whiteline on my motorcycle, but did they consider the space my car doesn't take up? Or that my air-cooled engine will fry on a hot LA summer day if I don't keep moving?
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Old 03-23-05, 05:37 PM   #10
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Just to be fair, that last post was by me, not Cloud.

Flame me.
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Old 03-23-05, 06:29 PM   #11
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I find the comments troubleing to say the least. However, the second quote is especially interesting given the use of the terms "roadie" and "road rash." These are slang terms typically used in the biking community and not others. I had never heard these terms before I got into biking. Makes me think the writer is either a biker him/herself or knows someone who rides. If it is the later, there is probably some other things going on inside his/her head than just breaking the law and inconvenience.
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Old 03-23-05, 08:43 PM   #12
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Nice folks we have to contend with. I wonder about going to the head of the line when I'm riding in traffic. I obey all the traffic laws except that one (is it a law?).
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Old 03-23-05, 08:49 PM   #13
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Quote:
Originally Posted by velogirl
Nice folks we have to contend with. I wonder about going to the head of the line when I'm riding in traffic. I obey all the traffic laws except that one (is it a law?).
I don't know if it's a law or not, but without bike lanes, my 2.5 hour commute home would take over 4 hours if I waited in line with all the cars. I move up on the right at traffic lights.
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Old 03-23-05, 09:48 PM   #14
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Quote:
Originally Posted by DCCommuter
"Clifton, Va.: If lane splitting was allowed and I saw a bike coming, I would either open my door or move over enough to jam him in so he couldn't go any further. Sorry if I have to sit in traffic, so do you on your bike(motorcycle)."
Moron. You don't have to sit in traffic. You can get a bike and do the same thing. Don't slow me down simply because you're dissatisfied with your vehicle choice.

Besides, no driver that's ever tried this on me has ever succeeded. Move into my path (presumably by illegally straddling the lane divider) and I'll just go down the other side. By the time you realise what I've done, I'm gone.

Quote:
Originally Posted by DCCommuter
"Arlington, Vs.: I find most cyclists riding in a inconsiderate, dangerous manner on the roads.
They make life difficult for cars. They are in fact violating the law. They won't get three feet from me. I get as close to them as I can. I mountain bike and these roadies need to learn law not me. A little road rash will cure this!"
'get as close to them as I can'? How is this not dangerous and inconsiderate? Moron
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Old 03-24-05, 12:25 AM   #15
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Quote:
Originally Posted by DCCommuter
They won't get three feet from me. I get as close to them as I can. I mountain bike and these roadies need to learn law not me. A little road rash will cure this!"
Think this guy yields for hikers and horses on the singletrack?
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Old 03-24-05, 02:42 AM   #16
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Quote:
Originally Posted by F=MA
I find the comments troubleing to say the least. However, the second quote is especially interesting given the use of the terms "roadie" and "road rash." These are slang terms typically used in the biking community and not others. I had never heard these terms before I got into biking. Makes me think the writer is either a biker him/herself or knows someone who rides.
Was it that part where he said he mountain bikes that tipped you off?
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Old 03-24-05, 08:43 AM   #17
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I've been saying for years the situation on todays roads is getting worse each year. Horrendous traffic is effecting all motorist and it's making them more angry then ever before. As a result, they try to inflict their suffering on cyclists and peds not to mention other motorist.

I don't see the situation getting better because in 10 years, the traffic will be worse than it is today. There're going to be additional 10 million more cars with basically the same amount of roads. When it takes 40 minutes to travel 10 miles to reach New York City (my neck of the woods) you can see where all that anger comes from.
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Old 03-24-05, 08:46 AM   #18
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Quote:
Originally Posted by DCCommuter
The Washington Post does a thing they call "Live Online" where a columnnist answers reader questions in real time. Usually on Mondays the subject is transportation. This past Monday they got on the topic of whether motorcycles should be allowed to "split" lanes by going between cars. Here's what a reader wrote:

"Clifton, Va.: If lane splitting was allowed and I saw a bike coming, I would either open my door or move over enough to jam him in so he couldn't go any further. Sorry if I have to sit in traffic, so do you on your bike(motorcycle)."

Very magnanimous. By contrast, here's what a reader wrote the preceding week about bicycles:

"Arlington, Vs.: I find most cyclists riding in a inconsiderate, dangerous manner on the roads.
They make life difficult for cars. They are in fact violating the law. They won't get three feet from me. I get as close to them as I can. I mountain bike and these roadies need to learn law not me. A little road rash will cure this!"

The conclusion I draw is that there are a lot of serious troubled people out there.
No shock there. We all know how drivers really feel about cyclist. We are in there way. We do all the wrong stuff. Yada Yada Yada. This is old news.
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Old 03-24-05, 10:39 AM   #19
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Quote:
Originally Posted by DCCommuter
...."Clifton, Va.: If lane splitting was allowed and I saw a bike coming, I would either open my door or move over enough to jam him in so he couldn't go any further. Sorry if I have to sit in traffic, so do you on your bike(motorcycle).
Yeah..lane splitting sure does seem to get the goat in some riders! I never had a problem with it myself. Last summer there was a multimile backup on the MassPike due to a tractor trailer spillage. Motorcycles were splitting lanes and heading to the front, and probably even able to weasel their way past the accident when they arrived. I have done much the same in the shoulder when traffic backs up and I am on my bike.

I think one point to make in the discussions is to suggest that this is an ADVANTAGE that bikes/motos have over cars under such circumstances. Motos/bikes have disadvantages in other areas and at other times, so I encourage others not to grudge them this behavior when circumstances allow it.

roughstuff
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Old 03-24-05, 10:55 AM   #20
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Quote:
Originally Posted by F=MA
I find the comments troubleing to say the least. However, the second quote is especially interesting given the use of the terms "roadie" and "road rash." These are slang terms typically used in the biking community and not others. I had never heard these terms before I got into biking. Makes me think the writer is either a biker him/herself or knows someone who rides. If it is the later, there is probably some other things going on inside his/her head than just breaking the law and inconvenience.
I've met people like this. They bike, but they firmly believe that the only legitimate place to bike is on an established bike trail, and that cyclists have zero right to be on the road, doesn't matter what the law says, "common sense" says otherwise.

I guess cyclists are representative of the general population, so we shouldn't be surprised that views that are present in the general population exist among cyclists.
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Old 03-24-05, 02:03 PM   #21
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What's a RINGO cam?
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Old 03-24-05, 02:14 PM   #22
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Dahon.Steve
I've been saying for years the situation on todays roads is getting worse each year. Horrendous traffic is affecting all motorist and it's making them more angry then ever before. As a result, they try to inflict their suffering on cyclists and peds not to mention other motorist. ...
I concur. It is particularly frustrating since we cyclists and peds are part of the solution, whereas the motorists themselves are part of the problem. (For the record, I fit into all three categories.)
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Old 03-24-05, 02:51 PM   #23
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I think most of us do as well.
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Old 03-24-05, 04:02 PM   #24
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Oh no, Mr. Cyclist is able to get ahead of you because you're trapped in your cage! It's not fair!

Somebody call the whaaaaaaaaaaaambulance!
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Old 03-24-05, 05:03 PM   #25
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Oh no, Mr. Cyclist is able to get ahead of you because you're trapped in your cage! It's not fair!

Somebody call the whaaaaaaaaaaaambulance!


I can really picture this line being delivered with great zest.
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