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  1. #1
    JitterBuggin on da Pedals jitteringjr's Avatar
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    Use Your Brains, Please

    Maybe the person I came across today will read this. Hopefully other people will read this and learn by this. As I was driving home in my car today, this fool was riding his bike down 6th avenue in Denver between Speer and Logan in the left most lane. At Logan, he continues straight from the left most lane, a turn only lane, and crosses another turn option lane. Now aside from making an illegal lane change here, he is traveling in the fastest and most dangerous lane on the left on what can be argued as one of the busiest streets in all of Denver. Plus he is doing this at the busiest time of day at rush hour. Ironically he is also only 1 block away from 7th avenue which has a dedicated bike lane and carries much less traffic: a much safer route.

    Now we cyclists can ague to the cows come home how we have the right to take a lane and we do have that right. Now we need to start asking ourselves if we should be there. Am I making a smart and safe decision by being here? Could I be acting more safely for myself?

    I have been hit by cars twice while on my bike. I have nerve damage causing a permanent tingling in my left thumb a decade later. I have a scared face from that same accident. In this case I was traveling in Richmond VA on a very busy road and I probably should have not been there. The other accident was very minor and only knocked my off my bike. Because I was riding more smartly the second time, I was at a stop at the time of impact and he only brushed my front wheel as he turned in front of me. This could have been much worse. In both cases, the driver was at fault. However in both cases I had to deal with at least minor pain. A friend of mine has a saying, ďYou can be right, but you can also be dead right.Ē I donít want anyone to have to go through what I had to go through so letís try to be smart and act safely. If you see someone acting in an unsafe matter, let them know. Youíre probably going to be told to get bent, but at least you tried.

    Here are some cycling ďno-noísĒ that are specific to Denver. Please feel free to add to the list in Denver our where ever you live. Even nonspecific behaviors is appreciated.
    1. Donít ride down 6th, 8th, Colfax, 17th, or 18th. You are never more than 2 block away from a safer bike lane in Denver. And for Peteís sake, donít ride down Speer as you are immediately adjacent to the Cherry Creek trail where cars canít kill you.
    2. Donít ride on the left lane unless you need to turn within a block or two. If this is too difficult to cross traffic in time, See #1 above.
    3. When riding after dusk, Have a light on your front and back
    4. Stay off the side walk unless you are riding at walking speed and stop before you cross every street if you are there. Cars, cannot see oncoming traffic if they are stopped back where they need to stop to avoid hitting you and thus will often not stop where they would not hit you because They donít except fast moving bikes on a side walk. ďItís not a side ride.Ē
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    This isn't going to end well.

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    Quote Originally Posted by jitteringjr View Post
    Maybe the person I came across today will read this. Hopefully other people will read this and learn by this. As I was driving home in my car today, this fool was riding his bike down 6th avenue in Denver between Speer and Logan in the left most lane. At Logan, he continues straight from the left most lane, a turn only lane, and crosses another turn option lane. Now aside from making an illegal lane change here, he is traveling in the fastest and most dangerous lane on the left on what can be argued as one of the busiest streets in all of Denver. Plus he is doing this at the busiest time of day at rush hour. Ironically he is also only 1 block away from 7th avenue which has a dedicated bike lane and carries much less traffic: a much safer route.

    Now we cyclists can ague to the cows come home how we have the right to take a lane and we do have that right. Now we need to start asking ourselves if we should be there. Am I making a smart and safe decision by being here? Could I be acting more safely for myself?

    I have been hit by cars twice while on my bike. I have nerve damage causing a permanent tingling in my left thumb a decade later. I have a scared face from that same accident. In this case I was traveling in Richmond VA on a very busy road and I probably should have not been there. The other accident was very minor and only knocked my off my bike. Because I was riding more smartly the second time, I was at a stop at the time of impact and he only brushed my front wheel as he turned in front of me. This could have been much worse. In both cases, the driver was at fault. However in both cases I had to deal with at least minor pain. A friend of mine has a saying, ďYou can be right, but you can also be dead right.Ē I donít want anyone to have to go through what I had to go through so letís try to be smart and act safely. If you see someone acting in an unsafe matter, let them know. Youíre probably going to be told to get bent, but at least you tried.

    Here are some cycling ďno-noísĒ that are specific to Denver. Please feel free to add to the list in Denver our where ever you live. Even nonspecific behaviors is appreciated.
    1. Donít ride down 6th, 8th, Colfax, 17th, or 18th. You are never more than 2 block away from a safer bike lane in Denver. And for Peteís sake, donít ride down Speer as you are immediately adjacent to the Cherry Creek trail where cars canít kill you.
    2. Donít ride on the left lane unless you need to turn within a block or two. If this is too difficult to cross traffic in time, See #1 above.
    3. When riding after dusk, Have a light on your front and back
    4. Stay off the side walk unless you are riding at walking speed and stop before you cross every street if you are there. Cars, cannot see oncoming traffic if they are stopped back where they need to stop to avoid hitting you and thus will often not stop where they would not hit you because They donít except fast moving bikes on a side walk. ďItís not a side ride.Ē
    The only thing wrong about the incident you describe with the "wayward cyclist," is his taking a lane he should not have been in (i.e., the left hand turn lane only and crossing what must have been a double yellow in order to end up in the opposite left hand turn only lane).

    You have made up your mind about where or where not to be on your bicycle. Was there a sign saying you should not have been on your bicycle in those particular places where you had the accidents? Do you have any empirical evidence supporting your assertions the dedicated bike lanes in Denver are safer than other routes?
    Last edited by jeichelberg87; 09-09-14 at 07:24 PM. Reason: clarification

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    Quote Originally Posted by vtbike View Post
    this isn't going to end well.
    +1 lol!

  5. #5
    JitterBuggin on da Pedals jitteringjr's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by VTBike View Post
    This isn't going to end well.
    If only one person read this, and then chooses a safer behavior, and thus avoids an accident, then it will have ended very well as far as I am concerned.
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    Quote Originally Posted by jitteringjr View Post
    If only one person read this, and then chooses a safer behavior, and thus avoids an accident, then it will have ended very well as far as I am concerned.
    It was not a criticism of you. Far from it.

  7. #7
    JitterBuggin on da Pedals jitteringjr's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by jeichelberg87 View Post
    The only thing wrong about the incident you describe with the "wayward cyclist," is his taking a lane he should not have been in (i.e., the left hand turn lane only and crossing what must have been a double yellow in order to end up in the opposite left hand turn only lane).

    You have made up your mind about where or where not to be on your bicycle. Was there a sign saying you should not have been on your bicycle in those particular places where you had the accidents? Do you have any empirical evidence supporting your assertions the dedicated bike lanes in Denver are safer than other routes?
    Empirical evidence? Don't need to act so defensive here. It could save you from injury. What would common sense tell you as to what's safer? A road carrying 6 times as much traffic at nearly 1.5 times the average speed with no room for a bike without taking a lane (Right or wrong, the flow of traffic on these busy street is much higher regardless of the actual speed limit and who is right) or the street less traveled with room for bikes to even pass each other without having to take a lane?
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  8. #8
    JitterBuggin on da Pedals jitteringjr's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by VTBike View Post
    It was not a criticism of you. Far from it.
    Thank you
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    Senior Member Pibber's Avatar
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    Good luck being frightened on your bike. Sounds like dude was handling his business just fine.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Pibber View Post
    Good luck being frightened on your bike. Sounds like dude was handling his business just fine.
    Jitteringjr, this is what I was referring to.

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    Quote Originally Posted by jitteringjr View Post
    Empirical evidence? Don't need to act so defensive here. It could save you from injury. What would common sense tell you as to what's safer? A road carrying 6 times as much traffic at nearly 1.5 times the average speed with no room for a bike without taking a lane (Right or wrong, the flow of traffic on these busy street is much higher regardless of the actual speed limit and who is right) or the street less traveled with room for bikes to even pass each other without having to take a lane?
    Defensive of what? I did not make any points in my post...you made points in your post. I asked if you had any empirical evidence to support your points. If you do not, then your points are simply opinions, with anecdotal evidence for support.

    See, I was asking for something more substantial.

    Common sense tells me that any endeavor taken has associated danger and to exercise appropriate caution. Sometimes, common sense tells me to stay at home and not venture out on the roads at all, where we read every day about drive by shootings, terrible multi car accidents, idiots driving drunk and while texting, and innocent children in school buses dying in collisions. Then I read the empirical evidence and it tells me something different...like most serious accidents happen at HOME!!! HOLY CRAP I SAY!!! I GOTTA GET OUT OF HERE!!!

    I do not live in Denver, so I cannot speak to the particular dangers present in that area. You can, evidently, and I was hoping you could provide an evident basis for your view. If that evident basis is simply anecdotal, then so be it.
    Last edited by jeichelberg87; 09-09-14 at 08:18 PM. Reason: further content; misspelling

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    Senior Member Pibber's Avatar
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    Well, I'll say this, I've also been in two accidents, the last of which landed me in hospital for 5 days with 6 broken ribs, broken coracoid process, lacerated a kidney and my liver, and a nondislocated fracture of my T6. The two times I do not take the lane, do not command the space i'm in, are the two times I've been in bad accidents. No more bike lanes, no more far right as practicable. I ride how I have to to ensure my safety. I ride the left of cars now. Why? Slow traffic told to stay right. Drivers only watch the car to their rkight as they pass it, and then forget about it. The just ignore anything from behind them, there. I ride left because drivers look for overtaking traffic there. They actually use their mirrors, even check blind spots.

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    Senior Member Astrozombie's Avatar
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    What do you know? I just saw a BMXer in the left lane today....and he was nowhere close to an intersection, and he was also riding "FLAP"
    Assume nothing; Question everything

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    Quote Originally Posted by jeichelberg87 View Post
    Defensive of what? I did not make any points in my post...you made points in your post. I asked if you had any empirical evidence to support your points. If you do not, then your points are simply opinions, with anecdotal evidence for support.

    ...
    No, they're not "simply opinions". If you assume OP's descriptions of the cyclist's actions are accurate, the cyclist probably violated multiple traffic laws, among them FRAP and perhaps direction of travel and/or illegal lane change. I'm not going to look up Colorado law (I'm assuming someone else will do that), nor am I going to look at an airborne view of the intersection in question (again, I bet someone else will do that).

    But from the OP's description, the OP's characterization of the cyclist's actions doesn't appear to be opinion-based at all.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Astrozombie View Post
    What do you know? I just saw a BMXer in the left lane today....and he was nowhere close to an intersection, and he was also riding "FLAP"
    There are several places where I routinely ride "FLAP" - because I'm approaching a left turn.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Pibber View Post
    Well, I'll say this, I've also been in two accidents, the last of which landed me in hospital for 5 days with 6 broken ribs, broken coracoid process, lacerated a kidney and my liver, and a nondislocated fracture of my T6. The two times I do not take the lane, do not command the space i'm in, are the two times I've been in bad accidents. No more bike lanes, no more far right as practicable. I ride how I have to to ensure my safety. I ride the left of cars now. Why? Slow traffic told to stay right. Drivers only watch the car to their rkight as they pass it, and then forget about it. The just ignore anything from behind them, there. I ride left because drivers look for overtaking traffic there. They actually use their mirrors, even check blind spots.
    FRAP does not preclude riding to the left for safety. "Practicable" does not mean "unsafe".

  17. #17
    JitterBuggin on da Pedals jitteringjr's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Pibber View Post
    Good luck being frightened on your bike. Sounds like dude was handling his business just fine.
    Cycling safety is not about fear, it's about respect. And I would hardly consider performing moving violations and handling business just fine.
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    Quote Originally Posted by jitteringjr View Post
    Empirical evidence? Don't need to act so defensive here. It could save you from injury. What would common sense tell you as to what's safer? A road carrying 6 times as much traffic at nearly 1.5 times the average speed with no room for a bike without taking a lane (Right or wrong, the flow of traffic on these busy street is much higher regardless of the actual speed limit and who is right) or the street less traveled with room for bikes to even pass each other without having to take a lane?
    Common sense would tell me that when cyclists cede their right to ride on the road, it will disappear.

    Your insistence that cyclists must stay off of roads that are near to "approved" roads for cyclists with bike lanes reminds me of an incident my sister-in-law had many years ago. She was riding down 5th St (city irrelevant) when a motorist accosted her and yelled at her to ride on 3rd St, which has a bike lane. He demanded to know why she was riding on 5th. She responded, "Because I live on this street. What are you doing driving on this street when the freeway runs parallel and is less than a mile away?"

    Needless to say, she is my favorite relative. By the way, 5th St did indeed have at least six times the motor vehicle traffic at about 1.5 times the speed as 3rd St.

  19. #19
    JitterBuggin on da Pedals jitteringjr's Avatar
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    Let's be honest here. You knew when you asked about empirical evidence that there is no study proving one way or another. We all know deep down when we are being unsafe. Even if you do not agree with my specific points, you know where you feel safer riding around where you live. If you think every now and again about how you could take a safer route or not make unsafe riding choices, then plus.


    Quote Originally Posted by jeichelberg87 View Post
    Defensive of what? I did not make any points in my post...you made points in your post. I asked if you had any empirical evidence to support your points. If you do not, then your points are simply opinions, with anecdotal evidence for support.

    See, I was asking for something more substantial.

    Common sense tells me that any endeavor taken has associated danger and to exercise appropriate caution. Sometimes, common sense tells me to stay at home and not venture out on the roads at all, where we read every day about drive by shootings, terrible multi car accidents, idiots driving drunk and while texting, and innocent children in school buses dying in collisions. Then I read the empirical evidence and it tells me something different...like most serious accidents happen at HOME!!! HOLY CRAP I SAY!!! I GOTTA GET OUT OF HERE!!!

    I do not live in Denver, so I cannot speak to the particular dangers present in that area. You can, evidently, and I was hoping you could provide an evident basis for your view. If that evident basis is simply anecdotal, then so be it.
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    Quote Originally Posted by achoo View Post
    FRAP does not preclude riding to the left for safety. "Practicable" does not mean "unsafe".
    IME practicable does mean just that. Give more room, limit your out, your options. Allow drivers to pass ever closer. I don't really care if people think I'm an Ahole, I'm getting to my destination on my terms, and I'm not going to wilt to the A&S hand wringing. And, lets be honest here, riding in the right tire track or further over can put you in some damgerous areas if you refuse totake the lane more ofter. And, I know, it's cyclists like me that ruin it for the rest, right? Hardly. If I jump a light, [I]nobody[I] is going to stop you, or honk at you, or yell at you.

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    Senior Member Pibber's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by jitteringjr View Post
    Cycling safety is not about fear, it's about respect. And I would hardly consider performing moving violations and handling business just fine.
    Don't forget to give yourself some of that respect, too.



    Quote Originally Posted by jitteringjr View Post
    We all know deep down when we are being unsafe.
    According to whom, exactly? I feel most unsafe when I'm just cruising along with traffic. Complacent drivers are usually the type to fiddle wit their phones or radio, or suddenly realize they're coming up on their turn and right hook you because they haven't bseen observant. Your unsafe might just be my safe riding habits.

  22. #22
    JitterBuggin on da Pedals jitteringjr's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by B. Carfree View Post
    Common sense would tell me that when cyclists cede their right to ride on the road, it will disappear.
    I don't see how riding on a different road or street is going to some how endanger your right to ride on all roads or streets.

    Quote Originally Posted by B. Carfree View Post
    Your insistence that cyclists must stay off of roads that are near to "approved" roads for cyclists with bike lanes reminds me of an incident my sister-in-law had many years ago. She was riding down 5th St (city irrelevant) when a motorist accosted her and yelled at her to ride on 3rd St, which has a bike lane. He demanded to know why she was riding on 5th. She responded, "Because I live on this street. What are you doing driving on this street when the freeway runs parallel and is less than a mile away?"
    Let me clear up some thing and maybe use better wording. I am not suggesting that anyone must stay off any road. I am saying that picking a busy and heavily traveled route may not be the safest or smartest action.

    For reference in the area I described, there is almost no residential buildings. In fact the majority of houses in Denver are on north-south streets. The streets I mentioned are east-west meaning the rider will have to at least ride up or down one of those street to get to their home thus meaning that bike route street is not as far out of the way in a vast majority of cases.
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  23. #23
    JitterBuggin on da Pedals jitteringjr's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Pibber View Post
    Don't forget to give yourself some of that respect, too.
    Your comments suggest that I have some kind of mental hang up stemming from my crashes and that's just not the case here. I got right back on my bike as soon as I was physically able to. One could argue in the first case that I wasn't 100% fully able to. The longer hang up in the first case was having to buy a new bike because mine was destroyed then being mentally ready. My feelings on this subject have changed a lot since my last accident which has been almost a decade now since my last accident and more than that for the first one. I have ridden enough since then to have to change my chain rings and cassettes multiple times because I have worn them out. Trust me, I'm over the fear.

    What has changed is that I am older, more mature. I have children now and I also have a leadership role at work. I am not going to risk having to put my children though having to grow up without a father because I wanted to save 3 minutes off my commute by riding on a busier street. And I don't want to have any of my employees get hurt at work because they choose an unsafe behavior or worse yet because I asked them to do something unsafe. Around 9 years ago, this forum lost a very active member because some kid was texting and veered into him. Now I'm not saying that he was acting unsafe, but I am saying that $hit happens. Protect yourself by acting as safe as you can and at least eliminate what is in your control because a 2000# car is going to beat you every time.
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    Quote Originally Posted by jitteringjr View Post

    What has changed is that I am older, more mature. I have children now and I also have a leadership role at work. .
    Bingo.

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    Quote Originally Posted by achoo View Post
    No, they're not "simply opinions". If you assume OP's descriptions of the cyclist's actions are accurate, the cyclist probably violated multiple traffic laws, among them FRAP and perhaps direction of travel and/or illegal lane change. I'm not going to look up Colorado law (I'm assuming someone else will do that), nor am I going to look at an airborne view of the intersection in question (again, I bet someone else will do that).

    But from the OP's description, the OP's characterization of the cyclist's actions doesn't appear to be opinion-based at all.
    I do not want you to look up the stuff about Colorado...I already identified the issues with the wayward cyclist. The OP has a beef with the way the cyclist was riding and where the cyclist was riding. And until he can back up his beef with relevant facts and support (he made the points, no one else did) then his beef is opinion.

    But he already conceded he has no studies or research concerning supposedly safer alternatives around Denver, so like I said...most of the post is just a rant about how unsafe he feels about cycling.

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