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Old 10-27-06, 10:37 AM   #1
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Anger? No. Only Pity.

There was a fire in my neighborhood this morning, so all the traffic was snarled. Rows of SUV's trying to be patient, which is against their nature. And at every gap in the lane, one of them revs up and gains 4 inches and then must stop again. I slowly pick my way up the Avenue of Mounting Frustration. The light turns, and the SUV I find myself next to lurches forward. But she also hesitates, because — paradox! — there's nowhere to go...even though the light is green!
Now, I'm sure that the driver doesn't know I'm there. And if she suddenly turns, she'll crush me against a parked car. So I give a little rap on her window. A courtesy knock. Like you do before entering a bathroom you're pretty sure is unoccupied.

*tap-tap*

The SUV slams its brakes on.
I'm happy to let her roll ahead, but the car doesn't move. So I pass by, giving a little wave of thanks. The window goes down and the driver is saying something to me. I can't read her expression. She's not mad, and she's not apologetic. So I come closer and she's mumbling, "You scared me. I was so scared that I hit you. You shouldn't scare people like that..."
I told her I just wanted her to know that I was next to her. "You shouldn't scare people like that," she said. "I thought I hit you."

How do you communicate that she would have hit me if I hadn't tapped her window...?

They're in a different world, those car people. And they're, like, everywhere. When do bikes take over again?
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Old 10-27-06, 10:42 AM   #2
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When the power goes out, and the grocery store shelves are empty. However many people will need to perish before it'll be safe to ride as our bikes will the ONLY mode of transport (other than horses and other HPVs) and therefore highly coveted. Meaning you can be shot for your bike in the future.

I'll take the cars on today.
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Old 10-27-06, 11:04 AM   #3
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When the power goes out, and the grocery store shelves are empty. However many people will need to perish before it'll be safe to ride as our bikes will the ONLY mode of transport (other than horses and other HPVs) and therefore highly coveted. Meaning you can be shot for your bike in the future.

I'll take the cars on today.
Horses wont work either. I know many horse owners. No one feeds a horse without a big car or truck being used to drive far to purchase feed and hay. When the power goes out the only thing those 'hobby' horses will be used for is food.
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Old 10-27-06, 11:18 AM   #4
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It's all about goat-based transportation. Those things eat tin cans and old shoes and stuff, which will be in plentiful supply once the corpses start piling up.


Not corpses ... yet

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Old 10-27-06, 11:25 AM   #5
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It's all about goat-based transportation. Those things eat tin cans and old shoes and stuff, which will be in plentiful supply once the corpses start piling up.
Talk about a FlexFuel vehicle!
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Old 10-27-06, 11:29 AM   #6
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Man, O' man would you look at the modern face of the Centurion.... *feeling kinda badly for the above pictured goats*.
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Old 10-27-06, 11:29 AM   #7
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I love the anxiety caused in motorists when they are confronted with the 2 mutually exclusive facts that:

1. They are driving next to a bike and must speed up to pass the bike, and
2. There is a stopped car in front of them and they are going to have to stop.

Actually, one thing I love more than that anxiety is the sight in my peripheral vision of the car's hood dipping while braking as I maintain my speed.
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Old 10-27-06, 11:31 AM   #8
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I love that too..heehee, ....and when they get all squirly trying not to slam into the car in front of them as they concentrate on trying to pass you, especially when you get up to the speed limit and pull out to take the lane.. Fools, when will they realize that in downtown traffic there is no better way around?
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Old 10-27-06, 11:41 AM   #9
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Not really related, or even funny, but:

When Hurricane Charlie came through here a while back it knocked down a LOT of trees, tree limbs, electrical wires and stuff all over town. On the news one night shortly after the storm, there was a story about a family who had a downed tree with electrical wires across their driveway, blocking their car/SUV in. The way the news anchor was talking, you'd think that they were going to STARVE if they couldn't get their car out of their driveway.

So keep in mind, we bicyclists are only one natural disaster away from being the only ones who don't starve to death in their own homes if something were to happen that made driving cars impossible.

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Old 10-27-06, 11:42 AM   #10
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Old 10-27-06, 11:46 AM   #11
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I'll never understand why people get upset with bicycles. We're not really impeding their route in most cases. More often than not, I find myself passing cars. A lot of times, they really have to gun it to get ahead of me. They have no qualms about violating traffic laws and speed limits just to get around me.

I live in a somewhat rural area and there's plenty of road to share. Most of the time, I travel ~25-30mph (the speed limit), people will top 40 just because they get super pissed when they see me in front of them.

It's clearly our fault, we have to be doing SOMETHING wrong... (that was sarcasm, just in case nobody caught it )
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Old 10-27-06, 11:47 AM   #12
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Totally different, but similar....
I used to have a bright flashing light in addtion to steady state light in front. One early evening a car ahead slowed down oddly, then continued. At red light I pulled up next to them (I was in RTOL). Driver said to me 'oh my you scared me so much, I almost pulled over cause I thought you were a police car.' I wondered why they felt so guilty of something.

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Old 10-27-06, 11:50 AM   #13
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OP: Does she think there is a light tapping sound when one plows over a cyclist? When two semis hit each other, does it sound like the pitter patter of a gentle rain? I think she's been watching too many Glade air freshener commercials. Or huffing the stuff.
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Old 10-27-06, 11:58 AM   #14
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Quote:
Originally Posted by newbojeff
I love the anxiety caused in motorists when they are confronted with the 2 mutually exclusive facts that:

1. They are driving next to a bike and must speed up to pass the bike, and
2. There is a stopped car in front of them and they are going to have to stop.

Nail on the head. Even better is that when you roll past them they have to look up at you. Like little children. Will they ever learn?
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Old 10-27-06, 11:59 AM   #15
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Originally Posted by bbonnn
OP: Does she think there is a light tapping sound when one plows over a cyclist? When two semis hit each other, does it sound like the pitter patter of a gentle rain? I think she's been watching too many Glade air freshener commercials. Or huffing the stuff.
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Old 10-27-06, 03:19 PM   #16
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Originally Posted by MikeR
When the power goes out the only thing those 'hobby' horses will be used for is food.
Or holding things together...

I just like being able to go... Cars don't seem to be very conducive to that.
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Obviously, the guy's like a 12th level white wizard or something. His mere presence is a danger to mortals.
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Old 10-27-06, 03:42 PM   #17
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Quote:
Originally Posted by newbojeff
I love the anxiety caused in motorists when they are confronted with the 2 mutually exclusive facts that:

1. They are driving next to a bike and must speed up to pass the bike, and
2. There is a stopped car in front of them and they are going to have to stop.
To the OP, the smartest thing to do is to never intentionally position yourself in a place where you could get smashed. If that means staying behind a vehicle that is blocking your path, so be it.

The dynamic described by newbojeff can be dangerous. A couple weeks ago, I made the mistake of pulling partially in front of a blocked car to get around someone who couldn't complete their right turn because they were also blocked. The guy in the first blocked car laid on the horn and jammed the gas (and then the brake) to lurch forward a few feet so that he could inches from the car in front of him but still totally stuck in the intersection when the light changed.

He had been content not waiting in the middle of an intersection that he wasn't going to be able to get out of until a bike passed him.
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Old 10-27-06, 05:34 PM   #18
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Bklyn
There was a fire in my neighborhood this morning, so all the traffic was snarled. Rows of SUV's trying to be patient, which is against their nature. And at every gap in the lane, one of them revs up and gains 4 inches and then must stop again. I slowly pick my way up the Avenue of Mounting Frustration. The light turns, and the SUV I find myself next to lurches forward. But she also hesitates, because paradox! there's nowhere to go...even though the light is green!
Now, I'm sure that the driver doesn't know I'm there. And if she suddenly turns, she'll crush me against a parked car. So I give a little rap on her window. A courtesy knock. Like you do before entering a bathroom you're pretty sure is unoccupied.

*tap-tap*

The SUV slams its brakes on.
I'm happy to let her roll ahead, but the car doesn't move. So I pass by, giving a little wave of thanks. The window goes down and the driver is saying something to me. I can't read her expression. She's not mad, and she's not apologetic. So I come closer and she's mumbling, "You scared me. I was so scared that I hit you. You shouldn't scare people like that..."
I told her I just wanted her to know that I was next to her. "You shouldn't scare people like that," she said. "I thought I hit you."

How do you communicate that she would have hit me if I hadn't tapped her window...?

They're in a different world, those car people. And they're, like, everywhere. When do bikes take over again?
Probably another SUV driver that only uses it for commuting and groceries, need I say more?
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Old 10-28-06, 10:15 AM   #19
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the cyclists i've encountered while driving over the past few years have gotten better and better at being predictable, but before that i had a lot of run-ins with cyclists who would, for no apparent reason, veer 3 or so feet to the left (in front of my car) when i was about to overtake them. one cyclist threw himself bodily into traffic on a 55mph road, right in front of me, because he just wasn't paying attention. i was terrified! another cyclist hopped his bike off a curb between cars (i assume that's where he came from) and shot out at breakneck speed, and i really almost did run him over. if i hadn't slammed on the brakes, he would've been creamed. then he gave me a nasty look like it was my fault. so anyway, with cyclists like that riding around, i think there is, in many situations, good motivation for motorists to get cyclists behind them, so they can't run the cyclists over. i have sped up a couple times to pass cyclists, either to get them behind me or to take advantage of a lack of oncoming traffic. so just because someone speeds up to pass doesn't mean they are being antagonizing or asserting their superiority or whatever. it's a lot better now, though, for some reason--maybe because so many more people ride bikes in portland that there's more positive peer pressure to quit riding like an a-hole? i don't know. anyway other cyclists seem more predictable to me these days, so i generally don't want to get past them as soon as i can. in other cities it may be different; i don't know. i know a lot of drivers are dangerous and totally suck, but i bet not all of these people are being jerks.
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