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Commuting Bicycle commuting is easier than you think, before you know it, you'll be hooked. Learn the tips, hints, equipment, safety requirements for safely riding your bike to work.

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Old 02-18-00, 10:26 PM   #1
bikeboy
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I'm a year-round bicycle commuter. 8 miles round trip, about 90-percent on roadway shared with cars. By and large, the motorists are courteous and give me plenty of room to operate. For which I'm grateful.

I feel that the biggest threat to bike commuters are "loose cannon" cyclists. And there are two types. One is the uppity "lycra weenie" cyclists who seem to thumb their noses at traffic laws... swerving through traffic, ignoring signals, and in general behaving as if they are a superior life form. The other is the incompetents - those who shouldn't be on a bike. They are the ones who ride against traffic, ride totally unpredictably, swerve back and forth between sidewalk and roadway, etc.

Motorists see these antics and it gives cyclists in general a black eye. As a result, some motorists seem to resent sharing the pavement.

I've contacted my local police department on several occasions, asking them to step up enforcement, but they, too, seem to regard the lowly bicycle as a toy, and not worthy of their attention unless an accident is involved. A couple of times, angry physical confrontations have broken out between enraged motorists and cyclists (likely cyclists from one of the groups mentioned earlier, but who's to say?)

So... WHAT CAN BE DONE by responsible cyclists, to minimize the negative impact of the loose cannons?
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Old 03-22-00, 09:00 PM   #2
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I commuted 10 mi. total daily for several years till Dec. 1997. (Now about to take up cycling again.) I found pedestrians to be the biggest danger, and the type of incompetent cyclist you describe, a close second. I puzzled during my commuting years the same as you, and I'm still at a loss to know how this problem can be solved, particularly since, as you point out, the police don't seem interested even in ILLEGAL cycling! (I might add that, in Kansas City, we have bicycle cops, and they violate the vehicular laws regularly, too, particularly by riding on sidewalks.)
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Old 11-30-04, 08:35 PM   #3
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One thing that can be done is be an ambassador for all cyclists. Follow the rules of the road carefully. Be patient at lights and stop signs, let cars turn in front of you etc. If a car lets you go, wave or say thank you. Be patient with pedestrians as well.
Give way once in a while when you don't have to. It's safer anyway. People remember these things. If you get a chance to talk to a cyclist dong something wrong,try and tell them in a nice way. Give up if they want to argue.
Ride in a clearly predictable way so cars will trust you more. Signal well in advance etc.
See if you can start a bike safety program for kids in elementary school, or something similar.
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Old 11-30-04, 08:58 PM   #4
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....you asked the police to step up enforcement on cyclists???
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Old 11-30-04, 09:12 PM   #5
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Why resurrect an almost 5 year old thread?
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Old 11-30-04, 09:27 PM   #6
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Holy crap, how do you people dig up these half decade old threads?
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Old 11-30-04, 09:52 PM   #7
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lol
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Old 11-30-04, 10:14 PM   #8
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Quote:
Originally Posted by slvoid
Holy crap, how do you people dig up these half decade old threads?
I actually started reading this thinking it was a new thread. Blah. They should make thread necromancing a bannable offence.

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....you asked the police to step up enforcement on cyclists???
Yeah really, it should be the other way around. Police step up enforcement on MOTORISTS.
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Old 12-01-04, 10:07 AM   #9
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I agree that those types of cyclists aggravate an already bad situation, but I disagree they are the "biggest" threat to bike commuters. The biggest threat is the motorists themselves, most of whom are decent people. In St Louis, MO, in my experience at least, motorists just do not have the conception that bicycles belong on the road, contrary to what the state vehicle code allows. The biggest threat, therefore, is motorist ignorance of the law.

Quote:
Originally Posted by bikeboy
I'm a year-round bicycle commuter. 8 miles round trip, about 90-percent on roadway shared with cars. By and large, the motorists are courteous and give me plenty of room to operate. For which I'm grateful.

I feel that the biggest threat to bike commuters are "loose cannon" cyclists. And there are two types. One is the uppity "lycra weenie" cyclists who seem to thumb their noses at traffic laws... swerving through traffic, ignoring signals, and in general behaving as if they are a superior life form. The other is the incompetents - those who shouldn't be on a bike. They are the ones who ride against traffic, ride totally unpredictably, swerve back and forth between sidewalk and roadway, etc.

Motorists see these antics and it gives cyclists in general a black eye. As a result, some motorists seem to resent sharing the pavement.

I've contacted my local police department on several occasions, asking them to step up enforcement, but they, too, seem to regard the lowly bicycle as a toy, and not worthy of their attention unless an accident is involved. A couple of times, angry physical confrontations have broken out between enraged motorists and cyclists (likely cyclists from one of the groups mentioned earlier, but who's to say?)

So... WHAT CAN BE DONE by responsible cyclists, to minimize the negative impact of the loose cannons?
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Old 12-01-04, 10:09 AM   #10
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Originally Posted by Trek Rider
Why resurrect an almost 5 year old thread?
Humor us newbies.
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Old 12-01-04, 11:33 AM   #11
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Originally Posted by Bekologist
....you asked the police to step up enforcement on cyclists???
That's what I was about to say. The last thing we need are ticket happy cops.
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Old 12-01-04, 11:34 AM   #12
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Why resurrect an almost 5 year old thread?
It give us a form of immortality. All my posts assures that I will last on these forums for a hundred years!
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Old 12-01-04, 12:34 PM   #13
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Sounds like you might benefit from visiting the League of American Bicyclists web site. They have a lot of good suggestions and resources concerning bike safety, etc....
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