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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 07-09-11, 05:15 PM   #1
merkong
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Any trouble between the "Letters of the Law" and "Bike Messenger Wannabe" camps?

Is there any real animosity between riders who follow road laws "to the letter" and riders who are bit more "as the spirit moves you"?

I consider myself a safe rider but won't sit at a light until it changes if there is no oncoming traffic etc, etc.

I know all about the "bicycle ambasadorship" many of us feel the need to promote. I am just more concerned with riding and enjoying myself than I am about making sure motorists like us. I certainly do not do anyhing to make their lives more difficult but you get my drift.

Just curious if those who are prone to the details of the various laws have a real problem with thise of us who consider themselves a bit more unencmbered.

Peace.
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Old 07-09-11, 06:15 PM   #2
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Since the city where I live has been installing more sensitive sensors at lights, with accompanying marks on the pavement where they cut to install the sensors, I've found it easy enough to trigger them that I'll wait. The only exception is when it's the dead hours of the morning, if I can't get a light to trigger and there's no traffic on the road I'll go. I generally don't like anyone to see me blowing a sign or a light because I want drivers to see people cycling as though they are vehicles who follow the same rules of the road.
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Old 07-09-11, 06:43 PM   #3
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I obey the law because I don't feel it makes cycling any less safe for me to do so, and so when the few motorists who do whine about "cyclists don't obey the law" get their act going I can throw it right back in their face. Few of them even know what "Chapter 316 STATE UNIFORM TRAFFIC CONTROL" is.

Now, that doesn't mean I won't roll through a Stop Sign, for instance, if there are no other vehicles around; just as most motorists will do. But it does mean that I am highly likely to take the middle of the land and come to a complete stop if there are.

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Old 07-09-11, 08:57 PM   #4
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Old 07-10-11, 01:17 AM   #5
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+1
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Old 07-10-11, 02:48 AM   #6
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Rolling through stop signs when there's no traffic in sight is my cardinal sin. That and sloth.

However, a bicyclist often gets to see just how frequently drivers come to a complete stop at stop signs, and I'm at a loss to remember the last time I saw it happen.

Guy on a road bike passed me today. No biggie. He was moving along much faster than I was. He blew through a red light riding on the shoulder. I really don't have a problem with a bicyclist going through a red light, on a shoulder, at a T-intersection so there's no chance the bicyclist would be crossing into the path of traffic--although I tend not to do it.

I don't care when other bicyclists violate the laws, but aren't endangering themselves or others. It's the ones who seem to have a death wish as they pull in front of a car that get to me.
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Old 07-10-11, 07:03 AM   #7
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We are traffic, so why would we feel privledged to run a stop light or make others wait for us to do a "rolling stop" through a stop sign. As for those that say they ride through a stop light in the early morning when no one is around, hell I've done that in my car, but no one was around so it's like the fallen tree in the forest thing, really not an issue.
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Old 07-10-11, 07:07 AM   #8
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Originally Posted by CommuterRun View Post
But it does mean that I am highly likely to take the middle of the land and come to a complete stop if there are.
I also do that. And I do it in turning lanes and at some stop lights, depending on road construction/design
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Old 07-10-11, 07:16 AM   #9
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Originally Posted by beebe View Post
Since the city where I live has been installing more sensitive sensors at lights, with accompanying marks on the pavement where they cut to install the sensors, I've found it easy enough to trigger them that I'll wait. The only exception is when it's the dead hours of the morning, if I can't get a light to trigger and there's no traffic on the road I'll go. I generally don't like anyone to see me blowing a sign or a light because I want drivers to see people cycling as though they are vehicles who follow the same rules of the road.
Yep, pretty much what I do. I find it interesting that I feel more comfortable interacting with cars at an intersection than with cyclists. The other day I stopped at a three-way intersection and planned to turn left onto the road that "T"ed into the one I was on. Cyclist coming up to the stop from the other way made eye contact with me, and I saw that his hands went to his brakes, so I proceeded to make my turn only to have the guy zip through the stop swerving to miss me. He had the nerve to say a few choice things. No wonder motorists dislike cyclists.


-Gary
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Old 07-10-11, 12:39 PM   #10
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I'm pretty new to commuting so some of the long-timers here may get on me, but I ride where ever I want whenever it suits me. If a grassy median will get me to the front of the line quicker, then it becomes my lane of travel. If four lanes of cars are stopped dead for 1/8-mi at a long light, I rail right up the middle. If nobody's coming, I run the red light.

Though it may surprise some, part of the motivation to get me commuting by bike was the OPPORTUNITY to cut in line and break the rules. You have no idea if you will motivate a cager to ride tomorrow because you put a mile on them while sitting in a car in traffic.

It is for these reasons my 8.5 mile commute by truck takes 23 minutes and the same commute by bike only takes 32 minutes when I'm pushing it.

Flame on!
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Old 07-10-11, 02:22 PM   #11
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Originally Posted by john gault View Post
We are traffic, so why would we feel privledged to run a stop light or make others wait for us to do a "rolling stop" through a stop sign. As for those that say they ride through a stop light in the early morning when no one is around, hell I've done that in my car, but no one was around so it's like the fallen tree in the forest thing, really not an issue.
Those differences are the key.

I eschew the former behavior you describe.

The later behavior does not bother me, mostly since I do some of it. If I were tweaking the laws, rolling stops at stop signs would be legal at 5 MPH or less if there were no other vehicles or bikes or peds waiting at the intersection.
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Old 07-10-11, 04:31 PM   #12
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hell I've done that in my car
This is usually my guiding principle. If I'll do it in my car, I'll do it on my bike. Except offroading. I'll ride through grass on my bike no sweat.
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