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Old 02-17-05, 07:52 PM   #1
jharte
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Cyclists struck by car!

I just read some of the threads on being intimidated by traffic. How ironic. I just watched on the news tonight about two cyclists who were struck by a car on a park road in KCMO. This is a fairly popular cycling road. However, it is busy during rush hour. Also, no shoulder to ride. A nice winding park road.

The driver said he came upon two cyclists riding abreast. He said he slowed and honked. The cyclist furthest from the edge didn't move. The driver then said as he tried to pass he clipped one of the cyclists with his side view mirror. both cyclists went down.

The cyclists said the driver intentionally swerved to hit them.

I have been a commuter/tourist for almost 25 years. I have a rule if you ride with me. In traffic, single file.

It really bothers me when two or more cyclists ride abreast in traffic or on semi busy streets. I have ridden with multitudes of other cyclists on nice winding country roads. MS150 is a great example. Also, very little to no traffic.

Just curious what your thoughts are on a subject like this.

It is nice to vent once in a while!
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Old 02-17-05, 07:57 PM   #2
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I think its perfectly legal to ride abreast, and in any case the car driver is an idiot if he can't avoid hitting a clearly visable cyclist. That being said, its not a great idea to encorage road rage by riding abreast.
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Old 02-17-05, 08:06 PM   #3
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Local laws will vary. It's illegal to ride two abreast here and in many other states.

Still, if they were in the lane, my personal feeling is that the driver is at fault as he violated the other lane. The cyclist struck could just have easily been executing an in-lane passing manuver.

Sorry, the I-ran-them-over-because-they-wouldn't-move defense doesn't fly with this guy here.
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Old 02-17-05, 08:27 PM   #4
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I think riding two abreast on a two lane road (one lane in their direction) when it impedes a motorist is rude, if not illegal (in some states it is, in others it is not).

That said, the driver is still at fault for hitting them when passing, of course.
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Old 02-17-05, 08:41 PM   #5
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My sense is that the motorist was acting out his frustrations by passing so close. He was making an effort to intimidate his fellow citizens and maybe not so accidentally struck the inside rider.

Riding two abreast can be a factor especiallly when a motorist tries to pass while remaining right of the centerline. Though the law in my state is that the motorist must give half the lane width while passing, drivers overtake me "inside the yellow" all the time.
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Old 02-17-05, 09:09 PM   #6
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[QUOTE=jharte] Also, no shoulder to ride. A nice winding park road.QUOTE]

you have the right, if not the responsability, to take the lane in this situation.
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Old 02-17-05, 10:03 PM   #7
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Shorty
I think its perfectly legal to ride abreast, and in any case the car driver is an idiot if he can't avoid hitting a clearly visable cyclist. That being said, its not a great idea to encorage road rage by riding abreast.
Depends on location. BC Motor Vehicle Act prohibits riding abreast, as any slow-moving vehicle (the class into which bikes are placed) is to stay "as close to the shoulder as practical." (note: it does state explicitly riding two abreast is not allowed, if I remember correctly. As well, many local bylaws reinforce the same).


Quote:
Originally Posted by jwad
you have the right, if not the responsability, to take the lane in this situation.
I would not necessarily support this, depending on the length of the road stretch, how many periods of visibility along the stretch, blind corners, etc. I have encountered far too many cyclists who "take a lane" when it is not warranted. While I think that cyclists (and I am one) need to be granted respect on the road, many cyclists carry it too far, taking a superiority complex ("Look at me on my environmentally friendly machine!") and are not willing to return the courtesy to vehicles (passing on the right pass vehicles signalling a right turn, riding abreast on busy roads, etc). Although the motorist is definitely not excused for his loss of patience (that's never an excuse to take out a biker, another car, a pedestrian), the cyclists probably need to take a share of the responsibility, as well.
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Old 02-17-05, 10:15 PM   #8
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In Houston, I get this sort of thing on a regular basis. First the guy honks. If I don't dive for the curb, he swings over to give my a "nudge" with his side mirror. Always a male, age 20 to 30. Usually in a big truck.

AND, this is why I am against cyclists carrying guns. The temptation would be overpowering.
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Old 02-17-05, 10:24 PM   #9
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he's attempting to strike you with a deadly weapon...sounds like a reason to defend myself.
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Old 02-17-05, 11:13 PM   #10
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[QUOTE=INP] "as close to the shoulder as practical." (note: it does state explicitly riding two abreast is not allowed, if I remember correctly. As well, many local bylaws reinforce the same).




I would not necessarily support this, depending on the length of the road stretch, how many periods of visibility along the stretch, blind corners, etc. I have encountered far too many cyclists who "take a lane" when it is not warranted. QUOTE]


I was assuming that the cyclist in question had a reason for not moving over to allow the car to pass. I think most of us understand that picking a fight with a truck is a loosing battle.
Also, if the road is winding and narrow, it becomes unsafe for the cyclist, the driver in the vehicle trying to pass, and any vehical that may be coming around the next curve to try and move over to the edge of the road, when there is not room for the vehicle to get through safely. Being in front of the car, and not having blind spots, probably gives the cyclist a greater ability to determine when it is unsafe to pass. Its probably a good idea to signal to the driver that you know he/she is there, and that you dont want him to pass at that moment though.
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Old 02-17-05, 11:19 PM   #11
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[QUOTE=jwad]
Quote:
Originally Posted by INP
"as close to the shoulder as practical." (note: it does state explicitly riding two abreast is not allowed, if I remember correctly. As well, many local bylaws reinforce the same).




I would not necessarily support this, depending on the length of the road stretch, how many periods of visibility along the stretch, blind corners, etc. I have encountered far too many cyclists who "take a lane" when it is not warranted. QUOTE]


I was assuming that the cyclist in question had a reason for not moving over to allow the car to pass. I think most of us understand that picking a fight with a truck is a loosing battle.
Also, if the road is winding and narrow, it becomes unsafe for the cyclist, the driver in the vehicle trying to pass, and any vehical that may be coming around the next curve to try and move over to the edge of the road, when there is not room for the vehicle to get through safely. Being in front of the car, and not having blind spots, probably gives the cyclist a greater ability to determine when it is unsafe to pass. Its probably a good idea to signal to the driver that you know he/she is there, and that you dont want him to pass at that moment though.
how would you properly signal a driver to NOT pass
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Old 02-18-05, 12:10 AM   #12
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how would you properly signal a driver to NOT pass

With your GUN of course!
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Old 02-18-05, 01:35 AM   #13
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Quote:
Originally Posted by jwad
I was assuming that the cyclist in question had a reason for not moving over to allow the car to pass.
I was mainly taking issue with riding two abreast on a narrow windy road - I agree with you (obviously) that if a cyclist cannot move to the shoulder for safety issues it is better to "take the lane."
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Old 02-18-05, 01:40 AM   #14
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I'm with someone else we take the lane, slightly staggered or side by side, just depends on the road and how hard we are riding.
If I'm by myself I usually ride ever so slightly to the right of the center of the lane. If the right lane is wide enought for a car and bike to fit comfortably, I'll get to the right as much as is comfortable. If the lane is narrow, I am in the center or maybe even to the left of center (because narrow lanes are often in dense areas where you need to see people making right turns into your lane and a left posture is best for both visibility and manueverability.)
In all cases the general principle is that if the lane isn't big enough for a car and me, I don't want to give the impression to the driver behind me that he can pass without making sure the next lane to his left is completely clear because he'll need to utilize a good portion or all of that lane. If the da poor, poor baby has to swow down or move his wittle wrist more than he'd like, tough. I don't find it disturbing if they only move halfway into that next lane to pass as long as I'm given proper space, but what I don't want and discourage by my positioning is the thinking that they can basically squeeze by in my lane (again, unless the lane is plenty wide for it).

Who wants to ride single file all the time? It makes talking nearly impossible and isn't a sociable way to ride. In any case the car needs an entirely clear lane to pass, so what does it matter if he has to put 50, 75, or 100 percent of his car into that lane?

I don't know about the law in other places, but in Texas it's legal for the cyclist to take the lane in lanes than are under 14ft. wide. That seems fair to me. I'm not sure what, if anything it says about riding abreast, but if one bike can take most lanes I don't see why two bikes couldn't ride abreast.


I don't have much patience for the blame the bicyclist argument in this situation. The blame sounds like it was wholly the motorist's. People act as if because they ride bikes alot they can't possible have the car-washed convenience-philia of cagers who think bicyclists should be happy for the privilege of using the road. The dude who hit these guys was being lazy, hostile and cowardly. End of story.
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Old 02-18-05, 06:22 AM   #15
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Originally Posted by skookum
With your GUN of course!
LMFAO. touch-ay.
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Old 02-18-05, 07:02 AM   #16
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In Vermont it's legal to ride abreast as long as you're not obstructing other traffic.

Sufficiently nebulous?
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Old 02-18-05, 07:50 AM   #17
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i do blame the cyclists a little....

why go out on a narrow road during rush hour for a friendly coffee chat style ride??? your an idiot... if your gonna ride during those times find a nice wide quiet stratch of road or even better a multi-use path! if they were commuters i humbly apologize, but even they must know of safer routes or better ways to conduct themselves on unsafe routes.

of course it is still the drivers fault completely, but in my opinion but these cyclists were asking for a confrontation in which they will never win.

if i am on a narrow road i am sure as ***** gonna ride single file and often if i can feel a nervous driver on my ass while i am solo i'll give him a couple hands signals... like a big stop for please don't pass me over this blind hill or around this blind corner; but then as soon as i see the coast is clear i get over as far as possible and try and wave them through...

blocking traffic is pretty lame unless you really have too... and who the h@ll can enjoy the ride anyway with the sound of an engine right behind you???
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Old 02-18-05, 09:18 AM   #18
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Quote:
Originally Posted by max-a-mill
why go out on a narrow road during rush hour for a friendly coffee chat style ride??? your an idiot... if your gonna ride during those times find a nice wide quiet stratch of road or even better a multi-use path! if they were commuters i humbly apologize...
Yikes! Who says they weren't out on a nice fitness ride, riding at the posted speed limit? *(yes I know I'm an idiot, but don't run me down just for that-particularly if you've seen me) Perhaps the driver was speeding, or wanted to? MUP's are not suited for all kinds of cycling, perhaps they were on there way to one?

In short, nothing I say really matters. The driver saw them, slowed, then opted to pass them in an unsafe manner, hitting one. Not an accident, rather a deliberate action.
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Old 02-18-05, 11:20 AM   #19
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Camel
The driver saw them, slowed, then opted to pass them in an unsafe manner, hitting one. Not an accident, rather a deliberate action.
but wasn't it BECAUSE they didn't get out of the way??? in the article it seemed that they contiued riding abreast even after they knew the car was there, making it impossible for the car to pass... way to make new friends on the road and be good ambassadors for the rest of us; IDIOTS....

of course it is still the drivers fault but.....
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Old 02-18-05, 11:31 AM   #20
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Quote:
Originally Posted by max-a-mill
i do blame the cyclists a little....


of course it is still the drivers fault completely
I'm glad we straightened that up.
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Old 02-18-05, 12:29 PM   #21
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Anthony King
I'm glad we straightened that up.
so you can't figure out what i'm saying???? REALLY??? or are you just the coolest wise@ss on the internet?

i do blame the cyclists a little.... - for getting themselves into the situation in the first place


of course it is still the drivers fault completely - for hitting them
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Old 02-18-05, 04:44 PM   #22
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It is legal to ride abreast in Missouri . . . "when not impeding traffic". See link below to St Louis BikeFed, click on Education: Laws for summary.

http://stlbikefed.org


Riding to right, required for bicycles and motorized bicycles.
307.190. Every person operating a bicycle or motorized bicycle at less than the posted speed or slower than the flow of traffic upon a street or highway shall ride as near to the right side of the roadway as safe, exercising due care when passing a standing vehicle or one proceeding in the same direction,
EXCEPT
when making a left turn, when avoiding hazardous conditions, when the lane is too narrow to share with another vehicle, or when on a one-way street. Bicyclists may ride abreast when not impeding other vehicles.
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Old 02-18-05, 09:12 PM   #23
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Quote:
Originally Posted by max-a-mill
but wasn't it BECAUSE they didn't get out of the way??? in the article it seemed that they contiued riding abreast even after they knew the car was there, making it impossible for the car to pass... way to make new friends on the road and be good ambassadors for the rest of us; IDIOTS....

of course it is still the drivers fault but.....
Driving a motorized vehicle does not give an operator the rite to hit visible slow vehicles in the motorway. Following operators must slow to a safe speed so as not to collide, then wait for a safe oportunity to pass (usually a clear site line of several hundred feet or more into the oposite travel lane). The cyclists in this example are not "obstructions", they are considered slower moving vehicles.

If a lane is not safe to share with a car & a cyclist side by side-the cyclist has every LEGAL rite to occupy the lane. Riding two abreast does not change the width of the lane, nor the amount of space available to pass (oncoming traffic still has to be clear).

...making friends? good embassadors? Idiots? I disagree with your logic.
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Old 02-18-05, 09:46 PM   #24
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Legal in Texas. Not smart, but legal:

From the Texas drivers handbook, chapter 13:
7. Persons riding two abreast shall not impede the normal and reasonable
flow of traffic on the roadway. Persons riding two abreast on a laned roadway
must ride in a single lane.
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Old 02-18-05, 10:32 PM   #25
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My wife and I took a ride on a short winding rode to get to the next bike trail (Illinois). We were riding as close to the side as possible and single file. This lady started honking at us in her big white "bubba truck". She then passed us and stopped about 30 or so feet ahead. We just got off the side of the road and just stared at her. She was about to kick it in reverse when she saw she was obstructing traffic. She revved up the engine and high tailed it out of there. We just shook our heads in disbelief... and went on our way. I believe there are some real "nut cases" that can't deal with bikes riding in their "lane" or being on the road. Even with us riding single file and close to the shoulder isn't enough. Pleople need to be educated... I just don't know why there aren't some national PSA's or education in school? Sad world we live in.

Keep Cycling!
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