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  1. #26
    Senior Member daihard's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by megalowmatt View Post
    We have really good bike lanes here. And I've never personally experienced a wheelchair in the bike lane. The occasional jogger - yes.

    If there's a completely clear, perfectly good bike lane, yes we actually need a reason to take the lane.
    We have protected bike lanes that run in front of a big nursing home. We also have a wide sidewalk, but some of the residents on wheelchair choose to use the bike lanes - presumably to avoid pedestrians.

    I actually take the lane there for another reason as well. I crashed in February in order to avoid hitting a car that turned to get into a parking lot and block my way, despite the green paint on that section of the bike paths. That incident has made me realize that protected bike lanes can give riders a false sense of security. It was in the daytime. I had both my front and rear lights on. I was going at 14-15 MPH. I had the right of way. Yet it happened.
    Badly-behaved cyclists are usually just cyclists with inadequate infrastructure. Or none at all. - Mikael Colville-Andersen

  2. #27
    Senior Member jpatkinson's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by SargonDragon View Post
    Ha! Apparently so!

    I only just joined this forum, and my reception has been generally less than friendly so far. I probably won't be staying long.
    You chose a specific "Commuter" sub-forum and not the most "friendly" topic, FWIW. There are many ways of participating in online forums; joining and then generating a post like yours (which I initially thought was a joke) right off the bat is kind of like taking-up hand-guns for the first time and going to a ***-owners forum and attempting to "shed some light" on why you think *** control is a good idea.

  3. #28
    Senior Member TransitBiker's Avatar
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    I couldn't care less what motorists around me think or feel, as long as they don't endanger myself or others. I do what i'm supposed to do, so if they have issue, they can pound sand.

    - Andy
    I can't wait for the next pint of good chocolate milk after a long ride.

  4. #29
    Senior Member Astrozombie's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by SargonDragon View Post

    I didn't even know taking the lane was legal myself until a few days ago.
    Disturbing every time you hear this, stricter driving tests is a must! If you don't know how to treat a cyclist then you shouldn't be allowed to pass. Seems to me like most people do pass without the issue ever coming up.

    Quote Originally Posted by SargonDragon View Post
    Actually, I take my Corvette to race tracks and autocross events to stretch its legs, not the public roads.
    Good, seems like too many motorists think it's a racetrack out there! Always funny/awkward when you catch up to them at the stop sign/red light after a close fast overtake
    Assume nothing; Question everything

  5. #30
    Senior Member TransitBiker's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by e0richt View Post
    so I guess you are saying that an operator of a vehicle that weighs about 2000 lbs, and is licensed by the state they reside in, that they don't know that cyclists belong in the road... I guess, my feeling is if that is the case, they really shouldn't have a license to drive to begin with... also, I have thought that some activism should make sure the rights and responsibilities of bicycles should be mandatory on a drivers test so that drivers know what is expected.

    so also are there any bicycle lanes where you live? if so, wouldn't a driver get an idea that cyclists belong in the road?

    I actually think a driver that harasses a cyclist really does have a character flaw...

    not really their fault? don't you think that someone that controls a vehicle that can kill others should be a bit more in control of themselves? shouldn't they be held to a higher standard? I think what you are saying is just a bunch of psycho-babble... wonder if you are trying to justify your own problem of control while driving a car...

    now, a lot of my difficulties on the road, is usually not impatient drivers, I actually think its tied more to "timing" during an encounter.... drivers tend to misjudge the cyclists speed so they try to out run them before making a turn... or the road is a bit busy when a cyclist arrives at an intersection, where a driver is trying to make a left turn, doesn't see cyclist until the last second... that kind of thing.
    Been saying that for years.

    - Andy
    I can't wait for the next pint of good chocolate milk after a long ride.

  6. #31
    Senior Member daihard's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by e0richt
    ...make sure the rights and responsibilities of bicycles should be mandatory on a drivers test so that drivers know what is expected.
    Quote Originally Posted by TransitBiker View Post
    Been saying that for years.

    - Andy
    I would take a step further and require that all driver's license applicants ride a bicycle on the road for a certain amount of time as part of the "driving" exam.
    Badly-behaved cyclists are usually just cyclists with inadequate infrastructure. Or none at all. - Mikael Colville-Andersen

  7. #32
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    Quote Originally Posted by megalowmatt View Post
    If there's a completely clear, perfectly good bike lane, yes we actually need a reason to take the lane.
    it's not just about whether the bike lane is clear. it's about positioning for cross traffic and pull outs from alleys, drive ways, and parking lots. i often avoid even the extra-wide bike lanes in portland because i simply do not have the reaction time to avoid some idjit who "does not see me" and tries to dart across an arterial.
    Road rash is a precious gift. Road rash is your friend. Bask in it, appreciate it, love it. Above all, learn from it. --Robert Hurst

  8. #33
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    Quote Originally Posted by SargonDragon View Post
    That's an interesting response. And quite hostile.

    It seems likely that you're venting anger at me for what other motorists have done to you. I have never harassed a bicyclist. Not even a little.
    no venting of anger on my part, but unfortunately your argument has no merit... a motorist that is irritated by a cyclist is probably just as irritated with a slow driver or slow moving garbage truck etc... interestingly enough though, one doesn't hear much about "crazy motorist harasses garbage truck"...

    you also pointed out in your original post that you understood this irritation which implies some internal conflict there.

  9. #34
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    Quote Originally Posted by jpatkinson View Post
    You chose a specific "Commuter" sub-forum and not the most "friendly" topic, FWIW. There are many ways of participating in online forums; joining and then generating a post like yours (which I initially thought was a joke) right off the bat is kind of like taking-up hand-guns for the first time and going to a ***-owners forum and attempting to "shed some light" on why you think *** control is a good idea.
    That's the thing though. To use your analogy, I did not write that *** control is a good idea. I wrote that I used to think *** control was a good idea, I know better now, and here's what I hope is helpful insight into why I had felt that way so that we can convince others, too.

    As far as I can tell, many of the commenters didn't actually read what I wrote. They stopped when I admitted to driving a car, and that's all they needed to know.

    I joined this forum because I've started biking and started taking the lane myself and was concerned about the reactions of some motorists to it. I wanted to discuss the situation and how to improve it.

    I don't see simply assuming that motorists are bad people as useful to resolving the issues.

    That notion seems to have opened me to considerable hostility from other bicyclists.

  10. #35
    You gonna eat that? Doohickie's Avatar
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    I think that, at least some of the time, the issue is that a driver recognizes a slow-moving cyclist late, has to take assertive action on the brakes to avoid hitting them, and feel uncomfortable that they almost killed a human being. Since they've driven for years and this almost never happens to them, it must be the fault of the cyclist. Just because.


    I've seen a lot of people who seem to drive like this. Not just when they encounter bicycles, but other cars as well. Why, back in my day (get off my lawn and stuff), we were taught in driver's ed to be proactive and strategic in our driving. Don't look 100 feet ahead in just your lane, but rather take in the whole scene and constantly evaluate the situation for hazards, then plan and execute escape routes around them. If you see someone in the lane ahead of you, check your mirrors and change lanes a quarter mile before you come up on them, rather than coming upon them, checking mirrors, getting frustrated, etc., etc. I don't think new drivers are taught much more than very basic tactical driving skills.
    Last edited by Doohickie; 05-23-14 at 12:12 PM.
    I stop for people / whose right of way I honor / but not for no one.



    Originally Posted by bragi "However, it's never a good idea to overgeneralize."

  11. #36
    Mister Bleak! mconlonx's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Gnosis View Post
    Some portion of every stateís driver license test should be dedicated to questions asked about cars and bicycles coexisting on the roadways however, such likely isnít the case.
    I know in Maine from sitting in on my son's drivers ed class a few years ago that they do teach bicycle law and awareness in driving courses and there's at least one meaningful question on the test regarding cyclists. It's a short segment of a long course and negligible on the test, but it's not nothing and the way this instructor presented it was decent, fair, and accurate. Basically: they are fellow road users and should be respected as such, also, they are vulnerable users with more limited visibility, so watch out for them and give them room. Instructor and curriculum presented nothing I could argue with...
    Quote Originally Posted by Nicodemus regarding mconlonx View Post
    You, I don't generally think of you as clueless. You're kind of ok.
    I know next to nothing. I am frequently wrong.

  12. #37
    rugged individualist wphamilton's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by SargonDragon View Post
    Ha! Apparently so!

    I only just joined this forum, and my reception has been generally less than friendly so far. I probably won't be staying long.
    Don't take it personally. You've got to expect some push-back when you post up that you're a beginner but that all of the experienced commuters have gotten it all wrong ...

  13. #38
    Senior Member jrickards's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Gnosis View Post
    Some portion of every state’s driver license test should be dedicated to questions asked about cars and bicycles coexisting on the roadways however, such likely isn’t the case.
    It is my understanding that Ontario (Canada) will be (or has already) changing the licence exams to require more knowledge of cyclist's road rights.

    Quote Originally Posted by Gnosis View Post
    When I obtained my driver’s license back in 1973, nothing was asked about bicycles coexisting with cars on roadways. THERE’S where the problem originates; inappropriate teaching and testing to obtain a driver’s license for a combustion engine vehicle.
    Both my father and father-in-law turned 80 within the last 6 months and, both being good drivers, underwent licencing exams for the first time since they got their licences (at least 50 yrs ago). Many laws have changed since then. I think that perhaps, in order to renew your licence, a driver needs to take a written test which will enable the government to identify new laws or emphasize changes in situations such as more cyclists = greater awareness of their rights.
    A word to the wise ain't necessary - it's the stupid ones that need the advice. Bill Cosby

  14. #39
    Yogi on Wheels schiiism's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by rpcleary View Post
    Favorite observation I've ever heard: "You ever notice how cyclists are always smiling? Drivers and Joggers never smile!"

    They're cooped up inside a box, not getting the endorphins!
    I love that

    I think if more adults actually rode bicycles themselves AS ADULTS, they would appreciate cyclists rather than be impatient with them. Personally I have developed a much better view of cyclists since I started commuting--it gives you an appreciation for the dangerous situations they go through daily.

    It also makes you realize that some things in life don't need to be let go just because you're older, or because it's no longer a necessity to get around. It makes me think of this quote by HG Wells:

    "Every time I see an adult on a bicycle, I no longer despair for the future of the human race."

  15. #40
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    The OP does make some good observations. Education would definitely help, but what is the best way to learn about something? Do it! I would bet experienced cyclists who are driving a car encounters a cyclist, they are more tolerant. The OP is a perfect example. He has learned that taking the lane is what you have to do sometimes. And is probably now more tolerant of other cyclists when in the 'Vette.

    Here's a not-gonna-happen solution: Require all wanna-be drivers to log 200 miles on a bicycle on roads with 35+ MPH speed limits.

  16. #41
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    Quote Originally Posted by e0richt View Post
    no venting of anger on my part, but unfortunately your argument has no merit... a motorist that is irritated by a cyclist is probably just as irritated with a slow driver or slow moving garbage truck etc... interestingly enough though, one doesn't hear much about "crazy motorist harasses garbage truck"...

    you also pointed out in your original post that you understood this irritation which implies some internal conflict there.
    Ah. Well, this is more what I actually wanted to discuss. This is where I see a rift between what bicyclists think motorists think and what motorists actually think.

    I don't actually feel irritated at having to slow down or stop for garbage trucks doing their thing. I don't want to slow down. I drive a Corvette. I like to go fast. Yet even I am not bothered by this. And I think that is typical of most motorists.

    I'm not irritated by slow drivers either even if I get stuck behind them... unless they move into the fast lane where they don't belong. That irritates me because then they're blocking faster traffic when they don't need to.

    I'm not going to suggest that there aren't drivers who get angry at anything that slows them down for any reason, justified or not. But I think most drivers aren't that way. They have varying levels of patience but for the most part don't have a problem with slowing down sometimes when it is necessary.

    Do you also drive a car? What I've noticed is that a lot of bicyclists pretty much only ride bicycles and so don't seem to understand the point of view of motorists very well. That may be harmful to bicycling advocacy.

  17. #42
    Senior Member jpatkinson's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by SargonDragon View Post
    That's the thing though. To use your analogy, I did not write that *** control is a good idea. I wrote that I used to think *** control was a good idea, I know better now, and here's what I hope is helpful insight into why I had felt that way so that we can convince others, too.

    As far as I can tell, many of the commenters didn't actually read what I wrote. They stopped when I admitted to driving a car, and that's all they needed to know.

    I joined this forum because I've started biking and started taking the lane myself and was concerned about the reactions of some motorists to it. I wanted to discuss the situation and how to improve it.

    I don't see simply assuming that motorists are bad people as useful to resolving the issues.

    That notion seems to have opened me to considerable hostility from other bicyclists.
    My analogy is a stretch, I admit. I am not seeing the "considerable hostility" you describe in the few comments that disagree with your perception.

    My experience is that those in a minority understand the perspective of the majority WAY better than the other way around. The vast majority of cyclists are ALSO motorists. In my case, I grew up in rural Michigan, I have been cycling since 1977, driving since 1981 (15 cars, every state but AK), motorcycling since 2004, now live in a dense city -- and I look at most road "situations" from all perspectives (like many here on this forum).

    I see driving a motorized vehicle as a privilege (and a massive responsibility), and being able to walk and cycle more as rights (though probably not constitutional!). The damage to our planet, our roads, our SELVES wrought by automobiles is astronomical. A cyclist is usually out there by necessity, out of a desire to get fit or "tread lightly" in the course of his or her day. In my small world, any inconvenience perceived by motorists is, frankly, insane. A slow cyclist taking a lane might delay the motorist by a minute or two (at the most). For this to make a motorist feel angry (let alone act angry) is a testament to our culture of immediate gratification, selfishness, isolation, and violence.

  18. #43
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    Quote Originally Posted by wphamilton View Post
    Don't take it personally. You've got to expect some push-back when you post up that you're a beginner but that all of the experienced commuters have gotten it all wrong ...
    Indeed. It was a mistake to suggest that motorists might not actually be subhuman.

    I think I'm done. Joining bikeforums was a mistake. I really don't fit in here.

  19. #44
    Super Newbie Shawn Gossman's Avatar
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    In my parts, for the most part, motorists give us room and treat us with respect.. of course truckers usually don't but they think they own the roads anyways. I am pretty kind though, if there is a big paved and clean shoulder, I'll ride on it instead of the road. I get a lot of scolding from other cyclists though over road rights and that but I am a gental giant, I try to give everyone a win/win resolution.
    Tour de Shawn - My Neglected Personal Cycling Blog

  20. #45
    rugged individualist wphamilton's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by SargonDragon View Post
    Indeed. It was a mistake to suggest that motorists might not actually be subhuman.

    I think I'm done. Joining bikeforums was a mistake. I really don't fit in here.
    Ignorant and impatient, not subhuman. Except in the car-free section (and most of them there), almost every cyclist on Bike Forums is also a driver.

    Personally, I didn't take up cycling until I was 48. I have a commercial license. I've driven just about everything, and maybe 150,000 miles on fast motorcycles. I don't recall ever being angered or annoyed with a bicycle on the road, and I didn't realize that so many people were ignorant of these laws until becoming a cyclist.

    It shouldn't have surprised me, because I did realize how ignorant drivers were in general. For example, some guy in a Porsche in the fast lane getting upset because someone else is going 75 and he wants to go 90 (this isn't directed at you personally), that sort of ignorance is common. It's all part of the same problem in my opinion: people being ignorant of the laws and the extent of their own privilege.

  21. #46
    Packfodding 3 caloso's Avatar
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    I really don't care how drivers feel; I care how they drive.
    Cyclists of the world, unite! You have nothing to lube but your chains!

  22. #47
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    Quote Originally Posted by SargonDragon View Post
    Looking around these forums and elsewhere, it seems clear that bicyclists generally believe that motorists become irate when they have to slow down, and it is due to this inherent impatience that bicyclists are often scorned.

    I don't think that's actually true.

    I am a new bicyclist myself. I think I have a different perspective on it than someone who has been riding a bicycle all of their life.

    I drive a Corvette. I drive quite fast at times. I don't like to slow down. And before I started bicycling myself recently, I had a pretty dim view of bicyclists riding on the street.

    It wasn't because I'd have to slow down for them. It was because I thought they were doing something they shouldn't be doing _and_ inconveniencing me while they were at it. I don't like to slow down in my Corvette, but I don't mind it when it is justified. It bothers me only when I feel that it isn't justified.

    I've noticed, for example, that motorists don't seem to get upset at stopping for pedestrians in a cross walk. I can't think of when I've ever seen a motorist yell at a pedestrian to get off the street in this sort of circumstance.

    Yet if I inconvenience a motorist even slightly while taking the lane in my bicycle, they're liable to be irritated and honk their horn or yell. Bicyclists clearly get treated very differently. That much is obvious to me already.

    I believe the real cause is that most motorists (myself included) only ever used bicycles as children before they got a car. Parents teach their children to ride bicycles on the sidewalks as if they were pedestrians. So whatever the law actually says, most motorists know that you aren't supposed to ride a bicycle in the street where the cars go.

    They think that because they were raised to think that. They probably even got spanked if they did otherwise.

    And the state does very little to teach them what the law actually is when they get their licenses.

    I didn't even know taking the lane was legal myself until a few days ago.

    Motorists get irate at bicyclists primarily because they believe bicyclists aren't supposed to be riding in the street where the cars are at all. Forcing a motorist to slow down amplifies that irritation, but it's not actually the root cause.

    I can see where this is a difficult situation that's hard to untangle. Even if a motorist is told the actual law, it conflicts with how they were raised. So the typical reaction is going to be skepticism rather than acceptance. They'll think it's one of those weird outdated laws everybody ignores.

    So how do you fix that? Should parents have their children ride in the street in vehicular lanes so they can be raised to ride bicycles correctly according to the law? A 12 year old on a 35mph street surrounded by SUVs? Not very likely!
    That's well thought out and I agree

    I don't know what the answer is. But I think it's a positive step to understand what is actually going on rather than reflecting anger back at motorists and blaming it on them. It's not really their fault. The situation is the result of a complex issue, not a character flaw of the motorist (or the bicyclist).
    Although I agree reflecting anger back is not correct, and does make it worse,
    ignorance of the law does not excuse this dangerous, and often illegal behavior by motorists.

    see that video of the hillbilly that got arrested after recording himself buzzing cyclists on the road?
    arrested.

    I hope for more progress on these sharing the road issues because I'm loving riding my bike.
    completely agree

  23. #48
    Senior Member GhostSS's Avatar
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    At risk of exposing myself as an ill tempered jerk, I'm pretty much angry all the time, biking or driving a car. When I was a daily driver I yelled at other drivers at least once a week for dangerous driving. As a daily cyclist I still yell at drivers at least once a week for dangerous driving.

    Anecdotes from 2 sides of the coin:

    -I remember having to drive up a single lane road 5 AM and having to wait behind a group of lycra clad roadies going 15 mph, no other cars in sight. They took up the full road, did not bother to allow me to pass when it was clear that I wanted to, and even looked back at me and smiled (which BTW to those who say just "smile and wave" IS NOT a good way to diffuse drivers, it just comes off as smug, trollish, and arrogant). Clearly this is a no win situation, if a group of cyclist refuse to let a car pass what can I do but get irritated? Probably the only time I've ever been angry at cyclists, but it was in response to trollish behavior.

    -I cycle to work during morning rush hour and often times take the shoulder to pass cars when gridlocked. I've had on several occasions been purposefully blocked by motorists so I can't filter through the shoulder. They can't move but a couple feet during bad traffic and they choose to angle the nose of their cars into the shoulder when they see me in their rear view just to prevent me from passing through.

    Both of these stories involve being actively blocked. Yes, when it happens on purpose I lose me temper right away.

  24. #49
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    Quote Originally Posted by SargonDragon View Post
    I agree that this is definitely part of the problem.

    However, I suspect that just getting it into the drivers education and license testing wouldn't actually help all that much. By the time people are getting their drivers licenses, it's too late for that information to really be absorbed. It's hard for it to stick because it's the reverse of how they were raised to think bicycles should be ridden growing up.

    In order for the general populace to really get it, they need to learn and have exposure early.

    I'm suggesting that the problem at its core is that they actually do learn and have exposure early... to the wrong way! And it's hard to undo that!
    Too late to be absorbed? Thatís absurd. Weíre not talking about 100 year olds with failing memories. Most people acquire their driverís license by 18 years old, a prime age for starting college and for absorbing knowledge. Additionally, theyíd have to absorb the knowledge in order to pass the driverís test, so your reasoning is flawed.

  25. #50
    Senior Member TransitBiker's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by schiiism View Post
    I love that

    I think if more adults actually rode bicycles themselves AS ADULTS, they would appreciate cyclists rather than be impatient with them. Personally I have developed a much better view of cyclists since I started commuting--it gives you an appreciation for the dangerous situations they go through daily.

    It also makes you realize that some things in life don't need to be let go just because you're older, or because it's no longer a necessity to get around. It makes me think of this quote by HG Wells:

    "Every time I see an adult on a bicycle, I no longer despair for the future of the human race."


    - Andy
    I can't wait for the next pint of good chocolate milk after a long ride.

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