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Old 09-09-07, 10:01 AM   #1
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Inconsiderate bikers and mad motorists

Yesterday, I ovserved first hand why we, as bikers, sometimes have to endure the wrath of motorists. I was traveling north out of town on a road with a paved shoulder wide enough to be a four lane road. Three bikers were in front of me--not locals. One was riding on the shoulder next to the auto lane. The second was in the car lane having a leisure chat with the rider on the shoulder. About 20 yards ahead of these two was another rider in the car lane. We were on a curve, hence, we were in a no passing lane. Behind the riders were two automobiles and two eighteen wheelers. I visitors finally moved over when I was down to about 12 mph. and the single rider finally moved over just BARELY on to the shoulder and immediately pulled back into the car lane in front of the first eighteen wheeler nearly getting hit. From their kit and bikes, one would assume they would be experienced bikers; however, they may have had more money than biking experience. I think the term is "OCP?"

Anyway, it doesn't take many south ends of north bound horses to give the masses of riders a bad name.
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Old 09-09-07, 10:08 AM   #2
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I don't get it...on a "four lane road", what's the problem? Seems like you could have changed lanes and passed with no problems.

Also, how wide was the "shoulder" and in what condition? On 4 lane roads, if the shoulder is narrow, or full of debris, I'll ride in the traffic lane. It's permitted by law (in most places), and by custom.
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Old 09-09-07, 10:21 AM   #3
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That's a huge problem around here--when I started riding in Reno years ago, I rarely saw another adult cyclist, and drivers mostly ignored me or made a point of giving me room. Now the roads are full of Lance wannabes, all dressed in their superhero outfits, and a lot of them are what used to be called Arrogant Roadie Pr!cks. They block the city streets, hammer in packs three and four abreast down rural roads and block traffic constantly. I've been riding for more than 30 years, I'm 100 percent behind cyclists' rights, but they even piss ME off. It amazes me not that so many drivers hate bikes, but that ALL of them don't. I write a newspaper column, and every spring I do a reminder for cyclists that if they want the right of the road, they have to take the responsibility that comes with it--obey the law, yield when you should, stuff like that I've had two death threats from riders, several drives to get me fired and many promises along the lines of "if I see you on the road, I'm going to kick your @$$." Last year I printed a detailed description of my bike and told exactly when and where I'd be riding on a Saturday morning. Imagine my surprise when nobody showed up.
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Old 09-09-07, 10:42 AM   #4
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Man, I guess they are everywhere. It reminds me of when I was still working. Everybody knows how busy Chicago is and it's worse in rush hour. A lot of people would take back roads to try and get out of traffic, like everywhere else. Anyhow these 3 guys, everyday at the peak of rush hour, were all riding abreast, like they always did. They always had traffic backed up for miles and when you got by them they were laughing and having the time of there lives, while everybody behind them were a little ticked off. One day I was about 3 cars back and we were coming down this long hill, I had this one ton truck in front of me and you could see he was getting pretty fed up with this game. Anyhow he dropped back and then he started to coast down the hill while engine braking, when he got next to the riders that truck back fired and it was so loud you wouldn't believe it. One went into the ditch, one gave him the finger and the other grabbed his ears and everybody behind them laughed and blew there horns at the jerks. I never seen them after that.
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Old 09-09-07, 11:01 AM   #5
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"Sharing the Road" is something drivers and cyclists both need to do do more of.

My take of the OP is that he is describing a two lane road with a wide paved shoulder.
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Old 09-09-07, 11:26 AM   #6
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Percentage wise, I see much worse behavior from cyclists than drivers. Of course, cyclists can't inflict as much harm as a car, but our image is damaged, and that hurts us all.
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Old 09-09-07, 11:27 AM   #7
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They block the city streets, hammer in packs three and four abreast down rural roads and block traffic constantly.
According to the law in all US states and Canadian provinces, cyclists *ARE* traffic. Just like dump trucks, buses and other things auto drivers claim are "blocking" traffic.

That said, yes there are inconsiderate people on both sides. But how is that different than in anything else in life?
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Old 09-09-07, 11:32 AM   #8
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Although cyclists are considered regular traffic, shouldn't they pull over to let faster traffic pass just as slower motorists are required to do?
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Old 09-09-07, 11:38 AM   #9
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I don't get it...on a "four lane road", what's the problem? Seems like you could have changed lanes and passed with no problems.
I think you read it incorrectly. The OP said "wide enough to be a four lane road". It appears its a two lane road with a wide shoulder. If that's the case, I can understand why drivers would be really PO'd.
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Old 09-09-07, 11:54 AM   #10
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There are two clubs I will not ride with because of their consistantly poor approach to riding on busy suburban roads. They don't care how many cars they block or what the reaction is. It gives the rest of us cyclist a bad reputation. I doubt that they care.
Fortunately, they are a small minority. Most cyclist ride to the far right, taking advantage of wide shoulders whenever possible.
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Old 09-09-07, 12:26 PM   #11
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I don't get it...on a "four lane road", what's the problem? Seems like you could have changed lanes and passed with no problems.

The road was a 2 lane. The shoulders were wide enough, you could make them another lane. I think my post was clear on that--my intent was to state that THE SHOULDER IS WIDE ENOUGH, IT COULD BE ANOTHER LANE.

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Also, how wide was the "shoulder" and in what condition? On 4 lane roads, if the shoulder is narrow, or full of debris, I'll ride in the traffic lane. It's permitted by law (in most places), and by custom.
AGAIN, was a 2 lane road w/wide shoulders. On 4 lane roads w/ no shoulders or full of debris, we have no choice but to ride in the traffic lane. I was caught in that very situation on Hwy 90 that comes out of San Antonio when we were close to Bandera. There is no shoulder at all.
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Old 09-09-07, 04:13 PM   #12
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I think you read it incorrectly. The OP said "wide enough to be a four lane road". It appears its a two lane road with a wide shoulder. If that's the case, I can understand why drivers would be really PO'd.
Whoops...my mistake.

You are correct...in that situation, the cyclists were being JAB's.
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Old 09-09-07, 04:48 PM   #13
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Almost all bad behavior in the modern world is derived from the common belief that all around you are idiots and are therefor not due any level of respect.

I wonder how that happened?
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Old 09-09-07, 04:52 PM   #14
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Almost all bad behavior in the modern world is derived from the common belief that all around you are idiots and are therefor not due any level of respect.

I wonder how that happened?
Rush Limbaugh and Fox News.
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Old 09-09-07, 04:57 PM   #15
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Rush Limbaugh and Fox News.
Nah, they play to an audiance that wants to hear what they want to hear. We....society in general are a much harsher more crule place than 50 years ago.
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Old 09-09-07, 04:59 PM   #16
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Almost all bad behavior in the modern world is derived from the common belief that all around you are idiots and are therefor not due any level of respect.

I wonder how that happened?

I'm pretty sure it's the Clinton legacy...multiplied by the Bush willingness to live and learn and be so accepting of other's points of view, divided by Al Gore's invention of the internet, plus the global warming factor. The BS level is so high in other words, and you are right, folks just don't seem to care about much of anything except themselves any more.
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Old 09-09-07, 05:36 PM   #17
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...folks just don't seem to care about much of anything except themselves any more.
Indeed. And, they don't care enough for themselves to care what impression they make on others. Many don't care enough, even for themselves, that they are willing to improve or educate themselves. We are all fed the pablum of "They will take care of it," whoever "they" are.
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Old 09-09-07, 05:50 PM   #18
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I saw the same dang thing Saturday Morning. A bunch of "superheros" from the city unneccessarily clogging up our rural roads. They were laughing and smiling and riding 2 abreast while keeping a line of traffic behind them hostage. I wanted to flip them off for giving cyclists a bad name.
A frequent topic in our lunchroom is the behavior of the weekend bicyclist a-holes who hold up traffic. Folks at work know I ride and they know I do what I can to not get in the way of traffic. I think the buttholes who act like they own the road either don't realize or don't care that they are giving all of us a bad name.
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Old 09-09-07, 06:58 PM   #19
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I guess I am confuesed from riding so many miles on crappy PA roads with no bike rideable shoulder. A bike by law has the same rights to the road as a truck or car. If there is no where to ride but on the road so be it. Even though the bikers in the OP's view were doing something to besmearch all bicyclists, from the description I saw little wrong.

If the shoulder was a true "bike lane" marked as such then it might be a different story but even then if there is so much crap such a broken glass or gravel in the bike lane which is often the case.
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Old 09-09-07, 07:12 PM   #20
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According to the law in all US states and Canadian provinces, cyclists *ARE* traffic. Just like dump trucks, buses and other things auto drivers claim are "blocking" traffic.
And, according to Tx bike law, where the OP is from, bicycles are permitted to use the shoulder. Since in this case it's obvious there was a large shoulder, as reported by a cyclist, any cyclist interested in maintaining a good relationship with motor vehicle drivers would use it as needed to avoid impeding traffic. Sure, one can take the lane, but in obvious cases like this, why inconvenience others?
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Old 09-09-07, 07:55 PM   #21
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I do not know if we can do any good about this subject.
On one hand, cars kill bikers and not the other way around.
On the other hand, there are no universal rules bikers agree on. VC is a dirty word to some and totally disregarded by many young or occasional bikers.
Bikers have a casual attitude about traffic signals and stop signs.
I have noticed bikers traveling on busy roads at night with no lights or reflectors in dark clothing.
I bike a lot but on trails or park roads. If I go on roads I do it VC and very carefully and never after dusk.
I like to live a little longer and be healthy.
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Old 09-09-07, 08:45 PM   #22
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I don't wish to condone the behavour that card was pointing out but I have
some sympathies. Probably about 9 months of the year I refuse to use shoulders
or bike lanes because of the gravel that we put down for snow and no longer
clean up. I am episodically honked at for not using the dangerous (to me)
shoulders or bike lanes.

I often go thru a 5-way intersection and the only eligible lane for my turn is the
left one. Again, I am episodically honked at for being in the correct lane.

My view is that drivers complain no matter what we do and I am tired of caring.
It is my responsibility to do my best and maintain my standards. No matter what,
they merely want me out of the way.
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Old 09-09-07, 08:45 PM   #23
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Around Salt Lake Valley, if you see JABs acting this way, you can easily guess which club they belong to. You should see them take over the MUPs on Saturday mornings! These hypocrites claim to promote safe cycling!
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Old 09-10-07, 05:33 AM   #24
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It seems to me that bike should follow the practice and laws as followed by "slow" traffic, ie farm implements or road maintenance or power company trucks. Take the lane when fast enough......Take the lane when it is not possible or safe to do otherwise....and move over to let the faster vehicles pass whenever possible. Advocates always espouse the first 2 but get hung up on the last one while expressing comments about their rights! Everyone's got rights, get over it.
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Old 09-10-07, 05:42 AM   #25
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I guess I am confuesed from riding so many miles on crappy PA roads with no bike rideable shoulder. A bike by law has the same rights to the road as a truck or car. If there is no where to ride but on the road so be it. Even though the bikers in the OP's view were doing something to besmearch all bicyclists, from the description I saw little wrong.

If the shoulder was a true "bike lane" marked as such then it might be a different story but even then if there is so much crap such a broken glass or gravel in the bike lane which is often the case.
I ride on that shoulder all the time. The shoulder is as wide as a traffic lane. The shoulder has no "crap such a broken glass or gravel in the bike lane." I understand riding in the traffic lane when there is no shoulder or the shoulder is littered with trash--but gravel?? all our roads are chip seal so there is always some gravel around--I do the same thing.

If you see little wrong, please explain how they were justified riding in the traffic lane 2 abreast when there is a clean, wide paved shoulder with no debrise?
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