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Old 05-21-08, 08:35 PM   #1
Tony (Michigan)
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My story on bikes made it in the local paper!

I did a nice story on bicycles and how that cars and bikes legally must share the same road.

I also encouraged the courteous drivers who have been so nice to me but explained in the paper that there were some drivers out there that put my life in danger and that they need to know that bikes belong on the road and not on sidewalks. Then I gave the laws of Michigan for drivers in regards to bicycalists on the roads to refresh their understanding.

What caused me to write the paper was this van drove a few inches from me and laid on their horn scaring the beegeebies out of me. They didn't think I should be on the road. There was also an extra lane on their left with no one in it but they had to make a point. Oh, and I was riding the white line next to the curb.

I hope it is well received. It was printed in the Tri-City Times.

Tony
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Old 05-21-08, 08:56 PM   #2
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http://www.tricitytimes-online.com/S...optracking=403


Cyclists have legal rights on roadways, too

Dear Editor,

The time of year is once again upon us. People are dusting off their bicycles and taking to the roads again, enjoying the great Michigan scenery.

It is also that time of year to remind drivers of automobiles that bicycles have the same rights on the roads as they have.

Most Michigan drivers are very kind and courteous to me as I ride around Almont and to other towns. But every now and then I get a driver that does not believe I should be on the road. They get right up beside me, almost hitting me, as I ride on the white line of the far right side of the road, as they honk their horns. Some make obscene jestures as well. I worry for my young daughter's well-being as she rides her bike on the roads as well.

Bicyclists should not ride on sidewalks as this causes more dangers to the bicyclist than riding on the road.

A policeman can ticket a bicyclist for breaking the same laws drivers must follow.

In the handbook Michigan puts out for bicyclists, under 'Tips for Motorists' it states:

"Cyclists have a legal right to the road and are more vulnerable to injury than motorists.

"Cyclists often need to ride out from the curb to avoid debris, car doors, rough road and other hazards.

"Be aware that cyclists may move left to cross railroad tracks at right angles.

"Give cyclists plenty of room when passing and merge back into the lane carefully. This is especially true of large vehicles or those with overhanging side mirrors.

"If the lane is narrow, merge left to pass cyclists rather than squeezing them. If you are passing another motor vehicle look for bicyclists in the opposing traffic lane before moving left.

"Remember that a cyclist's vision is affected by high beams just like motorists.

"Don't blow your horn at cyclists, you will startle them.

"When turning left, check for oncoming cyclists. When turning right, yield to cyclists in the lane. Don't pass them and then turn abruptly in front of them. Cyclists can travel up to 35 mph and speeds of 15 to 25 are not unusual."

Thanks to all the drivers out there who are courteous to the bicyclists on the road.
Tony Nungesser, Almont
May 21, 2008
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Old 05-21-08, 09:11 PM   #3
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Great Article! And good for you for getting it in the paper.
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Old 05-21-08, 11:36 PM   #4
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Oops! Tony! Thanks for speaking up for cyclist sharing the roadways with our cager companions. The article is extremely well done and I believe could represent any of us across the US if not the world. My hat's off to you for taking the time to put it in writing and job well done!

The roads here in S. California can be just as dangerous as anywhere else. I have an appointment with the head of Traffic Planning for the City of Santa Ana, California. They have made no provision for bicycles in their master plan - no bike lanes, no designated bike routes and no trails. Santa Ana is home to many illegal immigrants who utilize the bicycle as their primary means of transportation. They are really at risk from auto drivers, many without licenses, insurance or ?????

Great job!
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Old 05-21-08, 11:48 PM   #5
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Originally Posted by fthomas View Post
Tom! Thanks for speaking up for cyclist sharing the roadways with our cager companions.
I'm sure "Tony" will appreciate your comments.
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Old 05-22-08, 04:56 AM   #6
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Tom, thanks for finding my article! Now why didn't I think of going on line and finding it?

Tony
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Old 05-22-08, 05:18 AM   #7
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Nice article. Good on you for writing it.

And the screen name should be:

Tom "Research, statistician" Bombadil
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Old 05-22-08, 05:37 AM   #8
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Way to go, Tony.

Keep spreading the message that bikes belong on the streets.
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Old 05-22-08, 05:45 AM   #9
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Congrats dude! well done!
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Old 05-22-08, 05:50 AM   #10
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Well written article, Tony. I hope it gets the attention of some of the rude drivers you encountered.
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Old 05-22-08, 06:58 AM   #11
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Good letter to the editor! We should all be inspired to do much the same. My only published letter was in the mid 80s and on the same subject. Maybe it's time to write again.

BTW
Article: A story written by a reporter
Letter to the editor: A readers letter to teh newspaper
Editorial: The newspaper's position (as a newspaper, not an individual) on an issue
Column: A writers (usually staff writers, or syndicated writers) opinion on something. Often reoccurring.
Guest column: A writer who doesn't usually write for the paper, but has done a long opinion piece the paper wants to run. Sometimes these are almost like extended letters to the editor, but don't start "Editor"

These are loose definitions, but generally reflect the way the terms are used in the industry.
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Old 05-22-08, 07:10 AM   #12
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this letter should be in papers around the country for all to see....I have heard more than once 'get on the sidewalk'. OTOH i dont do a lot of riding on the major streets.
keep up the good work.
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Old 05-22-08, 09:49 AM   #13
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As the leader of the bike club in my small town, I am frequently interviewed for the local papers and have letters to the editor printed from time to time. I have also been interviewed on local TV news a few times when there was a bicycling related story being covered.

I have had some converstions with the publisher of our town's main newspaper about starting to write guest columns on a semi regular basis, maybe once a month. I am really excited about the opportunity to create more awareness of cycling, inform riders of safe and effective cycling practices and to promote the activities of our club. The hard part is finding time to write something worth publishing.
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Old 05-22-08, 06:48 PM   #14
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Tony, great job. I'm sure you impressed and educated at least one
driver....probably more.

In the winter I ride with a Hi-Vis Rain Jacket on a black Mtn. Bike w/ full
fenders and three very bright red blinkies on the back of the bike.
I get a ton of respect from drivers with that set-up and my wife firmly
believes it's because the drivers think I'm a Bicycle Cop. Kinda makes me wonder if
more cops on bikes would start a positive trend of respect from drivers.

At either rate, job well done Sir.
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Old 05-22-08, 07:04 PM   #15
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I noticed an odd thing during our Ride of Silence yesterday. The car drivers on the road were courteous and well behaved. The most threatening things we saw were a guy riding a bike on a sidewalk who zoomed out at a crosswalk, splitting our group and a guy riding his bike in the wrong direction toward us. Luckily he turned off a block before he got to us.

The message about endangering cyclists needs to go out to cyclists as much as to drivers.
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Old 05-22-08, 09:59 PM   #16
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Dave Moulton just posted this on his blog today. Thought it would fit well here with Tony's letter. Good stuff.
http://davesbikeblog.blogspot.com/
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