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Old 04-05-12, 12:24 PM   #1
leob1
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Stuff you just don't get.

The MUP crosses a road, no light just a crosswalk. The speed limit of the road is 35, it goes east and west. I'm traveling north. I get to the crossing, there are cars comming from the west, so I stop, put a foot down and wait to cross. A driver sees me there and stops, thank you vey much. However there are still cars going east on the other side of the road, whizzing by at 40-45. Then the driver that stopped starts waving his hand for me to cross, which would put me right into the path of the cars going the opposite direction. Splat! They wave some more, maybe a 'friendly' toot of the horn. They are oblivious to the other moving cars.
How do they not understand that the cars going both ways have to stop, before I can\will cross? I don't get it.
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Old 04-05-12, 12:40 PM   #2
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Originally Posted by leob1 View Post
The MUP crosses a road, no light just a crosswalk. The speed limit of the road is 35, it goes east and west. I'm traveling north. I get to the crossing, there are cars comming from the west, so I stop, put a foot down and wait to cross. A driver sees me there and stops, thank you vey much. However there are still cars going east on the other side of the road, whizzing by at 40-45. Then the driver that stopped starts waving his hand for me to cross, which would put me right into the path of the cars going the opposite direction. Splat! They wave some more, maybe a 'friendly' toot of the horn. They are oblivious to the other moving cars.
How do they not understand that the cars going both ways have to stop, before I can\will cross? I don't get it.
What, you don't trust them?? Not that you’re asking for advice as I'm sure you do fine with these situations since they happen quite often, but in that situation I do one of two things: 1) completely ignore them and look the other way so as not to offend them by not accepting their "gracious" offer; and 2) I carry out a very dramatic bow down and then sweep my hand from one side to other (to the direction they are going) very clearly indicating I want them to go on. I do sometimes simply shake my head indicating "no!" (again, very dramatic and clearly indicating what I'm thinking). In another 50 years as so of doing that I think they might start getting it.
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Old 04-05-12, 12:42 PM   #3
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Maybe they were filming you to see if you jumped out and got hit. Then post it to Youtube. Its hard to get good entertainment these days.

You did the right thing. I usually get impatient and make a mock charge accross traffic to try and get people to pay attention to the crosswalk. In the end I do what you do. I like riding the current bike I own. I don't want a new one because the old one got run over. I am also allergic to casts.
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Old 04-05-12, 01:06 PM   #4
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A similar situation but in a car... I can't stand it when an oncoming driver in the left (of two) lanes stops and waves at you to make your left turn. But there's another lane there that you can't see because they are now blocking your vision. They keep waving and/or honking looking all frustrated at you for not turning -but you can't trust whether they are even thinking about traffic in the other lane.
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Old 04-05-12, 01:12 PM   #5
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OP - yup you nailed it. What I do is wave my head back and forth and point to my stop sign (mine usually have stop signs for the bikes). If they continue on like this I discontinue eye contact and back away from the crossing. I try to nod thanking them them but indicate the best I can they need to keep going. In situations liek that I try not to make them feel dumb. Also I try to stop well before the crossing.

Of course this doesn't account for all the times I totally blow through intersections as fast as possible, but first making sure there are no cars coming. Well, usually.
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Old 04-05-12, 01:21 PM   #6
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All this sort of thing is easily explained when one considers that human intelligence is distributed on a bell curve. That means that for every person with an IQ above 120, there is one with an IQ of under 80 - and 120 is far from rare.

I read a paper a while ago in which a psychometrician examined the problem-solving ability of a sheepdog and estimated its IQ as 75. Pigs are cleverer.
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Old 04-05-12, 01:22 PM   #7
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I see it here all the time. People TRYING to be nice but if they'd just follow "the rules of the road", we'd all have been past the encounter a loooooooong time ago!
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Old 04-05-12, 02:54 PM   #8
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Maybe cyclists see things in traffic that motorists don't? I have a suspicion that the average IQ of REAL cyclists (i.e., those who respect the rules of the road & are members of cycling clubs, NOT the Critical Massholes who run stop signs & red lights) is higher than the average IQ of typical motorists.

And here's the typical situation: You're waiting for a gap in traffic. Just one more car needs to pass & it's all clear. But this one more car starts to slow down, & then stops to let you cross. They don't seem to realize that if they just kept going, they would not have been delayed, and you could have gotten across the intersection maybe five to ten seconds earlier, because that's how long it took them to slow down!

The thing that motorists do that really irks me is NOT signalling, or signalling AFTER they start the turn! They don't seem to get the idea of turn signals... And it impacts me because if I am behind them, I can position my bike in the lane based on what they're planning to do at the upcoming intersection. These drivers don't seem to understand that what they do affects others.

But back to the original question: What I would do (assuming the driver who stopped is on the near side of the crossing) would be to roll the bike to the middle of the intersection. Yes, this blocks the guy who stopped, but now it puts the onus to stop on the traffic coming from the right. This means that it's no longer your fault for blocking the guy on the left; it's now the fault of the oncoming traffic. What can YOU do? And usually, when half the traffic is stopped, and you're in the middle of the intersection, the oncoming traffic will stop.

Personally, I think prospective drivers should have to pass a test of intelligence and a test of maturity before they can get a license. "Duty of care" should be taken seriously; most drivers (especially young guys) are too selfish to drive. Yes, there are a lot of guys on bikes riding selfishly, but it's much, much harder to kill someone with a bicycle. The ideal driver is someone who has the attitude that it's his responsibility to ensure that everyone he encounters is protected. In medieval times, when guys carried swords, this was called "chivalry." It's too bad the boorish peasants have taken over...

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Old 04-05-12, 03:05 PM   #9
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I think those that do recreational activities have a higher IQ in general. But then again, I'm biased . But it does seem so. Would be an interesting study.
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Old 04-05-12, 03:39 PM   #10
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Originally Posted by leob1 View Post
How do they not understand that the cars going both ways have to stop, before I can\will cross? I don't get it.
Nanny drivers! Treating you like a helpless child, all the while oblivious to the real concerns of traffic. I stubbornly refuse to cooperate with them, even if it means physically backing up away from the intersection.
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Old 04-05-12, 04:43 PM   #11
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1. "Clipping in and out" of "clipless" pedals.
2. The pleasure (?) of riding all hunched over.
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Old 04-05-12, 04:50 PM   #12
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1. "Clipping in and out" of "clipless" pedals.
2. The pleasure (?) of riding all hunched over.
Not quite sure this is in the spirit of the thread, but the reason clipless pedals are so-called is that they removed the need for toeclips and straps. And one person's hunched over is another's aerodynamic, and extremely comfortable, flat back.
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Old 04-05-12, 05:01 PM   #13
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In your shoes, OP (and I am frequently), I look dramatically at the oncoming traffic in the other direction, and then very deliberately mouth the words "are you f*****g crazy?" at the offending driver.

Because they are offending me - in that moment I understand they're insufficiently intelligent to be driving a car in traffic. Then again, I'm jaded - the next car which waves me on and then feints towards me once I move won't be the first. I don't know about your part of NJ, but my part is psychotic.

In the spirit of the title: Around here, people ready to pull out into traffic look to their right first, instead of their left where the first vehicle to hit them will be coming from. Even if they're turning right. Sometimes, I'm that first vehicle, and the lack of eye contact spikes my blood pressure dangerously. I've come to a full stop rather than cross in front of these boneheads. Of course, that provides the pleasant experience of employing the Stare of Death, something I perfected whilst raising children.
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Old 04-05-12, 05:03 PM   #14
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OP - yup you nailed it. What I do is wave my head back and forth and point to my stop sign (mine usually have stop signs for the bikes). If they continue on like this I discontinue eye contact and back away from the crossing. I try to nod thanking them them but indicate the best I can they need to keep going.
Sometimes I turn my bike around facing the other direction just to let them know I'm not going to cross in front of them... they always get that message.
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Old 04-05-12, 05:04 PM   #15
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My latest pet peeve is sloppy left turns. Where if you tried to turn right they'd hit you because they cut the corner so much.

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Old 04-05-12, 05:17 PM   #16
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Some of them are trying to be nice. Some don't know what you will do and are afraid you will jump out in front of them. Shake your head, wave them on to let them know you are waiting for them to go on.

On my way home I get in the left turn lane of a moderately busy street. Sometimes drivers approaching from the opposite side of the intersection seem to think I am going to jump in front of them. I usually put my foot down to let them know I am waiting. If I'm standing on the pedals waiting for them to pass they slow and/or stop.
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Old 04-05-12, 05:31 PM   #17
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What, you don't trust them?? Not that you’re asking for advice as I'm sure you do fine with these situations since they happen quite often, but in that situation I do one of two things: 1) completely ignore them and look the other way so as not to offend them by not accepting their "gracious" offer; and 2) I carry out a very dramatic bow down and then sweep my hand from one side to other (to the direction they are going) very clearly indicating I want them to go on. I do sometimes simply shake my head indicating "no!" (again, very dramatic and clearly indicating what I'm thinking). In another 50 years as so of doing that I think they might start getting it.
This.
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Old 04-05-12, 05:55 PM   #18
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My latest pet peeve is sloppy left turns. Where if you tried to turn right they hit you because they cut the corner so much.
It's become the CUSTOM in the 'hood where I live; even worse, I get to watch drivers at the school bus stop in the mornings, too -- pull up to a stop sign with the intent of making a left, and stop IN THE ONCOMING LANE! Make a turn in EITHER DIRECTION, and take the ENTIRE 2-lane street to do so! I saw one old man in a Cadillac give up the right of way to the bus at the stop sign, THEN GO STRAIGHT AFTERWARD! And my daughter's bus was behind him, unable to get to the corner to pick her up!

LOVE these damn fools, I tellya....
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Old 04-05-12, 06:44 PM   #19
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I don't know about your part of NJ, but my part is psychotic.
Somerset County, land of the eternally entitled.
At least you have the beach.
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Old 04-06-12, 01:18 PM   #20
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I often have drivers yield the 'Right of Way' to me when I'm riding one of the recumbents. I suspect they just want to watch one in action.

If I'm not comfortable with the traffic situation I simply smile and shake my head no, then wave them on while saying Thank You. I've never stressed much about it though. In the grand scheme of life, I guess I've never really considered it anything worth pondering over.

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Old 04-06-12, 01:35 PM   #21
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+1 COD - just smile, maybe shake your head no and wave them on.
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Old 04-06-12, 01:43 PM   #22
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I normally just tell them "Thank You" and wave them on and also point to the cars coming in the opposite direction. Usually gets them to wave back and continue on. If there are no cars coming in the opposite direction but there is a car behind him, I will also wave him on. In the area I live in, courtesy died a long time ago and the driver behind him will almost always swing around and pass him because they are too much in a hurry to wait for a cyclist to cross the lane. Just too dangerous. I will only proceed if there are no other cars coming in the opposite direction and no cars behind the stopped car.
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Old 04-06-12, 02:03 PM   #23
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Just waving them on seems to work fine for me. Never thought it was much of an issue.

I actually always hated it more when riding a motorcycle behind a slower driver on a tight road and they slow way down and pull over a few feet to "let" you pass on the sketchiest spots ever (blind corners come to mind).
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Old 04-06-12, 02:22 PM   #24
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This happens on our MUP all the time. Just one more socially awkward interaction between motorists and non. Even leaving aside the issue of them not understanding that the oncoming drivers may not show the same courtesy, the fact is that the trail users are supposed to yield to the motorists regardless, and the motorists have no business stopping for the trail users. I think it's a dangerous custom and trains trail users to expect the same behavior from all motorists. When that happens sooner or later someone ends up as a grease stain on the pavement. Not to put too fine a point on it.
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Old 04-06-12, 02:31 PM   #25
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Zombies. The driver was a zombie.

Probably not, on second thought. Zombies lack the higher cortical functions to operate heavy machinery.

Then again, so do most Americans.

So I suppose it could go either way.
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