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Old 05-11-12, 05:45 PM   #1
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Polite (but frustrating) Driver Debate

I was stopped at a light on my way home from work the other day and, as is my habit at that intersection, I stopped in the lane, far enough to the left to allow any right-turning cars enough room to easily get past me. I consider it the polite and safe thing to do, especially given that many drivers don't know how to handle a bike at the curb, and will wait for the green, behind and to your left. That gets dangerous, as when the light turns green, those same drivers will sometimes turn right, whether you are crossing the intersection at the time or not. So I take the lane to avoid being hooked, then move back over as I exit the intersection. There is a left turn lane, but no right turn lane - just enough room for a car to go to the right of a vehicle going straight.

As I'm waiting for the green, sure enough, a right-turning car pulls up. He has his window down, and asks me what I'm doing "in the middle of the street". I tell him it's so he can turn right without waiting. He points to the sidewalk, and says that's where I should be. I tell him that, no, Arizona law states that I belong in the street, as part of traffic. He say "not true", and at it became obvious it would be a "yes it does", "no it doesn't" thing, since he continued to insist I was wrong, even after I mentioned that I had carefully studied our traffic laws as they relate to bicycles. I shut up. He made his turn, and was gone.

Anyway, it was a tipping point for me. I'm finally going to do something I've thought of doing for quite while, and print out a whole bunch pocket sized cards with our statutes on them. I'll give them to clubs, and keep some in a jersey pocket to use as debate handouts. Our drivers (and LEO) need some edjumacation.
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Old 05-11-12, 05:53 PM   #2
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The drivers will just think you've made it all up.
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Old 05-11-12, 06:04 PM   #3
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Unfortunately, many drivers don't know that bicycles are allowed on the streets.
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Old 05-11-12, 07:18 PM   #4
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Unfortunately, many drivers don't know that bicycles are allowed on the streets.
Exactly, which is why education can help. I'm also a big fan od the "Share the Road" and "3 Feet" signs some communities put up, and Yo Spiff, I think most people believe those.
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Old 05-11-12, 07:31 PM   #5
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You assume he'll be able to read and understand it, and/or care.
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Old 05-11-12, 07:38 PM   #6
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You assume he'll be able to read and understand it, and/or care.
Well, in this particular case, he seemed to care, as he actually conversed about it, instead of just yelling something stupid on the way by. That doesn't mean he is open to being enlightened, but hey, it's something.
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Old 05-11-12, 07:39 PM   #7
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That guy was a dodo head!
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Old 05-11-12, 07:43 PM   #8
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Well, in this particular case, he seemed to care, as he actually conversed about it, instead of just yelling something stupid on the way by. That doesn't mean he is open to being enlightened, but hey, it's something.
There is a ray of hope.
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Old 05-11-12, 07:54 PM   #9
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Anyway, it was a tipping point for me. I'm finally going to do something I've thought of doing for quite while, and print out a whole bunch pocket sized cards with our statutes on them. I'll give them to clubs, and keep some in a jersey pocket to use as debate handouts. Our drivers (and LEO) need some edjumacation.
Trying to educate unaware drivers is a no-wn situation. There are just too many of them. IMHO it's best to smile, let it go and enjoy your ride.
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Old 05-11-12, 07:55 PM   #10
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AZTall, you were clearly in the right here. But, if you go ahead and print up a bunch of cards or brochures, and try to give them to such people, one of several things will happen:

-They will not accept it, and glare at you.

-They will crumble it up, or tear it up, and toss it back at you. This will be accompanied with an all-american death look. This is the same look you get if you attempt to cut the line
at Dunkin Donuts at 7:30 AM.

-The individual may be looking for a fist-fight, to score points with his bar-buddies, and attempting to hand him something might be all he needs.

Any chance he might accept it, look at you sheepishly, and say, "Golly, I'm sorry! I had no idea". ? Yes. I'd say the odds of such a thing are somewhere around .00001% probability.

Sorry, but I had a similar experience recently, so I'm just a tad cynical tonight. What I have heard a few times, when I mention MA state law stating that bikes are recognized as vehicles,
are variants of "I don't give a expletive what the law says! Bikes don't belong on the expletive street".

I think the "I don't care what the law says" is key here.

If gas gets anymore expensive, it's going to be interesting times indeed.
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Old 05-11-12, 08:03 PM   #11
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you cant educate a moron,,I ride year around 5 days a week in the street,,been doing it for 53 years,,I look guys like that right in the face,,and say ______ off ___ hole,,,thats the way I handle it. I got no time for morons.
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Old 05-11-12, 08:04 PM   #12
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It is clear that people will believe just what we want to believe. If anyone needs proof of this, just look at politics.
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Old 05-11-12, 08:05 PM   #13
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I've heard the "bicycles belong on the sidewalk" thing before and I had a guy insist that I should ride on the left, against traffic, so it would be easier for him to see me, or something. I told him the law said I should ride on the right and he said the law was wrong. I thanked him for his concern.

It's almost like racism or some other deeply ingrained hatred/stupidity.
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Old 05-11-12, 08:17 PM   #14
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I hear what you all are saying, but there is a segment of the population, however small, that is merely ignorant and willing to learn. That's the target population for educational initiatives.
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Old 05-11-12, 08:25 PM   #15
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Quote:
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Trying to educate unaware drivers is a no-wn situation. There are just too many of them. IMHO it's best to smile, let it go and enjoy your ride.
+1 I think I would say "I appreciate your concern; have a nice day" By the way... A positive about those who make wisecracks to us is, they do see us when we are riding. Those that honk, shoot the finger or make wisecracks do see us. That is better than a driver who dosen't even know we are there.
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Old 05-11-12, 08:38 PM   #16
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I don't mind the wisecracks, fingers, or even the horns so much. When they throw things or try to see how close they can get is when it really sucks.
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Old 05-11-12, 08:40 PM   #17
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The general driving public needs educating. And we've been on the road for how long now??


I'm riding in The Ride Of Silence next Wednesday night. It's the least I can do for now.
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Old 05-11-12, 08:57 PM   #18
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The general driving public needs educating. And we've been on the road for how long now??


I'm riding in The Ride Of Silence next Wednesday night. It's the least I can do for now.
I do my own ride of silence,,last time I tried to ride with a group in Royal Oak Michigan the leader was acting like a Nazi..I ride for fun and exercise,,I dont need that crap ..
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Old 05-11-12, 09:12 PM   #19
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I hear what you all are saying, but there is a segment of the population, however small, that is merely ignorant and willing to learn. That's the target population for educational initiatives.
Good point. I think that there are getting to be so many cyclists on the streets these days that drivers will have to get the message. What worries me is the irregular behavior of so many doofus cyclists, riding the wrong way, on the sidewalks, the wrong way on the sidewalks, etc. There's some educating to do there too!

Footnote: looks like we are getting a three-foot law here in Nebraska... a very good thing I think. And AZT- I do exactly what you do to let drivers make a right turn.
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Old 05-11-12, 09:29 PM   #20
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Was thinking of putting this in the back window of my truck. Right where other drivers will see it.
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Old 05-11-12, 09:31 PM   #21
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Quote:
Originally Posted by AzTallRider View Post
I was stopped at a light on my way home from work the other day and, as is my habit at that intersection, I stopped in the lane, far enough to the left to allow any right-turning cars enough room to easily get past me. I consider it the polite and safe thing to do.
+1

You could have told the guy that if you were on the side walk; 1, you would have to go at pedestrian speed, and 2, he would never know if you were "that guy" who would pull out when he was turning right.
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Old 05-11-12, 09:35 PM   #22
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My employer is having a "fair" during lunch time to promote good behaviors during National Safety Month. Our bike club has a standing invite to staff an info booth either for this event or for Earth Day to promote bicycling. While we will get some interest from bicycle riders, a good part of our effort is to educate both cyclists AND motorists how to legally, safely, and courteously share the road and MUPs. When motorists deal with cyclists in a business setting peer-to-peer, it reminds them that we are real people not fringe elements of society; and it takes place in a neutral environment where reason rules over emotions.

The largest bike club in the city is sponsoring a Bike Rodeo for school kids in conjunction with the local police department this month. This helps educate their parents to avoid perpetuating the myths of where bikes should be. The kids enjoy it.

If you have the opportunity to participate in these types of event, please consider it.

I have enjoyed dialogue from several "concerned" motorists who politely have told me I should be on the sidewalks/ riding toward traffic. My favorite was when I was on a rural road riding 23+ mph and a motorcycle rider pulled alongside me and advised me I should find a "safer" road. Any alternative routes in my direction involved 10-mile detours and were worse conditions.

AZT - yes, I take the lane in intersections so cars won't pass me until I clear the intersection. At stops I position my bike so a R-turning driver can squeeze by on my right but ONLY if that will be safe for both me and the motorist.
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Old 05-11-12, 09:37 PM   #23
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Was thinking of putting this in the back window of my truck. Right where other drivers will see it.
Hahahahaha! Love the "GET OVER IT" part.
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Old 05-11-12, 10:18 PM   #24
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FYI

In CA it is CVC21202(4)

I encourage you to look it up in your states Vehicle Code.

"21202. (a)Any person operating a bicycle upon a roadway at a speed less than the normalspeed of traffic moving in the same direction at that time shall ride as closeas practicable to the right-hand curb or edge of the roadway except under anyof the following situations:

. . .
(4) When approaching a place where a rightturn is authorized."
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Old 05-11-12, 11:13 PM   #25
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the type of person who feels they have to roll down the window and scold a cyclist for riding in the street ARE NOT GOING TO LISTEN TO ANYTHING, NO MATTER HOW REASONABLE IT IS, SAID BY SOMEONE WEARING SPANDEX. sorry, they think already know more than you do.
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