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Old 07-18-02, 10:33 AM   #1
mwillbrand
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Get a load of this! "Ken Schram Commentary: What Is It With Bicyclists?"

Check out what this Seattle news caster had to say about cyclist. URGH!

Please feel free to forward your comments to him as well. Quit a few of us in Seattle have. His email address is located on the page.

Here's the link: http://www.komotv.com/stories/19408.htm
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Old 07-18-02, 10:37 AM   #2
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I do not believe he is directing this at all bikers. Just the ones who believe that the street is their personal roadway. While having never been to seattle I have seen this in Vancouver and can relate. It isn't all bikers but there are numerous ones who believe they have the right of way in all circumstances when this just isn't the case.

He might be taking it too far because he isn't saying there are any good riders but there are some really bad ones out there.
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Old 07-18-02, 10:53 AM   #3
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Well,

The author has a legitimate *****. Some Bicyclists are hazardous riders and DO break the law. Some bicyclists give the rest of us a bad name.
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Old 07-18-02, 11:07 AM   #4
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Yes, it is a sad fact that many of my fellow bikers embarrass the &*#%*&%# out of me. I see them doing things that make me cringe.

No, I'm not perfect a cyclist, but man do some of them do very stupid, blatant things.
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Old 07-18-02, 11:30 AM   #5
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It happens every time Im in the sadle, I meet or see a bunch of idiots on bikes thinking they own the streets not getting that theyr under same laws and rules as other trafficants. Rules for cars applys to bicycles. I know for a fact that every time I stop for a red light 95 % of the other riders coming up at the red light just ignore it and they do it without reflecting over the danger they put them selves and others in. They dont think of how other people in traffic get a picture of bicycling as a hobby for IDIOTS who dont give a damn for traffic laws making them totally unpredictable. Im sorry to say this guy is not totally wrong in his criticism.

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Old 07-18-02, 11:58 AM   #6
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I just read the article, and for what its worth,
I agree with him.
There are putzes out there even on bikes.
Unfortunately, if we are going to demand our
rights to the road we have to realize that
there are folks out there who will abuse them.
And just as we get pissed off at bad drivers
drivers (both good and bad) get pissed at bad cyclists.

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Old 07-18-02, 04:58 PM   #7
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Well, I bike commute to my job in downtown Seattle, so he must be talking about me. After all, I think I've committed every one of the offenses he lists; though I like to think never without good reason. But I swear (I've ranted about this before) the bikers in Seattle aren't half as incompetent as the drivers and pedestrians. And I seriously doubt that any biker has killed someone on the sidewalk while fumbling for a cigarette (Seattle driver story). I often intentionally don't signal my right turns because if I do, a car will try to beat me to the intersection to make their own turn in front of me (happens every other day on the commute). I think my problem with this article is: "what's the point?". Yes, there are some bad bikers here. But they don't do a thousandth the damage that our rotten drivers do. Anyway, Schram has always struck me as someone who thrives on the divisive; never liked him much... think I'll tell him so.
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Old 07-18-02, 05:03 PM   #8
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When riding or driving, my wife and I often comment on those we see on bicycles. Sometimes it's "Kids without a helmet, I hope they don't get hurt." Sometimes it's "Did you see that idiot? He nearly got clobbered running that sign." And, sometimes it's "Look at all those bikes waiting for the light." Sure, we also sometimes say something like "Looks like that car is trying to run that bike off the road, he's so close."

Regrettably, we far too often see bicyclists behaving poorly. When we are on the cycle, we tend to notice poor behavior on the part of drivers. When in the car, it seems more often that we see poor cycling behavior.

A driver who is not a cyclists, I think, is likely to be nervous around a cyclist or less tolerant of a cyclists behavior. Similarly, a cyclist who does not drive might tend to have an "Us against them" attitude regarding vehicle pilots.

Defensive riding I believe is as important as defensive driving. Behaviors on different people's part invite tragedy or joy. It matters little to me whether the child running out in the street is in front of my bike or my car. Nor does it matter much whether they are on foot or on a cycle when they show up in front of me.

I know what it's like to ride a bike while sharing the road with cars as well as what it's like driving while sharing the road with bikes. A courteous approach in either instance is appropriate as is tolerance for those who misstep occasionally.

Indeed, I have been on my bike and in may car on the road with many thousands of others over the years. For every close call or example of impolite or unsafe behavior I have experienced, I bet there have been many many thousands of unremarkable encounters.

I bet he had a close call on his way to work. Since he's a columnist, I expect he was inspired to write that column. If he's been a cop, he might have been inspired to write a ticket instead. Maybe his next column will be about restaurant workers who spill a drink on people or shoppers who break something in the aisle in front of him. In any event, I doubt he was writing about the even the majority of bycyclist that he saw that day.

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Old 07-18-02, 07:58 PM   #9
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mwillbrand, you mis-quoted him. He said "What is it with some of these bicyclists." Read it again, but don't let your knee jerk until you've heard his point. Do you really disagree?
Quote:
Originally posted by mike
Some bicyclists give the rest of us a bad name.
Ain't that the truth. My pet peeve: local cycling activists fought tooth and nail to get bike lanes on some busy roads around town. (No arguments about whether bike lanes are good or bad, pls.). So it really torques me when I see cyclists riding two abreast, one outside the lane interfering with traffic. It takes one @sshole about 15 seconds to undo years of consciencious riding by the majority of serious cyclists.

[RANT]
The other thing is, the only real reason drivers get mad at cyclists is because it causes them to have to slow down. I mean, how far do you have to drive before encountering some idjit pulling a reckless maneuver that exposes himself, you, or some other car nearby to significant unecessary risk. All so that s/he can get to the next red light a few seconds faster. Certainly a bigger risk than a cyclist, but usually after a grumble and a curse you don't give them another thought. Which one should really be thrown off the road?
[/rant]

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Old 07-18-02, 09:05 PM   #10
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A local columnist wrote a similar piece a few months ago, in early spring- about people on bikes who are, as this guy describes, putzes. But I think that guy referred to 'bike riders' and not cyclists. A lot of them don't know the difference. But I agree- I see so many morons going the wrong way, weaving in and out of traffic, etc. They endanger the lives of other cyclists, pedestrians and drivers as well! This guy has a point for sure. They give cyclists a bad name.
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Old 07-18-02, 09:07 PM   #11
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Yeah, yeah, tell us something we don't know. I'm sorry, but this is a troll on the same scale as the whole "dole-bludger" type ones that go on in this country, or the "anti-gay" articles of around 10 years ago. If this guy has a problem with cyclists breaking the law, why doesn't he just call the cops and have done with it.
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Old 07-18-02, 09:19 PM   #12
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I was riding on a city bike path a few weeks ago (They were having something called 'Trailfest' on the Fox River trail in Green Bay, so I decided to check it out.)

It was amazing how many people wore no helmets....rode side by side, one in each lane (there WAS room for two abreast in a single lane, it wasn't that narrow) and I was particularly irked by a group that hit the trail just ahead of me....they were slow and I would have liked to pass them...but they breezed through every single stop sign as if it wasn't there, without even looking. (That was enough advantage to keep them ahead of me until we hit a long patch with no crossings!)

Anyway, I couldn't help wondering how these people ride on the road.

(As for the little town of Seymour, I seem to be one of the VERY few bicyclists who realizes that we are supposed not supposed to cruise the sidewalks...though I've heard them complaining that the cops are always yelling at them for doing it.)

Yeah, I think I see more bad cyclists than offensive drivers.
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Old 07-19-02, 03:13 AM   #13
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what's with bearded fat blokes giving cyclists a hard time?

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Old 07-19-02, 05:01 AM   #14
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Quote:
Originally posted by cabledonut
what's with bearded fat blokes giving cyclists a hard time?
I'd say it was just a slow news day. In this country the so-called "current affairs" shows like to give certain groups a hard time every so often (usually when they have nothing else to fill their air time), and I'd say it was the same thing here.
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Old 07-19-02, 09:34 AM   #15
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Quote:
Originally posted by Chris L
this is a troll on the same scale as the whole "dole-bludger" type
ChrisL, sorry Lotek doesn't get the jargon(lingo?) what is a dole-bludger? thinks of as dole being public assistance (like welfare here in the states?).

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Old 07-19-02, 03:15 PM   #16
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Quote:
Originally posted by lotek

ChrisL, sorry Lotek doesn't get the jargon(lingo?) what is a dole-bludger? thinks of as dole being public assistance (like welfare here in the states?).
It is, but perhaps I should explain. The old dole-bludger troll that the media go on with out here every so often (usually on slow news days) suggests that nobody who ever received welfare at any stage of their life has ever tried to find a job. To back up their story, the inevitably run footage (or photos, depending on the media) of someone surfing and suggest that all unemployed people spend all of their time doing this.

Essentially, they suggest that all people on the dole are "bludging" off the system, hence the origin of the term. It was the first thing I thought of when I saw this article. Yes, we all know there are some cyclists who break the law (just like there are some unemployed people who bludge off the system), but it doesn't apply to all of them, the way this article would suggest.

Articles like this have a habit of stating the obvious and trying to make a major story out of it (slow news day - there's no story out there so we'll create one). That was the point I was trying to make.
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Old 07-19-02, 09:17 PM   #17
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My favorite quote from this story:

"It's hard to tell when they're slowing down"

I suppose the fact that they're slowing down wouldn't give it away, huh? I wonder if he has a hard time noticing when his car is moving or stationary.
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Old 07-20-02, 07:27 AM   #18
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He must have visited southern Washington, and come upon Mickey Methlab or Willie Whitetrash who ride unlit at night, against traffic dressed in black t-shirts and of course black gimme caps.
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Old 07-20-02, 08:24 AM   #19
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Roadbuzz is right about the whole overtaking to get to the next set of lights thing. When this happens I normally cruise up the side whilst they are stationary and plonk my bike in the middle of the lane, just in front of the line and the motorist to make my point.

Whilst this may seem a little obnoxious, there is some reason behind it. As many junctions don't line up exactly, it can be very dangerous for cars to overtake you across them. From the above position you can over before they've got into gear.

Also, unfortunately in places like London you have to be aggressive and maintain your roadspace (sometimes the middle of a lane at large junctions) for pure safety reasons.
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Old 07-20-02, 09:03 AM   #20
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Sorry....must agree with columnist. He does NOT condemn us all...he is careful to specify the behavior he dislikes - and I dislike it too. I dislike it when I drive, when I am a pedestrian and especially when I see it when I am on my bike.

The behavior he describes is an embarassment not only to real cyclists, but to all of us who value civility in our society.

Peter

(On any given ride, count the cyclists that run red lights and stop signs and count the cars that do. MANY cyclists are horrible on the road.....and we may as well admit it and try to improve it when we can....)
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Old 07-20-02, 10:17 PM   #21
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Quote:
Originally posted by peterabelard
(On any given ride, count the cyclists that run red lights and stop signs and count the cars that do.
I have done this on many occasions, and I'm yet to notice any difference in these statistics at all. This fat tosser, if he isn't just trolling, probably has the same answer to the "cyclists running red lights" dilemma that every other tosspot has: put them in a car and let them do it.
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Old 07-20-02, 10:41 PM   #22
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I think the one cyclist that gave him the finger probably irritated him so bad he decided to do a rant column about bad cycling behavior.I agree with alot of the content but didn't like the tone .If it had been constructive criticism it might even have helped change some of the bad behavior .Probably better he wrote the column than run the next cyclist he encountered off the road LOL.
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