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  1. #1
    Skin-Pounder Bikes-N-Drums's Avatar
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    "Just do me a favor and stay off the streets"

    So I finally pedal my way over to a new friend's house, this being the first time he's seen me on a bicycle. He astonished at my preparation: helmet, mirror, gloves... the works. I am duly complimented for my apparent dedication to cycling.
    Then he adds, "Just do me a favor and stay off the streets".
    I understand the lack of knowledge that non-cyclists exhibit and look at this as an opportunity to shed some light on some things, i.e., the cycling laws and appropriate cycling safety methods. I take the time to politely explain the logic of street riding, the laws and cite various examples of what could happen otherwise.
    His response was, "Look, I can understand if there's no sidewalk, but if there is a sidewalk, that's where you ought to be."
    I then cite the dangers of sidewalk riding. Undaunted by the barrage of explanations, he states, "I don't care, man. You're not going to catch me riding in the street and you really shouldn't either. There's nothing worse than coming up on a cyclist while you're driving." My response was, "Sure there is: an impatient driver coming from behind you while you're cycling".
    He still didn't get it and I had lost my patience with him as he did with me. We ended the showdown with a chuckle and went on to other things.
    People like this frighten me.
    We are the musicmakers and we are the dreamers of dreams...

  2. #2
    RAGBRAI. Need I say more? Steele-Bike's Avatar
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    Originally posted by Bikes-N-Drums
    There's nothing worse than coming up on a cyclist while you're driving." My response was, "Sure there is: an impatient driver coming from behind you while you're cycling".
    My response: "There's nothing worse than coming up on a pedestrian while cruising down the sidewalk at 20 mph."

  3. #3
    It tastes like burning! deliriou5's Avatar
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    it's illegal to ride a bike on the sidewalk in my neighborhood.

    Besides there are signs that say "share the road" and "bike route", reaffirming the fact that i have a right to be there!
    The only true knowledge is knowing that you know nothing - Socrates

    Back on the bike!!

  4. #4
    Burn-em Upus Icephaltus Gojohnnygo.'s Avatar
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    Maybe that little argument did him some good.Now he knows both sides of the story and will be less aggressive on the streets.
    Sick BubbleGum

  5. #5
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    >>>>"There's nothing worse than coming up on a cyclist while you're driving."<<<<

    It's illegal to ride a bicycle on the sidewalks in New York City. The police would give you a $85.00 ticket in a hearbeat.

  6. #6
    Senior Member Hants Commuter's Avatar
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    Pavement (sidewalk) cycling is supposed to be a no-no in the UK as well. I actually think cycling on the pavement is one of the most anti-social things a cyclist can do. It also gives the bike-haters something to whinge about.
    "Fame doesn't await at the top of the hill, Fortune doesn't await at the top of the hill, the only thing that awaits at the top of the hill is the top of the hill"

  7. #7
    Every lane is a bike lane Chris L's Avatar
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    Originally posted by Gojohnnygo.
    Maybe that little argument did him some good.Now he knows both sides of the story and will be less aggressive on the streets.
    I was about to respond with my usual 'what a tosser' post, but the one I've quoted made me think. Maybe this is the best way to get our message across. Maybe you could ask him to actually measure the time it 'costs' him to pass a cyclist safely. I'd be very surprised if it was more than three seconds.

    The thing I can't understand is that drivers have such a problem slowing down for three seconds to pass a cyclist, but other delays that can take 10-20 minutes or more out of their day seem to be ignored. What gives?
    "I am never going to flirt with idleness again" - Roy Keane
    "We invite everyone to question the entire culture we take for granted." - Manic Street Preachers.
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  8. #8
    Oh God, He's back! 1oldRoadie's Avatar
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    Originally posted by Bikes-N-Drums
    ....There's nothing worse than coming up on a cyclist while you're driving.....
    There's nothing worse than coming up on a 4wheeler while you're driving your 450hp, PETERBILT hauling 50,000# of frozen chicken nuggests. You just wish they would all get off the big road and drive in the side streets like they're supposed to.
    I can't ride and Frown!

  9. #9
    DEADBEEF khuon's Avatar
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    Originally posted by Hants Commuter
    Pavement (sidewalk) cycling is supposed to be a no-no in the UK as well. I actually think cycling on the pavement is one of the most anti-social things a cyclist can do. It also gives the bike-haters something to whinge about.
    Although it's perfectly legal for cyclists to use the sidewalks in my state (WA), I flat out refuse to for reasons of safety (to my self and pedestrians) and principle. The only time I will use a sidewalk/crosswalk is when I dismount and become a pedestrian in order to bypass long stoplights or ones without dedicated left-turn lanes. I'm torn about the laws allowing use of bicycles on sidewalks. On one hand, I feel it's dangerous but on the other hand it does give cyclists advantages and flexibility over motorists.
    1999 K2 OzM 2001 Aegis Aro Svelte OCP Club Member
    "Be liberal in what you accept, and conservative in what you send." -- Jon Postel, RFC1122

  10. #10
    Life is good RonH's Avatar
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    Originally posted by Bikes-N-Drums
    My response was, "Sure there is: an impatient driver coming from behind you while you're cycling".
    He still didn't get it and I had lost my patience with him as he did with me.
    Better check your mirror very carefully from now on. That crazy Atlanta motorist may be your friend.

  11. #11
    DEADBEEF khuon's Avatar
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    Originally posted by 1oldRoadie
    There's nothing worse than coming up on a 4wheeler while you're driving your 450hp, PETERBILT hauling 50,000# of frozen chicken nuggests. You just wish they would all get off the big road and drive in the side streets like they're supposed to.
    And if you live in Sweden: There's nothing worse than trying to land your Saab Gripen on the highway with all those cars and trucks clogging your rollout path.
    1999 K2 OzM 2001 Aegis Aro Svelte OCP Club Member
    "Be liberal in what you accept, and conservative in what you send." -- Jon Postel, RFC1122

  12. #12
    It tastes like burning! deliriou5's Avatar
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    Originally posted by Chris L
    I was about to respond with my usual 'what a tosser' post, but the one I've quoted made me think. Maybe this is the best way to get our message across. Maybe you could ask him to actually measure the time it 'costs' him to pass a cyclist safely. I'd be very surprised if it was more than three seconds.

    The thing I can't understand is that drivers have such a problem slowing down for three seconds to pass a cyclist, but other delays that can take 10-20 minutes or more out of their day seem to be ignored. What gives?
    People that can't slow down for three seconds to pass a cyclist are the same people that tailgate you on the road, thinking that being 10 yards closer to your bumper will get them .001 seconds earlier to their destination
    The only true knowledge is knowing that you know nothing - Socrates

    Back on the bike!!

  13. #13
    It's in my blood Pete Clark's Avatar
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    Be not unequally yoked with unbelievers.



    The only way to convince an unbeliever is to prove it. Make them
    eat the proof without saying a word.

    Today I was wolfing down a decent slice of pizza. A coworker (quite significantly sized) said, "You're going to get fat on that!"

    I just chuckled.

  14. #14
    Crank Crushing Redneck SamDaBikinMan's Avatar
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    The biggest road block to cyclists acceptance is cyclists themselves. I have met all too many who cut off cars and do stupid stunts that infuriate drivers. People who in group rides go four or five or more abreast down the road, etc....

    Some of the biggest jerks I have run across are cyclists.
    [SIGPIC][/SIGPIC]

  15. #15
    Every lane is a bike lane Chris L's Avatar
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    Originally posted by SamDaBikinMan
    The biggest road block to cyclists acceptance is cyclists themselves. I have met all too many who cut off cars and do stupid stunts that infuriate drivers. People who in group rides go four or five or more abreast down the road, etc....
    Another thing I find perplexing is the number of drivers who try to justify their bigotry with the old "cyclists break road rules" line, without first taking a look at their own behaviour.
    "I am never going to flirt with idleness again" - Roy Keane
    "We invite everyone to question the entire culture we take for granted." - Manic Street Preachers.
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  16. #16
    hors category TandemGeek's Avatar
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    When he said, "There's nothing worse than coming up on a cyclist while you're driving." what you should have said was, "Unless of course you hit one -- in which case you've probably ruined at least two lives: theirs and yours. Oh, and for what it's worth, you'd also be in the wrong because as a motorist in Georgia you must yield way and safely overtake slower moving vehicles that are legally using the road, including bicycles."

    It's a hard job to sell cycling to people who use their steel cages to insulate themselves from humanity and responsibility for their behavior behind the wheel.

  17. #17
    hors category TandemGeek's Avatar
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    Originally posted by SamDaBikinMan
    The biggest road block to cyclists acceptance is cyclists themselves. I have met all too many who cut off cars and do stupid stunts that infuriate drivers. People who in group rides go four or five or more abreast down the road, etc....

    Some of the biggest jerks I have run across are cyclists.
    No, the biggest road block is the lack of good judgement and tolerance on the part of some cyclists, some motorists and anyone -- motorists or cyclists -- using over-generalizations out of frustration with the whole situation which certainly doesn't do anything towards solving the real problems.

    The skills of motorists continue to decline, enforcement of existing traffic laws is almost non-existent in areas where cyclists and cars most frequently share the road (apparently low revenue producers for most juridictions), and people are just so caught up in their busy lives that they've forgotten what it means to be a good citizen all of the time, not just when it's convenient or when someone they might know is watching.

    Back to cyclists backing up cars.... Either on my bike or as a motorist in Georgia and elsewhere, I've seen more cars backed up behind a single bike or a single file line of cyclists that I've ever seen behind a group training ride that has "taken the road" and I'll be frank -- I'm not sure which is the smarter move.

    It it safer to give a motorist who has demonstrated the inability to safely share their 5' wide car with a bicycle in an 8' wide lane -- or a 18' wide road for that matter -- room to pass OR to just let them sit there. Ultimately, I always end up taking control of the situation by signalling a reluctant motorist when it's not safe to pass by holding out my arm with my palm exposed (that would be the old hand signal for "stop" which most older motorists still remember) and then wave them through when it is safe (admittedly, there is a whole different thread about liability for doing this). And of course, the real pleasure is when all the other motorists who were held up by the reluctant and/or poorly skilled motorist direct their angst towards the cyclists "for holding them up" instead of the motorist who was actually the cause of the back-up. So, ultimately, when you have a large group of cyclists taking the road may be the right answer for keeping a dangerous situation from developing. Ultimately, in spite of how long motorists THINK they are delayed, the time actually lost can most often be measured in seconds. Let's see, inconvience 4 motorists for a minute or two or risk the lives of 40 cyclists??? It's a tough decision for sure -- especially on Sunday mornings when those motorists are rushing to or from Sunday services and seem to have even less tolerance for their fellow man: how ironic?

    And if you think it's bad riding a bicycle, you ought to try riding a motorcycle on the highways here in Atlanta. Heck, motorists will just as soon cut-off 700lbs of motorcycle and rider as 200lbs of bicycle and cyclist.
    Last edited by livngood; 03-03-03 at 10:53 PM.

  18. #18
    Senior Member bikerider's Avatar
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    Originally posted by Chris L
    Another thing I find perplexing is the number of drivers who try to justify their bigotry with the old "cyclists break road rules" line, without first taking a look at their own behaviour.
    I remember one motorist who was stuck behind someone who was double parked (and thereby blocking the only travel lane) who became very irate - holding his horn down and giving the 'artery clogger' an obscene gesture.

    Not two blocks later do I catch up with him - he was double parked!

  19. #19
    The Flying Scot chewa's Avatar
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    Good post. I always say to this sort of comment.

    " Cycling isn't dangerous, but car drivers make it so. The secret to good driving is observation. If you can't observe properly and act accordingly then you shouldn't be driving"

    I may swear a bit
    plus je vois les hommes, plus j'admire les chiens

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  20. #20
    Formerly Known as Newbie Juha's Avatar
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    Originally posted by khuon
    And if you live in Sweden: There's nothing worse than trying to land your Saab Gripen on the highway with all those cars and trucks clogging your rollout path.
    Well, they've solved that one: the new JAS lands all over the place instead of the runway...

    sorry... couldn't resist.

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  21. #21
    Packfodding 3 caloso's Avatar
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    Saw this on another forum re bikes on sidewalks.

    Apparently in Ohio the default state law is bikes on the road but local governments have the authority to prohibit them on the road and require them to be ridden on the sidewalk. This guy is lobbying against this stupidity, one town at a time.

    I believe (but I'd have to look it up) that here in Cali bikes are always authorized to use the street and forbidden to use the sidewalk but local governments can designate some sidewalks as bikeways.
    Cyclists of the world, unite! You have nothing to lube but your chains!

  22. #22
    It's in my blood Pete Clark's Avatar
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    As a lone commuting cyclist, the problem I have is cars holding me up. As for holding up cars, it never happens. It's just too easy to pass a narrow, slow-moving cyclist when you're driving 100 or more horses.

    They race ahead of me, only to stop and block my path. Motorists seem to be obsessed with their current speed, but have no clue as to their average speed. If they knew they were going to average 25 miles per hour, they might drive smarter.

    Yesterday, on my trip home from work, I noticed a small red pickup with no bumper pass me by. I must have passed him also, because he passed me again later. Actually, I saw him pass me at least 3 times (after which I lost interest.)

    To be quite fair, most motorists I encounter do their best to share the road with me. That's the truth.

  23. #23
    Sprockette wabbit's Avatar
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    One thing drivers fail to recognize is that while many cyclists (serious cyclists, as opposed to People On Bikes) are actually very observant of traffic rules, etc, that certain things are not designed for cyclists. Stop signs for example were designed for cars. Cyclists can be aware of intersections and will stop if a car is coming, but to stop and unclip at every block is unrealistic. And sidewalks were not designed for bikes either. I will point out to anyone who complains that a cyclist who follows the road rules, obeys traffic lights and is aware of what is going on around them is no more dangerous to a car than another car. The truth is that anyone who doesn't look where they're going is a menace, whether on a bike, walking, drivng or pushing a grocery cart! Just yesterday clonked my knee because some bimbo with a grocery cart was blocking the way in the supermarket.
    You can catch more flies with honey than with vinegar. That's great...if you want to attract vermin.

  24. #24
    Footballus vita est iamlucky13's Avatar
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    Well, the way I drive, I usually get passed by the road bikers so it's not an issue.
    "The internet is a place where absolutely nothing happens. You need to take advantage of that." ~ Strong Bad

  25. #25
    aka old dog greywolf's Avatar
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    Originally posted by Chris L


    The thing I can't understand is that drivers have such a problem slowing down for three seconds to pass a cyclist, but other delays that can take 10-20 minutes or more out of their day seem to be ignored. What gives?
    They dont want to miss the next red light , it`l give them more time to sit there & pick their noses
    :D
    dont worry be happy ????

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