NJ: This is why drivers hate us so much
This is just a rant.
I was on an organized ride this past weekend down in the shore area with a lot of participants coming in from NYC. Some of the towns that was part of the route had police officers manning the intersections and letting cyclists through as they came in to take the turns which was great, but, some of the major intersections did not have police nor volunteers present to conduct traffic so we were on our own which was fine except for one that comes to mind since I was there as well. A group of cyclists (I hate being called a biker BTW) came upon a red light and I'm guessing they were there before any cars got there. There were probably 10 of them and as other cyclists started to pour in, a bunch of cars started to come into the intersection as well. There were a total of three lanes: two were left turn only and the other one was a right turn only lane. I believe the problem was that most of the cyclists were bunched together in the leftmost lane while others were on the middle lane and all were waiting to turn left. As a cyclist, I could only assume that when I make that left turn, I should immediately be going to the right side of the road so being in the leftmost lane will almost prevent me from moving right ASAP as soon as I make the turn. The motorists figured this out right away and shouted that all of the cyclists were on the wrong side of the road and we should all move all the way to the right lane which basically started an argument with one cyclist continuously yelling, "Share the road, share the road!!!"
I may be mistaken but I believe that those cyclists positioned on the leftmost lane should not have been there. I also believe that the proper positioning would have been the middle lane (or the right side of the middle lane) without going over and blocking the right turn lane.
Upon making the left turn, it was obvious that, at this point, the motorists were pissed and some obscenities were exchanged by both parties, although, it didn't go any further than that.
I believe this to be misinformation on both sides. Yes, we as cyclists do have a right to the road as much as any motorist but we also have to do our part and be diligent about where we are and how we conduct ourselves. The same holds true for motorists especially those that believe bicycles belong only on sidewalks and not be treated as anything other than a toy.
Last edited by sixgears; 10-07-13 at 06:18 AM.
Maybe I am not envisioning it correctly but I don't see what the cyclists did wrong. There are two left turn lanes. If you are a vehicle, and I don't care what kind, you have the option of using either lane to make your left. There is nothing wrong with making a left turn into the left lane and then moving over when it's safe.
Also... I know I don't feel too safe making turns like this and trusting a vehicle on my left or right to stay in his lane as he turns and I always try to control the lane when making a left to prevent cars from swinging wide to pass or cutting inside me while I am turning. Probably safest for the group of cyclists to control both lanes through this turn.
Hey the road is usually full of cars and cyclists constantly have to make allowances for that. So here is a situation where the road is full if bicycles. So for once some car driver has to wait a few seconds for the bikes to get out of his way? I constantly encounter drivers unwilling to wait a few seconds to make safe passes. I have no sympathy for drivers who are held up for a moment when I take a lane for my safety.
Chill out drivers. We are just trying to survive out there.
Car drivers -we are all car drivers-don't HATE bicycle riders
They don't like being slowed down
and the HATE being INTENTIONALLY slowed down .
Just because you can Legally be in a position that will slow down cars-doesn't mean it is a good idea to do it.
OP has the right attitude-why piss off folks in 4000lb machines?
Granted I have Cyclist Inferiority Complex- and Driver Superiority Complex!
You are. And I am no apologist for the take the lane no matter what crowd.
Originally Posted by sixgears
I emailed the organizers of the Twin Lights ride re: guys blocking traffic and laughing about the mayhem they were causing. Saw it on multiple stretches as I drove home against the tide as they came through Kings Highway/Buttermilk Valley towards Highlands. They were basically blocking the traffic just to agitate people, on open wide and straight stretches ...not guarding blind corners.
People hate cyclists here...and this sort of thing is why unfortunately.
I guess I'll take the "personal preference" stance here and yes, I see both perspectives but I err on the cyclists side (most of the time). I usually ride alone so being on the right-most side of the turning lane appeals to me more than being in front of or behind a "4000lb machine". And no, I never apologize for being there.
I guess it was obvious which event I was referring to. So, what could be done differently aside from closing all roads to traffic? I'm guessing education can only take us so far. I don't want to chalk this one up to being a "nature of the beast" kind of thing but, I think having police presence at certain intersections (which they did in some towns) might alleviate the pressures from both the motorists and cyclists. But then again, we can never satisfy everyone.
Originally Posted by kingsqueak
I was polite in the email, to be fair to the organizers they aren't local. I've been in the area 30yrs+ and the traffic levels are easily doubled over those years. I'm hoping they take a closer look at the route they chose as all those back roads used to be my favorites to ride years ago, but now I will seldom ride them. They are almost no shoulder and pretty blind in many places and people can barely keep their SUVs between the yellow lines with clear dry conditions and no cyclists around.
The traffic on those routes is far heavier than it ever used to be.
I definitely think more route martials and crossing assistance would help things...the darker side of me would like riders fouling traffic to be ejected and SAG'd off the course.
The area where they were really jamming up traffic incidentally was Buttermilk Valley as the road passes Hartshorne woods on that long, open straight...and again further west up Kings Highway on one of the limited open places for people to proceed through easily. I was going the opposite direction but the people they backed up were enraged...which just leads people to lose it and gun it...and most can't do that with any control.
Originally Posted by kingsqueak
Are you talking about Navesink Ave? I have ridden this stretch many times. Textbook take the lane situation. Doesn't matter whether it is one bike or 1000.
So one day a year some car drivers have to contend with wall to wall bikes on this stretch? Too bad I say.
Ha, and who would enforce that. I would LOOOOOOOVE some self important club rider/marshal to tell me my day was over, and I would have to leave the public road/course.
Originally Posted by kingsqueak
And I think this is why cyclists here say they face so much antagonism on the road. Let's think about how our egos can affect other cyclists on the road before we start bogging down lanes intentionally.
Originally Posted by jerseyJim
We are able to stop, turn and avoid traffic much more easily than drivers. We have no protection from vehicles, when it comes right down to it. It's like cutting off a tanker while you're in a sailboat. You might technically have the right off way, but only a foolish person would do it.
When cyclists do things like this, it is to the detriment of all other cyclists on the road. There's nothing wrong with being conscientious and forgiving as cyclists and we have nothing to lose. Wind up a couple of drivers a few notches on the road and you might be able to laugh it off, but what about the next cyclist that driver encounters?
I obviously agree with the OP. Just because we are legally allowed to conduct ourselves in a certain way, which equates to antagonizing motorists, does not mean we have to or should. Especially on the roads in Jersey.
Well, I thank those that agree and also those that do not since it's gives another perspective to an ongoing dilemma. In defense of the organizers, they did put up a few signs warning that there would be a cycling event occurring on the roads that day. It may be a good idea in the future to put those signs where they will make the most impact and truly warn drivers to expect more cyclists than "normal" especially on those busy roads and intersections.
Last edited by sixgears; 10-04-13 at 09:02 AM.
Thanks for letting the origanizwers know. I just did my 22nd consecutive MS City-to-Shore in south Jersey. As the ride has grow to some 7,000 participants, the number of a-holes has at a disproportionately high rate. Once again this year I saw a phenominal amount of bad and dangerous riding, inlcuding several instances where people blocked cars while riding illegally (e.g. in the middle of the road when it was perfectly possible to ride to the right without endangering one's self) simply to assert superiority and people riding across the double yellow line to pass other cylists whille there was oncoming traffic. Over the years, I too have overheard participants bragging about the mess they have caused.
Originally Posted by kingsqueak
The ride organizer puts out many, many safety reminder signs along the route. (I know. I put up someof them every year.) Many people simply ignore them. The sort of behavior exhibited is lamentable and something that threatens the existence of the ride.
Cyclist-TINY MINORITY of road users.
We ARE unimportant.-Very few VOTES very little money- which is how importance is measured.
We aren't oppressed is any sense that isn't laughable.
We ARE inferior IN every way that can be measured.
Pissing off the vast majority is just childish-and the rest of us pay the bill for that.
Yes I have Cyclist Inferiority Complex-and Driver Superiority Complex
Playing Nice with drivers-and politicians-playing up the "less crowded roads-less CO2-" aspect is what will get us bike lanes etc
Taking The Lane-gets you a thread on this forum-*****in about the ticket you are fighting.
Probably earns the rest of us a few close shaves.
No drivers AREN'T going to change because bike riders whine about it to fellow bike riders-
except to get a bit worse with the TEXTING-
You-Bike Riders- are inferior in ever way that can be measured-votes money numbers speed comfort utility
CO2 and less crowded roads for cars are our only plusses anyone will care about.
VC- vehicles mean LICENSES FEES TAXES TICKETS INSURANCE GOING TO DMV ever 2-4 years-really want to be treated as a vehicle??
Most useless post of this entire thread.
Why would you call it useless? Rather, it's an acknowledgement of some unpleasant truths about cycling culture.
Originally Posted by Consularrider
Pissing people off doesn't result in more bike lanes.
Taking up all of the road at low speeds when it is possible to share the road is the action of a sphincter. The other user's taxes and fees pay for the roads we ride on.
Blowing off red lights just because you have a fixed gear bike and can't be bothered to stop leaves a bad taste in the mouths of many motorists and pedestrians.
Using Critical Masshole events to intimidate other road users makes a mockery of the "share the road" concept. It's nothing more than groupthink mob-mentality.
We have a problem with our image right now. Non-riders view us as PBR-swilling delinquents or as EPO-juiced arrogant assmaggots. The denial doesn't help.
No, we most definitely are not.
Originally Posted by phoebeisis
However, it is correct to state that a bicyclist's right to use the road does not negate the obligation to follow the law and the responsibilty to present bicycling to the general public in a good light, nor does it obviate the need to be defensive and to acknowlege the dangers that cars present.
ferdinand- right I was exaggerating a little.
Guessing maybe 95% of forum members have a current drivers license-and 90% own a motor vehicle-car pickup SUV scooter motorcycle
My point-which you politely acknowledge-is we -bike riders- need to follow the law-AND go out of our way to NOT BE as kunsunoke says-assmaggots!
In truth we need to BE BETTER THAN CAR DRIVERS!!
Instead many have adopted a "Take the lane screw the cars" attitude-which is completely counterproductive-guranteed to piss off VOTERS all of whom drive cars-
We do have some plusses from a car point of view- decrease car crowding decrease CO2 production decrease parking problems decrease fuel consumption(price of gasoline)-
Don't see that we have any more inherent "right "to the roads than skateboarders-and they are excluded from roads and many sidewalks.
Having recently been doing more "Flat Bar Road Bike" miles (opposed to towpath/MUP) I will chime in here. As Ferdinand said in his seminal Worst of Us thread we have to remember we're "representing" esp. at chokepoints. I stay right in center "left or straight" lane and blaze hard across aiming for top of apex. I also ride with a mirror (bar end) so can monitor who's doing what as we go. Frankly, it's stressful, for every eejit who wants to block traffic with the right of way to let me go (do me no favors please: I'm way ahead of you) there're four others who would apparently rather turn me into roadkill. I'm irked at the "road rights" clique who insist on riding two feet out on a 50 mph two lane highway inconveniencing everyone while I chill on the existing three foot path behind the guardrail. WTF?
Vehicular cycling is a bluff/chicken game that is in my eyes foolhardy, arrogant and undermines cycling's progress. All you clowns here in CNJ "asserting your rights" are fostering the "hate" the OP cites: for absolutely NO valid reason: knock it off. (Gonna dub you the "Hollywood Stuntz" crowd from now on...)
As a "for what it is worth" comment, if I understand correctly and the cyclists were occupying both left turning lanes, they are violating the law. I have never ridden in NJ, but the wording is almost identical to NY in that riders may never ride more than 2 abreast, and must go to single file to not not impede traffic. So you can take the lane all you want, but as soon as you are more than 2 abreast, it is illegal. And I would assume two abreast in both turning lanes would equally be an issue, as you are not "as far right as is practicable", and are then impeding traffic. The "practicable" is in NJ law, not NY, but there are words to the same in NY.