Advertise on Bikeforums.net



User Tag List

Page 1 of 2 12 LastLast
Results 1 to 25 of 48
  1. #1
    Senior Member
    Join Date
    Jul 2014
    Posts
    143
    Mentioned
    2 Post(s)
    Tagged
    0 Thread(s)

    Need Some Safety Advice - Or Maybe Just To Be verbally Slapped!

    Okay, I have been riding for decades, and every bike rider has had close calls with and other on-road mishaps. I was riding last night, just before sunset, beautiful ride on the Belt Parkway bike path to Crossbay and back before dark. Anyway, on the return trip, I decided to get off the Belt at Rockaway Parkway and go around Canarsie via Seview Ave, rather than taking the Belt to Flatbush.

    Anyway, I make the right on to Seview heading West, and I was going against traffic because traffic was really light and it was a nice ride. So I decided to switch after a block to go with traffic, and some maniac motorist flew by as I did so. Two things really disturbed me about this, and actually kept me up last night:

    The first, and most important, was that not only did I have no clue this guy was there, but the only reason I knew it at all was literally feeling the wind-draft his car made as it passed me. He didn't beep or so much as move to change lanes, and if I had to guess, I am thinking he actually sped up and decided to play chicken with me, probably thinking that I was challenging him or something. The second was that I thought I looked both ways when crossing, but in reality, I realized afterward that had I actually looked, I would likely have seen him roaring down the street at well over 60 miles per hour in a 30.

    Now, forget about the fact that this guy is an idiot. Had he hit me and not just came within literal inches (to the point where I actually felt the wind his car created) I would likely be dead. So small comfort that he was wrong to drive that way. The reality is that I should have seen him, period, but I didn't. I think my problem is that I try to maintain a constant speed and pedaling in a city where I should become accustomed to stopping or at least slowing down a lot more. Another problem is I think I may have a little ADHD and I think that there are rare instances where I actually "forget" to look, which could have deadly consequences. The point is I don't care how wrong he was, I should have seen him and I simply didn't. No way can a driver be barreling down the road like this and I just miss it until it is either too late, or I just get incredibly lucky, as I did last night.

    Any advice for increasing safety on the roads?

  2. #2
    Galveston County Texas 10 Wheels's Avatar
    Join Date
    Nov 2007
    Location
    In The Wind
    Posts
    25,584
    Mentioned
    1 Post(s)
    Tagged
    0 Thread(s)
    Duh..."I was going against traffic"
    [SIZE=1][B]What I like about Texas[/B]
    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=PGukLuXzH1E

    Set F1re To The Ra1n ( NY Night Rain Ride)
    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=W7jfcWEkSrI

  3. #3
    Senior Member
    Join Date
    Jul 2014
    Posts
    143
    Mentioned
    2 Post(s)
    Tagged
    0 Thread(s)
    Quote Originally Posted by 10 Wheels View Post
    Duh..."I was going against traffic"
    Except that doesn't even address ANYTHING I typed in my, other than to blow up the single most unimportant thing I said as if THAT was the problem. Nothing happened while I was going against traffic for all of a half a block to a block. I was asking a completely different question.

  4. #4
    Senior Member
    Join Date
    Mar 2012
    Location
    Tallahassee, FL
    Posts
    1,427
    Mentioned
    0 Post(s)
    Tagged
    0 Thread(s)
    What you've written makes it sound as though you crossed from the wrong side to the correct side directly in front of this vehicle. Which would make it somewhat relevant. But perhaps I'm misreading what you're intending to convey.

  5. #5
    Senior Member
    Join Date
    Jul 2014
    Posts
    143
    Mentioned
    2 Post(s)
    Tagged
    0 Thread(s)
    Quote Originally Posted by jon c. View Post
    What you've written makes it sound as though you crossed from the wrong side to the correct side directly in front of this vehicle. Which would make it somewhat relevant. But perhaps I'm misreading what you're intending to convey.
    You're right. I hadn't looked at it that way. But I don't think it was the crossing to the right lane that was the problem. It isn't something I haven't done a million times. Sometimes in NY City, there are potholes on the proper side of the road, or a bike path runs two ways on the wrong side, and in the case of ones that haven't been completed yet, you'll want to get to the right side after a path ends. Also, on these busy streets, there are actually times on certain streets where riding on the wrong side seems safer because you can see what's coming. Don't get me wrong, 99% of the time I prefer being on the right side, going with traffic. But none of that is the point and I may not have worded it clearly.

    What I was trying to convey was not the near collision but my failure to even see it. In crossing from the wrong side to the right, or even just crossing the street, I should still have seen him regardless of where I was on the street and how fast he was coming.

  6. #6
    Senior Member Papa Tom's Avatar
    Join Date
    Aug 2008
    Location
    Long Island, New York
    My Bikes
    The same GT Outpost Mountain bike I've been riding since 1996. I also have a collection of cruisers, folders, and some antiques.
    Posts
    1,996
    Mentioned
    3 Post(s)
    Tagged
    0 Thread(s)
    Hey, sorry to jump on the "You shouldn't have been on the wrong side of the road" train, but I think what others are saying is that, if you are "relaxed" enough in your riding to ignore a basic safety rule, you are probably pretty careless with other aspects of cycling...such as crossing to the "correct" side of the road.

    Regardless of how you choose to justify riding against traffic, it is wrong and it is dangerous, not only for you, but for drivers as well. Don't do it anymore and you will eliminate one more opportunity to get yourself killed.
    Papa Tom

    "I just need a rest...and by 'rest' I mean a really long bicycle ride."

  7. #7
    Senior Member
    Join Date
    Jun 2014
    Location
    texas
    My Bikes
    '86 Raleigh marathon, '09 Fuji newest 4.0, 2001 Cannondale R600
    Posts
    194
    Mentioned
    0 Post(s)
    Tagged
    0 Thread(s)
    Quote Originally Posted by Papa Tom View Post
    Hey, sorry to jump on the "You shouldn't have been on the wrong side of the road" train, but I think what others are saying is that, if you are "relaxed" enough in your riding to ignore a basic safety rule, you are probably pretty careless with other aspects of cycling...such as crossing to the "correct" side of the road.

    Regardless of how you choose to justify riding against traffic, it is wrong and it is dangerous, not only for you, but for drivers as well. Don't do it anymore and you will eliminate one more opportunity to get yourself killed.
    Amen, friggin irritates the crap outta me when I see cyclist violating the law then complain about the car drivers.

    I love cycling, I drive a car. When I cycle I cycle like a slow moving car, when I drive a car I DO NOT expect to see or react to a vehicle moving toward me in my lane of travel. I do expect to react to slow moving vehicles in my lane moving in the same direction.

    Cycling into traffic is a stupid way to be killed.

    As for not seeing a 2000 lb missle headed toward you how long has it been since you had your eyes checked?

    Certain color vehicles blend in to surroundings, maybe it was color of vehicle, time of day (dusk) maybe it was just you not paying attention.

    Consider yourself verbally slapped silly.

  8. #8
    Senior Member Papa Tom's Avatar
    Join Date
    Aug 2008
    Location
    Long Island, New York
    My Bikes
    The same GT Outpost Mountain bike I've been riding since 1996. I also have a collection of cruisers, folders, and some antiques.
    Posts
    1,996
    Mentioned
    3 Post(s)
    Tagged
    0 Thread(s)
    Hey, Jeez...I didn't realize this was YOU, ChiroVette! And I even have video to PROVE you're a salmon (a cyclist that rides against traffic).

    Dude...please don't make us all look bad. Ride within the rules so that "they" don't disrespect us any more than they already do. And don't be the cyclist that appears out of nowhere, coming at me in the right lane, as I'm struggling to make a turn with all the traffic coming from the left. That could change BOTH our lives, BIG TIME!
    Papa Tom

    "I just need a rest...and by 'rest' I mean a really long bicycle ride."

  9. #9
    Senior Member
    Join Date
    Jul 2007
    Posts
    685
    Mentioned
    0 Post(s)
    Tagged
    0 Thread(s)
    Possibly you were on a road you were not that familiar with in terms of traffic ?. I drive that road (Seaview) literally every work day from E80th to Rockaway. Drivers routinely do 50 in a 25 zone. It's 2 lanes ea. way, no shoulder, parked cars, etc... Etc...

    So a bad place to bike maybe and this was a work day, even though late in the day.

    Your habits of sometimes riding the wrong way in traffic set you up for being in the wrong place to be aware of your enviroment. Thus you missed the car coming at you, if I'm reading this correctly.

    I enjoy exploring as much as the next person, but in NYC you need to be extra careful and aware when you do so. Too many cars, too many drivers that drive dangerously, too easy to find yourself in the wrong place at the wrong time and no place to compound that by ignoring otherwise years of riding experience and good habits.

    I assume, as BTW, that you exited the path at the Canarsie Pier, went north on Rockaway (under the Belt) then LEFT on Seaview, which would take you west. Going right on Seaview takes you east, not west to Flatbush. The left from Rockaway onto westbound Seaview is from a left turn only lane with a center divider separating the lanes on Rockaway. Which puzzles me then as to how you got into the wrong lane and going against traffic. I'm missing something here.
    Last edited by Steve B.; 07-11-14 at 08:33 PM.

  10. #10
    Senior Member Dave Cutter's Avatar
    Join Date
    Oct 2013
    Location
    in my recliner
    Posts
    1,499
    Mentioned
    7 Post(s)
    Tagged
    0 Thread(s)
    Quote Originally Posted by ChiroVette View Post
    ..... The reality is that I should have seen him, period, but I didn't. I think my problem is that I try to maintain a constant speed and pedaling in a city where I should become accustomed to stopping or at least slowing down a lot more. Another problem is I think I may have a little ADHD and I think that there are rare instances where I actually "forget" to look, which could have deadly consequences. The point is I don't care how wrong he was, I should have seen him and I simply didn't. ....
    Actually people just don't make memories of everything that happens. Much of the time people operate in a sort of auto-pilot mode. When functioning in autopilot... the brain makes temporary 4-7 second memories. When trying to access those memories later.... you will draw a blank.

    Mostly... we read/hear about these memory lapses from cyclists. They say the *blank* motorist looked right at me then just a few seconds later tried to run me over. In reality... the driver (or cyclist) will report that they just didn't see the other person... that it was like they appeared from no where.

    There is no way to over-come this normal human behavior. Maybe someday soon technology will provide some object detection device that could save lives.

  11. #11
    Senior Member
    Join Date
    Jul 2014
    Posts
    143
    Mentioned
    2 Post(s)
    Tagged
    0 Thread(s)
    Okay, a lot of very intriguing, thought-provoking points made in this thread, so I want to respond to some or most of them point by point.

    Quote Originally Posted by Dave Cutter View Post
    Actually people just don't make memories of everything that happens. Much of the time people operate in a sort of auto-pilot mode. When functioning in autopilot... the brain makes temporary 4-7 second memories. When trying to access those memories later.... you will draw a blank.

    Mostly... we read/hear about these memory lapses from cyclists. They say the *blank* motorist looked right at me then just a few seconds later tried to run me over. In reality... the driver (or cyclist) will report that they just didn't see the other person... that it was like they appeared from no where.

    There is no way to over-come this normal human behavior. Maybe someday soon technology will provide some object detection device that could save lives.
    Agreed. I know this phenomenon exists, so I am not claiming to have perfect recall of events right before something happens. However, I also know myself petty well, and I think, as I said above, that I may have a little ADHD in me. Sometimes I lose focus for an instant, whether momentarily daydreaming, thinking about other things, or just a poor timed loss of concentration for an instant. It is something that I realize can have fatal consequences while on a bike. But I am pretty firmly convinced that I didn't just forget the instant before the strange near-collision above, but that I just drifted. I am working on this. So far, I haven't had this really bite me in the tookus on a bike just yet, but I don't want to play the odds anymore.

    So since this incident, I have made it a point to simply force myself into a state of hyper-concentration while doing anything in areas where I have to change lanes, change directions, maneuver around in high-traffic areas, or any time that a loss of concentration could have catastrophic consequences. I even rode through that same intersection and area, and I completely see where I lost concentration when I did some 'practice" lane changes and such. lol Some of the locals must have thought I was a bit nutty driving the same stretch over and over again, then going back to Rockaway Pkwy and Seview, only to make the U-Turn and head back west on Seview, going through this stretch several times.

    Quote Originally Posted by Steve B. View Post
    Possibly you were on a road you were not that familiar with in terms of traffic ?. I drive that road (Seaview) literally every work day from E80th to Rockaway. Drivers routinely do 50 in a 25 zone. It's 2 lanes ea. way, no shoulder, parked cars, etc... Etc...
    Very familiar with it, actually. I have lived in Bergen Beach my whole life.

    Quote Originally Posted by Steve B. View Post
    So a bad place to bike maybe and this was a work day, even though late in the day.
    It was, actually... and a very LONG work day as well. I was also in a hurry, for some reason (and I really shouldn't do this) was trying obsessively to beat the sunset home. Weird, because I have no fear of driving in he dark and have plenty of lights.

    Quote Originally Posted by Steve B. View Post
    Your habits of sometimes riding the wrong way in traffic set you up for being in the wrong place to be aware of your enviroment. Thus you missed the car coming at you, if I'm reading this correctly.
    I believe that's exactly what happened. The habit of sometimes riding on the wrong side may be something many or most here disagree with me on, but I do absolutely agree with the position that if I am going to be riding occasionally against traffic, that the onus is 100% on me to be hyper-aware of my surroundings, particularly when changing lanes. In truth, I was simply very lackadaisical about merging into the right lane when I should have stopped, or at least slowed down, craned my neck to make sure nobody was coming westbound, and just been a whole lot more careful getting back onto the side of the road I belong.

    On a related note, I noticed the other day that they really did a beautiful job of creating a myriad of circuitous paved paths through Seaview Park, just a few blocks west of Rockaway Parkway. So whenever I am coming down that way now, I simply shoot into the park and enjoy a leisurely and much safer ride to Paedegat Avenue where there is a bike path running on the westbound side of the road from Seaview Avenue to Flatlands Avenue.

    Quote Originally Posted by Steve B. View Post
    I enjoy exploring as much as the next person, but in NYC you need to be extra careful and aware when you do so. Too many cars, too many drivers that drive dangerously, too easy to find yourself in the wrong place at the wrong time and no place to compound that by ignoring otherwise years of riding experience and good habits.
    I can't argue with this. Look, truth be told, I have calmed down and improved my riding habits a lot, but I am not perfect. Yes, occasionally I still violate some laws, but I have learned to at least curb this tendency far more than I did for many years. (More on this below)

    Quote Originally Posted by Steve B. View Post
    I assume, as BTW, that you exited the path at the Canarsie Pier, went north on Rockaway (under the Belt) then LEFT on Seaview, which would take you west. Going right on Seaview takes you east, not west to Flatbush. The left from Rockaway onto westbound Seaview is from a left turn only lane with a center divider separating the lanes on Rockaway. Which puzzles me then as to how you got into the wrong lane and going against traffic. I'm missing something here.
    You assumed right about where I exited the Belt. But when I said "right" it was just a typo. Or rather a typing mistake. I absolutely meant to say that I made the left to go West toward Paerdegat Avenue. As for how I got on the wrong side, I know this will make you cringe, but I was uncomfortable with the sheer amount of traffic on the northbound side of Rockaway Parkway, so I flitted over to the almost empty southbound (wrong side) as I passed the shopping center, which set me up to drive through the gas station at the intersection (I think it's a Shell or Gulf?) which put me on the wrong side for a block or two.

    Quote Originally Posted by Papa Tom View Post
    Hey, Jeez...I didn't realize this was YOU, ChiroVette! And I even have video to PROVE you're a salmon (a cyclist that rides against traffic).

    Dude...please don't make us all look bad. Ride within the rules so that "they" don't disrespect us any more than they already do. And don't be the cyclist that appears out of nowhere, coming at me in the right lane, as I'm struggling to make a turn with all the traffic coming from the left. That could change BOTH our lives, BIG TIME!
    Papa Tom, I try to stay within the rules as much as possible. However, honestly, while I completely respect your opinion on this, and I know that legally you are right and I am wrong, I simply cannot promise to never drive on the wrong side. Sometimes I simply consider it safer in this city when I have an empty stretch of opposing lane and the right side has cars whizzing by me at over fifty. Wrong or not, sometimes I just believe it is safer. You may consider that justification, but that's just how I see it. Look, I definitely will give you the same point I conceded above: When I am doing something not legal like that, then I have to make damned sure that I am incredibly attentive. That much I can do, and I absolutely have cut down on the youthful shenanigans of stupidity I have been guilty of many times. Eliminated, though? Nope, sorry. Probably never will.

    Quote Originally Posted by 1986raleigh View Post
    Amen, friggin irritates the crap outta me when I see cyclist violating the law then complain about the car drivers.

    I love cycling, I drive a car. When I cycle I cycle like a slow moving car, when I drive a car I DO NOT expect to see or react to a vehicle moving toward me in my lane of travel. I do expect to react to slow moving vehicles in my lane moving in the same direction.
    First off I never complain about motorists when I am the one in the wrong. I don't expect people to automatically and magically yield to me. Second, I am a motorist as well, been driving for decades, and you know what? I absolutely DO, in fact, expect to react to cyclists driving against me. They do it all the time here in the Big Apple, and it is something that when I am driving I accept and embrace. I have absolutely no problem with this as long as the cyclist doesn't pull the stupidity I did, which was changing lanes to the right side without looking. But when a cyclist is coming at me head on, I simply slow down a little and pay attention to their moves, period. It neither irritates me or causes me any anger. It just is.

    Quote Originally Posted by 1986raleigh View Post
    Cycling into traffic is a stupid way to be killed.

    As for not seeing a 2000 lb missle headed toward you how long has it been since you had your eyes checked?

    Certain color vehicles blend in to surroundings, maybe it was color of vehicle, time of day (dusk) maybe it was just you not paying attention.

    Consider yourself verbally slapped silly.
    I wear reading glasses...sometimes. But my normal, everyday vision is borderline. Honestly? I could probably use glasses for riding. Hell, they would keep the bugs out of my damned eyes, too! Ha, maybe a cool pair of light prescription shades. Again, I can see "fine" enough so that I don't need glasses to renew my driver's license, but I probably will when I renew in five years, AND I would likely see a little better at least with prescription glasses. yes, it was dusk, and yes it was a dark car. But, again, I know the state of mind I was in that night, and it was waaay too lax, particularly when I was doing something illegal.

    _______________________

    By the way, another thing you guys would probably disapprove of is that when cycling I only stop for stop signs and red lights if I absolutely have to, meaning cars are coming, or lol there are like ten cops looking at me who I don't want to piss off.

  12. #12
    Senior Member
    Join Date
    Jul 2007
    Posts
    685
    Mentioned
    0 Post(s)
    Tagged
    0 Thread(s)
    As I read your last, I get an impression of a very experienced and safe cyclist that had a near miss.

    And that's all there was to it, thus I wouldn't try to to over-analyze it too much.

    As I think about this particular route, it's a ***** to get into Seaview Park from the north-bound lanes of Rockaway. When you exit the path, you are in the traffic circle, then go under the Belt. So far, so good. Then you are fighting traffic exiting the Belt and going north on Rockaway. Cars are typically fighting for a lane at this point and on a bike you have only 3 options to go left and west. 1) Make an illegal left onto Schenk, with no turn lane. 2) Make a legal left a bit further north, just past the shopping center onto Skidmore. ***** here is no left turn lane thus you are vulnerable to cars behind who are not turning. Or 3) Use the left turn lane onto Seaview. Then an immediate left onto St Jude and down to the park.

    If it was me, I'd skip Seaview and the park and just stay headed north on Rockaway, making a left on Ave. N or so and head down that.

    Another option and I don't know is they closed it. is you used to be able to make a LEFT just after you came under the Belt overpass, as if you are going onto the entrance ramp to the Belt. There was a gate for pedestrians that allowed you to go onto Canarsie Rd.. Not sure if it's still open now that they've finished construction, but if it's passable, it'll get you into Seaview Park easily enough.

    EDIT: You can do this bye-pass to Canarsie Rd. you just have to go around the guard rail at the chainilink fence. I passed by here this morning and it looks like a go.
    Last edited by Steve B.; 07-16-14 at 08:18 AM.

  13. #13
    Senior Member
    Join Date
    Jan 2010
    Location
    Philly
    My Bikes
    IF SCJ SE, Surly LHT, BikeFriday NWT, Cannondale M300, Raleigh 700
    Posts
    4,044
    Mentioned
    5 Post(s)
    Tagged
    0 Thread(s)
    Pay closer attention to what is going on around you. Use your eyes and ears to do so. BTW...If you think ADHD is a problem I hope you don't have that problem while behind the wheel.

  14. #14
    Senior Member
    Join Date
    Mar 2009
    Posts
    171
    Mentioned
    0 Post(s)
    Tagged
    0 Thread(s)
    Your strained rationalizations for riding the wrong way would be funny if they weren't so frighteningly dangerous. If you want to take risks for yourself, be my guest. What pisses me off is that your recklessness increases my risk of injury, too. This happens in at least two ways:

    1. The direct way: mistakes. The number one rule in a defensive-driving course is not drive slowly, be cautious, or follow the law. It is BE PREDICTABLE. Drivers get used to established patterns, and are able to drive safely when the patterns are observed. This is particularly critical in Manhattan because of the many hazards out there -- other cars, potholes, construction barricades, road signs, pedestrians, bicycles, motorcycles, etc. Add a biker approaching head-on the wrong way, and the pattern falls apart. This dramatically increases the chances that drivers make mistakes. You could continue up the road, blissfully unaware that you just caused a car to run over a baby stroller. But that's okay, because you got home before sunset.
    2. The indirect way: road rage. We will never know if the driver swerved to avoid you, or went out of his way to buzz you. Assuming the latter, it may be that his anger was directed at you and nobody else. More likely, though, his anger was directed at all cyclists because of the crap you and others like you pull. Next time I veer 6 inches left to avoid a pothole, I have to worry that that guy may be buzzing me. Thanks, buddy.

    Please please please stop doing things that make the roads more dangerous, not only for yourself but for the rest of us as well.

  15. #15
    Senior Member Papa Tom's Avatar
    Join Date
    Aug 2008
    Location
    Long Island, New York
    My Bikes
    The same GT Outpost Mountain bike I've been riding since 1996. I also have a collection of cruisers, folders, and some antiques.
    Posts
    1,996
    Mentioned
    3 Post(s)
    Tagged
    0 Thread(s)
    Sorry, Chiro. I've got to agree with njlonghorn on this one.

    It's not a personal attack on you, as you seem like a good guy. It's just that every time I try to see your point-of-view on this subject by applying it to driving a car, it comes back to me as "Nope...no way. This is dangerous, puts other people at risk, and is just...forgive me for judging...WRONG."
    Papa Tom

    "I just need a rest...and by 'rest' I mean a really long bicycle ride."

  16. #16
    Senior Member
    Join Date
    Jul 2014
    Posts
    143
    Mentioned
    2 Post(s)
    Tagged
    0 Thread(s)
    First off, let's call a spade a spade here, shall we? Its a straw man argument to directly equate bike riding to driving a car as if that somehow answers all questions at all times in every situation. But, Tom, your belief that somehow driving a car down the wrong way is somehow roughly the same as doing so with a bike certainly answers a lot of my questions about why you are so hard core with regard to your position that "Them's the rules, and the rules are the rules are the rules, and that's that."

    Look, with all due respect, Tom, I disagree with both you and longhorn. We could go on and on about this, and I have no problem debating an issue, but in truth I think that both of you, but way more militantly so longhorn, are so absolutely, inextricably, and unequivocally bound to your convictions that it would be, at the very least, counterproductive. Longhorn, my "rationalizations" are neither strained nor actually rationalizations. I gave apt answers to questions posed to me, and that's pretty much that.

    longhorn, seriously, dude, you need to lay off the caffeine, or at least the hyperbole. Equating my driving down a basically empty street with causing a car to run over a baby-stroller is not only absurd hyperbole, but pretty laughable, to be frank. Seriously, you don't have to use wild-eyed, overblown exaggerations to make your points. You want to say that I am technically breaking the law, fine. I'll cop to it, and did. But, longhorn going off with the forum equivalent of a rabid, foaming-at-the-mouth rant over minor traffic violations is...well, it's entertaining, I'll give you that.

    I don't mind a spirited debate about the relative merits of obeying traffic laws, and I am steadfastly willing to go the extra mile to be civil, accommodating, and to discuss the issue like reasonable, well-intentioned adults. But longhorn, when you go the extra mile to go all right-wing-zealot-fairytale on me, you lose me.

    Oh, and Papa Tom, no need to apologize. I understand your position, even the parts of it I disagree with. I accept the fact that holding the position you do comes with a certain measure of "judgement" because those are your values, and in your opinion, I am violating those values. I have no issues with your disagreement, by the way, and welcome anything further you have to say.
    Last edited by ChiroVette; 07-16-14 at 01:42 PM.

  17. #17
    Senior Member
    Join Date
    Jul 2014
    Posts
    143
    Mentioned
    2 Post(s)
    Tagged
    0 Thread(s)
    Quote Originally Posted by Steve B. View Post
    As I read your last, I get an impression of a very experienced and safe cyclist that had a near miss.

    And that's all there was to it, thus I wouldn't try to to over-analyze it too much.
    I hear you thanks! However, I did get one good thing out of over-analyzing the situation: It caused me to take more care than before to be extra-attentive while cycling, particularly while being more "aggressive."

    Quote Originally Posted by Steve B. View Post
    As I think about this particular route, it's a ***** to get into Seaview Park from the north-bound lanes of Rockaway. When you exit the path, you are in the traffic circle, then go under the Belt. So far, so good. Then you are fighting traffic exiting the Belt and going north on Rockaway. Cars are typically fighting for a lane at this point and on a bike you have only 3 options to go left and west. 1) Make an illegal left onto Schenk, with no turn lane. 2) Make a legal left a bit further north, just past the shopping center onto Skidmore. ***** here is no left turn lane thus you are vulnerable to cars behind who are not turning. Or 3) Use the left turn lane onto Seaview. Then an immediate left onto St Jude and down to the park.

    If it was me, I'd skip Seaview and the park and just stay headed north on Rockaway, making a left on Ave. N or so and head down that.

    Another option and I don't know is they closed it. is you used to be able to make a LEFT just after you came under the Belt overpass, as if you are going onto the entrance ramp to the Belt. There was a gate for pedestrians that allowed you to go onto Canarsie Rd.. Not sure if it's still open now that they've finished construction, but if it's passable, it'll get you into Seaview Park easily enough.

    EDIT: You can do this bye-pass to Canarsie Rd. you just have to go around the guard rail at the chainilink fence. I passed by here this morning and it looks like a go.
    Yeah I am going to try those routes. I have done the Rockaway Pkwy to N or L even before making the left.

  18. #18
    Senior Member
    Join Date
    Mar 2009
    Posts
    171
    Mentioned
    0 Post(s)
    Tagged
    0 Thread(s)
    Quote Originally Posted by ChiroVette View Post
    longhorn, seriously, dude, you need to lay off the caffeine, or at least the hyperbole. Equating my driving down a basically empty street with causing a car to run over a baby-stroller is not only absurd hyperbole, but pretty laughable, to be frank. Seriously, you don't have to use wild-eyed, overblown exaggerations to make your points. You want to say that I am technically breaking the law, fine. I'll cop to it, and did. But, longhorn going off with the forum equivalent of a rabid, foaming-at-the-mouth rant over minor traffic violations is...well, it's entertaining, I'll give you that. . . . I don't mind a spirited debate about the relative merits of obeying traffic laws, and I am steadfastly willing to go the extra mile to be civil, accommodating, and to discuss the issue like reasonable, well-intentioned adults. But longhorn, when you go the extra mile to go all right-wing-zealot-fairytale on me, you lose me.
    I don't care about "technically breaking the law". I have no problem with things like coasting through a stop sign / red light after slowing to see that all is clear; hopping a curb to avoid traffic; or pulling to the front of the line at a red light.

    But riding the wrong way down the street is not a "technical violation". Even if you are 100% in control of everything you do, you can't avoid the fact that you might cause others to lose control of what they do. In both a bike and a car, it is critical to consider how your conduct will affect the conduct of others.

    Consider a driver who just pulled out from a parking spot, or turned onto your road from a side street. He doesn't see you at first because he is focused behind him, where traffic is supposed to be. When he finally sees you, he panics. What he does next is anybody's guess. Envisioning a baby stroller in the path of his ensuing swerve is extreme, yes, but not at all unrealistic. Worrying about that does not make me a zealot or indicate a caffeine addiction (although I will cop to that one ). It means I am mature and responsible.

  19. #19
    Senior Member
    Join Date
    Jul 2014
    Posts
    143
    Mentioned
    2 Post(s)
    Tagged
    0 Thread(s)
    Quote Originally Posted by njlonghorn View Post
    I don't care about "technically breaking the law". I have no problem with things like coasting through a stop sign / red light after slowing to see that all is clear; hopping a curb to avoid traffic; or pulling to the front of the line at a red light.

    But riding the wrong way down the street is not a "technical violation". Even if you are 100% in control of everything you do, you can't avoid the fact that you might cause others to lose control of what they do. In both a bike and a car, it is critical to consider how your conduct will affect the conduct of others.

    Consider a driver who just pulled out from a parking spot, or turned onto your road from a side street. He doesn't see you at first because he is focused behind him, where traffic is supposed to be. When he finally sees you, he panics. What he does next is anybody's guess. Envisioning a baby stroller in the path of his ensuing swerve is extreme, yes, but not at all unrealistic. Worrying about that does not make me a zealot or indicate a caffeine addiction (although I will cop to that one ). It means I am mature and responsible.
    Okay, I can get far more on board with this conversation because you seem willing to actually discuss the issue, whereas before, it came off to me more like a lecture or fire and brimstone sermon, even though you probably didn't mean it that way.

    I understand that there is the possibility of driver overreaction when someone is coming the wrong way. But in truth, drivers often simply overreact to bikes being in their lane because they aren't skilled or experienced enough to handle it. If you want to further delve into this, couldn't it be said that your willingness to accept slowing down and coasting past stop signs and red lights could just as easily be seen by someone more militant as just as foolish as what I do on the wrong side of a desolate road? Certainly the same arguments could be made for ANY and all breaking of basic traffic laws. What about the guy pulling out of his driveway two doors in front of the stop sign I am just passing. He could, in the same fashion as the unskilled driver in your example, panic seeing me only last second and crush that same baby in that same stroller, no?

    What about the guy driving a little too fast through a green light as you coast through, not realizing that there is someone barreling down toward you. he swerves to avoid you, and all the kittens in the neighborhood now have to be shipped off to the Chinese restaurant. the point is that if you are going to draw lines, then you are also justifying insofar as you are accusing me of justifying. Because a more law abiding cyclist would likely chastise you for your "reckless behavior" and for "ruining it for all riders" in the same way you are doing.

    Look, this discussion simply illustrates lines. Lines between what we are willing to do and tolerate in others and what we are not willing to put up with in others or ourselves. My point is that the cyclist who gets pissy with you for blowing red lights and stop signs because of a whole myriad of reasons similar to your objections of my habits is not any more or less right than you are now. Clearly when you violate traffic laws, you are taking some risk. Blow red light on a bike and you risk getting slammed into by the guy pulling out of his driveway that you neither see nor he sees you. You could not see a pedestrian, a child, who darts unpredictably out into the street in front of you so fast you collide. There are dozens of possibly scenarios that would end just as badly for you while you are being careful blowing red lights and stops signs (even slowly) that could be equated to my driving SLOWLY down a desolate one way road with next to no cars.

    In the end, these things aren't so cut and dry, but judgement calls and where you and I draw our respective lines. See my point?

  20. #20
    Senior Member
    Join Date
    Jul 2007
    Posts
    685
    Mentioned
    0 Post(s)
    Tagged
    0 Thread(s)
    I would argue that you cannot take a black and white attitude then state that coasting stop signs, hopping red lights is sometimes OK, while riding down a one way street is just horrendous and then lay into somebody as to all the ways it's horrendous. You have to fish or cut bait and stick to the attitude that no breaking of applicable laws is sometimes OK, OR admit that there are always those grey areas where the situation dictates common sense even if it's technically illegal.

    I think the situation Vette found him/herself in was a surprise in that a course of action that usually is OK, wasn't. Just like rolling a stop sign you've never been to before and almost getting nailed as you realize it's not a 4 way stop. It's certainly a learning experience which is why advice was asked.

    I as comment, refuse to ride down a one-way street in NYC, mostly as I know it puts me in a potentially hazardous position, but also as I get so pissed off at all the cyclists that feel it's OK. Where I work ( a college in Brooklyn), the street that surrounds the campus is one-way and I'm always encountering commuting cyclists going the wrong way. I move over to allow them to pass as I understand the option for them to be riding legally is to go blocks out of their way. I cut them some slack here.
    Last edited by Steve B.; 07-16-14 at 04:12 PM.

  21. #21
    Senior Member
    Join Date
    Jul 2014
    Posts
    143
    Mentioned
    2 Post(s)
    Tagged
    0 Thread(s)
    Quote Originally Posted by Steve B. View Post
    I would argue that you cannot take a black and white attitude then state that coasting stop signs, hopping red lights is sometimes OK, while riding down a one way street is just horrendous and then lay into somebody as to all the ways it's horrendous. You have to fish or cut bait and stick to the attitude that no breaking of applicable laws is sometimes OK, OR admit that there are always those grey areas where the situation dictates common sense even if it's technically illegal.
    This, right here!

    You said it far more succinctly than I did. You know, had someone in the thread taken me to task and then said, "Oh, and I sure hope you aren't blowing red lights and rolling through stop signs either, because that crap is just as wrong!" I would have disagreed, sure, but I would at least have held a sneaking admiration for pure, unadulterated consistency. Stated another way, people in glass houses shouldn't throw stones, and stated yet another way, "Let he who is without sin, yada, yada, yada."

    Like I said, I am always prepared for lively, energetic, even heated debate. But let's all at least agree to if not check our hypocrisies at the door, at least nod your head and smile when someone is choosing to break different laws than you.

  22. #22
    Senior Member Papa Tom's Avatar
    Join Date
    Aug 2008
    Location
    Long Island, New York
    My Bikes
    The same GT Outpost Mountain bike I've been riding since 1996. I also have a collection of cruisers, folders, and some antiques.
    Posts
    1,996
    Mentioned
    3 Post(s)
    Tagged
    0 Thread(s)
    I am the world's premier goody-two-shoes cyclist. I do not selectively break traffic laws. I ride like I am a giant billboard for cycling all the time, and I never, ever, ever do anything on my bike that I wouldn't do in my car. It drives my wife crazy when we ride together, as she is more like ChiroVette in her approach to bicycling. But I must tell you that she is very inexperienced and gets very nervous when she is "surprised" by a vehicle, a pedestrian, or another cyclist. She has no idea how many times she has almost bought the farm while trying to prove to me that I am a little too rigid in my standards for riding a bicycle.

    My next door neighbor, on the other hand, is a bullhead mountain biker who will argue with me about anything and everything having to do with riding on the road. He insists you don't need a water bottle, a tool kit, or a helmet when you're "woosy-riding" on the streets. And he fought with me til his face was excruciatingly blue about using a headlight at night. Three years ago, he decided to ride out a couple of miles to a 4th of July fireworks show at a local beach. He had no light and he did not see the police barricades as he flew down the pitch black hill on Laurel Hollow Road. Good thing I shamed him into wearing the helmet that night, because all he broke was his neck. The sympathy from his family and friends wore off after a day or two, and all anybody could think about is what an arrogant a-hole he was to think the rules of common sense didn't apply to him.

    Anyway, I'm ready to get off this topic. Stay safe, Chiro, and keep reporting on your rides!
    Papa Tom

    "I just need a rest...and by 'rest' I mean a really long bicycle ride."

  23. #23
    Senior Member
    Join Date
    Jul 2014
    Posts
    143
    Mentioned
    2 Post(s)
    Tagged
    0 Thread(s)
    Quote Originally Posted by Papa Tom View Post
    I am the world's premier goody-two-shoes cyclist. I do not selectively break traffic laws. I ride like I am a giant billboard for cycling all the time, and I never, ever, ever do anything on my bike that I wouldn't do in my car. It drives my wife crazy when we ride together, as she is more like ChiroVette in her approach to bicycling.
    Understood.

    And your position, even in the areas we disagree, I can completely admire. There is no inherent hypocrisy in your philosophy because you apply the same rigid, unimpeachable standard across the board. No red lights, no coasting through stop signs, no riding against traffic, etc, etc.. I would never, in a million years argue against this position, even though I don't personally share it. I guess what I was responding and reacting to were the people in this thread who have decided to arbitrarily create one set of traffic laws that are inviolate and another set of traffic laws that can be broken at an experienced rider's discretion. I think we can all agree that regardless of one's position on cyclists breaking laws, that the former has the virtue of being consistent and completely honest, while the latter is, at best, a slippery slope of cycling-ethics.

    You don't break the law, period, that's that, the end, no way, no how, Sayonara, see you, good night, and Fuggedaboutit! You, my friend, are an inspiration, even to the lawless hoards like me and I salute you, offering this thumbs-up!

    Quote Originally Posted by Papa Tom View Post
    But I must tell you that she is very inexperienced and gets very nervous when she is "surprised" by a vehicle, a pedestrian, or another cyclist. She has no idea how many times she has almost bought the farm while trying to prove to me that I am a little too rigid in my standards for riding a bicycle.
    It is definitely a tough situation, regardless on one's stance on this issue, to see someone inexperienced who thinks they know better. You know, there is a possible way you can get around this, or at least help her to be safer within her paradigm, but you're probably not going to like it. It involves compromising your standard with her a little, which is why you aren't going to like it. Here is the way I see it. She is your wife, and you and her likely have a history of arguing like all couples do, and even some friendly one-upsmanship going on. Its normal in relationships. Unfortunately, her trying to one-up you in this case isn't just going to break the dishwasher or clog up the drain if she's wrong, but it could severely injure her or worse, God forbid!

    The problem I see now with your wife's habits is not necessarily the law breaking, per se, but a twofold issue: One, as you said, she is inexperienced. Two, she is trying to one-up you by proving you wrong at all costs! So steadfastly focused on proving you wrong and her right, she is concentrating on that and NOT on her own safety. That is a bad situation you have there, and the only solution I see it, other than taking away her bike and locking her in a dungeon, of course, would be to short-circuit her goals of proving you wrong, by coming down just a little from your position and helping teach her to be safe or at least a great deal safer. First of all, its obvious she isn't going to listen to you about this anyway, right? So adapt to her needs in this case by taking away the argument from her. In other words, LET HER THINK SHE WON. By not being critical of her desire to break the law, and letting her have the argument because you help her to gain more experience and to drive safer within the framework of her cycling ideals, she will no longer be so rigidly focused on proving you wrong and WINNING the argument because you are going to forfeit it...somewhat. Hell, even if she isn't anymore experienced but STOPS trying so desperately to prove you wrong, that alone will likely increase her safety factor tenfold because she can stop trying to concentrate on "beating you."

    Look, when I was a kid, my parents didn't like the fact that I was experimenting with weed, booze, and some hallucinogenics. They didn't like the neighborhoods I had to go into in order to cop, and they of course were worried and terrified for my safety. In the end, however, they decided that the best and safest course would be to allow me and my friends, in a limited way, to get high in my house rather than on the streets where anything could happen. Now this was a potentially dangerous thing, too, but I believe they did the right thing. In the first place, they demystified drugs to me, and took the adolescent rebellion out of the equation. in the second, when I had a bad trip of a bad experience, I was home, and not in the middle of a Brooklyn ghetto where I could be killed. I know they agonized over this decision, but I think they chose wisely.

    If your wife is going to break traffic laws anyway, she might as well learn how to do it in a way that is much safer than she is now, right?

    Quote Originally Posted by Papa Tom View Post
    My next door neighbor, on the other hand, is a bullhead mountain biker who will argue with me about anything and everything having to do with riding on the road. He insists you don't need a water bottle, a tool kit, or a helmet when you're "woosy-riding" on the streets. And he fought with me til his face was excruciatingly blue about using a headlight at night. Three years ago, he decided to ride out a couple of miles to a 4th of July fireworks show at a local beach. He had no light and he did not see the police barricades as he flew down the pitch black hill on Laurel Hollow Road. Good thing I shamed him into wearing the helmet that night, because all he broke was his neck. The sympathy from his family and friends wore off after a day or two, and all anybody could think about is what an arrogant a-hole he was to think the rules of common sense didn't apply to him.
    You know what? I have never been an I-Told-You-So kind of a guy. My sympathy and empathy does not come at the cost of living a life I believe you should and of following my moral compass. I will give you a tragic example from my own life. My little sister is 42 now, will be 43 in September. Two years ago this past July 6th, we had all taken a family cruise to New England, and at the very end of the trip, as the ship was docking back in Brooklyn, she passed out in her room, no pulse no breathing. The ship's paramedics ran to the room and had to restart her heart FOUR times, while on the ship and on the way to the Hospital. Now, to this day, she is still in a coma. Her brain stem is fine, so autonomic functions like respiration, heartbeat, core temperature, blood flow, and digestion all work perfectly, but there seems to be (though it is not absolutely certain) widespread, anoxic damage to her cerebral cortex. In other words, it is very possible that her body works but Susan (that's her name) is no longer "in there."

    Now the reason for this story is that she lived her life without any concern for taking care of her body. She was 305 pounds at 5' 2". She smoked AT LEAST two packs a day, ate terribly, led a completely sedentary lifestyle, and had no concern for body, even with hypertension, some pulmonary problems, and other minor health concerns. My point is that my sympathy for her doesn't end or have a short leash because she was so arrogantly irresponsible and feckless with her health. She is still, and will always be, my little sister, and I don't care what she did, she doesn't deserve this.

    And I suspect, neither does your friend. Your next door neighbor deserves to be b*tchslapped with rubber chicken, yelled at, and even ridiculed, as does my sister. But he doesn't deserve a broken neck anymore than my syster deserves to be laying in a long term care facility with the only sign of "consciousness" being that when she wakes up (if you can even call it that) her eyes open and close, and her gaze looks around the room, but with not one other sign of any meaningful, intellectual existence or evidence of even the most basic understanding of her surroundings.

    Arrogance and irresponsibility deserves criticism and instruction, certainly, but NOT the abandonment of empathy or sympathy...at least not in my opinion, anyway.

    Quote Originally Posted by Papa Tom View Post
    Anyway, I'm ready to get off this topic. Stay safe, Chiro, and keep reporting on your rides!
    I hear you! Just understand that I have gotten a thousand times better than I was over the past decades. And the recent close call I delineated in this thread has had an effect of making me even more careful, for whatever that's worth!
    Last edited by ChiroVette; 07-17-14 at 06:50 AM.

  24. #24
    Senior Member
    Join Date
    Jul 2007
    Posts
    685
    Mentioned
    0 Post(s)
    Tagged
    0 Thread(s)
    One issue that hasn't really been touched upon is the environmental factors that changes your riding habits.

    I will do things in NYC that I would only occasionally do on Long Island and probably would never do in Colorado, all due to a different riding environment.

    I might never run a red light in Telluride because here are like 2. And a pretty good chance it's a busy enough intersection that waiting is the better choice.

    On L.I. I run into a lot more red lights and need to be very careful if I choose to go against the red. As well, the sensors often don't trip with a bike and you can find yourself stuck.

    Then there's Brooklyn, where for reasons that escape me, the city DoT has decided to place red lights at one intersection after another on some roads, often the side streets are one-way with little traffic. But if you are in a car, you stop. Many of these intersections used to be stop signs, but are now lights. Obviously somebody's uncle owns a traffic light company and needed the work. With my commute typically at 2 hrs one-way, were I to stop AND WAIT at every such light, my commute would be 30-40 minutes longer. Same thing on Edgemere Ave. in the Rockaway's. The cross streets are all controlled with lights. The streets on the south side of Edgemere are all dead end with no buildings and no parking lots and absolutely no traffic. Thus I'm rolling thru and hopefully no cops around. It's simple survival based on a different environment.
    Last edited by Steve B.; 07-17-14 at 10:44 AM.

  25. #25
    Senior Member Papa Tom's Avatar
    Join Date
    Aug 2008
    Location
    Long Island, New York
    My Bikes
    The same GT Outpost Mountain bike I've been riding since 1996. I also have a collection of cruisers, folders, and some antiques.
    Posts
    1,996
    Mentioned
    3 Post(s)
    Tagged
    0 Thread(s)
    Let's just call it a draw.
    Papa Tom

    "I just need a rest...and by 'rest' I mean a really long bicycle ride."

Page 1 of 2 12 LastLast

Posting Permissions

  • You may not post new threads
  • You may not post replies
  • You may not post attachments
  • You may not edit your posts
  •