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  1. #1
    Col du
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    This is why motorists hate us

    I was walking to work this morning in Bellevue at NE 12th St and 116th Ave NE near Overlake hospital. I saw a cyclist on a nice road bike waiting for the green arrow in the left turn lane. Kudos, I thought to myself, he's following the rules of the road! But then he got impatient and cut left across the incoming traffic lanes and got onto the sidewalk opposite traffic!

    I was looking at that and shaking my head when something even worse happened.

    I heard a mumble directly behind me, and before my brain even registered what was going on, another roadie in red jersey and black shorts zipped right past me to my right. He was on the sidewalk and he was so close he brushed against me as he passed. He turned left and took the same sidewalk the first guy took, went up the sidewalk opposite traffic a few hundred feet, jumped off the curb onto the street, went across opposite lanes of traffic, across the turn lane, and continued riding dead center of the left lane! He stayed there for a while and then moved over to the right lane but not close enough to the curb. Aren't we supposed to stay to the right?

    Note that he did not pull these maneuvers to avoid cars. No one was forcing him to do any of this.

    What the hell??? This behavior makes all cyclists look bad, and it is extremely dangerous to *US*. Lacking bike lanes or shoulders, the safest place for a bike is on the road, following the same rules of the road the motorists must follow. That's what drivers are expecting to see. If we do something unexpected we pretty much invite accidents.

  2. #2
    **** that mattm's Avatar
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    I agree that bikes should stay on the road.

    However, drivers will always find an excuse to hate us, even if we are "following the rules."

    So on that note, I say do whatever works for you, every rider for themselves. If they didn't cause an accident, I don't see the harm. If they do cause an accident, then it's their problem.
    cat 1.

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  3. #3
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    Quote Originally Posted by mattm View Post
    However, drivers will always find an excuse to hate us, even if we are "following the rules."
    SOME drivers will always find an excuse to hate us. Most won't. Why give them something to hate? If we want to be respected, we need to earn that respect. That means following the rules of the road and acting like 'vehicles'. An "I don't care" attitude just makes it worse for everybody.
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  4. #4
    Gears? CliftonGK1's Avatar
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    If there's no car in the LTO lane at that intersection, the sensors won't recognize a bike.

    I do the same manouvre at 175th by Wilmot Gateway Park in Woodinville. Pull up to the head of the LTO and zip to the sidewalk (opposing traffic) for a block until the I can hit the crosswalk over to the park. If I didn't do that, I could sit at that light until the cows come home... if a car didn't pull up behind me, the left turn light would never light up.
    "I feel like my world was classier before I found cyclocross."
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  5. #5
    Surf Bum
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    I don't ride my bike so that people will like me. If they want to hate, fine with me.
    And it's also not my responsibility to make the world safe for worrywarts either.

  6. #6
    Senior Member Kimmitt's Avatar
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    What's your evidence that this is why motorists hate cyclists? To me, it seems much more visceral or tribal.

  7. #7
    Senior Member jmess's Avatar
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    I had just jumped on my bike after taking a short break when an 12 rider pace-line passed me riding 2-3 wide. Since they were running at my speed I hung off the back at a respectable distance. A car comes up behind us and I yell "car back". The folks in the pace-line continued to ride 2-3 wide effectively blocking off the road. The car eventually crossed the double yellow-lines with all 4 wheels and passed the pace-line. The car honked and the folks in the pace-line laughed and exchanged hand jesters with the driver of the car. It felt like the riders really enjoyed the friction that had been created with the car driver.

    So I pondered on what had happened for a while. I could see the point of both sides. The riders felt they had every right (even though the laws say single file) to take their share of the road. The driver was irritated that he had to slow down below 25 MPH in a 55 MPH speed zone for an extended period of time. The driver was also irritated that none of the riders made any attempt to make it easier for the driver to pass the group.

    At the same time I remembered catching up to a farm tractors traveling at 17-20MPH blocking the same road and making no attempt to get out of the way. There was a line of cars following behind the tractor and when they got a chance to pass nobody honked or made hand jesters at the tractor driver. The pace-line I observed was traveling faster than the farm tractor but it seems the friction between both sides (driver and riders) immediately hit the boil point.

  8. #8
    My tank takes chocolate. FlowerBlossom's Avatar
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    I think the OP has a point, though, that getting that close to pedestrians is rather rude. In the case of the rider on the sidewalk, I'm sure the rider is showing their superior bike-handling skills by getting *that close* to a pedestrian and not cause injury, but, it was luck, not skill, that someone wasn't hurt.

    And, that's the point, it's luck. The what-ever-works-for-you won't work for someone at some time. Which is why we have laws, to avoid that one unlucky encounter in a total of too-many-to-count encounters.
    Feminism is the profound notion that women are human beings.

  9. #9
    thompsonpost
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    Quote Originally Posted by Tourmalet View Post
    I was walking to work this morning in Bellevue at NE 12th St and 116th Ave NE near Overlake hospital. I saw a cyclist on a nice road bike waiting for the green arrow in the left turn lane. Kudos, I thought to myself, he's following the rules of the road! But then he got impatient and cut left across the incoming traffic lanes and got onto the sidewalk opposite traffic!

    I was looking at that and shaking my head when something even worse happened.

    I heard a mumble directly behind me, and before my brain even registered what was going on, another roadie in red jersey and black shorts zipped right past me to my right. He was on the sidewalk and he was so close he brushed against me as he passed. He turned left and took the same sidewalk the first guy took, went up the sidewalk opposite traffic a few hundred feet, jumped off the curb onto the street, went across opposite lanes of traffic, across the turn lane, and continued riding dead center of the left lane! He stayed there for a while and then moved over to the right lane but not close enough to the curb. Aren't we supposed to stay to the right?

    Note that he did not pull these maneuvers to avoid cars. No one was forcing him to do any of this.

    What the hell??? This behavior makes all cyclists look bad, and it is extremely dangerous to *US*. Lacking bike lanes or shoulders, the safest place for a bike is on the road, following the same rules of the road the motorists must follow. That's what drivers are expecting to see. If we do something unexpected we pretty much invite accidents.
    Joey, did you move to Bellevue?

  10. #10
    Senior Member northbend's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by mattm View Post
    So on that note, I say do whatever works for you, every rider for themselves. If they didn't cause an accident, I don't see the harm. If they do cause an accident, then it's their problem.

    That only is true when the accident involves yourself and you are alone in this world and I doubt this is you, Matt. When you (not meaning you directly) involve someone else because of a stupid, careless or reckless action then you are wrong. Our actions impact other people. People that care about you - family and friends. Innocent strangers who are involved in an accident caused by others are traumatized. Please remember we live in community with others.

  11. #11
    Senior Member Sci-Fi's Avatar
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    Well...cyclists should limit their sidewalk riding speeds to 8-10mph, which is about jogging speed. Want to go faster?...then use the streets.

    As far as the cyclists you've seen on that day...they probably drive like they ride and are late for something or want to keep their avg speed up (don't laugh, there are many cyclists that are obsessed with high avg speeds for bragging rights...just read some of the posts in this forum). Seen too many cars roll through the crosswalk or don't stop unless they see cross traffic (cars, not cyclists or motorcycles), forcing pedestrians to dodge or blocking the path for pedestrians to cross safely or blow through stop signs and signals. It's a wonder they stop at all at school crossings with the safety guard waving the stop sign.

  12. #12
    totally louche Bekologist's Avatar
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    Bellevue blows for bicycling, particularily esp. downtown and by the 405.

    Eastside motorists hate you because you are on a bike, holding up autocentric progress. They don't care how much of a scofflaw bicyclists are as long as bicyclists stay out of the way.

    That place needs a major revamp- take some pavement away from cars and dedicate it to bike travel- if its going to become 'bikeable' enough to get rider share high enough to garner respect. bicyclist behaviors alone, without an increase in ridership, isn't going to cut it in bellevue.
    Last edited by Bekologist; 05-23-09 at 08:19 PM.
    "Evidence, anecdote and methodology all support planning for roadway bike traffic."

  13. #13
    thompsonpost
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    Y'know, really, I think motorists hate us because they can. Their hate was there before they starting grasping for straws.

    As a biker and cager, I commend anyone who rides, regardless of how slow I have to go. It takes no dose of intelligence to drive safely around a bicyclist.

    But then, that's just me.

  14. #14
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    Quote Originally Posted by Tourmalet View Post
    I was walking to work this morning in Bellevue at NE 12th St and 116th Ave NE near Overlake hospital. I saw a cyclist on a nice road bike waiting for the green arrow in the left turn lane. Kudos, I thought to myself, he's following the rules of the road! But then he got impatient and cut left across the incoming traffic lanes and got onto the sidewalk opposite traffic!

    I was looking at that and shaking my head when something even worse happened.

    I heard a mumble directly behind me, and before my brain even registered what was going on, another roadie in red jersey and black shorts zipped right past me to my right. He was on the sidewalk and he was so close he brushed against me as he passed. He turned left and took the same sidewalk the first guy took, went up the sidewalk opposite traffic a few hundred feet, jumped off the curb onto the street, went across opposite lanes of traffic, across the turn lane, and continued riding dead center of the left lane! He stayed there for a while and then moved over to the right lane but not close enough to the curb. Aren't we supposed to stay to the right?

    Note that he did not pull these maneuvers to avoid cars. No one was forcing him to do any of this.

    What the hell??? This behavior makes all cyclists look bad, and it is extremely dangerous to *US*. Lacking bike lanes or shoulders, the safest place for a bike is on the road, following the same rules of the road the motorists must follow. That's what drivers are expecting to see. If we do something unexpected we pretty much invite accidents.

    Maybe sitting at the red light to turn left, he wasnt activating the signal... Ive done this bfore, because I simply am not going to wait until a car comes up behind me to activate the thing. I think it is legal actually to turn left on red in this situation if you arent activating, come to a complete stop, and turn when safe with oncoming traffic.... not positive, but have heard that thrown around other areas before.

  15. #15
    Squeaky Wheel woodway's Avatar
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    I bike commute through Bellevue to work three days/week, including a crossing of 405, and generally fnd motorists to be respectful.

    Quote Originally Posted by Bekologist View Post
    Bellevue blows for bicycling, particularily esp. downtown and by the 405.

    Eastside motorists hate you because you are on a bike, holding up autocentric progress. They don't care how much of a scofflaw bicyclists are as long as bicyclists stay out of the way.

    That place needs a major revamp- take some pavement away from cars and dedicate it to bike travel- if its going to become 'bikeable' enough to get rider share high enough to garner respect. bicyclist behaviors alone, without an increase in ridership, isn't going to cut it in bellevue.

  16. #16
    Col du
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    Quote Originally Posted by CliftonGK1 View Post
    If there's no car in the LTO lane at that intersection, the sensors won't recognize a bike.
    I ride that road and take the same left turn all the time.. it is between my house and 520 trailhead. The sensor always recognizes my Mavic Ksyrium aero wheels.

    I was on a recovery ride yesterday on the I-90 trail. There was a punctured 700 tube by the side of the trail 10 FEET FROM A TRASH CAN. C'mon!!! How hard would it have been to toss it into trash?

    Today in Kirkland... 7 hills of Kirkland. Today was my swim training in Lake WA so I was driving not riding. A long line of cars stopped at the traffic light in downtown Kirkland. There wasn't enough room on the right side for the typical cycling manouver of passing the stopped cars to get to the front. So three or four cyclists crossed the yellow line into opposite traffic, straight at my Jeep, and passed the stopped line of cars by riding on the wrong side of the road. That's messed up!!!

    I could go on and on. The point is, lots of us are ******. I'm not surprised at some of the responses here, actually.

    Go ahead and assert yourself in a race. You have to if you want to win. But out on open road, in traffic, it will get you killed! And it will tarnish the reputation of the rest of us and make it even more difficult to interact with motorists.

    Who the hell is Joey?

  17. #17
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    Some people are going to behave like self centered jerks not matter what their mode of transportation is. I can understand not having the light sensor pick you up and having to skate through a red, some sensors won't even read a motorcycle. As for me, I regularly wait for lights to change. I stay off the sidewalk. I take paralel streets to main roads when I can. I don't know if I help our collective image at all, but I don't get a whole lot of hostile behaviour from motorists when I bike within the law and use some common sense and manners in traffic.

  18. #18
    Gears? CliftonGK1's Avatar
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    On Friday I was driving on my way to work (the one day I drive to work), and a guy came flying down a sidestreet hill, blew the stop sign and I had to jam the brakes to keep from hitting him as he cut in front of me and another car going the opposite direction of me.

    All I could do was shake my head and wonder how many times a day that guy almost gets flattened, and probably doesn't even realize it.
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  19. #19
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    +1 I bike in the Factoria area now. Motorists are way better there than downtown Bellevue. That's because I ride by BCC. Student drivers get it.

    Quote Originally Posted by woodway View Post
    I bike commute through Bellevue to work three days/week, including a crossing of 405, and generally fnd motorists to be respectful.

  20. #20
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    Because my commute is so long. I do hop the sidewalk to bypass lights if possible. That saves me an extra 8-10 min per trip. Especially waiting for 3 school busses to load along 156th. Motorists don't drive along there at that time of the day cuz one bus loads about 30 kids. Takes FOR EVER!

  21. #21
    Laid back bent rider unixpro's Avatar
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    I'm sorry, but when I see all you fair-weather riders start crawling out of your caves and hitting the streets like...wait for it...yes, IDIOTS, I, as a fellow rider and occasional driver, both cringe and get more than a little torqued myself. I've already yelled at more than one rider who has cut me off, passed unsafely, ridden the wrong way (i.e. in the lane I'm using to go the opposite direction), etc.

    You need to realize that you're accomplishing a few things:
    • You're placing your own lives at risk because you're operating your vehicle in an unpredictable and unsafe manner.
    • You're placing the lives of pedestrians at risk because they, not being able to predict how you're going to ride, may make a poor choice and end up underneath you.
    • You're placing the lives of other riders at risk for the same reasons as pedestrians. When I see someone coming at me in the bike lane on the right-hand side of the road, I'm the one who ends up moving into traffic to save your sorry *ss.
    • You are, in a very short time, tearing down all the respect and good will me and my fellow year-round riders have worked hard to build up.


    Why do you do this? You split lanes, run lights and signs, hop curbs, and ride against traffic. You want respect and acceptance, but you're not willing to give the same. There's a word for people like you...

  22. #22
    Senior Member
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    One day of a Critical Mass demonstation causes more hate than one idiot rider. I am certain there is not one person here that has followed all the rules of the road [car and bike] and I am certain we all have had our lame excuses for breaking the rules. I too run red lights at times, make faulty judgements that cause others to avoid my mistakes, and some may think I ride like an idiot. I do not want to piss people off on my decisions but sometimes I do. Some people want to make it difficult for others [ie CM] and others do not know they are. Some will grow up and change and others won't.

  23. #23
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    Quote Originally Posted by thompsonpost View Post
    Joey, did you move to Bellevue?
    haha... I was thinking the same thing.

    I see this quite often and think that it's inexperienced cyclist or the ones that bike because they have to. I'm not sure this is the case a lot of the times. Joey down in NOLA is a good example of this. He states it's safer for him to ride the way he rides and while I can't say it is or isn't, it sure pisses people off.

    I try and ride as courteous as possible and I still have people drive disrespectful around me. It happens because of the actions of others and simply because most people are a-holes. We as cyclist bring a lot of this on ourselves, so let's quit b*tching.
    Demented internet tail wagging imbicile.

  24. #24
    Resident Seaballer DogsBody's Avatar
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    Being in a car on a commute makes some people just hate period.
    When I'm ever on the sidewalk i go the speed of the walkers: It's their space not mine.
    I'm fighting the Carnosaurs for MY space.

  25. #25
    Senior Member BengeBoy's Avatar
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    Re: Bellevue.

    I ride through Bellevue all the time. Drivers there aren't any better/worse than anywhere else in the region. As a matter of fact, compared with other cities I've lived in, I think the drivers in the Seattle area are much more aware of and respectful of bikes than elsewhere (ducks...).

    Go spend a few years living in Dallas or Houston and let me know if you disagree...

    One thing to understand about Bellevue is that downtown BV and much of the city were laid out in the 50's as a "modern" city intended to be traversed by automobile. It was a specific goal of the city fathers to make Bellevue an automobile-friendly city. In fact, I read once that the reason the "blocks" are so large in downtown Bellevue is that they believed that "old fashioned" city blocks, meant to be traveled on foot, should be replaced with bigger street grids meant to be traveled by car. So now BV is trying to make due with what was laid down in the 50's.

    Big parts of Bellevue are pretty ghastly to ride through. Other parts aren't so bad.

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