Consider that fewer motorists will be killed, as well as fewer pedestrians. Making better drivers is not about saving cyclists. It is about making better drivers, period.
On the other hand, there is nothing wrong with making better cyclists either. At the very least I would applaud any public effort that gets cyclists riding on the proper side of the road.
Now of course your response will indicate that the laws are different... and while that is true, perhaps that also is something that should be done here.
Oh and with regard to that entitlement issue... I believe that motorists occasional poor behavior with each other also stems from that same entitlement issue... so this is not about cyclists alone, but about improving motorist behavior in general... which even insurance companies and certain states (which have toughened their driver's license testing) apparently also believe.
Simply telling cyclists that they have the same rights of motorists and then pushing the cyclists out onto 45/50MPH arterials just doesn't seem to be working.
Could it be that folks are in so much fear of "other drivers" that they have both taken up supposedly "safer" vehicles such as SUVs (which statistically are NOT safer) and pushed for mandatory helmet laws, wherein in fact these are just bandaids to a larger problem... that of poorly trained motorists operating in a poor manner. This certainly is the general public impression (that continues to sell SUVs)... and with that impression, no amount of cyclist training is going to change our culture.
Get rid of free parking, add tolls to all/most roads... stop building roads with general funds... i.e., making motoring less convenient and so inexpensive, especially for short trips.
Until you change that impression, no one who thinks they need to be surrounded by a 6,000 lbs SUV to be safe "out there" is going to ride his bike in or near any of that traffic, and certainly knowing that some motorists had some extra education is not going to change that irrational impression.
I never had a problem with anybody in those 10 years with either riding in the street or on sidepaths that went through the woods and fields. I fared pretty damn well cycling in Germany. What's the extent of your bike riding experience in Germany?
But on the 60+ kph roads... no bikes on the road So? Maybe the Germans you encountered are into biking for pleasure, not demonstrating their "vehicular status" for no particular good reason, and chose a more enjoyable route when available.
What happened to You when YOU cycled on those "60+ kph roads..."?
Just as a bit of education for cyclists "won't be enough..."
But trying to convince cyclists that the world is "flat" if you have the "right" attitude, use the "right" stare, "trust but verify" (through tinted windows and sunglasses) and portray the "right" body language is just as foolish an exercise too... BTW I can't help but wonder how you plan on teaching "the stare," "the body language," and "the attitude" in your classes.
But deriding something I never said -- "All cyclists ride wrong" -- what is the point of that?
Anyway, do you disagree with my contention that most cyclists ride as if their #1 job is to stay out of the way of cars, period?
No, I dont disagree with that at all.
I disagree with the "One size fits all" philosophy that you
project. People should ride the way they feel comfortable and
safest in the environments they ride in. Me for instance, I
am fine with the philosophy of taking a lane. I personally
dont do it often because my "B" type personality prefers
non-confrontational riding style. I dont like being told that is
wrong just because our priorities differ sightly. Personally,
I would love to see bicyclists attain the type of notoriety 1% MC
gangs did in the 60's. I think our spineless pacivity (me included)
is an effort in futility as far as getting motorists to respect us.
I would like it if car drivers would be mortified when they close
passed or did something else stupid to us.
But, Im too old and tired to lead that revolution
As usual, something tells you wrongly. I ride in/around some of the
worst traffic in the country every day. I can ride traffic.
I do what I can to mitigate the unpleasantness of it.
Last edited by -=(8)=-; 02-03-08 at 05:01 PM.
I too ride in a non-confrontational way, have very few issues with drivers, but use and misuse many vehicular cycling principles.
When the road or lane is narrow I take the lane.
When the road or lane is wide enough to allow safe sharing, I ride far right and watch for right hooks.
When a two-lane road is narrow with heavy high speed traffic I try to avoid it.
When I have taken the lane, I do not filter forward.
When I have shared a lane, I will carefully filter forward.
When there is a dedicated bike path or MUP I will use it unless the road is more attractive.
When both road and path are not good for riding, I will, albeit rarely, use the sidewalk.
When riding on a sidewalk I slow way way down.
When riding at night I use a light front and rear.
When riding I am invisible.
In my opinion, awareness of vehicular cycling combined with good sense and local knowledge makes for fine riding.
Laissez les bon temps rouler
Cyclists fare best when they act in a predictable manner as a vehicle. This eliminates burdening the motorist with uncertainty and having to guess the cyclists intentions, which causes resentment.
"Fare best" does not mean the cyclist will never have to deal with bullies and cowards. They can be found while engaging in any activity.
Last edited by CommuterRun; 02-04-08 at 02:13 AM.
When riding, I get almost all of my honking and yelling when I take a centrist lane position on a NOL, for instance, (sorry Joe, four of the last four incidents) a location that a lot of cyclists, yourself included, use to minimize accidents.
In a car, most aggression seems to result from "delaying" other motorists by obeying the speed limit or stopping at red lights. Although this leads to occasional honking from behind, I don't think it is a major cause of collisions.
My observations suggest the road users who do the most screaming and threatening themselves are more likely to be the accident-prone type, and I think insurance and police statistics reinforce this.
What are you basing your comments on?