Essentially they are arguing that one has a right to drive... and they conveniently do this with wording that leaves out references to motor vehicles while citing the right to travel. Indeed we have a right to travel freely... the often made argument is how is that travel is done. There is no "right to operate a motor vehicle" on public ways... and that is where this site is falling all over itself. Enjoy.
And continuing down the path of citing specious sites on the net regarding right to travel vice the privilege to drive... I bring this:
This is from cycling attorney Bob Mionske, so take it with what ever grains of sand or salt you need...
And here is an interesting summery of the right to travel by Human Power by Steve Goodrich (I believe he used to post here)
So let them.
BTW your reference to Bob Mionske, the bicycling lawyer is very helpful for explaining various arguments and cases on this issue. Bottom line is the "bicycling as a fundamental right" card may have played well in an 1890 U.S court, but not so well anytime since.
There is something called "precedent" as in what is established in previous court cases. You need to learn how to use a law library and how to look up previous cases were the hard work has already been done. I refuse to just give you the relative cases, it is something you need to learn how to find yourself. If you can't then your going to get steam-rolled on every other issue even if your in the right. It doesn't so much matter whether your right or not in court it matters if you've done your homework or not. I'm not going to do your homework for you. You have to box the judge in so s/he has to knowingly and willfully violate multiple clear established precedents to rule the way they want to rule (show me a judge who doesn't want to rule against a cyclists for daring to use the road and I'll eat something I wouldn't normally want to eat).
I already pointed out that the "right" to travel by human power on a bicycle on the public roads is not absolute and reasonable accommodations have been upheld as not being encroachments upon. Just like the second amendment doesn't mean you can have a nuclear bomb in your basement. Or the right to free speech doesn't mean your don't have civil liability if you liable someone or if you yell "fire" in a crowded building and get people killed in the panic. Even the right to life itself is not absolute and there is such a thing as the death penalty even in states where it has been removed because it is still on the books for some very serious federal offenses.
As for the incident with the ambulance, rules of the road are very clear that emergency vehicles do have almost absolute right of way. Not trying to be a (insert name or expletive of your choice) but that is the bare hard facts of the matter. Also not trying to be a (again make insert of your choice) but how exactly does anyone "sneak up behind you" could be just the way I live and the habits I've formed but it is not easy to sneak up behind me without getting noticed especially in a great big van/truck sized vehicle usually brightly colored.
That said, I wouldn't doubt for a moment that it could have been an act of deliberate harassment, if the driver had been driving their personal vehicle they probably would have hit the horn and or revved the motor, etc . . . I personally hold my line and I don't move when that happens and instead back off a little on my pedaling and slow down slightly staying standing up on the pedals with my rear off the seat watching them closely in my mirror being ready for maximum maneuverability at a moments notice (reason for butt off the seat standing up on the pedals).
As I said though, I don't VC all the time just when its the appropriate best option for the conditions I'm riding under. In addition my state specifically has the lane too narrow for a bicycle and automobile to safely share both within the same lane side by side exception in the FRAP law. And in 99% of all roads up here where I live that is exactly the case so I'm on pretty good footing legally.
Does the NJ code also specify that exception?
I'm not familiar with the exact specifics of NJ traffic laws since I don't bicycle there. I know my state and several neighboring states bicycle and traffic laws very well and the federal codes that apply as well especially the definitions section that are the default legal definition if the state code does not make its own specific legal definition (such as exactly how wide a traffic lane needs to be in order for it to be of sub-standard width and thus not share-able side-by-side unless the motor vehicle is abnormally narrow (motorcycle for example).
Let me make my stance exceptionally clear:
I in no way have any authority to demand that you are not permitted to edge ride or hug the curb when you are only endangering yourself by doing so. I have no authority to compel you to "take the lane" if you choose not to do so.
You, or anyone else, have no authority to demand that I risk my own life and safety and forfeit my right to ride "in the road" when necessary. You have no right to threaten, harass, or actually commit an act of violence against me for so doing.
I fully comprehend the common courtesy that each responsible member of society is expected to show for the rights of others and not unnecessarily assert their own rights in such as manner as to unnecessarily infringe on the rights of others. A privilege is not a right, a right is not a privilege.
When it is safe, sane, and an effective means of travel for me to get over to the right to allow other road users to pass more easily I am happy to do so. This does not mean that I am required to give up my rights to advance your privilege of convenience and when necessary for me to travel, safely, sanely, and effectively I will assert my right and will have no shame in doing so regardless of the few seconds of inconvenience and any emotional trepidation it may cause in you for your inability to obtain instant gratification of your desire of a privilege.
In addition, I refuse to yield to acts of terrorism either "terroristic threats" or acts of violence perpetrated by you in an attempt to make me surrender my rights. (Look up the pre-911 legal definition of that legal term in quotes that by the way is still legally on the books as well as the actual real legal verbatim definition of terrorism. Some more homework there.)
And yes, I've already been in court (how do you think I learned to do my homework?) and yes, I've won some and lost some. The ones I've lost were usually due to me not doing enough homework. And you are correct about the court costs, basically you have to win at least one good size one on a collect-able civil action to make it worth your while unless you have your own trust fund or something. Sometimes you also need allies, I had a very good ally on my last one. Namely the insurance company looking to collect for the damages to the parked car that got clobbered by the aggressor who was after me trying to get me but I escaped between the parked cars and she got one of them instead.
Let me provide a few google road-view links to spots on roads that I have actually all ridden on a bicycle where I absolutely rid "IN the lane" and "take the lane" riding full VC style. These are all high speed roadways where cars are moving at high speed significantly faster then me. Some of the spots are specific to spots that I remember are bad spots that I knew where to find on google in short order (if your really want to get to know a road then bike it) others are shots that just generally show how that road is (as in it isn't just a bad shot that is how that road is for miles upon miles upon miles).
Take a look at them:
Now after you have seen those roads. Let me clearly state I have been harassed by law enforcement and dragged into court for daring to ride on those roads and take the lane to stay alive. Heck a couple times I've been harassed just for riding on them period as in specifically told in no uncertain terms that if I continued to ride on that road they would lock me up for it. That's not a joke, been told that directly to my face verbatim.
I don't take that kind of @%&@%&%@% lying down. I fight back.
But, at the same time, let me also clearly say that I would much prefer that those roads had nice wide shoulder edges with decent pavement to ride on instead. That group of links above are high speed roads that I as a cyclist would prefer not to ride "IN the road" and "take the lane" and ride VC style. I do so out of necessity and would prefer a better option. I will not, however, be bullied into not using such roads as is my right just because some vicious abusive violent motorists demand that I surrender my right to save them the few moments it takes to pass safely while operating a motor vehicle which is a privilege not a right.
Now as to roads I ride "IN the road" and "take the lane" and ride VC style and that is how I prefer to ride and feel there is no need for bicycle specific infrastructure or at least decent width and condition shoulder edges those are mainly low-speed in-town roads where I'm going almost as fast, just as fast, or even faster then the cars. If desired I can provide links to some google street-views for that as well. I can also provide multiple links of roads with what I consider suitable shoulder edges where I am more then happy to ride "OUT of the road" and "edge ride" specifically riding on the shoulder edge to the right of the white line completely out of the main traffic lanes.
And, yes, I have been harassed by both private motorists and law enforcement for riding VC in-town on the slow speed roads and, yes, even for edge riding on the shoulder edge. It is true that I was harassed only once by law enforcement for edge riding on the shoulder edge namely by a Lake County sheriff deputy who thought I shouldn't even be riding there and it never ended up in court on that one. But I've had numerous incidents where I was harassed or attacked by private motorists while edge riding even deliberately run off the shoulder edge and into the ditch by motorists who had to cross multiple lanes of traffic to get at me and move onto the shoulder edge horn blaring to run me off of it and then even swung around for another run at me after I rode back up out of the ditch and back onto the shoulder edge and they have refused to do anything about it. So even edge riding completely out of the main traffic lanes and on the shoulder edge to the right of the white line motorists will still harass and attack you and law enforcement will still do nothing about it and just tell you to stay off the roads.
I've been fighting this for decades in this state in and out of court and over time I'm making progress as are others. The tide is starting to turn but that doesn't excuse what has gone on in the past and what continues to go on when they think they can get away with it.
Also, so I don't give a blanket stereotypical bad impression of cops. There have been many of them who have just passed me when they came up behind me while I was riding "IN the road" and "taking the lane" and gave me not trouble. There have also been some who have been my allies and have helped me sometimes with both actually doing something when I was harassed or attacked by a belligerent violent motorist and even one who helped me in court and straight up on the witness stand clearly stated that when bicycles use the roads they are to follow the rules the same as cars and when the road ain't wide enough for a bicycle to be passed by a car safely without the car changing lanes the cyclist has every right to ride right down the middle of the lane (thank you MT state trooper highway patrol for your new cyclist education you have started over the last six years !!!)
They aren't all bad, just the bad apples tend to be the ones that produce the dominant odor coming from the apple barrel. Same thing of course is true for motor vehicle road users as well.
Turbo, I took a look at a hand full of the road links you provided and have to agree that there is very little choice in riding those roads other than to stay on the scant pavement. However those appear to be lightly traveled roads... so I suspect what you are encountering are individuals that know the area and tend to "daydream" while they speed down the road... and you are "something" unusual to them and they have to actually think when they come upon you. Hence drivers are shaken out of their daze... which they don't like.
Wear bright, use blinkies and good luck.... it's like riding back country Texas or even San Diego... the locals can be a pain.
Turbo1889, you definitely have nerve to ride those roads down the lane. They look like high speed roads where just one guy coming around a turn at 75 who unexpectedly happens upon you could easily put your lights out. In any event, you must know what you're doing as you're here to talk about it. When I ride a narrow road with no shoulder in NJ, I hug the white line. A few motorists pass closely but generally everyone passes fine. We did this on a group ride Sunday, riding single file on the white line, a very busy road it was, too.
As per that miserable ambulance, it's real easy to sneak up on a bicyclist. I had just done a shoulder check before taking the lane and the road was clear. Five seconds later, he was there. He must've come over one of the rises as soon as I turned forward. On these quiet, lightly travelled roads most cars will extend the courtesy of a little honk when they're approaching a biker, especially if they're in the lane. (Obviously, it's not necessary to get two feet behind someone and lay into the horn.)
The way I see it is on roads such as those images, there's a huge margin between biking to the right near the fog line and a driver cresting a hill and saying, "Oh Crap! A bike!" and swerving a few feet to avoid said bike and biking in the lane and a driver cresting a hill and saying, "Oh Crap! A bike!" and there is no where for the driver to go except into the back of said bike because the distance is too great for the driver to swerve around.
The scenario would be much like the all too common deer accidents here in Pennsylvania. If a deer steps out on the road as you are coming, you will swerve out around the deer. But if a deer runs out into the middle of the road, at the speed limit, there is no avoiding it whatsoever. You are going to hit the deer and probably total your car. Believe me, I have hit 6 deer that have run out or jumped out into the middle of the road. I have avoided hundreds of deer that have just stepped out on the edge of the road. Coming around a turn or over the crest of a hill and someone is in the middle of the lane on a 55 mph road on a bike? That bike is getting hit, there's no avoiding it.
@ mrodgers (in reference to post directly above)
Actually I've found the exact opposite to be true. I used to be a white line hugger and I am very lucky to have survived that period of my life. I had so many close call of passes where the edge of the car was literally within inches or actually literally brushed against me because the drivers refused to slow down and hardly even moved over in the lane much less swerved. I've actually had much better results from riding "IN the road" and "taking the lane" riding VC style because drivers actually bother to take their foot of the gas and maybe even hit the brake and when they pass swing wide and do a full vehicular lane change pass.
As to deer, even in all my years of driving 2-5 ton short truck and car driving I have never hit one of them, several people I have taught how to drive correctly have also never hit one of them. If you hit a deer the vast majority of the time it is because you were driving too fast for conditions namely your ability to see far enough ahead to be able to stop in time if necessary. You know those yellow curve signs that say like 35-mph for around the curve those actually are there for a reason and if you actually slow down for the curve to that speed even if there is a deer or a stalled car or a cyclist or a pedestrian or a downed tree or . . . in the road you will be able to stop in time to avoid hitting. If instead you be an idiot speed demon and drive faster then your visibility ahead allows you will indeed hit stuff that is right in front of you.
Also, realize a bike is moving down the road in the same direction ahead of you and that makes a huge difference in closing speed. Rarely does a deer run down the road at 20-25 mph ahead of you which shaves your suggested 55-mph speed down to a closing speed of 30-35mph because the deer is moving too. That makes a huge difference (and is one of the reasons you ride a bike with traffic not against it). Granted hills do slow me down some as do headwinds but that is by no means an uncommon speed for me especially since if I'm in the main traffic lane I make "best effort" to keep my speed up because when cars are going faster then you every bit of speed you can muster makes you safer and reduces the closing speed that they are coming up behind you.
Yes, I do understand what you are saying and that most people drive like speed demon idiots and one must recognize that fact and prepare for it to stay alive. For me, having them see me right in the middle of the road has had much better results with them actually using their brakes and actually trying to get over allowing me to also get over the other way (could be either way have to watch them in the mirror and go whichever way they don't).
Hug the white line and they don't even take their foot off the gas or even try to move over within the lane much less change lanes to pass.
Long story short, I've had less close calls and less injuries since I started taking the lane instead of white line hugging. Not the other way around, it defies "common misconception logic" but it has been my experience.
Yah, I realize that tomorrow or even tonight (got to get my butt in gear and take a 15 mile ride into town here shortly) could be the time that one motorist decides to just ram into me and that will be curtains for me. But everything I've learned from near daily experience on the roads up here over the last couple decades has taught me that once a road gets narrow enough and there isn't a ride-able shoulder edge it's actually riskier to hug the white line then to "take the lane". I know, its contrary to "haven't tried that but that's how I think it would work" logic but actually doing at least in my area on the roads up here that's what my actual real world experience has been.
And since I'm about to head out. When it comes to after dark, I will say that how good your light set-up determines whether you almost get killed (I only have personal direct knowledge as to the almost get killed part, knowledge of the actually get killed part is only second or third hand) or makes motorists usually notice you even sooner, slow down even more, and pass even wider then daylight depending on how you do them.
As to traffic density on those roads. I wish that genec was right and that they were all low traffic. It is true that the traffic does vary by the day and by the hour (some are hell on the weekdays and quite on the weekend and some are hell on the weekend and quieter during the week and also by time of day, etc . . .) and some are lower traffic then others but I really won't consider any of them to have low enough traffic volume to say "don't worry about it there isn't enough traffic on those words to worry about".
I'll give a short run down of the roads in question going from the worst to the best (every google road-view link I posted above is on one of these):
~ US-93 North of Whitefish, MT all the way up to the Can. border = Heavy traffic most of the week and day and with terrible narrow sections = two pictures of this one namely the corner at Striker, MT and the railway overpass both of which are death traps. Speeds are 60+ with heavy boarder traffic (busiest border crossing on the Montana line). This is a major artery, this is by no means local yo-you traffic only. This road desperately needs to have consistently 4' wide shoulder edges added to it to make it safer for all users !!! I would gladly shoulder edge ride to the right of the white line on this road if given the opportunity.
~ US-2 from one end of the state to the other E. to W. = a major long distance artery. Spots of it do have a nice wide shoulder edge and I gladly use it but the majority of it is terrible and everything west of Browning, MT all the way into Idaho where it is narrowest is often where it is most heavily traveled !!! Local traffic does make up a good segment on this road (lots of long distance motorist commuters use it) but its most certainly still a major artery for cross state private and commercial transit. Again my suggestion for this road is once again the addition of consistently 4' wide shoulder edges to make it safer for all users !!! Once again I would gladly use them.
~ MT-35 = actually pretty nice from Kalispell to the offset double T intersection with MT-82/MT-83 with reasonable shoulder edge width the vast majority of that stretch. But from that intersection south to Polson its terribly narrow as it winds around the east side of Flathead lake and except for some off hours has dense traffic consisting of a bunch of speed demons trying to go as fast as they can on it using it as a shortcut compared to going around the other side of the lake. Thankfully there is also a large contingent of commercial truckers that use it for the same reason and they actually go the speed limit on that section (never higher then 50-mph) and act as a buffer to block up and slow down the 4-wheel maniacs that try to do 70+ on "their shortcut" and as a result there is a huge animosity towards truckers that use that road and there have been many political attempts to get them banned from using it which thankfully have been unsuccessful. For this reason I try to use that road when I know the truck traffic on it will be the heaviest and so far almost without exception the truckers have always treated me well and have served as a sort of shield that has protected me from the 4-wheel speed demon maniacs. Basically I will ride VC "taking the lane" in relative peace until a big truck with a whole wall of 4-wheel slime packed in behind it like sardines for a mile comes up behind me and the truck will slow down and stay behind me often putting on their brakes way back behind me and I will look for a drive way or other such to pull out into and when found do so. The big truck will then proceed along with the mile long column of backed up impatient and irate 4-wheel maniacs and after that big long train goes by I get back on the road and I can usually make at least another mile with only the occasional lone 4-wheel maniac trying to pass me and eventually the next big truck with a train of other cars and trucks backed up behind it will catch up with me and I do the same thing over again pulling off and letting the train pass and getting a breather break and then having a relatively clear stretch to use before the next big truck catches up with a mile long train backed up behind it. Since the same kind of traffic pattern is happening in both directions those gaps between those long dense road trains with a truck going the speed limit in front in the oncoming lane allow the lone 4-wheels I encounter in the gaps the opportunity to pass safely and I do hold my line and make them wait if there is a road train in the oncoming. If I wasn't able to use that technique on that road it would probably be the worst one of them all. The road desperately needs once again 4' shoulder edges added. But the shoulder edges shouldn't be any wider then that and maybe even a little narrower down to as narrow as 3' or so and the lanes should be kept narrow and there should be a sharp preferably steep edge with no gravel transition at the edge of the paved shoulders. Otherwise the maniac 4-wheel speed demons are going to try to use the shoulder edge to pass the trucks on the right side which could be really nasty for cyclists riding on such a shoulder edge.
~ MT-82 = fairly heavy regular rush hours of local traffic since its a major connection and "the shortcut". It does have ride-able (but barely) shoulder edges from US-93 east to the bridge. The bridge itself is terrible for cyclists (and even motorists who occasionally clip each others sides across the middle line). In addition as what I consider a horrendously vicious and prejudiced oversight there is absolutely zero accommodation for pedestrians on that bridge. If you want to walk across that bridge you either have to either walk the rail on one side like a freaking circus performer or walk in the 60+ mph traffic lanes. Cyclists because we can take the lane and pedal like mad actually have it pretty good on that bridge compared to what anyone wishing to cross on foot faces. East of the bridge to the intersection with MT-35 its narrow windy high speed with pretty much not a ride-able shoulder edge. The changes that need to be made for that are at bare minimum to put 35-mph or lower speed limit for the bridge and enforce it for everyone's safety !!! Preferably with flashing yellow lights on both ends of the bridge with big signs "Extreme caution. Narrow bridge, go slow across bridge, many accidents already, some FATAL !!!" that is justified just for motorist safety alone. Adding a small lightweight pedestrian/cyclist walkway onto each side of the existing bridge would probably be the most economical solution compared to replacing the whole bridge with a wider one and would not over-stress the existing bridge structure. And then widen the shoulder edges a little west of the bridge and put in decent width shoulder edges east of the bridge and that would basically "fix" that problem along with dealing with the most serious issue of that bridge itself.
~ MT-83 = the highway that runs the length of the Swan River valley and is one of the most beautiful lush and scenic areas in the entire state. During the summer months tourist traffic on this highway is very high along with local traffic and it also serves as a short-cut that can shave nearly a 100 miles off of some trips between different parts of the state. There are some spots that do have ride-able shoulder edges but most of it does not. You will often see touring cyclists on this highway and several of them have been killed on it by motorists who often were going too fast for conditions and/or looking at the beautiful scenery and not paying attention to the road. I'm not usually a fan of separated side-paths but for this highway I think it would be the ideal solution for everyone. Especially because there are no major intersections with major cross roads so that danger is limited to only small local access roads and driveways and would certainly be the lowest risk compared to on-roadway accommodations. For this road the usual decent width and condition paved shoulder edge accommodation I usually prefer on most high speed highways I do not believe would be sufficient because you would still have a high risk of motorists paying more attention to the beautiful scenery instead of the road wandering into the shoulder edge and hitting you.
~ MT-28, MT-141, MT-200, US-12, and US-93 south of Missoula = all pretty much not too heavy traffic with the occasional local rush hour of commuters. They are generally as genec suggests only it should be made clear they are not just "local only" they are popular for travel across the state for both private and commercial traffic and are indeed arterial roadways just probably not as dense of traffic as in many other more populous states or other more heavily traveled roads in the state like all of US-93 north of Missoula.
~ MT-206 = the road that best fits genec's local yo-yos description and that is pretty much exactly what it is almost without exception.
~ Route-271 (Helmville Road) = also fits the bill with the exception that it is a highly popular shortcut to cut back and forth between I-90 and the arterial highways to the north of MT-141, MT-200, and even ultimately MT-83 and and is used by just as much if not more speed demon nuts fresh off of the interstate "taking a shortcut" and jumping up to a good access point to the northern arterial state highways. Motorists going the other direction itchy to get on the interstate aren't too fun either.
~ US-93 south from Whitefish all the way down to Missoula = actually excellent to fairly good in many areas for a cyclist to ride on the shoulder edge. Unfortunately it is one of the busiest arterial routes in that whole section of the state so where it does get narrow (as I posted one picture of) it can get pretty nasty because of the massive high speed traffic volume and believe me I know those spots very well since I travel that road many, many, many times a year across that entire length from Missoula in the south up to the whole northern Flathead valley where Kalispell is the dominant town. If they would just fix those bad occasional bad spots it would make life better and safer for everyone especially on such an major arterial roadway that is the dominant transportation route for that entire upper northwest section of the state. Once again on such high speed highways consistently 4' wide shoulder edges make it safer for all users !!! and are the only accommodation that I personally desire on such roadways as a cyclist and are my preferred accommodation.
Just because a roadway doesn't have shoulder edges for me to ride that way though doesn't mean I'm not going to ride it or that I will submit and accept vicious deliberate harassment and attacks against my RIGHT to travel on them by bicycle by both aggressive motorists and law enforcement. I will not surrender my rights to acts of terrorism and those who perpetrate them !!!
I'm not getting sliced like that anymore. The odds are just too high riding the white line. I'm going to either be IN or OUT and if the road doesn't have a ride-able shoulder edge for me to ride OUT on then I'm going to be IN because that "Oh Crap!" is what keeps me alive, without that shock surprise factor that actually gets them to try not to hit me the odds are just too high that they will, been there done that.
urbo, I've been trying to say that people take too much stock and faith in Google Maps and Street View, yet they fail miserably as evidence in many cases. For example, one member just tried to show us an 'expansion joint' that with the average computer (read OLD) probably doesn't handle '3D imaging' so well and on top of that the gas station in his vantage point was possibly assembled from data on DIFFERENT DAYS as the regular unleaded price on the street side was $3.539 and the LOT SIDE read $3.389. Do Speedway stations have a cash price on the other side? Having grown up with a father who pumped gas and fixed cars for most of 38 years I've never seen such a thing, nor would it be beneficial.
On top of that, the dating of the images said AUGUST 2011 and even in a large city like Indianapolis, Indiana you would be very hard-pressed to find an entire city scanned completely by Google each year. They don't have the resources, as mighty as they are perceived to be...it's a fantasy. Nothing in my town tends to match address to view either, the metadata is particularly horrid that they are given or present themselves, unless what I suspect is true that you probably PAY for it to work right.
What gets me the most is that it seems that they rely on global positioning than just taking pictures, which blows my mind. So many things can and do change in 2 years time. The view of my house shows neighbors cars that left long ago with the neighbors, property features that are not there or altered over time-in short, it's hardly more than a picture and not much for proving anything should you have an accident based on terrain or really anything.
The Whole and Utter Truth to the matter is that most roads aren't there for everyone, many are flat-out horrid and have been that way for years as the infrastructure was neglected for lack of funds and resources, a fact of life that has to be recognized and one that all must adapt to. Demanding that you have carte blanche over a fool's paradise is not a wise transportation strategy. Taking an alternate route is sound judgement when you are faced with danger...road work is NOT an immediate priority in the scheme of road departments, much less regionalgovernments and they are already tackling prioritized assignments and emergency needs as they may come. If you are going to get things done you have to become part of the plan, not just holler until it happens as that isn't going to happen 98% of the time.
And while writing a big long manifesto of what you want is impressive you have now started to see the nearsightedness of your experiences and come to realize the clarity of what you truly face.
That AMBULANCE driver was doing what they are supposed to do. You were in the way of an emergency vehicle and I gather you did not look about you properly and they hit the siren to warn you and prevent another life-threatening injury. Ambulances do not have the right to blow down the street without caution or warning, all emergency vehicles must safely yield before proceeding but the point would be that you didn't notice an oncoming vehicle with flashing multicolored emergency lights and they had to alert you when you darted out. The driver DID have to use the siren as you were in danger by your own misjudgement.
That was your mistake in my reckoning and you hopefully learned a vital lesson. Never play with a two ton Christmas tree.
Do you post drunk? Or is it just a reading and comprehension skill set issue? That is an honest question, not a flame or an insult, this is by no means the first time I have seen you make posts that are a clear garbling of what has been posted already in a thread that is beyond almost any other poster on this forum. Even many of the people on this forum who strongly disagree with me at least make clear informed posts where as many times yours have been very garbled with almost the same kind of mis-understandings I have experienced in person when trying to have a conversation with an intoxicated individual when I was sober. I'm seriously wondering if this is what is going on with many of your posts I've read on this forum for a while now.
I was not the one with the ambulance, that was another poster, I did tell that other poster that emergency vehicles do have an almost unlimited ROW and that they are one of the few vehicles that other road users are indeed required to "get out of the way of" and I even myself asked that other poster how he was not aware the ambulance was behind him until it was right up on him.
As to your "alternate route" argument did you even bother to look at the roads in question I specified as far as where they are? Those roads span hundreds of miles and are in many cases the only through roads between entire sections of the state I live in. Alternate route? What alternate route? There either isn't one or its hundreds of miles longer and not on roads that are any better.
Rather you seem to be making an "choose an alternate mode of transportation instead of a bike" argument and saying I should not bike on those roads or possibly even that I shouldn't be allowed to bike on them because well they just aren't built for bikes. A typical slimy belligerent arrogant motorist argument to refuses to acknowledge that bikes have a RIGHT to the road where as it is ONLY A PRIVILEGE to drive an automobile on them.
You are correct that the google street views may not be completely current and up to date but I can absolutely assure you that they are correctly representing the conditions of the roads in question with only the optical illusion of the camera making the sight lines look longer then they actually are. Yes some of the roads have had some updating and repair along certain spots but have not been significantly altered from what you see in those road-view shots.
The point I was trying to make is that on roads like that which are the norm not the exception up where I live as a cyclist there is not sufficient room safely and effectively shoulder edge ride on them to the right of the white line out of the way of automobile traffic. Your choices are either to "take the lane" and run "the risk" and face "the odds" of someone just barreling right into the back of you dead center or try to FRAP and ride very close to the white line in lanes that are too narrow for an automobile and a bicycle to safely travel side-by-side within the lane and you are then face both "the odds" for not only a rear impact collision but also "getting sliced" on a too close pass. Since "the odds" for a rear impact collision are only marginally reduced on such narrow roads by trying to hug the white line and "the odds" for "getting sliced" go up in substantially and dramatically the wiser choice to juggle "the odds" to keep their total as low as possible is to "take the lane" on such roads. I never said you shouldn't watch your back like a hawk or if necessary "bail it" of the road and into the ditch at the last moment if an overtaking vehicle does not slow down or swing out to pass but really does appear to be willing to run you down. Something I have done, I have "bailed it" when necessary and in the case of an ambulance with flashing lights behind me that is what I would do because emergency vehicles do have nearly complete ROW and they are one of the few vehicles on the road other road users are actually legally required to "get out of the way" of. I have had one incident with a column of fire-trucks that I saw well in advance and heard their sirens well behind me and I was able to find a gravel drive-way to pull out into to let them pass before they even got up to where I was. I have also had plenty of police cars behind me with lights and sirens on but only a few wanted to get around me to race to a call. Most were cops who I had to explain the law too and show them the actual law in black and white print (always carry with me), I always pull over for them and have got the print outs out of my bike bag before they walk up to me. One of them I walked up to his cruiser before he got out and put a copy of the Montana bicycle laws both the primary law that gives us road rights as vehicles on all roads and the FRAP law with the too clear exceptions including too narrow lanes highlighted and held it up on his windshield with my hand for him to read and he looked pretty bewildered and was really surprised I did that and after me repeatably telling him to read the law over and over again like a broken record he finally read it and then got back in his cruiser turned off his lights and pulled away and left without saying a single word and taking that copy with him (not a problem I carry multiple copies).
I've had it with swine both in and out of uniform including people like you who harass cyclists for daring to travel by bicycle and use the roads and do so legally and fully within the law. Yes, "other cyclists" who refuse to respect my road rights under the law and harass me are just as bad if not worse then non-cyclists. Obviously that does not include all cyclists but certainly includes some of them, some of whom are physically violently against my right to use the roads and have physically assaulted me for daring to say I have a right to ride any road with my bike.
I don't put up with it anymore, I ride by the rules of the road and am fully within my rights under the law. If you don't like it, you have a right to your personal opinion and a right to express it, but you have no right to assault me or my rights.
The other point I was trying to clearly make is that man of these roads I rid "VC style", "IN the road", "taking the lane" because I have too, its the only half way safe way to ride on them. If other people want me to ride on the shoulder edge and they would much prefer I do so then they need to give me shoulder edge of ride-able width and surface condition and I will be more then happy to do so on such high speed roadways. Unless the speeds are at or 25-mph on a roadway riding VC style "taking the lane" is a method of coping with the inadequacy of the roadway for me, its not my preferred way to ride on high speed roads.
"Do you post drunk?"
If not, why not have a drink with me?
I haven't had a drop since Christmas 1992 when we all toasted my sister and her new husband's first real house with very nice champagne and I have been a diagnosed diabetic for over 17 years, and diet Coke should probably be taboo for me. I always preferred rum or whiskey yet they were expressly verboten on Food Stamps. For that matter they stopped giving out those fabled 5 lb cheese logs at the food bank twenty years ago, and I REALLY miss those...
For someone who doesn't post a lot you can do better.
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