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Old 06-30-15, 07:58 AM
  #51  
concerned
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convinced

Originally Posted by vatdim View Post
Well, OP, to be fair, your point does come across as somewhat extreme here on BikeForums, but that's probably not your fault. Being both a driver and a cyclist, I have come across this mentality quite often, I know how most motorists like to oversimplify things and say "To hell with cyclists, blocking up traffic!". The fact of the matter is, ever since I started cycling more regularly, and on busier roads, I realized that bicycles almost never block traffic. Yes, cyclists in your way could make you decrease your speed and initiate a passing maneuver, after looking in the mirror and signalling. But that is the greatest amount of discomfort you could possibly sustain, attributable to a cyclist who is following standard vehicle laws. As others have already mentioned, a stopped car (whether to turn left, to attempt parallel parking or simply to drop someone off) will cause you to definitely stop, look for a greater gap in traffic and move inside the whole oncoming lane in order to proceed your journey. Since those occurrences seem much more frequent, is there any reason to despise cyclists more than drivers?

You mention that you ride an MTB and take pleasure in the sport. I salute you for that. But your explanation seems to indicate that you believe cycling as a whole to be a sport. Something many motorists would believe wholeheartedly. The truth is, the bicycle, although it can be used for all sorts of sporting events, such as downhill, track cycling, racing, etc., is first and foremost, a vehicle. One that you can use to get from point A to point B. Many people do not know that. For example, a motorcyclist friend of mine recently asked me on which side of the road cyclists were supposed to travel. He believed that they should travel on the left in right-hand drive traffic. His justification was that bicycles are somehow similar to pedestrians. This oversimplification is the result of car culture becoming so dominant that nobody even bothers to learn about the existence of something beyond motorized vehicles.

You see, it's not you, OP, that should be blamed for this animosity between many drivers and many cyclists. But it's not cyclists either. It's the establishment and the way people are taught from an early age that cycling is something done by children, athletes and homeless people. Unfortunately, I don't see that idea changing any time soon, because there really is no incentive for anyone to defend cyclists' right to using the public roads, except for cyclists themselves.
This is EXACTLY the sort of argument I came to these boards in search of. I appreciate you not resorting to the name calling and personal attacks of so many of your counterparts in this forum. I think the error in my perspective was as you said- I tend to look at cycling as primarily a sport. After reading through the responses to my original post, I no longer view it that way.

I also appreciate the comment made by someone else that he/she commutes to work and keeps changes of clothes, food, etc. there. Maybe the people I think are just joyriding are actually commuting.

So consider me reformed, for what it's worth. I still think it is dangerous to commute here via bicycle but (especially as a motorcyclist) I certainly respect your decision to take that risk.

I do want to clarify one point, though. I realize after looking back over my original post that it could have been interpreted that I did not see a need to be careful around cyclists when I came across them. That was not my intent. I would NEVER put someone at risk or threaten them because they are doing something I don't agree with. My point when I said "why should I" was more along the lines of whether bicycles should be there in the first place, which I no longer question.

Many humble thanks for the spirited debate. You guys keep the rubber side down.
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Old 06-30-15, 08:22 AM
  #52  
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The whole recreational vs commuting thing is silly. It doesn't matter why we are using the road.

Some people, like the OP, are adding to the road congestion by driving their CAR somewhere where they can ride their mountain bike on a RECREACTIONAL ride. It never occurred to me that I should be upset about this while cycle commuting to work!

Cheers, concerned. You're ok.

Last edited by AlmostTrick; 06-30-15 at 08:29 AM.
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Old 06-30-15, 08:30 AM
  #53  
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Originally Posted by concerned View Post
So consider me reformed, for what it's worth. I still think it is dangerous to commute here via bicycle but (especially as a motorcyclist) I certainly respect your decision to take that risk.
Well, it is dangerous to commute by car too - death by car accident is still one of the biggest killers in the US.

Even commute by subway can be dangerous - we have had some infamous incidents here in DC (the Red Line "crash-while-texting" couple of years ago, and the electrical fire that killed someone by smoke on the Yellow Line - death that could have been avoided if not for incompetent Metro personnel).

I agree with AlmostTrick - it really doesn't matter why the cyclist is riding on the road if the law allows him/her to be there. My route to/from work includes the road. I also ride on the road to get groceries. When I want to ride our nice MUP network for fun, I still have to ride on the road to get to it. Well I could ride the sidewalk all the way to one MUP, but it's actually more dangerous (cars pulling out of driveways, people walking dogs or pushing strollers, trash cans and other obstacles, etc.). No sidewalk at all for a good stretch to get to the other MUP. In either direction, cars have another lane they can use to pass me, so it's not like I'm holding up traffic for 10 miles.

Work commutes are safer when we all look out for each other, regardless of mode of transportation.

Last edited by GovernorSilver; 06-30-15 at 08:46 AM.
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Old 06-30-15, 10:55 AM
  #54  
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Originally Posted by concerned View Post
I also appreciate the comment made by someone else that he/she commutes to work and keeps changes of clothes, food, etc. there. Maybe the people I think are just joyriding are actually commuting.
Your panties will be forever wadded if you fret over who is commuting vs. joyriding (car, bike, or otherwise). It doesn't really matter what you consider worthwhile use of the road, everyone's reason for going A-to-B is highly justified in their own mind.
My SWAG is that a ton of road users are making trips for silly, pointless, useless, and wasteful reasons. But I don't lose sleep over it.
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Old 06-30-15, 10:56 AM
  #55  
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I sit in line waiting on CAR traffic more in one single commute than the total of all of the inconvenience I cause to motorists in a year.

The difference between coming in at 5AM when there are no cars and 8AM when there are a ton is at least an extra 10 minutes on my commute. I get through my average commute with ZERO net impact on cars; if any are slowed down it's only by a few seconds, and pretty much without exception, within a few seconds of passing me they speed up and catch up to the car they were right behind anyway, so they're EXACTLY where they would have been had I not been there.
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Old 06-30-15, 10:58 AM
  #56  
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Originally Posted by concerned View Post
I also appreciate the comment made by someone else that he/she commutes to work and keeps changes of clothes, food, etc. there. Maybe the people I think are just joyriding are actually commuting.
Do you suppose some people driving cars are "just out joyriding"? Should cars be banned from the roads during rush hour unless they have some kind of certification that they're only going to work or back home again? I bet the locals around national parks would LOVE to have "recreational" "joyriders" banned from clogging up their roads with RVs and such when they want to get to the store for some milk or to get to work.
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Old 06-30-15, 11:18 AM
  #57  
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I live in NYC so I don't drive all that much, but I do have a car (and a motorcycle) and I can certainly say that when I ride my bike I generally have a very smooth commute. Driving? Forgetaboutit! It's a mess. Cars, cars, cars. The cars are creating the traffic, not the bikes.
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Old 06-30-15, 12:04 PM
  #58  
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Originally Posted by concerned View Post
vehicles on streets designed for automobiles..
mmmmh?



ok i read the rest of your rant, and you totally misunderstood the sharing part.. just wow
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Old 06-30-15, 12:31 PM
  #59  
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Originally Posted by lostarchitect View Post
I live in NYC so I don't drive all that much, but I do have a car (and a motorcycle) and I can certainly say that when I ride my bike I generally have a very smooth commute. Driving? Forgetaboutit! It's a mess. Cars, cars, cars. The cars are creating the traffic, not the bikes.
I agree- this point is ultimately what changed my mind on the subject.
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Old 06-30-15, 12:37 PM
  #60  
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Originally Posted by concerned View Post
... it could have been interpreted that I did not see a need to be careful around cyclists when I came across them. That was not my intent. I would NEVER put someone at risk or threaten them because they are doing something I don't agree with. My point when I said "why should I" was more along the lines of whether bicycles should be there in the first place, which I no longer question.

Many humble thanks for the spirited debate. You guys keep the rubber side down.
We read drivers in the comment section of news about fatal accidents giving the same opinions. We hear it when some driver loses it and acts like a belligerent baboon, or shouted out of windows by people making deadly "points" with their driving. You aren't those people obviously, but from the cyclists POV you stand in for them expressing the opinions here. That's why the heated push-back.
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Old 06-30-15, 12:51 PM
  #61  
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I'd like to also say that to the extent that roads are designed for automobiles, that's a failing of the designer not taking into account all of the users of the road.

It's true that some roads are horrendously badly designed for bicycles. Heck, there are bike lanes that are horrible and may be more dangerous to cyclists than if they weren't there at all. But it's not the cyclist's fault that the facilities were badly designed. Blame the engineers or the people who hired them and weren't willing to pay the money to make sure that all road users were able to use the road that they're paying for.
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Old 06-30-15, 06:02 PM
  #62  
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When a lot of those roads were first designed the biggest problem was horse droppings. There is another thread I could answer the same way right now.
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Old 06-30-15, 10:18 PM
  #63  
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Mssr Concerned: Obviously trolling here, my initial response is 'oh, you little man... '.
You do what works best for you. To get from A to B requires a little calculus. Cost vs time vs other considerations. Amazingly, not everybody arrives at the same result. To assume your choice is the superior one, is a wee bit narcissitic.
Remove one thing from the equation.. be it money, health, time.. and you might well end up making a different choice.
I doubt such reasoning will affect your reactions. Non Sentient creatures react, not think. Resume trolling.
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