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I Drive a Car Too...

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I Drive a Car Too...

Old 05-03-07, 03:34 PM
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hotbike
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I Drive a Car Too...

Let me introduce myself by saying I have ridden over 135,000 miles on bicycle since 1972.

I had ridden on every road in this County by the time I was twelve years old.

My Mother doesn't drive, never did, so my bicycle got me around, rather than being chaufeured.
.

Two of my friends had mopeds. I thought about getting a moped, but I declared that mopeds are too noisy and I would set myself to building an electric moped. I remember going on "Line Rides" with them; Doug was first with his two speed moped, Kevin drafted doug on his one speed moped, and I would draft Kevin's rear wheel on my twelve speed bicycle. We would go on twenty five mile rides, following the white line on the edge of the road (That's why it's called a 'line ride'). We went on Roslyn Road, onto Sunrise Highway, and back on Route 106. I would finish these rides quite exausted (no pun intended) on account of they never stopped to give me a break, and my clothes were grey and reeked of 2-cycle fumes.


Driving came easy to me. I already knew what all the signs meant because I had been riding my bicycle on the same roads. I passed my road test on the first try.


I always give people on two wheels common courtesy. The same courtesy I would expect If I was riding my bike. If I see a bike 300 feet ahead, I slow down. I have no problem going 25 MPH in a 30 MPH zone for for a few minutes. If I put my four-way flahers on and hand-signal 'slow', most bicyclists will take advantage of it and sprint up to 32 MPH. Usually, the bike goes left and I go right, and I never have to pass.

If I have to pass, I give bikes at least 5 or 6 feet of room. I'm afraid to give more because a car 'stuck' behind me might try to pass me on the right, which would put the cyclist in danger.


I give other cyclists the same respect I would expect if I was riding my bike.

So here is what I'm getting at ; I never get cursed at by bikers, bikers never give me the finger.

When a driver is mad about being cursed at or being "flipped the bird" , I can't have any sympathy for him.

No biker curses at a motorist unless his life has been threatened by aggressive or reckless driving.

The only thing I ever yelled to a bicyclist was "Your bungee cord fell off two hundred yards back!", and the cyclist replied "Thanks!"

The only advice I want to give other cyclists, having driven a car, is get a blinkie light or wear a reflective vest. I can slow down to 25 MPH sooner if I see you 500 feet ahead.

That being said, I want input from other bicyclists who drive too. Do you agree or disagree that you never get cursed at by bicyclists, when you give them the same respect you would expect?
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Old 05-03-07, 03:44 PM
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Never once. I do what you do more or less, and never once have had issues with a cyclist.
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Old 05-03-07, 04:05 PM
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Originally Posted by sgtsmile
Never once. I do what you do more or less, and never once have had issues with a cyclist.
I have never been yelled at by a cyclist, but living around here I have never heard a cyclist, other than me, yell at a car.

**EDIT: Before it becomes an issue: Yes, I realize I and the proverbial other yelling cyclist are actually yelling at the driver, but you know what I meant.
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Old 05-03-07, 07:13 PM
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Only time I ever got yelled at by a cyclist was when I had the misfortune of being caught in the middle of a CM ride. It took a lot of effort not to use my door as a pinball paddle and launch a few of them into the next week.
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Old 05-03-07, 09:26 PM
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I can't imagine anyone that actually cycles having a problem with cyclists while driving a motor vehicle.

Originally Posted by chipcom
Only time I ever got yelled at by a cyclist was when I had the misfortune of being caught in the middle of a CM ride. It took a lot of effort not to use my door as a pinball paddle and launch a few of them into the next week.
Coming from an avid cyclist that tells me a lot about CM.
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Old 05-03-07, 10:33 PM
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Originally Posted by Pete Fagerlin
Why not? There are idiots in every user group.

I've encountered idiot cyclists while driving.

One example:

The Cal Cycling boys out on a training ride on a "rural" two lane road riding three abreast four rows deep and not having a care in the world about the car that was pacing them at 15 mph.

I eventually got around them and didn't feel the least bit bad about the dose of straight pipes at WOT that they got. They were being tools. The funny thing about that situation was that my brother-in-law was the Alumni President of Cal Cycling at the time. The peloton got an earful about being tools.
That's a good point. In all my years of driving I've never experienced anything more than one or two cyclists at a time actually on the road, and they almost always were hugging the edge. I not only wish cyclists around here would take the lane, I'd have no problem at all following behind a pack of them.
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Old 05-03-07, 10:58 PM
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Only once, in Eugene, OR (college town). It was nighttime, I was fully stopped at the crosswalk at a red light at which I was turning right. I look to the right to check the sidewalk clear. There are no pedestrians, but I am unable to see very far due to some hedges. I think to myself that it is a college town with a lot of stupid cyclist, so I decide to just play it safe and wait for the green light. Just then a cyclist (college age), comes out from behind the hedges, with no lights, dark cloths, riding wrong way on sidewalk and screams f*** you, dumb a$$, watch were your driving while giving me the one finger salute.

I just thought, how lucky this college kid was on that particular night to came across a driver that was a cyclist and knew just how stupid many college kids cycled.
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Old 05-03-07, 11:31 PM
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That's gotta be a record for the quickest anti CM post. Congrats!
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Old 05-04-07, 05:50 AM
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Originally Posted by Burrito Eater
That's gotta be a record for the quickest anti CM post. Congrats!
Oh, so because I had to put up with a bunch of freakin morons, I am anti-CM. Nice. It was the behavior of the morons that was the issue...the fact that they were part of a CM is just...a fact - they could been have part of any group and I would have still wanted to feed them their butts for dinner. If that gets your panties in a bunch, it sounds like a personal problem. I saw a guy pee himself at a football game once...I must be anti-football too.
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Old 05-04-07, 06:28 AM
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Originally Posted by Pete Fagerlin
Why not? There are idiots in every user group.

I've encountered idiot cyclists while driving.

One example:

The Cal Cycling boys out on a training ride on a "rural" two lane road riding three abreast four rows deep and not having a care in the world about the car that was pacing them at 15 mph.

I eventually got around them and didn't feel the least bit bad about the dose of straight pipes at WOT that they got. They were being tools. The funny thing about that situation was that my brother-in-law was the Alumni President of Cal Cycling at the time. The peloton got an earful about being tools.
What did you expect them to do? Aside from riding 3 abreast (2 is legal), they didn't do anything to unnecessarily impede you. How long were you pacing them for?
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Old 05-04-07, 06:58 AM
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Thanks for all the replies to my posting.
I don't think I will ever participate in a Critical Mass ride again.
I only participated in one, which happened to be the first one in New York City in 1986.
There were 992 bicycles in that CM ride, and we wanted to bring it up to 1000. I did a quick re-count and added in four (4) other bicycles which really weren't participants, three (3) hot-dog carts, and an homeless man pushing a shopping cart. I realized at that moment that 1000 bikes is a magic number. 1000 bikes can completely control the streets, and just fits in perfectly on ONE (1) north-south city block in Manhattan.

Last Friday of each month, a perfect time when everyone just got their paycheck and has money for alcohol and drugs. I don't trust crowds in general. The Crit Mass people should re-evaluate the need for these CM rides, I think they already got the point across. I believe the CM rides have been infiltrated by Police , as well as Communists , and there is more to the story than "just taking a bicycle ride". The fact that 10,000 people on bikes showed up during the Republican National Convention in 2004 shows that there is a political movement hiding behind the Critical Mass Rides.

Anyway, I would not take my minivan into Manhattan on the last friday night of any month. In fact, if I go into Manhattan at all, it's always via the Long Island Railroad. (Sometimes I come back on the F Train.)
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Old 05-04-07, 07:15 AM
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Originally Posted by Pete Fagerlin
Why not? There are idiots in every user group.

I've encountered idiot cyclists while driving.

One example:

The Cal Cycling boys out on a training ride on a "rural" two lane road riding three abreast four rows deep and not having a care in the world about the car that was pacing them at 15 mph.

I eventually got around them and didn't feel the least bit bad about the dose of straight pipes at WOT that they got. They were being tools. The funny thing about that situation was that my brother-in-law was the Alumni President of Cal Cycling at the time. The peloton got an earful about being tools.

What I want to know, Pete, is were you aware that this ride was taking place? Your own brother-in-law

was the Alumni Pesident and you didn't hear 'through the grapevine' that the road would be blocked?

Whether or not there was a lack of communication, I think that kind of situation is a reason there should be more hybrid cars. I can see the advantage of a hybrid car when pacing at 15 MPH behind a bicycle peloton. Especially since the gas guzzlers perform really poorly at 15 MPH. It makes me nervous that my Dodge can not match speed in that realm. The transmission wants to shift at 20, it really growls. I can't stand noises from cars, how the heck do you get away with "straight pipes", you have no muffler on your car?
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Old 05-04-07, 10:34 AM
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Originally Posted by hotbike
I believe the CM rides have been infiltrated by Police , as well as Communists , and there is more to the story than "just taking a bicycle ride".
You're thinking in Regan-era terminology. Communists may have infiltrated the ride before the fall of the Berlin wall. However, since then its been only terrorists and vegan-anarchists in CM. You can still attend though, just be sure to put a layer of tinfoil under your helmet.
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Old 05-04-07, 10:50 AM
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I always give them the benefit of the doubt. Now ask me a year ago and id probably give a different story.
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Old 05-04-07, 11:05 AM
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I never have.... But, I wouldnt be surprised if it ever happened to me.

I can certainly make a mistake while driving and get someone mad at me, or a cyclist could incorrectly decide I made a mistake worth yelling at me, both seem plausible someday.
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Old 05-04-07, 11:40 AM
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I'm a prisoner of my car until the Doc gives me the Ok to get back on the bike.
Being both a cyclist and a cager, I look out for cyclists a lot more when I drive. I almost never get into bad situations with cyclists.

It has happened once before because the cyclist just popped out of nowhere. I looked left, nothing, then right, nothing, then left again and a cyclist was suddenly coming towards me as i was about to do my right hand turn. Where the hell did he come from? I swear he wasn't there 2 seconds ago!

No accident, he didn't yell at me but he did give me "the look". I felt embarrased and confused at the same time.

There are plenty of car drivers that just don't pay attention out there. But sometimes it seems that it's not entirely their fault as well. Cyclists have a small profile and are going fast enough to come as a total surprise to some cagers. As a cyclist I'm well aware of that as well.
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Old 05-04-07, 12:29 PM
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Originally Posted by Pete Fagerlin
Why not? There are idiots in every user group.

I've encountered idiot cyclists while driving.

One example:

The Cal Cycling boys out on a training ride on a "rural" two lane road riding three abreast four rows deep and not having a care in the world about the car that was pacing them at 15 mph.

I eventually got around them and didn't feel the least bit bad about the dose of straight pipes at WOT that they got. They were being tools. The funny thing about that situation was that my brother-in-law was the Alumni President of Cal Cycling at the time. The peloton got an earful about being tools.

So instead of being 3 abreast and four deep they could have been 2 abreast and 6 deep or single file and 12 deep. Which is harder to pass??? If the lane was narrow it does not matter how many abreast they were.
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Old 05-04-07, 01:45 PM
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Sorry I was rude. I deleted what I said.
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Old 05-04-07, 04:11 PM
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I do want to say that a car with rack and pinion steering does handle a lot more like a bike than the old "recirculating ball" steering.

By that I mean the car can follow the lines on the road much more accurately, with less effort.

I am not saying anything about suspension, I am saying that strictly in the steering mechanism, the rack and pinion car will follow the painted lines on the road, without drifting one or two feet laterally (left to right) like the old cars , Chevy Impala in particular. I hated the 1977 Chevy Impala, it didn't want to track straight. The difference lies in the fact that rack and pinion is mechanical, whereas recirculating ball is hydraulic, with the addition of a row of ball bearings inside the hydraulic line, which is a fail-safe for when the fluid leaks.

I don't want to turn this into a car thread, after all it is BIKEforums.net

I tried to inject a little humor in the previous post, and in my mind, I'm trying to visualize Pete's car, which he described by saying " I have no muffler on one of my cars"...

If a little stereotyping about cars takes place in these forums, no one should be surprised. If I'm not Politically Correct, by making a stereotypical comment about cars, I don't think I'm alone here in bikeforums.net.
(In my book, PC stands for the Penn Central Railroad).

I started this thread, and I don't like the way it's going.

BTW, Pete, I drive a 1995 Dodge Caravan, so I hope it makes you feel good that I have crank windows, no sunroof, and a crack in the metal where the drivers side door hinge is attached. I'm afraid of bumping my door the wrong way and ripping the door off. The AC doesn't work either. And the mechanic says the left front axle is bad. I'm the one who should get a new car, but I always have a mountain bike in the back, so I'm not stranded if it dies.I don't think any car is 'fun' to drive. I've worked as a truck driver, and I'm of the persuasion that driving is a chore. I don't like the price of gas going up, but moreover I think cars put pedestrians and cyclists at risk. I don't drive more than 2 MPH over the limit, which may make some other drivers mad at me. I am glad the weather has broken and it's not cold or raining. I put in close to twenty miles on my bike yesterday, and I feel a lot more stamina than I've had in years. I would be riding now, but I have to help my dad install a vanity (bathroom sink) in a rental, we're going to Home Depot in his minivan in a few minutes.
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Old 05-04-07, 04:29 PM
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Originally Posted by Pete Fagerlin
Why not? There are idiots in every user group.

I've encountered idiot cyclists while driving.
How about idiot cyclists while cycling? I remember a couple of times on Washington Blvd on hte mile long section where the beach bike path becomes a bike lane where there was a lone cyclist going the wrong way in hte bike lane. Idiocy to start with, but worse than usual for 3 reasons:

1) There are arrows painted every 100 years showing which way to go.
2) This is a heavy use area so it is like driving the wrong way on the freeway.
3) The street is pretty busy too, bailing out into the traffic lanes is really not an option.
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Old 05-04-07, 04:38 PM
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Stopped at a traffic light in a company van 20 or so years ago. Heard a bump and looked back to see a bicyclist leaning up against the side of the van. I yelled at him to get away from the van, he flipped me the bird and smacked the van with his fist as the light changed. Spit at the passenger window as he went by. I caught up to him and shared with him the cup of coffee I was drinking, full in the face. Then stopped to see if he wanted to take it further, but he stopped quite a ways back and waited until I left.
I am ashamed of the way many riders act around here, running red lights and stop signs, throwing trash on the ground, spitting and blowing noses, riding 2 or 3 abreast on narrow roads. Thoughtless slobs ride bikes as well as drive cars. Thank goodness they are a minority!
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Old 05-04-07, 06:14 PM
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Good to see the spirit of assault and battery in traffic is alive and well....
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Old 05-04-07, 07:56 PM
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Originally Posted by joejack951
What did you expect them to do? Aside from riding 3 abreast (2 is legal), they didn't do anything to unnecessarily impede you. How long were you pacing them for?
Um, I think that was his point.
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Old 05-05-07, 07:44 AM
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Originally Posted by Pete Fagerlin
It sounds like you haven't been in the right car, or the right environment, or both, then.
Agreed Some cars are a hoot, many are dogs though...
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Old 05-05-07, 08:50 AM
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Originally Posted by Pete Fagerlin
Get as close as practical to the right hand curb, single file, until I had passed.

From a safety standpoint it would have been much easier to pas them if they had singled up, since I would have had a better sight line, and not have to penetrated as much into the opposite lane.

It's simple courtesy, akin to pulling out when towing to allow a faster vehicle to pass.
I combined two of your posts. Hope you don't mind.

How is it any safer to go 2 feet into the oncoming lane while passing twelve cyclists than going fully into the oncoming lane to pass a much shorter line of cyclists? If you had good enough sightlines to pass, it shouldn't make any difference to you if you are just going 2 feet over the line versus 8 feet. If the sightlines were bad to the point where it would be dangerous to move into the oncoming lane at all, then you shouldn't have been trying to pass at all. I don't see how 12 cyclists would block your view of the oncoming lane any more than a large, slow moving truck would.

Don't get me wrong, I'm not defending the cyclists for riding 3 abreast (which is illegal and often puts the outer cyclist too close to the centerline). They could have doubled/singled up and maybe you might have been able to pass a few seconds earlier. Maybe. It sounds like the sightlines on this road were so bad that passing was quite difficult. Depending on the condition of the shoulder of the road, it could be quite difficult to find a place for 12 cyclists to easily pull over and get off the road to let you pass without leaving your lane. If they had to do this for every passing vehicle, it would get ridiculous. The fact that you had to wait a few minutes does not justify your little hissy fit.
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