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The Surly, Long Honk Trucker

Old 12-11-15, 10:37 AM
  #26  
HardyWeinberg
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Originally Posted by AlmostTrick
Are you saying cyclists are required by law to move aside when a motorist honks at or attempts to intimidate them? That doesn't sound right, and I highly doubt it. Show me the law.
In every single state any road user (bike, car, big rig) (with the possible exception of transit bus) is required to yield if possible to avoid a collision. If you can yield but don't, you are playing chicken. If you can't yield and get hit, well, that happens. The primary responsibility on the road is not to maintain your right of way, it is to operate safely. Obviously you didn't get hit so you didn't win (or lose or whatever) a game of chicken, congrats!
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Old 12-11-15, 10:41 AM
  #27  
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Originally Posted by HardyWeinberg
In every single state any road user (bike, car, big rig) (with the possible exception of transit bus) is required to yield if possible to avoid a collision. If you can yield but don't, you are playing chicken. If you can't yield and get hit, well, that happens. The primary responsibility on the road is not to maintain your right of way, it is to operate safely. Obviously you didn't get hit so you didn't win (or lose or whatever) a game of chicken, congrats!
Road users also have a responsibility to not hit what's in front of them, if at all possible, and to not violate the basic speed law (i.e. be able to stop within the distance ahead on the road which you can clearly see).
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Old 12-11-15, 10:56 AM
  #28  
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Old 12-11-15, 11:16 AM
  #29  
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Originally Posted by InTheRain
I consider myself fortunate that I do not have to ride my bicycle on any roads where the speed limit is above 40. I plan my routes and commutes to purposefully stay away from those types of situations.
Same here. I just don't ride on those roads that are clearly "designed for" cars. You know what I mean by that: fast boulevards where cars go fast because there are no real obstructions - pedestrians, bikes, parallel parkers, etc.

I'm a confident city cyclist, but I live in an inner suburb where bikers are common. If I still lived back in Texas where the only thing that exists are those big fast boulevards where no one bikes? I can't imagine riding like that. I'd probably be on the sidewalk, as wrong as that sounds to someone who believes in talking the lane (me).

I'm happy to take the lane, but I find it scary and just generally unpleasant to do it on the roads where I know drivers are going to be really pissed and confrontational. It's also just unpleasant to be buzzed at high speeds. Not fun at all, which is one reason why I bike commute.
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Old 12-11-15, 12:25 PM
  #30  
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Originally Posted by kickstart
No law requires us to do anything dangerous, and no law allows us to do anything dangerous. The number one rule of the road is safety first, it trumps all other considerations.
Originally Posted by HardyWeinberg
In every single state any road user (bike, car, big rig) (with the possible exception of transit bus) is required to yield if possible to avoid a collision. If you can yield but don't, you are playing chicken. If you can't yield and get hit, well, that happens. The primary responsibility on the road is not to maintain your right of way, it is to operate safely.
Agreed.

In this case yielding would have meant moving right, against a square curb. Seeing this, the aggressive driver likely would have maintained his speed, and possibly his line, leaving me trapped and buzzed, or maybe even clipped at speed. No thanks! I suppose I could have tried to jump, and probably fallen over the curb. I'll bet the driver would have loved that! Nope. No reward for A-wipe behavior this time.
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Old 12-11-15, 12:34 PM
  #31  
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Originally Posted by exarkuhn15
Same here. I just don't ride on those roads that are clearly "designed for" cars. You know what I mean by that: fast boulevards where cars go fast because there are no real obstructions - pedestrians, bikes, parallel parkers, etc.

I'm a confident city cyclist, but I live in an inner suburb where bikers are common. If I still lived back in Texas where the only thing that exists are those big fast boulevards where no one bikes? I can't imagine riding like that. I'd probably be on the sidewalk, as wrong as that sounds to someone who believes in talking the lane (me).

I'm happy to take the lane, but I find it scary and just generally unpleasant to do it on the roads where I know drivers are going to be really pissed and confrontational. It's also just unpleasant to be buzzed at high speeds. Not fun at all, which is one reason why I bike commute.
You know what? I avoid some roads too, for many of the reasons you list. But sometimes you can't avoid all of them. And really, should we even have to? I praise the Royal Cycling Tiara that there are cyclists who aren't afraid to exercise their right to certain roads. That so few do is likely a contributing factor for the common motorist mindset that bicycles don't belong on these roads.
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Old 12-11-15, 01:11 PM
  #32  
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Originally Posted by AlmostTrick
Agreed.

In this case yielding would have meant moving right, against a square curb. Seeing this, the aggressive driver likely would have maintained his speed, and possibly his line, leaving me trapped and buzzed, or maybe even clipped at speed. No thanks! I suppose I could have tried to jump, and probably fallen over the curb. I'll bet the driver would have loved that! Nope. No reward for A-wipe behavior this time.
I agree you did all one could in that situation. I was only pointing out that the law doesn't allow us to intentionally escalate a situation to "teach them a lesson", or not be bullied.
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Old 12-11-15, 01:44 PM
  #33  
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Originally Posted by exarkuhn15
Same here. I just don't ride on those roads that are clearly "designed for" cars. You know what I mean by that: fast boulevards where cars go fast because there are no real obstructions - pedestrians, bikes, parallel parkers, etc.

I'm a confident city cyclist, but I live in an inner suburb where bikers are common. If I still lived back in Texas where the only thing that exists are those big fast boulevards where no one bikes? I can't imagine riding like that. I'd probably be on the sidewalk, as wrong as that sounds to someone who believes in talking the lane (me).

I'm happy to take the lane, but I find it scary and just generally unpleasant to do it on the roads where I know drivers are going to be really pissed and confrontational. It's also just unpleasant to be buzzed at high speeds. Not fun at all, which is one reason why I bike commute.
What do you do if you need to go to a place on one of the "big roads", but you want to also go by bike? Or you're out on your bike and you need to stop at a place on one of those roads. Do you just not go there at all?

Originally Posted by kickstart
I agree you did all one could in that situation. I was only pointing out that the law doesn't allow us to intentionally escalate a situation to "teach them a lesson", or not be bullied.
So, the video from a year or two ago where a cyclist was coal-rolled (I think), and the female passenger threw objects at him, and then he yelled back obscenities, but then the cyclist was subsequently ticketed. Do you think that was justified for the cyclist to get a ticket after being abused by other road users?
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Old 12-11-15, 01:52 PM
  #34  
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Originally Posted by PatrickGSR94
What do you do if you need to go to a place on one of the "big roads", but you want to also go by bike? Or you're out on your bike and you need to stop at a place on one of those roads. Do you just not go there at all?
I basically don't go to places like that by bike. I'm fortunate to live in an area where I can get to pretty much all such places without having to ride on roads like that. I can get to grocery stores and the like on back/residential roads or paths by bike for the most part. If I'm going to Home Depot or something, I'm driving anyway.

I chose to live in a place where people bike more, which means it's safer to bike more places. Kudos to those who ride in areas where that isn't the case! I'd much rather ride through downtown Boston by bike (I do, and enjoy it) than on the huge surface streets of Dallas.

I don't mind riding on busy roads by bike, but I'm not into riding on busy roads by bike where bikers just are not riding, as in - you see a biker on them once a year. I don't think those areas are typically safe for bikes, or at the very least, they're just not pleasant.
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Old 12-11-15, 01:55 PM
  #35  
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Originally Posted by AlmostTrick
YBut sometimes you can't avoid all of them. And really, should we even have to? I praise the Royal Cycling Tiara that there are cyclists who aren't afraid to exercise their right to certain roads. That so few do is likely a contributing factor for the common motorist mindset that bicycles don't belong on these roads.
Sure, I agree. Kudos to them!

Part of the problem is the nature of these roads. They're wide, straight, and often don't have parking on them. That means fewer obstacles for drivers to worry about, and they increase their speed. I'd rather ride in areas with more traffic calming mechanisms, whether that's bike lines, pedestrian crossings, windy streets, fewer lanes, parking, etc. I don't mind busy roads, but I certainly dislike those huge fast roads. Just not fun.
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Old 12-11-15, 02:04 PM
  #36  
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The main east/west thoroughfare through my suburb and the next one over is a 5-lane road, which has curb/gutter and 45 MPH for part of it, then wide shoulder and 55 MPH for a long distance. Traffic lights are spaced out roughly 1 mile apart. On the few times I use such roads, I typically use the shoulder. Where it's 45 I can usually find other parallel roads.

But then there are other areas in my county where you have the major roads and neighborhood collectors (all with plenty of traffic) forming 1 mile x 2 mile rectangles, and then subdivisions inside the rectangles. But NONE of the subdivisions connect anywhere! The high traffic roads are the ONLY option! That's why I hate suburban planning sooo much. In the city of Memphis there are typically lots of options everywhere, between major roads, lesser roads, and neighborhood streets. I miss living there for sure.
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Old 12-11-15, 02:28 PM
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Bravo for the thread title!
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Old 12-11-15, 03:10 PM
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Yes, you had a right to take the lane and I can understand your unwillingness to reward an aggressive driver by moving over at their command. However, I wonder if this is an effective strategy. I think it's unlikely that this idiot driver was reformed in any way. It may have even reinforced his negative views of cyclists. Also, I admit that I'm a little jaded from having read many news articles about drivers who injure or kill cyclists and then never face any charges for their actions. Sometimes I really wish that I could teach bad drivers a lesson, but then I think I'd rather just get to where I'm going in one piece.

I loved the thread title though!
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Old 12-11-15, 03:24 PM
  #39  
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Originally Posted by PatrickGSR94
So, the video from a year or two ago where a cyclist was coal-rolled (I think), and the female passenger threw objects at him, and then he yelled back obscenities, but then the cyclist was subsequently ticketed. Do you think that was justified for the cyclist to get a ticket after being abused by other road users?
I don't recall the incident you're referring to, so all I can say is it depends. If the cyclist escalated and responded physically, or made serious threat of bodily harm that wasn't in self defense, then yes. I would also say yes if the cyclist chased them down and initiated a 2nd confrontation. None of those circumstances would absolve the motorist of their crimes.
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Old 12-11-15, 03:38 PM
  #40  
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Originally Posted by jeffpoulin
Yes, you had a right to take the lane and I can understand your unwillingness to reward an aggressive driver by moving over at their command. However, I wonder if this is an effective strategy. I think it's unlikely that this idiot driver was reformed in any way. It may have even reinforced his negative views of cyclists. Also, I admit that I'm a little jaded from having read many news articles about drivers who injure or kill cyclists and then never face any charges for their actions. Sometimes I really wish that I could teach bad drivers a lesson, but then I think I'd rather just get to where I'm going in one piece.
This is pretty much the way I feel about it too. Like it or not, sometimes the 800-pound gorilla rule applies. The vast majority of drivers are courteous to, or at least tolerant of, cyclists. Even among hostile drivers, the vast majority won't intentionally cause harm to a cyclists. However, there is a non-zero-sized minority who are willing to hit cyclists or otherwise force them off the road. So I try not to provoke hostile drivers and will yield to them when strictly social circumstances might say I shouldn't.

That said, AlmostTrick is definitely right that the layout of the road also adds safety concerns that must be observed. If yielding to a hostile drive is itself an unsafe act then I think you need to stand your ground and take your chances with the bully. For instance, part of my commute takes me along a road with one narrow lane in each direction and absolutely no shoulder. Cars can and do pass me here by going into the oncoming traffic lane if there are no cars coming in the other direction. When I'm there I use my lane position to indicate to drivers behind me when I think it is unsafe to for them to pass based on what I see ahead. If it looks clear, I'll move to the left and let them pass. If not, I move far enough left to make it impossible for them to squeeze by. As a result, this is the part of my commute where I most frequently encounter driver hostility. If I've taken the lane to prevent a pass and someone behind me starts honking, I'll stay where I am, but as soon as I get to where the road opens up, I'll move right and let them pass even though the road doesn't open up until within 100 yards or so of an intersection and I think it's idiotic for cars to pass me there -- idiotic, but relatively safe.
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Old 12-11-15, 04:15 PM
  #41  
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Originally Posted by Darth Lefty
Is it complain-about-traffic week? Everyone must have their lights and studs all worked out, I guess.
I almost ended up as a hood ornament right in front of my girlfriends house this week and didn't complain about it here (she had to listen to that brief rant) and do have my lights worked out. I haven't made the switch to studded tires yet, and am too glad to enjoy the warm temperatures to give up riding for the season just yet.
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Old 12-12-15, 08:59 AM
  #42  
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Originally Posted by exarkuhn15
I don't mind riding on busy roads by bike, but I'm not into riding on busy roads by bike where bikers just are not riding, as in - you see a biker on them once a year. I don't think those areas are typically safe for bikes, or at the very least, they're just not pleasant.
Thanks for your thoughts exakuhn, and I understand. In my experience, as long as you know what you're doing and paying proper attention, safety on these types of roads is not so much an issue but the "pleasantness" part sometimes can be. Reason enough to avoid if possible though. Thankfully, most drivers get it right and interact with cyclists safely and calmly. And the more they are exposed to us, the better they get. Pedal On!
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Old 12-17-15, 11:03 AM
  #43  
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Originally Posted by Walter S
What if you're driving a truck downhill and your brakes go to the floor as you come up behind a cyclist. What would you do? Blow the horn real loud maybe?
Nah -- I'd sit there and try to figure out some irrelevant scenario to post online.
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Old 12-17-15, 11:14 AM
  #44  
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Originally Posted by PatrickGSR94
What do you do if you need to go to a place on one of the "big roads", but you want to also go by bike? Or you're out on your bike and you need to stop at a place on one of those roads. Do you just not go there at all?
There's been a time or two when I had to go somewhere in town, and chose not to go by bike because of the road conditions.

I default to riding the bike for any travel around town, and only forgo it when necessary. There is an area on the north side of town, fairly new expansion, where travel by bike is actually dangerous. Legal right to travel is small comfort in the ICU...or the morgue. And it's not that these people on that side of town are malicious; no, they're self-entitled by having more income than anywhere else in the COUNTY. Their myopic view doesn't even INCLUDE riding a bike outside the subdivision. When they HIT you is the wrong time for them to realize you're there.

It's just reality.
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Old 12-17-15, 11:20 AM
  #45  
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Originally Posted by kickstart
No, I'm saying as a pedestrian, cyclist, or motorist we're obligated to do whatever is necessary to mitigate the dangerous acts of another pedestrian, cyclist, or motorist.
A honk doesn't qualify as dangerous, therefore requires no response. If they do something dangerous then we may not do anything that increases the danger to ourselves or others, and avoid it if possible.

No law requires us to do anything dangerous, and no law allows us to do anything dangerous. The number one rule of the road is safety first, it trumps all other considerations.
Sounds like a "she shouldn't have worn that dress" defense.
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Old 12-17-15, 11:26 AM
  #46  
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Originally Posted by CrippledKonaBoy
There's been a time or two when I had to go somewhere in town, and chose not to go by bike because of the road conditions.

I default to riding the bike for any travel around town, and only forgo it when necessary. There is an area on the north side of town, fairly new expansion, where travel by bike is actually dangerous. Legal right to travel is small comfort in the ICU...or the morgue. And it's not that these people on that side of town are malicious; no, they're self-entitled by having more income than anywhere else in the COUNTY. Their myopic view doesn't even INCLUDE riding a bike outside the subdivision. When they HIT you is the wrong time for them to realize you're there.

It's just reality.
Are you saying there are a higher percentage of psychotic people in that area than in other areas? Because in my experience, even when people get pissed off, they don't just go ramming into other people, or cars. Not unless they're psychopaths. And those types of people are really quite rare. I'd like to see some stats of bicycle/car collisions from that area, because my thought is that it's like when people say "people in so-n-so city are the worst drivers!!" when in reality they're about the same as in any other American city.
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Old 12-17-15, 01:41 PM
  #47  
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Originally Posted by AlmostTrick
I donít know about you, but I refuse to reward aggressive behavior. Events like this are a rare occurrence for me, but I will not cower down to drivers who attempt to intimidate me with their vehicles.
If they are a high level jerk I wave and let them know that they're number one as they pass.
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Old 12-17-15, 05:01 PM
  #48  
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I had a bad experience with a semi this morning. Although I am lucky that I can commute staying mainly on the trails, there are a couple of intersections that I have to watch for. The one by the baseball stadium is particularly bad and I have learned, through trial and error, that the safest course is just to stay on the sidewalks in that area and use the cross walks. This morning as I came to the crosswalk, the light changed and the cross walk light came on, giving me the right of way. But as I came the crossing, a semi cut me off and then began turning from the outside right lane. It looked like he was attempting a U-turn so I backed up because he was swinging wide. Then, instead of turning into the other lane, he straightened up into the crosswalk and started backing up the sidewalk directly towards me I was trying to scuttle crablike backwards with my bike as he kept coming (at one point I could've touched his bumper) when the other drivers waiting at the light started leaning on their horns, presumably because they didn't want to start their day watching a cyclist become sidewalk pizza The truck driver stopped long enough for me to bolt out of the way. I crossed at another intersection and didn't look back. I definitely did not swing back to ask what the ___ he was trying to do. Nor do I engage with people wearing tinfoil hats and garbage bag capes. There is an old saying that you shouldn't argue with a fool on the street because the people passing by won't be able to tell you apart.
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Old 12-17-15, 11:26 PM
  #49  
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Originally Posted by somasanmarcos
I had a bad experience with a semi this morning. Although I am lucky that I can commute staying mainly on the trails, there are a couple of intersections that I have to watch for. The one by the baseball stadium is particularly bad and I have learned, through trial and error, that the safest course is just to stay on the sidewalks in that area and use the cross walks. This morning as I came to the crosswalk, the light changed and the cross walk light came on, giving me the right of way. But as I came the crossing, a semi cut me off and then began turning from the outside right lane. It looked like he was attempting a U-turn so I backed up because he was swinging wide. Then, instead of turning into the other lane, he straightened up into the crosswalk and started backing up the sidewalk directly towards me I was trying to scuttle crablike backwards with my bike as he kept coming (at one point I could've touched his bumper) when the other drivers waiting at the light started leaning on their horns, presumably because they didn't want to start their day watching a cyclist become sidewalk pizza
Hi somas, I'm glad you were not hurt by the reckless truck driver this morning. Good job being observant!

I'm not gonna say that sidewalk riding can't be done safely, or that it might not be the safest option in certain situations... but if you were in the street this particular incident never would have happened. ...Just something to think about.

My one and only 'hit by a car' incident happened when I was ridding in a crosswalk... and I very seldom do that! Go figure.

Anyways, there is no sidewalk option on the section of road where Long Honk Trucker tried to teach me a lesson.
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Old 12-18-15, 11:28 AM
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Originally Posted by AlmostTrick
Hi somas, I'm glad you were not hurt by the reckless truck driver this morning. Good job being observant!

I'm not gonna say that sidewalk riding can't be done safely, or that it might not be the safest option in certain situations... but if you were in the street this particular incident never would have happened. ...Just something to think about.

My one and only 'hit by a car' incident happened when I was ridding in a crosswalk... and I very seldom do that! Go figure.

Anyways, there is no sidewalk option on the section of road where Long Honk Trucker tried to teach me a lesson.
AlmostTrick: the street is 6 lanes wide with no bike lanes and bumper to bumper traffic during rush hour. The lights for the side streets are sensor detector triggered by cars (not bikes) and unless I end up behind a car, I have to go up on the sidewalk and press the crosswalk button to get the light to change. I can't remember the last time I saw a fellow bike commuter riding on the street in that intersection. Although I don't like riding on the sidewalk, it really is the only safe option available. My main beef with the idiot semi driver was that he didn't bother to look before backing up on the sidewalk. It could've just as easily been a pedestrian out walking a dog or with a baby stroller. People out walking in the morning shouldn't have to worry about morons driving on the sidewalk. Also, the guy who honked at you sounds like a major jerk. We all share the road. I had a guy honk at me repeatedly for riding in the center of the lane (I was about to turn left) and he didn't want to wait 3 seconds for me to get out of the way.
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