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Should I feel bad?

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Old 08-26-16, 10:20 AM
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AlmostTrick
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Should I feel bad?

A few of the roads on my commute have a third lane in the center, for people going in either direction to use when making left hand turns. One section in particular is seldom used and has quite a bit of road debris built up in it. Drivers often go partially into this lane while passing me, even though they are going straight. This morning I was momentarily startled when a passing van doing this made a loud “BANG”, followed by the “PSST, PSST, PSST,PSST” sound of air escaping from a rotating tire.

A quarter mile up road, sure enough, the driver had turned off onto a side street and was parked on a flat tire.

Even though I did nothing wrong, I felt kinda sorry. Do you think the driver cursed me? Would you have?
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Old 08-26-16, 10:25 AM
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I think it's very likely that the driver cursed you, but it's the local roads department that is to blame, not you. If people don't like it, they can take their complaint up with whoever is responsible for the upkeep of the roads.

That said, I would also have a bit of misplaced remorse if I were in your situation.
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Old 08-26-16, 11:27 AM
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I'd blame the people who think it's OK to toss crap out of their cars onto the road...
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Old 08-26-16, 12:04 PM
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In another thread,

http://www.bikeforums.net/advocacy-s...h-no-wait.html

we discuss how motorists gravitate towards blaming any cyclist who happens to be around.
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Old 08-26-16, 12:36 PM
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Who knows what happened. He could have picked up the debris before, and it just popped then. Or it could have happened when he passed you. Or his tires could be ancient and were ready to go for weeks. regardless, passing is part of driving, and it's not your fault the inner strip is not maintained.
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Old 08-26-16, 01:39 PM
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The driver is 100% to blame for running over debris. Would you have felt bad if the driver had a head on collision trying to pass you? Probably not. How is this any different? The guy only got a flat tire. Could have been much worse, so the driver was probably thanking his lucky stars.
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Old 08-26-16, 02:22 PM
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I'd have cussed myself, for the bad judgment that put me there in the debris, and then probably the city or county for leaving dangerous debris in the middle of the street. But not the cyclist who was just riding along like he was supposed to.
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Old 08-26-16, 05:58 PM
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Incidentally, this is almost exactly the same reason that bicyclists who frequently ride in designated bike lanes get flat tires more often than bicyclists who mostly use primary road lanes. Debris from the more frequently used lanes gets kicked over into the bike lane and the bike lane is cleaned less frequently. It's a pretty substantial effect. The poetic justice of it happening to an automobile user didn't occur to me earlier.
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Old 08-27-16, 06:26 AM
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OP, feel bad for them, yes. Feel at all guilty? No.

Originally Posted by Andy_K View Post
Incidentally, this is almost exactly the same reason that bicyclists who frequently ride in designated bike lanes get flat tires more often than bicyclists who mostly use primary road lanes. Debris from the more frequently used lanes gets kicked over into the bike lane and the bike lane is cleaned less frequently. It's a pretty substantial effect. The poetic justice of it happening to an automobile user didn't occur to me earlier.
This is why protected bikeways that are protected by curbs, parked cars, or something similar are important and why that's the standard in places with high bicycle ridership like Netherlands, Denmark, etc. Painted bike lanes and shoulders are very sub-optimal: Do We Really Want Bike Lanes? | streets.mn
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Old 08-27-16, 06:51 AM
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Oh, the Karma!!!!

How many times have I been stuck beside the road picking out debris from my tires, often glass or something left behind by some thoughtless driver?

I can't pick up every nail or screw alongside the road, but there have been many cases when I'll grab something that is particularly dangerous and throw it out of the road, or throw it away. For example, if I see a board with a nail sticking up, I'll stop and get it off of the road (and bend over the nail if I can't dispose of it).
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