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Had Words Yesterday

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Had Words Yesterday

Old 05-21-08, 11:02 AM
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climbhoser
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Had Words Yesterday

When I leave work I ride down the sidewalk on the wrong side because there's a big, honkin' median in the 4-laner that I can't cross. It's a half a block, I don't think it's a big deal, and I've NEVER encountered a ped.

When I get to the intersection I either cross in the direction I'm going in, then cross to the right side of the road (both times at the crosswalk) or I cross to the right side of the road, depending on which light is green when I arrive. I'm mostly concerned for my safety, trying to get to the correct side of the road, which has no shoulder, without getting into traffic.

Yesterday I did the first option...crossed at the crosswalk on the L. Side, then waited for the walking man to cross to the R. side so I could continue on in the lane. Well, the man turned on, I clipped in and started pedalling and just past halfway a L. turning car came rushing at me, almost hit me and layed on his horn.

I swerved, got over to the R. side and started up the hill, showing the guy his IQ as he drove on. I caught up with him at the next light and started yelling.

I told him I had the right of way, and he said I only did if I had the walking man sign. I said not only was it on, but I have the right of way no matter what as a ped. He then tried to argue that it wasn't on, that he was watching for it and wouldn't have gone if it was on. I said great, now that we have no evidence that it was on you contend that point, but it's irrelevant, because the ped. ALWAYS has the right of way!

NEedless to say I started foaming and dropping F-bombs, not doing us cyclists any favors, but I couldn't help it I was so jacked. I couldn't believe the nerve! This guy almost runs into me, and has the gall to say I was wrong!

Anyways, I just needed to vent to y'all, because it was the most harrowing commuting experience I've had.

If I could do it over again I'd have called the police. I had to stop myself from reaching in his window and giing him a good throw. I think he was a bit scared because I am a big guy, a little musclebound, and he could tell I was jacked. He was just a pudgy little kid in his parents Land Rover...said he was 24 when I insulted his age.

Whew...thanks for listening.
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Old 05-21-08, 11:05 AM
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wow, things get heated pretty quick out there on the road, it just shows how tense people are when they drive or bike even
the anxiety of getting around on any busy street can certainly stir emotions quickly
glad it didn't escalate into much more than words, could have been ugly
 
Old 05-21-08, 11:10 AM
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If you were in a crosswalk, mounted on your bike, and the ped sign was no longer walk, are you SURE you had the right of way?

Curious what others think.

It could be a city vs. suburban thing, too. I know in cities with older lights, the walk sign is on if the light is green. In suburbs the light could be green but the walk could have changed to don't walk, so do you have to wait an entire cycle if the light is green but the sign says don't walk? And what are the laws about riding a bike through a crosswalk. My understanding is that a bike has to be walked through a crosswalk in order to count by pedestrian rules? Hmmm... so ambiguous.
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Old 05-21-08, 11:16 AM
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Yeah, I know the ambiguity is odd there. When I first started doing it I would scooter my bike so I could have an argument on the ped side, but I gave up.

Nontheless, the man was glowing. I know because there is a L. turn light in that direction, and I almost always false start for it...which I did yesterday. Then I settled back and waited. The man went, but it was dim, so I actually really looked, saw my direction AND the other direction were both green.

Which is my other thought...how could the little man not be glowing when I pushed the button, and both sides were going, not to mention the biker on the other side, parallel to me, who had waited through the L. turn arrows but started up as well! I looked at him because I was unsure if my dark glasses were telling me the wrong thing about the walk sign. He went, greens both ways, man looked lit up to me so I rode on!

the guy was wrong, regardless, but my ped. argument might not hold any water.

I would love to see the statistics on driver vs. biker accidents that includes the age of the drivers involved. This guy was pretty young looking and seeming. I don't think a more mature motorist would have had the same reaction, and perhaps would have admitted fault to some degree, saying "sorry that happened," at least trying to put it in the past as a learning experience. This kid was brazen about not giving a sh__ about almost running me over.
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Old 05-21-08, 06:06 PM
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If you were clipped in, you weren't a pedestrian anymore, regardless of where you were riding.
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Old 05-21-08, 09:47 PM
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Originally Posted by ItsJustMe View Post
If you were clipped in, you weren't a pedestrian anymore, regardless of where you were riding.
I'd be careful making blanket statements like that. Laws vary a LOT between states, and even between cities within a state.

In Colorado a bicycle operating on the sidewalk or in a crosswalk is treated as a pedestrian... whether walked or ridden.

In the city of Denver bikes are not allowed on the sidewalks... but, curiously enough, they ARE allowed in crosswalks... so you can legally swerve into the crosswalk to cross against a red light if the crossing signal is green, you're just not allowed to ride onto the sidewalk The reason this is allowed is that there USED to be a Colorado law that said you were required to dismount and walk your bikes through crosswalks, so there is no city ordinance prohibiting operating a bike in a crosswalk in the city of Denver (the state law was deemed enough)... In 2005 they repealed the state law that stated you were to dismount your bike in crosswalks.

Yes, I'm more than happy to use any and all laws to my advantage.
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Old 05-21-08, 10:18 PM
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Always ride like no one sees you. I encounter at least one numskull on my daily commute. I make eye contact with them, and if they're hell-bent on preceding me with their left or right turns, so be it. I make damn sure they see me at that point, and 100% of them have given me the remorseful "I'm sorry I didn't see you - I wasn't looking for cyclists" look.
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Old 05-22-08, 04:53 AM
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I try to remain calm when encountering boneheads on the road, but sometimes the stupidity of it all gets to you.

My last shouting match was with a guy who tried to use the bike lane to pass on the left at a light. I happened to be in it at the time, so that was a problem.

I tapped on his car when he got within a foot of me so he'd know I was there.

The light goes red, the guy gets out of his car & starts screaming. Eventually, I do too. Finally, I explain that he's driving in the bike lane. Which is illegal & murderous. At the end he screams "I'M SORRY!! OK!?!"

I laughed.
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Old 05-22-08, 07:27 AM
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Originally Posted by Toddorado View Post
Always ride like no one sees you. I encounter at least one numskull on my daily commute. I make eye contact with them, and if they're hell-bent on preceding me with their left or right turns, so be it. I make damn sure they see me at that point, and 100% of them have given me the remorseful "I'm sorry I didn't see you - I wasn't looking for cyclists" look.
How do you do this when you don't see the motorist? On Tuesday's ride I had
one guy try to turn into me after waiting at a light. He had a long time to
register that I was there. Weird intersection where the right most lane makes
the first right and the center lane makes the second right. Nothing on the
pavement to suggest it, just custom. I must admit I made an error being in
the right hand side of the center lane instead of the left hand side - hard to
predict if the person behind you is going straight or turning right, slightly higher
probability that they are going straight. And another driver that made a right
hook in front of me at 30 mph. Missed me by 18 inches so it wasn't really
close, but I was doing 15 at the time.

Point is I had nothing to indicate to me they were turning right. A mirror
on my part might help, but I doubt either signaled because both acted like
I wasn't there. Not really expecting an answer... Still don't understand why
people speed up to beat me through an intersection. Can't save them more
then a quarter of a second.
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Old 05-22-08, 07:44 AM
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Originally Posted by ItsJustMe View Post
If you were clipped in, you weren't a pedestrian anymore, regardless of where you were riding.
What if I use flat pedals?
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Old 05-22-08, 07:50 AM
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Originally Posted by climbhoser View Post
What if I use flat pedals?

...troublemaker....


Just to add my own stir stick to the pot.... What about children on bicycles in cities like this? Technically they should be on the road, not so? Yet there's not a parent around that would want to see their 6 year old on their Huffy with training wheels pedalling around on the street.
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Old 05-22-08, 08:11 AM
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Originally Posted by climbhoser View Post
What if I use flat pedals?
Originally Posted by climbhoser View Post
Well, the man turned on, I clipped in and started pedalling and just past halfway a L. turning car came rushing at me, almost hit me and layed on his horn.
But you said you clipped in.

At any rate, arguing with a motorist was you biggest mistake, but from your description, I'd say you'd be better off choosing to behave as a vehicle or as a pedestrian, instead of going back and forth as it's convenient for you. I've found that friction of distance is a lot lower if you bury your fear of traffic and just behave like a vehicle, stopping at lights, signaling, using left turn lanes when you can, etc.

There's one rather unpleasant section of my commute home that goes along a 45 mph major arterial. This road has a bike lane for ~90% of its length, but there's one section where it descends to go over a creek where the bike lane just suddenly disappears. It's tempting to get on sidewalk in this section, so as to not be in the path of cars wanting to hit 60+ going down the hill and up the other side, but what I've found is that once you're on the sidewalk, it's difficult to get back out onto the road without running a serious risk of getting hit by a driver who didn't expect a cyclist to suddenly jump out into the road .

Last edited by RazorWind; 05-22-08 at 08:15 AM.
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Old 05-22-08, 08:12 AM
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A kid with training wheels is like a brand-new student driver: they need to practice somewhere where there's no traffic until they can handle their vehicle; then and only then are they ready to join the flow of traffic.

Kids with training wheels are mostly not really going anywhere. When you see them on bike paths, they might venture a quarter mile from the trailhead, but that's about it -- then it's turn around and back to the car. They're in practice mode, is all.
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Old 05-22-08, 08:25 AM
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Was it Freeheelwilly?
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Old 05-22-08, 09:34 AM
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Originally Posted by ItsJustMe View Post
If you were clipped in, you weren't a pedestrian anymore, regardless of where you were riding.
I wish this was true (I am a big proponent of VC), but in my home state it is not. Bicycles are pedestrians... except when they are not
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Old 05-22-08, 01:19 PM
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Originally Posted by BCRider View Post
Just to add my own stir stick to the pot.... What about children on bicycles in cities like this? Technically they should be on the road, not so? Yet there's not a parent around that would want to see their 6 year old on their Huffy with training wheels pedalling around on the street.
I think there is usually a 20" wheel statement. Anything 20" or under is exempt from the sidewalk law. When I was a kid, it was an age: 12 years old, but that has since changed to a tire size. I remember seeing it in print for the City of Minneapolis, anyway, but I don't know about other cities and states.

That being said, in my old urban neighborhood, a guy rode with his daughter regularly. She was all of 6 years old, had training wheels, and they rode in the road--took the lane and all. It was great.
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