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From the sidewalk

Old 05-11-04, 02:47 PM
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From the sidewalk

Ok, I've had drivers yell at me in the past, telling me that I don't have a right to be on the road and that the bike path is two blocks over. This I expect.

Of course, they're wrong (at least in Wisconsin). I'm a vehicle.

Last night, on the way home (in mid-bonk, mind you, since I was so busy at work that I forgot to eat anything after 11am), I got the same thing from some jerk who was on the sidewalk. Now, there's no way that I could have been impeding his motion or anything like that, since we were in the middle of the block and I was riding about 3m away from him. Told me exactly the same thing though: that I didn't belong on the road and that the bike path was over there.

Normally, when this sort of thing happens to me, I reply in a reasonable, if terse manner. Turns out that the bonk also destroys the profanity filter. After that, he invited me back to say that to his face. The bonk also destroys one's good sense, so I turned at the next corner and went back. His response was predictable. He ran off.

I still find this strange. I've just never been hassled by a pedestrian before.
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Old 05-11-04, 02:56 PM
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I admit, i've been hassled by pedestrians for being on the sidewalk.
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Old 05-11-04, 05:07 PM
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The guy's pickup truck must have run out of gas back a few blocks.
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Old 05-11-04, 09:14 PM
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I've had it happen once or twice, although not nearly as often as I get this crap from drivers. There was one guy in Broadbeach last year who tried to make out that he was doing it for "my safety". I have to admit, I didn't hang around long enough to hear his entire lecture. Unfortunately, cycling is an activity that tends to upset morons like this. It's best to treat them with the contempt they deserve.

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Old 05-11-04, 09:23 PM
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Originally Posted by svwagner
Ok, I've had drivers yell at me in the past, telling me that I don't have a right to be on the road and that the bike path is two blocks over. This I expect.

Last night...I got the same thing from some jerk who was on the sidewalk.
The ignorance of some people astound me.
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Old 05-12-04, 12:14 AM
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I got yelled at on a bike path last sunday, I was signalling and in the left lane as I was getting ready to turn. I had judged both my and the oncoming cyclists speed and determined that our paths would collide if I turned without slowing down. I instead used my signal and moved over to the left lane, (btw the trail is over 10' wide paved). As he passed me he makes some remark something like "Stay to the Right" , this was while I had my arm up signaling too. So I got pissed and yelled to him..

"Why did you think I was signalling, you g#dd@mn self righeteous b@sstard" I also shouted some profanity in Spanish, (something about working around the language everyday, I just spout it out without thinking).

I mean maybe this sunday rider was right, I should have been in the right lane, I was also looking out for the people who I had just passed though. I knew if I had slowed down enough to let this guy go by b4 I turned, they would be right up on me, quite the clusterf*ck.

Whatever, it was probably my fault though, I tend to be a little aggressive and defensive while on my commute.
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Old 05-12-04, 08:23 AM
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I've had bicyclists who are on the sidewalk yell at me when I am on the road, telling me to get off the road and join them on the sidewalk. Must have been thinking they were looking out for my safety, but tells you how ingrained the sidewalk riding mentality is in so many people. I'm not totally against it mind you, in certain circumstances, but an all out and out ignorance of bicycling on the road rights and rules is disturbing.
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Old 05-12-04, 08:41 AM
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Originally Posted by franklen
I've had bicyclists who are on the sidewalk yell at me when I am on the road, telling me to get off the road and join them on the sidewalk. Must have been thinking they were looking out for my safety, but tells you how ingrained the sidewalk riding mentality is in so many people. I'm not totally against it mind you, in certain circumstances, but an all out and out ignorance of bicycling on the road rights and rules is disturbing.
This along with people riding down the wrong side of the road makes you a little frustrated. I wish there could be a media blitz on the "rules of the road for bicyclists". Ahem... we know it's not going to happen but it's a nice fantasy.
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Old 05-12-04, 09:46 AM
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It's a great idea, IMO. Make a series of 15- and 30-second educational spots on vehicular cycling for TV and radio and buy commercial time for 'em in prime time (maybe start in the early news hour, ad time is probably slightly cheaper). Any advocacy orgs have this kind o' dinero?
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Old 05-12-04, 09:49 AM
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Clear Channel could do it. That would be right up their alley, since they are now going to be advocating bicycle safety instead of running us off the road.
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Old 05-12-04, 09:57 AM
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I can almost understand the allure of the sidewalk. I think small children should probably use it, and I guess the practice continues into adulthood for some folks because they are not motivated to make the transition - fear, perhaps.

But, I'm am both amazed and perplexed why so many people think riding against the traffic flow is appropriate. I've had people at work explain to me how they "used to ride" and then go into detail about their problems dealing with oncoming traffic. . . because they were riding on the wrong side.

I've known to ride with traffic since I was a kid! If I recall, I was taught this repeatedly in the grade school I attended. Where were these people?
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Old 05-12-04, 11:42 AM
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Originally Posted by svwagner
I didn't belong on the road and that the bike path was over there.
Answer (when heard from someone in a car): "The Interstate is (point appropriately) right over there."

BTW, where in WI?
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Old 05-12-04, 01:49 PM
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Originally Posted by LittleBigMan
The ignorance of some people astound me.
How's this for astounding ignorance.

In Saskatchewan, the Saskatchewan Safety Council passed a resolution calling for helmet legislation in the province. Public health professionals and staff/volunteers of various injury control organizations (Saskatchewan Institute on Prevention of Handicaps, Aquired Brain Injury association and a few others) are lobbying vigorously to institute a helmet law there.

The day before the safety council AGM, CBC radio had a phone in on helmet legislation. One caller, a local driving instructor, called in to complain about cyclists who don't know their place, "acting like cars instead of bicycles", "aggressive" cyclists who "ride down the middle of the lane instead of getting out of the way" and there's "actually an organization that promotes this kind of (bad behaviour), teaching people that they can ride bikes in the street" .
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Old 05-12-04, 02:35 PM
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Originally Posted by closetbiker
How's this for astounding ignorance.

In Saskatchewan, the Saskatchewan Safety Council passed a resolution calling for helmet legislation in the province. Public health professionals and staff/volunteers of various injury control organizations (Saskatchewan Institute on Prevention of Handicaps, Aquired Brain Injury association and a few others) are lobbying vigorously to institute a helmet law there.

The day before the safety council AGM, CBC radio had a phone in on helmet legislation. One caller, a local driving instructor, called in to complain about cyclists who don't know their place, "acting like cars instead of bicycles", "aggressive" cyclists who "ride down the middle of the lane instead of getting out of the way" and there's "actually an organization that promotes this kind of (bad behaviour), teaching people that they can ride bikes in the street" .
WHOA!!! That's scary, and he is a driving instructor?!?
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Old 05-12-04, 02:39 PM
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Just goes to show the level of understanding some have.

I wonder how many on the safety commitee share a similar level of ignorance?
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Old 05-12-04, 02:50 PM
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A couple of years ago I had a similar encounter with a boy aged maybe 13 or 14.

I was having a bad day to begin with. As I rode through town, approaching an intersection, this kid on the sidewalk yelled, "You're not supposed to ride in the street...." I could have ignored that, but he had to add profanity to his stupidity. "Dumbass."

I cleared the intersection, jumped up on the curb and wheeled around to face him. Leaning on the handlebars, fully intending only to correct his ignorance and perhaps instruct him on the benefits of being polite to one's elders, I said, "Do you want to discuss this?"

He backed up about three steps, stuttered, "N-n-n-no" then turned on his heel and ran.

I continued my ride in a much cheerier mood.

The idea of a national media advocacy campaign is a good one.
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Old 05-12-04, 03:25 PM
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Originally Posted by madpogue
Answer (when heard from someone in a car): "The Interstate is (point appropriately) right over there."

BTW, where in WI?
Madison, same as you.

This happened on Willy St., started in front of the co-op, ended when the bozo took off between the co-op and the fire station.
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Old 05-12-04, 03:29 PM
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Originally Posted by franklen
I've had bicyclists who are on the sidewalk yell at me when I am on the road, telling me to get off the road and join them on the sidewalk. Must have been thinking they were looking out for my safety, but tells you how ingrained the sidewalk riding mentality is in so many people. I'm not totally against it mind you, in certain circumstances, but an all out and out ignorance of bicycling on the road rights and rules is disturbing.
Now, if there's something that I don't like, it's a bicycle on the sidewalk, unless the rider is under 10 years old, or thereabouts.

Sidewalks are for pedestrians, strollers, little red wagons, kids with training wheels, and perhaps kids up to 10 years old in heavy traffic areas.
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Old 05-12-04, 04:51 PM
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Originally Posted by closetbiker
How's this for astounding ignorance.

In Saskatchewan, the Saskatchewan Safety Council passed a resolution calling for helmet legislation in the province. Public health professionals and staff/volunteers of various injury control organizations (Saskatchewan Institute on Prevention of Handicaps, Aquired Brain Injury association and a few others) are lobbying vigorously to institute a helmet law there.

The day before the safety council AGM, CBC radio had a phone in on helmet legislation. One caller, a local driving instructor, called in to complain about cyclists who don't know their place, "acting like cars instead of bicycles", "aggressive" cyclists who "ride down the middle of the lane instead of getting out of the way" and there's "actually an organization that promotes this kind of (bad behaviour), teaching people that they can ride bikes in the street" .
Ignorance? That's grounds for dismissal.
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Old 05-12-04, 05:09 PM
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Originally Posted by svwagner
Madison, same as you.

This happened on Willy St., started in front of the co-op, ended when the bozo took off between the co-op and the fire station.
I've gotten this from people in cars on "Willy" St. (Williamson parallels a popular "bike" [read: stroller, rollerblade, kids w/RC cars] path), pointing over and saying "Bike path is right over there." I've actually gotten to use the "Interstate is right over there" reply. Or I'll say, "E. Wash is a US Highway, right over (point) there." (E. Wash parallels Willy).

I actually got a similar reply to an Email I sent out promoting Bike to Work Week two years ago. A County employee wrote back a screed about how bicycles never give cars enough room, and why do they have the audacity to ride on Willy St. when the bike path is one block away, yada-yada-yada. I sent back a friendly, reasoned, but detailed and utterly rebutting reply, and invited her to contact the Bike Federation if she had more questions, etc. Of course, the only other communication from her was a similarly misguided tirade following last year's Email. [Insert "scratching head" smiley here]

BTW, next time you're near the co-op as you're bonking, stop in and grab a Clif bar, or an og banana. Food good; bonk bad! Still, wish I were around to see the exchange...
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Old 05-12-04, 06:11 PM
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Originally Posted by madpogue
Ignorance? That's grounds for dismissal.
I am in contact with someone involved in this issue, and further to my question as to what the level of understanding the safety council has, those Public health professionals and staff/volunteers of various injury control organizations are relentless in their pursuit of politicians and publicity for their cause. They are not above reciting discredited (or non-existent) studies and name-calling. However, they have not made much progress in converting traffic and enforcement professionals. These folks ask hard questions, for which the legislation promoters cannot provide answers. Since any legislation will require changing traffic laws, it is vital that the traffic professional be "on side", unless a majority of politicians can be convinced that it will make them look good.

The resolution calling for helmet legislation was proposed by the council's home and community division, which presented it for a vote at the meeting. The H&C division had asked the traffic division to endorse the resolution before the AGM, but traffic division members found the resolution hastily prepared and poorly researched. They declined the request. The composition of the membership at the AGM allowed the resolution to pass, anyway.

So, the safety council allowed a poorly researched and hastily prepared proposal against the advice of their own members who specialize in the area of proposal.

Let me say it again, what astounding ignorance about bicycles and their place.
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Old 05-12-04, 09:17 PM
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Originally Posted by closetbiker
Let me say it again, what astounding ignorance about bicycles and their place.
Sadly, it's not so uncommon. I've lost count of the number of times I've had driving "instructors" yelling at me to "get off the f**king road" or variations of such as they go past. I've even seen them encouraging their "pupils" to shout abuse. As I said, not unusual, or even uncommon in this part of the world.
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Old 05-12-04, 09:26 PM
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Originally Posted by nualle
It's a great idea, IMO. Make a series of 15- and 30-second educational spots on vehicular cycling for TV and radio and buy commercial time for 'em in prime time (maybe start in the early news hour, ad time is probably slightly cheaper). Any advocacy orgs have this kind o' dinero?
This was tried here in Queensland a few years back with a "share the road" TV ad campaign (and on the radio too if I remember correctly). It wasn't really all that effective, and it certainly didn't modify anyone's behaviour. Cyclists still routinely cop abuse from redneck yobbos for daring to ride on "their" roads, and this isn't going to change with a few TV ads with attitudes around here being stuck in 1954. To mount a TV ad campaign that might work would be ridiculously expensive.

As far as I'm concerned, about the only thing likely to work is law enforcement. We already have laws telling people not to shout obscentities in public, and we already have laws telling people to allow adequate clearance to cyclists (or any other vehicles) when passing. All we really need is behavioural modification, or removal, of those who fail to comply. As I've said so many times in the past, people don't have to enjoy complying with the laws. They don't even need to understand why, they just have to do it.
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Old 05-12-04, 10:53 PM
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Originally Posted by closetbiker
How's this for astounding ignorance.

In Saskatchewan, the Saskatchewan Safety Council passed a resolution calling for helmet legislation in the province. Public health professionals and staff/volunteers of various injury control organizations (Saskatchewan Institute on Prevention of Handicaps, Aquired Brain Injury association and a few others) are lobbying vigorously to institute a helmet law there.
The first people who should be wearing helmets are motorists.
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Old 05-13-04, 06:33 AM
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Originally Posted by madpogue
I've gotten this from people in cars on "Willy" St. (Williamson parallels a popular "bike" [read: stroller, rollerblade, kids w/RC cars] path), pointing over and saying "Bike path is right over there." I've actually gotten to use the "Interstate is right over there" reply. Or I'll say, "E. Wash is a US Highway, right over (point) there." (E. Wash parallels Willy).

I actually got a similar reply to an Email I sent out promoting Bike to Work Week two years ago. A County employee wrote back a screed about how bicycles never give cars enough room, and why do they have the audacity to ride on Willy St. when the bike path is one block away, yada-yada-yada. I sent back a friendly, reasoned, but detailed and utterly rebutting reply, and invited her to contact the Bike Federation if she had more questions, etc. Of course, the only other communication from her was a similarly misguided tirade following last year's Email. [Insert "scratching head" smiley here]

BTW, next time you're near the co-op as you're bonking, stop in and grab a Clif bar, or an og banana. Food good; bonk bad! Still, wish I were around to see the exchange...
I hear ya on the ignorance at work. I work on the west side, at a software company that shall remain nameless that has employees scattered over a several square mile area in owned and rental office space. We were encouraged to drive between buildings instead of cycling or walking. The buildings at the two ends of the area might require a drive if the weather's bad and you don't have any extra time, but all of the rest of them are right close together. Maximum 10 minute walk, maximum 5 minute ride. No one here wears a suit, so that's no excuse.

As for the food, I would have stopped in, except that I also left my wallet at work. No money...no food. Besides, I don't ride with a lock on the commute, and I'm not leaving my commuter rig outside even the co-op (sometimes, especially the co-op) without protection.

People, even in Madison, seem to have a misguided notion of what the "bike paths" are for. First, they're not really bike paths, but multi-use paths. As long as your not motorized, you should use them. No one should be required to use them. And, it would help if the stroller-moms didn't walk three-abreast and if the dog-walkers didn't let their hounds rove about on 20 foot retractable leads (I've got two dogs, and I don't let them nearly take down cyclists...).

I tend to stay off the paths, except for a couple of shorter stretches that allow me to avoid the worst of the traffic on Atwood around Olbrich and past the convention center (watching out for the fisherman on the seawall--I've seen someone get hooked on a backcast and it's not something I want to experience myself), when the snows no longer on the ground. Especially after it gets warm, when all the swarms of rollerbladers, dog-walkers, stroller-pushers, and whatnot start to clog the path. After all, I've got a 12.5 mile ride (one way), and I don't need to waste time dodging these moving obstacles, nor do I need to increase the possibility that I'm going to get taken out by a dog or a wobbly rollerblader. Cars are more predictable.
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