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I Finally Got Yelled At

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I Finally Got Yelled At

Old 07-31-12, 01:15 PM
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I Finally Got Yelled At

I was toodling along on my normal route and some guy in a truck was passing me and he yelled something about getting to the right. In his defense I was in the middle lane but...there is a reason. The far right lane dumps to a freeway on ramp and I am about to crest a hill. I move to the middle lane for 2 reasons. There is a sign that says "Through Traffic Merge Left" which I had done and I always move to the middle lane BEFORE cresting the hill so folks a mile back can see that a cyclist is in that lane so they don't try to power through it and kill me. If I were to wait until the hill crested then I would be where they don't expect and I don't like that.

I got to work and told the story to a coworker. She said, "Well why were you on the street? Aren't you supposed to be in a bike lane? And you can't be on the sidewalk because that is illegal." I was flabbergasted. I have been riding consistently since March and she just now realizes that I don't use a bike lane on every street? I asked her, "How do you think I get down the street? There is no bike lane even close to us and per your own admission sidewalks are illegal here." She just thought for a second as I giggled. We then got into a discussion about how it drives her nuts to see a cyclist in the left lane. I was even more appalled but tried to explain the situation to her.

The driving public has no clue for the most part what rights a cyclist has on the road. The truck that was yelling at me was a work truck and I got it on camera. I am thinking of calling the employer just to ask him to educate his drivers with regards to bikes in the street. I'll do my best to explain it to my coworkers here I guess. lol
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Old 07-31-12, 01:19 PM
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Just the other day this guy in a pickup truck slows down to yell "ride your damn bike on the sidewalk!"
So I yelled back with a smile: "NO! Drive your damn truck on the sidewalk!"

I was on a street in my subdivision, not on any main roads. There's plenty of room to pass...
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Old 07-31-12, 01:21 PM
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Originally Posted by PedalingFool
Just the other day this guy in a pickup truck slows down to yell "ride your damn bike on the sidewalk!"
So I yelled back with a smile: "NO! Drive your damn truck on the sidewalk!"

I was on a street in my subdivision, not on any main roads. There's plenty of room to pass...
Ya there is a whole other lane for him to pass. I forgot to add that after he passed me he proceeded to make a left into a housing complex. I wasn't even in his way. He just felt like yelling at me.
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Old 07-31-12, 01:27 PM
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I hear "Get on the sidewalk!" about once a year.
One variation of that was a calm "You should be in the bike lane" through a rolled down window after I merged into the straight through lane approaching an intersection where the bike lane goes to the right of the right turn lane.
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Old 07-31-12, 01:37 PM
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SideWALK. If you are walking your bike, get on the sidewalk.
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Old 07-31-12, 01:42 PM
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I've only been told to ride on the sidewalk by little old ladies who say things like "It's not safe on those roads, dear!" I'm guessing the kind of person who yells at a cyclist like that doesn't know what the rules are, doesn't care what the rules are, and is probably just as aggressive when faced with pedestrians and other drivers. I did get yelled at once, but it was my first time trying a new route I really hadn't scoped out properly in advance, and I absolutely deserved the ire I got, as I'd wandered onto a street without enough room and had to just stick it out in the right lane, slowing traffic, until I could turn and regroup.
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Old 07-31-12, 01:59 PM
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Well, I'd rather have been yelled at this morning than hit.
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Old 07-31-12, 02:01 PM
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Originally Posted by mcrow
Well, I'd rather have been yelled at this morning than hit.
True!!
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Old 07-31-12, 02:01 PM
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I don't like to ride on sidewalks...
For some reason people like to walk on them and keep getting in my way.
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Old 07-31-12, 02:02 PM
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Originally Posted by alan s
SideWALK. If you are walking your bike, get on the sidewalk.
I only walk by bike at two spots on my ride. When I take it to the curb to leave and when I get to my destination. I am on the road 99% of the time otherwise.
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Old 07-31-12, 02:13 PM
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Originally Posted by PedalingFool
I don't like to ride on sidewalks...
For some reason people like to walk on them and keep getting in my way.
Here in the Twin Cities it is actually illegal to ride on sidewalks in any area where there are businesses. So that's another factor.
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Old 07-31-12, 05:01 PM
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Maybe you're just not in a very bike-friendly area.

Corvallis here seems pretty decent to riders. There are bike lanes and bike racks all over the place, and I mainly stick to them, but when necessary I'll use the other lanes. I've not been yelled at so far. The other day I was waiting at a red light in the left turn lane, because I wanted to make a left turn, and a couple of girls on the corner trying to sell car washing asked me to come back with my car. I told 'em the Giant is my car, and they said okay, come over here and we'll wash that.
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Old 07-31-12, 05:12 PM
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Originally Posted by ckaspar
...I was in the middle lane but...there is a reason. The far right lane dumps to a freeway on ramp...
I do the same. Near my work, there is a 3-lane road. Lane #1 puts you on the Northbound freeway. Lane #2 goes straight. Lane #3 goes straight, but ~99% of the vehicles in this lane take the southbound freeway on-ramp. When I approach (during rush-hour after work), I get in the #2 lane, which will shortly become the #1 lane, allowing people to pass on my left and right in order to access the freeway. I haven't yet been yelled at here, but that's probably because only about 5% of the traffic goes straight, which leads to downtown
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Old 07-31-12, 10:41 PM
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Originally Posted by jbiddenback
Maybe you're just not in a very bike-friendly area.

Corvallis here seems pretty decent to riders. There are bike lanes and bike racks all over the place, and I mainly stick to them, but when necessary I'll use the other lanes. I've not been yelled at so far. The other day I was waiting at a red light in the left turn lane, because I wanted to make a left turn, and a couple of girls on the corner trying to sell car washing asked me to come back with my car. I told 'em the Giant is my car, and they said okay, come over here and we'll wash that.
Seems like those girls might have liked you!
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Old 08-01-12, 06:29 AM
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Originally Posted by ckaspar
The driving public has no clue for the most part what rights a cyclist has on the road.
Nor do they care about those rights.

You pretty much just summed up all the troubles a cyclist goes through on the road.

Try explaining why a cyclist has the right of way if he is in a bike lane going straight at a stop light and there is a car wanting to turn right that arrived before the bike. This one gets people so mad. : P I have a few friends who don't understand it and think I'm crazy/an %&@*hole for riding on the road. I just tell them if they see me don't hit me.
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Old 08-01-12, 06:47 AM
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Originally Posted by juggleaddict
Try explaining why a cyclist has the right of way if he is in a bike lane going straight at a stop light and there is a car wanting to turn right that arrived before the bike. This one gets people so mad. : P I have a few friends who don't understand it and think I'm crazy/an %&@*hole for riding on the road. I just tell them if they see me don't hit me.
If they want to turn right and there's a bike lane to the right, they should merge (safely) into the bike lane before turning. I believe that's the law in California, possibly elsewhere, and makes sense everywhere. It's about the best way I can think of to avoid right hooks.
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Old 08-01-12, 10:08 AM
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Originally Posted by PedalingFool
I was on a street in my subdivision, not on any main roads. There's plenty of room to pass...
Originally Posted by workablekitchen
I did get yelled at once, but it was my first time trying a new route I really hadn't scoped out properly in advance, and I absolutely deserved the ire I got, as I'd wandered onto a street without enough room and had to just stick it out in the right lane, slowing traffic, until I could turn and regroup.
Isn't it funny how as cyclists we often feel compelled to justify our mere presence on the road to those driving a motor vehicle? It has rightfully been described as America's Taboo against Bicycle Driving

We are allowed on main roads, and even the use of full lanes when they are not wide enough to safely share. There also is no prohibition on causing other traffic to slow down provided you are following the law. (The actual laws, not the ones motorists make up)

If they yell at you it only shows their ignorance of the rules of the road. It also proves that they can see you, and are most unlikely to actually hit you.
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Old 08-01-12, 10:41 AM
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Originally Posted by AlmostTrick
There also is no prohibition on causing other traffic to slow down provided you are following the law. (The actual laws, not the ones motorists make up) If they yell at you it only shows their ignorance of the rules of the road.
Well said, and very true. I should also have added that if I'd checked ahead of time I would've realized not only the bad conditions of the street I was on relative to cars, but also to the paving, which was awful. I agree it's no good to over-apologize and cow-tow to motor vehicle traffic, but in this instance I wasn't doing them, nor myself, any favors. A nervous newbie on a road bike trying not to tip over through a pot hole minefield on a street with narrow lanes filled with the beginnings of evening rush hour--nobody was in a good position. I was glad to be out of it, and figure out how to avoid repeating the mistake in future, especially since that involved just riding a couple of blocks over, on a street with designated bike-sharing, fewer cars, and much more scenic landscape. It took me that ride to figure out I was still thinking like a car driver, and riding the same route I'd have taken in the car, which truly was ignorant on my part. True enough they could've been more patient, polite, and cautious--I also could've done some more homework before setting out.
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Old 08-01-12, 11:14 AM
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If it was a work truck, I'd DEFINITELY complain to the company that owns it.

Originally Posted by AlmostTrick
We are allowed on main roads, and even the use of full lanes when they are not wide enough to safely share. There also is no prohibition on causing other traffic to slow down provided you are following the law. (The actual laws, not the ones motorists make up)
.
Confused by phrasing...

Most states have laws regarding bicyclists inhibiting the flow of traffic, some allow it, some don't.

Most bicyclists don't know the bike laws for **** either. It's against the law in most states to ride on a sidewalk if the road has a marked bike lane, yet I see it almost everyday, on a road with one of the better bike lanes I've ever ridden.
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Old 08-01-12, 11:18 AM
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Originally Posted by SteamingAlong
If it was a work truck, I'd DEFINITELY complain to the company that owns it.



Confused by phrasing...

Most states have laws regarding bicyclists inhibiting the flow of traffic, some allow it, some don't.
...
I don't think this is true. Many states have laws that require vehicles to travel at a reasonable speed, but that is considered reasonable for the vehicle in question, not everyone else's vehicle.
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Old 08-01-12, 11:29 AM
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if there is a constant flow of traffic on a street then a cyclist can't really do much about slowing down other traffic other than just proceed normally. If I could pull over and let people pass, I will do so, but that is very rarely the case. YMMV given local traffic conditions. In most cases, just coming to a stop will slow down other traffic more than if I just keep going. I am not obnoxious enough to demonstrate this fact to some of the motorists that want me out of their way.
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Old 08-01-12, 11:46 AM
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There was a whole other lane for any motorist to use to pass me. The yelling driver was using that lane when he drove by me to yell at me to "(inaudible)...to the right" as he waved his hand across the passenger seat. As far as I know I was totally legal and the people I have explained the situation to had all understood, excluding the first employee I told.
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Old 08-01-12, 11:52 AM
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Originally Posted by unterhausen
if there is a constant flow of traffic on a street then a cyclist can't really do much about slowing down other traffic other than just proceed normally. If I could pull over and let people pass, I will do so, but that is very rarely the case. YMMV given local traffic conditions. In most cases, just coming to a stop will slow down other traffic more than if I just keep going. I am not obnoxious enough to demonstrate this fact to some of the motorists that want me out of their way.
Yea sometimes you can pull over and let people by, but it doesn't work well very often. Worthwhile when it does, though. Spreads good cheer and all that.
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Old 08-01-12, 11:55 AM
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Originally Posted by Commodus
Yea sometimes you can pull over and let people by, but it doesn't work well very often. Worthwhile when it does, though. Spreads good cheer and all that.
I would envision the problem being that now you might have to try to merge back into traffic from a dead stop. If there is a break in the traffic from a previous light then great. If the traffic flows pretty consistent then there is not a lot you can do with regards to not being in someone's way. There are two spots on my route that I will sometimes wait in the back for the traffic to go through then I have a full street all to myself. Most of the time though I just ride with the traffic. There is plenty of room on the road for people to pass me on the left.
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Old 08-01-12, 12:00 PM
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I wonder at the sizes of riders that have been treated poorly. Being well into super clydesdale size range, I will kill a car as surely as any white-tailed or non-trophy mule deer if it hits me at significant speed; unlike a deer I might get up with a grudge and a weapon. That idea may have some influence on motor vehicle drivers' interactions, but I don't know.

What about you folks?

Anyone heard of any studies or coincidental findings of correlation (or lack thereof) between rider size and motorist behavior toward the rider?
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