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Bicycles are not without responsibility

Road Cycling “It is by riding a bicycle that you learn the contours of a country best, since you have to sweat up the hills and coast down them. Thus you remember them as they actually are, while in a motor car only a high hill impresses you, and you have no such accurate remembrance of country you have driven through as you gain by riding a bicycle.” -- Ernest Hemingway

Bicycles are not without responsibility

Old 07-30-09, 10:34 PM
  #1  
Hummeth
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Bicycles are not without responsibility

A letter to the editor in the Milwaukee Journal Sentinel that surprised me.
I didn't know that people thought like this.
ROADS
Bicyclists are not without responsibility

The latest death of a bike rider on a rural road should serve to remind us that many roads are not adequately designed to accommodate "professional" bicyclists.

I have on many occasions seen other vehicles forced to cross the center line in front of me in order to avoid rows of spandex-clad road hogs who are seemingly oblivious to the fact that they not only are endangering their own lives but the lives of others.

Are there not plenty of legitimate bike trails or even gymnasium stationary bikes that these people could use to advance their fitness regimes? What gives these people the right to alter traffic so they may indulge their own personal agendas? Do they not share some responsibility for the untimely death of a counterpart?

Move over and consider staying off roads that were never meant for you in the first place. In this way, future tragedies can be prevented.

Terry Smith
Waukesha
http://www.jsonline.com/news/opinion/52023367.html
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Old 07-30-09, 10:39 PM
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Ignorant.
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Old 07-30-09, 10:43 PM
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Trails and stationary bikes? That's the answer?
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Old 07-30-09, 10:44 PM
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what a biotch
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Old 07-30-09, 10:44 PM
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Originally Posted by Terry Smith
Are there not plenty of legitimate bike trails or even gymnasium stationary bikes that these people could use to advance their fitness regimes?


Silly troll.
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Old 07-30-09, 10:45 PM
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Never mind. We were on the roads before the oil-burners and we'll be there when they've gone.
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Old 07-30-09, 10:46 PM
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someone from that town should send the editor a reply with the current traffic laws regarding bikes and the road so that person could begin to understand that the world does not revolve around the motor vehicle.
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Old 07-30-09, 10:47 PM
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We don't have the problem up here in Alaska. I don't have many trails in the city I live in which is a suburb of Anchorage. I ride on the road and people are always nice enough to move a little bit to not give me a heart attack. If a car is coming on both lanes, the first I am facing is usually slowing down and then move to the side. The only problems I face is the younger drivers who think it would be funny to fake out and swerve into me, that's never fun for both parties.

I have a feeling Terry Smith is one of those people who does not like fun. Not saying this as a cyclist, but as a citizen in the society. For him or her to say, why don't they go to a gym and use a stationary bike, really? As well, I am assuming he or she is a citizen of Milwaukee, she would know about bike trails and such.

People like this do give me a headache, but I do know cyclists who like to test the waters as well. So I understand both sides of this coin.
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Old 07-30-09, 10:51 PM
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american culture. me first. they are on my road, get off my road.

sick.
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Old 07-30-09, 11:18 PM
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Originally Posted by milnerpt View Post
american culture. me first. they are on my road, get off my road.

sick.
You are on my internet. Get off my internet.
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Old 07-30-09, 11:20 PM
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1. This should be in the Death and Destruction forum.

2. Of course people feel like this. Why on earth wouldn't they? Have you ever driven down a busy road and got caught behind a group of cyclists ... especially a group of cyclists who aren't riding single file? I'm sympathetic and try to pass them carefully, but they do create something of a hazard.

I blame it on the road builders (and powers-that-be behind the road builders) for not building wider roads and/or roads with decent shoulders, and would tell the guy who wrote the article to lobby for paved shoulders on the roads if he is really concerned.
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Old 07-30-09, 11:20 PM
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this just in... biking on roads is now illegal... Bikeforums.net is now stationarybikeforums.net... TERRY GIVE ME A BREAK, your ignorance amuses me.
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Old 07-30-09, 11:42 PM
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So, what he's saying is, if you ride in the road you deserve to die?
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Old 07-31-09, 12:29 AM
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Originally Posted by MONGO! View Post
So, what he's saying is, if you ride in the road you deserve to die?
Yes. Logical argument.
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Old 07-31-09, 01:13 AM
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Of course people think like this. You are going to make Timmy and Jenny 5 min late to soccer practice with your "unnecessary" use of the road, because he/she (sounds like a woman, but Terry is an androgynous name) was already running late but usually speeds to make up for that time. People act like they're in "Speed," and if they go under the speed limit their car will blow up or something.

So, write your own letters in response if you care so much. Use their own avenues to try to undo what they've done. Here's mine:

This is in response to Terry Smith's letter "Roads: Bicyclists Are Not Without Responsibility." While I wholeheartedly agree with the sentiment of the title, as any pilot of a vehicle would, the anti-cyclist bend of the piece demonstrates no more insight than the typical, ignorant attitude toward other users of the road. Smith asks, "What gives these people the right to alter traffic so they may indulge their own personal agendas?" What gives you the right to use the road, which adds to traffic and decreases efficiency, for your own personal reasons? Does it matter why one is using the public thoroughfares? Since pedestrians inconvenience you, should walking across roadways be prohibited?

It can be forcefully argued that most miles driven are not necessary for the general good of society, and are, in fact, detrimental. Ignoring the fact that it is substantially more efficient by nearly any metric, my daily commute and other travel by bicycle is of equal importance to yours. I have to go to work and the store, too; I just choose to do it all without paying for gas, auto insurance, or parking.

It is people like these who propagate hatred toward people who choose alternative lifestyles. Yes, cyclists should stop at stop signs. So should motorists. Cyclists should properly yield the right-of-way, and signal. So should motorists. In the end, we do both have responsibilities, and we both have equal rights on the roads. Motorists do not own the roads, and have the added responsibility of not killing anyone else who may be using them.

T. Adam Dawdy

Last edited by tadawdy; 07-31-09 at 01:30 AM.
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Old 07-31-09, 01:30 AM
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for some reason, I got the impression a woman wrote that too, not being sexist or anything, it just felt like that
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Old 07-31-09, 01:45 AM
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Luckily Terry Smith in Waukesha is in Waukesha where her/his opinion will never matter.
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Old 07-31-09, 01:47 AM
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It may never matter, but I see it as an attempt to further marginalize cyclists as second-class users of the road. My point is that most of her use of the road is likely recreational. Either you are going to work, or doing something for work, or you're recreational. There is no difference, then, between her and me out on the road, except she's the one driving a weapon.
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Old 07-31-09, 01:49 AM
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Better yet you can contact them directly:

edit: since it appears that the contact info is for the wrong person, I'm editing it out.
Have to wonder what athletics this guys is promoting with an attitude like that! lol
BTW this info is freely available to anyone who can google Terry Smith Waukesha and published on the Waukesha Catholic Athletic Board's website.

Last edited by Walter; 07-31-09 at 12:32 PM. Reason: removed email
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Old 07-31-09, 02:00 AM
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You can either just ignore the troll (which occasionally does write to something called a newspaper), or reflect on the sentiment.

Although what was brought up was just basically lousy arguments that doesn't show how some cyclists do not take their responsibilities reasonably, we can easily think of other, much more valid ones, that causes drivers to think of us badly.

Vancouver isn't terribly hostile to cyclists, yet anti-cyclist sentiment exists. Some of us blows through red lights. Some doesn't even slow down for stop signs. Some dart across the road, seemingly without any care for their own lives. Those are things that would piss me off when I drive, and I love my bike. I'm not exactly advocating the literal interpretation of the law either - I ride the sidewalk when clearly the road isn't narrow enough to accommodate me without either endangering myself or triggering significant road rage, and even if I was driving, if I can see that the cyclist check carefully before crossing the road, I don't care if he was fully stopped at that stop sign.

Other things drives me nuts even when I'm on a bike. Not-single file riding on shared-road / narrow bike lane. I had a lady on a bike that all of a sudden braked hard, turned left on a bike route residential road, and look behind, presumably to check on her other companions. I had to squeeze my brakes pretty hard to avoid her, and her companion chastised her actions.

The author of the letter to the editor may be a troll, but it reminds us that there are drivers who mistaken actions of few as actions of all; there are cyclists that needs better road manners; and there are drivers who just don't care for other road users and will proceed to run us over over any excuse.
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Old 07-31-09, 02:06 AM
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Originally Posted by MONGO! View Post
So, what he's saying is, if you ride in the road you deserve to die?
Since you're endangering yourself, I deserve to shoot you in the helmet.
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Old 07-31-09, 03:22 AM
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Are there not plenty of legitimate bike trails or even gymnasium stationary bikes that these people could use to advance their fitness regimes?

Well?
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Old 07-31-09, 03:23 AM
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Originally Posted by MONGO! View Post
So, what he's saying is, if you ride in the road you deserve to die?
Duh.

Ditto for motorcyclists by the way.
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Old 07-31-09, 03:24 AM
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Originally Posted by Hummeth View Post
A letter to the editor in the Milwaukee Journal Sentinel that surprised me.
I didn't know that people thought like this.

http://www.jsonline .com/news/opinion/52023367.html
here's another surprise. http://www.bikeforums.net/forumdisplay.php?f=8
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Old 07-31-09, 03:25 AM
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botto, the new BF Chaperone.
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