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Bikes CAN be annoying (from a drivers perspective)(21 posts)

Bikes CAN be annoying (from a drivers perspective)Jz
May 10, 2001 5:05 AM
I know I am gonna take some heat for this, but as a person who commutes in a car everyday I do find some of the bikes on the road kind of annoying. Let me explain: first off, I have a mtb and a roadbike, and of course I ride on the road a great deal of the time. I do my best to stay as far over as possible, but you have to mix it up with traffic from time to time. This is fine, and usually the roadbike guys seem to be pretty much in control. What I don't like is the large group of people, usually riding cheap mtb's, weaving in and out, going from the sidewalk into the street and back to the sidewalk, etc. A lot of these people are unpredictable, and as a driver, you find yourself watching out for the bike more than the other traffic. I don't care how much money you have invested in safety equipment, lights, reflectors and the like...some people simply don't have the skill to be riding on the road with traffic. Roadies tend to be light years ahead of your 'average bike rider' in terms of control and awareness (on the bike of course), but we make up a fairly small percentage of the people who are actually out on the roads. I don't really know what point I am trying to make with this post, it is just that sometimes I feel that some of the people on this board go a little over the edge with the anti automobile slogan. Cars are still the majority on the road, and in fact, they are why the roads exist (paved anyhow). From what I see everyday, it is no wonder cyclists get no respect from drivers. Any thoughts?
re: Bikes CAN be annoying (from a drivers perspective)Jz
May 10, 2001 5:07 AM
Sorry for the double post. Forgot the 's' on bikes. Heh...
CorrectDriver/Rider
May 10, 2001 5:14 AM
you are right - there are a lot of terrible riders foolin' around out there. But, there are also a lot of really bad/incompetent/impatient/nasty/twisted/bikehating drivers out there, and a lot more of them than bikes. Think we know who does more damage though...
Roadbiker issues ...Bosephus
May 10, 2001 5:17 AM
I agree ...

My other gripe is with big group rides and the mentality that some of these groups tend to get. There was a group ride I used to pass once a week on way home from work when I was living in ATL. These guys used to ride 3, 4, and even 5 abreast usually 6 or 7 rows deep at 5:30 pm. They took up the entire lane on a two lane road that is a major thorough fare for rush hour traffic. They would back traffic up for about a half mile going 20 mph and really piss off a lot of drivers. I'm a roadbiker and it pissed me off. These guys were really giving us a bad rap with drivers. I don't know if this group ride is still going on, but that kind of riding attitude is only going to cause us headaches.
nopeBosephus
May 10, 2001 6:55 AM
No this was just a weekly ride thing. Every Wednesday night I think (I can't remember which day it was) once a week for about 6 months I these guys were out there. Sometimes the group was pretty small... sometimes it was ridiculous.
That Wednesday rideRuss
May 12, 2001 9:14 PM
The ride was probably on Wed. from Peachtree Battle. Got so big that the local bike club stopped sponsoring and advertising it. Some of the problem is caused by the ride going in the same direction as some 2 lane, rush hour short-cuts, and because the lead group doesn't ride 2 abreast all the time.
The oldest intown Tuesday ride in Atlanta is pretty big at times too. But, there's much less of a problem because it goes against the grain of rush hour traffic till the halfway point. By then, it is almost 7:00 p.m., and the lead group has thinned out a bit, and the traffic has as well.
MJ: only 6 more daysKrustofski
May 10, 2001 8:14 AM
to see your anti-American hero & mentor...Timothy McVeigh. Have you talked to him recently?
Is it MJ or YOU?confusion
May 10, 2001 10:06 AM
MJ may not see eye to eye with you but he general explain his rationale in a sensable and educated manner. At no point have I heard him make rude prejudice unsubstantiated comments ... much like yours. So, when you look at it closely...maybe your the friend of McVeigh and not him? You and Tim appear to share the same intollarable attitude for someone with a different opinion.
Gotta love this board...Jz
May 10, 2001 5:25 AM
I post a message at 4:00am PST (I have problems sleeping from time to time) and within 10 minutes I have 4 replies :> I realize not everyone is in my timezone, but the response time of this board is always amazing.
re: Bikes CAN be annoying (from a drivers perspective)seth1
May 10, 2001 6:23 AM
I'm overly grateful that I do not drive a car, nor do I own one (haven't done either in over a year). But in my history of driving I've found that most of the motorist frustration and rage (including mine) comes excusively from them selves and other motorists. Being inside of a motor-vehicle is a very isolating and distorting environment. We tend to forget that 23 mph is quite fast for a human being to be traveling .... and then we get upset when we aren't able to excercise our God-given right to exceed the speed limit by 15 mph. When inside of an automobile, we tend to adopt an egocentric view of the universe of "I'm right, you're wrong." not realizing that other forms of transportation have equal rights to the use of roadways; and considering how much death and destruction motorists and their vehicles do on and to the roadways, maybe other forms of transportation have more of a right to the road. I do agree that inapropriate riding behavior does not engender good motorist-cyclist relations.
But in the end nothing will ever change. In this age of I, ME and MINE and NOBODY ELSE, arrogance and intolerance and inacceptance is only going to increase.
Sorry, that's just how I feel.
true dat ... (nm)Bosephus
May 10, 2001 7:01 AM
word
re: Bikes CAN be annoying (from a drivers perspective)Wayne
May 10, 2001 7:43 AM
OF course they can, you should live in a college town, if 10% of bike riders follow the traffic laws I would be surprised. I commute to and from work/school everyday, and when I see bike riders doing stupid things (usually not interfering with traffic/pedestrians, but often enough they are), I know drivers just lump me in with all the other "fools" on bikes. The issue of big group rides is also a problem, I've noticed that the bigger the ride, the more the traffic laws get disregarded. That said I also do rides that stick to two abreast, rolling paceline, or are small enough to condense against the white line and let traffic pass (i.e. they behave with consideration for the other vehicles on the road). I've got no sympathy for some driver who's about to have a coronary b/c he has to wait 10 seconds to pass a group, nor to I have sympathy for a group that's taking up the whole road and interfering with the flow of traffic excessively. They deserve a good horn blowing as the vehicles finally get by. Think about it, wouldn't you be pissed if some farmer decides at 5pm thats when he's going to take his tractor on a heavily travelled two-lane road, and backs traffic up for miles. All that said, there are enough idiots behind the wheels of cars to make riding interesting. At least once a week I get pissed at some driver for doing something stupid and endangering me. The favorite seems to be, to accelerate rapidly pass me, then brake hard while moving to the far right of the road to make a right hand turn just in front of me as I have to brake to come to a near stop. It's really impossible to generalize, there are dangerous/unthoughtful drivers and less dangerous but equally unthoughtful riders. BTW, we average probably about 1-2 cycling fatalities a year in the area and it probably comes down to about 50/50 being the cyclist vs. the drivers fault.
Part of the problem,mike mcmahon
May 10, 2001 9:05 AM
as I see it is that drivers frequently don't understand why cyclists do certain things on the road, in large part because most folks haven't been on a bike since they got their drivers' licenses. For example, about 20 minutes ago, I was stopped at a red light at a busy intersection, intending to go straight throught the intersection. I stopped directly in the middle of the lane becuase the signal sensors were located there. Shortly after I stopped a car pulled up directly behind me. Now, I could tell that the guy in the car behind me was irritated that I had stopped right in the location where he wanted to stop. I'm sure in his mind, I should have been next to the curb so that he could speed away from the intersection once the light turned green. On the other hand, most cyclists also driver cars, so we have a very good understanding about the trials and tribulations of motorized travel. Just my 2% of $1.00.
re: Bikes CAN be annoying (from a drivers perspective)rollo tommassi
May 10, 2001 9:09 AM
You are right generally, and with the current gas prices as they are, more and more people are taking to the streets on everything but a car. The same ill-mannered drivers are now loose on bikes! Truly the likelihood of completely unsafe bikes (worn brake cables/pads, misaligned wheels, bald tires, etc) coming out of the shed is quite high, so not only the operators are dangerous!

Some of the problem is that a bike (in the US, at least) is viewed as a toy and not something to either be taken seriously or respected. The US car culture has created a myth to kids as they grow up that you are a "child" because you aren't old enough to drive a car.

I can't agree when you say that cars are the "reason roads exist". The Appian Way was used by elephants! To go off on a total tangent, official "roads" like those created by the Romans or even the Nazis were more about conquest and colonization than anything else. "Roads", in a less 'developed' civilisation, are seen as a way of connecting a community (or, the LACK of paths or roads act as a defensive tactice for others) for trade and mutual support. A project like the Appian Way was for trade, yes, but not so much mutual support - it was a means of expanding the Empire. Conversely the Great Wall of China (kind of a road, too) is a means of preserving the Empire and the community within it.

Historically speaking roads are viewed by the 'natives' as aggressive encroachment; in America, cordwood roads were negotiated in treaties with the Indians, but were consistently expanded beyond that which was agreed to (implications for mtn bikers here - when agreeing to create a single While encroachment by the Whites could be curtailed on waterways (Iroquois were quite good dam builders!), roads increased the number of entry points for settlers, instead of being restricted to rivers. This was not as much an issue on the open plains, but in New England and the Ohio Territories, the race to build roads meant control over the land (politically and economically)

To bring a point back, roads are a political policy, and serve that status quo. You can bet the big interests of Ford Motor, GM, et. al. have used their clout to ensure their survival and the survival of the policy. If Big Oil collapses, or whatever, and the status quo is shaken, what will the new political policy for the roads be?

Please, somebody stop me, I've had way too much coffee already and I'm sure I'm boring someone to death! Thank you for bearing with my windiness (maybe that's why i live in the Windy City?) I better his "Send" before I'm banned from the board.

Oh, btw, your other post about "4 replies in 10 minutes" is very funny - didn't you know that all of us here are cooped up in basement bomb shelters 24/7 just waiting for the next topic? None of us actually ride bikes, we're just all lonely nerds looking for recognition! ;)
Pavementgusriley
May 10, 2001 11:24 AM
In Addition, roads were first paved in the middle 1800s here in the U.S. Obviously there were no cars then.....the first roads were paved to accommadate bicycles! Imagine that! With gas prices going up the way they are, maybe we'll be there again soon!
No kiddingmike mcmahon
May 10, 2001 11:35 AM
I filled up my car this morning and it cost me $36 for 17 gallons of gas. With that money, I could have replaced all of the derailleur and brake cables on my back-up bike (desperately needed) and still had a bit of money left over for some new bar tape once the cables were replaced. If I could figure out a way to survive without a car, I'd do it. However, living in a city with lousy public transits and having two small children, car ownership seems to be in my long term future. :-(
re: Bikes CAN be annoying (from a drivers perspective)Jz
May 10, 2001 10:06 PM
Well, from how I understood it much of the taxes and whatnot we pay on gas and the like go into keeping our roads in good shape. My comment of cars being the reasons for roads existing was meant in a more general context...I don't think we would have any sort of road system like we do now without automobiles. Not to say we wouldnt have roads, or even that some wouldnt be paved, but I just do not see the system being anything like it is now. Shrug, hard to say...
re: Bikes CAN be annoying (from a drivers perspective)simstress
May 10, 2001 11:07 AM
I agree that there are idiots operating bikes and automobiles out there. I saw both last night on my ride. Some need to be educated, others need classes in anger management (or maybe let them go to town in a junkyard with a sledgehammer).

I disagree that cars are the reason paved roads exist. From what I've read, pavement in the USA was advocated by the Wheelmen's Association. As cars became the traveling medium of choice, roads began to accommodate them. I'll have to find the citation...
i agree completely...jayz
May 10, 2001 12:21 PM
i cant tell you how many times people on bikes are riding on the wrong side of the road, swerving all over the place, looking around, talking, riding wrong ways - down one-way streets, etc....
those people ruin it for everyone...
if i was doing something stupid like that, then a driver has every right to be pissed at me.
Share the Road128
May 10, 2001 12:42 PM
Rollo T., Loved the post.
Bike routes that inhabit sidwalks?BikeEnvy
May 10, 2001 4:10 PM
This touches on a question that's been tumbling through my mind. Our local bike federation created a network of marked bike routes through 3 adjoining towns. Some sections of this network instruct the rider up on the sidewalk for a stretch before spitting him/her back onto the street. I think the reasoning behind this was to keep inexperienced riders off of busier roads which the network occasionally coinhabits. I'm not sure I like this idea of being on a sidewalk. Actually, I avoid it like the plague. Re-entering the road may confuse a motorist, and there's a chance a car might turn into someone b/c they didn't see them up on the sidewalk. Are they causing more of a risk by creating the route this way?