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question on which cyclist gives way(29 posts)

question on which cyclist gives wayET
Aug 8, 2001 11:03 AM
Last evening on my bike commute home from work (it was 102!), an urban youth on his $160 dept. store bike was heading right at me on what was for him the wrong side of the road (i.e. left side). We both saw each other approaching and I had time to react. Aside from the fact that he deserves to be summarily arrested for breaking the law (Doug :-)), who should yield, or, as the British would say, give way? In this case, I did, by moving more into the middle of the road, reasoning he wouldn't have a clue he did not belong there and was supposed to move. But if he would've moved as I did, I would've kicked myself, or what was left of me, for reasoning wrong after the collision. And if it's a more knowledgeable cyclist (e.g. an adult, or perhaps an adult who by his dress and bike looks like he knows what he's doing and obviously or most likely is there only temporarily), is the answer any different?
does it matter? here's what i've done in the pastHaiku d'état
Aug 8, 2001 11:20 AM
depending upon mood and the bike i'm riding, i'll get out of their way (traffic allowing) and tell them in passing that they're on the wrong side of the road. more than one department store bike on the wrong side of the road=conundrum. more often than not, the kid will see me in time to stay on his (wrong) side and let me pass out in traffic.

the thing that really rubs me wrong is the older folks or scout leaders with the pack behind or the parents on the street/wrong way with kids on the sidewalk. these are more than not the folks that will actually take offense to me telling them that they're on the wrong side of the road.

the real question here is not which is right, but which is best. the value of being in the right while suffering a wrecked cycle and body during recovery and repair downtime is outweighed by the minor inconvenience of getting the heck outta their way. same with cars--i know the blue-haired 75 year old woman barely peering over the wheel is in the wrong when she weaves across three lanes repeatedly at 25 mph in a 45 mph zone. however, i'm going to do my best to pass her safely, regardless of the inconvenience.

:-) (duck!)
hold your linemr_spin
Aug 8, 2001 11:27 AM
Force the idiot to move. That's what I do. Otherwise, you have to go into traffic that you can't see to avoid them. Be the standon boat.

Most of the idiots who ride on the wrong side do so under the mistaken belief that they are being safe because they can see the car that will hit them. I figure if that's what they believe, then they are in the best position to avoid me, not the other way around.

I haven't been in a situation yet where the idiot hasn't given way. But I'm not going to crash to prove a point!
What he saidRich Clark
Aug 8, 2001 11:29 AM
I think JeffreyH has it exactly right. In that situation you start by assuming that the oncoming rider is clueless and probably dangerous, and you do what you need to do for your own safety.

Often I'll make a little combo gesture, like point to them and then to the inside (curb side), to indicate I expect them to go inside while I go outside. It's not right, but the point is not to collide, and these guys probably wouldn't go outside if you asked them to.

Sometimes I say "you'll make a lovely hood ornament someday" as I go past.

Training my self to exercise restraint against wrong-way riders, who get to me as few other things do, has been a useful spiritual exercise, since what I really want to do is whack them with my frame pump.

What he saidHaiku d'état
Aug 8, 2001 11:30 AM
"Training my self to exercise restraint against wrong-way riders, who get to me as few other things do, has been a useful spiritual exercise, since what I really want to do is whack them with my frame pump."

"This calls for a particularly subtle blend of psychology and extereme violence."

What he saidLanakila
Aug 8, 2001 11:53 AM
Huffy on wrong side
Pump up side the cranium
For sale: Huffy bike
re: question on which cyclist gives waymobil1
Aug 8, 2001 11:57 AM
I understand your frustration, but fail to see the relevance of how much this kids bike is worth.
a little picky, but the relevance, in case you missed itET
Aug 8, 2001 12:14 PM
is that it makes him more likely not to know what he's doing. Not that I really know the exact cost; hope you don't hold me to it. And yes, there is a frustration that a cheap, easily replaceable bike can wreck a bike that, as Bill would say, is equal in cost to the kids' college tuition (not that it really is, so don't hold me to it :-)).
a little picky, but the relevance, in case you missed itmobil1
Aug 8, 2001 12:25 PM
Maybe I did miss the point and I apologize for it; but if this "urban youth" collided with you while riding a $3,000.00 bike, wouldn't the same results occur?
ET, you're a snob.nutmegger
Aug 8, 2001 12:47 PM
Sorry if it hurts but that's the bottom line. I don't see any linkage between the price of kids bike and his knowledge of traffic laws. As far as making him unlikely to know what he's doing; you're the idiot who asked the board what you should have done in that situation. Seems you don't know what you're doing either. Sure the kid is wrong but as far as his bike goes, maybe he rides what he can afford. Maybe he can't afford a fancy bike because his parents are saving for his college tuition. As for you, you arrogant prik, why don't you keep your precious bike in a glass case where no harm will ever come to it. Or maybe you should consider riding a bike you can afford to replace.
too muchDog
Aug 8, 2001 1:08 PM
Sorry, but I think this is a little out of line. I can fully understand the idea of describing the kid and his bike in terms of the type of bike, as I think it generally is understood that there is a difference in what you might expect, generally, from a kid on a "beginner's" bike vs. a more sophisticated bike.

Plus, name calling just isn't nice.

I apologize...nutmegger
Aug 8, 2001 2:13 PM
to ET and any others offended by my outburst. Doug is quite correct; my remarks were uncivil and unwarranted. It was a blatant violation of the forum pact. However, I disagree with your assessment. ET believes there is a correlation between the type of bike the kid was riding and his knowledge of traffic laws. In this specific case, clearly the kid was in the wrong. However, I fail to see the linkage he promotes. Is someone driving a Chevy Cavalier less knowledgeable of traffic law than someone driving a Mercedes. I'd have to say no based on my experience. How many posts have you seen railing against the drivers of pricy SUV's and BMW's? One would think, to follow your logic, that the driver of such a sophisticated automobile would know to give cyclists room to ride and be watchful for them at intersections. Doug, you were close to hitting on key point in this matter but you missed it. The key point is that the offender was a kid and therefore is prone to errors in judgement in which he will sometimes do things which he knows to be wrong. Same kid on "a more sophisticated bike" and I think ET would have encountered the same situation. What drove me to respond so strongly to ET was what I viewed as the barely concealed elitist undertone of his post.
thanks, concur in partDog
Aug 8, 2001 2:26 PM
I agree that the same message would have been conveyed by simply stating "a kid on a bike".

I suppose the description is a subset of Fred'ism. I think the basic message is, watch out for those who do not appear to know what they are doing. There are several ways to make that assessment, some more accurate than others. Youth is one. The mere fact of being on the wrong side is one. Moving down the of indicators, becoming less and less reliable, I think at some point we would acknowledge that the type of bike, appearing to be a beginner bike, would at least be some indication of familiarity or experience with appropriate riding.

Good discussion.

some apology, but I don't need it anywayET
Aug 8, 2001 2:28 PM
And yes, I do indeed believe there's a correlation between the type of bike the kid was riding and his knowledge of traffic laws. Even the "urban" comment is relevant as I'm evaluating my decision based on the odds. Chances are, if his dad got him an expensive bike, it is more likely he would have ridden with him and told him how to use it. If you disagree, fine. But you're reading me wrong.

Regarding snobs and elitist undertone, if you think about it, we're all snobs, buying super-expensive bikes every few years, making upgrades simply because they're there, wearing shirts costing $100, and looking down at others who don't keep up. I'm low on the totem pole, though; poor li'l ol' me on my cheap Lemond Zurich.
code wordsHank
Aug 8, 2001 5:33 PM
so by "urban" you mean he's black or latino? I agree in spirit with nutmegger's ouburst. And like Doug said, "a kid on a bike" would have done the trick. Disregard for your own and other people's safety has more to do with youthful age than with ethnicity or monetary status. There were plenty of white dipsh!ts at my highschool who got drunk and crashed their parents' BMWs. And I get that riding against the traffic thing all the time from all sorts of different people -- they're all equally idiots are far as I'm concerned.
First a snob, now a racist. What's next?ET
Aug 9, 2001 5:33 AM
Re-read my initial post, in context, please (I know that's difficult for some). Urban kid on $160 bike, I therefore reason he has no clue as to rules of the road and swerve out to avoid collision, saving my hide.

I can accept alternative opinions that my reasoning is faulty, but all that snob/racist stuff is inappropriate.
didn't answer my questionHank
Aug 9, 2001 7:24 AM
I've read your post twice. What did you mean by "urban"? If by that you did indeeed mean black or latino, what exactly were you trying to convey, and how was that relevant to the fact that the person on the bike ($160 or otherwise) was acting like a moron?
"I don't discriminate, I hate everyone."Dog
Aug 9, 2001 5:35 AM
Made me think of Archie. But, I essentially agree. We are all pretty stupid or clueless in one for[u]m or another. :-)

"I don't discriminate, I hate everyone."Hank
Aug 9, 2001 7:29 AM
My two biggest confrotations on the bike in the last year or so have both been with blond women driving black Land Rovers. I don't know if that says something about me or them or both. :)
ET, I'm glad....nutmegger
Aug 8, 2001 9:16 PM
you don't need my apology. Say what I will, at least you have thick skin. FWIW, I truly do apologize. I disagree with you and how you framed the scenario but it gave me no right to be as disrespectful as I was towards you. I was ill tempered and juvenile in my initial response. I am sorry.
accepted. let's move on. (nm)ET
Aug 9, 2001 5:34 AM
I apologize...mobil1
Aug 9, 2001 5:41 AM
Truth is Nutmegger, you don't owe anyone an apology except for your failure to describe ET's statements as "racist", as well as "elitist". Since I initiated this exposure of ET's ignorant remarks, I ask that he apologizes to everyone in this forum for his offensive expose of his experience.
Oh give me a break!Mabero
Aug 8, 2001 12:32 PM
Get real I mean honestly...if someone is riding a bike that costs serious money then more often than not that person is a cyclist who knows the rules...

I mean have you ever encountered someone riding a LiteSpeed or C-40 on the wrong side of the road? I haven't but maybe you have.

The fact remains a lot of people who are just out there going against traffic or are on the sidewalks are people with lower caliber bikes.

To let you know how clueless people are is I was discussing my route I took with a fellow worker when they commented "Yeah those sidewalks are really smooth to bike on." I just looked at her really dumbly and said "riiiigggghhhhttttt..."

Later but just my 2 cents
Huh...grzy mnky
Aug 8, 2001 2:41 PM
I've seen many many dopes on expensive bikes doing all sorts of asinine things. How 'bout the CMF's riding 3 or 4 (or more) abreast on just about any organized ride you care to observe? Or blowing stop signs and lights and any number of wacky turning manauvers at intersections. I think that we all live in at least a partially glass house no matter how much your bike costs. You can't legislate or even buy common sense and it certainly doesn't come included with an expensive bike.

The best thing to do when someone is operating a bike in an unsafe manner or one that is illegal is to just AVOID them completely. You've got no real idea what they're going to do next and you're better off not crashing.
like boatingDog
Aug 8, 2001 12:30 PM
In pleasure boating, sure there are rules, but in traffic on a lake what you do is simply make your intentions obvious. I do the same on the bike. Make an obvious and committed turn and stay there. That way, they can react accordingly. I this case, I would have moved into the traffic lane, assuming it was safe.

Treat the kid like a dog. What would you have done if a 100 pound dog had been galloping along at you in your lane? You assume the worst, and get the heck out of its way.

How about walkers/runners??Lou M
Aug 8, 2001 2:10 PM
I encounter a lot of these very early in the mornings. In some ocassions it is hard to see them in the dark morning (even with a head light). The funny thing is that they don't move out of the way. They think they own the road!!!
How about walkers/runners??Rich Clark
Aug 9, 2001 3:30 PM
PA law says peds must use the sidewalk if there is one, the shoulder if there's no sidewalk, the part of the road nearest the edge if there's no shoulder. They must face traffic. I think this is pretty typical of most states.

So usually they do have every right to be there and bikes, being traffic, should always pass outside them.

How about walkers/runners??cycleguy
Aug 9, 2001 7:53 PM
I agree, you ride with traffic you walk/run against when no sidewalk is present. I also say that sometimes one must ride against traffic when road conditions and safety demands it. Yet I have also been yelled at by high soot, I'm being a racist, cyclists's going the other way told me I'm stupid.
How about walkers/runners??Rich Clark
Aug 10, 2001 5:14 AM
"I also say that sometimes one must ride against traffic when road conditions and safety demands it. "

Just don't do it around me.