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With all this recent mess...(13 posts)

With all this recent mess...Ahimsa
Jan 10, 2002 8:24 PM
...about cars and cyclists, and given the rather large group of folks that read this, should we not try to actually do something productive to educate people instead of endlessly bantering on about Campy and Shimano?

Seems to me that the MADD model might be a good idea for awareness raising. Why not CARR (Cyclists Against Road Rage) or some such moniker?

Is this something anyone wants to pursue seriously? For god sake we've got docs and lawyers and engineers and ad-men here from all over the globe. Why not use this energy to make it safer to ride as opposed to bitching about it?

I'm as guilty as everyone here for being inactive on this topic. We could perhaps educate cyclists about safe riding in traffic and educate motorists that what may seem frivolous to them can cost a bloke (or lady...sorry) their life. Any thoughts? We might get enough tow to sway politicians for better laws as well. Strength in numbers.

Sure would be nice to make a real difference.


re: With all this recent mess...Woof the dog
Jan 10, 2002 11:51 PM
if we really wanna make a difference, we gotta make a special mandatory video about cycling for all the drivers education students. A lot of highschool students take drivers ed. and it is the best time to teach them something before they become biased/forget all the rules. Would be good to show some pain and suffering (as much as I hate saying that) so that they would know what are the consequences of hitting someone. Another idea would be to simply do a little presentation at such classes, tell what has happened to you personally and how it affected your life. Its not gonna take much time I bet...hmm, maybe I should really go do that at a local highschool.

This is way better than some bullshit critical mass that just aggravates an ignorant bunch of drivers.


Woof the dog.
How about educating cyclists?Softrider
Jan 11, 2002 5:51 AM
For every cyclist that I see on the road that knows how the ride among the SUV's, there are five that don't. We might go a long way by just educating our fellow cyclist.
I agree, and furthermore...John-d
Jan 11, 2002 6:33 AM
I sometimes think we are our own worst enemy. As road cyclists we are merely a bit more traffic, slow traffic at that, therefore we should consider the needs of other road users and not get in the way. That is not the same as being timid.

I have only suffered one occasion of road rage when on my bike (it was my own fault), and not too often when driving, in fact it is probably in proportion to the miles I do on each form of transport.

We, because we are a visibly and distinctly dressed minority are very noticible and our behaviour sets the way we are perceived by the motoring public. So, if we go around hard staring, shouting, spitting and generally flouncing, how do we gain respect; we must at times seem like a bunch of ill disciplined toddlers.

Ok, I am no different but it seems to me that I sometimes feel unreasonably angry at the slightest real or imagined incident and for what it is worth I think the problem lies within the type of sport. High excercise rates causing low sugar levels causing behaviour problems.

So now, directly I feel unsuitable thoughts creeping up on me I recognise it for what it is and I take a good swig from my drink bottle. Suprisingly it seems to work and I can feel myself relaxing. In addition I make a point of riding the bike in the same philosophy as my driving, I give way and try to behave in a friendly and courteous manner and it works. I get far more friendly waves directed at me when I do this than threats.

Well, that's my opinion and for me it works and most of my riding is relaxing and hassle free and that's exactly why I ride.

Ride with smiles,

re: With all this recent mess...RayBan
Jan 11, 2002 5:58 AM
Sounds like a good idea for a forum. Bike safety and advocacy(sp?)...
Great point, but banter is better.Crankist
Jan 11, 2002 6:16 AM
We probably have...Lone Gunman
Jan 11, 2002 6:39 AM
more than enough laws on the books to address the issue of motorists and cyclists, the problem lies in the enforcement end of things and drivers attitudes. I agree with other posters that we need to get them (drivers) while they are young and also offenders who are forced to go to traffic school and while we are at it, how about lobbying at the state level to include questions on the driving tests (mandatory question) concerning the law as it applies to motorists and cyclists?
But there is no cyclist testingkenyee
Jan 11, 2002 6:53 AM
Yet it is to be considered a "vehicle" on the road. There is central way to educate cyclists on how they should ride and interact with traffic (pamphlets with every bike sold would be a good start). You always hear that they should follow all traffic rules, but very few do. Even motorcyclists tend to go down the lane divider stripes when there is traffic.

Enforcement must be equal for motorists, cyclists, and pedestrians. Otherwise, the unenforced will have a field day because they can "get away with anything" while the enforced will just be a way to fill the cities' coffers.
we had cyclist training in 5th gradeTig
Jan 11, 2002 11:40 AM
OK it wasn't any official state test or course, but our school had a bicycle safety course that lasted 5 afternoons. Although that was back when we were taught to ride against traffic on our banana seat Schwinns!
We probably have...Markb
Jan 11, 2002 6:56 AM
I live in Ohio. My son just finished the classroom portion of drivers ed 3-4 months ago. They were taught in class to treat a bicyclist just like any other vehicle on the road.
Yeah! Cause anyone whos goes through Driver's Ed. . .js5280
Jan 11, 2002 9:58 AM
is always a GREAT driver, ah well, okay, never mind that thought. Treat a bicyclist just like any other vehicle on the road? God help us all.

Okay I'm not that cynical, but enforcement is probably the bigger issue here. Plenty of laws on the book already. Generally that takes a witness, if you're not riding alone, can the other cyclist be that witness or is that not an impartial witness? It's rather hard to stop another motorist sometimes and solitict them as a witness. However one time I saw a motorist harassing some cyclists and I followed them home (I was driving) and gave them a piece of my mind (just remember not to go onto their property, that's trespassing, yell from your car/bike on the street) I encourage others to confront these drivers but be very careful, you never know who your dealing with. Telling them you called the cops (e.g. point to your cell phone and mouth "POLICE") and to expect a visit from them, even if isn't true. This will put a big scare in most people and make them think twice.

Since it never matters if you're right vs. thousands of pounds of metal and plastic, you always have to be on guard and that will always be the case.

Hell, maybe we should all just go Mad Max. Think of the marketing opportunities! Helmets, gloves, and shoes w/ Ti spikes, frame pump maces, SUV-seeking missles, caltrops, kevlar/lycra blend kits, etc.

More awareness can't hurt though. I got a survey from the city roads planner (Westminster, CO) and made sure I emphasised cyclist safety (clean/clear bike lanes, "share the road" awareness, etc.) and point out roads where lanes were needed. Since most roads are state and local concerns, that is were the focus needs to be and there are opportunities to express our concerns. Mention these opportunties to your cycling friends, clubs, even this list! I think an Activist forum would be great for this. Gregg?
Lobby insurance providers!!crockpot2001
Jan 11, 2002 1:52 PM
One way or another they pay. Prevention is worth millions. It could be as easy as explaining that we are out there in a persons premium notice.
read thisWoof the dog
Jan 11, 2002 2:51 PM
Whoever said that we should teach cyclists how to follow rules is bullsh!t. Mind you, we are not taking into account homeless and NYC messengers. I and everyone else I know ride in a good manner following all the major rules...hell, we even move into a single paceline when there is a car behind. Yes, we do run stopsigns, but we obviously yield the right of way to cars; running a stopsign happens when there is clearly no cars around. Such a bending of the law is insignificant compared to what a large vehicle can do when it breaks all the rules, especially when it fails to yield the right of way. Ever drove a van for like 12 people? I tell you, some crazy ideas get into your head like "i'll keep going, I am bigger, they'll get outta my way."

The point is: there are a lot of drivers who think they own the road while there aren't that many cyclists on the road anyway. Ever wondered why the insurance rate for a motorcycle is less than a truck or an SUV? 'cause a motorcycle or/and a bicycle can't do as much damage.

Car drivers should be taught well how to use thousands pounds of metal. Do you know the age of 99 percent of people who get cars in poorer countries? They are at least 30, if not 40 years old. In this country it is every 16 year old shmoe that gets the license to drive, or should I say kill?

Educate cyclists my a$$. Just by default you gotta know the rules pretty damn well to ride with traffic, otherwise you'd be dead already.


Woof the dog.