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How can we combat "stupid" cyclists?(25 posts)

How can we combat "stupid" cyclists?PODIUMBOUNDdotCA
Jun 7, 2002 10:32 AM
I apologize to anyone who got offended by the topic but let me explain.

I drive around my home town (Calgary) a lot especially in rush hour. And I see a lot of people riding their modest bikes (meaning low-end mountain bikes) to and from work. I respect that immensely.

However, theres the odd person who decides to take their commute onto very major roads without a shoulder and to make it worse without a helmet. And if that wasn't bad enough the roads have a sidewalk right beside it and it wouldn't take them much longer to ride there.

Hence the blatant "stupidity". Now I won't say I've never ridden on major roads, whizzed in between 2 rows of cars at a light, ridden without a helmet, thats stupid and I've been there and done it. But in a way I'm on a road bike, almost always wear a helmet (99.9% of the time) and do have quite a bit of top end speed so in a way I'm safer since not as many cars have to pass me.

Also if I come up to a red light I rarely feel the need to bypass all the cars so they have to pass me repeatedly. I sit patiently in line. These cyclists go right around the cars. So normally I ignore them and just hope/pray they don't get nailed one day. However, I have given one the finger on one occasion and intentionally moved my car as far to the right as possible so the poor guy couldn't whiz to the front of the lineup for the light. And as wrong as that is they do need a wake up call and I feel being a cyclist and caring for their safety we are in a position to try to straighten them out. And some of the time pulling over and talking to them just isn't an option, however people should make an effort to educate people. And thats how I feel we could combat "stupid" cyclists. If you do one thing stupid it doesn't make you a stupid person. Just like if you do one thing it doesn't give you the quality you presented... but still as cyclists is it not our job to help others not get hurt? A cyclist like that on the road annoys everyone. And then them getting nailed on the road and all the bad media publicity isn't good for our sport.

My 2 cents,
Nick Corcoran
PodiumBound.ca
shoot them, door them, run them down nmDougSloan
Jun 7, 2002 10:33 AM
I was thinking positive ways though! (nm)PODIUMBOUNDdotCA
Jun 7, 2002 10:34 AM
LOL! nmbnlkid
Jun 7, 2002 10:36 AM
i do all those things all the timeishmael
Jun 7, 2002 11:03 AM
when there is a pile-up at a stop sign I almost always pass everyone on the right and then go through as soon as it makes sense. I also go between two lanes of traffic to go up to red lights and then I look both ways and go through. I do wear a helmet though. You mention riding on the sidewalk, thats illegal in a lot of states. You say that on occasion you block the right side of the road so cyclists cant get by, everyone I know rides past cars in this area and I really doubt its illegal. YOU may be the stupid one
That's one heck of an uphill battle....biknben
Jun 7, 2002 11:09 AM
I ride with a guy who too often gets into altercations with cars. He tells stories about yelling, blocking traffic, and flippin the bird as if it's par for the course. He's dumped water bottles in people's laps and blocked cars at intersections while spewing obscenities.

I think it is more a reflection of himself than that of motorists. I consider him to be the "Stupid Cyclist", reflecting poorly on the rest of us.

We ride together every other week or so. I typically do more of the pulling and tend to set the tone for the ride. We never have any problems with motorists. I'll obey 99% of the laws and be respectful and courteous to others on the road.

Whenever he starts describing one of his "situations", I remind him that it never seems to happen when we ride together. He's a little slow in realizing that he is the one causing most of these problems on the road. Hopefully he'll get the hint soon.

My point is, this is a "cyclist". You would think he would know better or learn quick. He hasn't. I wouldn't bother trying teach every helmetless Joe on a bike the etiquette of road riding.

Try to set a good example and hope they notice.
re: How can we combat "Arrogant" cyclists?Lowend
Jun 7, 2002 11:09 AM
You have got to be the most Arrogant person around. Even if you are a pro, your still a D**k. Now modest bikes do not belong on streets? It's not just the "modest bike" rider without any helmets. I see plenty of you "I'm on a road bike, with quite a bit of top end speed, so in a way I'm safer since not many cars have to pass me" riders without helmets. The low "in town" speed limit around here is 30mph. How long can you sustain this speed, that not many cars pass you? Also, not only is riding on the sidewalk dangerous, it is illegel around here. We commuters ride all types of bikes. Riding without a helmet is stupid.
Riding on the sidewalkPODIUMBOUNDdotCA
Jun 7, 2002 11:17 AM
Is it illegal? Yes... but how many times have the cops written a ticket for it? I'd rather someone ride on the sidewalk or on a narrow singletrack pathway beside the road than get schmucked by a car. And when your riding a mountain bike theres no excuse to go on a singletrack path thats been made by walkers. Even if your on a road bike thats not an excuse because it won't hurt the bike.

And modest bikes have no less right than real bikes to be on the road... but a modest bike probably (I've seen some amazing riders of modest bikes) isn't as fast either so more time on the road = greater risk of accidents. And for the record I've only moved over to interfere with a guy riding to the front of the stop light lineup and fingered a guy ONCE. I felt bad after but also felt good at least trying to get my point across.

Cheers,
Nick Corcoran
PodiumBound.ca
What is a safe speed for bikes to be on the road..Lowend
Jun 7, 2002 11:32 AM
As a commuter, why would I want to ride a single track on the side of the road, when I can ride faster on the road? A car passing a bike doing 12mph is no more dangerous than a car passing a bike doing 25mph. You never mentioned how long you can sustain the speed limit to limit the number of cars that pass you. Riding on a sidewalk is stupid. More chances of hurting someone.
Its illegal for a reason.czardonic
Jun 7, 2002 11:39 AM
And that reason is that it is unsafe. Fast moving cyclists pose a risk to pedestrians, and squirrely pedestrians pose a risk to cyclists.
you only blocked someone and gave them the finger onceishmael
Jun 7, 2002 11:46 AM
because you wanted to make a point, what point is that?

cheers shmeers,
john murphy
He was trying to make a point that...tronracer
Jun 7, 2002 12:09 PM
"Is it illegal? Yes... but how many times have the cops written a ticket for it?" Pretty dumb thing to say...sorry Nick
Riding on the sidewalkmr_spin
Jun 7, 2002 12:13 PM
I used to ride on the sidewalk for part of my commute because it was infinitely safer and also much faster. I would emerge from a MUT at the street I lived on. I wanted to turn left, but at rush hour, there is a lot of traffic going both ways. I tried a couple of times to do "the right thing" by making a left on to the roadway, but it took me 5 minutes to find an opening, and because I lived on the left side of the street, another five minutes to get back across. There were no signals near either location. I finally gave up that and took the sidewalk instead. It was only 1/2 mile and there rarely was anyone on it. Saved me ten minutes and I didn't have to worry about get crushed by a car.

Another ride we sometimes do takes a road that comes out at a busy divided highway. The next road we want is 50 yards up the highway to the left. Legally, we should make a left across four lanes and the median, go 50 yards, then make another left turn across four lanes and the median. The speed limit is 50 mph here, and the first left we would take is just beyond the top of a hill, so we can't see any traffic coming. It's a death wish to do the legal thing, so instead we ride against traffic for 50 yards. There's a 10-foot shoulder to ride on, so we're not even close to traffic. We are also extremely careful to watch for cars turning left or right.

Even though these things are technically illegal and probably upsetting to some cyclists, if I am much safer doing the improper thing, I'll do it every time. I don't care who gets upset about it. I'm sure if ever ticketed, I can convince a judge that what I did was in the best interest of everyone. Cars don't have to worry about hitting me, and I don't have to worry about getting hit.
Thank youPODIUMBOUNDdotCA
Jun 7, 2002 12:23 PM
You phrased it more eloquently than I ever could:

"Even though these things are technically illegal and probably upsetting to some cyclists, if I am much safer doing the improper thing, I'll do it every time. I don't care who gets upset about it. I'm sure if ever ticketed, I can convince a judge that what I did was in the best interest of everyone. Cars don't have to worry about hitting me, and I don't have to worry about getting hit."

Even if you had to pay that ticket my driving instructor said it best. "Its money well worth spending if it could save your life." He used the example of speeding to pass a car going 52 mph on a two lane highway with a speed limit of 55 mph and your in a rush but don't want to speed all the way. You are almost ready to complete the pass and see a car in the (not-so) distance. What do you do? Speed and risk getting a ticket, or risk getting into a huge head on collision.

-Nick
PodiumBound.ca
Thank youmr_spin
Jun 7, 2002 12:38 PM
In California (at least), the only time you can legally exceed the speed limit is while passing another car. How fast you return to the speed limit after completing the pass would be of interest to a cop!
Well, as long as <i>you</i> are safe. . .czardonic
Jun 7, 2002 3:42 PM
. . .screw the law. Oh yeah, and screw any pedestrians that get in your way.

Riding on sidewalks, riding on the shoulder against traffic in groups, why would anyone bear any animosity towards cyclists?
How can we combat stupid posts....Trollman
Jun 7, 2002 11:47 AM
re: How can we combat &quot;stupid&quot; cyclists?empacher6seat
Jun 7, 2002 12:01 PM
Just like in any sport there will be participants who give their fellow athletes a bad name, just as some arrogant athletes might.

People who join hockey just to start fights, football players who spend 30 minutes dancing after a touchdown, basketball players who slap each other (hehe, I can never get enough of that). The list goes on. I feel no obligation to make up for these peoples' actions. If I'm talking to someone and they say "I ran into a cyclist one day and he fingered me blah blah blah" I would explain that it was a chance encounter, and that all cyclists don't do that. Or "Yes I agree. Cyclists should stay off the road so stupid motorists who run red lights, get road rage and use car cell phones have a better chance of killing each other then injuring a cyclist", which of course, is just as stupid as assuming all cyclists are idiots based on an encounter with one or two of them.
Crapflood! -nmSnowBlind
Jun 7, 2002 12:02 PM
I can't see the problem of going around cars that have stopped.elviento
Jun 7, 2002 12:02 PM
Yes for the car driver you may have to pass him more than once, but if he had stayed in the car line at every redlight, then more cars would have to pass him because he is going slower this way. Besides, why should he breath in your exhaust while you are sitting comfortably in your airconditioned leather seat?

On other rude, inconsiderate, and stupid behavior, I guess there isn't much you can do, except as cyclist we should all behave reasonably and influence the ones we ride with.
Good pointPODIUMBOUNDdotCA
Jun 7, 2002 12:11 PM
I agree you are slowing yourself down by going to the back of the line. But if your on a motorcycle you aren't allowed to go to the front... so why should you on a bicycle? Also at least in Calgary the air is very clean so as long as you don't lay down by the exhaust pipe you'll be fine. And if your going to do something illegal (riding to the front of the line) why not ride on the sidewalk/beaten path in the gras. As long as your cautious with pedestrians you won't nail any of them. At least a bike and pedestrian are reasonably matched. How many guys on bikes can beat a car if they collided?

And agreed, we do need to influence the ones we ride with. I've ridden with a masters age group and we got pulled over one time for riding 2 abreast on the shoulder. Stupid... kinda... but one of the guys got his head skimmed by the mirror on a semi-truck once.

Cheers,
Nick Corcoran
PodiumBound.ca
How about the guy with no helmut, lycra'd up, andimthehotone
Jun 7, 2002 1:16 PM
expects me to slow coming at him on the opposite side while he speeds around a roller-blader ahead of him on the path.
Thought he'd just speed around her...he wasn't nearly as fast as he thought! B------!
Is Calgary not "Cyclist Friendly"?Miklos
Jun 7, 2002 1:23 PM
Even when cyclist's drive their cars, they are agressive to bike commuters? Geez, I was planning on taking bikes when I visit that city for a few days. Having second thoughts.

Miklos
It's a great cityPODIUMBOUNDdotCA
Jun 7, 2002 1:52 PM
Its a great city don't get me wrong. With great pathways and trails and many of the roads including the highways aren't dangerous. But when you take a bike on Maccleod Trail, 14th Street, etc. Thats when it gets stupid. I hope this reverses your second thoughts of bringing your bike.

Sorry to scare you,
Nick Corcoran
PodiumBound.ca
re: How can we combat &quot;stupid&quot; cyclists?Leisure
Jun 9, 2002 2:42 AM
Educate rather than force. Using your vehicle to physically get in other people's way escalates into roadrage pretty damn quick. Who gave you the right to use force to impose your beliefs on others how the world should work? If you want to enact positive change, educate YOURSELF first on what the local laws are, then think of ways to nonabrasively educate others. They make their own choices; that's their right and they can deal with the consequences. It's not your decision. All you can do is give them reasons why it's in their best interest to ride to some idea of safety, and don't be shocked if their idea is different from yours. Mine is.