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Share the Road - ain't going to happen........(7 posts)

Share the Road - ain't going to happen........270bullet
Aug 26, 2002 5:46 PM
Survive the road is the more like it. I recently entered this board. I've not much to add on most topics. But I got to thinking about all the "share the road" "car almost hit me today" "a##hole driver" posts I've seen lately. I also thought about some incidents on group rides and solo rides that made me wonder why we are our worse enemy.

We are frail individuals out trying to get/stay in shape. Why do we try to make every car incident into a "he was trying to kill me" situation.

Granted there are times when drivers are jerks, do unsafe things, or just yell stupid things like "get on the sidewalk". The case of the driver slamming on his brakes and pulling in front of a lead rider on a group ride (from an earlier post) is the exception. It is not the rule we seem to want to promote on this board. Even in that case it was the cyclist's in the back, provoking a response by responding to a jerk for honking his horn. Honking his horn!!! Jeez. If I had a dime for everytime someone honked his horn at me.......

Only once in 22 years of running and riding have I had a driver deliberately try to do me harm. It happened while running. A pick-up truck pulled onto the shoulder coming directly at me. Both driver and passenger looking into my eyes with a big smile on their faces as the bore down on me. Not wanting to risk a 2 on 1 battle, I did nothing but side step into the ditch and keep running. They kept driving.

Riding on narrow mountain roads for most of my teens and early 20's, I'd have logging trucks fully loaded, pass within a foot or two of me. Scary? yes. Intentional buzzing? NO. They were just driving to the mill and felt they had enough clearance to pass me. Later in SFO, buses would pass so close I could have hit them with my elbow if I flicked it out. Again, not intentional, just narrow roads and heavy traffic. A fact of a cyclist's life.

Last weekend I approached an intersection noticing a car getting ready to turn left in front me. I anticipated it. He did it. I slowed, glanced over my shoulder to make sure traffic was clear, and went wide around his rear bumper. Intentional? No - he didn't see me or misjudged how fast I was coming. Either way, I just slowed a bit and it was not that big of deal.

So why do we do things to hurt our public image? About a year ago I joined up with a group. We were coming to an intersection intending on going straight. I was in the lead of about 15 riders. A crusty old timer in the group yelled at me to "Move right". He was stating that I should move to the right side of the road in the right turn lane. I asked if we were turning right. He said no. So I asked why he wanted to be in the right hand turn lane if we were going straight? He sourly responded with "I've been hit by so many cars...something something". I thought to myself, maybe you should listen to me then, I've never been hit. What about the drivers behind us who want to turn right and here we are illegally blocking the right turn lane? Don't those drivers have a right to be impatient with us?

Group ride - 50 strong. Far ahead on a straight stretch of 4 lane road was a survey crew. I could see them easily and I was in the middle of the group. Next to them was a car, stopped - looked like she was getting directions. The survey team was pointing down the road, so I'm guessing. There was plenty of room to pass on the right and left. The Call of "Car Left" was heard, the leaders split - some to the left, most to the right. All of a sudden, about 3 or 4 guys start shouting at this poor lost women - "you stupid b***", "F**** a$$hole" and the like.

So let me ask you - what was the point? We had a clear road, lite traffic, we could go around her, she was lost, instead we look like a bunch of jerks. So what if we had to slow from 25 mph to 20 mph for 30 seconds. Big freakin deal. We are not in the TDF where every second may matter, nor are we riding in
re: Share the Road - ain't going to happen........tao
Aug 26, 2002 10:06 PM
I agree with just about all of your post but you seem to glance over the exception as if it doesn't exist.

1) At least once per hour of road time I have to make a split second maneuver to avoid a crash because of driver error even IF I'm doing everything by the book...

2) At least once per 10 hours I have to make the same maneuver to avoid serious injury...

3) At least once per 100 hours I have to make the same maneuver/decision to save my life. After a while this adds up, fine you say, but when 3 is compounded by honks, yells, and hand gestures that prove it's intentional, well, sometimes I loose my cool and act like the jerk you probably think I am even with my best pre-ride intentions.

Are you really saying you never react? If so, I don't know whether to applaud your stoicism or cringe at your apparent disregard for survival.
I Sometimes React.....jromack
Aug 27, 2002 7:59 AM
I know..I am supposed to tuck my head and pedal on as if nothing happened.

But there are those occasions where I feel the offending driver needs some input from me.

Usually it's a polite conversation.

One time I doused a nasty fat girl. That was fun, actually.
re: Share the Road - ain't going to happen........AaronL
Aug 27, 2002 10:14 AM
Ditto, I feel the exact same way.

The vast majority of the time, I let it go. But, being human, I sometimes do lose my cool.

I think a lot of these posts are BS, when it comes to how cool some say they are under "fire." I don't buy it.

They should come ride in the SF bay area where half of the population are immigrants who got their license by bribing someone and then the other half are self-important pricks on a cell phone who honestly think they own the road. We'll see how long they keep turning the other cheek.
RE: "immigrants who got their license by bribing someone"czardonic
Aug 27, 2002 1:10 PM
I ride in the SF bay area, and have had no encounters with such people. They must have some kind of xenophobe radar.
Come down to CupertinoAaronL
Aug 27, 2002 1:17 PM
Come ride through Cupertino one of these days and see how many close calls you get.

You're invited.
Truncated post270bullet
Aug 27, 2002 11:51 AM
I didn't realize my post had been truncated.

I lived in the San Francisco for 3 years - riding through the Presido out over the bridge into Marin is best part of the ride. In town it was a nightmare of close calls.

I concluded my ramblings by stating that it is human nature to get mad sometimes, especially when your working hard. And a response happens. It never accomplishes anything other than to burn off a bit of the adrenalin that started to flow. It is better to ride off a little frustrated and shaken than to escalte a situation. Especially today, I'd rather say and do nothing than face the business end of a 12 guage, 30-06 or 9mm. Remember the final scene of easy rider? Redneck -"get a hair-cut", Finger goes up, shot gun goes off, bike goes on by itself. That is what I fear more.