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Anybody ever point out rider error while driving (long)?(17 posts)

Anybody ever point out rider error while driving (long)?tao
Sep 5, 2002 7:10 PM
So I'm driving back from the market and just as I make a right turn onto the one way that my garage is on I nearly hit a cyclist. The light had just turned green a few seconds before but I always look both ways at intersections, not for cyclists, but because there are too many poor drivers. A truck was driving to the left of me so I didn't see the rider until he was nearly on me. He went into the intersection clearly after the light turned red and had switched lanes during the intersection, I know this because I ride this same way to come home and he was on a two lane rode that becomes three lanes. The new lane is on the right, the one I was turning into and the one he was now in. So he ran a red, narrowly avoided hitting two cars, and made it worse by switching lanes closer to the traffic. I don't do anything but wait for him to pass but he shakes his head at me like he's the one that just shaved me from getting run over.

I live about 1500 feet up the road on the right and it's on a 3% incline. He's a little shaken 'cause he's barely pedaling now. I move into the middle lane 'casue no one else is using the road and to give him plenty of room. As I get close my engine gets higher I'm sure, I'm only going 20 mph but because of the incline it's only natural. I guess he thinks I'm coming up behind him in the same lane 'cause he gets out of the saddle and starts to sprint while aggressively taking the lane, so much so that he comes slightly into my lane and I have to swerve a little into the other lane to give him plenty of room and not buzz him. He shakes his head at me as I pass him again like I did something??

Still another 1000 feet to my garage so I give him plenty of room before getting back in the right lane and wait for my garage door to open with my signal on of course. Just as I start to turn in an older couple that lives on my same floor starts walking out of the garage at an angle towards me. It literally takes them 90 seconds to clear the path; I have to reopen the door twice. So as I start to turn in I look back to the right to make sure no one is coming up on the sidewalk like a runner and lo and behold my cyclist friend is almost on me and it's clear he's going to pass me on the right. So I wait another few seconds not wanting to cut him off. As he passes on the right he yells something and hits my car with his palm.

I want to yell back about correct riding skills but think I'll sound like some impatient mad driver so I don't. But now, an hour later, I can't help but think I should have clearly explained to him the several mistakes he made that give all riders a bad name. I wonder if any of the road rage I get while riding is residual from poor riders such as this. What would you guys have done, anything different?
I carry a frame pump in the car for just such occasions...rwbadley
Sep 5, 2002 7:42 PM
You can wave it at the errant cyclist. It lets them know that you ride too, and gives you some credential when you inform them of their foolish behavior.

If that doesn't work, you can jam it through their front wheel! (only kidding)

I'll never understand the whacking cars thingkenyee
Sep 5, 2002 7:53 PM
Pedestrians don't go around smacking bikes that buzz them or cut them off...

Just shows they have little respect for your property or you.

Only thing I can think of is maybe you should have yelled "hold up a sec...I'm a biker too" and gotten out and tried to talk to him, but he probably hates cars and thought you wanted to beat the crap out of him after nearly running him over because he "clearly" had the right of way. Maybe I'm too cynical :-P
You can't know the whole story and What do you mean Your Lane?teamsloppy
Sep 5, 2002 8:49 PM
My first impression is that you are in the wrong. My impression is that you are more of an "ill-informed" motorist than an "experienced" cyclist.

1) You use the term "Your Lane" when describing the cyclist who is ahead of you. It's first come first served when it comes to the traffic laws. If the cyclist is in front of you: it's his lane!

It doesn't matter how fast you are approaching from behind. The person in front has the right to the lane. Otherwise, you could rear end every driver in front of you and claim it was their fault or you could run down little old ladies and claim they were in your way. The law is the person in front has the right to the lane regardless of speed or size of the vehicle.

2) You don't know what transpired before you saw the cyclist (your view was blocked by a truck). You just know that your sense of road territory was violated. I have been in situations where I was forced into an intersection as the light was changing: I had to avoid a parked car pulling into my path from the right, my attention is focused on a parked car pulling out in front of me, then a car changing lanes from the inside lane toward me (another diversion and swerve), potholes, rocks and debris and then the light timed for automobiles (not a cyclist) changes. Cars have to cut more distance for pedestrians and cyclists.

3) You passed the cyclist then slowed down in front of him in a very short period of time. I would have slapped your fender also. It's only noise. It's not property damage. It's my life you are jeopardizing for a few seconds impatience or road ego on your part, in order to park your car. And you certainly didn't behave like a cyclist. If I were within a block or two of my driveway, I would have paced behind him a wide distance, blocking any cars. It would have cost me a few seconds. It would make his ride a little less threatening and it could save him his life.
I think your critique is missing a lane...PdxMark
Sep 5, 2002 11:22 PM
It seems that the driver and cyclist are sharing a stretch of road with three lanes, with the cyclist taking the right hand lane (no complaint there, and many of us would) and the driver in the middle lane. It sounds like the cyclist is swerving into the middle lane from the right hand lane. In this case I think it is fair to call the middle the "driver's lane."

If this is correct, the cyclist isn't just taking the right lane (as he's entitled to and often a safe thing to do), but he is sloppily swerving into the middle lane too. Either he is being aggressive about lane turf, or playing Super Mario in a sprint, or who knows what, but he is riding dangerously and it's not the driver's fault.

As for the cyclist passing on the right with a car signaling to turn that way, he's pulling yet another dangerous move there, too.

It sounds like the cyclist was riding his own way to begin with (albeit dangerously). The intersection incident, the passing "incident" up the incline and the right turn "incident" seem to have been interpreted by the cyclist as "aggressive motorist" moves, when in fact they sound innocent and proper. It seems like a case study in a spiraling mis-interpreation of intentions.

Not sure I would/could have done anything differently as the driver. Shake my head, mostly. Any words to the cyclist would have been interpreted as aggression. With (1) running a light, (2) swerving into the middle of three lanes for no appraent reason (like passing a right-turning car), and (3) passing a right-turning car on the right, all in 1500 feet, the cyclist seems destined to get hurt. Hopefully he'll learn how to ride before that happens.
You don't understand the law of the road:..teamsloppy
Sep 6, 2002 1:05 AM
The person in front has the right to the lane over a person approaching from behind, regardless of how many lanes there are.

1) He does not know that the cyclist ran the red light. He assumes that. And justifying a transgression based on an alleged transgression of the other person is something out of the Old Testament (or Koran). It's 5th century thinking (BC). Asserting that the cyclist ran the light, with his view blocked by a truck is a lie. How does he know? Running a light is defined as "entering an intersection after the light has turned red". He only saw the cyclist in mid intersection.

2) Swerving: this is a hokey senile old man's term or one used by vindictive old ladies, or petulant teenagers. There is no "swerving violation" in the vehicle code. Its an ill-informed motorist concept based on the "I own the lane in front of me" belief. The person in front has the right to the lane over a person approaching from behind, regardless of how many lanes there are, the speed of the approaching vehicle or the size of the approaching vehicle.

"Swerving for no apparent reason" is relative to the observer and is another incompetent old man, old lady and teenage excuse. It's not a legal term; it's not an intelligent concept. The presence of an auto pulling into the intersection is a reason to change into another lane. The presence of an automobile is not inert. You don't know what motivated the cyclist to change lanes (I assume it is the car, rolling into the intersection from behind a stopped truck, as if the car was going to run the light).

How do you know a car is turning right? It just passed you. It's more reasonable that it is intended to travel a distance in front of you than pass you and turn in front of you. Were there hand signals (on the left of the car?) Some last minute turn signal.

At 20 Mph 1500 feet happens 51 seconds.

You and the auto driver have a distorted view of reality.

If some one gets hurt it's because of people like you.
RE: You don't understand the law of the road:..Zyzbot
Sep 6, 2002 2:52 AM
"The person in front has the right to the lane. "

At the point where the car was stopped to make a turn into the driveway, THE CAR was the one in front. The cyclist then passed the car on the right. A clear violation of traffic laws and common sense.
The leading vehicle only has the R-O-W if he signaled. (nm)NJRoad
Sep 6, 2002 4:08 AM
Oh lighten upfiltersweep
Sep 6, 2002 5:51 AM
The poster isn't justifying a transgression- if you are waiting for a light, and when that light turns green and there is someone right in front of you that is not a pedestrian, they ran the light. What is so difficult about that?

RE: Swerving: I understood there were THREE lanes and the poster was driving in the MIDDLE lane- clearly stated in the post- and the cyclist "swerves" from the right lane into the middle lane. He has no right to the middle lane.

"The person in front has the right to the lane over a person approaching from behind, regardless of how many lanes there are. "- Huh? The right to the lane he/she is in, but not the right to ALL the lanes. The person "in front" has no right to this lane unless it is clear... that is the point of having lanes. Teamsloppy must be the type of driver who thinks it is OK to cut people off by virtue of the fact that he/she is in front of them? Nice attitude.

It sounds more like a self-righteous, indignant cyclist- especially for slapping the car... the cyclist probably is a terrible rider and sets himself up for these types of situations... doesn't anticipate lights/runs lights, rides all over the road, etc... has a generally bad attitude towards motorists and creates his own self-fulfilling prophesy so he can feel like a victim. I see it all the time and simply remind myself that "common sense" is an oxymoron.
passing on rightkenyee
Sep 6, 2002 6:10 AM
"So as I start to turn in I look back to the right to make sure no one is coming up on the sidewalk like a runner and lo and behold my cyclist friend is almost on me and it's clear he's going to pass me on the right."

From that description, I couldn't figure out whether the cyclist was on the sidewalk or or on the street close to the sidewalk. Sounds like not, but the driver did the right thing by not turning so close to the cyclist and clipping the cyclist, yet was "thanked" by a whack on the car.

Passing on the right is a dangerous thing to do. One time I was driving and there was a cyclist on my right rear. I'm signaling to turn right into a street, notice he's there and slow down and stop so I can let him pass safely. He slows down, stays on my right, visible only in side mirror. I expected him to get behind me so I don't clip him on my right turn. I didn't notice he was using hand gestures to tell me to go until later. I turn to get out of the way of traffic that's bearing down on us. In the end, he probably thought I was deliberatly trying to clip him instead of being nice and trying to let him pass. :-P
passing on right vs. bike lanesKEN2
Sep 6, 2002 7:51 AM
This is one of the inherent problems of bike lanes. Some state vehicle codes specify that motorists must merge into the bike lane before executing a right turn, but many don't say anything and in any case very few motorists are willing to cross that solid white line--that is, until they start the right turn.
This creates a weird and potentially disastrous exception to the normal flow of traffic, in which you never turn right from an inside lane precisely because you can easily clip another vehicle on your right.
You don't understand the law of the road:..hrs
Sep 6, 2002 9:25 AM
There is a swerving violation, at least on the books in Massachusetts. It's called weaving between lanes, carried a $100.00 fine the last time I checked. In point of fact practically any eratic behavior on the road is in violation of the traffic code.

But more to the point swerving into the center lane without checking the traffic or (at the very least) signaling is dangerous to yourself and others.

There's no such law in the Code of Massachucetts Regulations.teamsloppy
Sep 6, 2002 4:20 PM
There's no such law. Here's the link. Look for yourself.

Massachusetts "Law of the Road", is nonstandard, with many other unusual provisions which do not conform to
the Uniform Vehicle Code, the national standard for traffic law.

Maybe you you misread the "wearing sleigh bells" as "weaving between lanes". Some of the letters are the same.



Chapter 89: Section 3. Sleigh or sled; bells.

Section 3. No person shall travel on a way with a sleigh or sled drawn by a horse, unless there are at least three bells attached to some part of the harness.
What ever happened to reading comprehensiontao
Sep 6, 2002 10:44 AM
I never claimed to be an experienced cyclist, whatever that means, but ill-informed I'm not.

1) I clearly stated we were in separate lanes, that the rider mistakenly thought I was coming up behind him in the same lane, and that he overcompensated when taking his lane by nearly crashing into the front side my car (in a DIFFERENT lane than his). How is this my fault?

2) No I don't know exactly what happened before I saw him, he could have been transported from Alice in Wonderland to suddenly appear in front of me. But if the laws of physics apply and still hold, based on the possible acceleration and deceleration of a bike, the time it took him get to halfway across a 25 foot intersection, and the relative speed he was going before we nearly collided (15, but even if you put it at 5 or 30) he clearly RAN a red light. Distraction is not an excuse for a driver or rider to run a light.

3) 90 seconds from his point, 45 from mine is NOT a short period of time to pass a cyclist and then stop (nobody's life was anywhere near danger as you suggest), my door is on a 30 second timer and I had to reopen it twice and it started to close as I finally pulled in so this is not a guess. Driving behind him at 8 mph for over two minutes wouldn't have made him feel safer I'm pretty sure. No I wouldn't have done the same thing for a few seconds as you say or even 15, but somewhere after that and it's safer for everyone concerned to drive respectfully and lawfully and move ahead of a vehicle going nearly 4 times under the speed limit, when there's adequate room or in this case lanes of course.

Please try and read more carefully before assuming every driver action is incorrect or impatient, it might help you on the road as well. I was never mad or impatient with the rider, something most drivers would have been, but only later I realized it might be people like him that make drivers honk and swerve at riders, turn out in front of, or stop short and turn (which is not even close to what I did no matter what you think). Whenever I get a response from drivers as to why they behave so, it's usually in the form "I'm sick and tired of riders disobeying the law, you didn't do anything wrong but I no longer give you guys any respect because of the" some numerous incidents mentioned here. Obviously this doesn't justify their thinking or behaviour, but the point of my post was that maybe trying to get the riders that seem to inflame motorists to change their behaviour might benefit everyone, and if so, how to approach the subject with said offender. I wasn't trying to justify something I did wrong, because I didn't. You're free to think otherwise but you never addressed the point of the post:

a) some riders disobey the law and inflame some motorists

b) some drivers may take this out on other, obeying riders

If a and b are true, do we have a responsibility to try and point out and correct rider error when we see it? Don't worry about the particulars of my case, certainly you can think of clear cases in your mind of rider error. If you can't, then I'm sure you can't contribute to the discussion.
I requires good writingteamsloppy
Sep 6, 2002 5:00 PM
You're the one that probably broke the law: you made an unsafe pass.

Here's a little reading comprehension test. Try finding the word "lane" in this paragraph.

21750. The driver of a vehicle overtaking another vehicle or a bicycle proceeding in the same direction shall pass to the left at a safe distance without interfering with the safe operation of the overtaken vehicle or bicycle, subject to the limitations and exceptions hereinafter stated.

Amended Sec. 7, Ch. 674, Stats. 1996. Effective January 1, 1997.

Did not find it did you? Because it's an ill-informed driver's concept that you own the lane in front of you.
re: I requires good writingtao
Sep 6, 2002 6:43 PM
As I said "when there's adequate room" and I do believe 12 feet to the left of the cyclist is adequate room. If I was breaking the law then so are you every time you pass a cyclist who's riding in the cycling lane, even if you're two lanes to the left. Do you really believe that? Do you believe cars have a right to the road in any instance?
re: It requires good writingteamsloppy
Sep 7, 2002 9:59 PM
Tao, you're introducing new facts as you go here. Are you making up the facts to justify your prejudice?

In the original post you claimed that you where forced into another lane because the cyclist almost crashes into you. A 14 foot lane is the minimum in the USA. Now you claim that you maintained a 12 foot distance? Yet you needed to swerve into another lane because the cyclist moved toward you? Did he/she move 14 feet suddenly or 24 inches?

Tao, you are apparently introducing new, alleged, facts to justify your prejudiced beliefs. Of course, maybe you just suffer from psychotic delusion.

And as I think about this, you are also distorting the facts by omission.

My guess is that this is closer to what really transpired:

You pull blindly into an intersection in your huge SUV with a large truck to your left blocking your view. You move blindly into the intersection, looking to your left hoping to see around the truck. You think that it's okay because you, the driver, are still behind the cross-walk. The reality is the front of your SUV is sticking 8 feet in front of you into the intersection.

The cyclist, riding along, suddenly sees 8 feet of SUV pop into an intersection from behind a truck. The cyclist changes into the lane to his left to avoid your SUV which is apparently about to turn into the intersection.

The 3 lane road chokes down into 1 lane (you didn't mention this, but how do we get from 3 lanes to you waiting to park and the cyclist sharing the same lane?).

The cyclist, approaching the choke from 3 lanes to 1, moves inward. But you pass at the choke, hoping to save a few minutes.

50 seconds later, the cyclist approaches. But you are a moron who can't operate your own garage door opener. He/she cyclist sees you as the person who attempted to run the light, almost killed him/her, then passed him/her as the road was choking from three lanes to 1 lane, only to slow down and park in front of him/her, probably to the right of the lane, blocking his/her legal path to the right.

He slaps your fender because YOU almost ran the light into him. And he/her slaps your fender because you passed him at the choke of three lanes into 1 lane. And, now you stop, blocking the one lane road while you are doing who knows what while you incompetently try to open your garage door while you assume the whole world can read your mind and know you are just a bubble head. I have a garage door opener and it is instantaneous; the 30 second cycle you describe is some half ass excuse for incompetence. The more I look into what you have written, the weirder your behavior is.

tao, for you, talking to a consoler, psychologist or psychiatrist is more reasonable than talking to the cyclist.