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Almost hit a fellow cyclist today!(8 posts)

Almost hit a fellow cyclist today!HAL9010
Mar 12, 2003 6:36 PM
I was pulling out of a parking lot turning to the right. I came to full stop before the sidewalk. I looked to my right for traffic on the other side of the street as well as pedestrians on the sidewalk. Then I looked to the left for oncoming traffic, there was none. So I turned my head to look to where I wanted to go (to the right) and started to move.

ZAP! EMERGENCY STOP! There is a guy, an adult at least my age if not a few years older (45, therefore should know better) on a bike (with helmet on) riding on the wrong side of the street! I have seen him before in the area at about the same hour (commuting?) but never on the wrong side of the road. But he was still on the wrong side of the street damn him!

My point is that I came quite close to smacking this guy and would have been found mostly at fault. I am sure he would have borne some part of the fault but I was, never the less in a car and had the burden of traffic responsibility. Be careful out there; do not ride on the wrong side of the road! Take your lane as if a car as is your right, just do not flaunt the rules of the road! It is bad enough out there that most car drivers do not actively look for bikes (As I really, really try to do when stuck driving a car).

I had to be in a car (read: cage). I was on the way to pick up my son from Pre-school/day care, therefore the car otherwise I would have been on my bike. The early evening shadows as the sun had just gone down behind the hill did not help either.whine, whine, whine.
bike couriersFrith
Mar 12, 2003 6:48 PM
do that riding on the wrong side of the road thing quite often...especially on 1ways. Not saying this guy was one, just an obvservation.
Quick story..Courier friend of mine bashed his leg up and was forced out of work for a while when a car shot out of an underground parking lot. I asked him if he might take legal action against the car driver and he revealed that he was riding against traffic on a one way.
bike couriersCaseysdad
Mar 13, 2003 7:24 AM
I just finished reading "The Immortal Class" by Travis somebody-or-other, which I picked up because it was ostensibly a book about Chicago's bike messenger culture. (Turned out to be a semi-incoherent rant having little to do with bikes, but that's another discussion...) This guy's take on the issue was that curriers shouldn't be expected to ride with the flow of traffic, obey lights/signs, or otherwise abide by the rules of the road because they're somehow above it. Getting from Point A to Point B as quickly as possible is their livelihood, and they wouldn't be able to make a living if they took the time to follow the rules. Apparently they're all supposed to be some kind of zen-enhanced uber riders who naturally float through traffic on some combination of force field and pixie dust. He had been confronted on many occasions by commuters and other riders who tried to make the "you're giving us all a bad rep" argument, but it didn't seem to make a dent.

I'm not saying that this guy is necessarily a representative of all bike couriers, but his blatant disregard for riding conventions and his amazingly thin rationalizations were kind of pathetic. To top it all off, he spent contless chapters harping about what a dedicated bike advocate he was - apparently oblivious to how completely his behaviors had undermined any validity that his pro-bike argument may have had. Sad...
bike couriersclimbo
Mar 13, 2003 8:29 AM
as a messenger, you'd break the rules also, otherwise you'd never make enough to cover your rent.
bike couriersCaseysdad
Mar 13, 2003 4:19 PM
So the logic here is... what? It's okay to break the law (and potentially endanger the safety and well-being of myself and other people) in order to make a living? Doesn't sound quite right. But hey, if that's the way it works then I'm sure I can come up with dozens of ways that I can justify taking plenty of legal "shortcuts" to make a buck.

If I were a messenger and couldn't cut it by "coloring inside the lines", I'd like to think I'd have enough of a moral base to go find a different job. The author of the book definitely could have. He's reasonably intelligent, has a college degree and is at least good enough at writing to get a book published. He definitely has the strong will and determination to pull himself up by the bootstraps and make pretty much whatever he wants out of himself. In no way did I get the impression that he had no other choice but to break the law in order to put food on the table. Bottom line, I think he just kinda got off on it and only made a half-hearted, poorly reasoned out effort to excuse it.
you should read it againctisevn
Mar 13, 2003 9:22 AM
with a slightly more open mind. I don't think he meant it to be a mechanical dissertation on how to ride a bicycle but more of an overview of the philosophy and lifestyle in the urban cycling community. thus the title, "bike messengers and the cult of human power. perhaps you read zen and the art of motorcycle maintenance seeking instructions for changing the oil in a yamaha as well.
re: Almost hit a fellow cyclist today!maximum15
Mar 12, 2003 7:19 PM
I almost got one Tuesday morning on the way to the gym. Still dark, I am turning into the gym parking lot, and the guy barrels across in front of me ON THE SIDEWALK and WITHOUT A SINGLE LIGHT on the bike. You guessed it, DARK CLOTHES TOO. Idiot. But I saw him when the headlights flashed on him and came to a dead stop in the road to avoid him. As a bicycle commuter, it amazes me how some of these people act.
I'm still torqued over it...HAL9010
Mar 12, 2003 8:35 PM
Mostly in terms of "How dare he take such chances with his safety inspite of my trying to be a safe & courtious driver".

I guess it is a bit of: no matter houw good you try to be some selfish half wit will try to thwart you.

I will not let up on my presonal promise to always come to a full stop at all lights and stop signs...no matter what how lite the traffic may be. Personal orthopraxy not orthodoxy!