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"GET THE F4*K OUT OF THE ROAD, BI7CH!"(20 posts)

Apr 8, 2003 7:47 PM
...screamed the Henry Rollins look-alike, leaning out of a Jeep his buddy carefully piloted right in front of me to force me off the road, causing a freshly-built wheel to pretzel. That's how my MY easy spin went today. Two questions:

1) What is your usual reaction to an incident like this? I'm assuming it comes in stages. Mine goes something like: 1: Fear. 2: Extreme anger. 3: Figuring out where they went so I can hunt them down and... and... 4: Wondering what I'll do if I find them. 5: Contemplating what the guy's life has been like to make him like that. 6: Wondering if the answer to #5 will mitigate the answer to #4.

2) In the local paper, a woman recently wrote a letter to the editor offering her strong approval for the actions of a driver who rode a cyclist off the road. Her contention was that cyclists don't pay taxes for the roads, and therefore don't have a right to use them. I know this is baloney, but I don't have a grip on the specific right-of-way laws that permit us to ride on the road. Can anybody help me fill in the blanks here?

Yours always,
re: "GET THE F4*K OUT OF THE ROAD, BI7CH!"russw19
Apr 8, 2003 9:16 PM
Regarding the first part... I try to stay calm enough to get a license plate number. I have a golf pencil and small piece of paper in my seat bag for that same reason. That and getting girls numbers while I am big pimpin' in my lycra shorts! I have a friend who is a cop who will run the number for me and see who they are and what they do for a living. If they have priors on their record, I would probably report it. If not, I will ride by their house at night and contemplate throwing a brick thru their car's window. (no, I have never actually done this, but it doesn't mean I haven't wanted to!)

For number 2, it depends on your state. I live in Florida where other than minimum speed limits, bikes are held to the same laws that cars and motorcycles are. Which technically means a car must change lanes to pass a cyclist on the road. If it's a double yellow and two lane road, they have to slow down and drive behind you until there is a passing zone. That never actually happens though. But because a bicycle is a motor vehicle in most states you could argue in court that the person attempted to harm you with a deadly conveyance. But to get the State Attourney's Office to bring charges against a motorist is going to be difficult at best unless your SA is a cyclist too. As for the taxes issue... again, I live in Florida. I am a property owner, so I pay taxes. I am also a consumer, so I pay sales taxes too. Those are it... that's all we pay, so I am a tax payer just like that woman. Just because I ride a bicycle doesn't mean I am not a tax payer. I can see that logic if she were talking about a group of 10 year olds riding to school, but beyond that it's assinine, just like that lady.

That's all I can think of right now... it's getting late for me, so if I think of more, I will add to this later.

Some clarificationshirt
Apr 9, 2003 8:06 AM
First, about the incident:
- I was riding on the shoulder (all 6" of it.)
- The road is clearly marked "Bike Route."
- They went by way too fast for me to get a license, plus I was busy riding through big rocks trying not to dump it. Also, CA license plates have seven consecutive characters, no spaces, and are a mixture of letters and numbers. Hard to pick out and memorize especially with the speed difference.

About California:
- We pay a lot of money to register our cars every year, and most of that money is earmarked for the DOT. I think people assume that their registration moneys are what give them the right to use the roads. Any CA readers have more specifics about our right-of-way laws?

Apr 9, 2003 8:36 AM
I've studied these a lot; be happy to answer specific questions:
Apr 9, 2003 9:41 AM
I just skimmed most of those, and the gist seems to be, "California doesn't much care. Here's what we recommend; if you really need laws, talk to your County or City." Very progressive. Pussies.
not my impressionDougSloan
Apr 9, 2003 10:12 AM
The first sentence of one law reads that cyclists have all the same rights as motor vehicle traffic.

Not sure what you are talking about.

re: "GET THE F4*K OUT OF THE ROAD, BI7CH!"kenyonCycleist
Apr 9, 2003 7:31 PM
so u from florida..i been pondering moving there as it is way too chill up here in OH/ it a nice place to race/train in?
re: "GET THE F4*K OUT OF THE ROAD, BI7CH!"russw19
Apr 17, 2003 7:01 PM
Funny, I moved here from Northeast Ohio. I just got back from visiting my dad and I was thinking about how much I miss riding up there. Lots of hills compared to where I am. My family lives in the Akron area and that's about the hilliest part of Ohio. I do miss the hills. Nothing big like mountains, but lots of nice rolling hills to keep the ride interesting.

If you come to Florida, I recommend you live on either coast. I live in the middle in Gainesville which is about two hours north of Orlando. It's the most ridiculously humid area in the country. An average summer day here is 95 degrees, and 95% humidity. It's very hard to motivate yourself to ride in that kind of crap weather. It just saps the life right out of you. The Tallahassee area is nice. It's not as hot and there are some hills in that part of the state. Otherwise, live on the coast where the humidity is lower. The catch there is that if you want to climb anything it's gonna be bridges and overpasses and that's it.

Have fun,
If I recall...shirt
Apr 18, 2003 9:04 AM
there are some rollers out past Alachua. And there's always the wall on 16th!

But I also recall the bubba factor increasing exponentially the farther you go from town...
cell phone?DougSloan
Apr 9, 2003 6:51 AM
I carry a cell phone (a very tiny one), and would call the police or sheriff right there. You really should report it.

People pay taxes, not things. If you are a person who owns a car, works, buys things or services, or in just about any way functions in society, then you pay taxes that support the roads.

Unless a highway, usually an interstate, is specifically marked as no bike traffic, then you have a right to ride there. It's as simple as that.

Find out...merckx56
Apr 9, 2003 7:26 AM
what the specific road-use laws in your state are. In SC, cyclists have the right to use any road, other than interstates, and to ride two abreast. The law also reads that a rider can ride as far out into the lane as they feel is safe. A deputy gave us a pile of crap one day, for riding two abreast, and I pulled out the law and gave him the copy I carry with me. He wasn't amused, but admitted I was right. It should be in your states' vehicle code. Make a copy a keep it handy. As for not paying taxes, Cyclists probably pay MORE taxes than others simply because, in most cases, cyclists are in a higher tax bracket. $4000 bikes don't grow on trees. The dough has to come from somewhere!
Apr 9, 2003 10:15 AM
I had a similar situation on my ride Monday afternoon.

I live in South Florida as well, and this all went down at about 6:15PM. Not exactly rush hour, but still quite a bit of trtaffic on the road.

I was stoked about Daylight Saving time, so I was happy to be off the trainer and out riding in traffic.

I was riding down a somewhat busy 4 lane road (2 in each direction), approaching an intersection. I was doing aboout 20-22MPH, when this white beater pickup (it's always a beater pickup, right?) passes me slowly.

Well, Bubba leans out of the passenger side window and proceeds to yell at me "Get the f--k off the road, bast--d". The truck then speeds away in typical cowardly fashion. I guess they'd be embarrased to get beat down by a pretty boy with shaved legs!

Anyway, the truck just happens to get caught at the red light at the intersection, so I casually roll up alongside and knock on the window (not a good idea, but I couldn't resist). Bubba opens the window and asks "You gotta problem, boy?" I calmly explain to him that I have a right to be on the road, and that since there were two lanes, his wife could've just gone around me in the other lane.

Here's a nice mental picture of Bubba:
300lbs of smelly white trash blubber.
Mullet haircut ala Joe Dirt.
WWF t-shirt converted into a muscle shirt by cutting off the sleeves and collar.
Empty packs of Winston strewn about said beater pickup.
Obligatory missing teeth.

Anyway, this concept is lost on Bubba and his sister...I mean wife, but I'm sure "reading, riting, and rithmatic" are lost on them as well. I get the standard "you're gonna kill someone" and "get on the sidewalk". I always love that last one, so I ask Bubba why it's called the sideWALK if you're supposed to ride bikes on it. They continue to argue with me (it's a long red light) when I spot a police car up the road. I ask Bubba if he'd like to ask the nice officer if I have a right to be on the road, but I don't get a reply since the light turned green, and they sped off quickly.

Just wanted to sheare my funny story...
Whew! No gun racks? You lucky. nmSpunout
Apr 9, 2003 10:19 AM
Try this...RockyMountainRacer
Apr 9, 2003 10:24 AM
Ride with a very large handgun in a shoulder holster worn on the outside of your jersey. As long as the gun is out there for everyone to see, it's not considered a concealed weapon and is perfectly legal to carry. You probably want to carry your pistol permit in your jersey pocket as well. You will most likely find that miraculously the number of incidents in which motorists mess with you will substantially decrease.
Apr 9, 2003 10:55 AM
The number of incidents the cops mess with you will likely increase, too.

Another viewKEN2
Apr 10, 2003 1:37 PM
Another way to think of the "you don't pay taxes so you don't have a right to be on the road:"

First of all, 99% of us DO pay auto/gas taxes etc. since we also own and drive automobiles;
but even beyond that, following that logic, no interstate travel should be permitted... every state should stop vehicles with out-of-state plates at its borders, since obviously none of them pays state taxes in that state either (oops, there goes tourism!); kids shouldn't be allowed to walk on the sidewalks since they don't pay taxes to support them; etc.
In reality, the right of every citizen to travel on public roadways dates from well before the automobile was invented, and is subsumed in the Constitution Bill of Rights (the right of public assembly).
Yet another view53T
Apr 11, 2003 4:42 AM
Although a cyclist has a right to travel any public way, the issue is a red herring. The overiding legal issue is the criminal offence of assault with a deadly weapon. Cars are for transportation. As soon as you use one to influence the location or behavior of another person, you are in a lot of trouble, if we would only stop focusing on the silly rights issue.

If I take a gun and shoot someone who is stealing a newspaper (not necessarily my newspaper), nobody ever debates whether he did or did not have the right to steal that paper. It also does not matter if I kill him, wound him or miss him entirely. The unlawful use of deadly force is the offence. Same with running someone off the road, whether they are a pedestrian, cyclist or motorist.

Why do so many overlook this simple reality? Is is too boring for conversation?
good point. nmDougSloan
Apr 11, 2003 6:42 AM
The most recent oneWilliamstownDiesel
Apr 16, 2003 5:14 PM
Argh, so a pickup truck (maybe 8 times out of 10) comes up behind me honking. I STUPIDLY and ARROGANTLY like I always do, flick off the a**hole. He ran me off the side of the road and almost off a cliff into a river (if I made it past the guardrail). He nearly killed me!! I'm tired of this happening, when is a politician going to do something about it?!?!?!
The most recent onerussw19
Apr 17, 2003 7:09 PM
When you lobby for it! No politician is gonna give a rat's ass about a bunch of cyclists until they form a lobby and start to influence the vote. That's how local politics work! You need to get a large enough voice, and although they tell you your one voice counts, that doesn't always mean it's heard.

Get a large enough group that you can keep someone out of office or put someone in and your issues will be at the forefront of your local politicians' minds... until then, you are just a speck on their radar.