West Seattle speeders: SPD stops a 42 mph bicyclist

8:58 PM: Another citation roundup on SPD Blotter tonight; at first glance, we thought, nah, we’ll skip this one, nothing particularly major. Then we took a second look, and noticed this SW Admiral Way stop:

1 bicycle at 42 mph

First time we’ve seen them mention a bicyclist.

ADDED 11:02 AM THURSDAY: Just talked to Sgt. Sean Whitcomb of the SPD media-response unit, to follow up on this. One point of clarification: The bicyclist received a “warning” ticket, not one with a price tag – as an opportunity for awareness-raising, according to Sgt. Whitcomb, who adds that the rider, an “adult male,” was “very surprised” – both at being stopped, and once he heard how fast he was going (indeed, detected by LIDAR). This isn’t the first time ADRT has stopped a bicyclist, notes the sergeant, but more commonly, it’s for “rules of the road” type violations.

3:07 PM THURSDAY: A comment just in from Kevin, who says he’s the cyclist that was “pulled over”:

As the cyclist involved… I figure I should give my 2 cents.
I was fine with being pulled over. I could have gotten a ticket and would have been OK with it; however, the SUV gaining on me from behind should have also been given a ticket. Going 42 (and by the way… why does everyone assume I was going downhill) on Admiral just keeps you with the flow of traffic. This morning, I was going about 30 mph and had a car zoom past on the right hand side and cut over right in front of me just before the merge to Spokane. Like it or not, it’s safer for a bike to break the speed limit and keep up with traffic (if possible) than to try to obey the law.
The officer was nice about the whole situation (and seemed to get a kick out of pulling over a bike). He said he had been looking for a bike to pull over for a while (apparently, I was the first going fast enough). He told me he was careful to write a neat contact report so that I could frame it. If only I had known I was going to be clocked…

136 Replies to "West Seattle speeders: SPD stops a 42 mph bicyclist"

  • gannonjf July 27, 2011 (9:06 pm)

    How in the hell.

    • WSB July 27, 2011 (9:11 pm)

      The Media Unit’s gone home for the night (aside from being on call for major huge cases) but I’m hoping to ask them to elaborate tomorrow! Did spot Officer Bundy, car 932, the ADRT officer from my ridealong this spring https://westseattleblog.com/2011/06/video-a-ride-with-the-aggressive-drivers-response-team pulled over with a driver by the eastbound bridge 99 exit gore point, right about the time I headed downtown to the courthouse this morning, so it was clear ADRT was out again … TR
      P.S. to John – I didn’t call this out to say “bicycle speeding, the horrors,” just thought it was fascinating that SPD actually included one in the roundup. Didn’t know you could bounce the LIDAR off a bicyclist …

  • john July 27, 2011 (9:11 pm)

    I have been trying to get a speeding ticket on 35th for years.
    42… I’ve gotten a little over 50 on admiral though.

    (Now bike haters are gonna get pissy at that… “oh… reckless cyclists”… and not even consider the fact that I was *keeping pace* with traffic at 50. Of course, it’s always ok to break the law in your golden car chariot… but if a bike breaks the law… the horrors.)

  • Mr Matt July 27, 2011 (9:19 pm)

    Well, you’ve got those nice, shiny reflectors to work with. :)

    A: That’s pretty funny.
    B: I’d totally contest it.
    C: Wonder how the bicyclist took it?

  • Josh July 27, 2011 (9:23 pm)

    I definitely was passed by a cyclist going down admiral yesterday. Was curious if speed limits (like, apparently, many traffic laws) only applied to motor vehicles.

  • Colleen July 27, 2011 (9:31 pm)

    good for them! I’ve seen them ticket on Mercer Island before too, bikers seemed peeved too.

  • redblack July 27, 2011 (9:35 pm)

    mr matt:
    C: probably not too well: the cop took all of his/her momentum. he/she could have cruised all the way to starbuck’s HQ with that head of speed.

  • Que July 27, 2011 (9:41 pm)

    I think that is some kind of badge of honor for the cyclist. I would totally frame that.

  • SSS July 27, 2011 (9:47 pm)

    I’ve never heard of a bicyclist getting a speeding ticket.

  • JJ July 27, 2011 (9:59 pm)

    The reason a lot of drivers hate bicyclist is because they act like cars when it’s convenient but they also act like pedestrians. If you are a bicyclist and chose to ride in the street then you need to obey the traffic laws just like car drivers. None of that coming to a red light then taking a left turn anyway and just skirting around the laws when ever you want. I’m glad he got a ticket. More cops should give bicyclist tickets when they disobey the laws.

  • fiz July 27, 2011 (10:07 pm)

    Our darling daughter got a bicycle speeding ticket on the CWU campus several years ago. She was ’10 over’.

  • I. Ponder July 27, 2011 (10:12 pm)

    Just shows that some cyclists can easily keep pace with cars. Cyclist likely wasn’t simultaneously text-messaging. I bike commute to South Park daily. When I’m waiting for the light to turn green at a major intersection, I see drivers texting or looking at their laps every day while making a critical turn. “But officer, I wasn’t texting. I was just looking at my lap.”

  • lucky chick July 27, 2011 (10:20 pm)

    Funny, I can be riding 30 in a 25 and every car will still feel they have to pass me. Of course, the cyclist was only endangering himself, unlike car speeders, and the danger the cyclist was facing was largely from CARS – pulling out without looking, swerving onto the shoulder, running red lights… but hey, I agree, frame the ticket and claim bragging rights!
    Mercer Island targeted 4-way stop runners (bikes only, not cars) for a while but they’ve pretty much stopped that from what I can tell.

  • Josh July 27, 2011 (10:40 pm)

    @JJ: Exactly what I was thinking. I see it a lot downtown, where a cyclist is a ‘car’ when travelling on the roads but as soon as their path is obstructed they become ‘pedestrians’, frequently pedaling through the crosswalk and hopping back into the lane, thus becoming a ‘car’ again.

    Or the big kicker is not stopping for pedestrians at crosswalks on alki. lol

    Pick one, is all I’m saying.

  • miws July 27, 2011 (10:42 pm)

    Would have been more impressive had the bicyclist been going up Admiral Way!



  • John July 27, 2011 (10:57 pm)

    Mercer Island is still targeting cyclists breaking the law, including speeding and failing ride 2 x 2.
    Great point above: riders can’t have it both ways. Obey traffic laws, period. And, getting a head start at a light is still ok.

  • datamuse July 27, 2011 (11:09 pm)

    I’m not sure why bicycles are expected to act like cars. They aren’t cars.

  • bebecat July 27, 2011 (11:32 pm)

    The reason bicycles are to act like cars is because they want to be on the roads with cars. Kinda like when women went into male dominated workplaces wanting to be treated the same but they were not the same. It was about the same battle/discord/complaining/turf war!

  • Nick July 27, 2011 (11:52 pm)

    They should recruit him to become part of the SPD bike unit.

  • Dennis Grace July 27, 2011 (11:56 pm)

    @datamuse – because when cars are stuck in traffic they expect that bicycles should be stuck in traffic too!

  • mike July 28, 2011 (12:04 am)

    so if a Bicyclist gets a speeding ticket does their car insurance go up? I’m all for fining bicyclists for running red lights but this seems stupid.

  • Mr Matt July 28, 2011 (12:07 am)

    Sooooooo if you’re on a bike, there’s no other traffic around, and you’re trucking along – how exactly are you supposed to know if you’re exceeding the speed limit? They don’t make a whole heck of a lot of pedal bikes with speedometers on them.

  • BA July 28, 2011 (12:08 am)

    @Lucky Chick: The reason I want to pass a bike that’s currently keeping pace, ASAP is that eventually they can’t keep pace and then they become an unpredictable rolling chicane.

  • pj July 28, 2011 (12:10 am)

    I think the more important story here is the 61 mph in a 30 zone…… absolutely nuts! Bicyclists are required to obey traffic laws the same as cars. I’ve seen bicyclists getting tickets downtown.

  • westseattledood July 28, 2011 (12:44 am)

    Bike’s have speedometers? Do they really? I am not a cyclist, so I really don’t know. What are the rules/code for bikes and speed in city? How are cyclists expected to know their speed if speedometers aren’t required by law to be on all bikes used on city streets? How does that work?

    PS. My dog and I almost got nailed by a rider down on Alki yesterday morning. He was going so fast coming up behind me, but gave no clue he was there by yelling “on your left”. He slammed on the brakes and flew over the handle bars landing on his shoulder. I felt terrible, but really wonder what the heck he was thinking? I don’t think he was riding defensively when he was going that fast in the shared lane or even paying attention until he was right on top of us. Fortunately, he was fine; got back on
    and went on his way like nothing happened. ? I
    was more shook up. Maybe bells or horns should be required along with speedometers?

  • velo_nut July 28, 2011 (2:43 am)

    I have more speeding tickets on my bike than I do in my car.

  • redblack July 28, 2011 (5:57 am)

    mike: good question. you don’t need a driver’s license or proof of insurance to operate a bike, so how do the cops expect to enforce that ticket? all the cyclist would have to do is say, “no, i don’t have ID, and my name is harry cox. i live at 535 california ave SW.”

  • velo_nut July 28, 2011 (6:49 am)

    This will get the blood pumping…
    that was fun. A lot of pucker factor on that one.

  • wsjeep July 28, 2011 (7:15 am)

    This is GREAT!!

  • cclarue July 28, 2011 (7:32 am)

    I wish the cyclists on Mercer Island cruising along E or W mercer way would speed up bc there is really no safe passing on continual winding streets like those. It is almost comical that a ticket was issued to a cyclist. But I dont want to discourage their speed on busy arterials. I am always wanting them to speed up or move over. But on a shared path??? no slow down and pay attention!!

  • My Eye July 28, 2011 (7:43 am)

    The rules for bikes on the road are the same as they are for a car on the road. A stop light is a stop light, the speed limit is the speed limit.

    And as a cyclist, I’d also frame that.

  • Question July 28, 2011 (8:02 am)

    Good. Now start giving tickets to the ones that run red lights and Seattle will have enough money to pay for the bicycle lanes that Mcidiot wants to put in without raising my car tabs.

  • JAT July 28, 2011 (8:11 am)

    First comment: How in the hell – as an occasional cyclist on Admiral I can tell you it’s not hard to build up a lot of speed just from gravity. If I stop pedaling at the view point and don’t brake, I’ll easily be at 37 – 39 mph by the bottom of the hill (AND motorists will still be trying to go around me).
    Some cyclists add a speedometer (marketed as a “bicycle computer”), but I suspect a cyclist could make the argument that they didn’t know what their speed was and aren’t required to carry the equipment that would tell them.

    I also suspect that in this case the cyclist was spotted by the cops *because* he was booking down the hill past a bunch of motorists who were driving closer to the limit. I once (from my car, and before the recent restriping, so the right hand downhill lane was still quite wide) saw a cyclist flying down the hill to the right of the two slower lanes of cars when all of a sudden (to answer a cell phone call? I don’t know) A driver abruptly pulled over into what I’m sure seemed like the shoulder – he braked with all his might but still went right into and over her car and into the brush.
    I’m sure it hurt, but I didn’t have much sympathy.

  • Harry Cox July 28, 2011 (8:36 am)

    @ Velo_Nut: Nice Work man! My best is 52 on Highland Park Dr. Where did you get 62?!?!

  • margaritaville July 28, 2011 (8:55 am)

    This makes my day!

  • KBear July 28, 2011 (9:13 am)

    You cannot go 42 mph on a bicycle without having some sense that you’re going really fast. You may not know your exact speed, but if you’re doing this in a 30 mph zone—speedometer or not—you KNOW you’re speeding.

  • ME July 28, 2011 (9:22 am)

    No badge of honor! … a fool! Glad to see they are getting tickets! Yes, there are very careful, lawful bike riders … but my experience with bikers is “there a lot of fools” out there too! (same for car drivers too I must add!)

  • rob July 28, 2011 (9:25 am)

    “Bike’s have speedometers? Do they really?”

    very few come with them but they are an inexpensive accessory (well, normally. you can spend a lot on one if you want). In Seattle, you really wouldn’t ever need one unless you ride down big hills like Admiral, HP way, MVD, etc.
    “How in the hell.”
    It is really easy to hit that kind of speed on a big hill, really without even trying. I go down MVD every morning and have to work my brakes to stay under 35.
    I think there must be more to this story. I think the most interesting part as it stands is that the flow of speeding cars thinned out enough for the police to even bother hitting a bicycle with their radar. Maybe he was doing something else and all they ended up citing him for was the speed.

  • velo_nut July 28, 2011 (9:30 am)

    My Highland Park max is 54mph. I hit that 62 ( http://tinyurl.com/3mpdhps ) during the Waitsburg Road race stage in Walla Walla. Unfortunately I crashed out midway through the race and couldn’t finish.

    Fastest I have gone (and I wish I had taken a picture of it) was 64mph on the backside of Paradise at Mt Rainier.

  • Tim July 28, 2011 (9:36 am)

    51mph on Des Moines Memorial going under 518. Scary.
    You can hit 40 on Admiral without even peddling. Its just a bit to congested for me to want to go that fast.
    And have SPD send my ticket to 1250 1st Ave S (learned that from Jake and Elwood)

  • John July 28, 2011 (9:57 am)

    The trouble is that while most cyclists are law abiding, just like most drivers, the ones that are jerks give the rest of us a bad name. Bottom line – I may ride past you up to the red light between you and the parked cars (my own private little 18 inch wide lane) – and so will be ahead of you when the light turns green, but you will still get home 30 to 40 minutes before I do, so chill out.

  • DP July 28, 2011 (10:03 am)

    The only way this story could have been better is if:
    1) The bicyclist was armed and had taken a hostage.
    2) There had been a high-speed chase w/helicopters.
    3) Bicyclist had gotten onto I-5, going the wrong way.
    4) Chase ends with the cops shooting out his tires.
    Maybe next time.

  • KBear July 28, 2011 (10:29 am)

    Now if we could just read about a Metro bus driver being cited for running a red light or blocking an intersection…

  • todd_ July 28, 2011 (11:01 am)

    Amen KBear!

    • WSB July 28, 2011 (11:09 am)

      If you’re just refreshing the comments page … I just talked to SPD for some new info on the bicyclist and added it to the story… – TR

  • k2 July 28, 2011 (11:19 am)

    I commute every day by bike, and I own and drive a car. We all take liberties with the law, in cars, on bikes, and on foot.

    I’m not going to sugar coat it, i’m not a seattle-ite, i’m not sensitive:

    The reason I act like a car sometimes and pedestrian other times is because there is inconsistency in the civil engineering to support cyclists.

    We don’t always have a bike lane so sometimes I will hog the road because I don’t want to get a parked car door in my face. Sometimes I have to ride on the sidewalk because people in cars are being assholes.

    All you lazy bastards in your cars who simply need to put your fat foot on the brakes for an extra 20 seconds while I’m pedaling my fat ass home or to work, still get pissed and avoid the 3 foot rule and zip past me as close as you can, and honk…you can go to hell.

    Ride a bike and see what it’s like to try and get home in one piece, as fast as possible, with a bunch of stupid, arrogant, impatient drivers zipping around this city sucking up fuel, polluting the fresh air, thinking they have a ‘right’ to own the road…even when there is a bike lane you people still act ignorant.

    You’ll get where you’re going, faster than me, and when it’s raining in your in your nice warm car, don’t get upset when I spit on your window because you’re being a dick.

    Kudos to getting 40+ on a bike, you got caught, no different than anyone speeding anywhere, now you got a story…hopefully you don’t lose your bike insurance.

  • DMarking July 28, 2011 (11:20 am)

    All the more reason why I vouch for bicyclists to be licensed and insured. They can just as dangerous on the road. What’s even more upsetting is if they are at fault in an accident your auto insurance is having to still pay for the damages to them, their bike and your car, etc.

    On another note, it would be a good revenue booster for the state.

  • k2 July 28, 2011 (11:21 am)

    Funny there are more comments about this than the 80mile an hour on WSeattle Bridge.
    I love our priorities.

  • westseattledood July 28, 2011 (11:40 am)

    This is a city renowned for its hills. It wants to expand bike usage? Then It might want to think about codifying a speedometer requirement as a substantive awareness-building effort. IMHO.

  • NinjaRider July 28, 2011 (12:11 pm)

    There have been a few mornings running now where, riding the wee Ninja I’ll pass a bicycle on Avalon, duck off down Genessee, and by the time I get to Delridge they will have used a combination of another sneaky backroute and FLYING down that ridge to catch up with me… and I’m not exactly riding like Slowpoke Rodriguez.

    When *I* go that fast, I’m in leather pants, an armored jacket, full-finger gloves, and a full-face helmet and boots. A crash at that speed (easily 40+) in typical pedal-pushing gear will NOT buff out! I’m really surprised that trips to Harborview (or Evergreen-Washelli) aren’t more common….

  • rob July 28, 2011 (12:31 pm)

    “A crash at that speed (easily 40+) in typical pedal-pushing gear will NOT buff out! I’m really surprised that trips to Harborview (or Evergreen-Washelli) aren’t more common….”
    it probably comes down to skill of those doing it, and the amount of time they are doing it.
    on the first part, generally you won’t find timid people bombing down hills like that. there are some who simply throw caution to the wind, but i personally only see those guys once in a while. more often it’s people who are paying pretty close attention to what they are doing.
    what i mean by that second part is that when cycling from someplace high in WS to the bridge and beyond, the amount of time you will be pushing that sort of speed is literally going to be seconds of a 15 to 20 minute trip. the rest of the time you’re plodding along at not-so-extreme speeds.
    for example, on sunny days i use MVD to drop from AH down to lincoln park and ride all the way around alki. it takes a little longer but its a really pretty way to go. it takes about 30-45 seconds to go from around 104th to endoline joes, and aside from another 15 second hill going from the street down to the beach in lincoln park, i can only really go as fast as my legs will make me go the rest of the way.
    on the other hand, when i ride my motorcycle, i’m going 30-40 mph the entire ride unless i’m stuck at a light or something.
    so, while the consequences of an accident are just as grave, the time you’re exposed to that risk is very brief.

  • DG July 28, 2011 (12:36 pm)

    I was pulled over going down Highland Park on my bike two years ago. 44mph in a 30mph zone, and I was riding the brakes that day. I received a written warning. I deserved a ticket the same as a car, and was lucky not to get one. I have been road cycling for 35 years. I stop at red lights. I roll through stop signs on occasion, but only when no cars are present. I received a ticket in Oregon for rolling a stop sign on my bike about 15 years ago. Pissed me off of course, but I did the deed. I try not to piss off motorists doing stupid stuff like riding two abreast on busy roads. Flying down Highland Park is a rush, and involves risk I choose to take I guess. Share the Road.

  • rob July 28, 2011 (1:07 pm)

    “Flying down Highland Park is a rush, and involves risk I choose to take I guess. Share the Road.”
    it would be a lot more fun if there wasn’t an intersection at the bottom. i’ve never let loose there cuz i can always imagine a semi blocking the whole intersection at just the wrong moment.

  • datamuse July 28, 2011 (1:08 pm)

    JUST as dangerous as cars, DMarking? When was the last time a bicycle hit someone and killed them? Oh, I suppose it’s possible–weird stuff happens all the time–but seriously? The hyperbole surrounding bicycles and bicyclists astounds me.
    It ain’t just here, either. I have two friends who commute by bike–in Oakland. Now THAT’s hardcore.

  • Dan July 28, 2011 (1:09 pm)

    This cop must not ride much. The rider wouldn’t being going 41 for long. Either at the bottom of the hill or in a short while when the legs caught fire

  • Other John July 28, 2011 (1:30 pm)

    I just want to share a perspective with people who get angry or upset when cyclists act like motor vehicles sometimes and then like pedestrians when it’s “convenient” for them. Nothing having to do with riding a bicycle is convenient compared to a car (except parking). This hybrid approach that many riders take, when done safely (which I’m aware is not always the case) is completely necessary much of the time to make riding a bike a viable mode of transportation. For one, bikes do rely HEAVILY on momentum – where that might save you $0.35 worth of gas in a car it could mean the difference of miles you can cover, how much sweat you’ll be drenched with at your destination, and how wrecked your body will be later on a bike. Also, while this article was about a bike speeding, that really only happens on long downhill stretches. The rest of the time riding a bike takes a lot longer than driving a car, and since we’re busy people too just like you, the little “perks” like avoiding a detour by riding a few blocks (safely) on a sidewalk can make the difference between whether biking works for a person or not. Just my two cents – because I see people complain about this a lot. Cheers

  • Joseph Doaks July 28, 2011 (1:47 pm)

    To the guy claiming he went 50 down Admiral, you are a liar. And even if you could, who would scrape up your ugly mug off the cement when you would have crashed? Nice try, chump.

  • Josh July 28, 2011 (1:59 pm)

    It seems like the people that are saying “you have no idea how hard it is to ride a bike” are under the assumption that they are forced to do so. You made the decision to be a cyclist so you take all the perks and drawbacks that come with it. It being ‘harder’ doesn’t justify breaking laws and cutting corners, especially when it is a choice YOU made for yourself.

  • WTF July 28, 2011 (2:17 pm)

    The way I see it (as do so many others), if you want the respect of the road abide by the rules of the road. I’ve seen MANY idiot drivers, as we all have, but there is not ONE day that I’ve been out, where I haven’t seen at least one bicyclist break the law; from speeding to running a red light. And, before you get your proverbial cadence in a knot, remember, when you share the road, you share the accountability.

  • WTF July 28, 2011 (2:19 pm)

    P.S. Josh…I’d like to buy you a drink! Well, said.

  • Bob Pierce July 28, 2011 (2:21 pm)

    Please tell them to go to the corner of the Fremont PCC and they’ll cover their 2012 budget in stop sign violations with cyclists.

  • lucky chick July 28, 2011 (2:21 pm)

    Well said, Other John. And it’s useful to note that cyclists have the same rights as pedestrians at intersections. I sometimes exert those rights because the way transportation infrastructure is set up (clearly by non-cyclists in most places!), it’s the most reasonable way to proceed.
    As far as “vouching for” (??? assume you mean “support”) licensing bikes, do you really want to take away the financial incentives of cycling and put all us cyclists back in our cars? Did you ever notice that CARS hold you up much more often than bikes? Ya know, there are a lot more of them. And no, bikes are not “as dangerous.” Not even close, and not even worth addressing in its absurdity.
    That said, I’m one of the most law-abiding cyclists out there. Safe too. I know there are some reckless ones, but at least we don’t text while riding. Drivers have much greater potential to wreak havoc, and yeah, plenty of them drive like morons.

  • lucky chick July 28, 2011 (2:25 pm)

    I once hit 44 on Holden (at 5 AM and just long enough for my computer to register it – I’m generally a scaredy-cat and slowed immediately). 50 on Admiral would be no problem (but I probably would chicken out).
    Joseph Doaks, how about I call you a wimp? Or why don’t we race?

  • datamuse July 28, 2011 (2:31 pm)

    WTF, there ain’t one day goes by that I don’t see multiple drivers breaking the law, either. So what? Why single out bicyclists?
    Josh, it so happens that I do know quite a few people who bike because they can’t afford cars. The decision isn’t quite as cut and dried as you’re making it sound.
    Is that a justification? Of course not. No more than there’s any justification for a car driver running a red light, changing lanes without signaling, speeding, not using a hands free kit to talk on the phone, texting while driving, or tailgating–but I witnessed all of the above during my commute (by car, for those of you keeping score at home) yesterday, and yesterday wasn’t unusual.

  • Rebecca July 28, 2011 (2:37 pm)

    Cyclists are more than welcome to become pedestrians: they just need to GET OFF their bike and walk it. If you want to be a ped, walk the bike down the sidewalk. I was in a car once that was turning right, when a cyclist came racing down the sidewalk and hopped into the crosswalk at full speed. He almost got hit and, naturally, figured it was the car’s fault.

  • non plussed July 28, 2011 (2:40 pm)

    Have you ever bent the rule a little bit in your car, Josh? Ever fail to COMPLETELY stop, behind the line, at a stop sign? Ever change lanes without signaling? Pull into your driveway without signaling? Run a light that was maybe just a week bit more red than yellow? Ever get stuck in an intersection, wither on purpose or not, when the light changed? Ever broken the speed limit? Even by 1mph?

    How about if it was actually physically harder for you to stop completely at a stop sign, instead of slowing, seeing that it was clear, and rolling through? Would you bend the rules a little further?

    Until you’ve been out there on a bike, and you know what it feels like, you don’t really know what you’re talking about. As someone who both rides a bike and drives a car, and knows plenty of others who do both as well, I can tell you that everyone breaks the rules, in cars and on bikes. It’s just a function of degree and consequences.

    If I speed on my bike, or run a stop sign, and I wreck, I might dent your car, but I’ll go to the hospital. So the risk that I’m taking is borne almost entirely by me. If I make the same choices in a car, and I wreck, I’m endangering the safety of everyone around me, and the risks that I’m taking are borne by those people as well. Since I’m capable of accepting risk on my own behalf, but not on behalf of those around me, I take far fewer risks and bend far fewer rules in my car–but again, I’m not perfect. And I’m guessing, if you’re honest with yourselves, no one else on this blog is, either.

  • datamuse July 28, 2011 (2:45 pm)

    Legally, Rebecca, it would’ve been. Bicyclists are allowed to ride on the sidewalks. Just because you’d like it to be otherwise doesn’t make it so. A bike isn’t a pedestrian any more than it’s a car.

  • Kevin July 28, 2011 (2:54 pm)

    As the cyclist involved… I figure I should give my 2 cents.
    I was fine with being pulled over. I could have gotten a ticket and would have been OK with it; however, the SUV gaining on me from behind should have also been given a ticket. Going 42 (and by the way… why does everyone assume I was going downhill) on Admiral just keeps you with the flow of traffic. This morning, I was going about 30 mph and had a car zoom past on the right hand side and cut over right in front of me just before the merge to Spokane. Like it or not, it’s safer for a bike to break the speed limit and keep up with traffic (if possible) than to try to obey the law.
    The officer was nice about the whole situation (and seemed to get a kick out of pulling over a bike). He said he had been looking for a bike to pull over for a while (apparently, I was the first going fast enough). He told me he was careful to write a neat contact report so that I could frame it. If only I had known I was going to be clocked…

  • jeff July 28, 2011 (2:59 pm)

    next time you’re riding possibly a 10 speed bike have some doughnuts ready just incase you might be 10 over the speed limit

  • Engine Ear July 28, 2011 (3:07 pm)

    Hey Rebecca, most state laws provide bicycles legal access to ride on sidewalks, but with pedestrians having the right of way. Many times the only SAFE place to ride, without interfereing with car traffic, is to ride on a sidewalk, when no bike lanes are provided. It’s not that we want to bounce along from misaligned concrete slab to slab every 6 feet, but becoming a hood ornament on a Buick driven by someone texting with one hand and brushing their hair with the other isn’t a viable alternative either. IF you are frequently being disturbed by bicyclists surprising you from behind, it MIGHT be because you have earbuds stuffed into your ears playing music so loud you can’t hear them yell “on your left” at you, while you are walking right down the center of a 4′ wide sidewalk, or perhaps side by side with your girlfriend, or with a dog leash stretched across the sidewalk while your dog takes a dump on somebody’s yard. A sidewalk is a PUBLIC right of way, just like a road, and you have to share it with bicycles, skaters, runners, scooters, wheelchairs, and everything else but motor vehicles. If you want to walk, that’s fine, but don’t expect everyone else to use a sidewalk the same way you choose to, and keep aware of others around you and SHARE the sidewalk responsibly; we ALL paid for it.

  • Josh July 28, 2011 (3:14 pm)

    @WTF: Don’t tempt me. I’ll take you up on the offer! Cheers!

    @datamuse : there’s always public transit, right? That’s what i do when gas prices get ridiculous.

    and @non plussed No one is defending ANYONE breaking the law here. It’s a poor argument to justify ones actions by saying “oh yeah, well, what about you?”. I have no ill will towards bikers and appreciate their dedication to something I definitely dont have the gumption to do, but I don’t think that their decision to take an alternate mode of transportation gives them free reign to do what they want. Just because I drive a smaller car (which consumes less gas) doesn’t mean I can pull in front of a mac truck and lock my brakes and call it his fault. There are repercussions to stupidity, regardless of what you drive.

    Oh, and while I may be guilty of a few things on that list, I’ve never come close to plowing over pedestrians. The same can’t be said for handfuls of cyclists I’ve seen on Alki. /holierthanthou

  • Jonathan July 28, 2011 (3:20 pm)

    “Like it or not, it’s safer for a bike to break the speed limit and keep up with traffic (if possible) than to try to obey the law.”

    I second that – this is true in just about any mode of transportation

  • datamuse July 28, 2011 (3:27 pm)

    Re: transit: sure, Josh. Until your route gets reduced or cut, or takes so long to get you where you’re going that riding a bike or even walking is faster, or you’re so bad off that even bus fare is something you have to scrounge for.
    Okay, that’s probably a fairly small number of people, though I’ll wager it’s more than most of us think. Still, though I’m not as widely traveled as some, the U.S. is the only country I’ve been in where bicycling is treated as some sort of luxury instead of a valid and even default form of transportation. What’s up with that? And again, why single out bicyclists? Everything you’ve said could be said of drivers, too, and I daresay even more so, but I see few people making that argument.

  • jenn July 28, 2011 (3:28 pm)

    Did some checking and was surprised to find that it is legal to ride your bicycle on Seattle sidewalks.


    “Section 11.44.120 RIDING ON A SIDEWALK OR PUBLIC PATH. Every person operating a bicycle upon any sidewalk or public path shall operate the same in a careful and prudent manner and a rate of speed no greater than is reasonable and proper under the conditions existing at the point of operation, taking into account the amount and character of pedestrian traffic, grade and width of sidewalk or public path, and condition of surface, and shall obey all traffic control devices. Every person operating a bicycle upon a sidewalk or public path shall yield the right-of-way to any pedestrian thereon, and shall give an audible signal before overtaking and passing any pedestrian.”

  • Heather July 28, 2011 (3:30 pm)

    I was wondering why they would pull over a bike anyway. Do you have a speedometer on your bike? I don’t, I would have no clue how fast I was going. Sorry you got the ticket.

  • Phil July 28, 2011 (3:33 pm)

    Wow! This is certainly a divisive issue. I would like to commend those posters who show understanding on either side of this issue. We are not talking about villains. We are talking about our neighbors.

  • lavaman July 28, 2011 (3:35 pm)

    @westseattledood – was the cyclist on the bike path or the separate walking path on Alki? If the bike path, then you need to keep your dog and yourself reigned in and/ or better yet, stick to the walking path. If it has wheels on it, it belongs on the asphalt bike path, if only legs stick to the concrete walkway. The speed a biker on the bike path goes is only fast relative to how slowly walkers trying to use the bikepath interpret an oncoming cyclist after you become aware of your obstructing their right of way. It’s now harder than ever to get to and from West Seattle and everyone needs to accomodate the alternative forms of transportation people are utilizing. Let’s get cooperative and informed here all.

  • Mr Matt July 28, 2011 (3:35 pm)

    Hah, wow, sure are a lot of angry people in here. Post a story with “bike” in the title and it’s guaranteed to become a car v. cycle argument in no time. There has to be some sort of Godwin’s Law about talking about bikes and cars on the internet.

  • Mary July 28, 2011 (3:35 pm)

    Just noticed – King 5 has this story front page on their website. I’d laugh it makes to the NBC Nightly News with Brian Williams ;-)

    • WSB July 28, 2011 (3:38 pm)

      Mary – we tweeted the 42 mph bike discovery and TV picked it up from there. SPD swears it’s pulled over bicycles before, but I also swear I’ve never heard of a bicyclist pulled over for speeding! – TR

  • vannamocha July 28, 2011 (3:35 pm)

    And we wonder why we can’t end the debt ceiling debate.

  • Bill July 28, 2011 (3:38 pm)

    @Kevin. Of course everyone assumes you were going downhill because there is no way in hell you could attain speeds even remotely close to that anywhere else.

  • HeyJoe July 28, 2011 (3:39 pm)

    “Oh, and while I may be guilty of a few things on that list, I’ve never come close to plowing over pedestrians. The same can’t be said for handfuls of cyclists I’ve seen on Alki. /holierthanthou”

    What can be said about drivers on 35th?


  • Captain90s July 28, 2011 (3:54 pm)

    I travel down Admiral Way on my bike often. Without a speedometer, I can’t accurately gauge my speed, (although I was once told by the automated machine that I was doing a whopping 6 miles uphill) I could easily estimate that I am going between 30-40 mph. And, like the others who have posted, I invariably have cars buzzing past me. The idea that a biker should be held responsible for the speed limit when all the cars around him are not is ludicrous.

    I’ve noticed that this thread has become a little distracted by the idea of bikers switching from vehicle to pedestrian. As already stated, there are quite a few places in this city (particularly in West Seattle) where doing so is the only safe way to proceed. Consider 35th Avenue. On the downhill stretches, I am capable of keeping up with traffic (or at least go fast enough to not get splattered), however as I approach the uphill, my momentum and speed drop drastically, and it becomes necessary to switch over to the sidewalk. Sometimes I have to avoid a particularly bad stretch of road by going on the sidewalk?

    That leads me to another point. About three weeks ago, I was traveling downhill on Orchard way towards Delridge (side note: maybe it’s not orchard? The one between 16th and Delridge) I was pulled over by an SPD cruiser, and the officer informed me that he was pulling me over for “erratic swerving”. He obviously suspected me of drinking. This is when I brought to his attention that, y’know those speed bumps that you go over so easily in your nice car? Yeah, those are major obstacles for me to avoid on my bike. Fortunately, the officer was quite nice about it once he realized the situation, but I feel it’s a point worth mentioning.

  • NinjaRider July 28, 2011 (3:55 pm)

    @Bill, @Kevin: Correct. World speed record for an unfaired bike on the flat is ~35mph. Kevin: My fellow motorcyclists agree – given the above tidbit, you *should* frame that. (The fairing makes a HUGE difference – over 80mph, or Mach 0.1.)

  • JEM July 28, 2011 (4:01 pm)

    In college I was pulled over on my bike for not having a headlight. I only received a written warning though!

  • Kevin\'s wife July 28, 2011 (4:02 pm)

    @ Bill. wow. you need a sense of humor.

  • Alki July 28, 2011 (4:14 pm)

    Good. Now start ticketing bikers for all the other traffic rules they break.

  • westseattledood July 28, 2011 (4:19 pm)

    Lavaman- I fully support bikes in the city.

    I walk on the sidewalk, not the bikepath. Known and respected the difference for DECADES – but thanks for edifying others.

    I was crossing the 10- 12 FOOT wide path to get to my parked car. I am and have been cognizant of shared paths for decades. There were no other parked cars or other pedestrians to obscure his sightline. He simply elected not to slow down because he didn’t have to. One second I checked from the corner of my eye where he was – probably 35/40 feet away, moving fast. My error was assuming he would slow down so I continued to cross the remaining five feet assuming he should slow down and yield as a car should slow down and yield to
    crossing pedestrians.
    He endangered each of us by not being willing to break his cadence. That’s selfish, if you ask me and definitely not sharing – it was domineering and
    aggressive. No better than an aggressive car driver, to me.

    But I felt badly anyway. What if he had really gotten hurt? Grossly unfair.

  • Velo_nut July 28, 2011 (4:19 pm)

    @Bill & Ninjarider – uuuh… wrong. We can easily hit 38-40 in a sprint to the line during a race. Tyler Farrar (A washington resident racing in the Tour de France this year) clocked 42mph on the finish of the July 4th stage.

  • Bonnie July 28, 2011 (4:20 pm)

    There are so many car/bike and bike/pedestrian arguments out there. We all have our own rules and laws to obey. Though here is what irks me… I’m on the Alki bike path and I approach a group of pedestrians (3+ across) in said path and they do not try to give me or many other cyclist space needed to go around. If I’m approaching from the back of a group and say,”On your right/left”. Most give me a dirty look, mock what I said, or make kidding threats about pushing me or hitting me. I announce myself nicely, am not going fast, and i just don’t want anyone to get hit or step in front of me. My husband and I ride our bikes together once a week on the path. One of us is always behind the other so we leave more space on the bike path. Why can’t pedestrians stay on the walking path or a least show some respect to us that give warning when passing?

  • JW July 28, 2011 (4:23 pm)

    What’s up Fabian Cancellara???? Best line ever…why does everyone assume I was going downhill? That’s pretty fast. Have you been eating Spanish beef???

  • lucky chick July 28, 2011 (4:30 pm)

    It actually made the Wenatchee news. The best part is: “the bicyclist was one of several motorists…” Sheesh.

    Love that King quotes the cyclist pointing out the speeding, menacing SUV behind him!


    • WSB July 28, 2011 (4:38 pm)

      One of several MOTORISTS? Verbiage LOL … although in my TV days, I banned the word “motorist.” You’re a driver, or a bicyclist, or a motorcyclist, or whatever … “motorist” is a word few if any use in conversation. Data point! – TR

  • kss July 28, 2011 (4:38 pm)

    After reading the snarky comments and bragging about how fast you all ride your bikes, I wonder when you will take responsibility for your own crummy actions and attitudes. I hope it happens before you cause injury to someone.

  • Kate July 28, 2011 (5:19 pm)

    Not really sure why there is so much hostility from cyclists to cars — here’s the deal, someone is likely always breaking a traffic law. If you’re the one caught, accept it and move on, don’t start complaining about how this person was texting or this person was going faster than me. Buck up.

    Regarding someone’s post about the cyclist speeding is only endangering him/herself. Not true — if someone swerves trying to avoid you b/c you were following pedestrian rules at one point and moving vehicle rules somewhere else, I could hit another car, a pedestrian, etc. Further, my blood pressure/anxiety goes up when I’m near cyclists b/c if I hit you, regardless of “fault” I’m going to feel awful b/c I know my car will cause more damage to you than the bike to my car. When you’re making up your own rules, you’re putting lots of people in danger, just as I am when I’m breaking the rules in my car.

  • 2wheels a-go-go July 28, 2011 (5:19 pm)

    To answer a few questions:
    1) Going 42mph downhill on Admiral is very easy on a bike. All you have to do is coast, and gravity does the rest. I have topped out at 50mph on Admiral before, but that was starting from a full sprint at the top of the hill, then going into a full tuck. The fastest I’ve ever gone on a bike? 58mph down a 25% grade in England, on a mountain bike and towing a fully-loaded trailer.
    2) Many cyclists have small computers mounted on their handlebars which can measure speed and distance. They have traditionally used a magnet attached to a spoke, but newer models utilize GPS. Not everyone uses them though, and they can be very inaccurate if not calibrated properly. Because of this, I don’t see how the speeding infraction would stick in court (i.e. Kevin probably had no way to gauge his own speed and was only matching the speed of traffic for safety sake). I hope you fight this in court, Kevin!
    3) RE: cyclists switching from street to sidewalk: This is a perfectly legal maneuver. State and city law allows cyclists to use either the road (preferred) or the sidewalk (except in certain areas like downtown Seattle). Riding on the road requires that cyclists obey all traffic laws that pertain to motor vehicles. Riding on the sidewalk requires that cyclists yield to pedestrians. I suspect that when motorists complain about cyclists switching from road to sidewalk, they are jealous that they cannot do the same.

  • Mike July 28, 2011 (5:24 pm)

    Kevin, the laws of physics are not able to back your idea that you should do 42mph if you feel it’s safer. Like it or not, the stopping distance of your bicycle is almost twice that of a car with decent brakes, not even great ones. Tack that onto the chance that somebody cuts you off and then hits their brakes, you and your bike are probably around 200lbs of mass vs. 3,000-6,000 for an average vehicle on Admiral Way. You’ll lose every time.

  • datamuse July 28, 2011 (5:29 pm)

    Captain90s: it’s Orchard, then something else, then Austin–it changes as it twists around. I know exactly the stretch you’re talking about. The bumps and potholes are awful in a car; I can’t imagine trying to ride that stretch on a bike.

  • Steve July 28, 2011 (5:45 pm)

    Years ago I use to ride from Admiral and California west down to Alki and myself and a friend could approach 50 if the conditions were just right. Once I was riding by myself and a SPD officer was going up the hill. By the time I was at the bottom approaching the 4 way stop he was behind me and I did not notice and he ended up pulling me and another bicycle I had caught up to over for blowing through the stop sign at 63rd.

    We both got a ticket, not a warning.

  • JJ July 28, 2011 (5:57 pm)

    This just in, good news for all the bike-haters:

  • 22blades July 28, 2011 (6:36 pm)

    I cringe because I ride as well as drive. I had to panic stop for you. You came around the bend as I pulled out at the overlook. You would not have been able to stop. I ride in a major city (larger than Seattle) on a regular basis and what you don’t realize is that you were running out of “outs” without affecting others. A reasonable speed for both cars and bikes affords not only impact survivability but realistic reaction times for others. You’re giving us a bad name. You’re a hack.

  • John July 28, 2011 (6:54 pm)

    Bike riders should be required to carry liability insurance. Be ticketed when they dont follow the rules of the road and also get tickets if not wearing a helmet. If they want to ride with the big boys they need to play by the rules

  • lucky chick July 28, 2011 (6:57 pm)

    Idiocy nicely demonstrated, by Mike:
    Tack that onto the chance that somebody cuts you off and then hits their brakes, you and your bike are probably around 200lbs of mass vs. 3,000-6,000 for an average vehicle on Admiral Way. You’ll lose every time.
    or: “You cyclists should be more careful so that we drivers can behave like a-holes and not be held accountable for killing you.”
    This is why smart and reasonable people get so frustrated with this useless conversation.

  • Bomb July 28, 2011 (7:30 pm)

    Bikes are not cars, and should not pretend the are. Mostly for thier safety, and to not frustrate the drivers by going 20 mph and blocking the entire lane. Cars and bikes are NOT equal. Deal with it, and save us all some pain.

  • Darryle July 28, 2011 (8:06 pm)

    About 15 years ago I was pulled over on my bicycle for doing the same thing. I was traveling down James street in Kent (very steep hill) for doing 40 in a 35. As the bicyclist in West Seattle, I also was just keeping up with traffic. Low and behold, there was a speed trap half way down the hill. With cars all around me, the officer chose to pull me over. He got a kick out of it, as did I. I got a warning, however, it was still a waste of time. He should have been pulling over the real speeders. Goes to see that some officers have nothing better to do.

  • solu July 28, 2011 (10:29 pm)

    I never ride on a 35 on my bike so it cracks me up when people say “cyclists always block the road and go way under blah blah” that’s like me saying “motorists all throw trash out the window and peel out at 3am”..

  • My2C July 28, 2011 (10:58 pm)

    You are not bearing all the risk by riding your bicycle, you are essentially endangering others by disobeying the laws and riding recklessly. Just as I don’t condone driving a car recklessly, in a sense that it would put others at risk, it is the same with bikes. How are you endangering others? I don’t give a shit if you don’t dent my car, your act of deciding to randomly pop out of the bike lane or run a red light could potentially allow me to KILL you, do you not think that would impose any amount of emotional damage?
    I’m all for bikers, and it’s not a big deal to me when they stop at a red light then go through if the intersection is clear (among other deviations to the law), but if I’m well within my lane and they don’t check their blind spot and I need to take defensive action, they piss me off and create resentment. This happens extremely often, whether I get cut off by a bike or they speed past me on my right side while I’m making a right hand turn, and it’s dangerous to both me and them. I just think they should think about WHO they are endangering by doing dumb things, rather than being pompous and rationalizing their actions because riding their bike is much greener; save that discussion for elsewhere.
    (As a site note: getting pissed doesn’t mean I become Mr. Road Rage, I politely brake or give them the right of way, then continue on my merry way. I do NOT want to be involved in a car vs bike accident.)

  • Mike July 28, 2011 (11:01 pm)

    Thanks lucky chick! I appreciate your incredible contribution to this thread with your trash talk. Maybe… just maybe, I have actually crashed on a bicycle and I know how bad it can be. Hell, I didn’t even hit a car, I hit a rock, flipped over the handle bars going about 15mph on a dirt trail and I can’t remember 1 hour of my life. All I remember is the top of the hill and an insane pain at the hospital where I apparently signed a waiver for them to tend to me. The left side of my face was scraped off by dirt and rocks. I also cracked my Giro helmet, $120 helmet, luckily they have a crash replacement program.
    So, if people want to do 42mph on a road with 3,000+lb vehicles a few feet away… expect worse.

  • Captain90s July 28, 2011 (11:06 pm)

    @datamuse It’s not a route I strive to take haha, but it’s not bad if you have previously walked down and taken note of the pothole locations. Brakes help, too.

  • One More Time July 28, 2011 (11:49 pm)

    Nothing like a bike story to get the blood pumping at the WSB.

    Of course, nobody should be ticketed for going 42 mph down Admiral. A reasonable speed limit there is 45 mph anyways. Does setting an absurdly low speed limit cultivate disregard for traffic laws in general? Is this why there are so many people running red lights lately? hmmm…..

  • JN July 28, 2011 (11:52 pm)

    110 comments? I guess if you slap “bicycle” in the title, no matter what, people will start blathering on about how cyclists always break the law while totally ignoring the motorist going 61 in a 35mph zone, not to mention the two cell phone violations. People, please get it through your skulls that when you talk on a cell phone while driving, your reaction time shoots down to the level of someone who is legally intoxicated. Unfortunately, I see this literally every day, multiple times.

  • ellenater July 29, 2011 (1:25 am)

    These bikes versus cars threads always amaze me. I see: a lot of bad drivers and a lot of bad cyclists. I also see a lot of good drivers and a lot of good cyclists. What is the deal with all the finger pointing? It is just dumb…

    I agree with the cyclists that there are tons of really bad and stupid drivers. Bikes should be allowed to go on sidewalks and do other things in order to maintain safety. As a driver of a car, however, I do get annoyed when I see a cyclist running a red light or doing something else that I consider dangerous. And this is only because I don’t want to hit one! Lately, I have had very good bike experiences and have really witnessed a lot of cyclists doing a good job both sharing the road, and maintaining their own protection. This requires a really intricate amount of assertion combined with caution. I consider it a fine art when it’s done correctly. I used to cycle all over Portland back in the day…

    I do agree the many cyclists go too fast on the Alki path. Parts of that path are just for wheels but when you get down around Salty’s, or even up by the viewpoints, there are a lot of peds. and tourists who do not know the path is used for bicycle commuters. I skate that path about 5 times a week and have nearly been taken out by cyclists several times–and I go fast! Please announce yourselves and also consider using the road if you are completely against slowing down.

    And as far as the ticket goes, I am just wondering if there is an over limit loss of license thing like there is for cars? THAT would be something to frame.

  • Enid July 29, 2011 (6:32 am)

    I’m pro-cycling, but bikes have to follow the same rules as other vehicles on the road. A few years ago I was downtown, crossing with the light and in the crosswalk, when I was hit hard from behnd by a speeding cyclist. I was on crutches for 3 weeks with injuries that still trouble me today. To make things worse, the speeding cyclist was a COP.

  • bebecat July 29, 2011 (8:11 am)

    As a car driver before I can use the road I have to have driver’s ed, pass a drivers test, aquire insurance, purchase tabs, buy a car seat with padding for my child, put him backwards in the rear seat,have working turn signals /headslights/taillights, seat belt everyone in for safety . Yet a cyclist dons a helmet and spandex, gets on the road and demands that everyone watch out for him/her….I don’t get it.

  • mutato July 29, 2011 (9:31 am)

    @bebecat: My feelings exactly.

    I think you should have a bike endorsement on your DL as well a bike license plate! Think of the revenue!

  • M_ July 29, 2011 (10:12 am)

    @Enid – yes, when on the road we do have to follow the same rules… but the beauty is that we can also ride on the sidewalk or bike path – where we don’t have to follow the same rules. There is no law against switching from one to the other – just common sense, which I agree is lacking for some cyclists but no more so than drivers.

  • VBD July 29, 2011 (11:21 am)

    I ride all around West Seattle and there are many things that bother me about drivers AND other cyclists. But to me, the biggest hazards are pedestrians.

    When I travel along Alki, I NEVER use the bike trail. Not only is it dangerous to walkers, due to my speed, it is also quite dangerous to me, as the kids, joggers, and dog walkers don’t have a clue what to do when I pass. Dog walkers are the worst.

    It’s uncanny that as a cyclist passes, the dog will go to the opposite side of the trail, and the idiot owner will pull on the leash rather than going to the same side of the trail as the dog. So the effect is that the whole trail is blocked by the extended leash. I’d feel awful for the dog if I plowed into the leash and strangled the poor thing.

    Next Rant:
    I agree that MOST cyclists break the rules, and make excuses for it. I don’t understand the “momentum” argument. Not that it isn’t true, but that it’s a significant problem. So what if you have to accelerate again? You want the exercise don’t you? Stop at the sign. Stop when cross walks are occupied. Ride your bike like you were in a car. Including getting in good enough shape to maintain a reasonable speed.

    Rant #3:
    40+ mph is no big deal to an experienced cyclist. But I’ve noticed that drivers do not expect bikes to be going that fast, and do stupid things as a result. I’ve had drivers look right at me but still pull out, because they don’t register that I’m actually riding as fast as the car traffic. ANYTIME I see a car at an intersection I prepare to take evasive action. I constantly have to react to drivers not expecting me to be moving quickly.

    The maneuver I hate the most is being passed just before a right turn. The driver has to accelerate around me (because I’m going nearly as fast as they are), then suddenly hits the brakes to make the turn, forcing me into an emergency stop. Similarly, the drivers making u-turns into the ferry lane on Fauntleroy will pass the bike, move to the right, then swing left. Very dangerous.

    The best way to deal with all the hazards are to ride in the road (not along the shoulder) keep a speed as close to the flow of traffic as possible, follow the traffic rules, and be ready for someone to cut you off unexpectedly.

    Rant over.

  • Dizzle July 29, 2011 (12:12 pm)

    Over 115 comments about a speeding ticket; that just cracks me up. Someone can be raped & killed right in your neighborhood and that article gets about 10 comments! I think people should not be able to complain about cycle commuters/riders until they have tried it themselves and the same goes for those that haven’t driven a car before. It’s sad that we (America) are light-years behind other countries in alternate forms of transportation. People complain non-stop about high gas prices, horrible traffic yet, still continue to sit in their single occupied car. All I am saying is, give cycling a try (or a bus, carpool, walking, water taxi, etc) and you just may surprise yourself…and maybe even loose a few pounds!

  • Tom July 29, 2011 (12:15 pm)

    You need to Get Over Yourself…..

  • servsemright July 29, 2011 (12:18 pm)

    As a former cyclist who used to ride as my only form of transportation, I completely disagree with this. I don’t feel that he should have felt as if he deserved it and I think the cop was a total J.A. for doing anything more than just advising against it for personal safety. Why you ask? Quite simple actually. 1)The bicycle is not motorized therefore it cannot and should not be classified the same as a car. It is not allowed access to all of the same roadways as a car. 2)last I checked, bikes are not manufactured with speedometers. There are no laws requiring speedometers on bicycles at any level, (That means federal, state, or local.) Therefore the speed laws which apply to motorized vehicles CANNOT be applied as speedometers on bikes are not included in the R.C.W.’s, (last I checked)
    As to the haters out there who think that bicyclists should get the tickets for safety obviously don’t have any experience on a bike other than riding as a little KID. An experienced rider is BY FAR more agile than any Automobile or Motorcycle on the road. They can turn sharper, quicker, and stop faster. Therefore they have there ability to get out of trouble. Granted they are more vulnerable than cars but less so than motorcycles. And remember, motorcyclists went through years of having to dodge cars because drivers never pay attention to anything smaller than a semi. Hell, I’ve had so many of you arrogant self serving “car” drivers pull out in front of me when I am in the family mini van that I’m surprised that any of you are still surviving. Not to mention that I have yet to see a cop pull any of you idiots over. I gaurantee that any bicyclist out there is ten times more aware of who else is on the road as any Washington state fool with a drivers license And yes I am a native washingtonian web foot, so don’t go gettin butt hurt over my comment. But it’s true, most of you drive like JACKASSES.
    As for a test and a license? When they allow bikes and non motorized vehicles on the freeway then maybe we can talk. Otherwise just can that rhetoric. All of you people who are jealous of bicyclists not having to take a test and pay a fee for an endorsement? Well consider this before you go running your idiot mouths. You are driving a 3500 lb. bullet at speeds up to 70 mph and most of you, (and yes I do mean MOST) don’t see a thing wrong with eating or drinking, or talking on your phone, or hey even the biggie,,,texting. And you have the audacity to put forth an opinion like that? You should be ashamed of yourselves. Besides, the government is big enough and has intruded into our lives enough as it is, please don’t invite them to find another stupid idotic reason to step into our lives and regulate us even more. It’ sickening enough already.
    OH YEAH,,,I almost forgot about the genious who had the complaint of bicyclists acting like a car and then like a pedestrian and then like a car when it came to things like crossing crosswalks and intersections. That’s one of the freedoms of being on a bicycle. You’re not motorized and are therefore much closer to a pedestrian status than that of a car. I guess having that kind of mobility option just goes hand in hand with using your own two feet to get around, rather than sitting on your fat ass pushing a gas pedal. Doesn’t it?

  • westseattledood July 29, 2011 (12:40 pm)

    I think extended leashes should be illegal in the city for that very reason,VBD. I’m a dog owner and I know that using them provides virtually no control in a number of environments (near bike paths or even just sidewalks crowded with pedestrians, for example). They DO create hazards that compromise public safety in public spaces.

    City Hall really needs to address a
    number of issues – tweaking details of code related to cyclists but maybe even more importantly is coming up with some kind of non-alienating educational campaign for everybody to
    reduce the frustrations. It won’t solve anything overnight and some folks will just never learn,
    but it would establish a foundation for the future as we go through the “growing pains.”.

    This discussion has brought back memories of Amsterdam…and how far this city has yet to go…

  • westseattledood July 29, 2011 (2:22 pm)

    Just caught wind of this website which is worth looking at whether you are cyclist, driver or pedestrian.

    The focus is on how bikes can avoid getting hit, but it provides insights to every driver who doesn’t cycle as well.

    Check it out. I learned a lot:


  • M. July 29, 2011 (6:46 pm)

    I for one would like to see or hear of a bicyclist cited for stop sign/stop light running. I see that nearly every day. Also, for those cyclists who do stop at red lights, please stop behind the crosswalk markings, and not in the crosswalk, or intersection. We pedestrians and vehicle drivers thank you.

  • livesherenow July 29, 2011 (6:49 pm)

    I really hope that servsemright goes back to cycling and stays out of cars. Sounds like another Patrick Rexroat waiting to happen.

  • Justin July 29, 2011 (6:50 pm)

    This is not legal advice; I am not an attorney and would never want to be one – Interesting, however, the police department can not give you a citation for “breaking the speed limit” if you do not consent to the contract offer “ticket”. I cycle, and my bike is not registered to the state, nor am I going to pay a fine for “speeding” when there is no damaged party or complaining citizen to the contrary. One, you do not need a license to bicycle which is a legal disability and consent to abide by traffic acts, statutes and ordinances. 2. You are never breaking the law unless you have damaged someones property, lied in contract, or have injured another human being. A warning is really all that could be given, and I bet it was an act of authority and making a statement for others. No license equals no provisions and non consent to public policies that are de-facto and “color of law” in nature. I’m not advocating breaking rules by all means, I am just putting it out there that common law still exists and common law is common sense. Police are Peace officers first and enforcement officers second. No breach of the peace, no crime. Ask them for their bond number and their oath. If they can not or will not provide you with those two simple things then you should question the individual standing in front of you, and how they obtained the costume. I am tired of public servants abusing the power that the people empower them with to uphold the peace, not bully and collect revenue for D.C.

  • Paul July 29, 2011 (7:18 pm)

    If SPD wanted to ensure auto and cyclist safety, they would start writing tickets to cyclist who are impeding traffic (SMC 11.44.020. Rights and duties of rider; SMC 11.52.130 Minimum speed regulation — Passing slow-moving vehicle.)

    The maximum arterial speed limit is 30 mph, cyclists need to keep up with traffic or get off the road.

  • vbd July 29, 2011 (8:29 pm)

    @ Paul, I am very much in favor of Bicycles attempting to ride with the flow of traffic, but your request that they will, at a minimum, ride at the posted speed limit is incorrect. The same municipal code you referenced (SMC 11.44.020) does not support your assertion. From the code:

    “Every person operating a bicycle upon a roadway at a speed slower than the
    normal and reasonable flow of motor vehicle traffic thereon shall ride as
    near to the right side of the right through lane as is safe, except as may
    be appropriate while preparing to make or while making turning movements, or
    while overtaking and passing another bicycle or vehicle proceeding in the
    same direction. A person operating a bicycle upon a roadway that carries
    traffic in one (1) direction only and that has two (2) or more marked
    traffic lanes may ride as near to the left side of the left through lane as
    is safe. A person operating a bicycle upon a roadway may utilize the
    shoulder of the roadway or any specially designated bicycle lane if such
    exists. (RCW 46.61770(1))”

    The bottom line is that bicycles have absolute right to use public roads, even if they cannot always match the prevailing speed of motor vehicles. They do not have the right to violate speed limits, stop signals or basic driving rules.

  • Justin July 29, 2011 (10:15 pm)

    Not legal advice, for entertainment purposes only, all rights reserved without prejudice.

    Any penal code and RCW is irrelevant.

    Refer to the following:
    Washington State Constitution


    SECTION 1 POLITICAL POWER. All political power is inherent in the people, and governments derive their just powers from the consent of the governed, and are established to protect and maintain individual rights.

    All legal policies under the jurisdiction of the STATE are only enforceable when consented to.
    Refer to Blacks Law Dictionary 6th Edition pg. 210
    A concurrence of wills. Voluntary yielding the will to the proposition of another; acquiescence or compliance therewith. Agreement; approval; permission; the act or result of coming into harmony or accord. Consent is an act of reason, accompanied with deliberation, the mind weighing as in a balance the good or evil on each side. It means VOLUNTARY agreement by a PERSON in the possession or exercise of sufficient mental capacity to make an intelligent choice to do something proposed by another. It supposes a physical power to act, a moral power of acting, and a serious, determined, and free use of these powers. Consent is implied in every agreement. It is an act unclouded by fraud, duress, or sometimes even mistake…

    All public policies, RCW’s, Ordinances and any derivative thereof only pertain to “persons” “citizens” “tax payers”. None of you are any of these things. These things are fictions and defined in the language of Legalese. You are all human Sentient beings of the flesh and blood who CHOOSE to respond to those fictional titles thereby consenting by acquiescence to be “Wards of the STATE” and STATE PROPERTY.


    Refer to Blacks Law Dictionary 6th Edition pg. 791

    In general usage, a human being (i.e. natural person), though by *statute* term may include labor organizations, partnerships, associations, corporations, legal representatives, trustees, trustees in bankruptcy, or recievers. See e.g. National Labor Relations Act, s. 2(1), 29 U.S.C.A. s. 152; Uniform Partnership Act, s.2.

    This applies to everything. It doesn’t matter how fast you are going, whether you have a speedometer or anything of that nature. What matters is that you do not damage another human being and use common sense when interacting in the public realm. Common sense means being safe, and that goes for all parties involved. Everyone takes responsibility for their own independent actions. Common sense includes being safe and yielding to others ensuring that there is no breach of the peace.

  • Nancy July 29, 2011 (10:27 pm)

    I was in the line coming down Admiral yesterday and saw this go down. I saw the guy shoot out onto Admiral on the curve at the bottom, which was jammed with cars, and cringed thinking he was going to be splattered on the concrete or someone’s bumper by the time I got there. Instead, the cop had his lights on and was pulling him over just as I drove by. People were honking in appreciation. The cop did everyone a service, especially the bike rider.

  • Justin July 29, 2011 (11:07 pm)

    Not legal advice. All Rights Reserved Without Prejudice.
    Last post and if anyone is interested in these things further, please visit my web site.

    On December 6, 1865, the 14th Amendment was proclaimed as ratified (even though it never properly was, see below). The 14th Amendment, which is private Roman Catholic Ecclesiastical Trust Law, constitutes a constructive, cestui que trust, a public charitable trust (PCT) that was expressly designed to bring every corporate franchise artificial person called a “citizen of the United States” into an inseparable merging with the government until the two are united (with power held by the government, not the people). A cestui que trust is fundamentally different from a regular trust, which is express [clear, definite, explicit] in nature and consists of a contractual indenture involving three (3) parties: Grantor (Creator or Trustor), Trustee,
    and Beneficiaries. In an express trust, legal ownership is transferred by written contract between Grantor and Trustee in which the Grantor surrenders ownership of property to the legal person, the Trust, to be managed by the Trustee on behalf of those who are to benefit from the arrangement, the Beneficiaries. A cestui que trust, on the other hand, differs from an express trust in several crucial ways:

    a. It is not formed by express contract, i.e. overt agreement expressed in writing, but by legal construction, i.e. fiat.

    b. A cestui que trust has no Grantor, but, being a constructive trust created by operation of law, i.e. by make-believe, has only co-trustees and co-beneficiaries. The co-trustees are the parties with the duties for managing property for the “public good,” i.e. for the benefit of those designated as co-beneficiaries….

  • Big Mac July 30, 2011 (12:06 am)

    Tickets on hills don’t count and you need to be on the flat or uphill , not in a school zone and need to be doing at least 15 over.
    I don’t know who the person that thought that the speed record was 35 they are smoking some good stuff, The number has to be at least 55.
    I just want to feel what 70 feels like I must beat Thor (69 during a decent at the tour). I was doing 62 at the Lake Stevens Triathlon a year ago.

  • Mike July 30, 2011 (12:09 am)

    servsemright said: “BY FAR more agile than any Automobile or Motorcycle on the road. They can turn sharper, quicker, and stop faster.”
    The laws of physics disagrees with you. God might save you, science will not. On flat surface, the average road bicycle can do 42-0mph in over 100 feet. Downhill it’s a lot worse. By the time a bicycle can come to a complete stop, they would have already hit the car in front of them that was braking at the same time 100 feet in front of them. Contact patch, it’s important in braking. Dang science…

  • vbd July 30, 2011 (8:56 am)

    @Mike, since you fancy yourself as being a science savvy, how about a reference for your claim?
    I believe a bike can stop as fast or faster than most cars. The coefficient of friction of a bike tire is quite high on dry pavement, and the ability to apply force independently to the front wheel, means a skilled cyclist can modulate the brake pressure to get to the edge of flipping forward, while keeping his weight back. The result is a VERY fast stop. Add to that, the fact the cyclist will likely be riding with his hands over the brake levers means reaction time will be very quick.

  • Kevin August 1, 2011 (5:45 pm)

    @Nancy – No one honked. I had been on Admiral since Admiral & 49th. Surprisingly, the curve at the bottom of Admiral was clear. I don’t know why you feel the need to lie about what happened.

Sorry, comment time is over.