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May 5, 2008 at 8:29 pm #586898
Well its officially warm out, and I am seeing tons more cyclists in the mornings and out on after work rides. I am also seeing a lot of excessive road rage from cars going on as usual. Gas being as expensive as it is, there will only be more cyclists on the road this summer.
I am sure this discussion could be very polarizing on both sides, so lets here it, are you excited to ride? Or do you want all them damn kids with there stupid toys to get a car and get off the road?May 5, 2008 at 8:43 pm #623764
I just started riding a few months ago and have had few problems. I’m actually amazed at how patient and courteous most drivers are considering a lot of the stories I’ve read and heard. I did have a couple guys honk their horns at me in rural King County… apparently they’d rather I ride to the right of the white line marking the shoulder (no bike lane)… and there are a few who like to play “how close can I get to the cyclist without actually hitting him” but those don’t happen too often.
I don’t ride to work, though. It’s a different individual who is willing to brave downtown traffic. I’ll stick to the bus.May 5, 2008 at 10:06 pm #623765
I’ve noticed an increase in bicyclists riding on 35th that exhibit really unsafe behaviors (like actually riding on 35th and wearing earphones listening to music!). I have no problem sharing the road, since I’ve commuted on bike before, but some of cyclists are just asking for trouble.May 5, 2008 at 10:47 pm #623766
m…that’s my problem with cyclists…there are rules of the road for them, too, otherwise, I have no problem with them. Oh, and cyclists need to be aware of what’s going on around them…I was just thinking of the cyclist who was going 10 mph the other day in front of me…no helmet, of course, and there were about 6 or 7 cars lined up behind me. There was a steady stream of traffic coming the other way, so we couldn’t pass…all going 10 mph. Just as in a car, you need to check, and move over if you’re holding up traffic..May 5, 2008 at 11:27 pm #623767
I’m happy to see someone cycling and riding their bike to work. I just wish they would follow the rules of the road. Most do, some don’t.May 5, 2008 at 11:28 pm #623768
Well you can’t have it both ways. If you want bikes to obey “the rules of the road” then you have to yield to them taking up the whole lane at whatever speed they happen to be going there is no minimum speed for city streets, that’s a freeway law.
Its amazing to me the scrutiny that people in cars have for cyclists obeying laws. I wish they could apply that to all the people who don’t signal, talk on the phone and fail to merge in their cars every day.
I wonder if its because cyclists seem to *break laws* as perceived, or if its because they *seem* to do it with impunity.May 6, 2008 at 12:12 am #623769
oh that’s right vincent, when a bicyclist goes through a stop sign then it’s a car driver’s fault. Yes, a car driver needs to be more aware of others, including pedestrians and motorcycles, but everyone else needs to obey the rules. Just because your carbon footprint is smaller because of the bicycle doesn’t mean that you can be a “pedestrian” when you want to be, and a “car” when you want to be. I’m also not saying that ALL bicyclists are like this, just like not all car drivers pay attention to what’s around them.May 6, 2008 at 12:24 am #623770
Your describing a rolling stop. Yes in Seattle its breaking the law if your on a bicycle ( but not in Portland, San Fransisco or other cities, where rolling stops for bicycles are permitted by law explicitly). Your totally right they are illegal, and cars do them all the time as well. my only question is why are cyclists put to some arbitrary higher standard on the same law?
As far as being a pedestrian or a car when a cyclist wants to be, well thats the law being spastic. Legally I can ride on a sidewalk all I want, as long as I am not exceeding walking speed or otherwise yield to pedestrians. On the road I have the same rights as a car, I can take up the whole lane and am subject to the same traffic restrictions. But as they are not wrapped in 3000 lbs of protective steel covering, some cyclists choose to take advantage of best sides of both.
If I am on a street and choose to turn onto a bike path, I can follow the law, and stop traffic and wait for a clearing to turn onto the bike path, I would probably be killed by a car that didn’t see me stopped in the road, but at least I would have followed the law.
I see bikes every day merge onto the sidewalk, and then proceed to the bike path. Is it following only the rules of the road? No, absolutely not. Is it safer for the bicyclist than trusting all the cars to not kill them, probably.
I am still asking where the extra animosity comes from. Is it really because they simply broke the law? Or does it stem from people being pissed off bikes seem to do “whatever they want because of the smaller carbon footprint” as barmargia implied.May 6, 2008 at 12:28 am #623771
vincent…I totally agree with what you’re saying. Now…what I was saying is…pay attention…this guy was going 10 mph…did not have a helmet, did not have those cute little rear mirrors…and had never looked around to see if he was impeding anyone. We all need to be aware…even pedestrians. All he had to do was look around him, and he would have realized…and being a conscientious cyclist, would probably have moved over a little. Obeying the law is not the same as being selfish. We’re all in this world together…I have to watch out for you, you have to watch out for me…fair enough?May 6, 2008 at 12:33 am #623772
and, vincent, you read “animosity” when there wasn’t any…I don’t hate bicyclists…I simply relayed a story. If I was driving 10 mph in a 30 mph zone, and you were # 4 or #5 car behind me, you’d probably be a bit perturbed at me, although I’m obeying the law, according to you. I should be aware of what I’m doing when I drive, so as not to impede others unnecessarily…don’t you think?May 6, 2008 at 12:36 am #623773
for the 10mph in a 30 zone:
Minimum speed regulation â€” Passing slow moving vehicle.
(1) No person shall drive a motor vehicle at such a slow speed as to impede the normal and reasonable movement of traffic
except when reduced speed is necessary for safe operation or in compliance with law: PROVIDED, That a person following a vehicle driving at less than the legal maximum speed and desiring to pass such vehicle may exceed the speed limit, subject to the provisions of RCW 46.61.120 on highways having only one lane of traffic in each direction, at only such a speed and for only such a distance as is necessary to complete the pass with a reasonable margin of safety.May 6, 2008 at 12:41 am #623774
JanS: you said you wanted bicycles to follow the rules. I am saying the bicyclist was, and I referenced the appropriate law.
“impeding others unnecessarily” is a bit silly of a statement as I assume you were in West Seattle for the story. All city streets in Seattle are 30mph, or slower and have barely a half mile between lights. Unless you were on your way to a heart transplant, I am not really feeling your plight while you were backed up by the slow cyclist.May 6, 2008 at 12:54 am #623775
I have seen times when a bicyclist doesn’t do this rolling stop that you are refering to Vincent, I’m talking about just simply going through it, not stopping, not looking, nothing. One time was when I was on a motorcycle, I stopped at a 4 way stop, I proceeded because it was my turn, and clear for me, and about 5 bicyclists came from the right not stopping, not slowing down, and no I wasn’t in the middle of a marathon route. If there had been a collision it would have been my fault because evidently bicyclists don’t do any wrong. I am not against people riding bikes, and again, I don’t think that it is ALL bicyclists that shirk the rules, but the ones that do should be held accountable, just as if they were driving a car.May 6, 2008 at 1:00 am #623776
Vincent, I’m not sure people really are more critical of cyclists who break the law than they are of motorists who break the law. We’ve had some pretty heated discussions on this blog about motorists ignoring rules, too! Maybe you’re right, and people do hold cyclists to a higher standard; but maybe it’s that cyclists have less “insulation” between themselves and a critic than a motorist does, and so is more aware of the criticism? I think a lot of drivers are completely unaware of expressed criticism. Might be harder to ignore the critics when you’re more exposed, as on a bike–and the criticism may seem more threatening, too.May 6, 2008 at 1:01 am #623777
Bikes get tickets all the time in the city of Seattle for: blowing stops, red lights and lacking a helmet ( new one as of a couple of years ago. ) so I don’t get why you think they get away with it. Again, I would say its pretty par with the behavior of cars. See my scrutiny comment above.May 6, 2008 at 1:50 am #623778
vincent…you got me. I wasn’t in West Seattle at the time….I was in Wallingford on 40th…but…you’re right, I’m wrong…I bow to your higher intellect. I’m done here…May 6, 2008 at 5:15 am #623779
i just don’t want to be the person who hits a bicyclist who didn’t bother to stop for a stop sign or who swerved in front of me without looking.
i had a very close friend die that way in Portland… her enthusiasm for life was incredible.. but she lived in her own little world.. and that’s not safe when you are sharing the road with cars…
i worry about the stupid things other drivers do.. but most of the time if they are stupid in front of me. the only thing that will suffer damage is a fender…
bicyclists are at more risk.. they should be more aware of their surroundings and more careful… as should pedestrians…
and.. we should have many more bike lanes.. like they do in Portland.. where it is safe to ride.May 6, 2008 at 7:10 am #623780
Vincent, cars drivers can be jerks, cyclist can be jerks. Everything works better if we all just try to be considerate. You don’t sound like you’re in that camp. No one has shown you animosity. Yet you continue to bait, trying to get that response.
JanS experience is not the least bit silly. I think any cop out there would side with her as well. What difference does the street make. Unless you’re struggling to get up a hill or something, if you know you’re holding up an entire lane of traffic, that’s rude and unsafe. To state going ten miles an hour is well within your legal rights and we should deal with it, is also rude.
Imagine you’re cycling around green lake, with no space to pass and you’re required by law to follow a 2 year old on a trike. Please tell me how tolerant you and the 100 bikes behind you would be?
You could have just done a nice *please be aware we’re out here* message. Most people want to do the right thing. Sometimes we all just need a reminder about safety and road etiquette. Did you have to turn it into a who’s right, who’s wrong?May 6, 2008 at 5:20 pm #623781
The narrative of this post seems to be getting forked based on who thinks they are being addressed in which post, so I will try to make them as personal as possible.
side note, I ride to work most days, but I am just as likely to ride the bus, carpool or drive my full sized pickup depending on what the day requires.
JanS, started down the “rude” conversation initially. However she contradicted herself in saying she wanted bikes to follow the rules of the road, and then called a cyclist rude for doing so. All I did was point that out.
… she also… went … passive aggressive … and checked out of the conversation…
Julie & Job brought up excellent points about how nerve racking it can be driving around an inexperienced or *dangerous* cyclist. Which is part of the discussion I wanted to have with everyone. Gas prices and good weather are pushing more people out on bikes, a lot of them for the first time.
barmargia had a point about people being held to the law. I pointed out they have been.
JT I don’t want to seem like I am baiting, I am only describing what I am seeing on the road as a cyclist which includes not only drivers who seem justified in spitting, swearing, and following me to tell me why they think I should get a car or ride on the sidewalk… Tons of novice riders who are on brand now shiny bikes doing all the things that people here have called dangerous, and things that endanger me as a cyclist. I can scroll up and read through, and I don’t see anywhere where I made this about me. Your statement “No one has shown you animosity” is totally ignoring the original context of this thread, and the single time I used the word in the context of asking a question to further discussion. People seemed to defensively trigger on the use of the word itself rather than attempting to further the conversation.
Now as far as your “road etiquette* goes, your making some huge leaps of judgment to assume that your interpretation of etiquette would mean the same thing to a cyclist and a driver. Yeah being inconvenienced on your way in a neighborhood is lame, but racing past a slow bicycle or getting angry that they are breaking the law is far more rude, dangerous and in the case of the slow moving vehicle, wrong. I would gladly take your officer bet, as I have cited the relevant RCW. Also your green lake story is cute, but its a very weak straw man.May 6, 2008 at 6:01 pm #623782
I bunged up my back rim pretty bad trying to hop a biggish curb at a decent clip.. Can anyone give me a recommendation of a shop around admiral or the junction that can help get me rolling again?May 6, 2008 at 6:46 pm #623783May 6, 2008 at 6:54 pm #623784
for every cyclist who pays attention to what they are doing and obeys the rules of the road there is one who thinks they should have priority and everyone should look out for them…
kinda like drivers…. though i think there are fewer of us paying attention than half:)
A little courtesy on both sides would go a long way…May 6, 2008 at 6:56 pm #623785
btw Vincent…since you seem to be in the know…
i would love to find someplace to rent the kind of recumbent that your seat is lower than your peddles and the controls are down next to the sides of the seat so that you don’t have to hyper-extend your arms. tandem would be better than not for me.. side by side preferable…
oh.. and a safe place to ride.. slowly if necessary.
any ideas?May 6, 2008 at 7:34 pm #623786
Job: I total get the more courtesy on both sides thing, but I believe its too easy for people in cars to forget if they make a mistake, they kill people. The attitudes on this thread alone sort of seep with the “get out of my way, or your slowing me down mindset.” People try to sell it as an etiquette issue or bikes being rude, but I think its mostly people in cars feeling entitled, and upset that they have to share the space and time with anyone. ( peds, cars, bikes )
I would think the pedestrian deaths in west seattle alone would be eye opening enough, but yet we still see discussions here and other places about I-35 and other streets. As cars have gotten safer it seems like people find new excuses to do more distracting things in them. The last half dozen near misses I have had with cars involved people on their cellphones, that includes myself being behind the wheel as well. I sat in my truck trying to turn right on California out of Thriftway and just watched this woman in slow motion bump into me because she was on the phone.
To answer you second question recumbents are pretty niche type of bike, I know some shops used to carry a mass produced one call the bikeE but I think the company went out of business. I think your stuck calling around. For places to ride, just south of west seattle along the duwamish is the interurban trail, which meets up with the green river trail. Both are great for low traffic rides. Much better than the crowds you regularly encounter on the Burke Gilman.May 6, 2008 at 7:43 pm #623787
vincent – Isn’t is just as easy for a cyclist to forget that if they make a mistake, they could be killed?
My problem with cyclists is that, even when there IS a bike lane, they don’t ride in it (obviously not ALL cyclist, but in my experience, the majority).
Why do they do that?
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