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Bikes Sharing the Road

steverstever Viva Las CrucesPosts: 40,817
It's spring and the bikes are out. Do you ride or do you hate sharing the road with them?

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  • fintailfintail Posts: 33,796
    edited April 2013
    I give them a wide berth and look out for them - most of them here are fine, but some are really aggressive. Most irksome is when they have a (very expensive) bike lane, but refuse to use it, or weave around without looking.

    It's also motorcycle season (well, will be here in another 8 weeks when the rain slows down), another kind of bike to look out for.
  • steverstever Viva Las CrucesPosts: 40,817
    Aggressive how? Are they beating on your fenders with their tire pumps or just cutting you off (and flipping you off at the same time)?

    Or are they "just" running red lights and stop signs?

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  • fintailfintail Posts: 33,796
    Running lights/signs, turning wide, close calls with pedestrians at high speeds, cutting into faster moving traffic, weaving around, no bike lane usage, etc. There's a holier than thou group who ride in the Seattle area.
  • steverstever Viva Las CrucesPosts: 40,817
    Yeah, lots of those types out there.

    Oh, and some of them aren't in cars but are actually on bikes. :D

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  • fintailfintail Posts: 33,796
    edited April 2013
    Put a 45 year old lawyer in tight gear and a goofy helmet, and Mr. Hyde comes out :shades:
  • ronsteveronsteve Posts: 435
    I give them a wide berth and look out for them - most of them here are fine, but some are really aggressive. Most irksome is when they have a (very expensive) bike lane, but refuse to use it, or weave around without looking.

    Yes, fintail, it's always best to leave some room. Too often the bike lanes are full of trash and debris, which cyclists may sometimes NEED to stray into the regular lane to dodge. Of course, there are essentially NO bike lanes where I am, unless I ride in toward the city, which is counterproductive for getting a good ride.

    No, I don't put a foot down at every stop sign, or wait for every red light to turn green. But I'm not going to do anything to put myself in anyone's way either, knowing that I can't win in any confrontation with a motorist. I treat a stop sign as yield, and a red light as a stop sign when traffic is light enough to allow that, and I do everything I can to help cars pass me safely.

    Sadly, there are enough people that don't respect my right to ride on the roads that the only sure way to avoid an issue is to keep my a$$ firmly planted on the sofa, and see how quickly I get to 200 lbs. But even if I know I won't die in a bike crash, I also know that's not living.
  • fintailfintail Posts: 33,796
    I can understand leaving the bike lane to avoid a big piece of debris - but here, sometimes they will just ride in the road like there is no bike lane - or worse, wobblingly straddle the line, so passing cars are unsure what the cyclist is going to do.

    When I jog, I just stop and go when clear at red lights, as the braintrust of "engineers" in my fair city wants the roads to be both pedestrian and vehicle unfriendly. Shouldn't be a problem for bikes or even cars to do likewise.

    Id' be leery to ride a bike on thoroughfares during peak traffic hours here, that's for sure.
  • ronsteveronsteve Posts: 435
    edited April 2013
    I can understand leaving the bike lane to avoid a big piece of debris

    That's the problem... most motorists DON'T understand. Shards of glass, pebbles, gravel. some place that sand has collected... these are just a few examples of things that can be encountered in a bike lane, which seem like NOTHING to a motorist, but could be enough to ruin a cyclist's day. I'm not endorsing just arbitrarily not making use of the bike lane, but if the bike lane is too much of a mess I'll be in the regular lane. And if that is routinely too dangerous I'll be choosing a different road for my ride.

    On the flipside, I'm guessing most of your encounters with cyclists are hipsters and/or commuters, which are a much different breed. There's definitely an element of cyclist behavior out there (probably more so in your area) that really peeves me, mainly because they piss off motorists who take it as a license to drive extra-aggressively around even responsible cyclists.
    Just because I've had encounters in my car with poorly driven Audis doesn't mean I go out there trying to scare/menace/wreck any Audi I see on the road.
  • fintailfintail Posts: 33,796
    In my area though, from what I can see, the bike lanes usually are fairly clean. My city is constantly out cleaning the streets, and it shows - this area is well known for that part of quality of life. However, some still pretend that the expensive lane built for them isn't there.

    Not as many hipsters on 2 wheels here - the hills make a fixed gear bike difficult :shades: - but the green-on-their-sleeve [non-permissible content removed] commuter is a big contingent. For rainy days, they drive a Prius that they use to merge onto a highway at 41mph, then get in the carpool lane and tailgate.

    I seldom have a problem with any cyclists though - maybe because, as I like motorcycles, I am always on the look out for 2 wheeled vehicles.
  • berriberri Posts: 4,202
    I never understood why they put city bike lanes adjacent to parking lanes instead of toward the middle of the road. Seems to me it make bike riders fodder for opening driver's doors. Splat and down it goes like a bug being hit by a fly swatter.
  • euphoniumeuphonium Great Northwest, West of the Cascades.Posts: 3,333
    Portland is supposed to be the friendliest bike city in the country. Yet, most are holier than thou, split lanes, & move to the front of the line when traffic is stopped for a train or bridge raising. The most passive/agressive inconsiderate boneheads on two wheels. :P
  • jipsterjipster Posts: 5,345
    Bikes should not be on any street where the speed limit is above 25mph. This ain't Mayberry we live in anymore. They are hazards much like the road debris and exploding semi tires we routinely dodge.
  • fintailfintail Posts: 33,796
    For being in the lane of traffic, for sure. They become pylons at higher speeds.

    Euphonium's Portland seems to have more bikers than Seattle - maybe the same level of brashness. Portland is a little more "hip", I think.
  • ronsteveronsteve Posts: 435
    Bikes should not be on any street where the speed limit is above 25mph. This ain't Mayberry we live in anymore.

    Jipster, that doesn't leave a lot of roads. And in locations where there ARE bike paths, that still doesn't leave an effective way to get TO a lot of said bike paths. Never mind that bike paths aren't safe over about 12-15mph, depending on how many pedestrians are using them.

    Cyclists are another user of the roadways, and maybe you need to pay more attention to your driving if they seem like that much of a hazard to you.
  • steverstever Viva Las CrucesPosts: 40,817
    "The city’s long-anticipated bike share program is scheduled to make its debut in May, allowing New Yorkers to pick up and deposit rental bikes at hundreds of locations, most of them, so far, in some of the wealthiest neighborhoods.

    Now that the metal stalls and kiosks where bikes will be stationed are turning up in parts of Brooklyn and downtown Manhattan, the theater of operations in the war among cyclists and drivers and pedestrians has expanded and multiplied and bred new factions, even though the bike share program itself has been shown to have widespread support in polling. "

    The Bikes and the Fury (NY Times)

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  • fintailfintail Posts: 33,796
    If I was in NYC, I would carry an umbrella or stick to jam into the spokes of bullying cyclists who illegally crowd the sidewalks. Very aggressive drivers and cyclists both there.
  • steverstever Viva Las CrucesPosts: 40,817
    I think you mean crosswalks - trying to navigate some of the sidewalks in Manhattan is tricky enough on foot as it is, much less on wheels. We're supposed to be there late next month and are really looking forward to it. Maybe we'll be able to score some free bikes to cruise the road in Central Park.

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  • fintailfintail Posts: 33,796
    edited April 2013
    You'll find em crowding onto sidewalks sometimes - maybe dangerous in NYC where it might earn the cyclist a fistfight. I've had to dodge them here while jogging, even.

    I walked Central Park from north to south 2 years ago, spent a few hours there, it was pretty cool - no cars (only a few roads in it), and recreational cyclists rather than commuters and couriers, so no wars.
  • ronsteveronsteve Posts: 435
    edited April 2013
    You'll find em crowding onto sidewalks sometimes - maybe dangerous in NYC where it might earn the cyclist a fistfight. I've had to dodge them here while jogging, even.

    There's a reason cyclists aren't supposed to ride on sidewalks.

    When you talk about how much of the thoroughfare a bike takes up, and speed relative to the main users, cycling on a sidewalk is like landing a 747 on the freeway. (i.e. a much worse idea than riding on the road)
  • steverstever Viva Las CrucesPosts: 40,817
    Depends on the sidewalk too. When I lived in Anchorage, it was illegal to ride bikes on the sidewalk in the downtown core (and I understand a pedestrian was killed by a cyclist in the 60s or 70s). But it was okay outside of downtown. Now you can get most places up there on bike paths and they're so much more scenic than the roads, my guess is that even the commuters mostly stick to them. Just have to watch out for the occasional moose.

    Biggest bike path around here is literally two blocks long. :-D

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  • fintailfintail Posts: 33,796
    If a cyclists hits me, it will do more damage to the bike than to me - I will make sure of it. It seems to be illegal to bike on the sidewalk in most places, but it might be a law enforced even less than cellphone usage while driving. The vast majority abide as they should, anyway. I remember when I was a kid, it was a thrill to ride in the street - I lived in a smallish town with no real high volume or high speed traffic though.
  • steverstever Viva Las CrucesPosts: 40,817
    edited May 2013
    Best join the crowd.

    "For the sixth year in a row, Washington was named the nation’s most bicycle-friendly state."

    Top 10 most bike-friendly states (Detroit Free Press)

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  • fintailfintail Posts: 33,796
    edited May 2013
    No surprise - lots and lots of bike lanes here compared to most places I have visited.

    I still wouldn't roll those dice on my commute, especially on dark rainy mornings with no bike lanes on some roads. I am not going to leave this world via a spoiled airhead in a luxo SUV with a phone to her ear and her eyes on her designer lapdog instead of the road.
  • steverstever Viva Las CrucesPosts: 40,817
    "I think the more people that are on bikes, the safer streets become for everyone, and statistics bear that out—risk of serious injury declines for both cyclists and pedestrians."

    Bikes and the End of the World (WSJ)

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  • fintailfintail Posts: 33,796
    Safer because now when bikers run stop signs and lights, they'll be hit by bikes rather than trucks?

    I wonder what the author does for a living, and where he lives. Oh yeah...
  • steverstever Viva Las CrucesPosts: 40,817
    He addressed that in the story a bit. Jason Gay is one of my favorite writers at the Journal - this one was pretty tame compared to most of his, although he's tamer than the car guy there, Dan Neil. I do enjoy good snark now and then. :shades:

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  • fintailfintail Posts: 33,796
    Definitely a layer of snark in his writing - which is typical of many in his vocation, I suppose. Bikes do work as everyday transport - depending on where you live and what you do. For a "journalist"(ha) who lives in a dense urban core, sure.

    I am not against the bikeshare idea though. Centralized and regularly found stations with a relatively cheap rate, why not.
  • steverstever Viva Las CrucesPosts: 40,817
    "The BMW Concept Active Tourer Outdoor, a plug-in hybrid that has a carrier system for two bicycles integrated into the interior, has debuted.

    The German automaker suggests that the Concept Active Tourer Outdoor may be a good solution for commuters in crowded cities, since they can drive the vehicle to the outside of the city center and then continue their journey by bike."

    BMW Concept Active Tourer Outdoor Aimed at Bicyclists

    image

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  • fintailfintail Posts: 33,796
    edited July 2013
    I'd rather have an old Honda City with the little folding "Motocompo" bike that nestled in the rear:

    image
  • steverstever Viva Las CrucesPosts: 40,817
    lol, is that for real or a concept?

    Nice thing about a minivan is that I can just roll my bikes in and out. No messing with the wheels or seats.

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