Are they Insane? Ignorant? Stupid? Lobotomized? (long)

Discussion in 'Road Cycling' started by Dane Jackson, Nov 15, 2003.

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  1. Dane Jackson

    Dane Jackson Guest

    So I'm trying to figure this out. Are most of the people on the road just totally ignorant of how
    you are supposed to drive? Or possibly they have merely come to the battle of wits unarmed. Then
    again, I don't want to ignore the possibility that we've extended the franchise of the license to
    the insane or possibly lobotomized. Heaven knows we shouldn't deprive any person of their license
    for trivial reasons such as these.

    I'm rather irritated since on my way home yesterday I had a little encounter with an impatient moron
    in a Civic. I was buzzing along Eastgate way about 30 MPH, traffic was fairly light (since I was
    leaving work late). I was keeping up very well with the car in front of
    me. In fact, truth be known, I was probably closer than I should have been really.

    I'm just bopping along thinking about what I want to do when I get home, when I see a car swinging
    into the middle turn lane on my left. This is on a long straight-away next to a limited access
    highway. There is no place to turn left. I'm thinking to myself "No way, no-one is that stupid". And
    sure enough, about one second later they cut in between me and the car in front of me. Of course, in
    the process damn near giving me a heart attack as I grab my brake to slow down.

    I catch up to her in a just a short bit, in fact the driver is stopped at a red light. Unfortunately
    the light changes before I can knock on the window and read the riot act to her. This irritates me
    more, so I end up just cycling next to her, shouting at the top of my lungs "What the hell was
    that?", "Hello! What the F%%K were you thinking?!" and similar endearments. I tired of this fairly
    quickly (especially since she was studiously avoiding eye contact).

    It really doesn't bother me if people "cut me off". I'm usually pretty mellow, and I'm not in that
    much of a rush to get anywhere. But she damn near sideswiped me for no damn reason.

    The other incident that prompted this post happened about 3 weeks ago. Again while I was on my way
    home. It was a fairly dark rainy night. Plenty of overcast, windy, cold, etc. I'm on West Lake
    Washington way, just about to leave it to climb up Coleman Park to the I-90 bike tunnel. I'm
    terribly visible (Tights with reflective flashes, dual blinkies, 16 watts of headlights, hi-viz
    cycling jacket), and the cars are giving me plenty of passing room.

    Someone goes to pass me, they swing *all* the way into the opposite lane. Which wouldn't be all that
    big a deal, except for the oncoming traffic. The guy panics, realizes I'm not going 10 MPH, so it's
    going to take him too long to pass. He tries to dart over as soon as he passes me, starts to skid,
    slams on his brakes, starts to slide more (remember - it's raining), over-corrects, tries to correct
    again. He ends up doing a beautiful bootlegger and ends up neatly parked in the opposite lane facing
    me. The oncoming car is stopped with about one foot to spare from his rear bumper. The only thing
    really marring a perfect score was he did manage to take out a traffic sign of some variety by
    sideswiping
    mf.

    No real point to the post I suppose. Just irritated in general. Of course probably adding to that is
    my wheel dying after only about 2000 miles. Which meant I was one of the idiots driving that day to
    get to work, and taking my wheel to the shop. I realized afresh that I don't actually like driving.
    I sort of like it late at night when I'm just about the only person on the road. The rest of the
    time I'd rather be riding my bike.

    I've barely had the thing three months (hand built, 36 spoke Mavic MA3 rim, double butted 14/15
    spokes). I only weigh about 190 so I really expected this to hold up better. It died by pulling the
    rim out at one of the eyelets, and evidently there was cracking at every fourth spoke also. Isn't
    that indicative of too high a tension?

    --
    Dane Jackson - z u v e m b i @ u n i x b i g o t s . o r g ... bleakness ... desolation ...
    plastic forks ...
     
    Tags:


  2. Matt O'Toole

    Matt O'Toole Guest

    "Dane Jackson" <[email protected]> wrote in message news:[email protected]...

    > So I'm trying to figure this out. Are most of the people on the road just totally ignorant of how
    > you are supposed to drive? Or possibly they have merely come to the battle of wits unarmed. Then
    > again, I don't want to ignore the possibility that we've extended the franchise of the license to
    > the insane or possibly lobotomized. Heaven knows we shouldn't deprive any person of their license
    > for trivial reasons such as these.
    >
    > I'm rather irritated since on my way home yesterday I had a little encounter with an impatient
    > moron in a Civic. I was buzzing along Eastgate way about 30 MPH, traffic was fairly light (since I
    > was leaving work late). I was keeping up very well with the car in front of
    > me. In fact, truth be known, I was probably closer than I should have been really.
    >
    > I'm just bopping along thinking about what I want to do when I get home, when I see a car swinging
    > into the middle turn lane on my left. This is on a long straight-away next to a limited access
    > highway. There is no place to turn left. I'm thinking to myself "No way, no-one is that stupid".
    > And sure enough, about one second later they cut in between me and the car in front of me. Of
    > course, in the process damn near giving me a heart attack as I grab my brake to slow down.
    >
    > I catch up to her in a just a short bit, in fact the driver is stopped at a red light.
    > Unfortunately the light changes before I can knock on the window and read the riot act to her.
    > This irritates me more, so I end up just cycling next to her, shouting at the top of my lungs
    > "What the hell was that?", "Hello! What the F%%K were you thinking?!" and similar endearments. I
    > tired of this fairly quickly (especially since she was studiously avoiding eye contact).
    >
    > It really doesn't bother me if people "cut me off". I'm usually pretty mellow, and I'm not in that
    > much of a rush to get anywhere. But she damn near sideswiped me for no damn reason.
    >
    > The other incident that prompted this post happened about 3 weeks ago. Again while I was on my way
    > home. It was a fairly dark rainy night. Plenty of overcast, windy, cold, etc. I'm on West Lake
    > Washington way, just about to leave it to climb up Coleman Park to the I-90 bike tunnel. I'm
    > terribly visible (Tights with reflective flashes, dual blinkies, 16 watts of headlights, hi-viz
    > cycling jacket), and the cars are giving me plenty of passing room.
    >
    > Someone goes to pass me, they swing *all* the way into the opposite lane. Which wouldn't be all
    > that big a deal, except for the oncoming traffic. The guy panics, realizes I'm not going 10 MPH,
    > so it's going to take him too long to pass. He tries to dart over as soon as he passes me, starts
    > to skid, slams on his brakes, starts to slide more (remember - it's raining), over-corrects, tries
    > to correct again. He ends up doing a beautiful bootlegger and ends up neatly parked in the
    > opposite lane facing me. The oncoming car is stopped with about one foot to spare from his rear
    > bumper. The only thing really marring a perfect score was he did manage to take out a traffic sign
    > of some variety by sideswiping
    > it.
    >
    > No real point to the post I suppose.

    Think for a minute. There's a common element in both these incidents, and it involves *you*, not the
    drivers of these cars. Care to guess what it is? Think hard -- it's probably the most common mistake
    most cyclists make about handling themselves in traffic.

    Matt O.
     
  3. Dane Jackson wrote:

    > So I'm trying to figure this out. Are most of the people on the road just totally ignorant of how
    > you are supposed to drive? Or possibly they have merely come to the battle of wits unarmed. Then
    > again, I don't want to ignore the possibility that we've extended the franchise of the license to
    > the insane or possibly lobotomized. Heaven knows we shouldn't deprive any person of their license
    > for trivial reasons such as these.
    >
    [snip]

    Honestly, in the USA people view driving a car as a right, not a privilege. How often do drivers
    obey the speed limit? Why bother, the fines are small, right? Well, in some places they're large and
    you can usually tell you're in one of those places when people are not doing more than 5 over. If
    fines for speeding, failure to yeild right of way, careless/reckless or drunk driving reflected the
    risk they present to the public (you better believe this can be determined, the insurance industry
    has it all figured out) I think people would be much more courteous, law abiding drivers.

    There was a legend, years ago, that the Ohio State Police were known to pull over school busses that
    went 5 mph over the limit. Whatever the case, when crossing the state line from Michigan to Ohio,
    drivers suddenly became very observant of the posted speed limit. Returning to Michigan would see
    drivers kick it into warp speed on US-23 or I-75. So enforcement seems to play a big part, too. I
    thought Clinton added funds to the federal budget to increase police dramatically, but it's hard to
    tell, as 99% of the time I see people drive blatantly bad, there's no officers around. It is
    somewhat gratifying to see them nail the occasional varmint, but it does seem they're understaffed
    and drivers know it.
     
  4. Zoot Katz

    Zoot Katz Guest

    Sun, 16 Nov 2003 02:38:49 GMT, <[email protected]>, Dane Jackson
    <[email protected]> wrote:

    >So I'm trying to figure this out. Are most of the people on the road just totally ignorant of how
    >you are supposed to drive? Or possibly they have merely come to the battle of wits unarmed. Then
    >again, I don't want to ignore the possibility that we've extended the franchise of the license to
    >the insane or possibly lobotomized. Heaven knows we shouldn't deprive any person of their license
    >for trivial reasons such as these.

    And drugged in addition to all of the above. That however does make them tryingly predictable.

    If it's dumb, they'll do it - given half a chance.

    Twice in the space of 10 minutes, I predicted the outcome of situations that I'd watched set up
    during the proceeding ~10 seconds.

    One of them didn't even involve me. I watched two unlit bikes coming along the sidewalk and then
    through a crosswalk on a stale green signal almost get nailed by driver turning right on red. Timing
    was key to the way the situation developed. Other traffic movement possibly conflicting with the
    right turn had just ceased. Dibble dip didn't see the bikes. Drivers never do when they're only
    looking for a break. The first bike barely swerved out of the way. The driver braked only when he
    saw the bike in his headlights. Text book double dumb. Predictable and preventable.

    The other was one of my faves. Three car lengths from an intersection, they'll blast around you to a
    stop light where they're going to be turning right. Because there's not really enough room for them
    to get the boat back on course, they leave it wallowing forty-five degrees across the lane with the
    bow end over the painted 'stop' line.

    The funny part was I knew it was going to happen when I heard the guy in a BMW or Mercedes SUV
    accelerate out of the parking lot and saw the lights swing my way. One block later it did.

    I tapped on the window and asked if he was lost.

    "No, I'm turning here."

    "yip yip something about waiting for traffic", when there wasn't any.

    "GET!"

    Bummer about your wheel.
    --
    zk
     
  5. Dane Jackson

    Dane Jackson Guest

    Matt O'Toole <[email protected]> wrote:

    > Think for a minute. There's a common element in both these incidents, and it involves *you*, not
    > the drivers of these cars. Care to guess what it is? Think hard -- it's probably the most common
    > mistake most cyclists make about handling themselves in traffic.

    Umm, going more than 10 MPH? Being really visible? Not cycling on the sidewalk or in the gutter? No,
    really, I have no idea what you are trying to lead me towards.

    --
    Dane Jackson - z u v e m b i @ u n i x b i g o t s . o r g "It is wonderful to be here in the great
    state of Chicago..." -Dan Quayle
     
  6. Matt O'Toole

    Matt O'Toole Guest

    "Dane Jackson" <[email protected]> wrote in message news:[email protected]...

    > Matt O'Toole <[email protected]> wrote:
    >
    > > Think for a minute. There's a common element in both these incidents, and
    it
    > > involves *you*, not the drivers of these cars. Care to guess what it is?
    Think
    > > hard -- it's probably the most common mistake most cyclists make about
    handling
    > > themselves in traffic.
    >
    > Umm, going more than 10 MPH?

    Close, but the number is not important -- try "going more than... (what?) "

    Matt O.
     
  7. >No, really, I have no idea what you ar trying to lead me towards.

    Neither do I. I think Matt is talking about your ki, which is important. I think if you don't have
    one, you are basically not in the game.

    With a good ki, however, bicycling is painless.

    --

    _______________________ALL AMIGA IN MY MIND_______________________ ------------------"Buddy Holly,
    the Texas Elvis"------------------
    __________306.350.357.38>>[email protected]__________
     
  8. Kevan Smith

    Kevan Smith Guest

    On Sun, 16 Nov 2003 01:45:07 -0500, "Eric S. Sande" <[email protected]> from Realtime Limited wrote:

    >>No, really, I have no idea what you ar trying to lead me towards.
    >
    >Neither do I. I think Matt is talking about your ki, which is important. I think if you don't have
    >one, you are basically not in the game.
    >
    >With a good ki, however, bicycling is painless.

    I thought that was roller skates. "Well, I got a brand new pair of roller skates / You got a brand
    new ki...."

    --
    real e-mail addy: kevansmith23 at yahoo dot com glass elephant cash a bike since
     
  9. Arpit

    Arpit Guest

    On Sun, 16 Nov 2003 05:00:11 GMT, Dane Jackson <[email protected]> wrote:

    >Matt O'Toole <[email protected]> wrote:
    >
    >> Think for a minute. There's a common element in both these incidents, and it involves *you*, not
    >> the drivers of these cars. Care to guess what it is? Think hard -- it's probably the most common
    >> mistake most cyclists make about handling themselves in traffic.
    >
    >Umm, going more than 10 MPH? Being really visible? Not cycling on the sidewalk or in the gutter?
    >No, really, I have no idea what you are trying to lead me towards.

    me neither
     
  10. On 16 Nov 2003 04:24:22 GMT, Richard Adams <[email protected]> wrote:

    >. I thought Clinton added funds to the federal budget to increase police dramatically,

    That was the stated objective. The actual number of cops on the street didn't change substantially.
    At least not in proportion to the cost.

    > but it's hard to tell, as 99% of the time I see people drive blatantly bad, there's no officers
    > around. It is somewhat gratifying to see them nail the occasional varmint, but it does seem
    > they're understaffed and drivers know it.

    In my State, the government has found a way to piss away not only the revenue from taxes and fees,
    but also the huge windfall from the tobacco settlement and from Indian gaming contracts. One idea to
    slow the hemorrhage of cash from the treasury was to decrease the expenditures on the State Patrol.
    They didn't lay off troopers, but they cancelled the new class at the Patrol Academy, and they
    haven't been replacing the attrition by resignation or retirement.

    As a result, they're spread pretty thin. And our local paper published not only the fact that
    there's a shortage of Troopers, but published the times and zones of the Interstate by mile marker
    where there would be NO Troopers. Driver behavior on the Interstate reflects the common knowledge of
    these free zones and times.
     
  11. John Everett

    John Everett Guest

    On Sun, 16 Nov 2003 02:38:49 GMT, Dane Jackson <[email protected]> wrote:

    >So I'm trying to figure this out. Are most of the people on the road just totally ignorant of how
    >you are supposed to drive?

    <long rant snipped>

    So Dane asks if most people are totally ignorant, then describes two incidents in three weeks. Seems
    to me that in three weeks of riding most of the people on the road were able to get around Dane just
    fine, demonstrating at least a modicum of competence. Two idiots in three weeks, while two too many,
    hardly constitutes a trend.

    In years and years of cycling it's been my experience that the vast majority of people on the
    road are reasonable, responsible drivers; a generalization punctuated by the behavior of a very
    few idiots.

    jeverett3<AT>earthlink<DOT>net http://home.earthlink.net/~jeverett3
     
  12. Terry Morse

    Terry Morse Guest

    Dane Jackson wrote:

    > Of course probably adding to that is my wheel dying after only about 2000 miles....I've barely had
    > the thing three months (hand built, 36 spoke Mavic MA3 rim, double butted 14/15 spokes). I only
    > weigh about 190 so I really expected this to hold up better. It died by pulling the rim out at one
    > of the eyelets, and evidently there was cracking at every fourth spoke also. Isn't that indicative
    > of too high a tension?

    No, that's indicative of an MA-3 rim. There have been numerous reports of eyelets pulling out,
    something that Mavic has reportedly fixed. You can't over-tension a rim with 14/15 spokes, so don't
    blame the wheel builder. The current crop of MA-3s are faulty. Open Pros are much more robust.
    --
    terry morse Palo Alto, CA http"//www.terrymorse.com/bike/
     
  13. Dane Jackson

    Dane Jackson Guest

    John Everett <[email protected]> wrote:
    > On Sun, 16 Nov 2003 02:38:49 GMT, Dane Jackson <[email protected]> wrote:

    >>So I'm trying to figure this out. Are most of the people on the road just totally ignorant of how
    >>you are supposed to drive?

    > <long rant snipped>

    > So Dane asks if most people are totally ignorant, then describes two incidents in three weeks.
    > Seems to me that in three weeks of riding most of the people on the road were able to get around
    > Dane just fine, demonstrating at least a modicum of competence. Two idiots in three weeks, while
    > two too many, hardly constitutes a trend.

    That's why I labeled it a rant. Of course 99.9% of the drivers are reasonably sober individuals. Of
    course, it's only the thing that is out of place that gets noticed. It was written more for venting
    than an actual request for information.

    > In years and years of cycling it's been my experience that the vast majority of people on the
    > road are reasonable, responsible drivers; a generalization punctuated by the behavior of a very
    > few idiots.

    I also have managed quite a bit of cycling without seeing too many stupid things. And I've become
    used to adjusting for the most common driver mistakes, and trying to minimize my own. The last
    incident just really managed to torque me off, because it was so blatant and fairly unexpected. The
    one three weeks ago was more in the nature of amusing.

    --
    Dane Jackson - z u v e m b i @ u n i x b i g o t s . o r g What upsets me is not that you lied to
    me, but that from now on I can no longer believe you. -- Nietzsche
     
  14. Dane Jackson

    Dane Jackson Guest

    Terry Morse <[email protected]> wrote:
    > Dane Jackson wrote:

    >> Of course probably adding to that is my wheel dying after only about 2000 miles....I've barely
    >> had the thing three months (hand built, 36 spoke Mavic MA3 rim, double butted 14/15 spokes). I
    >> only weigh about 190 so I really expected this to hold up better. It died by pulling the rim out
    >> at one of the eyelets, and evidently there was cracking at every fourth spoke also. Isn't that
    >> indicative of too high a tension?

    > No, that's indicative of an MA-3 rim. There have been numerous reports of eyelets pulling
    > out, something that Mavic has reportedly fixed. You can't over-tension a rim with 14/15
    > spokes, so don't blame the wheel builder. The current crop of MA-3s are faulty. Open Pros are
    > much more robust.

    Hmm, that sucks. I got the MA-3 because I thought it was basically the equivalent of the old MA-2.
    i.e. A nice box-section rim with eyelets that was fairly strong and would make a reliable wheel.

    I suspected a bad wheel job because the first build of this wheel was *way* undertensioned. After I
    took it back, the second build seemed much better. I do have to say that the shop was incredibly
    helpful (Sammamish Cycle in Redmond for you seattlites). They built my wheel up again the same day,
    and the fellow at the shop is trying to get Mavic to warranty the rim.

    --
    Dane Jackson - z u v e m b i @ u n i x b i g o t s . o r g "The best answer when anybody asks you
    if you're any good with explosives is to hold up two open hands and simply say 'Ten'." -Anthony
    DeBoer in a.s.r
     
  15. Dane Jackson

    Dane Jackson Guest

    Zoot Katz <[email protected]> wrote:
    > Sun, 16 Nov 2003 02:38:49 GMT, <[email protected]>, Dane Jackson
    > <[email protected]> wrote:

    >>So I'm trying to figure this out. Are most of the people on the road just totally ignorant of how
    >>you are supposed to drive? Or possibly they have merely come to the battle of wits unarmed. Then
    >>again, I don't want to ignore the possibility that we've extended the franchise of the license to
    >>the insane or possibly lobotomized. Heaven knows we shouldn't deprive any person of their license
    >>for trivial reasons such as these.

    > And drugged in addition to all of the above. That however does make them tryingly predictable.

    I hadn't even considered pharmacological effects... Hmmm. Something to add to the list. <G>

    > If it's dumb, they'll do it - given half a chance.

    Oh, I know. I've become fairly adept at predicting who's going to try and right-hook me, or try to
    pass where it's not safe, or squeeze me into the curb, etc.

    The most recent incident was just amazingly irritating. I thought the driver was going to pass me
    and the car in front of me. I suspected they might cut in front of me, but really couldn't see them
    doing it. So, of course they did.

    > Bummer about your wheel.

    I think it's definitely time for me to get a decent spare rear wheel. This is my third one in less
    than 12,000 miles. It's not like I'm doing cyclocross, or trials on the stupid things. I don't even
    weigh too much anymore.

    - factory wheel - cxp-21 2000 - rebuild 9000 - Blow an eyelet on that wheel - get the hand built
    mavic 11500 - Rim dies on Mavic

    --
    Dane Jackson - z u v e m b i @ u n i x b i g o t s . o r g "A gentleman is one who never hurts
    anyone's feelings unintentionally." -Oscar Wilde
     
  16. Dane Jackson

    Dane Jackson Guest

    Matt O'Toole <[email protected]> wrote:

    > "Dane Jackson" <[email protected]> wrote in message news:[email protected]...

    >> Matt O'Toole <[email protected]> wrote:
    >>
    >> > Think for a minute. There's a common element in both these incidents, and
    > it
    >> > involves *you*, not the drivers of these cars. Care to guess what it is?
    > Think
    >> > hard -- it's probably the most common mistake most cyclists make about
    > handling
    >> > themselves in traffic.
    >>
    >> Umm, going more than 10 MPH?

    > Close, but the number is not important -- try "going more than... (what?) "

    Are you trying to say something like "Too fast for conditions"? If so, say so. Part of why I was
    ranting is because I'm working all weekend to finish a project, which has made me cranky and not
    tracking that well. I'm really not up to decoding any coy circumlocutions.

    --
    Dane Jackson - z u v e m b i @ u n i x b i g o t s . o r g "The best way to judge a language is to
    look at the code written by its proponents. "Radix enim omnium malorum est cupiditas" - and Java
    is clearly an example of a money oriented programming (MOP). As the chief proponent of Java at SGI
    told me: "Alex, you have to go where the money is." But I do not particularly want to go where the
    money is - it usually does not smell nice there. " A. Stepanov (Author of the C++ standard
    template library)
     
  17. Mike Kruger

    Mike Kruger Guest

    "Kevan Smith" <[email protected]> wrote in message
    news:[email protected]...
    > On Sun, 16 Nov 2003 01:45:07 -0500, "Eric S. Sande" <[email protected]>
    from
    > Realtime Limited wrote:
    >
    > >>No, really, I have no idea what you ar trying to lead me towards.
    > >
    > >Neither do I. I think Matt is talking about your ki, which is important. I think if you don't
    > >have one, you are basically not in the game.
    > >
    > >With a good ki, however, bicycling is painless.
    >
    > I thought that was roller skates. "Well, I got a brand new pair of roller
    skates
    > / You got a brand new ki...."
    >
    This "ki" talk isn't helping. I looked this up via Yahoo reference, and the only entry indicated ki
    was the internet abbreviation for Kiribati. Kiribati is "An island country of the west-central
    Pacific Ocean near the equator. It includes the former Gilbert Islands, Banaba (Ocean Island), and
    the Phoenix and Line islands."

    So, we now know neither was Matt was talking about, nor what Eric was talking about.
     
  18. Matt O'Toole

    Matt O'Toole Guest

    "Dane Jackson" <[email protected]> wrote in message news:[email protected]...

    > Are you trying to say something like "Too fast for conditions"?

    Not quite, but you're getting closer.

    What honest mistake could those drivers have been making, causing them to almost hit you?

    If so,
    > say so. Part of why I was ranting is because I'm working all weekend to finish a project, which
    > has made me cranky and not tracking that well. I'm really not up to decoding any coy
    > circumlocutions.

    Suit yourself.

    Matt O.
     
  19. Rich Clark

    Rich Clark Guest

  20. Dane Jackson

    Dane Jackson Guest

    Matt O'Toole <[email protected]> wrote:

    > "Dane Jackson" <[email protected]> wrote in message news:[email protected]...

    > If so,
    >> say so. Part of why I was ranting is because I'm working all weekend to finish a project, which
    >> has made me cranky and not tracking that well. I'm really not up to decoding any coy
    >> circumlocutions.

    > Suit yourself.

    I usually do. I'm not trying to be a jerk (though I may seem to the untrained observer to be an
    amazing facsimile of one <G> ) If you have information you deem vital to my continued health and
    well-being, spit it out.

    If you think my previous reply was testy, you should see what I wrote as a first draft.

    ;)

    Oh, and to add to my joy. I've got the flu. Huzzah.

    --
    Dane Jackson - z u v e m b i @ u n i x b i g o t s . o r g We all agree on the necessity of
    compromise. We just can't agree on when it's necessary to compromise. -- Larry Wall
     
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