Do you ever get ticked at cyclists when you're in your car?

Discussion in 'The Bike Cafe' started by wineandkeyz, Jun 7, 2005.

  1. wineandkeyz

    wineandkeyz New Member

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    Several times over the past few weeks when I've been in my car, I've come across a group of about 6 cyclists that insist on riding two-wide and blocking traffic on rural public roads. The first time I spotted them, four of them were riding in a group and had about six cars lined up behind them. A short distance back, the other two riders were side-by-side with two more cars waiting behind them. The cars couldn't safely pass because of the oncoming traffic, and the seemed to refuse to go single-file. I got pretty ticked off, because I figure those are the types of riders that get drivers mad at the rest of us.

    Then this past weekend I was out on my bike. I was on a two-lane country road going down a wicked steep hill and there were two cyclists climibing in the other direction. They were going very slowly, but were riding side-by-side across the lane, with four cars lined up behind them. When I went by, I yelled "Car back -- dumba**"...

    Would that kind of thing make you mad, or should cyclists have the right to hold up traffic that way?
     
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  2. MountainPro

    MountainPro New Member

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    http://www.cyclingforums.com/showpost.php?p=1917893&postcount=6

    nuff sed.


     
  3. artmichalek

    artmichalek New Member

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    Riding two wide when there are cars lined up behind you isn't just impolite, it's plain stupid. The only time cyclists have the right to impede traffic is when it's more dangerous not to, such as getting into the left lane for a turn.
     
  4. vl1016

    vl1016 New Member

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    Absolutely get mad when seeing cyclists act like aholes-sure makes it hard to defend cyclists in general when you live in a small rural TEXAS community where drivers hate cyclists being on the road anyways, and then you have bunches of them riding 2x2 or more for no reason but to impede traffic.

     
  5. martin_j001

    martin_j001 New Member

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    Not sure about the laws where many of you guys live, but here in GA it is not against the law to ride side by side at all. While I don't practice this habit unless I'm in larger groups (more than 10-15 or so), I still think that in many cases it is the safest way to ride. As a single rider at the side of the road, I have been almost ridden off the road several times. When this happens, I immediately move out to the left, into the road. That way, when the next asshole in a car comes by that wants to pass too close, at least he has to pay attention to onciming traffic and go even farther out of his way to run me off the road (if that is his goal). I'm not advocating riding side by side in all scenarios (don't need to do this on an easy ride with the wife), I'm just saying that a)if it isn't illegal, and b)its safer--usually because if FORCES drivers to slow down--then by all means I think that everyone has their right to the road, even cyclists (isn't that what we all want anyways??????). Now if they can't hold their line so you can pass when its safe, thats another story.
     
  6. Orange Fish

    Orange Fish New Member

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    Right on. Whatever it takes to be safe. I think in most states it's either not a law or you can ride up to 2 abreast on the roads as long as it's not prohibiting cars from passing for any extended length of time.

    But as far as safety, I think it's the safest way to go. Even when I'm out on solo rides, I'll go way out in the road away from the shoulder because the driver will either have to 1) run my ass right over in front of all the other drivers on the road or 2) slow down, take 10 seconds off his total drive time, pass me, and/or get pissed off while doing so. But it makes me feel safer knowing that. :D

    ** story **
    I had a tractor trailer almost not only run me off the road, but also nearly pull me INTO and UNDER it because of the draft it creates and because I was on the far side of the road TRYING to be polite and give cars room to pass. It was literally 3 feet from me and going about 50mph. I felt that draft pulling me and was scared shitless. Needless to say, I didn't catch him, but I always like to think about what I would have done if I did. So after that experience, I say "SCREW DRIVERS." They have cars that can go a lot faster, and if they have to take 3 seconds out of their precious day to slow down and wait for a good time to pass a cyclist, then that's the way the cookie crumbles. If they have a problem with it, then screw them, and they can come talk to me about it in person. :p
     
  7. artmichalek

    artmichalek New Member

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    That's a big assumption. I'll ride out in the middle of the lane if I'm in heavy city traffic, there's no shoulder, and I'm not going that much slower than the cars around me. Out on a country road you're just asking to get nailed riding two across. Nine out of ten drivers don't slow down. A lot of them even speed up to spend less time on the other side of the road.
     
  8. tanggoman

    tanggoman New Member

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    Will the rule "same road, same rules" apply?

    In CA, this applies to both two-wheels and cars. Because a lot of cagers dont know this, they think when they are driving, they own the road. And for us cyclists, we have to think for our own safety and not provoke these monsters on four wheels. Just think about what they have as weapons and what cyclists have? Cyclist dont stand a chance. Have some common sense and be safe out there.
     
  9. jhuskey

    jhuskey Moderator

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    The law in Tennessee is single file as far to the right as possible unless you are doing the speed limit.
    I will stay out of the way for in a head to head contest with a car I know I will lose.
     
  10. Eden

    Eden New Member

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    In general I have not had bad encounters with bikes around here while in my car - though I must admit I drive pretty rarely these days :D . The cyclists on the road are usually pretty good bike handlers and pretty good about politeness. People on dedicated bike paths are much worse and give me more to complain about -I'd rather play in traffic these days!

    I think our bike laws are much more liberal than some other places
    the following is from the King County (Washington state around Seattle) web site, but pertains to state traffic codes. There is a law for all slow traffic about the number of vehicles you can have behind you before you are supposed to pull off and let them pass (I think it is 6), but otherwise you are an pretty much an equal partner as far as sharing the road goes.

    Question: What position in the lane should a bicyclist use?
    1) Bicyclists traveling at the speed of traffic may use the middle of the lane.
    2) A bicyclist traveling at a speed less than the normal flow of traffic should ride as near to the right side of the right through lane as is safe except when a) preparing to turn b) when passing another bicycle or vehicle or c) on a one-way street, where it is legal to ride on the left (RCW 46.61.770).

    3) Bicyclists should ride in the middle of the right through lane when that lane is too narrow to permit side-by-side sharing with motor vehicles, and when hazards (such as drain grates or a rough edge) prevent riding on the shoulder or along the edge of the lane.

    4) Bicyclists may ride on the road shoulder, but this is required only on limited-access highways, such as freeways.

    Question: May bicyclists ride side-by-side?
    Yes. State law allows bicyclists to ride two abreast (RCW 46.61.770).
     
  11. martin_j001

    martin_j001 New Member

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    #3 above is the reason I take the whole lane fairly often, even when riding by myself--if someone passes me too closely. What appears to be enough room to a person in a car is not always enough room to me on my bike. In GA, the law reads more along the lines "must ride as far to the right as practicable"--pretty much the same thing though, if me and a car don't fit in the same lane, riding like we do certainly isn't "practicable".
     
  12. artmichalek

    artmichalek New Member

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    ยง 1139. Riding on roadways and bicycle paths

    (b) Persons riding bicycles upon a roadway may not ride more than two abreast except on paths or parts of roadways set aside for the exclusive use of bicycles or except as otherwise permitted by the commissioner of public safety in connection with a public sporting event in which case the commissioner shall be authorized to adopt such rules as the public good requires. Persons riding two abreast shall not impede the normal and reasonable movement of traffic and, on a laned roadway, shall ride within a single lane.

    It's spelled out pretty clearly here in Vermont. The key phrase being, "shall not impede the normal and reasonable movement of traffic"
     
  13. martin_j001

    martin_j001 New Member

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    Ga. Code 40-6-291. Traffic Laws Applicable to Bicycles

    All laws that apply to motorist on the roadway, except D.U.I. apply to all bicyclists.
    Example: You must stop at all redlights and stop signs as vehicles must.

    Ga. Code 40-6-294. Riding on Roadways and Bicycle Paths.

    (a)Every person riding a bicycle upon the roadway shall ride as near to the right side of the roadway as practical, exercising due care when passing a standing vehicle or one proceeding in the same direction.
    (b)Persons riding on the roadways shall not ride more than two abreast.



    Same roads, same rules....it works both ways. :D
     
  14. JohnO

    JohnO New Member

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    Only to the degree that it ticks drivers off at all of us.

    Self righteous posturing aside, the driver you piss off today will come across me tomorrow. And may not be so considerate as a result of the last encounter.

    I don't go out looking to confront two ton vehicles driven by distracted people. Sooner or later, you will lose. If traffic is heavy, I ride somewhere else. Not worth the risk - you can't ride if you're dead.

    In many states, cyclists have the right to hold up traffic. The wisdom of doing so (or lack of, as the case may be) is another matter entirely.

     
  15. Chance3290

    Chance3290 New Member

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    A lot of good points have been made here, BUT, I think the main point wineandkeyz was trying to make is this: If you're riding 2 abreast on a narrow road and cars are lining up behind you, single up! I hate it when I'm stuck behind someone (car, bike, whatever) who's holding up the parade by doing something stupid or selfish.

    Share the road.

    I've been on charity rides where groups will ride up front, pretty much blocking the lane. This causes the cars to have to ride behind them, which causes those cyclists behind the main group to have to breathe in all the crap from the car's exhaust.
     
  16. Huhwhat?

    Huhwhat? New Member

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    Which is fine until you get hit by a car. Even if you are in the right, morally, ethically, and legally, dead is dead. It behooves each and every bicyclist to keep in mind that in a meeting with a car or truck, you are going to lose! It serves no purpose to antagonize the drivers. Ride defensively, give way to the automobiles, because to pretend that you are equal to a 5,000 pound auto is going to get you killed eventually. I get torqued off at drivers who pay no attention to cyclists. I also get torqued off at cyclists who think that their bicycle is equal to a car or a truck. Guess what? If I was driving my pickup, and was presented with a situation where I must either hit a car, or hit a cyclist, I'm going to hit the cyclist. There is a much better chance of me surviving the crash.

    In a perfect world drivers would go out of their way to give cyclists their legal right of way. But let's get real. They don't even go out of their way to give the other cars their legal right of way.
     
  17. Cheesy

    Cheesy New Member

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    If it would be safe for cars to overtake with cyclists riding single file, then they are being dicks.

    However, if the road is too narrow for this to be safe, then they are being smart. Better a pissed off driver or 3 than a dead cyclist or 3.

    Here in Japan where everyone is used to narrow single lanes everywhere, you don't have much of an option, but even so I've become more agressively defensive (ie won't let cars pass on the narrowest parts) after a bus clipped me while passing. (if it had waited 5 sec the road widened)

    I'm also a driver, and: cyclists doing stupid things piss me off (maybe even more so than the average driver), and I will never pass a cyclist (or a scooter for that matter) unless I can be sure that I will be able to leave a safe & comfortable gap between us. I will wait as long as it takes for a safe time.

    Also - if you are a considerate driver (thank you!) - don't sit right off the back wheel of our bike waiting for a suitable gap to pass. Leave a space of a few metres - it's really stressful to have a car driving half a metre or less from your back wheel.
     
  18. spacefuzz

    spacefuzz New Member

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    I am just amazed that people get so mad if their day is delayed one whole minute while they wait to pass. I for one am sick of being run off the road by fat people in SUV's. It sucks when cyclists are rude and dont make it easy for cars to pass, but I know I have encountered many more rude drivers (while driving) than cyclists. Its easy to feel invincible in a steel shell, its harder in lycra.
     
  19. bikeguy

    bikeguy New Member

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    One thing that pisses me off is cyclists going the wrong way or riding on the left side of a bike path or the wrong way on highways or streets.. and do they think that car drivers look for a cyclist coming from the other direction when entering from an on ramp? Also, it pisses me off because if I was cycling on a highway and approaching a cyclist going the wrong way..with an 18 wheeler coming up behind, then that makes for a dangerous situation.

    This came to mind because I just saw about 5 cyclists this last week doing this on the highway.

    I almost crashed into another cyclist a few months ago, it was dark, they didn't have a light and I was approaching at over 40 km/hr. I was on the right side, they were on the left side, and I thought she was travelling in the same direction I was going.. and I only realised about 15 meters away that she was coming TOWARDS me. We both swerved in the opposite direction meaning we headed right at each other, then we swerved again and I missed her by about 20 cm... f***, almost a head on with another cyclist! I yelled out f*** as I passed her, as I thought I was about to have a nasty crash.

    Two days ago, I, while cycling, encountered a roller blader who, as I approached, moved into the middle of the road on the WRONG SIDE of a highway, in a hilly, twisty area with a limit of 80 km/hr. As I approached, I moved towards the middle and then quickly back to the right... I have no comment.

    Yesterday, I saw a mom pushing her baby carriage on the shoulder on the WRONG side of a 100 km/hr highway.

    yeesshhh..

    -Bikeguy
     
  20. Geebs

    Geebs New Member

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    The one thing that really ticks me off when driving is when I come across a cyclist at night with no lights, no reflectors and wearing dark clothing. Being a cyclist I am probably more cyclist aware than your average driver but these guys are not helping themselves by trying to apply stealth bomber type invisibility to their bikes.
     
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