In the US, Automobiles and bikes don't mix very well.

Discussion in 'Road Cycling' started by Walter, Oct 17, 2003.

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  1. Walter

    Walter Guest

    Hi,

    I have just started cycling after many years of not. (since I was a kid).

    One of the main reasons I have avoided it was a lack of places to go, but I have now found a few
    places I really like.

    I try and avoid going near traffic whenever possible. I've driven automobiles for over 25 years in
    some of the worst traffic, in some of the worst cities in the world. I can honestly say, that with
    the exception of drivers in Rome, and Moscow, American drivers are the worst, and I am an American.

    We basically get our driver's licenses by passing a test that a chimpanzee could ace, and the main
    reason is that given the way our cities are laid out, if you don't drive you don't work.

    If someone commits vehicular homicide in the US, they will go to jail, but the day of their parole,
    they will be given a driver's license again, be it on a temporary and limited basis, because the
    judge knows its basically the only way for this person to earn a living.

    The plain and simple truth is that drivers don't pay attention to what they are doing, and the
    driving tests are reduced to the lowest common denominator.

    This is so Semi-Blind Senior Citizens, Childish Teenagers, Alcoholics, Drug Addicts, Deaf People,
    etc. can exercise their "right" to drive freely without restrictions. Nobody is going to tell them
    they can't drive, because they vote, just like we do and the politicians won't tighten up any laws
    that would anger their constituents, and potentially cause those politicians to lose their jobs.

    Since we have these people, along with the normal mix of low-grade morons, dim-bulbs, twits, dweebs,
    air-heads, and other brain-donors driving automobiles in America, people in other Automobiles are at
    significant risk of injury during the course of their lives.

    These people don't look for other cars on the road, not to mention bicycles and motorcycles.

    If you are old enough to have a little gray in your hair, I'm sure you can name at least one or two
    people you know personally who you have grown up with who has been killed on a motorcycle.

    Now lets talk bicycles, In my opinion bikes and cars don't mix. That's just the way things are.

    Don't get me wrong, I wish this wasn't the case, and I think we should all try to change things for
    the better. But I believe the best way to end up as "Road Pizza" is to have the attitude that you
    have as much right to ride on the road as an automobile, and you are going to exercise that right
    without regard to the reality that the most people who are zooming inches away from you aren't even
    conscience you exist.
     
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  2. Kevan Smith

    Kevan Smith Guest

    On 17 Oct 2003 22:11:21 -0700, [email protected] (Walter) from
    http://groups.google.com wrote:

    >Now lets talk bicycles, In my opinion bikes and cars don't mix. That's just the way things are.

    Your opinion is contradicted by reality.

    --
    real e-mail addy: kevansmith23 at yahoo dot com I have read the INSTRUCTIONS ...
     
  3. Walter <[email protected]> wrote:
    > the worst cities in the world. I can honestly say, that with the exception of drivers in Rome, and
    > Moscow, American drivers are the worst, and I am an American.

    According to Dave Barry, Miami has the worst drivers in the world. Although he also points out that
    people everywhere always claim that "their" drivers are the worst out there.

    > If someone commits vehicular homicide in the US, they will go to jail,

    Haven't been around r.b.m much, have you? :)

    > Don't get me wrong, I wish this wasn't the case, and I think we should all try to change things
    > for the better. But I believe the best way to end up as "Road Pizza" is to have the attitude that
    > you have as much right to ride on the road as an automobile, and you are going to exercise that
    > right without regard to the reality that the most people who are zooming inches away from you
    > aren't even conscience you exist.

    And how is it different from driving a car?

    All that steel won't always be enough to keep you safe; if another car hits you head on, I'm not
    sure it matters whether you were in a cage or on a bike. Actually, given how more maneuverable a
    bike is, maybe you could've *avoided* that collision instead. Who knows? The only surefire way to
    avoid being hit by a car is to stay home.

    I was thinking about this a few weeks ago, during a (metric) century, when my mind drifted to Ken
    Kifer, and how he might still be alive today if he hadn't taken up cycling. Then I wondered, even if
    he had known that cycling would eventully kill him, would it have mattered to him?

    We all die one way or another. The important thing is to have fun before the moment comes. :)

    --
    Frederic Briere <*> [email protected]

    => <[email protected]> IS NO MORE: <http://www.abacomsucks.com> <=
     
  4. Bernie

    Bernie Guest

    Walter wrote:

    >
    >We basically get our driver's licenses by passing a test that a chimpanzee could ace, and the main
    >reason is that given the way our cities are laid out, if you don't drive you don't work.
    >
    >Don't get me wrong, I wish this wasn't the case, and I think we should all try to change things for
    >the better. But I believe the best way to end up as "Road Pizza" is to have the attitude that you
    >have as much right to ride on the road as an automobile, and you are going to exercise that right
    >without regard to the reality that the most people who are zooming inches away from you aren't even
    >conscience you exist.
    >
    Thousands of cyclists share the road with their fellow imbeciles every day, and have done it for
    years. Traffic is traffic. Just do it, you are part of the mix. Bernie
     
  5. On Sat, 18 Oct 2003 03:38:10 -0500, Frederic Briere wrote:

    > We all die one way or another. The important thing is to have fun before the moment comes. :)

    Reminds me of on of my favorite quotes. It's from Lance, coincidentally.

    "Survival is an instinct, Living takes courage"

    Or something like that. Point being what you said. Better to die hit by a car than die eating pizza
    and watching "Big Brother" or something like that.

    Preston
     
  6. >Now lets talk bicycles, In my opinion bikes and cars don't mix. That's just the way things are.

    Well, that's your opinion.

    >Don't get me wrong, I wish this wasn't the case, and I think we should all try to change things for
    >the better. But I believe the best way to end up as "Road Pizza" is to have the attitude that you
    >have as much right to ride on the road as an automobile, and you are going to exercise that right
    >without regard to the reality that the most people who are zooming inches away from you aren't even
    >conscience you exist.

    Walter, in my 35 years (time flies) of road cycling and my 5 years of city riding I've found that
    "having an attitude" is a necessary part of the skill set.

    The attitude is not, however, that I have a right to the road. My attitude is that I am operating
    machinery in a potentially dangerous environment. That keeps me aware. But I can still smell the
    roses, dude.

    The truism here is that after enough exposure one makes fewer mistakes and builds awareness. Where
    does the experience curve cross the random event curve? Hopefully not ever. But shit happens. I find
    your attitude to be unduly pessimistic.

    Not that any of us can control everything we encounter. But we can make the bad things less likely,
    for sure. And riding a bicycle is fun, man. Even in Hellish traffic. Some might say it is more fun.

    --

    _______________________ALL AMIGA IN MY MIND_______________________ ------------------"Buddy Holly,
    the Texas Elvis"------------------
    __________306.350.357.38>>[email protected]__________
     
  7. Papayahed1

    Papayahed1 Guest

    [email protected] (Walter) wroe on 10/18/03 1:11 AM Eastern:
    >.......... These people don't look for other cars on the road, not to mention bicycles and
    >motorcycles.

    Some don't-a lot depends on the way you ride.

    >If you are old enough to have a little gray in your hair, I'm sure you can name at least one or two
    >people you know personally who you have grown up with who has been killed on a motorcycle.

    I don't personally know anybody killed either by bike or motorcycle. I do know several people killed
    in car crashes, one very personally.

    >Now lets talk bicycles, In my opinion bikes and cars don't mix. That's just the way things are.

    Well---I commute to work 2-3 times/week. Actually drivers seem more considerate than when I drive.
    Really. It surprises me when I think about it, but it's true.

    >
    >Don't get me wrong, I wish this wasn't the case, and I think we should all try to change things for
    >the better.

    A lot of driver "education" can occur by our behavior on the road. Ride assertively; make eye
    contact; reward any degree of driver courtesy with a wave or friendly nod (they will be more
    likely to repeat an act of kindness if you make them feel good about it). But do not let yourself
    become intimidated. Drivers act more responsibly if you are predictable and act like you belong
    where you are.

    >But I believe the best way to end up as "Road Pizza" is to have the attitude that you have as much
    >right to ride on the road as an automobile,...

    You do, "as far right as practicable." There are some roads you are not "allowed" toride on. You
    have to make some practical decisions on some of the rest. It's not an either/or situation. Each
    person has to decide his/her own level of comfort.
     
  8. In article <[email protected]>, Walter
    <[email protected]> wrote:
    >
    >If someone commits vehicular homicide in the US, they will go to jail,

    More likely they will get a traffic citation (if unlucky) and go home.

    >Now lets talk bicycles, In my opinion bikes and cars don't mix. That's just the way things are.

    This you learned from your vast experience on the bike... was it you who said you just
    started riding?

    >Don't get me wrong, I wish this wasn't the case, and I think we should all try to change things for
    >the better. But I believe the best way to end up as "Road Pizza" is to have the attitude that you
    >have as much right to ride on the road as an automobile, and you are going to exercise that right
    >without regard to the reality that the most people who are zooming inches away from you aren't even
    >conscience you exist.

    That is true, if you don't look out for cars you'll make your own bad luck. Of course it is true for
    other auto drivers, motorcyclists, pedestrians, and skate boarders (etc) as well.
     
  9. Rick Onanian

    Rick Onanian Guest

    On 18 Oct 2003 03:38:10 -0500, Frederic Briere <[email protected]> wrote:
    >All that steel won't always be enough to keep you safe; if another car hits you head on, I'm not
    >sure it matters whether you were in a cage or on a bike. Actually, given how more maneuverable a
    >bike is, maybe you

    For that comparison to be meaningful, you need to drive at the same speed as you ride your bicycle.
    At that speed, you will find that the steel makes you almost invincible -- death only resulting from
    extreme accidents.

    I've been in auto accidents at bicycle speeds. They don't hurt near as much as bicycle accidents.

    >could've *avoided* that collision instead. Who knows? The only surefire way to avoid being hit by a
    >car is to stay home.

    Along that line of thought, if you were in a car, maybe the other driver would have *seen* you and
    avoided the collision instead. Or maybe you would have been able to accelerate hard to avoid the
    accident. Or maybe you would already have been where you were going, no longer exposed to cars
    whizzing by. On a bike, you're exposed to many more cars than in a car, where you spend less hours
    on the road.

    >We all die one way or another. The important thing is to have fun before the moment comes. :)

    Well said!
    --
    Rick Onanian
     
  10. Rick Onanian <[email protected]> wrote:
    : On 18 Oct 2003 03:38:10 -0500, Frederic Briere <[email protected]> wrote:
    :>We all die one way or another. The important thing is to have fun before the moment comes. :)
    : Well said!

    i've heard it said that only half the people that have ever lived have bothered to die.

    i like those odds.
    --
    david reuteler [email protected]
     
  11. Walter

    Walter Guest

    My vast experience is from driving a car and watching and hearing about people on the road being
    killed. No matter if they are driving an 18 wheeler, car, bike, chopper, or walking.

    I've seen a shitload of road kill on the road, squirrels, rabbits, deer, dogs, cats, hawks, etc.
    I'm sure they all thought that they had every right to be on the road too. In this case Might does
    make Right.

    My point is its not about the behavior of the cyclist, is about the behavior of the automobile
    driver. If you are arrogant enough to think you are going "Educate" motorists from the seat of a
    bicycle, then you have a rude and perhaps fatal awakening coming.

    I can name at least 10 people I know or I should say known who have died on Motorcycles. None of
    which were riding off-road at the time. I can't say I know too many people who are bicyclists that
    have been killed, but I know a few that ended up in the emergency room because they went a few
    rounds with a passenger car and lost.

    Most of the people I know don't ride bikes on the road, so I wouldn't expect them to have problems
    with cars. I do know one very avid fan of biking, and he has the scars to prove me right. He still
    rides on the street, but he is at least smart enough to realize that often his fate is in the hands
    of total strangers, much more than if he were driving a car.

    Ride on the street all you want, but when the laws if physics catch up to you, don't come crying to
    me about it.

    I'm staying on the bike paths, where it's a lot more fun to ride anyway.

    Take care.
     
  12. Chris Neary

    Chris Neary Guest

    >I try and avoid going near traffic whenever possible. I've driven automobiles for over 25 years in
    >some of the worst traffic, in some of the worst cities in the world. I can honestly say, that with
    >the exception of drivers in Rome, and Moscow, American drivers are the worst, and I am an American.

    Remember this for later.....

    >If you are old enough to have a little gray in your hair, I'm sure you can name at least one or two
    >people you know personally who you have grown up with who has been killed on a motorcycle.

    No one I know has died on a motorcycle. Perhaps this means some other things you are sure of also
    aren't true.

    >Now lets talk bicycles, In my opinion bikes and cars don't mix. That's just the way things are.

    For someone who claims to have driven all over the world, it appears you have failed to notice how
    *well* bikes and cars get along in countries with a broader cycling culture than the U.S.

    Cycling is more visible in the U.S. now that any time I can remember (IMHO). If the present trend
    can be maintained, car/cyclist relations will only improve.

    Chris Neary [email protected]

    "Science, freedom, beauty, adventure: what more could you ask of life? Bicycling combined all the
    elements I loved" - Adapted from a quotation by Charles Lindbergh
     
  13. Chris Neary

    Chris Neary Guest

    >I can name at least 10 people I know or I should say known who have died on Motorcycles. None of
    >which were riding off-road at the time. I can't say I know too many people who are bicyclists that
    >have been killed, but I know a few that ended up in the emergency room because they went a few
    >rounds with a passenger car and lost.

    Maybe you can rattle off all the people you know who died in automobiles. I guess that would prove
    cars and cars don't mix.

    Chris Neary [email protected]

    "Science, freedom, beauty, adventure: what more could you ask of life? Bicycling combined all the
    elements I loved" - Adapted from a quotation by Charles Lindbergh
     
  14. Zoot Katz

    Zoot Katz Guest

    18 Oct 2003 12:26:59 -0700, <[email protected]>,
    [email protected] (Walter) wrote:

    >I'm staying on the bike paths, where it's a lot more fun to ride anyway.

    I'm riding on the road because that's the route that actually leads to my destination. My bicycle is
    not a toy.
    --
    zk
     
  15. Kevan Smith

    Kevan Smith Guest

    On 18 Oct 2003 12:26:59 -0700, [email protected] (Walter) from
    http://groups.google.com wrote:

    >My vast experience is from driving a car and watching and hearing about people on the road being
    >killed. No matter if they are driving an 18 wheeler, car, bike, chopper, or walking.
    >
    >I've seen a shitload of road kill on the road, squirrels, rabbits, deer, dogs, cats, hawks, etc.
    >I'm sure they all thought that they had every right to be on the road too. In this case Might does
    >make Right.

    Actually, you;ve just made good arguments to outlaw cars. Thanks.

    --
    real e-mail addy: kevansmith23 at yahoo dot com Let's all show human CONCERN for REVEREND MOON's
    legal difficulties!!
     
  16. Mike Kruger

    Mike Kruger Guest

    "Walter" <[email protected]> wrote in message
    news:[email protected]...
    >
    > Ride on the street all you want, but when the laws if physics catch up to you, don't come crying
    > to me about it.
    >
    > I'm staying on the bike paths,
    >
    That's probably a good thing. You should not ride where you feel insecure, and you obviously don't
    feel secure on the road.

    You are doing what is, for you personally, the right thing at this time.

    Mike Kruger
    --
    reply address: MikeKr at AOL dot COM
     
  17. On 17 Oct 2003 22:11:21 -0700 in rec.bicycles.misc, [email protected] (Walter) wrote:

    > I believe the best way to end up as "Road Pizza" is to have the attitude that you have as much
    > right to ride on the road as an automobile, and you are going to exercise that right without
    > regard to the reality that the most people who are zooming inches away from you aren't even
    > conscience you exist.

    Well, your "belief" is entirely mistaken. Stop being a craven coward, learn how to ride safely and
    get ON THE ROAD WHERE BIKES BELONG.
     
  18. On Sat, 18 Oct 2003 12:09:21 -0400 in rec.bicycles.misc, Rick Onanian <[email protected]> wrote:

    > For that comparison to be meaningful, you need to drive at the same speed as you ride your
    > bicycle. At that speed, you will find that the steel makes you almost invincible -- death only
    > resulting from extreme accidents.
    >
    But the fact is that most modern driving is NOT at bicycle speeds, and is therefore far more
    dangerous than cycling.
     
  19. On 18 Oct 2003 12:26:59 -0700 in rec.bicycles.misc, [email protected] (Walter) wrote:

    > I can name at least 10 people I know or I should say known who have died on Motorcycles.

    which are NOT bicycles, and which are far more dangerous than bicycles.
     
  20. On 18 Oct 2003 12:26:59 -0700 in rec.bicycles.misc, [email protected] (Walter) wrote:

    > I'm staying on the bike paths, where it's a lot more fun to ride anyway.
    >
    not unless you ride very slowly in order to avoid the airhead bladers with headphones, dogs,
    baby strollers, and other non-cyclists clogging up the "bike" path, which is anything *but* a
    bicycle path.

    IMHO paths are rarely fun.
     
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