Sharing the road called "impractical"

Discussion in 'Road Cycling' started by Brent Hugh, Mar 12, 2003.

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  1. Brent Hugh

    Brent Hugh Guest

    Recently there has been an interesting exchange of letters to the editor in the St. Louis Post.
    MoDOT has recently installed "Share the Road" signs on quite a number of roads in the St. Louis
    area. In response to this, someone sent a letter to the Post, leading to a flurry of responses from
    local cyclists. You can read a number of the letters (some printed, some not) online at

    http://www.mobikefed.org/2003_03_01_newsarchive.html#90522135

    Here is the first letter:

    ---
    Wayward Bicyclists

    Newly-erected yellow signs in the area admonish drivers to "share the road", referring to sharing it
    to bicyclists.

    Although state law dictates that motorists must have valid licenses, be of a prescribed age, and
    carry liability insurance, there are no such obligations for bicyclists. They will take great risks
    on these thoroughfares, and will surely be the cause of, or victims of, serious accidents.

    One would think that bicyclists would be reluctant to venture on weathered, pock-marked streets to
    be threatened by speeders, and be subject to road rage.

    Bicyclists, who are themselves drivers, should certainly know how quite impractical this request to
    "share the road" really is.
    ---

    An excerpt from one response that was printed in the Post:

    ---
    The law says that bicyclists have the right to ride on the road. The legal burden is on the
    overtaking vehicle to pass safely. Is it too much to ask that motorists have the human decency to
    not assault cyclists?
    ---

    --Brent

    ++++++++++++++ Brent Hugh / bhugh -a-t- mwsc.edu ++++++++++++++
    + Missouri Western St College Dept of Music, St. Joseph, MO +
    + Piano Home Page : http://staff.mwsc.edu/~bhugh +
    + Music IQ Songs : http://mp3.com/MusicIQ + ++ Music of the Human Genome :
    http://mp3.com/brent_d_hugh ++++
     
    Tags:


  2. >Recently there has been an interesting exchange of letters to the editor in the St. Louis Post.

    My word! It could be the UK! Same stuff happens over here. The number of intolerant motorists seems
    to be increasing a lot as of late :(

    What some motorists forget too is that many cyclists are also motorists.

    For a particularly bad example of motorist road rage, read
    http://news.bbc.co.uk/1/hi/england/2725329.stm

    Cheers, helen s

    ~~~~~~~~~~
    Flush out that intestinal parasite and/or the waste product before sending a reply!

    Any speeliong mistake$ aR the resiult of my cats sitting on the keyboaRRRDdd
    ~~~~~~~~~~
     
  3. Matt O'Toole

    Matt O'Toole Guest

    Brent Hugh wrote:

    > An excerpt from one response that was printed in the Post:
    >
    > ---
    > The law says that bicyclists have the right to ride on the road. The legal burden is on the
    > overtaking vehicle to pass safely. Is it too much to ask that motorists have the human decency to
    > not assault cyclists?

    That's the bottom line. No one assaults drivers of slow moving trucks or tractors, which move even
    more slowly, and are more frequently encountered. What makes it OK to be intolerant of a cyclist?

    Matt O.
     
  4. Bernie

    Bernie Guest

    Matt O'Toole wrote:

    > Brent Hugh wrote:
    >
    > > An excerpt from one response that was printed in the Post:
    > >
    > > ---
    > > The law says that bicyclists have the right to ride on the road. The legal burden is on the
    > > overtaking vehicle to pass safely. Is it too much to ask that motorists have the human decency
    > > to not assault cyclists?
    >
    > That's the bottom line. No one assaults drivers of slow moving trucks or tractors, which move even
    > more slowly, and are more frequently encountered. What makes it OK to be intolerant of a cyclist?
    >
    > Matt O.

    My sentiment exactly. No driver in his right mind would try to mess with a tractor or back hoe. I
    ride with a "slow moving vehicle" triangle (bike size). I suppose it works sometimes. It's too bad
    that posting here is preaching to the choir. I agree fully mind you. It is never ok to be intolerant
    of (and in the process, put their life in peril) cyclists. Best regards, Bernie
     
  5. Matt O'Toole wrote:

    >That's the bottom line. No one assaults drivers of slow moving trucks or tractors, which move even
    >more slowly, and are more frequently encountered. What makes it OK to be intolerant of a cyclist?
    >
    >Matt O.
    >
    They're simply jealous. Today on my ride home from work some young bloke roared past me in a hot
    Torana (think Mustang for the Americans, but an old one) he was hooting along up the road making
    stupid lane changes and generally behaving like a prize winning arsehole. I met up with him at the
    next set of lights. I leaned down and asked him if driving like an idiot got him here any faster.
    Off he hooted again when I met him again just up the road at the next lights I simply gave him a
    little wave. He roared off at a great rate of knots leaving behind about $10 of rubber. All of a
    sudden a siren started wailing and some lights started flashing from behind me. The next time I
    passed the young hero he was having a nice chat with the local constabulary. This time I laughed and
    gave him a thumbs up. Maybe he won't be in such a rush next time he passes a cyclist.

    --
    Cheers Damian Harvey

    Just call me Clyde.
     
  6. Peter Cole

    Peter Cole Guest

    "wafflycathcsdirtycatlitter" <[email protected]> wrote in message
    news:[email protected]...
    >
    > What some motorists forget too is that many cyclists are also motorists.

    I'm afraid I don't follow this.
     
  7. Pbwalther

    Pbwalther Guest

    >That's the bottom line. No one assaults drivers of slow moving trucks or tractors, which move even
    >more slowly, and are more frequently encountered. What makes it OK to be intolerant of a cyclist?
    >
    >Matt O.
    >

    I think there are several things going through their heads.

    1) Bicycles are toys and do not belong on the road.

    Of course, they forget the bicycles are capable of decent sustained speeds 20 mph + for a
    surprising distance.

    2) Bicycles are unsafe on the road (sort of like 1) above).

    Here in the USA, cyclists are actually twice as safe as motorists per hour of activity. I think it
    is because motorists typically kill themselves off by drinking and driving or falling asleep at the
    wheel. People rarely cycle when they are that far gone.

    3) Cyclists impede the speed of legitimate road users - translation sheeesh I have to slow down a
    bit because of the #$&*$# biker!

    When I drive and see a cyclist upahead, I have found that by easing off the gas a tad and timing my
    approach to a gap in the oncoming traffic, I can usually pass very easily without slowing down much.
    And then if I am REALLY IMPATIENT, I can just give it some gas and catch up with the other traffic.

    What astonishes me is the number of motorists who do over the double yellow on blind corners to pass
    me because it will kill them to slow down for 30 seconds. It is called "You bet your life". So far,
    everyone I have seen make this bet has gotten away with it.

    Here in the USA, we have an impressive number of motorists killed at rail road crossings. The
    amazing thing is that most of them knew that the train was coming (the fatalities occurred at
    crossing with lights and barriers which the motorists drove around) and still tried to "beat it" to
    the crossing. So on this bet, they were betting their entire life against say not having to sit at
    the crossing for 3 minutes. No wonder Las Vegas makes so much money out of gamblers.
     
  8. On Thu, 13 Mar 2003 09:21:47 -0500, Pbwalther wrote:

    > I think there are several things going through their heads.
    >
    > 1) Bicycles are toys and do not belong on the road.
    >
    That's a large part of it. You see a cyclist in all the spandex, you figure he's just out for a
    ride, not headed to a "serious" destination like you are (even if it's to Blockbuster). So that guy
    is just playing in the road, in your way...

    > Of course, they forget the bicycles are capable of decent sustained speeds 20 mph + for a
    > surprising distance.

    20 mph will not impress a motorist.

    > What astonishes me is the number of motorists who do over the double yellow on blind corners to
    > pass me because it will kill them to slow down for 30 seconds. It is called "You bet your life".
    > So far, everyone I have seen make this bet has gotten away with it.

    This is truely frightening, and I see it more and more.

    --

    David L. Johnson

    __o | You will say Christ saith this and the apostles say this; but _`\(,_ | what canst thou say?
    -- George Fox. (_)/ (_) |
     
  9. H. M. Leary

    H. M. Leary Guest

    In article <[email protected]>, "David L. Johnson" <David L. Johnson
    <[email protected]>> wrote:

    > On Thu, 13 Mar 2003 09:21:47 -0500, Pbwalther wrote:
    >
    > > I think there are several things going through their heads.
    > >
    > > 1) Bicycles are toys and do not belong on the road.
    > >
    > That's a large part of it. You see a cyclist in all the spandex, you figure he's just out for a
    > ride, not headed to a "serious" destination like you are (even if it's to Blockbuster). So that
    > guy is just playing in the road, in your way...
    >
    > > Of course, they forget the bicycles are capable of decent sustained speeds 20 mph + for a
    > > surprising distance.
    >
    > 20 mph will not impress a motorist.
    >
    > > What astonishes me is the number of motorists who do over the double yellow on blind corners to
    > > pass me because it will kill them to slow down for 30 seconds. It is called "You bet your life".
    > > So far, everyone I have seen make this bet has gotten away with it.
    >
    > This is truely frightening, and I see it more and more.

    You bet your life is right.

    There was an article in th Inky this morning stating that in Pennsylvania.. ³NEVER ( PennDots caps )
    honk your horn at a bicyclist as it may scare him to steer into your path.²

    On my AM ride a motorist blaired away at me as I passed by a ³Share the Road² sign.

    In NJ it is required by law to ³beep² your horn when approaching a cyclist.

    So much for cagers and cyclists.

    As some friends at the US Naval Academy tell me..always navigate by the laws of gross tonnage.

    HAND

    --
    ³Freedom Is a Light for Which Many Have Died in Darkness³

    - Tomb of the unknown - American Revolution
     
  10. Peter Cole

    Peter Cole Guest

    "wafflycathcsdirtycatlitter" <[email protected]> wrote in message
    news:[email protected]...
    > >> What some motorists forget too is that many cyclists are also motorists.
    > >
    > >I'm afraid I don't follow this.
    >
    > The point is - many motorists treat cyclists as if cyclists shouldn't be on
    the
    > road - heave no idea of how a road should be used, etc., etc. using this as
    an
    > excuse to behave badly towards cyclists. Whereas many cyclists are also motorists, paying said
    > insurances, taxes, understand quite properly how to
    use
    > the road etc., etc.. Some motorists seem to think of cyclists as some sort
    of
    > separate species, whereas they aren't.

    What would it matter if they were? Your thinking seems to justify cyclists only if they're also
    motorists. Insurance is irrelevant, taxes are irrelevant, pedestrians and cyclists have always been
    entitled to *right*-of-way, it's motorists who have to pay and be licensed for the revocable
    *privilege* of driving on the road.

    Motorists resent cyclists mostly because they feel they impede their progress. They use those other
    arguments of taxes, etc. to rationalize their hostility, there's no misunderstanding involved, nor
    is there a need for cyclists to also be motorists. The fact that most of us are should make us much
    less willing to accept such nonsense, never mind promote it.
     
  11. Allan Leedy

    Allan Leedy Guest

    Many questions of this kind can be answered simply, "Because the can." A motorist can threaten a
    cyclist more easily and convincingly than a backhoe operator. A motorist can squeeze by a cyclist
    more easily than a slow-moving truck or tractor. So, they do.

    "Matt O'Toole" <[email protected]> wrote in message
    news:[email protected]...
    > Brent Hugh wrote:
    >
    > > An excerpt from one response that was printed in the Post:
    > >
    > > ---
    > > The law says that bicyclists have the right to ride on the road. The legal burden is on the
    > > overtaking vehicle to pass safely. Is it too much to ask that motorists have the human decency
    > > to not assault cyclists?
    >
    > That's the bottom line. No one assaults drivers of slow moving trucks or tractors, which move even
    > more slowly, and are more frequently
    encountered.
    > What makes it OK to be intolerant of a cyclist?
    >
    > Matt O.
     
  12. Allan Leedy

    Allan Leedy Guest

    "Pbwalther" <[email protected]> wrote in message news:[email protected]...
    > What astonishes me is the number of motorists who do over the double
    yellow on
    > blind corners to pass me because it will kill them to slow down for 30
    seconds.
    > It is called "You bet your life".

    I think it is more accurately called "You bet MY life." If that motorist has to choose a place to be
    that is occupied by an oncoming car on the left or one occupied by a cyclist on the right, you can
    imagine what the choice will be.
     
  13. Allan Leedy

    Allan Leedy Guest

    Many aspects of bad driving and road accidents can be explained by inadequate training. It is very
    easy to get a driving license in the United States, and many drivers have low skills and little
    knowledge of the laws and conventions of driving or of the potential consequences of inattention and
    poor judgments. How often do you see motorists turn or stop without signalling, or overtake
    unsafely, or drive with their attention diverted to other activities? These things are commonplace,
    and all pose hazards to cyclists. "H. M. Leary" <[email protected]> wrote in message
    news:[email protected]...
    > In article <[email protected]>, "David L. Johnson" <David L. Johnson
    > <[email protected]>> wrote:
    >
    > > On Thu, 13 Mar 2003 09:21:47 -0500, Pbwalther wrote:
    > >
    > > > I think there are several things going through their heads.
    > > >
    > > > 1) Bicycles are toys and do not belong on the road.
    > > >
    > > That's a large part of it. You see a cyclist in all the spandex, you figure he's just out for a
    > > ride, not headed to a "serious" destination like you are (even if it's to Blockbuster). So that
    > > guy is just playing in the road, in your way...
    > >
    > > > Of course, they forget the bicycles are capable of decent sustained speeds 20 mph + for a
    > > > surprising distance.
    > >
    > > 20 mph will not impress a motorist.
    > >
    > > > What astonishes me is the number of motorists who do over the double yellow on blind corners
    > > > to pass me because it will kill them to slow down for 30 seconds. It is called "You bet your
    > > > life". So far, everyone I have seen make this bet has gotten away with it.
    > >
    > > This is truely frightening, and I see it more and more.
    >
    > You bet your life is right.
    >
    > There was an article in th Inky this morning stating that in
    Pennsylvania..
    > ³NEVER ( PennDots caps ) honk your horn at a bicyclist as it may scare him
    to
    > steer into your path.²
    >
    > On my AM ride a motorist blaired away at me as I passed by a ³Share the
    Road²
    > sign.
    >
    > In NJ it is required by law to ³beep² your horn when approaching a
    cyclist.
    >
    > So much for cagers and cyclists.
    >
    > As some friends at the US Naval Academy tell me..always navigate by the
    laws of
    > gross tonnage.
    >
    > HAND
    >
    > --
    > ³Freedom Is a Light for Which Many Have Died in Darkness³
    >
    > - Tomb of the unknown - American Revolution
     
  14. Fritz M

    Fritz M Guest

    > For a particularly bad example of motorist road rage, read
    > http://news.bbc.co.uk/1/hi/england/2725329.stm

    I'm absolutely *not* blaming the victim here since I've done the same thing (yelled and gestured at
    inconsiderate motorists), but it does serve to illustrate that it's not always a good idea to
    provoke these guys.

    About fifteen years ago a woman in a station wagon didn't see me, blew through a stop sign, winged
    me and knocked me over. She didn't see me but pulled into a parking lot down the street, so I caught
    up to her and started yelling at her (I was a little bit upset). Even though SHE ran the stop sign,
    a guy she was meeting in the lot told me it was MY fault for riding my bike in the street. *sheesh*

    RFM
     
  15. David

    David Guest

    Personally, I think it's the general level of self-importance and lack of patience of our society.
    The general public just doesn't want to spare any of their time for anyone else other than
    themselves.

    Share? That's something left to the poor and unfortunates of the community. At least that's how I
    feel some people think of it. These are the same kind of people that would stand in front of the
    exit door of a store, holding up other customers as they look for their pack of cigarettes. Then,
    five minutes later, honk their horn at someone stopped at an intersection who's kindly waiting for
    an elderly person to cross the intersection.

    Even though our home's heating bill has been through the roof this winter, I smile when I see these
    motorists cringing as they fill up their nice shiny SUVs at the gas pumps. I ring my little bell and
    chuckle my *ss of as I ride by on my bike.
     
  16. Grenouil

    Grenouil Guest

    "Brent Hugh" <[email protected]> wrote in message
    news:[email protected]...
    > Recently there has been an interesting exchange of letters
    to the
    > editor in the St. Louis Post. MoDOT has recently
    installed "Share the
    > Road" signs on quite a number of roads in the St. Louis
    area. In
    > response to this, someone sent a letter to the Post,
    leading to a
    > flurry of responses from local cyclists. You can read a
    number of the
    > letters (some printed, some not) online at
    >
    >
    http://www.mobikefed.org/2003_03_01_newsarchive.html#9052213 5
    >
    > Here is the first letter:
    >
    > ---
    > Wayward Bicyclists
    >
    > Newly-erected yellow signs in the area admonish drivers to
    "share the
    > road", referring to sharing it to bicyclists.
    >
    > Although state law dictates that motorists must have valid
    licenses,
    > be of a prescribed age, and carry liability insurance,
    there are no
    > such obligations for bicyclists. They will take great
    risks on these
    > thoroughfares, and will surely be the cause of, or victims
    of, serious
    > accidents.
    >
    > One would think that bicyclists would be reluctant to
    venture on
    > weathered, pock-marked streets to be threatened by
    speeders, and be
    > subject to road rage.
    >
    > Bicyclists, who are themselves drivers, should certainly
    know how
    > quite impractical this request to "share the road" really
    is.
    > ---
    >
    > An excerpt from one response that was printed in the Post:
    >
    > ---
    > The law says that bicyclists have the right to ride on the
    road. The
    > legal burden is on the overtaking vehicle to pass safely.
    Is it too
    > much to ask that motorists have the human decency to not
    assault
    > cyclists?
    > ---
    >
    > --Brent
    >
    >
    > ++++++++++++++ Brent Hugh / bhugh -a-t- mwsc.edu
    ++++++++++++++
    > + Missouri Western St College Dept of Music, St. Joseph,
    MO +
    > + Piano Home Page :
    http://staff.mwsc.edu/~bhugh +
    > + Music IQ Songs : http://mp3.com/MusicIQ
    +
    > ++ Music of the Human Genome : http://mp3.com/brent_d_hugh
    ++++

    Does anyone make a "Run Me Over and I'll Sue" bike shirt?
     
  17. Allan Leedy <[email protected]> wrote:
    : Many questions of this kind can be answered simply, "Because the can." A motorist can threaten a
    : cyclist more easily and convincingly than a backhoe operator. A motorist can squeeze by a cyclist
    : more easily than a slow-moving truck or tractor. So, they do.

    A good bumper sticker (if bikes had a bumper) for a cyclist then, would be:

    My other vehicle is a TRUCK!

    Perhaps that would give some electricity to the idea that cyclists quite often own motor vehicles
    and are in fact legitimate people.

    Cheerz, Lynzz
     
  18. Grenouil wrote:

    >Does anyone make a "Run Me Over and I'll Sue" bike shirt?
    >
    >
    I want one that says "Please pass, Breaking in new engine."

    --
    Cheers Damian Harvey

    Just call me Clyde.
     
  19. Smokey

    Smokey Guest

    as a life-long resident of missouri and an avid bicyclist, i can tell you that there is a tremendous
    prejudice against us. even friends who know that i ride openly deride bicyclists in front of me.
    another subject that seems to raise their ire is the katy trail, even though it has resurrected many
    small towns in this state and brought in a lot of tourist's dollars. the bottom line is that it's
    the unfortunate human traits of intolerance and not giving a damn about anybody else that causes
    this. what to do? just keep your eyes open and your senses on alert when riding and remember you'll
    probably outlive all the bicycle haters in their big SUVs and cars. also that when our troops are
    put in the line of fire in far away lands because of oil, it won't go to fill our bicycle's gas
    tanks! smokey strodtman [email protected] (Brent Hugh) wrote in message
    news:<[email protected]>...
    > Recently there has been an interesting exchange of letters to the editor in the St. Louis Post.
    > MoDOT has recently installed "Share the Road" signs on quite a number of roads in the St. Louis
    > area. In response to this, someone sent a letter to the Post, leading to a flurry of responses
    > from local cyclists. You can read a number of the letters (some printed, some not) online at
    >
    > http://www.mobikefed.org/2003_03_01_newsarchive.html#90522135
    >
    > Here is the first letter:
    >
    > ---
    > Wayward Bicyclists
    >
    > Newly-erected yellow signs in the area admonish drivers to "share the road", referring to sharing
    > it to bicyclists.
    >
    > Although state law dictates that motorists must have valid licenses, be of a prescribed age, and
    > carry liability insurance, there are no such obligations for bicyclists. They will take great
    > risks on these thoroughfares, and will surely be the cause of, or victims of, serious accidents.
    >
    > One would think that bicyclists would be reluctant to venture on weathered, pock-marked streets to
    > be threatened by speeders, and be subject to road rage.
    >
    > Bicyclists, who are themselves drivers, should certainly know how quite impractical this request
    > to "share the road" really is.
    > ---
    >
    > An excerpt from one response that was printed in the Post:
    >
    > ---
    > The law says that bicyclists have the right to ride on the road. The legal burden is on the
    > overtaking vehicle to pass safely. Is it too much to ask that motorists have the human decency to
    > not assault cyclists?
    > ---
    >
    > --Brent
    >
    >
    > ++++++++++++++ Brent Hugh / bhugh -a-t- mwsc.edu ++++++++++++++
    > + Missouri Western St College Dept of Music, St. Joseph, MO +
    > + Piano Home Page : http://staff.mwsc.edu/~bhugh +
    > + Music IQ Songs : http://mp3.com/MusicIQ + ++ Music of the Human Genome :
    > http://mp3.com/brent_d_hugh ++++
     
  20. Don Demair

    Don Demair Guest

    "H. M. Leary" <[email protected]> wrote in message
    news:[email protected]... ... snip ...
    >
    > In NJ it is required by law to ³beep² your horn when approaching a
    cyclist.
    >

    I don't think that it's a "law". I read about beeping your horn when approaching a cyclist somewhere
    in one of the driver's handbooks, but I think it was merely a suggestion. A stupid suggestion that
    should be completely ignored, by the way.

    -Don
     
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