Why Cycling will never be accepted by road users PERIOD

Discussion in 'Commuting and Road Safety' started by Jeytown, May 22, 2006.

  1. CycleGuard

    CycleGuard New Member

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    I think when you dish out $2k on a bike they should at least offer a discount on a good light kit for your big purchase and being a valued customer. Maybe even a helmet...but by no means are they responsible to do it or for your safety. In my area there are laws about having a front headlight and a red taillight. The trick is they are rarely enforced. I do think however that us cyclists need to improve our rep with the help of local law enforcement and law makers to enforce these laws and make safety laws so that the bicycle becomes a valued, serious, source of transportation and treated as a vehicle on roadways! I hate how I see other people riding their bikes on my way to work and it's pitch dark out in the dead of night me with my headlight and flashing headlight and two rear red flashers, while they have no lights and are riding out in front of cars getting us good responsible and safe cyclists a bad rap.

    Take Care.
     


  2. NORECUMYET

    NORECUMYET New Member

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    I'm all for law enforcement helping us out by clamping down on cyclists that ride in the dark without lights. Unfortunately here in the States, especially Southern California, if anyone were to attempt enforcement of the safety laws already on the books some super left biased politician or group will say that the government is picking on poor people that "can't afford expensive safety equipment". Of course the same "poor" guy on the bike at night without lights always seems to have enough money to buy lotto tickets and bear. (This is not assumption by the way but fact witnessed by me personally on more than one occasion.)

    I'll tell you what would virtually eliminate the problem OVERNIGHT. Whenever law enforcement spots someone riding at in the dark without lights their bikes should be IMMEDIATELY CONFISCATED. (I'll guarantee that this act alone WILL save lives.) When the person shows up at the station with the proper safety gear ready to install on said bike the bike would be wheeled out to the offender. Once the lights are installed and verified to be working the offender could ride on home. NO fines, NO fees. Once the word got out that your bike gets taken away when you don't comply with equipment safety laws, the amount of offenses would all but disappear. Now I am normally against having the government baby-sit. Unfortunately in a case such as this it seems to be necessary. Until I saw it several hundred times I would have never believed that SO MANY people would be stupid enough to ride in the dark without lights. I've even seen light-less riders with a passenger on the handlebars. Hey! Two dead idiots for the price of one.

    Now before you bleeding hearts start foaming at the mouth over this idea remember this. There have been virtually identical laws already in existence for quite some time regarding autos and especially commercial vehicles. These laws have greatly reduced the amount of death and damage on the highways. As the post I'm replying to states, "We need to improve our rep." (The person that wrote it may wish that I wasn't "helping".) It's a pretty simple concept. It's very hard to admonish auto drivers for their poor behavior when they can so easily come back with criticism after criticism about the outrageous and super dangerous actions of anyone STUPID enough to ride in the dark without lights.

    That's right STUPID. To top it off most of the offenders I've seen riding without lights have also been on the WRONG side of the road as if riding while virtually invisible wasn't bad enough. I believe a decent headlight and rear flasher can be purchased for under $15.00. I think even less. There's probably not a bike owner in the western world that doesn't also own a white "T" shirt.

    How much is a case of cerveza and a lotto ticket anyhow? I guess my slip is showing when it comes to the last line. Since I've gone there I'll go even farther. The Mexican government publishes and distributes detailed instructions on how to illegally cross the border into the U.S. Maybe they can make an amendment to the pamphlet that gives specific bicycle safety information, like which side of the road you're supposed to ride on, and the fact that gringos don't see in the dark so good.

    Of course I know that it's not only illegal aliens that are riding in the dark without lights. I just bring it up for the following reasons. The light-less riders I've known personally are here illegally. They've told me themselves that they believe the bulk of the problem is with their peers.(Yes I actually polled them) The light-less riders I saw daily for twenty-six years on the way to work were always of latin american descent. I like to combine my political views at times. I know that these comments are very likely to spur more debate/commentary on the issue. Pissing people off often makes them remember a particular subject better than "planting kisses and flowers." Lastly, sometimes when one is in a certain mood it's just plain fun to light the match and sit back and watch the fire grow. Am I an "A" hole? I'd have to say more than likely.........YES!
     
  3. chrehn

    chrehn New Member

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    I don't know where the ever changing fine line of responsibility lies, however, I try to subscribe to the saying, " Buyer Beware" for the most part. I do wear visible clothing and helmet with rear flasher. My bicycle has front and rear lights plus a rear reflector that I have added. I try to obey the laws of the road as much as possible ;>! and I try to ride as Defensively as possible. I do NOT assume that the vehicle driver has seen me. I have found that serious eye contact with the vehicle driver helps, even if the driver is offended by my eye contact.
     
  4. Jonahhobbes

    Jonahhobbes New Member

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    Even if you achieve "serious eye contact" its best to remain cautious. I was run over at a junction having crossed in front of a stopped car having thought I had made eye contact. It looked like he was looking me in the eye, he then proceeded to run me over:confused: :mad: I still go for eye contact but when passing in front of a car I now give it a wide birth and only pass if the driver is tracking me i.e. moving his head to follow me, I also ride "light" and try and prepare myself to move out of the cars way if he has not spotted me. If I'm not sure I will stop, trackstand or go behind, (bit risky that one). Cycling on roads is never the same after you get run over.:(
     
  5. Josssshua

    Josssshua New Member

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    Never say never, but...America is certainly setup for the automobile--not to mention it's dependence on gasoline.

    America's landscape is HUGE, everything is spread far apart, the average road in the average town is tore up and unfriendly to cyclists, theirs limited bike trails and bike lanes. The problem just gos on and on(Almost seeming purposeful?) A vehicle is the only convient choice.

    On top of that, someone mentioned previous that people don't take cycling serious because bikes are viewed as playthings. It's the parents fault for letting these kids wander around haphazardly without teaching them a damn thing about bicycle safety or traffic laws.


    Point in case, this will never stop until we educate our society. The government clearly doesn't care, they put as little as possible into the education system. In other words, take care of yourself, because the government doesn't care about you--unless you don't pay your taxes.
     
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