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January 22, 2006

Angry Motorist Rages at Dude

Robert, of Who Knows Where, sent a comment, responding to this July 2005 post, that I wish to share:

Yes, you self-rightous bicyclists should let the automobiles by you.

As a bicyclist,  you do not have to pay collision and liability insurance, license test fees, DMV fees.

I see these ninnys constantly run stop signs, red lights, no reflectors or lamps at night, no turn signals, to name but a few.

The bicyclists thrive on riding two-three astride, riding during the morning commute, when the rest of us have to go to work and be on time.

They appear to love infurating drivers by hogging the road and not pulling over, while driving under the speed limit.

California needs to require insurance, and associated fees, if cyclists want to use the roads without bike lanes and be the discourteous and unsafe idiots that they are.

Anyone care to respond to this?

Feel free to pile on, either in the comments, or in a story on your blog, with a link/Trackback back to this post so everyone can enjoy your rapier wit, and wisdom. ;-D

As for me...

1. First off, not all cyclists are self-rightous: Just some of the extremely radical, environmental-wacko, Cars are the Spawn of Satan types. ;-D

The majority of us, Liberal, and Conservative, are sane, sensible, and quite charming once ya get to know us. ;-D

We folllow the law, ask for the same from you 4-wheel Gas-Guzzler Types, and just want to share the road in harmony.

2. As for letting Cars by us: Oh, I agree, when appropriate, and safe, to do so.

If there's no shoulder on the road, a turn-off, or other space for me to move to the right, I ain't goin', so relax, enjoy the scenery, and I'll be out of your way as quick, and safely as I can.

Please don't be in a hurry, and do something stupid like going around me on the left, especially if by doing so you enter a lane for ONCOMING traffic.

You need to know, and accept that I am allowed to Take the Lane, and make Left Lane Changes, and Left Turns, just like Motorists, and will safely continue to do so when appropriate, and safe to do so.

3. As for License, DMV and test fees, and insurance:

Many cities in the USA require Bicyclists to get a license if they live in town, and I would not be suprised if some cities charge a small fee.

I would not be suprised if some cyclists, especially those using their bike in a job related capacity, have insurance of some sort ( What about it Bike Messengers, Big City Pizza Delivery Guys, and Bike Taxi Folks? )

As for tests: There are actually Bicycle Safety Courses that cyclists can take, and numerous opportunites to pay for courses in Bicycle Maintenance.

4. As for ignorant cyclists, and those who just don't care to follow the laws: There are the same types among the car driving set, but I don't make the blanket generalization of judging ALL by the actions of the minority.

I will say that unsafe Auto drivers, in anything from a Yugo, to an 18 Wheeler, are by far the bigger hazzard to their fellow drivers, to cyclists, and to pedestrians.

5. As for those cyclists who deliberately obstruct traffic, and refuse to play fair on the road, enjoying the thrill of making a "Statement", whether on a group ride, or as part of Critical Mass, again don't judge us all by the actions of a few.

As for my thoughts on Critical Mass...

6. The LAST thing CA. should do is charge state license fees, require testing, or require Cyclists to be insured.

Bike/Pedestrian Only Trails are great, and Bike Lanes are something I tolerate ( using when neccessary, and unavoidable ), but the simple fact of the matter is that Bicyclists, as vehicle drivers, have the right to share the street with their bigger, faster, transportation cousins.

Most car drivers accept that, and more and more cyclists are learning how to leave the Sidewalk, and Bike Lanes, and to safely navigate on the wider road.

The League of American Bicyclists is just one of the many organizations, both local, national, and international, as can be found in my collection of links, that are doing their part by working to bring better bicycling to Communities around the world.

I once wrote an Open Letter to Motorists after being attacked one night on my ride home from work, and this is as good a time as any to bring it to my readers attention one more time:

BICYCLIST TO CAR OWNERS: CAN'T WE ALL JUST GET ALONG?

January 22, 2006 in The Opinionated DUDE | Permalink

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Comments

Automobile operators pay licensing and other fees and are required to have insurance because they kill 115 people every day in the United States. Law-breaking cyclists kill -- what -- maybe one or two a year? The comparative risks are so vastly different that to even suggest that cyclists pay their "fair share" is utterly ridiculous, considering that drivers are very heavily subsidized.

Posted by: Fritz | Jan 22, 2006 9:46:48 PM

Some more thoughts about this as I was *ahem* driving to work this morning (actually, I was returning a rental car with the bike in the trunk so I could ride the rest of the way to work).

Robert gripes about law-breaking cyclists. When he gripes equally about law-breaking motorists, perhaps I'll start listening to him.

If cyclists in front of him "infuriate" him, Robert needs his license taken away. He's a road rage incident waiting to happen.

Robert talks about discourteous cyclists. What about discourteous car drivers? He's never seen any of those?

If he's worried about getting to work on time, perhaps Robert should move closer to work -- perhaps even CYCLING distance, instead of getting stuck in rush hour traffic. Ironically, it's the MOTORIST that's creates that problems of being late. When you're stuck in congested traffic, it's caused by too many CARS on the road, not the 10 seconds you got delayed by the occasional bike.

If Robert REALLY wants to speed traffic up, he should lobby for increased bike use to get those inconsiderate ninny car drivers out of his way so he can get to work faster.

Posted by: Fritz | Jan 23, 2006 10:49:58 AM

Thanks for chiming in Fritz, and for making some important points.

I wrote to Rob, thanking him for stopping by, and for leaving comments.

I advised him of this post saying that "The opportunity for discussion, debate, and education ( yours ) was just too good to pass up."

It will be interesting to see if he replies. ;-D

Posted by: Kiril Kundurazieff | Jan 23, 2006 11:22:10 AM

came across this while looking for something else. and thought I'd add my 2 cents..

Roads were made for CARS, TRUCKS ECT.. If they were intended for cyclist they would not be as wide.lol

I drive a taxi as my name suggest, the local area where I drive is experiencing a surge in cyclists and this is a good thing.. but keep in mind any accident between the cycle and a car,, THE CYCLIST loses... Now he may have a RIGHT to the road, but he will still lose..

and when speed limits are posted they are the maximum allowed by law,, but you can and will get a ticket for driving to slow,, all tho that limit is posted only on interstate highways.. have you ever gotten a ticket for riding a bike to slow?

Posted by: kabbie | Jun 7, 2006 6:43:13 PM

Thanks for stopping by Kabbie!

While Cyclists are considered vehicles, and must follow the same laws as cars there is a difference.

Most of our riding is done on the right side of the nearest lane to the curb, including when there is an unobstructed Bike Lane present.

Unless we have need to "Take" the lane, or make left turns, we do not spend significant time in the main flow of traffic.

Our trusty steeds simply are not built for that amount of speed ( While a cyclist can do 25-35mph on a nifty stretch of downhill, he/she had better know how to handle the bike, and the brakes, if brave, and/or stupid, enough to attempt it! ), and that's also one reason why we don't get ticketed for going too slow.

Speed laws directed at cars are not designed with the cyclist in mind.

As for roads not being designed for use by bikes:

We was there 1st! ;-D

Bicyclists have been sharing the road ever since the days we shared them with Horses, and the Horse Drawn Carriage, only. ;-D

Bicycles have been around for at least 150 years. ;-D

Posted by: Kiril, The Cyclingdude | Jun 7, 2006 8:50:58 PM

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