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November 20, 2007

Idiots, Assholes and Other Upstanding Sharers of the Road

Oh my!

Every time I pay a visit to Gwadzilla I am reminded, yet again, why his is such an enjoyable blog to visit, and has been for 4 years now (Happy Anniversary G-Man!!).

I have him in my Blogroll for a reason and his latest post shows why. This post wonderfully, accurately and angrily describes situations universal to cyclists all over the world, expressing feelings and emotions we all have had, but can't always put into words.

here it is Monday morning...

I just finished my miniature morning commute into work
the ride in is short and effortless
no need to get my heart rate up
just a few pedal strokes down the hill towards my office

yet things are not always so easy
the roads are filled with all sorts of idiots and assholes
most of them are idiots
the rest of them are assholes
the more assertive ones tend to be selfish c_unts

Read the whole thing.

And this follow-up, too.

Just Sunday, when I took the test bike out for its first spin, I encountered a local representative of the citizenry Gwadzilla describes.

Near my home is an intersection with right turn only lanes.

I go in this direction to head south into the city, reach a particular bus south, and west of the corner, or to reach accesses for the Southbound and Northbound Santa Ana River Bike Trail,  both on the west side of the river.

Tra_la1

The Right Turn Only Lane begins signalling its purpose a block ahead, indicating where southbound traffic should go.

Tra_la2

As you can see there is a lane across the street that eastbound traffic uses in coming from its own Right Turn Lane.

To avoid this corner would require me to go anywhere from a mile to 3 miles out of my way depending on whether I need to reach the trail (By way of an access to the alternate NB Trail on the east side of the river.), catch a bus, or head south into town.

Of course the proper thing to do is either of 2 things:

1. Take the lane on the left so I can cross the street, and then move right.

2. Stay in the Right Only Lane, on its left side, thus allowing room for the right turning cars, then proceed across and move right.

Life is seldom so simple when dealing with people driving cars.

As you no doubt have figured out by now there is a problem with this picture:

From time to time, mostly when southbound traffic is waiting for lights to change, some idiot in the Right Only Lane will change his/her mind at the green and head south across the intersection.

This happened many times, in the few years I've lived here, when I've been positioned to the left of the offender, and sometimes the offender was not there for me to see because they were still approaching the corner from further back.

This made it hard on me because cars behind me, in my lane, sometimes are also already making their moves to the right, while I'm still recovering from the actions of the offender.

Maybe I should wear a sign. ;-D

One day I decided enough was enough.

Now, when I approach the intersection (And others like it.), I ride across, or wait for the light to change, positioned squarely in the center of the Right Only Lane.

No-one gets past me until I am safely on the other side of the intersection.

This pisses people off no end. ;-D

Most just honk a couple of times, then stop when I don't look back and don't react to their impatience.

Then there are the ones like the person on Saturday.

This person honked 8 times, leaning on the horn for half of them, before stopping.

When the light changed the person tooted 3 more times.

Not looking back I gave the 1-Fingered Salute and went on my merry way. ;-D

***UPDATE***

Thanksgiving Day Follow-up.

***END UPDATE***

November 20, 2007 in Blogging Cyclists, Share the Road, and Trail: Safety Matters! | Permalink

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Comments

there is a stretch of road downtown where I have grit my teeth and take the full lane.

there are not too many buildings around and cars are already trying to hit highway speeds,
yet I have to take the full lane,
then when approaching the right turn only lane
I am forced to take the center lane
the option lane.

cars honk,
but they do not get it.

if I went straight in the right hand lane
I would get leveled.

no one is as concerned about me arriving alive as much as I am.

correction,
no one is concerned about me arriving alive except for me.

(of course excluding family and friends... hopefully they would give me some space if they were in a car around me when I am on my bike... hopefully!)

thanks for the anniversary wishes!

Posted by: gwadzilla | Nov 20, 2007 8:37:46 AM

I'm thinking we should be thinking we're considered a vehicle - So, if you're not turning right, then don't be in the turn only lane.

If there were a bike lane, there would be a short dotted section for cars to cross into the right turn only lane and bikes would continue straight through intersection just like a car.

Posted by: robert | Nov 20, 2007 12:02:36 PM

"And the fickle finger of fate award goes to...

The Cycling Dude, for being honked at 11 times and only responding with a good-natured middle-fingered salute."

Posted by: Gene | Nov 20, 2007 1:02:05 PM

RE: Gwad - no one is concerned about me arriving alive except for me.

(of course excluding family and friends... hopefully they would give me some space if they were in a car around me when I am on my bike... hopefully!)

thanks for the anniversary wishes!

ME: U R Welcome! I agree with the above 100%. ;-D

RE: Robert

ME: It's not that simple when the Motorists are not paying attention, or don't care about the "rules".


LOL! At Gene! Thanks for the, um, Honor! ;-D

Posted by: Kiril, The Cycling Dude | Nov 22, 2007 1:39:52 PM

Yeah, but if we are in the right place, taking the space we are legally entitled to - i.e. as far to the left as needed to be safe in our lane, in the lane marked for the traffic we are doing (not in a turn only lane and going straight) -
then it is harder for motorists to not pay attention (we're right in front, not off to the side) and it becomes much harder for them to not care about the rules.

When they have to make a decision to ride up on the traffic island or cross over the double yellow lines, they start to realize what is going on.

And there is the same expectation for oncoming traffic (though like motorcycles, it is a good idea to be running some lights, blinking or pointable).

Think of a fully loaded semi in traffic, much slower to get to traffic flow speed, but if it is a single lane, they don't pull off the side to let traffic by nor do cars cross over into oncoming traffic to get past (well, except for the rare total idiot).

Posted by: Robert | Nov 22, 2007 2:41:54 PM

Whats realy is scary are when some brats go riding their bikes with some other kid sitting on the handlebars.

That's stupid!

Posted by: FLU-BIRD | Nov 11, 2008 9:20:56 PM

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