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Crazy Motorists

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BroDeal said:
Has this been posted yet?

Drunk driver kills triathlete and continues driving with the bike lodged in his windshield. His license was already suspended because he was facing charges for a previous DUI. Story includes a picture of the douchewhale.

http://www.courier-journal.com/article/2009908010336

He was charged with murder.
that is a sad story all around. hard to defend yourself against drunk or distracted or angry motorists. just have to keep the antenna all the way up
and hope you don't get clobbered.:cool:
 
BroDeal said:
Has this been posted yet?

Drunk driver kills triathlete and continues driving with the bike lodged in his windshield. His license was already suspended because he was facing charges for a previous DUI. Story includes a picture of the douchewhale.

http://www.courier-journal.com/article/2009908010336

He was charged with murder.

Horrible story.

Still, the only protection from drunk motorists is to look out for them and keep your distance. It's yet another advantage of using a mirror and developing good situational awareness for 360 degrees. If you ride off to the side all the time you can't tell the drivers that notice you from the the ones that don't, because they don't behave any differently (they just all pretty much pass on by you as if you're not there).

If, on the other hand, you get your bvtt out there, then you can tell when they notice you (they slow down, or start moving over to pass you). If they don't notice you they just keep on coming at you as if you're not there. That's never happened to me, but I'm always looking for it. In any case, I generally move aside to make it easier to pass me (and to get a smile, nod or wave), but if someone is ever coming at me as if I'm not there, I'm prepared to bail.
 
What scares the s h i t out of me is the person driving while:

1) Texting
2) Intoxicated (alcohol or drugs)
3) Talking on a cell phone
4) Eating
5) Applying makeup
6) Playing with their GPS

At least the p i s s e d off driver knows you are there. These other jerks will not know until you are a scraping sound under their car. It still stuns me that these behaviours (with the exception DUI) are not illegal everywhere in North America and that when they are the law is never really in-forced. Killing a cyclist will make the news but the charges, if any will be watered down. The drivers are often treated like victims (killing someone while trying to text OMG LMAO is very traumatic) and the 1st question asked is: 'was the cyclist wearing a helmet?'. Huh?

All users of the road should be held to the highest standards. Life is too valuable and too fragile.
 
May 6, 2009
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Ninety5rpm said:
I don't get it. What's preventing you from riding further away from the parked cars? Where would you ride a motorcycle on that street? Why not ride there?

Er the road??

Ninety5rpm said:
What??? Sometimes you would be forced to ride a bike ON THE ROAD?

Seriously, why are you riding on the shoulder at all?

Because there is no bicycle lanes (they are building a new road lanes on both sides to ease traffic congestion and the new lanes would have bicycle lanes). I suggest you look up "Gold Coast, Queensland, Australia" on either Google Earth or Google Street View to try and see what I mean. As I said, touch wood I haven't have an incident with a car since September 18 2004 and I do think I am aware what is going around me. I don't dice in-and-out of traffic willy nilly playing russian roulette with my life and it has been pot luck I have haven't had an incident.

I certainly signal when I'm changing lanes, going around parked cars etc. and I'm always checking what is going in front of me and behind me as well. I wear reflective clothing when I ride early in the morning (this is our winter so it is dark in the morning) as well as having front and rear lights, stopping at lights, signs and hell even waving 'thanks' at a motorist who is given way to me. Also when I'm desending down a mountain and see a car behind me, I always slow down and pull over to let them pass.

I believe what comes around goes around, so if I treat motorists with respect, I will get shown some too.
 
Jun 22, 2009
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Ninety5rpm said:
What city are we talking about, by the way?

Tampa Bay area. But you could really add all of central Florida as I have
ridden just about all of it. But it seems like a lot of the cyclists in the
Tampa Bay area are clueless (then again so are the people so what are ya gonna do!!).

Not all mind you.
 
Black Dog said:
What scares the s h i t out of me is the person driving while:

1) Texting
2) Intoxicated (alcohol or drugs)
3) Talking on a cell phone
4) Eating
5) Applying makeup
6) Playing with their GPS

At least the p i s s e d off driver knows you are there. These other jerks will not know until you are a scraping sound under their car. It still stuns me that these behaviours (with the exception DUI) are not illegal everywhere in North America and that when they are the law is never really in-forced.

7) Shaving
8) Brushing their teeth :eek:

Fortunately, using a hand-held phone is illegal over here and we take drunk-driving much more serious than in the US.
 
Jun 22, 2009
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Ninety5rpm said:
Are you familiar with the Commute Orlando site? Great stuff.

http://commuteorlando.com/

I was not. Thank You for sharing. I will get busy perusing it.

When I lived in Orlando (actually Clermont which a very nice place to ride)
I did a lot more riding then I do now. But then again I didn't have family
constraints. Not that I am complaining. And it was much more enjoyable
riding over there believe it or not.
 
Black Dog said:
What scares the s h i t out of me is the person driving while:

1) Texting
2) Intoxicated (alcohol or drugs)
3) Talking on a cell phone
4) Eating
5) Applying makeup
6) Playing with their GPS

At least the p i s s e d off driver knows you are there. These other jerks will not know until you are a scraping sound under their car. It still stuns me that these behaviours (with the exception DUI) are not illegal everywhere in North America and that when they are the law is never really in-forced. Killing a cyclist will make the news but the charges, if any will be watered down. The drivers are often treated like victims (killing someone while trying to text OMG LMAO is very traumatic) and the 1st question asked is: 'was the cyclist wearing a helmet?'. Huh?

All users of the road should be held to the highest standards. Life is too valuable and too fragile.
You know the mountain biking trick about focusing on the gap between the rocks rather than on the rocks? If you focus on the rocks, you hit the rocks!

When pilots get in planes, they don't focus on all the things that can go wrong, they focus on making sure they are doing everything right. Same with SCUBA divers. Why is it that bicyclists seem obsessed with all the different reasons motorists might be distracted?

Believe it or not, all that stuff above shouldn't matter to you. I'll try to explain why. Does your safety, when bicycling in traffic, depend on all drivers paying attention all the time to everything? I hope not. But I think many people believe that is the case, yet they also know it's impossible for all drivers to be paying attention to everything all of the time. They might not think it through, but, subconsciously, the result of this logical contradiction is anxiety about riding in traffic. So most people won't even do it. Some people deal better with anxiety than others and ride, nervously, anyway. But the real trick is to get over the anxiety. How do we do that?

Can you be safe in traffic even though some of the drivers (arguably all of them) are not paying attention some of the time? If so, does it matter if it's 1%, 2% or 10% of the time? Why? As long as you can be safe even though once in a while you encounter a driver not paying attention, does it really matter if it's once a week, once a day or once an hour? The point is you have to be ready each time. And if you're ready for it once a month, you should be ready for it once, twice or even four times an hour too.

So the keys are to a) not depend on everyone paying attention all of the time, b) being comfortable with the idea that you can be safe even though some of the drivers are not paying attention some of the time, and c) being ready for an encounter with an inattentive driver at any time.

If you focus on all the reasons any particular driver might not be paying attention at some given time (see list in quoted post above), you're missing the point entirely.

Some drivers are not paying attention some of the time. That's a given. Accept it, and ride accordingly. Safely, and ready. Don't be surprised by it, it's a given. Look for it. It's going to happen, and you can and will (I hope) be ready for it, each and every time. Remember that all drivers must be paying attention fairly frequently, or they will drive off the road. Even the most distracted driver is looking up once in a while, to maintain course and make sure there are no obstructions ahead, if nothing else. So do what you can to get their attention as soon as you can, including riding where you are more likely to be noticed rather than where you are likely to not be noticed. It's not as difficult as you might think, especially if you use a mirror.

And please don't obsess about all the reasons they might be distracted.
 
May 6, 2009
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Bicycle safety aside, what is the general attitude of motorists towards cyclists in general where you live?

For me motorists don't tend to like cyclists as the roads are pretty congested and public transport is rubbish, so you more or less require a car. From time to time there a rants in the text message section of the paper where those who wear lycra are "louts" and every now and then you get the "omg teh cyclitz r ghey!" rants. But like I said earlier, I treat motorists with respect. I give way, signal, wear reflective clothing when it is dark, use front and rear lights, and if I am in a situation where I am holding up traffic, I ride a lot faster and at the first safe chance, I pull over and let them go and generally a get a wave in return etc.

But in saying that I have abuse yelled at me to which I just laugh at, but thankfully I haven't had what a Swiss cyclist down in Melbourne who was cycling along minding his own business and doing nothing wrong before a bunch of bogans (trailer park trash) threw a bottle of beer at him at full speed from a passing car (which did hit him). I have ridden in France, and Italy and the drivers are a lot better then the ones in Australia or England.
 
craig1985 said:
Bicycle safety aside, what is the general attitude of motorists towards cyclists in general where you live?

For me motorists don't tend to like cyclists as the roads are pretty congested and public transport is rubbish, so you more or less require a car. From time to time there a rants in the text message section of the paper where those who wear lycra are "louts" and every now and then you get the "omg teh cyclitz r ghey!" rants. But like I said earlier, I treat motorists with respect. I give way, signal, wear reflective clothing when it is dark, use front and rear lights, and if I am in a situation where I am holding up traffic, I ride a lot faster and at the first safe chance, I pull over and let them go and generally a get a wave in return etc.

But in saying that I have abuse yelled at me to which I just laugh at, but thankfully I haven't had what a Swiss cyclist down in Melbourne who was cycling along minding his own business and doing nothing wrong before a bunch of bogans (trailer park trash) threw a bottle of beer at him at full speed from a passing car (which did hit him). I have ridden in France, and Italy and the drivers are a lot better then the ones in Australia or England.
Many bicyclists seem to think that wherever they are motorists are especially crazy or particularly bad towards bicyclists. The reality is that people are people, and everybody wants to get to work, the store, home, whatever, and they don't appreciate delays, especially delays that they perceive to be unnecessary.

You ask about the "general attitude". It's important to not judge "general attitude" by the behavior of a tiny minority. If one in every 100,000 motorists throws beer bottles at bicyclists, that hardly says something about the "general attitude" of a given community.

If almost every single driver honks at you and gives you the finger, that's one thing. If you get it a few times a week or a few times a day, that's a minority and does not reflect "general attitude", and I suggest there are things you can do to reduce that to a few times a year, no matter where you live. See my earlier posts in this thread for more details.

No factor determines how you are treated, including where you live and ride, more than how you behave. That applies to all aspects of social life, not just bicycling in traffic.
 
Mar 17, 2009
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But the truth is though, that the vast majority of motorists DO adjust their driving to avoid the cyclists. It's just the few amoebas that behave as if we are dog poop.

I ride about 6,000 miles a year on mostly rural roads, and whilst I have had objects thrown at me by the ocassional pick-up driving red neck, most drivers give me all the space I need - and I always try to wave a thanks to them when they do. I know I'm in the way with my skinny little bike, so I appreciate their patience and consideration.
 
Ninety5rpm said:
No factor determines how you are treated, including where you live and ride, more than how you behave. That applies to all aspects of social life, not just bicycling in traffic.

I have to agree with craig1985 on this one. I have no idea where you have ridden or what riding in the states is like but there is a huge difference between riding in France compared to the UK. Motorists pip to tell you they are there and wait behind you until they have good room to over take and pretty much go all the way into the other lane when they do. The Spanish are not so safe but the lorry drivers always honk encouragement and wave. The Italians, I have been told, will pass by you quite closely because they are used to dealing with cyclists and driving on very tight roads. The Dutch are very cycle friendly too.

Different nations have different general attitudes to road use and dealing with cyclists. Of course not everyone for country A acts in a certain way but general attitudes can be gauged after spending some time there.

While I think your campaign to make cyclists more aware of their responsibilities is a noble one I think you dismiss driver resposability too readily, there has to be work from both sides to make cycling safer.
 
May 6, 2009
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Ok what about this case:

full story

You would be kidding yourself if you think the driver at car was not at fault. I know the area where the accident happened and there is plenty of room for somebody to cycle and somebody to drive a car safely and there to be no problems for either party.
 
uphillstruggle said:
No factor determines how you are treated, including where you live and ride, more than how you behave. That applies to all aspects of social life, not just bicycling in traffic.
I have to agree with craig1985 on this one. I have no idea where you have ridden or what riding in the states is like but there is a huge difference between riding in France compared to the UK. Motorists pip to tell you they are there and wait behind you until they have good room to over take and pretty much go all the way into the other lane when they do. The Spanish are not so safe but the lorry drivers always honk encouragement and wave. The Italians, I have been told, will pass by you quite closely because they are used to dealing with cyclists and driving on very tight roads. The Dutch are very cycle friendly too.

Different nations have different general attitudes to road use and dealing with cyclists. Of course not everyone for country A acts in a certain way but general attitudes can be gauged after spending some time there.

While I think your campaign to make cyclists more aware of their responsibilities is a noble one I think you dismiss driver resposability too readily, there has to be work from both sides to make cycling safer.
I chose my words carefully. I did not say the cyclist's behavior was the only factor that determines how the cyclist is treated. I said it's the main factor (it is the factor that determines, more than any other, how you are treated).

Now, if you ride in the same manner everywhere you go, you will discern differences in how you are treated, to be sure. However, I'm saying something different: if you change your riding behavior in any or all of those places, you will discern even bigger differences in how you are treated.

We can opine about driver responsibility on and on, but the fact will remain that we will encounter irresponsible drivers out there fairly regularly, no matter what, or where we ride. How often we encounter irresponsible driving might vary some depending on where we are riding, but by and large what we can count on is that we will encounter it, from time to time, no matter where we ride. I think the cyclist who accepts this inevitability is much more likely to be prepared to deal with it safely whenever it happens.

Do not be surprised or endangered because of irresponsible and inattentive driving. Instead, ride in a manner that makes you safe despite the occasional irresponsible and inattentive drivers that you will inevitably encounter.
 
craig1985 said:
Ok what about this case:

full story

You would be kidding yourself if you think the driver at car was not at fault. I know the area where the accident happened and there is plenty of room for somebody to cycle and somebody to drive a car safely and there to be no problems for either party.
Well, there's not a lot of detail there, but since two cyclists were hit, it's almost certainly entirely the driver's fault.

However, that does not mean there was nothing the cyclists could have done to prevent it. That's a completely different issue. For example, when there is a crash at a signal controlled intersection, whoever ran the red is entirely at fault. However, that does not mean the other could not have prevented by driving/riding defensively by checking for red light runners prior to entering the intersection.

In this case, I see no evidence that the cyclists were using mirrors. Since most cyclists do not use mirrors, much less monitor traffic approaching from behind, engaging those who appear not to be paying attention, and always preparing to bail when all else fails, I think it's safe to assume these cyclists were not engaged in that kind of defensive behavior. That doesn't make the crash their fault in the slightest, but it does indicate that they might have been able to anticipate the errant driver's behavior, and avoid getting hit by changing their own behavior.
 
Ninety5rpm said:
I chose my words carefully. I did not say the cyclist's behavior was the only factor that determines how the cyclist is treated. I said it's the main factor (it is the factor that determines, more than any other, how you are treated).

Now, if you ride in the same manner everywhere you go, you will discern differences in how you are treated, to be sure. However, I'm saying something different: if you change your riding behavior in any or all of those places, you will discern even bigger differences in how you are treated.

We can opine about driver responsibility on and on, but the fact will remain that we will encounter irresponsible drivers out there fairly regularly, no matter what, or where we ride. How often we encounter irresponsible driving might vary some depending on where we are riding, but by and large what we can count on is that we will encounter it, from time to time, no matter where we ride. I think the cyclist who accepts this inevitability is much more likely to be prepared to deal with it safely whenever it happens.

Do not be surprised or endangered because of irresponsible and inattentive driving. Instead, ride in a manner that makes you safe despite the occasional irresponsible and inattentive drivers that you will inevitably encounter.
Let me expand on this.

Let's say we came up with an objective way to measure how well a cyclist is treated. Say we measure how closely overtakers pass a cyclist. We might decide that passing by 1 meter or more is safe, while closer than 1 meter is unsafe.

Now, we can take 10 cyclists to 10 different countries, and have them each ride 100 km, each riding in the same manner - say 1 m from the road edge or curb, and measure what percentage of drivers in each country pass the cyclists safely vs. unsafely. Then we can compare the percentages and declare drivers in country A treat cyclists better than drivers in country B, etc. We all agree we will see differences.

Then, we can do another experiment. We train these cyclists to learn to use a mirror effectively, and how to ride more actively and less passively. In particular, we teach them the Franklin method of defaulting to riding near the center of the lane rather than near the road edge. We teach them to regularly monitor rearward, to interact with those behind them, and to move aside, temporarily, only as long as necessary, to make it easier for overtakers to pass, when it safe, necessary and reasonable to do so. Then we have them ride in this new active manner in all 10 countries again, along the same routes.

What I suggest is that in the 2nd experiment drivers in all countries will treat the cyclists better than did the drivers in the best country in the 1st experiment. That is, in the 2nd experiment there will be almost no instances of unsafe passes (prediction based on my own experience of riding in this manner).

That's what I mean by a cyclist's behavior being the main factor in determining how a given cyclist is treated.

Variances in driver behavior are practically irrelevant in terms of how cyclists are treated once you start making changes in cyclist behavior.
 
May 6, 2009
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I think I will never do when I ride is wear an ipod when I'm out on the road. We have a few closed off-road circuits for road cycling that there is no problem with cars so I listen to it when I do a session on my own out there during the middle of the week. But I turn it on when I start and turn it off when I leave (I ride to from the circuit which is about 2km from my house). We have a Saturday morning training ride around the circuit and I don't wear it whilst I ride, just too dangerous. And I don't need it anyway, I have enough on my mind.
 
Jul 17, 2009
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so cal is the worst and we cheat death every day. Motorists neither care or want to care and regardless of our rights as a 'vehicle' within the code' they demand right of way in every case..

Bike paths off the road are a place for dog walks and strollers. Hit one of them you are guaranteed to do more time than if a motorist killed you on the road. Bike paths on the side of the road are filled with Joggers running into traffic which is the opposite direction IN the bike lane. They never give way.

Hit and kill a runner running on the wrong side of the roan into traffic you could do time in the State. Kill a baby in a baby jogger or an old lady walking in the "bike path" you will get time and a fine.

get hit by a car making an illegal left turn and you die and THEY get a letter of condolence from the PD with options and help lines for their dealing...

The bicyclist is always at fault on the hwy regardless of cars. I crashed in an un marked storm drain cap construction on a down hill doing 40 and the CHP wrote it up as rider negligence is a well posted closure. The crew took an early weekend it looked like and forgot to tidy up. My brother too pictures of everything withing a mile radius while the paramedics put my on a back board and it did nothing for the case. not one image of one closure sign proving dude lied but it was dismissed and suggested rider error or even bike manufacturer defect.....contractor passed the buck to the construction co outsourcing work. construction co passed buck to city. City passed to county and county to state.

in the end it was so strung out i was off disability and back to work and it was not worth the fight.

as for road rage we have all see it and dealt with it. I started carrying mace but now am mature enough to just ignore and endure
 
Jul 17, 2009
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Here is a question

where exactly should we stop on the right at a signal? on the curb? in the bike lane? in the road before the cross walk lines? In the cross walk lines in front of them?

I have the most problems with drivers in this context.
 
Boeing said:
Here is a question

where exactly should we stop on the right at a signal? on the curb? in the bike lane? in the road before the cross walk lines? In the cross walk lines in front of them?

I have the most problems with drivers in this context.

since we are both in socal. i stop on the right side of the lane that is going straight. lets say you have a 2 lane in both directions road with a right turn lane
as well. the number 2 lane is the closest to the right turn lane. i stop on the
right of the no.2 lane. that way the right turn folks can do there thing and i am
out of the way. i hope i explained it for you. a diagram would be better.
i do not want cars making right turns while i am stopped at the signal. so i give them room to do that.:cool: