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LJWorld.com weblogs Rolling along

Boy, am I peeved Part II

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I have a confession to make: I considered harming a fellow cyclist just to make a point about how stupidly he was riding.No, I take that back. I didn't consider it, because that would suggest there was some chance I actually would follow through. Instead, I envisioned such a dastardly deed.The scenario: I was in my car (gasp!) with my kids on Sixth Street, waiting at a red light to turn right on the way home when I noticed two cyclists we had trouble passing (it was rush hour, and Sixth Street is a busy road) a few moments earlier were riding between the lanes of traffic. We were third in line at the light, and the cyclists breezed past, turned right in front of the front car - which had to wait for the bikes to get out of the way so it could go through the now-green light - and rode away.As the cyclists came up from behind, I was amazed at their stupidity and thought about what kind of damage I could do by flinging open my door. I was surprised such a thought popped into my head, because I'm a cyclist and not a hater, but I was appalled the adult male in the lead - I'm assuming he was the dad - was showing what I assumed to be his son a reckless way to ride.It's called lane-splitting. Cyclists and bikers both do it, and it's legal in some countries and in California, and I understand the concept. Done right, it helps alleviate congestion and according to some studies actually improves motorcycle safety.But as these two boneheads did it, the lane-splitting didn't do anything but put themselves at risk and anger at least one of the motorists behind them.And I'm sympathetic to the cycling cause.Thus, lane-splitting by cyclists - especially those who interrupt the flow of traffic and endanger themselves and anger others - is among my biggest gripes about cyclists.My [last blog][1] listed my top pet peeves as a cyclist relating to motorists.I promised fair play, so here goes, my biggest pet peeves about cyclists:The multipass: Cyclist pokes along well below the speed limit. Cars (patiently or im-) eventually pass, but get hung up at a stop light or sign. Cyclist works way to the front of the line, either by lane-splitting or sneaking along the curb, forcing the cars to pass again after the light changes.Co-joined cyclists: I understand the social aspect of cycling. Really, I do. Some of my best rides have been leisurely affairs in the countryside riding next to - and chatting up - my dad. That said, we're cognizant of traffic coming up from behind, and we're careful about blind rises and corners. Though we have the right to ride side-by-side, we go single-file when conditions dictate. I understand how motorists can get frustrated to encounter a dozen or so cyclists riding two, three, four or more abreast on narrow country roads.Look, ma, no feet: A track stand, done properly, is a beautiful thing. Talented, or at least balanced, cyclists can turn the 'bars and, using the natural slope of the road, balance without putting a foot down until it's time to proceed. Some cyclists can track stand for minutes, essentially motionless. It's cool. Unfortunately, too many, me included, can't really track stand. So they'll pull up to a traffic signal and turn the 'bars. Then inch forward. Wobble a little. Maybe inch forward a little more. Start to fall. Save it. Inch forward some more. You get the idea.What stop sign?: If I had to guess, I'd say cyclists are reviled more for running stop lights and signs than anything, and I have to admit it irks me, too. In truth, few vehicles - whether two- or four-wheeled - come to a complete stop at most stop signs. But rolling through signals without so much as slowing down is a good way to get dead. OK, enough hatin'. At least by me. For now. [1]: http://www2.ljworld.com/blogs/rolling_along/2008/aug/18/nine/

Comments

Ragingbear 6 years, 4 months ago

Uh, it IS a bike lane. As it was marked during the construction/resurfacing last summer. Go to the probate office and look it up. And would you mind telling me how it is that it could possibly be a parking lane when it's only half the width of a medium size car?

Baille 6 years, 4 months ago

I agree with all the above - except for the track stand. It takes a while to learn. Don't hate the neophytes.And if there is a bike path, which is pretty rare in Lawrence, the cyclist should proceed all the way to the front of the bike lane at stop signs and lights.

Baille 6 years, 4 months ago

This comment was removed by the site staff for violation of the usage agreement.

cds 6 years, 4 months ago

Ragingbear (Anonymous) says: The rate of jerk bikers in town is too high. They need to start making an example of them, posting clear rules on how to ride a bike, and start handing out tickets.___Could also read...The rate of jerk drivers in town is too high. They need to start making an example of them, posting clear rules on how to drive a car, and start handing out tickets.Cops are too busy dealing with all the accidents in this town to care about the bikes. Stop the moronic drivers first who cause more problems than the bikes ever will.

Ragingbear 6 years, 4 months ago

It's not cyclist. It's the testosterone/adrenaline junkies that ride 40 miles every day before they even take their first pee in the morning. The ones that act like laws do not apply to them (regardless of the vehicle) and go around beating their chest and finding every excuse to take off their shirts in the company of others, be they men or women, for the sake of trying to show off. For every cyclist like that in Lawrence, there is probably 1.5 that follow the laws, are well behaved, respectful, and are using a device that saves gas, helps with pollution, and serves as a tool to help America fight it's rapidly growing obesity problem. The reason nobody ever sees those cyclist is that they follow the rules. Only when some idiot cuts right in front of you because they are ignorant as to how a stop sign applies to them that you start complaining. The rate of jerk bikers in town is too high. They need to start making an example of them, posting clear rules on how to ride a bike, and start handing out tickets. I would also like to see instant tows for those who don't understand the difference between a bike lane on the street and a parking spot. That line along side of the street on 6th, heading East past Iowa is not for parking! You are endangering people who are supposed to use it, yet the police fail once again. Things need to change. Bikes are becoming more and more popular, especially with new motorized systems and the abundance of college students in town.

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