Please Watch for Cyclists!!

  1. This is vanojr9 on her soapbox, fair warning :angel: :

    I am an avid biker, not only do I enjoy biking as a hobby, but I commute to work/school (I'm a grad student) every day on my bike, weather permitting, and I run all the errands I can on it as well. Biking is a cheap, fun, and healthy way to travel :smile: I always wear a helmet, obey all traffic laws, bike on bike paths when they are available, and specifically try to avoid busy streets and intersections even if it means taking a meandering route to my destination. In short, I do everything I can to avoid annoying motorists. I use my dad's handy driving rule ("everyone else on the road is an idiot") when biking and always, ALWAYS assume that other drivers aren't watching for me. But even all the care I put in and all the overcompensation I do for bad motorists STILL doesn't prevent me from practically getting run over at least once a week. In a college town. With tons of bikers.

    For instance, this afternoon I almost got PLOWED over by a driver while biking across a cross walk (I had the walk signal, waited for the driver making a left to see me, then biked out into the intersection, at which point the driver must have thought he could "beat" me and oncoming traffic, and floored it to make the left. I had to brake hard and jump off my bike to stop in the middle of the intersection to avoid getting hit). When this happens, I invariably get one of two responses: either I get the finger (sorry for existing and riding a bike) or the motorist laughs (yeah, it is :censor: hilarious that you almost killed me). I am getting so fed up with it I could SCREAM!!

    I have two friends in my grad department who have already gotten hit by cars since taking up commuting via bikes, and I'm pretty sure one of these days I'll get hit too, frankly. Enough people run lights in this town that I won't be able to anticipate all the law breakers. And when that day comes, I will be fully prepared to sue the pants off of whoever hits me (my dad and my bf are both lawyers, booyah!).

    So here's my point: please watch for cyclists and spread the word. I know most people are responsible drivers, but it doesn't hurt to check twice for pedestrians or cyclists. You never know when you might make a mistake and hit a young cyclist who can't compensate for your error or perhaps a cyclist with a considerable amount of free legal representation. It always pays to look twice :yes:
  2. I agree that drivers do need to be cautious about bicyclists and pedestrians while driving. However, I add the caveat that we are, of course, each responsible for our own actions.

    I've seen bicyclists who ride their bikes out of the bike lane in traffic with cars when there's a perfectly good bike lane present. I've seen some that do crazy things like weave in between cars. And then there are those pedestrians that just cross whenever and wherever they choose. As a pedestrian and/or bicyclist, you also need to be cautious of how you're conducting yourself.

    Hope no one takes my comments the wrong way--I'm just saying that we all have to look out for each other on the road and observe the rules of the road regardless if you're a driver, bicyclist, or pedestrian.
  3. Oh vanojr9, Im glad your safe...I will definately watch out for cyclists now:yes:

  4. Oh I absolutely agree! I've seen bikers and pedestrians make very dangerous mistakes and choices with some dire consequences. It is important that everyone follow the laws and is careful. I'm a very careful cyclist for that reason, because in accidents involving cars plus bikes, cars always win!
  5. I know exactly what you mean. I'm a runner and I try to run in areas where there is not alot of traffic. I live near Philly so I usually to go an area called Kelly drive, and they have bike and running paths. Alot of bikers choose not to use the paths and ride on the road, which when they do, they ride 3 or 4 across and do not let traffic pass which poses a problem for the cars. I like to "share the road" but Sometimes I do have a problem when in my car and the speed limit is 45, and I have to go 20 because bikers will not move over and choose to ride 3 or 4 across and the cars cannot pass. When I try to give a friendly little beep...I get the finger. Whats a person to do???????:wtf:
  6. If everyone just obeyed the darn laws it would be better for everyone. My biggest complaint with bikers is when they ride in the middle of the lane on a 45-50 mph road and hold up 15 cars because they want to be obnoxious and not let people over. If a slow car was holding up 10 cars it would be (should be) pulled over because it's illegal (at least in Washington, not sure about the rest of the states).

    In my city the bikers are SUPER obnoxious and do everything in their power to get in the way of motorized vehicles. It's so annoying. They aren't going to win in a fight between bike and car. The car is a few times bigger / heavier and obviously has the advantage. We've had a few hit in the past few years...and it's been 50/50 as far as who was at fault.

    BUT...I also agree that drivers need to watch for people on bikes. I'd LOVE to start riding my bike again (hubby just suggested we put air in the tires and hop back on) but am super paranoid. I'm not that strong of a rider (seriously, I suck!) and get SO nervous when riding on our country road (no paths, no sidewalks) where stupid kids speed and race.

    Keep your eyes peeled Vanojr9 (and I love your Avatar!) and stay safe!!!
  7. Wow, it really does surprise me to hear about cities with really inconsiderate bikers. I mean, riding 3 or 4 in a row across a lane of traffic has got to be illegal. Sorry there are some jerky ones out there!

    See, if I got hit by a motorist and it was a legit accident, I wouldn't be angry. What gets me is that motorists around here just don't care, they SEE me and don't yield. Maybe they're releasing untold angst against bikers, but it's no reason to run me off the road (and they do run me off the road). It's like I don't exist.
  8. i know what you mean! we all have to be considerate of others on the road. Sometimes I find myself on a road running, when the shoulder disapears and it seems that cars go out ot their way out of meaness to get as close to me as they can. I will never understand that, but I know there are people out there that are not normal. So I try to run in areas where I know I will be safe. I did ride a bike but do not do so because I have had many bad falls and have had bad experiences with motorists so I have been on both sides of the issue.
  9. In Chicago they are making a lot of concessions to bikers, adding a whole lot of bike lanes and other such things. I think it's fabulous and if I wasn't so afraid of biking in traffic I would spend more time on my bike. That said, I so very rarely see bikers follow the rules of the road. They use the streets and crosswalks interchangeably, they don't even hesitate going through stop signs and red lights. It's a wonder more or them don't get flattened.:sad:
  10. I will definitely watch out for cyclists in the future. (I haven't really paid much attention thus far) :shame:

    You guys deserve better treatment; after all, you are preserving the environment and this earth by cycling around instead of driving a gas-powered vehicle. Thanks for this! :flowers: :yes:
  11. first of all, I'm really glad you're safe; however, you really need to walk your bike at a crosswalk--on my campus, you will get a traffic ticket when you're caught not walking at the intersection and most of the bike riders on campus are idiots who don't believe that traffic laws apply to them (I am strictly a pedestrian and I've seen plenty of bikers wipe out while ignoring red lights, talking on their cell phones and listening to their ipods--at the same time). of course I don't think you do those things, but you will be a lot safer walking at the intersection. we've also got plenty of bikers who ignore the stop signs and cruise on by at intersections, which is really hard for cars to anticipate. again, not you, but ugh! I've been hit by plenty of bikes as a walker