Man bites dog

Call me a sap, but I found this tale of a motorist-cyclist encounter reassuring, especially considering that it’s Monday, when evil tidings abound. Thanks to Bruce M., for the tip.

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25 Responses to “Man bites dog”

  1. Ben S Says:

    Nice article, good for the start of the week. The column right after it is an update on the UN bike plot from Maes.
    About Maes’ real point:

    “So, his point was not that a bicycle-sharing program represented an unconstitutional “strategy to rein in American cities under a United Nations treaty.” His point was that … the bicycle program wasn’t the best example of said unconstitutional strategy to sign away our sovereignty to the U.N. Maes has nothing against bikes! He just thinks that sharing them brings us one step closer to One World Government.”

  2. khal spencer Says:

    Finally some good news.

  3. T Says:

    I like good bike/car news. Most of us cyclists actually own cars, and yet it’s still hard sometimes to remember that for every middle finger we get from someone in traffic, there are twenty more cars playing nice. That one finger can sure ruin a ride, though.

  4. Doug G. Says:

    Nice to hear !

  5. Larry T. Says:

    The car/bike thing is interesting. One Sunday afternoon the wife and yours truly were riding road bicycles through a residential section of our town, on our way back from a couple hours enjoying the countryside. We came up on a small group of local “recreational” riders (for lack of a better description)who were all over the road! No paceline here folks, not even any hint of a coherent group though they all knew each other and were riding as a “group”. One way over on the right almost in the gutter, another way over to the left, almost in the center of the road, others mixed in wherever they felt comfortable I suppose. When they rode through a set of curves….it looked like wheelbarrows full of mercury, wobbling all over the place! As we got closer I thought, “no surprise the typical motorist gets angry at cyclists, these bozos are hogging the whole roadway and riding in such an unpredictable fashion I am nervous about catching up and passing them ON A BICYCLE!”
    Sometimes we’re our own worst enemy when it comes to dealing with sharing the road. I think when you ride in a predictable manner, use hand signals and generally avoid riding like an arrogant jackass, most folks in cars appreciate it.

  6. Patrick O'Grady Says:

    Larry, true dat … watching inept cyclists on the road is like watching a nitwit mishandling a firearm. You just know it’s gonna end badly. And occasionally you feel like shooting them just to teach them a stern lesson.

  7. khal spencer Says:

    As was said in Pogo, we have met the enemy, and he is us.

    I thought I was going to see a rather lovely young lady end up as roadkill on the way home tonight. She did an abrupt U-turn on her road bike midblock on a 4 lane road right into oncoming traffic. I just held my breath for a minute. Thought about saying something to her, but was too tired out from a day at the bomb factory to want to get into a discussion of the Darwin Awards.

    Bikes may be toys to kids, but if used in traffic, are vehicles.

    Traffic has to be respected unless you want to be scraped up off Mr. Pavement. We had a 29 year old single mom driving to work (two kids, one 1 yr. and one 8 yrs old) killed last friday by some idiot driving his pickup truck down the wrong side of a highway into Los Alamos. He hit her small car head on in a 50 mph zone. One of my technicians was one of the first drivers on the scene. He got to work pale as a ghost and said there was no way anyone was going to get outa that car alive. No one did.

  8. james Says:

    Sadly I have to agree with you Patrick. I don’t own a gun, and have only fired off about 2,000 BBs in my youth, but for all the knuckle headed, mouth breathing, finger dragging nitwits who choose to ignore the “share” aspect of “Share the Road” a nice pistol would be a nice ride accessory.

  9. Steve O Says:

    Sorry for the thread hijack but thought you’d be interested. Why is it whenever you read about extreme right wing loonies, there’s always a Colo Springs connection?

  10. Larry T. Says:

    Geez, we were all so happy before reading this. I’ve written this before but ya gotta admire the ability of these right-wingers to get the very people they put the screws to all excited about helping them get richer and more powerful. Sadly, too many folks in the US prefer to let someone else do their thinking for them and believe what makes them FEEL good, no matter how crazy or untrue it might be. I guess it’s a chicken-or-egg issue with CO Springs — is everyone there a right-wing nutjob due to something in the air or water or do those folks flock there to be with their own kind? We feel a bit of that here in Iowa’s 5th congressional district…the rest of the Iowan’s think everyone out here must be nuts, otherwise why would we have Steve King representing us in DeeCee? This part of Iowa is politically just like Nebraska, most of those left-wing folks who are OK with our state letting “Adam and Steve” get married live to the east of here. Just booked airtix back to Italy in late November — maybe I’ll just not come back this time?

  11. barry Says:

    Holy cow….now I can’t help but wonder if these guys financed the rise of Rush Oxycontin and Glenn Hysteribeck.

    I hate when I read stuff like this that I have a hard time doubting.

  12. Jeff in PetroMetro Says:

    When I’m riding, and I stop for a sign or a light, I get an attaboy from a driver now and then–but no one has ever said I inspired them to buy a bike.

    It could happen.

  13. khal spencer Says:

    Hey, Jeff. Has anyone from PetroMetro been following this Reed Bates weirdness, aka, “share which roads?”

  14. Jeff in PetroMetro Says:

    Khal: Sorry for the late response. I’m not aware of any ongoing conversation about Reed Bates down here.

    My opinion is that the rule of law in Texas regarding bicycles isn’t applied consistently. It depends on the personal bias of the officer and the judge in question. Example: one of my racing buddies was on a training ride when an HPD officer pulled over the entire peloton for not signaling a right turn. He wrote an individual ticket for each cyclist! Seriously, no motorist worth his fake auto insurance and expired inspection sticker uses a turn signal in Houston. So to bust a bunch of cyclists for not putting out a hand is more about the officer’s state of mind toward cyclists than the rule of law.

    By my experience, if I do the right thing (get all the way to the right, mind the lights and signs, etc.), usually I am okay with both the police and the local citizenry.

    I try to pick my routes carefully. We can’t use the interstates here (although we can use the adjacent access roads). State highways are as high up the food chain as we go, and some of those are pretty narrow. County roads usually have no shoulders unless it’s a wealthy county.

    Some counties have instructed their constables and police officers that, no matter the outcome (dead cyclist?), it’s always the cyclist’s fault, unless it’s obvious that the driver was DUI.

    I may be a vehicle when it comes to the written code, but I’m no fool. The written code won’t bring me back from the dead or put my grey matter back in order. This is Texas. Road kill isn’t a sport for only armadillos and deer.

  15. Larry T. Says:

    Tejas ain’t much different that CA. When the wife was knocked off her bike by some bozo towing a boat (the boat, being wider than the moron’s van, hit here as he passed) a few years ago, the first thing the CHP guy sez when he rolled up was, “I wouldn’t ride a bicycle on THIS road” a popular route to Lake Casitas. (We don’t ride there anymore) The motorist had every excuse in the book why it was not his fault despite a witness he’d run off the road earlier backing up our story. The DA did nothing, in fact the moron never even reported the accident to his insurance company! We’re just not important when compared to other road users — which is why we’re moving to Italy ASAP. THERE, with rare exception, a cyclist is treated just like any other road user.

  16. khal spencer Says:

    I see TX (41) is only slightly higher than NM (46) in the Bicycle-friendly state rankings. Our roads may often suck, but I’ve not heard of a case as outlandish as the Reed Bates case anywhere in these parts.

    I think the prejudice is universal. I used to have to deal with it on my motorcycles, too, i.e., “anyone who rides these things is asking for it…”

  17. Jeff in PetroMetro Says:

    Bicycle riding is cultural. America isn’t in to it. America thinks a bike’s a toy, and toys get played with in special places like parks and ball fields and golf courses and trails and lakes and on special courts. Admissions can be charged and the toy players are segregated so that the general population is safe from the toy players and vice versa.

    Cyclists will, one day, get their special places to play with their special toys, but it won’t be on roads. Roads are for cars and trucks. They’re for commerce. Motorcycles and bicycles and horses with carriages will be moved to their special places.

  18. Larry T. Says:

    I think Jeff’s right — as they used to say, “separate, but equal”. The bad thing about bike trails is as soon as some are built motorists think that’s the ONLY place you should be able to ride your bike and there will NEVER be bike trails going everywhere I want to go.
    Regarding moto guys (and I used to be one) they are obnoxious in Italy. Just to prove I CAN say something’s not perfect over there, many of the same gorgeous mountain roads we love are also loved by (mostly) Germans on motos. We changed the date we climb the Passo Stelvio specifically to avoid Sunday, when moto-madness peaks there. Monday is much quieter but there are still way too many of these morons (boy-racers, two-wheeled motorhomes and mufflerless V-twins) blasting up and down the mountain roads as if they were their own personal racing circuit. One of these days I’m going to stick my left hand out as one of ’em passes me too close and put his front brake on for him!

  19. khal spencer Says:

    We had a head-on crash between a moto and a cyclist up in the Jemez a few years back. Both guys were part of riding groups and both of them ended up in the hospital.

    I can understand how motorcyclists and twisty mountain roads go together just like bicyclists and twisty mountain roads. But yeah, some of those guys on their motos are even more of a PIA than I am on my bike up there in the way they carve the corners.

    My experience is I get a lot more respect from the motos around here than from the cagers.

  20. Jeff in PetroMetro Says:

    Houston is doing a bunch of rails-to-trails construction, and it’s a cool idea. It’s just not appropriate for cyclists going more than about 10mph. They aren’t very wide, they have two-way traffic without dividers (sometimes a paint stripe but sometimes not), and everything that is not carbureted or fuel-injected can use them. Children who aren’t traffic savvy are on them all the time. Most of the trails aren’t very long.

    As Larry T said, they don’t go where I want to go, and their very existence gives motorists, police, judges, and taxpayers the belief that I as a cyclist have a dedicated, expensive road that I should use exclusively.

    They’re pretty much just sidewalks.

  21. Larry T. Says:

    When I worked at bike shops in SoCal we’d have folks come in and say, “I’m not going out in the street, I’m staying on the beach bike path where it’s safe!” This is (as Jeff points out, really more of a sidewalk) a trail running along the Pacific Ocean from Redondo Beach at the south end, up to around Malibu at the north end. As you would guess we had far more folks come in busted up from encounters with skaters, wayward dogs, surfboards, etc. than we ever had from collisions with autos on the roadways. On a per-mile basis there’s no doubt in my mind bike trails are more dangerous, but perhaps less deadly than the roads. Here in Sioux City all the damn things are closed for various construction projects anyway, as is a key road for my favorite loop to the north of us. Man, I REALLY want to go back to Italy! My skills in watching out for blue-hairs driving Buicks have eroded as well, almost let myself be taken out today by one!

  22. Ben S Says:

    Agree with Larry that separate bike facilities become our expected only allowed place to ride. that’s the main reason I oppose them when possible. Fortunately around here things are so built up and the rail lines mostly still in use (and don’t go anywhere urban cyclist need to go the planning push is to but bikes on the street on roads that can or can be rebuilt to handle both motor vehicles and velos.

    Most of the effort has gone into building the routes on a North/South access with Chicago as a hub. Going East/West is harder with the rives and highways creating barriers and very few of the existing East West roads were constructed or rebuilt with bikes in mind.,pioneer-press-bikepath-082610-s1.article

  23. khal spencer Says:

    Morton Grove? Heck, with the recent Supremes decision, you could even pack some heat on your bicycle…

  24. John Says:

    Hey, both of you out there — “The Onion” just did a perfect article on Lance Armstrong, on their front page now (Friday evening 8/27/10).

  25. rustlust Says:

    Exactly John! BTW where in the hell is Patrick?!!!! Hijacked site!!!

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