5.29.2007

the simple breakdown...

the breakdown is simple...
so many car drivers do not know how to behave around bicycles

it is not that they are intentionally trying to kill each and every bicycle that they encounter on the road
it is more a matter that the car driver does not know how to behave around bicycles

let me see it I can break down some simple logic


remember... I type as I think

so I will be reading this for the first time as I put it on the monitor's screen


yes... there are some people who are intentionally trying to run people off the road

but the idiots far outnumber the assholes

although some of the idiots are assholes as well

but maybe if people explained things in a simple fashion there would be less people driving around like idiots and assholes

and more people exhibiting common sense and common courtesy when the are in their cars around people on their bicycles


speed-
unsure of the speed to be going when passing a cyclist?
how about this?

less than the speed limit

as the speed limit is set for how cars should behave when dealing with other cars

so when passing a bicyclist or a pedestrian that means that you should be going slower than the speed limit

which means...
when you are speeding down the road at 45 MPH slowing to 35 MPH may not be good enough if the speed limit for that road is 25 MPH
than you are going way faster than you should be driving when your car is passing human flesh


passing-

safe passing distance may vary

the law states a minimum of three feet
which is a good place to start
but... this pass should anticipate the cyclist's next action
this could be too many variables to throw down in a quick bullet point

so we will say that the three feet law is a good start... more would be better
and....
Share the Road does not mean Share the Lane

too close is too close
whether on the street or on the dance floor
give me some space

but... to those being generous giving me space

be safe crossing the double yellow line

do not risk a head on collision with another car or worse yet a cyclist

making the pass-

it is perfectly fine for cars to pass cyclists

but here is a simple rule of thumb get an idea of what is ahead

do not pass the cyclist if...
  • you pass the cyclist just before a stop sign... where the cyclist is then force to stop right behind you
  • if you are about to turn and your pass than slow or stall right in front of the cyclist before you turn
  • your going to stop to drop someone off or grab a parking space
in all cases it is best if the driver just slow and wait behind moving at the cyclist's pace
waiting their turn


there should be a few others
but I need to focus on getting the kids out of the tub

let me make a few good statements that may be good for people to think about when they are out driving around town


the golden rule-

no matter what religion you follow
or how you define god the golden rule makes fine sense in any language the golden rule


4 comments:

Scott said...

Amen.

I was riding home on Friday afternoon with my daughter in her child seat on the back of my bike. Got off of work early, long weekend on the way. Feeling good. Encounters with cars/police and the short ride ended with the blood boiling.

First, I am riding along a quiet Capitol Hill street. I see a turkey on the cell phone in his SUV about to pull out from being parked on the right side of the road. Knowing he is not paying attention, I move to the left to avoid him. I stay in the middle of the lane for my safety as I'm coming up on a red light at the end of the very same block. What does he do? He come around me in the opposite oncoming lane on a narrow Hill street TO WAIT AT A RED LIGHT. I keep my cool because my young daughter is on the back of the bike. We're almost home.

One block later, I come to a stop sign half a block from my house (again, what should be a quiet Capitol Hill street. there also should be a 4-way stop, but DDOT has decided, despite multiple requests, that not enough accidents have occurred/people injured at this intersection for a 4-way stop). I coast into the right turn and get pulled over by an MPD policeman. [Yes, I technically broke the law, but there was no traffic coming-- better to coast through slowly, not have to unclip and clip back in with a child seat on the back]. Fortunately, I kept my cool despite the incident less than a minute prior. "Yes, officer, I understand that the law requires me to stop at stop signs. I won't do it again. I understand the dangers because my life is put in danger at least 3 or 4 times a day by motorists who disobey traffic laws." Of course, he spins out the ridiculous scenario of how I, the CYCLIST on his bike weighing all of 250 lbs, bike, body, 3 y.o., will cause a car to swerve and crash. The policeman told me that he would not ticket me and not tell my wife about how I rolled through the stop sign with my child on the bike. I tell you, that's not what would have upset my wife. What would have upset my wife is me going off on the cop about how the a-hole on the cell phone almost killed me a block back and how the police should be enforcing traffic laws against cars because cars kill people, not pedestrians and cyclists and, while we're at it, how about the bus drivers because my former secretary was one of those two poor women IN THE CROSSWALK WITH THE WALK SIGN killed by a metrobus this winter, and then me getting thrown in jail while our daughter is taken to child protective services. That would have ticked off my wife, not me bringing my daughter home from school and coasting throuh a right turn on a stop sign. Ironically, he pulled me over right across the driveway of the public housing that is across the street from my home, the same driveway where suburbanites regularly come to buy heroin and coke and get shot when they try to drive away without paying for their fix. Glad he was keeping the peace on a balmy Friday afternoon.

Thanks for giving me a place to rant.

Tim said...

More people need to know that the idiots outnumber the assholes, the trick is distinguishing between the two.

gwadzilla said...

yes...

I usually give people the benefit of the doubt and flip them off as if they were assholes

cause any idiot knows that saying sorry means nothing without changed behavior
and that idiot who almost hit you by accident... is going to be making that same mistake again
no change in behavior makes them an asshole

gwadzilla said...

and we all know that we can all be idiots and assholes ourselves sometimes

we just have to be concious of our behavior
and try not to be that guy