This is unfortunately sad but true. I would hope in some parts of the country (rural Texas as well as other areas) that people would respect that you might kill someone by being irresponsible behind the wheel.
The more conservative the area, the safer I would feel.
The more severe problems I have had in Louisiana were with women drivers (on cell phones, thinking they are allowed to run over pedestrians and bicycles, etc).
I don't mean to pick on women, but someone needs to educate the ones who have problems driving (not all women drivers are bad -- but I have run into some of the bad ones here).
... yield to non-motorists vehicles (bicycles) as well as pedestrians.
... yield to non-motorized vehicles (bicycles) as well as pedestrians.
Question for you. Do people on bicycles need to obey the traffic signals (red lights, stop signs, etc) or is there another rule for people on bikes versus cars or pedestrians? For example, are bikers allowed to run red lights because they are on bikes, or should they stop, too?
Whether you like it or not, bicyclistsare viewed with great derision by auto drivers. Just today I had one going 10 or 11 MPH in the MIDDLE of the MIDDLE lane on a 3 lane, 40 MPH boulevard.
Cars had to veer off into the other lanes to go around him (very dangerous).
Just like that cyclist (California?) who got hurt when the vehicle he (the cyclist) was harassing hit the brakes. By all known driving laws when a vehicle hits the back of another vehicle THEN VEHICLE #2 was following too closely! I can’t believe they successfully prosecuted the auto driver.
Bottom line: unless and until you get the rest of your cyclist buddies to not be self-important douchbags (I assume you are not one of those), you won’t get much sympathy.
I am as adamant an advocate for drivers of motor vehicles recognizing the rights of way of bicyclists as any person. I often use a bicycle for practical trips, including rides of several miles on busy roads, and I have done so for years.
So, I sympathize with your frustration, to be sure. Still, it’s worth saying, for anyone reading the thread, that the proper way for a bicyclist to go straight through an intersection in which right turns are legal for traffic is not on the far right side. It’s safer, and more proper, to move out into the middle or the left of the right lane so that drivers coming up behind you either will wait for you to enter the intersection before they turn right or will occupy the space to your right and make a right turn without crossing your path. You should signal before changing your lane position, of course, and you should do it when safe. So, you sometimes have to plan a bit before an intersection in traffic.
Bike lanes are supposed to be painted to acknowledge this practice. Bike lanes are supposed to start breaking up for an intersection so as not keep a cyclist riding on a path that will set him up for a right hook from car drivers turning right from the rider’s left. In most places the bike lanes are properly painted, but they might not be in your area.
It’s also true, too, that some drivers will just try to move past a cyclist and then turn right in front of him anyway. That kind of driving it outright dangerous, and it makes me angry, too. One has to be alert for that even if one is doing the right thing on a bicycle.
For those who raise the following point, I agree that bicycles should obey the traffic laws, too, on shared streets with ordinary motor traffic. Drivers find it easier to predict a rider’s behavior if one does, and drivers tend to respect the bicyclist more, too.
Earlier today I was leaving the grocery store and encountered a woman riding an olde-timey looking bicycle (flat handlebars, full wheel fenders) right in the middle of traffic. Two lanes each way and she was out in the left lane, I think preparing to turn left using the left-turn lane that was ahead of her. Cars were lining up behind her because she was going so slowly.
Now, this is Dekalb, IL at 20 degF and there is snow and ice all over from the recent snowstorm. I took a wide berth around her but it can’t have been safe to be on a bicycle where she was in any weather. Seemed kind of crazy to me.
I used to ride my mountain bike everywhere when I lived in Austin, TX in my 20’s. I respect and understand if that’s someones only mode of transportation.
This brings up an interesting issue, and that is CCW while cycling. If you search the biking forums there are very contentious discussions going on, and the threads tend to get locked (or deleted) pretty quickly. I guess bike forums tend to be moderated by libs.
There was a recent blog post by a local guy who owns a bike shop that caters to bike commuters and tourers that talks about this very issue: http://biketouringnews.com/advocacy-awareness/bike-touring-and-riding-defensively/
On a lighter note, here's a humorous take on cycling: The Cycling Tour
You’re not going to get any sympathy on FR re: bicycles. To many of the kind described in the story. Most FReepers hate cyclists for one reason or another. They believe those of us who occasionally ride a bike or run on the road should be at their whim and mercy.
There was your first mistake.
As someone who rode bicycles before the left took over everything, we used to have to keep out of the way of cars, our lives were in our own hands when we got into their territory.
I too am a bicyclist and am all too aware that a minor blemish on a 2 ton vehicle is a broken body to me. Newton’s laws are even more stringent than Obama’s whims and “F=m*a” means I am toast if I get hit at any kind of speed. That being said, I share the road with motor vehicles like a coward and duck off of it where it is logical and safe.
Still there are motorists who do feel that it is their right to force me and harass me and they know that they can do it with impunity. I have had shaken beer splooshed in my face, cars weave deliberately into my path and other things. Like all things, these are the minority barbarians and they are the mirror kin of the barbarian cyclists who behave equally bad.
No simple answers except to remind everyone that there is a final justice if it is not rendered here on earth and that behaving as if your mother were watching you right then is a good rule.
I was in New Orleans for over a month. In all that time I never saw a car that wasn’t dented somewhere. The people there have a culture of careless driving.