Riding my bicycle with Jerks on the road

Discussion in 'Hero and Jerk of the Day' started by kelly.cardona, Jul 10, 2008.

  1. kelly.cardona

    kelly.cardona Well-Known Member

    So I was riding my bicycle on a 4 lane road, here I was trying to conserve gas and the environment chugging alone and I hear someone honk their horn, at first I thought it was for something else but after 2 more times I knew it was for me. Irate I told the driver to go around me, the jerk was talking on his phone and had no clue how to share the road. Then a couple of feet ahead I encountered another jerk on the same road, this time a lady that clearly did not know how to share the road either. :mad:

    After both individuals past me, I yelled SHARE THE ROAD!!!!!! I was so upset this had happened.

    Has anyone had to deal with this? If so how do you avoid or deal with it?
    Last edited: Jul 10, 2008
  2. kmactavi

    kmactavi Well-Known Member

    This wasn't a highway, right? Where I go to school, there are a lot of bike lanes, and I tend to avoid the high traffic roads without the bike lanes. I have had people honk at me before, I just don't let it bother me - usually I smile and wave. :D

  3. ikea4532

    ikea4532 ikea4532

    I have the notiong in my head of allowing 4 feet for bike riders. I think it was in jersey where i seen that sign. When i go biking, no usually on two lane high ways, I try to avoid them if i canl. but anyhow, If faced with this type of nonsense go as close to the right as possible with out getting hurt or unable to clearly ride your bicycyle.

    In PA and NJ there are road bike paths that are to be used both for the bicyclist and the motorist, make sure that the road you were on is used just for this!
  4. rdprice64

    rdprice64 Still Learning

    I have found a couple of ways to deal with this:

    1. I changed my time that I ride on those types of roads. I go earlier and take my breakfast with me or buy it there and read the paper or catch up on emails.
    2. I actually move to the middle of the lane. The roads near me are far too narrow for anyone to safely pass me in the same lane, so I act like ever other vehicle. Doing this on my 45 mph road is definitely the more dangerous of the two options for me.

    Do you have flashing lights on the back of your bike? Planet Bike has some relatively inexpensive and really bright ones. They make you seem more like traffic, because your have your "red flashers" on. People think you're a scooter and they tend to go around sooner.

    This is the one I currently use: http://www.amazon.com/Bell-Night-Trail-Bicycle-Light/dp/B00005BXUU/ref=tag_dpp_lp_edpp_ttl_in
    Looking to move up to this one: http://www.amazon.com/Planet-Bike-Blinky-eXtreme-Bicycle/dp/B000KBEH1W/ref=tag_dpp_lp_edpp_img_in
    Last edited: Jul 10, 2008
  5. Nanci

    Nanci Well-Known Member

    I don't know how to deal with it- and I have to really resist flipping them off, but do you have a mirror on your helmet or glasses or bars? That made a HUGE difference in how comfortable I was, road riding, just knowing what was coming up behind me.

    This guy in a huge pickup blasted past me Sunday, in the other lane, making sure he really gunned it right when he went past. Since I was way out in the middle of nowhere, I kept my hands on the bars, and thought "How much gas did that cost you? Hope it was worth it!"

    I live kind of out in the country, and the bike club uses all the roads by my house a lot, so drivers are pretty used to bikes. They'll even often wait to pass a bike till oncoming traffic is clear. I always wave thanks to them.

    Sometimes I think people honk so you know they are back there- I just wave so they know I know. Other times, they do it because they don't like sharing the road. Hard to tell which is which.

  6. BailOut

    BailOut My favorite holiday is Earth Day!

    Man... I wish everyone could have bike lanes. My entire city, but especially my particular part of it, has bike lanes everywhere.

    In your situation the best thing I can suggest is to stay as far right as possible, use the common "go around/pass me" gesture when folks behind you get impatient, and develop a pageant wave for those that won't pass but continue to threaten.

    It can also pay to let your local constabulary (thanks, hobbit ;)) know of the issue as many of them will actively work to promote bicyclists right to share the road.
  7. Shiba3420

    Shiba3420 Well-Known Member

    Bicylists, I hate them....not really, but...
    I think some are acting outside their best intrests. This morning there was one on a recumbant that was on a very major 2 lane road during rush hour. The two cars in of me pushed their way between him and oncoming traffic. I slowed and waited for a break & did "punch it" so that I would clear in plenty of time for his safety. I watched the cars behind me, the first being a large black truck that was clearly annoyed I slowed at all, push their way past like the previous cars. He has rights to the road, but I wouldn't push it as far as he did...its a good way to get injured.

    There is also a 2 lane twistly little road which has a 35mph limit (which actually seems very fast for some corners). This road is populated by bicyclist, especially on the weekend yet the road is also travel fairly heavily by cars. They (bikes) can't serious expect us to go the 5/10mph they usually only managed without passing, yet passing is very dangerous as you can rarely see far enough ahead to even safely get around a slow moving bike. The most annoying thing is that these are clearly people either biking for exercise or enjoyment, and their are excellent paths just a few miles away in either direction without the danger involved. Why bike on a dangerous road when you can really enjoy the paths with very little risk?

    What I don't get are the bicyle paths which cross the road. They are clearly marked with both road signs and paint. From what I can find with local (IL) law, cars are required to stop to allow traffic across. I did that once and had about 10 cars quickly behind me with at least 2 blowing their horns at me. The cyclist nodded a thanks and waved me to go on since oncoming traffic still wasn't stopping even with a clear example of what they were supposed to be doing staring them in the face.

    Drivers...I hate us.
  8. TheRider

    TheRider 35 Year Rice Burner

    How about riding my motorcycle with jerks riding bicycles. (...I'm only partially kidding.) Most people that I see riding bicycles don't obey the laws. They run stop signs, sidewalks, etc. Now there is a growing bunch of scooter riders that don't obey them either. My fear is that someday, with all the jerks riding unlicensed vehicles, that you'll have to take a test to buy a pair of shoes to walk down the street. In Indiana its not any more legal to ride a bicycle on the sidewalk than it is an semi tractor trailer rig. (Its more practical but not more legal!)

    Quite honestly, I think people get honked off because the pumpers (pedal pumpers) don't obey the rules. They run stop signs. They run stop lights. They ride on the sidewalks. Maybe you're not one of those pumpers but there are a lot of them. ...and its bleeding over into the 50cc scooter community. They do the same only they've got some horsepower behind them. Not much but way more than a pedaler.

    In areas where there are no bike lanes, they block traffic. The fact is oil has been so cheap for so long that the country (in most areas, certainly mine: Terre Haute, Indiana) is just not set up to handle bicycles well. And because so few really use bicycles for transportation, the cagers (auto drivers) are both ignorant and/or rude.

    Real bicyclers need to pressure their friends to obey all the rules. Don't expect cars to give you the right of way if you don't have it and don't give it when you legally should. ...and get off sidewalk!

    I should start riding my Yamaha TW200 on the sidewalk. I bet I wouldn't last 5 miles before I got a ticket. I should do it as a protest and claim discrimination since the legalities are the same as bicycles.
  9. kmactavi

    kmactavi Well-Known Member

    TheRider, while I agree with your sentiment to a certain degree, a lot of cyclists I know ride on the sidewalk simply because they don't feel safe on the road. There are too many drivers that will blow past you inches away. From what I have seen, many cyclists will go onto the grass beside the sidewalk when passing a group of pedestrians. In my opinion, they are being far more cautious than the drivers that almost kill them. I don't think that riding a motorized vehicle on the sidewalk can be remotely likened to riding a bike. This protest you are suggesting is akin to someone shooting strangers with a shotgun because a kid on the street is shooting strangers with a spring loaded rubber suction dart gun. Not effective or intelligent at all.

    I think that in general there are two groups of cyclists. Those that ride on the road and obey the traffic laws, and those that ride more leisurely on the sidewalk, but would be scared to ride on the road and have to worry about signalling/other cars/many more dangers. I don't think it would be right to force an 8 year old kid to ride in traffic and have to learn all the traffic laws and worry about being run over by a truck. On top of that, cyclists are doing their part for the environment. Why not shut down city centers to cars and provide bycicle rentals. That would be far more effective.

  10. mtbiker278

    mtbiker278 Biotech Researcher

    I ususally ride on the road when I'm out for a road ride, but it depends on where it is and what the traffic is like. Generally I'll stay on two lane road with a big shoulder, but there are places where I have to ride inside the white line. When I do ride inside the lane I right in the right hand 1/3 of the lane. It's just enough room to avoid stuff while limiting the temptations of people in cars trying to squeeze by in my lane. People around here never really honk unless you blockading them.

    I did have one instance some time ago when a jerk passed by me so close that he actually nicked my handlebars with his sideview mirror. Scared the crap out of me, hence the riding a little further into the lane. On a two lane road I'll try to stay as far over as I feel safe. If someone is really riding my butt then I'll pull of the road when I get a chance and take a quick water break.

    I only ride on the sidewalk when there's heavy traffic. Usually the sidewalk is covered with glass, debris, and people. Cars actually sweep away all that junk next to the curb so the road is pretty much clear. I ride a lot slow on the side walk as well. The separation in the concrete could easily give you a flat.
  11. TheRider

    TheRider 35 Year Rice Burner

    Oh, yes! I agree. Certainly riding a bike on the sidewalk has much less impact. However, the ticket is the same. the law is the law, right? I get the same ticket if I was riding my 200cc motorcycle on the sidewalk (or I'm supposed to) as if I was riding the bike. I wasn't comparing the impact, just the legality. But, the police use their blind eye as a power play. Make no mistake about it, if you're on some officer's bad side, you'll get a ticket riding a bike. But, if you're not, it goes unpunished. Bad, Bad, Bad...

    You're right! There are two types of pedalers.

    Shut down the city centers and require people to do something PHYSICAL? Surely you jest. No way thats ever going to happen anytime soon. I mean, it sounds great but people would never allow that to happen, at least not in my area.

    (...besides, I like riding my motorcycle and parking anywhere I want. I guess I'm not different from the pedalers! I'm getting away with parking where any auto would get a ticket INSTANTLY!)

  12. TheRider

    TheRider 35 Year Rice Burner

    About riding more right in the lane: The driver's manual say for motorcycles to hog the whole lane lest you be crowded into the curb. They'll do that with pedalers too, however, since you guys are going so much slower, its a conundrum...
  13. kelly.cardona

    kelly.cardona Well-Known Member

    Well not sure what you would rate this, it can be but its in a residential/business part. The speed limit makes it a highway (45MPH I think, maybe 35) but the location indicates it's just a normal road. I try not to let it bother me, but the part that frustrated me the most was that they were so close together in the matter of 2 minutes.

    I like your approach, I try and leave us much space as possible when I am passing other cyclists.

    I only have a headlamp, but I am looking to buy a taillight, thanks for both Amazon links. Do you like the taillight you use on your bike? The reviews were mixed ones they liked but had some flaws.

    I am right there with you, though unfortunately it happens with all vehicle classes. Sucks, we just have to keep showing drivers to learn how to share the road, at least that is my thinking. My city, Cincinnati just passed a climate protection plan that will incorporate bike lanes throughout the city, I can't wait for that to happen, they actually did a study to see how much people would actually save by commuting on bicycles.

    Well Cincinnati just passed a new climate protection that will incorporate bike lanes so that would be great, and yes I hear you when you say all cities should have bike lanes I totally agree with you on that one.

    I do follow staying to the right as possible to give them enough room to go around me, and when I see a shoulder I use it and stay as right as possible.

    I agree with you that is a good way to get injured, and happy to see you gave enough room to clear the cyclist but here is where sharing the road comes in. In my state a bicycle is considered a "vehicle" having the same laws as a gasoline powered vehicle therefore should be treated like any other motorist on the road. The problem is the lack of education we drivers lack of, this can be part that we just don't read the laws when we get our drivers license.

    Unfortunately yeah we do see these type of cyclists and give ordinary good abiding cyclists a bad name. I don't agree with their techniques and the way they disobey the law, they should obey it just like everybody else. I stay away from that group, I obey all laws, including traffic lights, stop signs, hand signals, and everything else a motorist has to do in order to get from point A to point B safely.

    Instead of riding your Yamaha on the sidewalk maybe you should call the police and notify them of the people causing the infractions. That would get the point across much better than you following their example.

    Well that was the case 5 years ago, but with the current price of fuel and prices flat lining the United States is going to have to adjust itself to support this new transportation method, as more and more people are going to be forced to take this route.

    I agree with you Kirk. I think that if bike lanes existed in every city in the United States the leisure riders would probably take more risks that would free up the sidewalks.
  14. mongoose

    mongoose Member

    you guys should take a holiday to the UK and visit Cambridge sometime. It's the only place in the world where I've ever seen a traffic jam composed entirely of bicycles! It's also the only place I've ever had to cruise around for 20 minutes looking for a place to park my bike. I mean not only were all the proper spaces taken, so were all the railings with signs on saying "do not chain bicycles here".

    And driving in Cambridge is a nightmare. If it's after dark, you come to a junction, look left and right and can't see a cyclist that's only because he's got no lights on and is wearing black. It's almost never because there is no cyclist there.

    As a person who uses all three main methods of transport, walking, cycling and driving, I like to think I am considerate of other road users in all modes. Alas whichever one I am using at a given time, a large percentage of the other two seem to be intent on either killing me or themselves.

    I once had a cyclist in Gloucester pull across in front of me on the wrong side of the road against a red light, then give me the finger when I had to swerve to avoid him. I've also had a woman on foot push her baby out into the road 10 feet ahead of me when I was on my bike. Her baby is lucky I had adjusted my brakes that morning, but of course it was MY fault when I screeched to a halt inches from her. And just to round off the set a guy in a car once cut off a corner at a junction straight across the path my friends and I were standing on, sending students leaping in all directions.

    All three of those are thankfully rare examples, but we would all do well to remember that there are mindless idiots among all groups of road users.
  15. rdprice64

    rdprice64 Still Learning

    I've have had my current taillight for 6 years and I like it very much. It is visible from about 1/4 mile away and my driving buddies tell me that it makes me very "noticed". Unfortunately the plastic clip is starting to go on it, so I'm looking to upgrade.

    I like the Planet Bike light because it is visible from so much farther away (about 1 mile). I've been trying to find someone who has one to see if they have had any problems with it before I buy it. So please let me know if you decide to buy this one. I also like that it takes 2 AAA batteries, because I can use the re-chargable ones that I already have for the old light. (NIMH, just like in the FEH :) )

    With a brighter light, I'll also feel better about very early or late rides in the dark.
  16. phoebeisis

    phoebeisis Well-Known Member

    Are you guys really sure that it is illegal to ride a bike on the sidewalk ? A 6 year old kid can't ride his bike on the sidewalk .A 4 year old can't ride his tricycle on the sidewalk?

    What about the old lady with the electric cart mobility aid?? Illegal to ride on the sidewalk?

    I bicycle on the streets , but will bail to the sidewalk when the traffic is heavy, and I don't want to slow them-cars - up , or piss them off.

    Hard to believe that it is illegal to ride a bike on suburban sidewalks. They aren't heavily trafficked like a city sidewalk- usually they are deserted.

    I've never had a cop stop me ,or seen , or heard of a cop stopping anyone for riding on the sidewalk . Where is it illegal -cities probably?

    PS I ride bicyles a lot; and have ridden for a long,long time.

    PPS It is legal to ride a bicycle on most sidewalks . Some cities have laws against it in specific areas, but most cities don't.So the blanket statement "illegal to ride on the sidewalk" is BS.Your city- maybe - most places it is ok.
    Last edited: Jul 11, 2008
  17. Shiba3420

    Shiba3420 Well-Known Member

    Usually it depends on 3 things...city laws/speed/cops.

    Most cites, not small towns, I know of its illegal to ride on the sidewalk, but if you are riding casually, say 5mph, no one really cares. Its quite different when some delivery jerk jumps from busy street to busy sidewalk and keeps pumping as hard as he can. In many places pedestrains and bikes are almost as great of enemies as cars and bikes.
  18. mgoeringer

    mgoeringer MoYarisMan

    I am a very avid cyclist and try to commute at least 3 days a week (12.5 m only round-trip). There is no way to my office but on a major 4 lane road. You are right motorists often behave like jerks, unaware of the fact that their little pranks and tantrums could lead to vehicular manslaughter. In Missouri Bikes have a right on the roads – in fact sidewalks are against the law for bikes ( the “walk” part of that compound word). I am grateful to say that the local media is doing a great job as advocates for cyclists and educators for the motorists.
    I applaud you, keep it up. Be careful BUT keep it up. It's a learning curve. Every day I ride my bike into the office my car uses 0 fuel! Now that is hypermiling
  19. Bike123

    Bike123 Well-Known Member

    I'll put in my usual plug for http://www.bikexprt.com

    Unless you are an avid cyclist, you probably don't know the rules of the road for bikes (legal rules and stay alive rules). Actually, I know a guy who biked 1 1/2 times across the USA, and would have had a much easier time if he had read this site first! Car drivers should read it, too. Much is common sense, but some is counter intuitive and counter to our instinctive reactions.

    Most people on bikes ride the same way they did as kids (taught by other kids or equally un-savvy parents). Many times, I've seen people ride on the right on an off-street bike path, and move to the left when they get to a road. It seems it is as often due to ignorance as some perceived shortcut.

    "Effective Cycling" guru John Forrester says bike club members (they learn from other experienced cyclists) crash 5x less often than adult cyclists as a whole. Not surprising seeing the way the average adult rides.
  20. Shrek

    Shrek Kaizen Driver

    I am dreaming about making some bike hardware that looks kind of like the metal spring that you can mount to your bike for attaching a dog. It connects to the wheel axle so that any sudden jerk by the dog does not tip you. I would make this higher and longer and end it with some sharp metal points and some reflective warning signs.

    I got this idea after almost being run over by a jerk that did not like the fact that on the bike I could pass the line of cars towards a roudabout, so he drove past me and exited to the right just 3 feet infront of me.

    With this kind of car-scratcher I could have just safely leaned against the car instead of panic-braking.

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