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Thread: Share the road?

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  1. #1
    Novice Adventurer Newstar's Avatar
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    Share the road?

    This morning, we were out for a breakfast ride through back roads frequented by bicyclists. As we approached a T-intersection, a group of 12 blew the stop sign and continued down the road in front of us. Hubby was able to pass the group before the twisties. I was not. As I poked along at a respectable distance behind them, I finally got to a straight away where I could pass. Half way through the group, the leader sticks out his left hand signaling a left turn. The rest of the pack cut the corner and I was forced onto the left shoulder to avoid hitting someone all the while getting screamed at.

    Of the 12, only one signalled a turn and the rest immediately moved over into the opposing lane. What happened to share the road??? I've got nothing against the bicyclists sharing our public back roads but at least drop the pack mentality and abide by traffic laws. This could have ended much worse for all of us.
    Last edited by Newstar; 04-01-2012 at 07:45 PM. Reason: fixed typo. (new ergo keyboard!)

  2. #2
    Outlander Omega Man's Avatar
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    Well Tracy...as you asked...I think it's part of the training from high school. It starts when the sports teams are sent out running in the road, day or evening, no reflective vests.....or maybe it's the jogging strollers that are pushed ahead-let go-then caught. I still remember Pain Hurts.
    "Well they say.. time loves a hero but only time will tell.. If he's real, he's a legend from heaven If he ain't he was sent here from hell" Lowell George
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  3. #3
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    A lot of cyclists get into the herd mentality. Additionally, many ride with music playing. It is possible they didnt know you were there. I don't know of what else you could have done.

  4. #4
    Registered User greenwald's Avatar
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    Cool

    While I do encounter polite bicyclists who actually obey the same traffic laws that I must abide by (plus, actually, a few more specific just to them!), they are few and far between.

    I consider a bicyclist ahead of me as unpredictable as deer.
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  5. #5
    Novice Adventurer Newstar's Avatar
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    Talking

    They knew I was there. They passed two of us at the three-way intersection waiting to pull out when they ignored the stop sign. Only one passed them and the back of the pack kept looking back expecting me to pass. I was trying to be courteous.

    I find that one or two bicyclists are generally polite and will often wave us by. I make a point not to crowd them. But put them in a group and watch what happens. Given the roads we share (tight turns, blind corners, narrow roadways with no shoulder) it can get hairy.

    Oh well. We made it home safely and hopefully they did too.

  6. #6
    Registered User amiles's Avatar
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    I find ironic that about once a year or so a letter appears in the local newspaper complaining about motorists not rendering courtesy and respect to bicyclists, when what I see on the road is generally a complete disregard of traffic laws and courtesy by bicyclists towards other road users.

    I suspect that since the police are reluctant to cite the bicyclists ("don't you have anything better to do") , they feel that they can violate the traffic laws with impunity.

    This is whether it's the elite ones (wearing the racing costumes & etc) or a couple of old geezers going barely fast enough to stay up.

    There is a lesson here; being predictable to other highway users often will benefit your safety. Don't forget "we" are occasionally accused of the same behavior.

  7. #7
    Registered User dwyandell's Avatar
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    I consider bicyclists among the most dangerous vehicles for exactly the reasons you had this experience. I give them a VERY wide berth. What happened to you is inexcusable and very dangerous--and from what you say, was in no way your fault.

    It's easy to interpret some of the things they do as 'arrogant' and that might be true. . . and I'm not excusing the things they do--but if you put yourself 'in their head' it helps (a bit). .

    Like motorcyclists, bicyclists who ride alot find it safer to be 'assertive' and when at speed are reluctant to yield their lane to traffic approaching from the rear, for fear of being forced over onto an unsafe shoulder by impatient drivers or blocked from making a left turn at a safe speed for them. So they hog their lane--especially when planning a left turn. Plan accordingly. Their behavior at stop signs has to do with being unwilling or too lazy to shift down and take their shoes out of the clips for a full stop. Just plan on them not coming to a full stop. They sometimes act like they dont know we're approaching them from behind because THEY MAY NOT KNOW WE ARE APPROACHING THEM (especially a quiet motorcycle). They have minimal or no mirrors, poor hearing due to wind noise, and limited ability to accelerate out of danger (plus relatively poor braking, and terrible traction on difficult surfaces). Part of doing what they love is challenging themselves to go faster. . and when they ride in a pack they are likely drafting and don't want to be separated and have to reorganize for every single vehicle that will pass them. So they are piggy about riding in a group and not yielding to vehicles approacing from the rear (again I am NOT defending this. . .). Piggy, but predictable.

    My horn sounds like a broken party favor and makes people burst out laughing-- so I rarely use it, but it really helps--in situations like the one you had--to give bicyclists a toot, or when you see they are thinking of blowing a stop and pulling out in front of you. Unlike car drivers, bicyclists will probably hear even the lamest motorcycle horn. It lets them know you consider what they are doing to be a potential hazard. Like us, bicyclists have an 'us versus them' mentality about cars and dont like the idea of being hit any better than motorcyclists do. . .and will usually respond if they are warned. They'll definitely take an extra 'over-the'shoulder' look. You may get saluted, but so what? Better than having them turn in front of you.
    Dave in Vermont
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  8. #8
    Alps Adventurer GlobalRider's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Newstar View Post
    Half way through the group, the leader sticks out his left hand signaling a left turn.
    You are damn lucky he/she even signaled.

    I almost cut a bicyclist in half on a quiet narrow country road. There was no driveway or road for him to turn into, therefore no warning that he might even turn. The inbred just decided to do a snap U turn without looking.

    Lucky for him I didn't have ABS or I would have cut him in half...there was no spare foot or split second. After stopping, I turned around and gave him a lecture you could have heard in the next county. I could see the faint solid and long black line my front tire left towards the shoulder as I drove behind him to avoid him...talk about braking at the limit. The back wheel was up about a foot before easing off the brake to steer.

    At home, I rubbed off the mark his back tire left on my left engine protection bar. Yes, that is how close it was.

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