Go Back   Customers Suck! > The Heart of the Site > Sightings

Closed Thread
 
Thread Tools Display Modes

I want to be the GOOD cyclist.
  #1  
Old 04-13-2015, 07:04 PM
Ben_Who's Avatar
Ben_Who Ben_Who is offline
Store Manager
 
Join Date: Dec 2008
Posts: 640
Default I want to be the GOOD cyclist.

So Spring arrived with a sickening thud the other day (last week, four inches of snow; yesterday, 68 and sunny) and with it, a creeping sense that I should balance my corpulent carcass on the miniscule seat of my three-year-old bicycle and put some miles on it. (Really; I should probably have an escort vehicle with an "oversized load" banner. I look like an elephant riding a mouse.) Best way to do that is to simply ride the infernal machine to work.

Interestingly enough, there are incentives to biking to work this year that will probably be delineated in an extensive MiM post not too far in the future. (We all got an E-mail from our increasingly parsimonious management along the lines of, "Look, about that parking space. They really do cost a lot of money, and...well...do you REALLY need to drive to work?)

On the other paw, I'm well aware of the reputation that cyclists have on busy city streets, and also aware that that reputation isn't entirely undeserved. We do kind of have a habit of coming right outta nowhere. (You'd think the silly hat would make us more noticeable.)

I want to be the good cyclist, the one that doesn't make motorists' morning commutes any more difficult and stressful than it has to be. I looked up the road rules for my community only to discover that there aren't any - helmets aren't required, you can ride on the sidewalk if you want, and traffic laws are more like suggestions. (Blow right through that four-way stop. Ain't no thing.) The phrase "Just do what you think is the safest thing to do in your situation" kept popping up on the websites I was reading.

So the other day I was doing a dry run, wearing my silly hat, pedaling dutifully to the office on a Sunday to see whether it was practical to use my bike to commute. (Answer: yes.) However, I grew up cycling in a very rural community, all dirt roads and distant farms, and yesterday I was sharply aware of every single possible item of note on the path - pedestrians, vehicles, potholes, street litter, all of it. ("Hubcap!") It was kind of a lot to take in for someone determined to be a courteous two-wheeled commuter, especially one in an increasing state of physical fatigue. (What idiot put City Center on top of a HILL?)

So who here cycles to work, and is there anything in particular to keep in mind to stay safe? Also, who here has to deal with cyclists on their way to work, and what do they do that drives you INSANE? I was boggled by the fact that there aren't any hard rules for cyclists in this city, and a bit surprised that more of them don't wind up as hood ornaments. In short, how can I be the good cyclist?

  #2  
Old 04-13-2015, 07:10 PM
eltf177 eltf177 is offline
Chairman of the Board
 
Join Date: Aug 2007
Posts: 3,303
Default

My biggest pet peeve: cyclists who think stop signs, red lights and yield signs are optional. Best way to become road pizza.

The second is those that weave back and forth between the sidewalk and street. Pick one and stick with it!

  #3  
Old 04-13-2015, 08:59 PM
NecessaryCatharsis NecessaryCatharsis is offline
Tradesperson
 
Join Date: Jul 2013
Posts: 640
Default

My biggest pet peeve from bicyclists:

I used to live in a town/city that only had one road from west to east (only one bridge over the river), which was a busy 4 lane road and very hilly, which made for slow bicycling. They would be biking in the middle of the right hand lane, which they should, and it would take you forever to get a gap in the left lane to get around them, after which, when you stopped at the next red light they would stop biking in the middle of the lane, stay right around the cars stopped at the light and then proceed on the green in the middle of the right lane again, ahead of you, making you have to take forever to go around them again. Since the whole road was nothing but hills and lights...AHRRG

One bicycle could cause the 10 minute drive across town to take more than 1/2 hour.
__________________
Pain and suffering are inevitable...misery is optional.

  #4  
Old 04-13-2015, 09:46 PM
EricKei's Avatar
EricKei EricKei is offline
The Hero CS Deserves
 
Join Date: Aug 2008
Location: Wandering Greyhawk
Posts: 10,050
Default

What eltf said. As you have your safety and that of others in mind (which is awesome ), your best bet is probably to assume that "If a car has to do it, so do you," AND some other things, besides. Whether it's frequently observed/enforced or not, bikes are supposed to stop at all stop signs/red lights. Remember, many car drivers "won't" see bikes when they wanna get over to the next lane/turn/etc ("Can't or won't?" "It just says 'won't' -- This thing reads like stereo instructions!" -- cookies for the reference ). Act accordingly.
__________________
Acts of Gord – Read it, Learn it, Love it!
"Our psychic powers only work if the customer has a mind to read" - me
"Never assume your users are stupid, but never forget that they are." ~ anon. engineer
“Last night, you were unhinged. You were like some desperate, howling demon. You frightened me. Do it again.” - Morticia Addams

"Sexual intellectuals. They're f@%#ing know-it-alls" - Chuck Yeager
"Good men don't need rules; today is not the day to find out why I have so many." - The Doctor
"[Friendship,] like philosophy, like art, like the universe itself … has no survival value; rather it is one of those things which give value to survival.” ~ C. S. Lewis


  #5  
Old 04-14-2015, 12:20 AM
Seanette's Avatar
Seanette Seanette is offline
Bookkeeper
 
Join Date: Jul 2006
Location: Sacramento, CA
Posts: 1,602
Default

PLEASE make sure you're very visible, especially if any of your trip occurs in less than broad daylight. A lot of drivers really don't WANT to hit cyclists, but if we can't see you.....
__________________
"Crazy may always be open for business, but on the full moon, it has buy one get one free specials." - WishfulSpirit

"Sometimes customers remind me of zombies, but I'm pretty sure that zombies are smarter." - MelindaJoy77

  #6  
Old 04-14-2015, 01:54 AM
LillFilly's Avatar
LillFilly LillFilly is offline
Chairman of the Board
 
Join Date: Feb 2009
Posts: 3,656
Default

I recommend wearing a reflective vest at all times, maybe have reflective/glowing strips on the bike too; that way nobody has the excuse that 'they didn't/couldn't see you due to weather/lighting. I don't know where you live but the state may have a law to have a certain strength headlight/rear light on the bike. There are lights that charge as you peddle and are super bright! Wear a helmet too; it might be goofy, but it could save your life someday. Obey the traffic rules. In some states cars must pass a minimum of 3-4 feet from you. I might even recommend video recording sunglasses (found them for 40$ at Gander Mt.) in case you do get in an argument with someone or in an accident, you will have some hard evidence of who was at fault. Unfortunately, it can go 50/50 is seems with who will be believed; the cyclist or the driver.

You can't win them all. My housemate does everything I listed above (hasn't gotten a camera yet though I've encouraged him) and STILL gets jackhole Drivers giving him a hard time and sometimes outright committing vehicular assault. It's amazing how some people just get angry when they see a bicycle.

Be safe!
__________________
"If anyone wants this old box containing the broken bits of my former faith in humanity, I'll take your best offer now. You may be able to salvage a few of em' for parts..... " - Quote by Argabarga

  #7  
Old 04-14-2015, 01:58 AM
Jay 2K Winger's Avatar
Jay 2K Winger Jay 2K Winger is offline
Pedestrian of the Apocalypse
 
Join Date: Jul 2008
Location: Northern Virginia
Posts: 5,475
Default

Quote:
Quoth LillFilly View Post
Wear a helmet too; it might be goofy, but it could save your life someday.
When/if I ever have kids, I will insist they wear a helmet, no matter how much they protest.

A bike helmet saved my life when I was a kid and I had an accident. I was damn lucky that I didn't break my arm or separate my shoulder in that crash, but if I hadn't been wearing that helmet, I would have died. The top of my head hit a rock when I went over the handlebars.

I cannot emphasize enough the importance of wearing a helmet.
__________________
PWNADE(TM) - Serve up a glass today! | PWNZER - An act of pwnage so awesome, it's like the victim got hit by a tank.

There are only four Horsemen of the Apocalypse because I choose to walk!

  #8  
Old 04-14-2015, 02:04 AM
MoonCat's Avatar
MoonCat MoonCat is offline
Unsteady as she goes
 
Join Date: Jun 2010
Location: Eastern US.
Posts: 7,788
Default

DON'T weave in and out of traffic. I'm not a driver, but where I live the number one complaint against bicyclists is that many of them constantly dart in and out between cars, trucks and buses.
__________________
When you start at zero, everything's progress.

  #9  
Old 04-14-2015, 02:12 AM
Seanette's Avatar
Seanette Seanette is offline
Bookkeeper
 
Join Date: Jul 2006
Location: Sacramento, CA
Posts: 1,602
Default

That's a huge problem where I live. Bike riders seem to think they have NO responsibility for traffic safety, it's all on the drivers.

They also have an annoying tendency to force pedestrians off the sideWALK as if someone on foot has no business being there.
__________________
"Crazy may always be open for business, but on the full moon, it has buy one get one free specials." - WishfulSpirit

"Sometimes customers remind me of zombies, but I'm pretty sure that zombies are smarter." - MelindaJoy77

  #10  
Old 04-14-2015, 03:37 AM
MoonCat's Avatar
MoonCat MoonCat is offline
Unsteady as she goes
 
Join Date: Jun 2010
Location: Eastern US.
Posts: 7,788
Default

Oh, yes, one more thing! If you do ride on the sidewalk, please let people walking ahead of you know that you're riding behind them and about to pass them! I've nearly been run down many, many times by people who don't bother to shout, ring a bell or anything. Even though I'm usually not wearing headphones, I don't always hear them coming up behind me due to the noise of passing traffic in the street.
__________________
When you start at zero, everything's progress.
Closed Thread

Thread Tools
Display Modes

Posting Rules
You may not post new threads
You may not post replies
You may not post attachments
You may not edit your posts

BB code is On
Smilies are On
[IMG] code is On
HTML code is Off

Forum Jump


All times are GMT. The time now is 01:53 PM.


Powered by vBulletin® Version 3.8.9
Copyright ©2000 - 2020, vBulletin Solutions, Inc.