Sunday, June 9, 2013

Two-Wheeled Terrorists

Whose worse, bicyclist or bikers? For some the answer is quick to the tongue. For others, they're already on the defense. But in my area, a city, being a biker has nothing to do with my opinion on the matter.

Today I had to drive my cage to work. For non-bikers, cage means car. Being a biker, I naturally have a keener eye out for fellow bikers. That eye came in handy today. I'm going down the street and a bicyclist rides right out in front of me like it was nothing! They just peddled as fast as they could. And I barely noticed them. So the average cager probably would have had a confirmed hit, possibly even the more tragic outcome of such an incident.

So yes, bicyclist are worse. Now, I'm not going to say that ALL bikers are good. We do have those that give us all a black eye by doing goofy stunts in the middle of traffic, or drive like idiots weaving in and out, not signaling, etc. And there are plenty of cagers that need to go back to Drivers Ed, and learn to look out for everything on the road that's not them. But far more often I see bicyclists taking more liberties than anyone. They run red lights, sometimes not even slowing down for a red light. They cut through traffic instead of going to the intersection to turn. They'll ride on sidewalks, narrowly missing pedestrians. They'll hop on and off of curbs on roads that don't have side parking. Instead of using designated bicycle lanes, they'll pull out in traffic, forcing everyone to slow down for their little stroll. And then you have the one's that will stop for a traffic light, but feel they are entitled to put their hand out, and lean up against your car!

And riding in a small town is a lot different than being in the city. A small town, you usually have no choice but to ride along with traffic because there are no bike lanes. And the pace is a little different, speeds are different. In a small town you're more likely to run into a yield or stop sign, than a traffic signal. And at the same time, it's easier to ride for block after block without any real traffic, if there's any at all. The city, you're not going to come close to the same thing. Bike lanes are their for your safety every bit as much as they are there for the cagers to be aware of you. Traffic signals are not just for the cages going by, but to keep you from getting creamed like a bug on someones windshield. Thing about it. If you're walking, you need to stop and wait for a signal just like the cages around you. So why in the world do bicyclist think they're immune to the same rule?

It's funny because people, especially bicyclists tend to think of us bikers as jerks. But really, I'm sitting here thinking to myself, "keep riding like that, and this crypt keeper will be assigning you a spot on a tray real soon." Be safe out there. And if you know someone on the road out there, remind them to be safe. Keep in mind that you're not just putting yourself at risk when you're on the road, but those around you as well.


  1. Whenever I have to drive on Tramway, I never drive in the right lane. The bicyclists are always in the middle of the road, slowing things down. Nevermind that the shoulder on Tramway is more than enough space for them to move while people pass.

    1. There would be a lot fewer incidents up there if they'd stick to the path that was made just for them. It's a really nice one too.

  2. Longtime bicyclist checking in here. I see more than a few people pedaling bicycles who make me want to smack them with a soup ladle. They weave around, disobey traffic signs/signals, ride against traffic, etc. etc. The list goes on. So I get what you're saying.

    We should all exhibit the sort of awareness and plain ol' courtesy that we expect drivers and bikers to give us. I know there are situations when a bicyclist needs to swing out of the bike lane to avoid debris that motorists can't necessarily see ... but I admit that's not always the case.

    All I ask is that you remember that a lot of us try to do better.

    1. I totally understand where you're coming from. I rode a bicycle for years. So I know occasionally things happen. And I know kids will be kids. But, those aren't the ones that annoy me. It's the ones that have been around, know better, but feel that the rules don't apply to them. Sadly, in these parts, you see it more with the ones that are clearly avid riders.

      As a rider you know there's a distinct difference between some kid on a $100 Walmart special, and someone decked out in compression shorts on a $3000+ Fuji.

      The fact that it's known that drivers often don't see, or pay attention to cyclists or bikers is even more of a reason for everyone to slow their rolls, and pay attention to what's happening around them, and the rules of the road. I absolutely agree that everyone needs to learn to pay more attention. If not for the fact that I've become more attuned to looking out as a biker, I truly believe that the guy that rode out in front of me today would have been taking a trip to the ER or a body bag.

  3. I have to tell you, I ride (well, I've been riding my bike while I wait to be medically cleared to run again) in a small town. I am utterly terrified every time I put on my helmet. The drivers out here are awful. They pay no attention to bikers, they'll throw sh*t out their windows. It's just awful.

    That being said...
    I still take the bike lanes because, like you said, they're there for a reason. And I shudder to think of what would happen if I drove in a bigger city. That would just be frightening!

    Peter Licari