Wednesday, July 9, 2008

Today's column by Ann Fisher

For those of you who are not from Columbus, Ann writes a column for the Dispatch. Generally, I like her writing. Maybe sometime, I will give her a call and buy her a beer.

Today's column was about how people just do not know the laws regarding cycling. Should bikes be on the sidewalk? Can cyclists pass cars stopped at a red light? Do cyclists have to ride on the shoulder? It was pretty interesting because average Joe does not know the answers.

Then we read along a little further and find Upper Arlington Police Officer Heather Galli's thoughts. "Some bicyclists don't follow all the rules, but they want special treatment," she says.

Why do people use bicyclists who break the law as an example as to why cyclists need to be trained or taken off the road? Cyclists want special treatment? Nope, we just don't want to be road kill. That's all. Let me live long enough to see my children grow up. That's pretty special treatment.

How about the website that sells these windshield stickers: They are breaking the law, and wanting people to move out of their way. That's special treatment. But that is different, right? It's a car breaking the law. In that case, it is just fine.

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Palm Beach Bike Tours / Matt said...

The Left Lane Drivers site you linked has an awesome product!

In the State of Florida, our state legislature passed The Road Rage Reduction Act. Basically, it says the left-most lane is for passing only and that slower drivers must move right. Drivers in the left lane -- even those going exactly the speed limit -- must move right for faster traffic.

Several other states also have this sort of legislation. It is brilliant!

As for bikes... when I'm following state law and riding as I should, cars better not hit me.

On the other hand, if I'm blowing through stop signs and signaling other bikes to follow or if I'm riding the wrong direction on the road or I'm not yielding to faster traffic (car or bike), I'm not going to find too much fault if you run me over.

One of my personal peeves is bikes riding on the wrong side of the street. It really makes my blood boil. I'm always tempted to put my car close to the curb and make the cyclist run into a ditch. Horrible thought, I know. In the end, I just slow down and yell out the window that they are on the wrong side of the road.


Rick Logue said...

My point is that we all break a law or two somewhere in the course of our lives. It could be speeding, driving on the shoulder to make a right hand turn, rolling through a stop sign or whatever. But, when a person on a bike does it, people use that to say bicyclists need extra training.

Just yesterday I ran into a pack of people on bikes riding the wrong way. This could not have happened at a worse spot. It was when I was heading uphill on a highway overpass in heavy 55 mph traffic. We were all riding on the shoulder.

It was a bit unnerving to wait until there was a break in the traffic so I could get into the lane.

Tom said...

Hey Matt- I often wonder if I should "instruct" riders who are on sidewalks or riding the wrong way. At first I thought I should but then I realized that if I do that to them I should also do it to every motorist who doesn't wear a seatbelt. Otherwise I'm being hyper-critical.

I try not to let it boil my blood.... sometimes unsucessfully. It is a clear cut sign of roadus rageium.

Palm Beach Bike Tours / Matt said...

I do let people know they should be wearing their seatbelt. If they have their windows down and are not wearing their belts, it's my duty as part of humanity to say 'hey, seatbelts save lives'.

The people who really worry me are those who will wear a seatbelt in the front seat but not the back seat. Did I miss the memo that states the laws of physics only apply to the front seat?

I'll also toss cigarette butts back through an open car window. It's bad enough I gotta breath your cigarette smoke while we're sitting at the red light, I won't accept littering in addition.

My wife is sure I will be killed on the side of the road someday. She is probably right. Until then, however, I'm going to continue to fight the good fight and make the world a better place.


Rick Logue said...

It doesn't take long to prove my point.