Monday, April 30, 2012

I saw this comment on a news article today which gives some insight into the mind of one who absolutely will not consider alternative transportation:
Nice try plantation! You'll never get my car! The last refuge of freedom an American has is he can get into his car and drive where ever he or she wants, whenever he or she wants. Make gas $20/gallon...I'll still drive.
While this is not directly pointed at cycling, I think it goes a long way toward understanding why motorists get so angry at cyclists for simply riding on the road.  To those most angry motorists, a car represents the ability to access freedom, and the cyclist is the only thing (in the motorist's mind) between him and that freedom.  The motorist is so blinded by his or her anger of the cyclist, who is a living, breathing person and thus easy to take out frustrations on, that he or she doesn't realize that in dense city traffic, another car or a traffic control device is sure to hold him or her up a few seconds down the road.

Friday, April 27, 2012

As I was riding in West Chester last night (not WC's fault this time!), I was confronted by an Ohio State Trooper.  She told me she needed me to ride on the right (the shoulder).  I told her I couldn't do that and asked her if she would drive on the shoulder, to which of course the answer was no.  Then she told me she didn't think I had a right to be in the road.  Regardless of the fact that I did have that right, shouldn't you, as a state law enforcement officer, know the law instead of guessing at what you think?  After she continued to press the issue I pointed out that she was impeding traffic and she sped off in a huff.

Then later that evening I was going about 40mph down a large hill on Vine Street in Cincinnati and lost control when the road whipped left.  The result is a lot of scraping and bruising, but thankfully nothing broken.  The bike is unrideable, but I'm confident the guys at Baer Wheels can put it back together in a few days.  Lots of walking and waiting, a long bus ride, a cab ride, and three hours later, I was back at my hotel.

Wednesday, April 25, 2012

Here's a new twist on an old favorite.  I was riding in West Chester (where else?) when a car honked and then aggressively passed me and cut me off before stopping directly in front of me at the next light.  That's not unusual at all.  Then, he got out of his seat, twisted around, and stuck his whole head and torso out his window to yell at me.

First he told me I was supposed to be riding on the shoulder of the road.  After I told him I wasn't, the only thing he could think of to justify his anger was that I almost got hit.  Well, if he almost hit me, whose fault would that be?  (Here's a hint: it wouldn't be mine.)  After this "justification" also didn't hold up, he simply resorted to threatening to beat me up.  I thought he was concerned for my safety since I almost got hit?  It was pretty entertaining, especially since I'm about twice his size, so I was actually kind of hoping he would leave the car in the middle of a 45-mph road to try to beat me up.

Saturday, April 21, 2012

Anyone who drives near campus knows that trying to get anywhere in a hurry is futile.  Today I was riding South on High approaching Lane and a driver behind me didn't like that I was taking the whole lane and going slowly (even though there were 2 cars in front of me, the reason I was going slowly).  At the next light, he passed me and the vehicle in front of me in the middle of the intersection using the parking lane.  Then at Lane, he wanted to turn right.  However, in his aggressive attempt to get around me, he was bumper-to-bumper with the car in front of him, so he couldn't change lanes until that car moved.  By that time, I had passed him, forcing him to once again wait behind me to make his turn onto Lane.  Revenge is sweet!

Thursday, April 19, 2012

From the comments on an article on PA's new 4-foot passing law:
If I don't get to treat you with disrespect and endanger you just because
some OTHER driver ran a red light one time, then you shouldn't get to do it to me, right?
This was in response to several commenters who felt that they had the right to cut off cyclists and pass them too closely because, at some point in the past, they had observed a bicyclist running a stop sign or red light.  Perfect!
Something I've noticed lately: motorists seem more likely to honk at cyclists if they are passing illegally.  For example, on my way to work this morning on McKinley Ave., the only vehicles that honked at me were the ones using the center left-turn-only lane as a passing lane;  the ones who only moved over the required 3 feet to pass me didn't honk.

Friday, April 13, 2012 <--Exactly, especially
...which involves making a slight counterclockwise twist of the steering wheel followed by a slight clockwise twist. With today's modern power steering systems, the physical exertion involved is negligible -- less than it takes to type a comment complaining about a law that, if people had a lick of common sense, wouldn't be necessary.

Thursday, April 12, 2012

Well here's something you don't see every day:

We're all familiar with motorists who feel that being delayed by a bicyclist entitles them to pass where passing is not permitted, even when it is dangerous or inconveniences other motorists, but today I was in the center of my lane on a 2-lane road with a few cars behind me when the second car back passed both me and the car directly behind me.

This was of course followed by the next 3 or 4 cows in the herd following the leader.  It seems like no one is able to think for himself or herself anymore, but that's a separate complaint.

Wednesday, April 11, 2012

Why are drivers so in love with their horns?  I got passed today by a driver, honking the entire time, who decided the center left-turn-only lane was his personal passing lane.  I can understand honking as a warning, but I already knew he was there after the first 10 honks, so the rest weren't really necessary.  Perhaps he was honking to show his anger.  However, I didn't take my lane position with the express purpose of inconveniencing him (for all of 10 seconds).  Believe it or not, I actually put a higher priority on not tearing my bike to shreds on the horrid roads of Columbus than on letting you get to the next red light 10 seconds before me.  Perhaps your anger should be redirected at the person who broke the law and caused a dangerous situation for you, me, and the oncoming traffic.

I ought to attach an air horn to my bike so I can fight fire with fire (well, noise with noise).

Monday, April 9, 2012

Saw this as part of a comment on a bike commuting blog
I am a cyclist who does not own a car; it works for me. How you live is your choice. We can share society — I’ll stay off your toes, and you stay off mine. I don’t care if you drive a Nissan Leaf or a Hummer, just let me ride in my little space without trying to clear me off the pavement.
While I do own a car, mostly because my parents and brother live within driving distance but not riding distance, I pretty much never use it.  And the rest of this quote is absolutely 100% how I feel.