Print Story What is it about bicycles?
By dmg (Fri Mar 21, 2008 at 06:16:21 AM EST) (all tags)
I've often wondered, what is it about getting on a bicycle that makes people think that the laws of the land don't apply to them?

If I did this sort of thing in my car I would be jailed, and rightly so, so why is it that cyclists get away with a slap on the wrist?

Is it some sort of 'green' thing? You are a better person and entitled to break the law because you are saving the planet? Or is it more complex than that? Perhaps the kind of person who feels it's ok to hold up the traffic while he poodles along at 20mph has a certain lack of community-mindedness that makes him think lawbreaking is acceptable?

And don't get me started on the obscene amount of lycra that is in evidence amongst the two-wheeled-sociopath community...

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What is it about bicycles? | 34 comments (34 topical, 0 hidden) | Trackback
Conservative? I do not think you know what that by georgeha (4.00 / 1) #1 Fri Mar 21, 2008 at 06:32:51 AM EST
word means. A conservative US leader would drive to work in a Hummer, not a bicycle.

In this case the word "Conservative" by dmg (2.00 / 0) #7 Fri Mar 21, 2008 at 07:27:25 AM EST
is referring to the name of the political party in question, rather than any of the beliefs Mr Cameron may or may not hold.

As is so often the case in politics, the party name usually stands for what they would like you to think they are about, rather than what they actually ARE about.

Is it really so hard for cyclists to obey traffic lights? It sets such a bad example for the children...
dmg - HuSi's most dimwitted overprivileged user.

[ Parent ]
I would like to point out that it's often a no-win by ObviousTroll (4.00 / 1) #26 Sat Mar 22, 2008 at 06:38:29 AM EST
for the cyclists. I spent years scrupulously obeying traffic laws and all it did was piss off drivers because I don't accelerate as quickly as a car and I don't cruise at 35 mph.

Frankly, I got tired of near misses with rear view mirrors.

Has anybody seen my clue? I know I had it when I came in here.

[ Parent ]
Because they're very, very special people. by ammoniacal (4.00 / 3) #2 Fri Mar 21, 2008 at 06:36:49 AM EST
For fucking shame on you for calling them out on this, you bastard.

"To this day that was the most bullshit caesar salad I have every experienced..." - triggerfinger

It has nothing to do with being a cyclist by ad hoc (4.00 / 2) #3 Fri Mar 21, 2008 at 06:50:55 AM EST
and everything to do with being a Tory.
The three things that make a diamond also make a waffle.
The first speeding ticket I ever got by wiredog (4.00 / 3) #4 Fri Mar 21, 2008 at 07:02:02 AM EST
Was for going too fast on a bicycle.

Actually it was a warning. But my friends were impressed. 14 year old wiredog, on his Schwinn Collegiate 10 speed, with a cop on his tail, lights and siren going. I was doing 30(!) in a 25 zone.

Earth First!
(We can strip mine the rest later.)

Cyclists should be allowed by spacejack (4.00 / 3) #5 Fri Mar 21, 2008 at 07:17:27 AM EST
to go both ways on one-way streets.

As for the red light... well, as a cyclist he's got the moral right-of-way.

"Moral Right of Way"? by ammoniacal (4.00 / 2) #8 Fri Mar 21, 2008 at 07:32:44 AM EST
How about "too lazy to fight inertia"? You wanna ride a bike, that's the breaks.

"To this day that was the most bullshit caesar salad I have every experienced..." - triggerfinger

[ Parent ]
Too easy! by spacejack (2.00 / 0) #10 Fri Mar 21, 2008 at 08:52:16 AM EST
nice to troll you.

[ Parent ]
HAHA-HA! by ammoniacal (4.00 / 1) #15 Fri Mar 21, 2008 at 09:39:33 AM EST

"To this day that was the most bullshit caesar salad I have every experienced..." - triggerfinger

[ Parent ]
going both ways... by dmg (4.00 / 1) #11 Fri Mar 21, 2008 at 08:59:41 AM EST
allowed to go both ways

They don't call them "bi"-cyclists for nothing...
dmg - HuSi's most dimwitted overprivileged user.

[ Parent ]
Self-selection by marvin (4.00 / 2) #6 Fri Mar 21, 2008 at 07:19:35 AM EST
Nothing to see here. Cyclists who break the rules just end up removing themselves from the gene pool more quickly than those who ride defensively. It is dangerous enough on a bike when you follow the rules, the extra risk from breaking them is hardly worth it.

Of course, we all know that automobile drivers would never, ever, ever commit illegal acts such as rolling through a stop sign at an empty intersection, running red lights, changing lanes without signalling, exceeding the posted speed limits, driving two tonnes of steel while impaired with alcohol, or running people off the road and then coming back to kill them.

Yes, truly, cyclists are the primary menace on the roads, and the world would be a safer place without them. Bicycles should be banned henceforth, and all cyclists taken to re-education camps, to learn that the automobile, and the automobile alone, represents all that is holy, true, moral, right, fair, and just about our society.

And after that brief interruption, you may now return to your previously scheduled happy motoring.

It's not so much the lawbreaking I object to by dmg (4.00 / 1) #9 Fri Mar 21, 2008 at 08:36:13 AM EST
But rather all the self-righteous whingeing that inevitably accompanies it when they are caught.

As a motorist, I accept that if I break the law, and get caught, there is a price to pay.

It seems cyclists think they are in some way exempt from the rules of civil society. So I say to cyclists - break the law all you like, but please stop all the special pleading when you are caught.
dmg - HuSi's most dimwitted overprivileged user.

[ Parent ]
Obeying the law on a bike by Driusan (4.00 / 3) #12 Fri Mar 21, 2008 at 09:06:35 AM EST
is downright dangerous and unsafe in most places.

Vive le Montréal libre.
[ Parent ]
In what way? by dmg (4.00 / 1) #14 Fri Mar 21, 2008 at 09:28:49 AM EST
Surely stopping at a red light is safer than going through it and risking being hit by a motorist who assumed he had the right of way because his light was green?

Surely going the right way down a one-way street is safer than going the wrong way and risking getting hit by a motorist who assumed he had the right of way because it was a one-way street...

Surely riding on the road is safer than riding on the pavement/sidewalk and risking hitting a pedestrian who assumed he had the right of way due to being on the pavement?

Hmmm. Have you really thought this through?
dmg - HuSi's most dimwitted overprivileged user.

[ Parent ]
In lots of ways by lm (4.00 / 1) #25 Sat Mar 22, 2008 at 04:34:01 AM EST
Maintaining one's traffic lane instead of riding on the shoulder on busy streets, especially approaching intersections where there are lanes reserved for turning.

Staying off all sidewalks.

Using hand signals when riding on poorly maintained roads.

I could go on and on. The fact of the matter is that bicyclists are usually required by the letter of the law to obey regulations written with cars and motorbikes in mind on streets that were designed entirely with cars and motorbikes in mind. Consequently, there are many ways in which the legal thing to do on a bicycle is the stupid and dangerous thing to do on a bicycle.

There is no more degenerate kind of state than that in which the richest are supposed to be the best.
Cicero, The Republic
[ Parent ]
/s/motorist/person by marvin (2.00 / 0) #13 Fri Mar 21, 2008 at 09:19:49 AM EST

There. Fixed that for you. It is now safe to dismount from your pedestal.

[ Parent ]
IAWTP by ad hoc (4.00 / 3) #16 Fri Mar 21, 2008 at 09:55:16 AM EST
interesting how one cyclist becomes "all" cyclists.

I hereby judge all motorists by the way cabbies* drive.

* to pick one type.
The three things that make a diamond also make a waffle.

[ Parent ]
Several places on the bike path by celeriac (2.00 / 0) #19 Fri Mar 21, 2008 at 04:12:04 PM EST
I come to intersections where cars are instructed to "yield" and bicycles to "stop." At several places on the east half of the trail, the reverse is true.

Never mind that it is not actually, physically possible for both a car and bicyclist coming to one of these intersections to obey the law.

Half the time I come to an all-ways stop where a car has the right of way, the driver will 'helpfully' wave me through. They are not helping.

[ Parent ]
the only time i've ever run away from police by fleece (4.00 / 6) #17 Fri Mar 21, 2008 at 11:01:27 AM EST
is on a bike. to answer your question though, yes, once you're on a bicycle, your above the law. i think it's because you can exploit the fact that cyclists are perceived as harmless, because riding a bike is a ridiculous looking thing to do. So I'd argue this: having already been robbed of his dignity, there is no other liberty you could further remove from a cyclist in good conscience.

Must have been an awkward scene . . . by slozo (2.00 / 0) #21 Fri Mar 21, 2008 at 10:19:18 PM EST
. . . running away from the police on your bike. I do hope it was a girl's bike.

sorry, just had to

[ Parent ]
riding away just didn't sound right by fleece (2.00 / 0) #22 Sat Mar 22, 2008 at 12:03:38 AM EST
a mob of theatre-leavers shouted encouragement, and on the crest of their wave of support i turned down and alley and hid behind bins at the back of the restaurant.

[ Parent ]
What's his rush? by Rogerborg (4.00 / 1) #18 Fri Mar 21, 2008 at 02:26:00 PM EST
It's not like he's got any oil wars to kick off. Premature, Tory Boy.

Metus amatores matrum compescit, non clementia.
I'll bite by dark nowhere (2.00 / 0) #20 Fri Mar 21, 2008 at 07:52:18 PM EST
A bicycle is not a car.

The one-way street thing really is dumb, I'm surprised to find there's a law within the civilized world against it.

Running the lights is hard to defend, not that I'd want it defended. I will say that I'd do it under some circumstances.

Chill out, snowflake.

PREPARE TO BE SURPRISED AGAIN by ammoniacal (2.00 / 0) #29 Sat Mar 22, 2008 at 06:49:22 PM EST
It's the law here too. Note that here, traffic laws apply to persons riding bicycles, unless they are specifically exempted. In the case of RCW 46.61.135, there is no bicyclist exemption.

"To this day that was the most bullshit caesar salad I have every experienced..." - triggerfinger

[ Parent ]
Where's 'here'? by dark nowhere (2.00 / 0) #30 Sat Mar 22, 2008 at 10:09:42 PM EST
And are you sure it's civilized?

Chill out, snowflake.

[ Parent ] by ammoniacal (2.00 / 0) #31 Sun Mar 23, 2008 at 10:25:23 PM EST
That's Washington, not Western Australia.

"To this day that was the most bullshit caesar salad I have every experienced..." - triggerfinger

[ Parent ]
Welllllllll... by dark nowhere (4.00 / 1) #32 Mon Mar 24, 2008 at 04:29:28 PM EST
I think we'd better wait for your election to determine whether Washington is part of the civilized world.

Chill out, snowflake.

[ Parent ]
The same reason I dont mind cycling drunk by LinDze (2.00 / 0) #23 Sat Mar 22, 2008 at 02:07:10 AM EST
but drink driving is horrid. Bikes arnt cars. If I, somehow, hit someone on my bike im going to knock you over and brain myself. But what Im not going to do, in any sort of bike altercation, is take out the family in a minivan.

When it comes to cyclist culpable accidents its basically a matter of self (de)selection. wWhich I have no problem with, whether its myself or someone else.

That being said ignoring any traffic laws on bike is a good way to get dead. Which just leads to more self deselection. So, in summary, its the cyclist who assumes the vast majority of the risk and not the population at large. Why would you be opposed to that?

-Lin Dze
Arbeit Macht Frei

though I think that the law is stupid in some ways by R343L (2.00 / 0) #27 Sat Mar 22, 2008 at 10:04:48 AM EST
So, I always stop at red lights and when I first started biking all the time I did stop at every stop sign. I never ride the wrong way on a street, always signal turns, make left turns from the left lane and except in very rare cases do not ride on the sidewalk -- so I'm not up for de-selection in those stupid ways.

But stop signs are the kicker. Even car drivers just tend to slow most of the way and kind of do a point stop and roll. So frankly if there's no traffic or it'll be clear soon enough, I tend towards slowing way down to the point where I could stop in less than foot and then proceeding. This is technically illegal, but the physical energy required for starting and stopping when you're just trying to get from point A to B is just annoying. Especially in certain neighborhoods that seem to think an uncontrolled intersection is automatically a bad thing even when the odds of two vehicles being at the intersection at one time is infintesimal (seriously -- there were some neighborhoods in Foster City where I might see another car during the hours I biked it once every two weeks .. and yet there were stop signs at every intersection.)

But yeah .. in general a cyclist doing stupid shit is only going to hurt him. Though I'd like to strangle the cyclists who ride on the narrow sidewalks on Hillsdale Blvd over the slough. Come on -- ride on the fucking road -- it won't kill you. The other day this fellow comes up the bridge on the sidewalk (on the opposite traffic side even -- god knows how he got to this side) dressed in full biker getup (bright spandex, shoes with cleats, nice bike, etc). He stops to let me by but ... I can only think "why is he on the sidewalk?" Riding Hillsdale is not that scary (except at the 101 overpass where you end up in the on/off ramp lane and need to move over which can sometimes be dicey, though riding in the sidewalk there would be even scarier). The traffic is relatively slow, the roads are nice, you can easily take the lane as it's two lanes in both directions. sigh


"There will be time, there will be time / To prepare a face to meet the faces that you meet." -- Eliot

[ Parent ]
Driving / cycling in London by Dr Thrustgood (4.00 / 3) #24 Sat Mar 22, 2008 at 03:13:09 AM EST
Revolves around the question: "Are the rozzers about, and if so, do they care what I'm doing?"

It's kinda philosophicalistic.

I gave this a four. by Christopher Robin was Murdered (4.00 / 1) #28 Sat Mar 22, 2008 at 12:18:57 PM EST
Though really you should have used the "the filth" instead of "the rozzers" for full impact.

Still, well-played. [Golf clap goes here.]

[ Parent ]
The five times I've nearly been run over by nebbish (2.00 / 0) #33 Tue Apr 01, 2008 at 03:17:24 AM EST
while on my bike, the driver got away with it.

It's political correctness gone mad!

Yeah by dmg (2.00 / 0) #34 Tue Apr 01, 2008 at 11:49:05 AM EST
It's a bummer when lawbreakers put lives at risk...
dmg - HuSi's most dimwitted overprivileged user.
[ Parent ]
What is it about bicycles? | 34 comments (34 topical, 0 hidden) | Trackback