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Rainwatcher
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439 Posts
Bicycles ! ....... they fly down sidewalks then switch to the road at their convenience, most have no idea what a stop sign is or a red light, they demand the right of a pedestrian at lights and crosswalks they are totally unpredictable and although they don't pay any road/license tax they demand bicycle lanes be built everywhere even tho' they only use them when it's to their benefit. I am a cyclist. I love my belt drive Trek but find that most of them are just dicks.
That's the answer in a nutshell. Inside the nutshell there are divisions. My wife commutes on a bicycle, and I've learned a lot. She hates cyclists who ignore traffic signals and generally make cyclists look bad more than I do.

Don't forget the cyclist who ignores the multi-million dollar, barricaded, marked cycle path we built just for them to ride on the street with us.
 

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Captain Obvious
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Well if there is anything the internet has taught us, it is that as soon as anyone does something wrong, its judgement day and let the hate party flow onto the entire group. I belong to a FB group that does traffic reports of a very icy mountain pass. No, it is supposed to do that, instead its a bunch of women posting cell phone camera pictures of cars that pass them too fast. Then yet another group chimes in to condemn the cell phone picture takers.
 

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Master Mariner
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One of my pet peeves and a mystery to me is why people direct their road rage at bicycles.
Quite simply it's because many folks on bikes do not follow the rules of the road, IMO. I can't count the number of times when some bike has blown through a stop sign or traffic light to my right or left (I had a green or no sign) and I nearly killed them.
The way the rules were written back then, even if the bike was breaking the law, if you hit one, you were at fault. Even if you aren't at fault, just think of the hassles involved in a fatal accident.
Also, the roads were designed and built with motorized vehicles in mind and often there is just no safe place for a bike on those roads, once again putting the responsibility on the driver to avoid a bike which just does not have room to be there safely.
As in the story above about the motor boat, one becomes accustomed to certain actions from some segment of the population, so one expects it from all.
 

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Less Senior Senior Member
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Quite simply it's because many folks on bikes do not follow the rules of the road, IMO. I can't count the number of times when some bike has blown through a stop sign or traffic light to my right or left (I had a green or no sign) and I nearly killed them.
The way the rules were written back then, even if the bike was breaking the law, if you hit one, you were at fault. Even if you aren't at fault, just think of the hassles involved in a fatal accident.
Also, the roads were designed and built with motorized vehicles in mind and often there is just no safe place for a bike on those roads, once again putting the responsibility on the driver to avoid a bike which just does not have room to be there safely.
As in the story above about the motor boat, one becomes accustomed to certain actions from some segment of the population, so one expects it from all.
This is the problem. Yes there are bikes that blow stop signs- there are cars that do that, too, and just as frequently around here. And the rules of the road are the same for the bikes- they have every reason to be on the road. If you want to pass because Miss Daisy is doing 25 in a 40 in her Caddy, it's the same rules for the road biker. The fact that cars are more ubiquitous than bikes doesn't mean that they are more 'right'. It's a perception problem.
 
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Captain Obvious
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2,328 Posts
Also, the problems are specific to the place you are. On a Caribbean island there are certain types of roads and in New York other situations. Around here we see a lot of rage that bicycles can share the driving lane, which the law says they can. They just have to stay to the right. But for Bubba and Mrs Bubba charging down the road at 65 mph in their $75,000 4 wheel drive monster truck or SUV, its a real outrage as they are accustomed to thoughtlessly crushing and killing any living things actually in the road.
 

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I know this is a sailing forum, so I apologize for the drift, but…

An interesting thing is that pedestrians are objectively much worse than bicyclists, but there is very little pedestrian rage. Accident reconstructions and studies done with traffic cameras show that pedestrians are much more likely to violate traffic laws than bicyclists, such as crossing in the middle of the block or crossing against lights. Fatality statistics back that up: per mile travelled, walking is roughly three times as dangerous as bicycling.

Yet no one has pedestrian rage. I suspect it's because we are all pedestrians, but only some of us are bicyclists. So when we see someone crossing in the middle of the street we don't freak the hell out, we realize that we've done the same. And if a pedestrian is doing something incredibly dangerous and/or stupid, we think "that guy is a menace," we don't think "all pedestrians are menaces."



I would also like to correct the tax myth. People like to think that their gas and vehicle taxes pay for all the roads. It varies by locale, but nowhere in the United States is this true. Only about half of the cost of our roads are paid for by usage taxes and vehicle and gas taxes generally go to pay for highways, while city streets are usually paid for from property and sales taxes.

So if you are driving your car down the highway and pass a bicyclist you can feel a little smug, because your car paid for most of that highway and the bicyclist is receiving a subsidy.

However if you are driving your car down a city street and pass a bicyclist, you should give them a tip of your hat. You and the bicyclist both paid the same property and sales tax to build that road, but the bicyclist is taking up a smaller portion of it, is not putting any wear and tear on it, and at the destination will not take up a parking space.


People who object to subsidies to bicycling infrastructure are often blissfully unaware of the massive subsidies already in place for motorized traffic.
 

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Ha ha, around my home port, pretty much all the fisherman believe they are the stand-on vessel. They're a menace, particularly at the mouth of the channel from Lake Michigan to Muskegon Lake. From a mile out, you can see that you may be on a collision course with one of them as you sail toward the channel, but they proceed as if it is their intent to either collide or drag their lines across your bow. They get very upset when when you sail near their lines (we smile and wave).

Maybe I could confound them by putting the biggest fishing pole I can find in a rod holder at my stern. Sailboat on starboard tack engaged in fishing...I could rule the seas.
That is absolutely no exaggeration, I purchased my boat in September out of Harbor Town marina spent a couple of days in the area doing shake down sails, before leaving to sail the boat home to the Black River off the St Clair River, man oh man that channel is crazy as well as Muskegon lake at the mouth of the channel, weaving through a bunch of small fishing boats with a 10 tonne vessel kinda makes you think if these guys have any clue as to what we weigh and what the results of a collision would be. The salmon must have been running good as the fishing boats were as thick as thieves in the channel or the lake is just too rough for the smaller vessels.
 

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Master Mariner
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8,374 Posts
It's a perception problem.
Not hardly!
If a car blows through a light a bit of metal and plastic gets trashed. If a bike does it someone usually DIES!
THAT'S why I get angry. If his mistake costs me all kinds of legal hassles and time, I have no recourse at all: he's dead. I may even go to jail, and I even didn't do anything wrong.
Nope, it is NOT perception, it is fact. Irresponsible bike riders are the ones who create the dislike for bike riders on the roads.
And as for equal rights, until the bikes get taxed for using the roads like the cars, I don't see equal rights anywhere in the picture. Bike riders are coasting for free on the roads vehicular traffic pays for.
 

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Dirt Free
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I know this is a sailing forum, so I apologize for the drift, but…

An interesting thing is that pedestrians are objectively much worse than bicyclists, but there is very little pedestrian rage. Accident reconstructions and studies done with traffic cameras show that pedestrians are much more likely to violate traffic laws than bicyclists, such as crossing in the middle of the block or crossing against lights. Fatality statistics back that up: per mile travelled, walking is roughly three times as dangerous as bicycling.

Yet no one has pedestrian rage. I suspect it's because we are all pedestrians, but only some of us are bicyclists. So when we see someone crossing in the middle of the street we don't freak the hell out, we realize that we've done the same. And if a pedestrian is doing something incredibly dangerous and/or stupid, we think "that guy is a menace," we don't think "all pedestrians are menaces."



I would also like to correct the tax myth. People like to think that their gas and vehicle taxes pay for all the roads. It varies by locale, but nowhere in the United States is this true. Only about half of the cost of our roads are paid for by usage taxes and vehicle and gas taxes generally go to pay for highways, while city streets are usually paid for from property and sales taxes.

So if you are driving your car down the highway and pass a bicyclist you can feel a little smug, because your car paid for most of that highway and the bicyclist is receiving a subsidy.

However if you are driving your car down a city street and pass a bicyclist, you should give them a tip of your hat. You and the bicyclist both paid the same property and sales tax to build that road, but the bicyclist is taking up a smaller portion of it, is not putting any wear and tear on it, and at the destination will not take up a parking space.


People who object to subsidies to bicycling infrastructure are often blissfully unaware of the massive subsidies already in place for motorized traffic.
First of all, I am a cyclist but a responsible one.
In Canada I pay a tire tax, an air conditioning tax on the a/c in my car, I pay tax on my car insurance and emissions tax and I pay for license plates, the cyclists pay none of this. I am required to carry ID when I drive so I can be ticketed if I do something illegal, not so for cyclists. Pedestrians are incapable of flying off a sidewalk at 20-25mph, across a "crosswalk" ( you do get that it's called a "walk" not a cross "ride" .... right?) so they can get around a red light. then fly back onto the road giving a finger to the guy trying to (legally) go around a corner. They ride down the road three abreast holding up traffic when right next to them is a bile lane paid for by all the extra taxes car drivers pay. The vast (not all) majority (especially the spandex ones) leave their brains at home when they saddle up.
 

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Super Moderator
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Taxes serve more than one function. For example, fuels ranging from gas for your car, to home heating oil are facing a new tax in Canada called a carbon tax.

This tax is intended primarily as a deterrent to environmentally unfriendly practices, like driving cars and buying big inneficient homes.

Basically, if more people were riding bicycles, I wouldn't be punished by the government for heating my home through Ottawa winters.

Not saying I agree or disagree with this carbon tax, just saying, the taxation issue is more complex than motorists pay it and cyclists don't.
 

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Master Mariner
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Muskegon lake at the mouth of the channel, weaving through a bunch of small fishing boats with a 10 tonne vessel The salmon must have been running good as the fishing boats were as thick as thieves in the channel or the lake is just too rough for the smaller vessels.
In '85 I had to enter that channel and I guess the USCG is still unwilling to do their job to this day, keeping that channel clear for traffic. However, I was piloting an 80' vessel which required some speed for steerage way, and that really freaked out the fishermen as I weaved my way through their little boats, perhaps catching a few of their lines as I did so.
Just like with the fish buoys in the NE, the CG seems to bow to the will of the locals rather than doing their job of enforcing a clear channel.
 

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I know nothing about how Canada funds their roads; I know your taxes are generally higher so its possible that usage taxes actually do pay for the infrastructure and you don't need to dip into general funds to keep asphalt under your tires. I know that in the US a large portion of the funds for roads come from property, income, and sales taxes, and thus are paid by drivers and cyclists alike.

But you certainly make the transportation scene up there sound like an absolute nightmare! I don't think I'd want to drive or bike in Toronto from your description. I guess my next Canadian vacation will be to BC instead.



For an example of a city where bicycling works, I present Minneapolis. Since 2000 we have more than doubled the number trips taken by bike, to 4% of all trips. This is averaged over the year, so the seasonal numbers are probably more like 6% of trips in the summer and 2% in the winter. This is a large enough number to be noticeable in traffic patterns.

In the same time the number of bicycle–auto accidents has fallen by half. That's twice the number of bikes, half the accidents, so the rate of accidents is a quarter of what it was 16 years ago. There are three things going on behind that. 1) When biking becomes normalized as transportation, more bicyclists bike normal (less like jackasses), when they feel like they're part of traffic they bike like part of traffic. 2) More bikes mean that drivers are more used to being around bikes and are more likely to have biked themselves, so they drive better around bikes. 3) The infrastructure has gotten better, with marked lanes and separated bike paths.



To me driving somewhere is kind of like motoring there in a sailboat. Sure, you got there, but was it any fun? Whereas a nice bike ride not only gets you there, but the trip itself is sublime.
 

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My wife was an avid biker. Riding home from work (less than a mile), slowly going up a hill, on a straight stretch of road, in great light behind her, on her 'edge' of the road (no shoulder), the car behind her blew the bike right out from under her.

She went onto the hood of the car, and right side of her face smashed into the windshield. She broke her neck(!), nose and jagged glass took off quite a bit of her face(her facial tissue was on the shattered windshield that I ran by to find her in the road side ditch with paramedics).

The driver, doing 35-40 (30Limit), never saw her. He only noticed her (police report), when she smashed his windshield. The distraction was his lunch: Packaged he'd picked up locally, it was in his passenger seat. He was eating his lunch (with a plastic fork), while driving.

I've read some of these posts and I can't help but think, it's just not a level playing field out there for bikers. Cars come out ahead, way ahead.

She's lucky that she didn't have spinal injuries, head injuries. Two major plastic surgeries later, she'll never have a properly working eyelid. She was a casual helmet user and would skip it for this short ride about 50% of time.

She's back on a bike and ALWAYS wears a helmet. She'll never go on the road, with cars again. Only bike paths. She just can't get over that feeling of a car coming up behind.

Is the driver paying attention?
 

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Super Moderator
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Minnesail, if you don't like crazy traffic and clueless drivers, you dont want to go to Vancoucer. Forbes magazine rates it as second worst traffic in North America. Toronto is way down the list at number 6.

What is crazy about Toronto is the sailboat traffic. There are something like 20 big yacht clubs and marinas, just in the city of Toronto alone. It is a real yachting obsessed city.
 

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A major cause of driver hostility is there own crappy driving ability. Drivers will hold up traffic following a bicycle when they have plenty of room to pass the bike. I almost always ride as far to the right as I can. Any driver with a modicum of control of their vehicle could safely pass me while still staying within their lane. Too many drivers simply refuse to pass a bike unless the oncoming lane is open and they can pull all the way over into that lane to pass me. I've waved cars to pass me while riding as far to the right as I can squeeze and they still won't pass. Many times have gotten tired of being tailgated, pulled into a vacant space out of the traffic lane and stopped to let the cars pass. Nothing against women drivers but it seems like it is standard with them not to pass.

Of course there are the spandex idiots who insist on riding abreast blocking traffic from passing them. Seattle seems to be the worst place for that rude behavior aided by a dumb mayor painting bike signs on what were previously open driving lanes. They've taken 4 lane roadways and painted bike lane symbols on the outermost lanes. Still would be plenty of room for a bike and car to coexist in those lanes if the idiot bikers didn't insist on riding abreast and clogging up the whole lane.

As far as stopping at road signals. It is way more safer for me not to come to a complete stop at a stop sign. In my clutzy way have fallen over at stop signs when my foot gets hung up in the clips. Also don't accelerate as fast as a car from a dead stop especially if I don't get my foot into the clips on the pedal so hold up traffic needlessly if I do stop. Traffic also moves more smoothly behind me if I cross via the cross walk at a red light rather than have to wait for met to get motivating after the light changes.

Compared to cars, bicyclist are a very small amount of the traffic on streets. Even with bike lanes and an advertising blitz to commute by bike, the bike lanes are almost always empty while the car lanes are chock a block.

I no longer ride on the highway, city streets and bike lanes are ok. Have lost a good friend and many people injured when hit by cars on the road. Not a pretty picture when you get hit by a car travelling 50mph.
 

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Captain Obvious
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A major cause of driver hostility is there own crappy driving ability. Drivers will hold up traffic following a bicycle when they have plenty of room to pass the bike. I almost always ride as far to the right as I can. Any driver with a modicum of control of their vehicle could safely pass me while still staying within their lane. Too many drivers simply refuse to pass a bike unless the oncoming lane is open and they can pull all the way over into that lane to pass me. I've waved cars to pass me while riding as far to the right as I can squeeze and they still won't pass. Many times have gotten tired of being tailgated, pulled into a vacant space out of the traffic lane and stopped to let the cars pass. Nothing against women drivers but it seems like it is standard with them not to pass.

The very first time I drove a car, when I was 16 with my dad - there was a guy walking along the shoulder in my lane and I didnt know what to do. There were cars coming the other way. As I got closer, my dad just said " move over for that guy" What about the cars coming the other way? " They will move over, son" And they did. It's called driving.

And, incredible as it seems - millions of people have never gotten that simple lesson. They have driven for 40 years never learning it and instead they hold up traffic and rail against other legal road users.
 

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After years of driving a motorcycle and the perspective it gives you (you can see in every car you drive by) I wouldn't ride a bicycle on the road on a bet! More than 50% of drivers are preoccupied with cel phones, calling, texting, checking emails, writing emails!

It is completely out of control, I just don't understand why one must be constantly on a phone no matter what else they are doing!
 

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美國佬
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the cyclists pay none of this... They ride down the road three abreast holding up traffic when right next to them is a bile lane paid for by all the extra taxes car drivers pay. The vast (not all) majority (especially the spandex ones) leave their brains at home when they saddle up.
I don't think the reasoning that cyclists shouldn't use roads because they don't pay the taxes holds much water; how many cyclists don't own cars? I own something like four and I still ride a bike when I can. Plus, the gov't doesn't build very many roads for cyclists, and usually when they do, they take you in the least direct route possible, so cyclists "pay" by having to ride on roads designed for cars. That said, I feel the same as you about the guys dressed in clown suits that ride two and more abreast, especially where there is a perfectly good bike lane to follow.

keywords: sailing, COLREGS, gybe, hove to, right-of-way, sextant, Bowditch, barnacles
 

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Less Senior Senior Member
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Not hardly!
If a car blows through a light a bit of metal and plastic gets trashed. If a bike does it someone usually DIES!
THAT'S why I get angry. If his mistake costs me all kinds of legal hassles and time, I have no recourse at all: he's dead. I may even go to jail, and I even didn't do anything wrong.
Nope, it is NOT perception, it is fact. Irresponsible bike riders are the ones who create the dislike for bike riders on the roads.
And as for equal rights, until the bikes get taxed for using the roads like the cars, I don't see equal rights anywhere in the picture. Bike riders are coasting for free on the roads vehicular traffic pays for.
If the car hits another car. Not if he hits a pedestrian, or a bike, or a motorcycle, etc. etc. etc.
Others mistakes cost all sorts of time, energy and money in the real world, and usually there is enough blame to go around. If you hit someone that just entered the road, even illegally, unless they came out from a bush or parked car that obstructed your view, you are partially at fault. If a kid chases a ball into the road, are you not going to brake? You squash him and you may or may not go to jail, too.
I'm all with you- irresponsible PEOPLE create the dislike for irresponsible PEOPLE. Their method of conveyance is irrelevant. My big annoyance is the idiots that bomb down a 25 mph road at 40. And pedestrians that walk in the road when there is a perfectly good sidewalk 5 feet away. And pedestrians that cross 10 feet shy of a perfectly good and well marked crosswalk. And Harleys because they're loud and noise pollution. And some of the idiot bike stuff you've described, but you're generalizing things that aren't actually bike related to bikers. And as someone else pointed out, the tax stuff is crap unless you're talking highways, and most highways funded by vehicular taxes bikes are prohibited from, anyway.
 

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Master Mariner
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And as someone else pointed out, the tax stuff is crap unless you're talking highways, and most highways funded by vehicular taxes bikes are prohibited from, anyway.
Well, in Fla there is no property tax so the road money comes from auto taxes.
In RI my daughter has a separate tax on her car just for local roads, so 'm guessing it depends on where you live.

I once had it explained to me that since motor cycles are visually diminutive, being loud is a safety factor, like it or not.

A bike doing 15 and running a red light to your right in a city, with buildings to the corner, gives you no chance to even hit the brakes. And if there are 4 (2 each way) lanes, with a truck to your right, he's either lucky or dead. There are no other options. I know, it's happened more than once to me. Hours and hours at the scene, months of courts and all that garbage and I was the innocent victim of another's stupidity. I never had a chance in hell of avoiding him!
 
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