Top Ten

May 9, 2007 at 8:51 pm 3 comments

Before I get to the Top Ten, I feel that I have to apologize. I’ve really been falling down on the job lately, and haven’t been meeting my resolution of posting once a week. I could get out on a technicality by pointing out that my total number of posts works out to more than once a week, but that would be rationalizing now, wouldn’t it?

I especially have to apologize to the one person who checks in (almost) daily. Lord knows right now she has better things to do than to keep checking in on a blog that’s not being updated. I will try to do better. I promise. Really. No, I mean it this time.

Anyway, here are my Top Ten…

…Pet peeves about people in cars while I’m on my bike.

10. People who honk at me and/or yell at me to get off the road. Since you obviously didn’t read the vehicle laws when you got your license, let me enlighten you: as a vehicle, it is illegal for me to ride on the sidewalk.

9. People who ignore my signals. Again, if you had read your vehicle laws you would know that when I stick my left hand straight out, I’m not stretching, I am making a left turn. When I hold my left hand up at the elbow, I am not waving at you, I am making a right turn.

8. People who don’t signal their turns. I’m coming up on your right, and unless you have that turn signal on I don’t know that you’re about to turn right in front of me.

7. People who pull out in front of me or turn left in front of me, thinking that since I’m on a bike I’m not going that fast. The top speed I’ve hit on my bike is 47 mph. If you wouldn’t pull out in front of a car at that distance, don’t pull out in front of me.

6. People who hang back off my left rear, just out of range of my mirror, and don’t pass even though there’s plenty of space. If I can’t see you, I don’t know whether you’re about to hit me or not. This makes me very nervous. Also, the jerk behind you is getting more and more pissed off and might decide to take it out on me once you finally do pass me.

5. People who pull into oncoming traffic over a double yellow line in order to pass me. First of all, I don’t relish the idea of 3000 pounds of steel crashing together right in front of me. Don’t cross the double yellow, please. But more importantly, you don’t have to cross the double yellow to pass me! The average lane of traffic is 14 feet wide. Your car is maybe 8 feet wide, I’m 2 feet wide. In other words, you could pass me with 4 feet to spare without crossing the line!

4. People who pass me at 50 mph with inches to spare. Your draft alone could have knocked me off the road.

3. People who seem to assume that since I’m on a bike I don’t pay attention to cars. Let’s compare, shall we? Idiot on bike who doesn’t pay attention: Wears jeans with no shirt and a backwards ball cap, has a suspicious brown bag in one hand and a cigarette in the other, rear wheel bears only passing resemblance to a circle, weaves back and forth across the road, averages 5 mph. Me: Wears a Discovery Channel cycling team jersey, has a mirror mounted on his helmet, at night is lit up like a Christmas tree, rides a $1000 bike, averages 18 mph. Which one do you think is paying attention to traffic?

2. People who shout things at me as they pass. This isn’t anywhere near as funny as you think it is.

And my number one pet peeve about people in cars while I’m on my bike is…..

1. People who pull up behind me at a red left turn light, then don’t pass me after we’ve completed the turn, holding back off my left rear for a quarter mile even though there are actually two lanes of traffic; and then finally decide to pass me in order to make a right turn in front of me just as we are both getting to the intersection. I’m not making this up. This really happened. Fortunately, the person realized that if they actually did make that right turn they would have killed me and so stopped.

Please people, just be nice to me. That’s all I ask.

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Entry filed under: Cycling, Ranting, Top Ten.

Letting it all hang out Desperate Plea

3 Comments Add your own

  • 1. emphasa  |  July 26, 2007 at 11:22 am

    I’ve been thinking about this post recently and I’ve come to the conclusion that good bikers like yourself are about only 5% of all the bikers on the road. The rest are just plain dumb.

    Driving through Boston recently I had to swerve twice due to bikers disregarding stop signals. I’ve had to swerve once because a biker riding along the side of the road drifted in front of me. I’ve been forced to stop by bikers trying to cross the road and I’ve had a biker nearly run me over while walking at a designated crosswalk.

    This is why I slow down and am hesitant to pass bikers while I’m driving. I don’t have enough room to cross the double yellow line, and I’m afraid the biker is going t o do something stupid as I pass. And no, these people are not shirtless with bottles of booze and cigarettes.

    If I see a biker like yourself wearing spandex and a helmet then MAYBE I’ll assume they know what they’re doing, but the rest of the bikers are morons.

    Rebuttals?

    Reply
  • 2. emphasa  |  July 30, 2007 at 8:51 am

    Yep, it happened again this past Sunday. Some guy, wearing spandex, a high-quality helmet and what looked to be an expensive bike was riding on the wrong side of the road!

    I was pulling out of a gas station turning right, so I looked left–didn’t see any cars–and then I pulled out and nearly hit this fool (who was going quite fast I might add so I probably wouldn’t have noticed him even if I had looked right.)

    Reply
  • 3. Cycho Librarian  |  July 30, 2007 at 9:20 am

    Are you sure this doesn’t have more to do with the fact that you live in Boston rather than that cyclists generally have problems with the rules of the road?

    Reply

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