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    Bicycle/motor vehicle confrontations

    I've witnessed more than my share of road rage against bicyclists. In one instance I was riding with a local bicycle club (in Tulsa Oklahoma) in a pace line. A guy in a motor vechicle shouted some prafanity laced tirade about paying taxes to drive on roads (like I don't) and stopped quickly several times in front of the pace line.

    These memories haunt me when I came across articles like the following:

    Local News | Critical Mass riders injure driver in Capitol Hill altercation | Seattle Times Newspaper

    I just don't get it why people are so aggressive when it comes to their driving habits.


    Last edited by alaskaguy; 07-27-2008 at 11:45 AM.
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    Re: Bicylist/motor vehicle confrontations

    There are probably as many reasons people are aggressive/careless/anti-bicycling as there are people. When RAGBRAI came through last week, I was almost sure that if there were to be any crashes (Iowa DOT doesn't use the word "accidents" anymore) that it would involve local people doing something stupid. As it was, I'm not sure there were more than a handful of dust-ups here in town. Of course that changed when early riders on their way east the next morning ran over tacks strewn across the road.



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    Re: Bicycle/motor vehicle confrontations

    The one and only reason I do not own a bike. I would love to ride, but my will to live overrides my need for exercise.


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    Re: Bicycle/motor vehicle confrontations

    Actually, I bike AND drive, and I've witnessed far more examples of "passive-aggressive" behavior by bicyclists against motor vehicles.

    For instance, there are a large amount of bicyclists around here that insist on riding on the motorway, "because it is their right" when a perfectly good bicycle path is literally inches beside them.

    A certain amount of bicyclists act like jerks, and ignore traffic laws. If your pace line obstructs the roadway, you deserve to have a justifiably outraged motorists repeatedly stop in front of you, imo.

    On the other hand, there are motorists who act like jerks, too. Inattentive ones who try to kill you, and ones you are just idiots.

    In this particular case, more of these bicyclists should be arrested for impeding traffic. When 100 people go out like these people did, they should be arrested for whatever will stick to them, legally.

    Like I said, I enjoy bicycling, but understand that a) I have the potential to impede traffic, and try not to and b) I am volunteering to put myself at risk on the motorway.

    If both motorists and bicyclists would understand that and act accordingly, the roadway would be a better/safer place.


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    Re: Bicycle/motor vehicle confrontations

    It would be interesting to be able to find out who dumped those tacks all over the highway this past week.

    I just don't understand aggressive driving and road rage, especially within the city. With all the traffic lights and stop signs and such, driving normally will get you where you need to be almost as quickly as driving like an idiot. I like it when I'm near a habitual lane-changer (you know the types I'm talking about), and they just get stopped at the same traffic lights that I do and don't get going any faster than I do.



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    Re: Bicycle/motor vehicle confrontations

    Quote Originally Posted by alaskaguy View Post
    I've witnessed more than my share of road rage against bicyclists. In one instance I was riding with a local bicycle club (in Tulsa Oklahoma) in a pace line. A guy in a motor vechicle shouted some prafanity laced tirade about paying taxes to drive on roads (like I don't) and stopped quickly several times in front of the pace line.

    These memories haunt me when I came across articles like the following:

    Local News | Critical Mass riders injure driver in Capitol Hill altercation | Seattle Times Newspaper

    I just don't get it why people are so aggressive when it comes to their driving habits.
    Are you saying drivers need to be considerate of bicyclists? I agree.

    Do you realize this story is about a group of bicyclists attacking a driver and his car?



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    Re: Bicycle/motor vehicle confrontations

    Way too much attention and publicity has been given by the media to the "thumb tack caper," as it just encourages copycats. This is exactly what the punks want, as they watch their TV or computer screen and chuckle and rub their hands with glee over the uproar. The Ragbrai cyclists I know are much more concerned about food, beer, showers, and empty Kybos; fixing a flat is nothing...



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    Re: Bicycle/motor vehicle confrontations

    Quote Originally Posted by AIT View Post
    Are you saying drivers need to be considerate of bicyclists? I agree.

    Do you realize this story is about a group of bicyclists attacking a driver and his car?
    I posted the story after I read it.

    In the linked article the bicylists undoubtedly acted like jerks. However, there are two sides to many confrontations and it is not clear whether the driver "provoked" the attack.


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    Re: Bicycle/motor vehicle confrontations

    Quote Originally Posted by alaskaguy View Post
    I posted the story after I read it.

    In the linked article the bicylists undoubtedly acted like jerks. However, there are two sides to many confrontations and it is not clear whether the driver "provoked" the attack.
    Alaskaguy, according to the article, 100 bicyclists went riding as a group around town, looking for confrontations with motorists to demonstrate "their right to ride."

    I think it's safe to say that 100 bicyclists basically stop traffic, and will get a response with motorists who actually have a valid reason to be on the road that doesn't involve being a passive-agressive jerk.

    I think all 100 should be charged with terrorism or under RICO statutes. What they're doing is reprehensible.


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    Re: Bicycle/motor vehicle confrontations

    I am glad I stopped in Ames and didn't get the opportunity to ride through the tacks. I would extremely mad if that happened to me.

    Bikers deserve the road just as much as cars. We pay taxes just like everyone else. That being said, I will only ride on roads in large enough groups or else I stick to the paved trails.

    I tried riding with 5 people between Norwalk and Cummings on the black top and almost got hit. Scary feeling when you get scraped by someones side mirror. I did manage to hit their vehicle with my water bottle before he got out of range...


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    Re: Bicycle/motor vehicle confrontations

    Quote Originally Posted by alaskaguy View Post
    I posted the story after I read it.

    In the linked article the bicylists undoubtedly acted like jerks. However, there are two sides to many confrontations and it is not clear whether the driver "provoked" the attack.
    I'm not a bicyclist, but I try to treat them with respect. I'm just not a fan of Critical Mass. I've heard of them before. If you want respect as a bicyclist, you should treat automobiles with respect, not act like a jerk and block traffic because you can to prove a point.

    Critical Mass - Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia



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    Re: Bicycle/motor vehicle confrontations

    Quote Originally Posted by Phaedrus View Post
    Alaskaguy, according to the article, 100 bicyclists went riding as a group around town, looking for confrontations with motorists to demonstrate "their right to ride."

    I think it's safe to say that 100 bicyclists basically stop traffic, and will get a response with motorists who actually have a valid reason to be on the road that doesn't involve being a passive-agressive jerk.

    I think all 100 should be charged with terrorism or under RICO statutes. What they're doing is reprehensible.
    I don't believe that either of us can safely say that we know all of the facts in this case. And from my read of the linked article, I find it to be a stretch to claim that the bicyclists were looking for confrontations.

    What I do know is that if a motorist ever intentionally tried to run into me or other bicyclists, I would come unglued at the motorist.


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    Re: Bicycle/motor vehicle confrontations

    I rode 13 miles this morning and it was great....going about 30-40 miles per week. Fortunately I have access to miles and miles of bike/walking paths, 200 feet off my back porch. I try to stay off the roads for the most part for the same reason I don't own a motorcycle anymore, I don't trust the other drivers on the road.

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    Re: Bicycle/motor vehicle confrontations

    Quote Originally Posted by alaskaguy View Post
    I don't believe that either of us can safely say that we know all of the facts in this case. And from my read of the linked article, I find it to be a stretch to claim that the bicyclists were looking for confrontations.
    From the story:

    According to Jamieson, as the Critical Mass group moved down the street, blocking traffic, some riders got in the way of the Subaru and prevented it from leaving. Some bikers sat on the car and were banging on it, he said.

    "The driver was pretty fearful that he was about to be assaulted by the bicyclists," Jamieson said.


    The man tried to back up, but bumped into a biker. "This enraged the group," Jamieson said.


    Several of the bikers bashed up the Subaru, shattering the windshield and rear window, Jamieson said.


    The driver tried to drive away, but hit another bicyclist, Jamieson said. Still, he drove about a block, to the corner of Aloha and 15th Avenue East, before the Critical Mass riders cornered the car again and started spitting on it and banging against it.


    One bicyclist punched the driver through his open window, and another used a knife to slash the Subaru's tires, Jamieson said.


    The driver got out of his car, and was hit in the back of the head, opening a large gash.

    I have a hard time seeing how the bicyclists acted responsibly.



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    Re: Bicycle/motor vehicle confrontations

    Quote Originally Posted by Phaedrus View Post
    Alaskaguy, according to the article, 100 bicyclists went riding as a group around town, looking for confrontations with motorists to demonstrate "their right to ride."

    I think it's safe to say that 100 bicyclists basically stop traffic, and will get a response with motorists who actually have a valid reason to be on the road that doesn't involve being a passive-agressive jerk.

    I think all 100 should be charged with terrorism or under RICO statutes. What they're doing is reprehensible.
    If the event went down like the following eyewitness described the confrontation I would be all for the driver of the auto to be locked up:

    I was standing about 20 feet from the scene and saw the entire altercation. I honestly cannot believe what I saw. Originally, the vehicle was trying to inch (westward on Aloha) into an oncoming mass of cyclists on a narrow road, where he had to pull into the oncoming traffic lane in order to get around the cars parked in his lane. About 6 cyclists peeled off to park themselves in front of the vehicle, explaining that he needed to wait and they would all be out of his way in a minute. The driver, however, remained agitated and expressed that they were “in a rush” and “would be late”. When the cyclists asked what they were going to be late for, the driver responded, “We have reservations!”, which left the group largely speechless until one of the cyclists again explained that he would save a lot of time and trouble if he just waited another 30 seconds for the rest of the cyclists to pass. At that moment, the driver suddenly put his car in reverse and backed up—5 feet into the sidewalk (now the car is parallel to Aloha—thank goodness there were no pedestrians behind him!)—and stopped. This strange behavior panicked everyone and no one moved except to shout “Stop.” This is when his passenger started yelling for him to “Calm down and stop” as well. After staying put for about 10 seconds, the driver then said “**** this” and accelerated into the line of standing cyclists. When he hit the first ones, he continued to accelerate, but steered into the larger mass of cyclists before turning the the wheel and tearing off in the opposite direction (east on Aloha) with one of the hit cyclists still on the roof of his car.

    The driver sped down Aloha with a mess of bicycles and cyclists in his wake, a cyclist on his roof, and everyone, including his pregnant passenger, yelling for him to “Just stop!” At the bottom of the hill, the driver stopped at a stop sign and the cyclists swarmed the car, slashing his tires and breaking the windows in order to make sure that he did not continue operating his vehicle through the city like a madman. His door was opened, the driver got out of the car in tears and walked, unmolested back up to where the cyclists were splayed out in the street apologizing to everyone. His passenger was relatively calm, also walked up the street unmolested, and explained that her friend had made a mistake and that she had been yelling for him to calm down and stop the car. While there was a little hysterical yelling by the freightened bicyclists, there was absolutely no physical confrontation.

    Link:
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