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Old 09-24-2012, 08:24 AM
 
Location: The Port City is rising.
8,874 posts, read 11,260,082 times
Reputation: 2575

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Cyclists are annoying: Why you think they’re a menace on two wheels. - Slate Magazine



Its not specifically about NoVA or even greater DC, but with Cabi arriving in Alex and soon to expand in Arlington, and eventually to come to Fairfax, and with FFX, Arlington and Alexandria all expanding their bike lanes and sharrows, I think it would be great if drivers would read this - helps to explain the dissonance between perceptions of cyclists many drivers have, and what cyclists know about themselves.
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Old 09-24-2012, 09:42 AM
 
437 posts, read 1,117,231 times
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I think all the psycho-babble makes it more complicated than necessary.

Most drivers hate impediments. Whether it's one more car in their lane, a red light, some poor guy with a broken-down car or a bicyclist.

I don't think most drivers give bicyclists much thought at all, for better or worse. If you are a dedicated cyclist I can see the thinking that drivers must hate you, but the truth is they couldn't care less. Unless you are slowing them down RIGHT NOW. Or they see a bike zooming past them in traffic and get jealous. I don't spend much time worried about what drivers think while I'm riding, other than being sure they can see me.
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Old 09-24-2012, 09:58 AM
 
Location: Everywhere and Nowhere
14,131 posts, read 28,266,196 times
Reputation: 6840
I try to stay on the trail unless I'm riding in Old Town.
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Old 09-24-2012, 10:21 AM
 
639 posts, read 1,202,344 times
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The only complaint I have about cyclists is when they come on the tiny roads in Middleburg.They ride in the middle of the road and there is never an opportunity to pass them because the roads are so narrow and twisty - you can't pass them when you can't see around the corner. And you're stuck behind them. Stuck.

Worse, is when you're pulling a horse trailer up a hill and you have to stay behind them because you can't see over the hill to pass, but you have to maintain enough speed so you don't start rolling backwards.

Cyclists, you can pull over way easier than I can, so please pull over and let me pass. For the love of Pete.
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Old 09-24-2012, 11:09 AM
 
1,339 posts, read 3,131,750 times
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I get irritated with cyclists when they try to grab the best of both worlds... ...drive on the smooth road so they are on par with cars, and when the light turns red, still cross through the intersection in the middle of the road so they are on par with pedestrians!
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Old 09-24-2012, 11:32 AM
 
Location: Alexandria, VA
108 posts, read 187,693 times
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On a related but slightly different topic: Has anyone utilized Cabi or seen someone utilize Cabi in Old Town? I live there and walk throughout the neighborhood daily. I haven't seen one person on the ubiquitous red bike. Obviously, people must be patronizing the stations, and I realize Cabi is still new to Alexandria. I'm just surprised I haven't seen a rider, yet!

PS -- I own my own bike; otherwise, I'd patrionize Cabi. :-)
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Old 09-24-2012, 11:45 AM
 
Location: The Port City is rising.
8,874 posts, read 11,260,082 times
Reputation: 2575
Quote:
Originally Posted by kutra11 View Post
I get irritated with cyclists when they try to grab the best of both worlds... ...drive on the smooth road so they are on par with cars, and when the light turns red, still cross through the intersection in the middle of the road so they are on par with pedestrians!
I'm not sure what you mean by the middle of the road on par with pedestrians - pedestrians are supposed to cross at crosswalks. I drive in the road where thats the best option (which is much of the area, where sidewalks are either non-existent or too narrow/in poor condition etc) such as northbound on Hummer Road. When I get to an intersection that is too intimidating to take in the lane given my biking skills/level of confidence (like for example, Gallows/Annandale/Hummer) I do get on the sidewalk and cross pedestrian style, usually dismounted - though I am sure there are places where I found myself on a sidewalk for other reasons, and found crossing in the crosswalks, but mounted, to be preferable.

Cyclists of course should not jump from sidewalk to road or back unpredictably - that is dangerous - but it does make sense to choose whichever is the safest legal way to ride in a given situation.
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Old 09-24-2012, 11:49 AM
 
Location: The Port City is rising.
8,874 posts, read 11,260,082 times
Reputation: 2575
Quote:
Originally Posted by katyusha25 View Post
The only complaint I have about cyclists is when they come on the tiny roads in Middleburg.They ride in the middle of the road and there is never an opportunity to pass them because the roads are so narrow and twisty - you can't pass them when you can't see around the corner. And you're stuck behind them. Stuck.

Worse, is when you're pulling a horse trailer up a hill and you have to stay behind them because you can't see over the hill to pass, but you have to maintain enough speed so you don't start rolling backwards.

Cyclists, you can pull over way easier than I can, so please pull over and let me pass. For the love of Pete.

Thats one of the reasons I havent ventured into rural riding - I don't know if the road you are indicating has a shoulder the cyclist could pull into - simply stopping off road, which it seems you want the cyclist to do, would work mostly for cyclists who are quite comfortable on hills. For me climbing a hill is not necessary compatible with stopping where it will cost me needed momentum. If I MUST, for safety, I will of course, but that will often mean walking the bike to the crest. Note, I myself rarely "take the lane" (except for 25MPH or slower residential streets) and when I do I try to be aware of driver passing options, and of places where I can pull over if necessary.
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Old 09-24-2012, 12:52 PM
 
Location: Northern Virginia
251 posts, read 811,225 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by brooklynborndad View Post
I'm not sure what you mean by the middle of the road on par with pedestrians - pedestrians are supposed to cross at crosswalks. I drive in the road where thats the best option (which is much of the area, where sidewalks are either non-existent or too narrow/in poor condition etc) such as northbound on Hummer Road. When I get to an intersection that is too intimidating to take in the lane given my biking skills/level of confidence (like for example, Gallows/Annandale/Hummer) I do get on the sidewalk and cross pedestrian style, usually dismounted - though I am sure there are places where I found myself on a sidewalk for other reasons, and found crossing in the crosswalks, but mounted, to be preferable.

Cyclists of course should not jump from sidewalk to road or back unpredictably - that is dangerous - but it does make sense to choose whichever is the safest legal way to ride in a given situation.

I think kutra means when cyclists ride in the road like a car, yet cross against a red light or ignore a stop sign, like a pedestrian. I tend to agree. Just because it's safe to cross doesn't mean I'm allowed to do it in my car.
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Old 09-24-2012, 01:04 PM
 
Location: The Port City is rising.
8,874 posts, read 11,260,082 times
Reputation: 2575
Quote:
Originally Posted by elacklen View Post
I think kutra means when cyclists ride in the road like a car, yet cross against a red light or ignore a stop sign, like a pedestrian. I tend to agree. Just because it's safe to cross doesn't mean I'm allowed to do it in my car.

Its not legal for pedestrians to do it either. I certainly would prefer if cyclists never rode through red lights, or through stop signs where motor vehicles are present. However there are reasons cyclists are more inclined to go through a stop sign where it is safe to do so - cycling is human powered and very dependent on momentum. One state, Idaho, has acknowledged that it makes sense for cyclists to treat stop signs like yield signs - to slowdown, and proceed without a full stop if there is no other traffic visible. The "Idaho stop" is not legal in virgnia or DC, and cyclists who do it are in the same situation as jaywalking pedestrians, or drivers who drive 5 MPH above the speed limit - they need to balance the savings in time and convenience against general respect for law, the chance of getting a ticket, and the impression they make on others. For cyclists I think this last is most important - no one suggests getting all cars off the road because of speeders and other infractions, or even banning pedestrian activity because of jaywalking, but, any violation of the law by cyclists is used as ammo against pro-cycling public policies. Engaging in an "Idaho stop" where there are no other human beings or moving vehicles in sight (not at all a rare occurance on the back streets cyclists sometimes use - certainly I've been in that situation regularly on my rides in and around Annandale) would minimize that latter effect - if an Idaho stop happens where no one but the cyclist doing it is aware of it, did an Idaho stop take place?
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