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Thread: Bicycle sales boom in US amid rising gas prices

  1. #26

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    My tendency toward "following the rules" despite their lack of pracitcality changed when a riding buddy of mine, A CAPTAIN in the California Highway Patrol, continuously blew stop signs and even stop lights. His reason: bicyclists have far more visual contact with their surroundings than drivers. Because we can see what is coming at our speed, stop signs should be advisory.

    I still generally won't blow a major stop lighted intersection. Stop signs-especially when the city places them every three blocks in a misguided attempt at traffic calming, are fair game.

    This has been an interesting disucssion-ways to justify my inherent feeling that yes, bicycles are different and can sometimes, where appropriate, follow different rules. Sure, there are brazen idiots who cause problems, but not nearly as many problems as drivers pilotng three tons.

    There is nonetheless a strange sense of entitlement among dirvers. Irritation at anything that slows or impacts the right to an eternally free-flowing country road (even when in the middle of a city)

  2. #27
    Quote Originally posted by jordanb
    By the way, are you honestly saying that automobile drivers have the right to jeopardize my life with aggressive driving because I don't bother stoping at stop signs when I have the right of way anyway?
    If you have the "right" to blow stop signs, they have the "right" to not yield the right-of-way to you when turning. Traffic control devices aren't optional.

    Quote Originally posted by BKM
    There is nonetheless a strange sense of entitlement among dirvers. Irritation at anything that slows or impacts the right to an eternally free-flowing country road (even when in the middle of a city)
    Are you freakin' KIDDING me? This thread has devolved into a couple of sociopathic bikers asserting the right to run stop signs so they don't have to sweat a bit more. If anything, it's bad CYCLISTS who have this strange sense of entitlement.
    Last edited by NHPlanner; 04 Oct 2005 at 5:47 PM.

  3. #28

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    Quote Originally posted by doinky
    Are you freakin' KIDDING me? This thread has devolved into a couple of sociopathic bikers asserting the right to run stop signs so they don't have to sweat a bit more. If anything, it's bad CYCLISTS who have this strange sense of entitlement.
    It's not just a case of "sweating a little more." Unlike drivers, who exist in a cocooned world of no effort, there are issues of momentum, the need to click in and out of cleats, etc. Is it really a big deal? Not really. But, I am talking about stop signs posted every few blocks at untravelled suburban cul-de-sacs or loop roads. It is hardly sociopathicn to feel that these stopsigns are a little silly. Now, if I were piloting three tons of steel and unable to really see or hear anything around me, then yes, I should stop (there are indeed children walking to school along Orchard Avenue).

    I'm sure you always exactly obey the traffic regulations and guidelines, including driving ten miles below the posted speed limit at night, always using turn signals, etc. etc. It amuses me that as a class, drivers, who can be observed as pretty much universally ignoring traffic regs and guidlines, get huffy about sociopathic bicyclists.

  4. #29
    Quote Originally posted by BKM
    I'm sure you always exactly obey the traffic regulations and guidelines, including driving ten miles below the posted speed limit at night, always using turn signals, etc. etc. It amuses me that as a class, drivers, who can be observed as pretty much universally ignoring traffic regs and guidlines, get huffy about sociopathic bicyclists.
    Perhaps you should read the whole thread, and maybe a couple of other ones too. I served 5 years on the local transportation advisory council as the only member who BOTH drove AND cycled to work (different days, obviously). I AM A BICYCLIST.

    The anger I feel towards idiots who run stop signs and red lights is due to the fact that AS A BICYCLIST, they hurt my ability to get motorists to respect my right to be on the road, and they hurt the political chances of getting necessary bicycle and pedestrian infrastructure built.

  5. #30

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    Quote Originally posted by doinky
    Perhaps you should read the whole thread, and maybe a couple of other ones too. I served 5 years on the local transportation advisory council as the only member who BOTH drove AND cycled to work (different days, obviously). I AM A BICYCLIST.

    The anger I feel towards idiots who run stop signs and red lights is due to the fact that AS A BICYCLIST, they hurt my ability to get motorists to respect my right to be on the road, and they hurt the political chances of getting necessary bicycle and pedestrian infrastructure built.
    Well, I am remiss in poor phrasing-I meant drivers as a class, because I hear the arguments all the time from drivers. Again, I have little interest in this type of argument. So what if some bicylcists, heck most bicylists, blow through monor stop signs. Nobody says that we shouldn't build roads because drivers routinely violate the law. Anti-bicyclists will always find reasons to support their arguments. If its not scofflaw behavior, its "they are elitist yuppies" or "it's not safe anyway." or "my gas tax paid for the road" More power to you in your political efforts, but I think you have a hopeless cause.

    Besides, nobody here is claiming that cyclists should blow through major intersections-especially stoplights. I'm sorry. I'm not going to come to a full stop, take my shoes out of the pedals, look carefully and slowly in both directions, then get back on the bike, then start riding every four blocks for stop signs at minor suburban collector streets and cul-de-sacs. That's just not rational.

  6. #31
    Cyburbian jresta's avatar
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    Quote Originally posted by doinky
    The anger I feel towards idiots who run stop signs and red lights is due to the fact that AS A BICYCLIST, they hurt my ability to get motorists to respect my right to be on the road, and they hurt the political chances of getting necessary bicycle and pedestrian infrastructure built.
    This is the most ridiculous argument i've ever heard - for anything. By that logic we shouldn't be building any new roads or even repaving what we have.

    90% of all intersections here are all-way stops. 80% of those are two one-way streets intersecting. No one comes to a complete stop. Not cars, not bikes, not peds. Occasionally i'll get yelled at by some wiseguy "ayyy! you gotta stop sign!" as he rolls into the intersection without stopping - to which i yell back "so do you!"

    The fact is that cycling and driving 2000 lbs. of steel are nothing alike at all and should not be governed the same.
    Indeed you can usually tell when the concepts of democracy and citizenship are weakening. There is an increase in the role of charity and in the worship of volunteerism. These represent the élite citizen's imitation of noblesse oblige; that is, of pretending to be aristocrats or oligarchs, as opposed to being citizens.

  7. #32
    Quote Originally posted by jresta
    80% of those are two one-way streets intersecting. No one comes to a complete stop. Not cars, not bikes, not peds. Occasionally i'll get yelled at by some wiseguy "ayyy! you gotta stop sign!" as he rolls into the intersection without stopping - to which i yell back "so do you!"
    Him doing a rolling stop == you doing a rolling stop.

    You blasting through the stop sign at 15 mph == ??

    Are you getting it yet?

    Quote Originally posted by jresta
    The fact is that cycling and driving 2000 lbs. of steel are nothing alike at all and should not be governed the same.
    Then you shouldn't get huffy when motorists tell you to get off the road. Remember - cars and cyclists should not be governed the same, right?

    Unfortunately, cyclists like me who actually obey the law will be the ones who suffer.

    Quote Originally posted by BKM
    Well, I am remiss in poor phrasing-I meant drivers as a class, because I hear the arguments all the time from drivers. Again, I have little interest in this type of argument. So what if some bicylcists, heck most bicylists, blow through monor stop signs. Nobody says that we shouldn't build roads because drivers routinely violate the law. Anti-bicyclists will always find reasons to support their arguments. If its not scofflaw behavior, its "they are elitist yuppies" or "it's not safe anyway." or "my gas tax paid for the road" More power to you in your political efforts, but I think you have a hopeless cause.
    Cyclists disobey the law far more than do drivers - and when drivers DO disobey the law, it's usually speeding, which you could write a whole thread about.

    And yes, you're right, true "anti-bicyclists" WILL find any reason to support their arguments. The problem is that the "lawbreaker" argument is a GOOD ONE. It WORKS. People who are otherwise inclined to support cycling facilities LISTEN TO THAT ONE.

    Quote Originally posted by BKM
    Besides, nobody here is claiming that cyclists should blow through major intersections-especially stoplights. I'm sorry. I'm not going to come to a full stop, take my shoes out of the pedals, look carefully and slowly in both directions, then get back on the bike, then start riding every four blocks for stop signs at minor suburban collector streets and cul-de-sacs. That's just not rational.
    I'm sorry. I'm not going to stop my car, and waste all that kinetic energy by coming to a complete stop, look carefully and slowly in both directions, then apply the gas pedal and burn more gasoline. That's just not rational.
    Last edited by Tranplanner; 05 Oct 2005 at 11:19 AM. Reason: double reply

  8. #33
    Cyburbian jordanb's avatar
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    doinky: I have a hard time believing that you're an actual transportation bicyclist. I've met many impassioned advocates of Forester and none of them have been as boisterous, angry, and irrational as you. Furthermore, I've never seen any cyclist who has actually been in the position of having their life threatened by an angry Neanderthal in an oversized SUV wish it upon another cyclist.

    The idea that cars break fewer laws than bikes is also absurd. On my commute, I run two stop signs and potentially those two T intersection stop lights on Milwaukee. On the same commute every morning I have literally hundreds of cars fail to give me the four feet of room required by law as they pass me. How about this, I’m allowed to run one stop sign for every time a motorist breaks a traffic law around me. Fair, no?

    I can also say I've been called a lot of things but "sociopath" has never been one of them. If you take the time to learn more about me you’ll find that I have an almost overdeveloped social conscious. And I was an advocate of Forester when I first started riding, but over time realized, as many of my friends have done, that you have to make a choice between always following all of the laws all of the time and actually using your bicycle frequently, safely, and effectively.

    You read like one of the worst elements of the "entitled motorist" class. Maybe you have a bike rack on the top of your Tahoe but you certainly do not rely on your bicycle for transportation.

  9. #34
    Quote Originally posted by jordanb
    doinky: I have a hard time believing that you're an actual transportation bicyclist.
    jordanb,

    1. I bicycle commuted frequently for the last 9 years (I don't now, because I work at home).
    2. From 2000-2005, I served on the Austin Urban Transportation Commission, especially on the bike/ped subcommittee.
    3. My past history on this is EASILY obtainable (check the profile). Heck, I'll give you a quicker link: http://mdahmus.thebaba.com/blog/
    4. I've been spending the last few months trying to preserve car-free bike lanes on the most important bicycle commuter route in Austin. During this effort, I continuously get to hear from people who are frustrated at jerk cyclists who break the law.
    5. Don't own a Tahoe or other SUV; don't use a bike rack. When I get on my bike, it's to leave my house and go somewhere else ON THE BIKE. The two cars our family owns are a 2004 Prius and a 1989 Civic hatch.
    6. Where are the moderators now?

  10. #35
    Unfrozen Caveman Planner mendelman's avatar
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    Quote Originally posted by doinky
    ...Heck, I'll give you a quicker link: http://mdahmus.thebaba.com/blog/
    Nice title to your blog entry.

    If it's any consolation, none of us live in your city....so back off......
    I'm sorry. Is my bias showing?

    The ends can justify the means.

  11. #36
    maudit anglais
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    Quote Originally posted by doinky
    6. Where are the moderators now?
    Moderator note:
    While the rhetoric is breathtaking on all sides, I haven't seen anything that would warrant a mod warning. If you feel otherwise, please let me know. Having a different position on a matter is not a "yellow card" offence.

  12. #37
    Cyburbian jread's avatar
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    Quote Originally posted by Tranplanner
    Moderator note:
    While the rhetoric is breathtaking on all sides, I haven't seen anything that would warrant a mod warning. If you feel otherwise, please let me know. Having a different position on a matter is not a "yellow card" offence.
    Nah, it's just a "who's got the bigger e-penis" contest.
    "I don't suffer from insanity... I enjoy every single minute of it!"

  13. #38
    Cyburbian dobopoq's avatar
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    If I may make an analogy between this thread and the civil rights movement:
    I would suggest that doinky is taking the Booker T. Washington approach to the integration of bicyclists onto the streets. It is a philosophy of patient obedience to the autocentric mainstream whose mantra is, "If we obey and conform long enough, eventually bicyclists will receive more tax dollars, infrastructure, legal protection etc."

    I think the W.E.B. Dubois or even the Black Panther approach would be to raise awareness that in a time of rising fuel costs/scarcity, bicycles are more appropriately scaled to the urban environment then are cars. We already discourage cars from coming downtown - where their size creates excessive congestion, with parking meters. Bikes should be the encouraged form of personal wheeled transportation in urban areas. The current traffic laws that doinky trumpets are the very thing that killed cities all last century. But they were a necessary evil to control the high destructive power of cars. We need a movement to take cities back for people. As long as we insist that every intersection be like the Indy 500, parents everywhere will continue to flee urban areas, job growth will remain in the suburbs, and cities - as the ultimate expression of our civilization, will further fall into ghettoized decay.

    But we have to stick together doinky. We both want to promote safer conditions for bicyclists. That we disagree about how to get there, isn't necessarily a bad thing. I agree that at certain times the nonchalance of some fool bicyclist could bias certain drivers negatively against us. But, doing everything you can to avoid pissing off drivers is just one approach. You may fight on a different front, but try not to demonize your fellow bicyclists. We are all struggling against the dangerous inertia of auto-hegemony.
    "The current American way of life is founded not just on motor transportation but on the religion of the motorcar, and the sacrifices that people are prepared to make for this religion stand outside the realm of rational criticism." -Lewis Mumford

  14. #39
    Quote Originally posted by dobopoq
    If I may make an analogy between this thread and the civil rights movement:
    I would suggest that doinky is taking the Booker T. Washington approach to the integration of bicyclists onto the streets. It is a philosophy of patient obedience to the autocentric mainstream whose mantra is, "If we obey and conform long enough, eventually bicyclists will receive more tax dollars, infrastructure, legal protection etc."
    I've been on protest rides. I've been fighting for facilities for a long time - and not politely. (Anybody who knows me or even reads my blog who heard that somebody thought I was a Booker T. Washington type would probably need CPR).

    The difference here is that I'm being rational - if you expect other road users to treat you as a legitimate road user, you need to play by the same rules they do. Period. That ought to be inherently obvious, and yet some people (for entirely selfish reasons) choose to believe otherwise.

    To make a racial analogy out of that is silly bordering on offensive.

  15. #40

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    Quote Originally posted by dobopoq
    . ...Bikes should be the encouraged form of personal wheeled transportation in urban areas. The current traffic laws that doinky trumpets are the very thing that killed cities all last century. But they were a necessary evil to control the high destructive power of cars. We need a movement to take cities back for people. As long as we insist that every intersection be like the Indy 500, parents everywhere will continue to flee urban areas, job growth will remain in the suburbs, and cities - as the ultimate expression of our civilization, will further fall into ghettoized decay.

    We are all struggling against the dangerous inertia of auto-hegemony.
    Wow. didn't know I was engaged in TEH STRUGGLE

    (Seriously, we can actually agree here!!! :0).

    doinky: all we are asking you to acknowledge is that everyone violates some rules, and to pick on bicyclists alone as an excuse for ignoring their needs seems counterproductive.

  16. #41
    Quote Originally posted by BKM
    doinky: all we are asking you to acknowledge is that everyone violates some rules, and to pick on bicyclists alone as an excuse for ignoring their needs seems counterproductive.
    Anybody who both bikes and drives knows which group is worse - and it's not drivers (unless you think driving 5 mph over the limit is equally bad to flat-out running a stop sign or red light, i.e., blowing through without slowing down).

    But I just thought of a way we can all get together on this. When I drive, I drive a Prius, which is unquestionably far better for the environment than 99.99% of cars out there. It's where we want ALL cars to be. I ought to be able to drive as fast as I want. (Those who drive Prius' know you can get extraordinary mileage through "pulse driving" - i.e. accelerating to 40, slowly dropping to 20, repeat). Thus, I'm gonna drive as fast as 40 in various 25 mph zones all over town so I can accomplish this worthy objective. And I demand that you not enforce speed laws on me while I do so. Thanks in advance.

    Don't complain - y'all are much worse. And you forcing me to play by the same rules as other motorists is a sucker's game. Cities need to be remade so that far more people drive hybrids, and so, I'm justified in breaking the law here.

  17. #42
    Cyburbian donk's avatar
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    Quote Originally posted by dobopoq

    But alas, this is America and cars are still king. I've been shoping for a 7-speed internal hub gear, dutch style utility bike, but most of these are sold in Europe.
    If you are intersted in utility bikes look at ANTS (brand), they are relatively expensive, also look for 29 inch mtb single speeds. A cheap alternative is surly and soma brands.


    Shimano(not too much$) makes an internal hub as does rohloff($$$$$$)
    Too lazy to beat myself up for being to lazy to beat myself up for being too lazy to... well you get the point....

  18. #43
    Cyburbian dobopoq's avatar
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    Quote Originally posted by donk
    If you are intersted in utility bikes look at ANTS (brand), they are relatively expensive, also look for 29 inch mtb single speeds. A cheap alternative is surly and soma brands.


    Shimano(not too much$) makes an internal hub as does rohloff($$$$$$)
    Ants bikes are pretty close to what I'm looking for. Thanks Donk!

    Basically I want the low maintenance of an internal hub, with 7-speeds, cause Portland can be quite hilly, with preferably a full chain guard, dynamo headlight, a bell, mud guards, front and rear brakes, comfy seat, cruiser style handlebars for a comfy upright riding position, a front rack, and rear panniers to hold groceries etc.

    Not really sure whether to go for 26" or 700cc/28" wheels. Lots of places can just slap a shimano 7-speed hub on something that already has a lot of these features I guess.
    "The current American way of life is founded not just on motor transportation but on the religion of the motorcar, and the sacrifices that people are prepared to make for this religion stand outside the realm of rational criticism." -Lewis Mumford

  19. #44
    Cyburbian jread's avatar
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    Quote Originally posted by doinky
    Cities need to be remade so that far more people drive hybrids, and so, I'm justified in breaking the law here.
    I will probably invest in a hybrid as soon as they make one that actually looks decent.
    "I don't suffer from insanity... I enjoy every single minute of it!"

  20. #45
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    Quote Originally posted by jordanb
    doinky: I have a hard time believing that you're an actual transportation bicyclist. I've met many impassioned advocates of Forester and none of them have been as boisterous, angry, and irrational as you.
    First off, I can say with absolute certainty that Mike, doinky here, is a transportation bicyclist. Second, he has every right to be boisterous, angry, and irrational. He's out constantly fighting the fight for Austin bicyclists while having to defend their illegal habits at the same time. I started following the rules because of his efforts.

    Quote Originally posted by jordanb
    You read like one of the worst elements of the "entitled motorist" class. Maybe you have a bike rack on the top of your Tahoe but you certainly do not rely on your bicycle for transportation.
    Either of these couldn't be further from the truth. I ride the bike commute he used to ride nearly everyday. And it is no short journey, I can assure you. Haven't done the math, but it's close to 20 miles (how many is it Mike?) and full of plenty of obstacles along the way. Hills, unnecessary curbs islands in the bike lanes, etc.

    << Jonathan

  21. #46

    Thanks, Jonathan

    Quote Originally posted by jareha
    First off, I can say with absolute certainty that Mike, doinky here, is a transportation bicyclist. Second, he has every right to be boisterous, angry, and irrational. He's out constantly fighting the fight for Austin bicyclists while having to defend their illegal habits at the same time. I started following the rules because of his efforts.



    Either of these couldn't be further from the truth. I ride the bike commute he used to ride nearly everyday. And it is no short journey, I can assure you. Haven't done the math, but it's close to 20 miles (how many is it Mike?) and full of plenty of obstacles along the way. Hills, unnecessary curbs islands in the bike lanes, etc.

    << Jonathan
    Anybody I drag into cyburbia counts as public service too, right?

    I didn't go quite as far as Jonathan does - he lives further south than where I lived when I did this particular commute - mine was more like 15 each way.

    Regards,
    MD

  22. #47
    Cyburbian chukky's avatar
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    Quote Originally posted by BKM
    My tendency toward "following the rules" despite their lack of pracitcality changed when a riding buddy of mine, A CAPTAIN in the California Highway Patrol, continuously blew stop signs and even stop lights. [snip] Because we can see what is coming at our speed, stop signs should be advisory.
    [snip] yes, bicycles are different and can sometimes, where appropriate, follow different rules.
    Quote Originally posted by jordanb
    The only issues arise when rules which were clearly meant for cars tend to make it difficult to bike.
    Hell, where I'm from only the High Court gets to decide the intent of a law.....Regardless of your rank in the Highway Patrol.

    Quote Originally posted by jordanb
    By the way, are you honestly saying that automobile drivers have the right to jeopardize my life with aggressive driving because I don't bother stoping at stop signs when I have the right of way anyway?
    Not a dig, but how does this work? How can you possibly have right of way at a stop sign?

  23. #48
    Cyburbian iamme's avatar
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    Quote Originally posted by chukky
    Not a dig, but how does this work? How can you possibly have right of way at a stop sign?
    I'm just guessing, but an example could be that when two people get to an intersection at the same time at a four-way stop; if the bicyclist is at the intersection coming from the right of the motorist, the bicyclist would have the right of way. Not sure if that's what he meant though.

  24. #49
    Cyburbian Michele Zone's avatar
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    Quote Originally posted by chukky
    Not a dig, but how does this work? How can you possibly have right of way at a stop sign?
    If I recall correctly: Cyclists have the right of way because if you run them over with your car, you kill them. So I believe the law is that cars must ALWAYS give right of way to cyclists.

  25. #50
    Quote Originally posted by Michele Zone
    If I recall correctly: Cyclists have the right of way because if you run them over with your car, you kill them. So I believe the law is that cars must ALWAYS give right of way to cyclists.
    No, that's not true at all. Cyclists are supposed to follow the rules of the road, same as drivers, which means that quite often they are required to yield the right of way to another road user.

    If a cyclist runs a stop sign, you're required to try to avoid killing them with your car, but it's not because they have the right-of-way; it's because you're always required by law to attempt to avoid injury or death to another road user. If they had the right-of-way, you'd be required to stop as they came out from the stop sign, even if you didn't have a stop sign yourself.

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