Monday, July 21, 2008

Same Road, Same Rules

I'm all for people conserving energy, and I'm all for the healthy benefits of people biking to work or wherever.  Truthfully, if I could bike to work I would.  But I can't see pulling a trailer with the kids to daycare 2 miles, then biking my butt to work the other 5 miles.  Its not that far, but I'm still fairly out of shape.  And there's HILLS!  I don't think I've EVER biked up a hill in my entire life.  I'm the sort that has to get off and walk up. 
This morning while I'm driving and chatting with JimmyEW who is driving as well (we are both using our hands free sets btw) I hear a little "beep beep" from his end.  See, Jim has a problem, he's a chronic honker.  Although he says he does it for mostly safety purposes, I know he's doing it sometimes to say, "Hey, dude, stop being a dumbass".  As if that driver has been waiting for just the right person to point out to them they aren't such great drivers.  But I love Jim in spite of his horn habit.  So when today I heard a honk, I chucked.
"Oh no" he declared defensively, "I had to this time.  It was a stupid biker.  He had a no-walk and it was green, I was going 40 and he wasn't paying attention.  I would have T-boned him! (He may have said T-bar...I'm not sure about collision lingo).
Thats when we start griping about how bikers share the road with us but don't seem concerned about following the rules.  Like four way stops.  Or like the two biddies who were riding the wrong way on a one way street.  I'm going, one way, driving on the left side of the one way road and they act like I'm supposed to move out of their way!  Not only is that rude and stupid since I'm a big car and can't dodge and weave out of their bicycle's way, but I HAD TO TURN LEFT!  Hence, driving in the left lane.  They even said something like, "move out of our way." I was astounded.  I excused them by deciding they were tourists and were unaware of the one way status.  But who knows.
And don't get me started about how nervous bikers made me in Chicago when they would whip in and out of traffic or fly past me just as I was about to open my door.  There were a few times I felt quite lucky I had seen them zipping up from no where, otherwise I might have been an unhappy party to a bad accident.
I often see them blowing through stop signs too.  That irks me.  Its fine and all, but what happens the day that someone isn't paying as much attention as they should be?  That biker has no chance against a car, it would be pretty ugly and very sad. 
Of course I would never act out on my frustration for the lack of rule following.  Like the guy in CA who passed a couple bikers and then slammed on his breaks, sending one biker through the rear window of his car.  That man has some serious anger issues. 
In response to this incident the bikers have organized, they have a bill of rights even.  I scanned it, I didn't see the right to get pulled over by cops for blowing through a stop sign though. 
If you're a biker, don't get me wrong. I am only seeing this from my perspective.  I invite you to share your rude offish car driver stories.  And I also acknowledge that many of you are very responsible bikers.  I just wish the bikers I see would follow the same rules or stay on the sidewalk.


saintseester said...

The uniform vehicle code does give bicyclists the same rights to use the roadways (not interstates) as cars. But, it is these jerks who don't follow the law that gives the rest of us a bad name.

My husband has commuted via bicycle to work off and on for the past 20 years. I used to.

The only thing that really bugs me is when cars do not pass me safely. As in, there is a double yellow line and we are going up hill. As in if there is a problem that car will swerve back into my lane and kill me. I don't think the extra 20 seconds he saves from not waiting until it is safe is worth my life!

Here's a great story about the time my husband was pulled over (on his bike) by a policeman, and then proceeded to educate the policeman on the rules of the road!!!
The story

Emily/Randomability said...

I am a bike rider and haul my two kids to daycare on the bicycle with the trailer in tow! LOL I do talk about it on my other blog here

I do stop at four way stops and the other day, I stopped for a school bus instead of going around. It must have looked funny for a bicycle with empty trailer to stop for a school bus. I figured that since I was on a bicycle and I need to follow the same rules of the road as the car, then I needed to stop for the bus that had it's lights flashing and stop arm out.

I will admit that if no cars are in the 4 way-stop, I don't stop. Bad me!!

Jen of A2eatwrite said...

I've been on both ends. Our bike commuting has gone WAY up in the past month or two in A2. There was a front page story about the fact that so many cyclists are blowing off traffic laws and that they will get the same tickets at the same costs as the cars. I believe this might help. I wasn't a scofflaw when I biked everywhere, but I'm not a scofflaw as a driver, either.

Sister Sassy said...

Seester- I love the other side. I'm always terrified when I have to pass a biker. I go really slow then I have joke-hole drivers on my ass wanting me to go faster. Can't wait to read the story, I'll have to get that toniight.

emily- SO FUNNY! I wish I had the stamina to bike them to daycare.. maybe that will be my goal next year. but then I have to bike to daycare, then bike to elementary school, then bike to work. I'd be a stinky mess. If I lived in town I'd totally do it.

Jen- I imagine its very similar to here, but you have to dodge the students as an extra obsticle. College students just cross without caring, I remember doing that.

Emily/Randomability said...

I work at home so biking works really well. It's about 4 miles round trip, not too horrible.

When I get home is when I shower. It's been good. There are weeks when I take them 3 times and weeks when one is sick so it's zero times. It all balances out.

Ashlee said...

THere was a boy that didn't pay attention to the stop sign right by my house growing up and ended up getting plowed over by a semi-truck. {I lived next to a highway} Bikers need to remember that they can stop a lot easier than cars can. So scary!

Jane the Sane said...

It really bothers me when bikers ignore rules of the road, especially stopping and signaling.