Bike Lanes


What kind of twisted jackass throws something out of a car at a biker?
Even something little moving at the right velocity could be extremely
dangerous, let alone causing the biker to wreck and run into oncoming
traffic. People are just morons. I’m seriously not sure how we made it
this far as a society.

I’m sure Scout would be much more eloquent on this subject than I am, but just the other day some be-trucker-hatted asshole started honking at me when I was biking down to the bank and had stopped at a stop light. When I looked back, he was waving at me to get off the street so that he could edge ahead. Thinking he meant to turn, I pointed to the “No Turn on Red” sign and politely informed him that he couldn’t turn anyway so until the light turned green we were both stuck. He and his carload of hollering fratbastards continued honking, yelling out the window, and making “move over” motions. I was under no obligation to move, but the closer they inched their SUV to me the more nervous I got, so I shoved over, only to have them roar past me in an effort to be the first car in line when the light turned green.

Which is when I may or may not have said some things about the likelihood of their mothers having blown the entire Chicago Bears offensive line. I also may have expressed my fervent hope they die in a particularly hot fire. And then I may or may not have called the cops and reported them for reckless driving. Because they WERE.

My point is, it’s perfectly easy to see these choads throwing something out the window at me. I’m a pretty responsible rider, not perfect, but I do signal and I don’t cut into oncoming traffic or weave in and out of a traffic jam. I try not to fuck with cars, is my point. And the majority of people in my bike-friendly ‘hood give me a berth twice as wide as is needed, but it only takes one jackass to cause serious injury when said jackass is in basically an assault vehicle and I’m on a bunch of metal sticks with wheels.


13 thoughts on “Bike Lanes

  1. A couple of years ago, I was visiting some friends in Hattiesburg, Mississippi. I didn’t have a car with me at the time, and I borrowed a friend’s bike to go from one house to the next in town. I was at a stop light in a residential neighborhood, and something similar to your story happened to me. Of course, it was a pickup truck that was involved, and the redneck jackoff in said truck called me a faggot.
    Which I really didn’t understand. I didn’t know that bicycle use was related to sexual orientation. If that’s the case, I don’t understand why people in China have an overpopulation problem.

  2. Such incidents are one reason I try to stay on bike paths whenever possible. I had a kid yell at me from a car as they passed, and it damn near killed me. All it takes is one badly timed startle reflex on a bike, and it’s goodbye, Columbus.
    I was delighted to hear this law passed. Problem is, we also have laws about not cruising in the left lane, not tailgating, not driving like jackasses…

  3. Unfortunately, I wonder if these (&^*&^( see the bike as a defenseless object so they can be all big and powerful. Kind of like apes beating on their chest.
    It isn’t just the streets either. I remember about 30 years ago a local park build a velodrome (oval track – was totally off the highway, separated by a fence). Still some yutz in a passing car threw a bottle which broke right in front of me. Now I’m not a great velodrome rider type, but even at that, I’m on a banked course going at a pretty good clip.

  4. Oh, why am I being coy about the location. East Point, GA. A city you’d describe as part of Atlanta, although at the time I believe it was the 5th largest city in GA.

  5. WI recently got the same law as in CO that John wrote about. It came about after a woman on a bike got doored. She was being treated in the ER and the cops came in and gave Her the ticket. The driver who never looked before opening his door–no ticket, no problem, was perfectly legal. I didn’t realize that was the case but it made sense given how Americans view bicycles.
    Americans do not see bikes as transportation, more like toys. Bicycles and bikers are not taken seriously. I wish it would change but am not hopeful it ever will.
    The other half of the equation is how Americans see cars…the car is King. So yeah there are way too many people who think they can do whatever in their car, the road is theirs and theirs alone and it’s ok even justifiable to throw whatever shit at cyclists if they are perceived to be fucking with their kingdom.
    Yes there are cyclists who don’t obey stop signs but that doesn’t mean all cyclists suck and you can run them over. We have had several cyclists killed here this year (3 or4). Each time the comments left at the online article about these deaths have been disgraceful. All cyclists run stop signs and so this man or woman deserved what they got. Seriously that is what they were saying. Very ugly. And in only one instance was it the cyclists’ fault…but for god’s sake either way… the person’s family could be reading that shit, show some damn respect for the dead and STFU.
    Every time I saw this it just made me ill. In general and for more reasons that this I have so little hope for America’s future

  6. Scout: Don’t despair. Our Transportation Secretary, LaHood, is VERY bike friendly! So that’s something, eh? Plus, there are lots of advocacy organizations out there and we are starting to make some difference. One thing we need to do is push for prosecutions and meaningful punishments of drivers who kill cyclists–and pedestrians. But save yourself some worry–don’t ever read comments on online new sites. For some reason those comment sections bring out worse than you’d ever see at Freeperville. It is sad.
    Sure, there are cyclists who don’t obey the law. There are motorists who don’t obey the law. Who is more likely to kill who? Not only that, but does a cyclist deserve to die just because a motorist saw some cyclist run a stoplight somewhere sometime? If you use that logic, then all motorists should die.
    Cagers are angry because they are stuck in that metal cage and not enjoying the fresh air and freedom like us cyclists…

  7. Oh yeah, I’ve had shit thrown at me a bunch of times.
    Fortunately, the cab driver who hit me will be paying up soon. Heheheheh.

  8. Lance A lives just right up the road from here, and for a reason: we have big wind-y hills. So it’s not uncommon to see a lot of near-pro, semi-pro, and pro cyclists on our backroads, often in groups.
    I think the folks out in the country who are used to seeing the racers are actually more respectful of those riders (possibly because it’s pretty evident what athletes they are) than a lot of drivers here in my university town and also in Austin. Bike (and scooter/motorcycle) accidents and harrassment involving automobile drivers are very very common.

  9. fundamentally this is akin to the mentality that compels Americans to drive round and round a walmart parking for 15 minutes getting angrier and angrier, all for the sake of finding a close spot to save energy and time. of couurse it accomplishes neither

  10. arm the bikes with M-60s. Three days a year, they can shoot anything that cuts ’em off in traffic, no fine, no charge.
    cars will become politer.

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