Showing posts with label If You Were Riding the Bicycle. Show all posts
Showing posts with label If You Were Riding the Bicycle. Show all posts

Wednesday, July 31, 2019

If You Were Riding the Bicycle #8 - Stop Sign Dickhead

I had an encounter with a motorist yesterday during which he honked at me. We had words and he called me a "dickhead"! I felt totally wronged at the time but when I review the video, as you're about to do, I'm more inclined to think that he was right, which is a real bummer. Nobody wants to be a dickhead!

Watch this:

When people honk and yell at you it is most often because they are morons who know nothing about cycling. This time the guy was correct, but I kind of treated him like a moron as an automatic response, making me seem like even more of a dickhead (sigh). Audi guy, if you're reading this, I regret the way I rode just there and how I responded to you afterward. I apologize. I can also assure you I'm normally a more considerate rider who doesn't blow past cars at stop signs.

For any other readers I as always would really welcome any comments on where we're the same, where we differ and so on. How would that have played out if you were riding the bicycle?

Yer dickhead pal,

Monday, August 14, 2017

Coulda Shoulda Woulda: Not Very Good Riding

This is my second "Coulda Shoulda Woulda" post. These posts are all about those situations you wish you could do again; those times you say to yourself, "what I should have said was..."

Thanks to the magic of video editing, I'm getting to do that! It is super fun and kind of cathartic really. In this example, a driver decided to yell "not very good riding" as we left the line at an intersection. At the time I found this very perplexing, being more used to stuff like "get off the road" and "you're not a car". Was this person a cyclist too? Were they just a self-appointed judge of such things with less knowledge or experience than I? Were they, heaven forbid, correct and if so, how?

I almost made this a "if you were riding the bicycle" post because of these questions, but opted for the Coulda Woulda because it is way more fun. That said, I welcome any thoughts you have on where and how I was riding in the following clip!

Yer Pal,

Monday, October 22, 2012

If You Were Riding the Bicycle #7 - Lane Splitting

I'm curious what my North American friends will think of this... I'm almost 100% that riders from Europe and Asia etc will think it is fine, since lane splitting is common in a lot of places. It is decidedly uncommon where I live, though, and that means doing it is UNpredictable behaviour. Just the same, I would do what I did in the the video again without hesitation.


What would you do if you were riding the bicycle?


Friday, April 20, 2012

If You Were Riding the Bicycle #6 - Handling The Oblivious

First off, let me once again apologize for my relative absence on the blog lately. I have a new and if I may say so, rather novel excuse. Believe it or not, I've been spending my non-working hours developing a Toy Idea. It's true. When my top secret invention has been adopted by a huge toy company and I'm all set to collect my millions in royalties, you can bet I'll flog the product on these pages. Until then, the best idea anyone ever had will have to remain a mystery and this blog will suffer a little. Now, to bicycle business:

Sometimes you need to overtake somebody who is completely oblivious to your presence...

I have no interest in ridiculing the young man who didn't know I was there. I was young once, and in hindsight I know that I often acted like a bit of an idiot. Sometimes, a full-on idiot. At other times, a completely annoying ****head. I like to think I'm a good guy, so it wouldn't be fair to get all cranky about this kid now, after I have learned a great many lessons largely by being stupid. I guess my point, if I must come to one, is that there will always be people who appear to be oblivious to their surroundings including me (and you too, I bet) sometimes.

The question, my friends, is what you would have done (really have done), if you were riding the bicycle. Hindsight, as previously mentioned, can be pretty handy. Next time I think I'll swing wide on the grass. Trouble is, you don't know somebody is clueless until you're slow and close enough to find out, so the grass becomes a minor pain on a skinny tired fixed gear. Oh, the dilemmas faced by a blessed man. How completely awful they are. I really don't know how I bear it all.

Tune Out the Bad,

PS - Can I tell you how much I like the new youtube upload interface? It is, in my opinion, WAY better now. Because I know you really wanted to know what I thought about that. Otherwise you wouldn't be here. Right? Right?

Tuesday, July 26, 2011

If You Were Riding the Bicycle #5 - Can a Hook be Right?

Most cyclists are familiar with what is commonly known as the "right hook". It happens when a car overtakes you and turns right either immediately in front or on top of you. Right hooks are bad.

The arrival of bike lanes in most cities makes the right hook situation worse for the cyclists who remain in the lane at intersections. If my intention is to go straight or left, I will take the lane for this reason. However, if my intention is to turn right myself, I will usually stay in the bike lane. I've tried taking the lane for right hand turns and for me, the potential of a cyclist coming up from behind on my right in the bike lane remains worse than staying in it myself. It seems to me that taking the lane sets me up to right hook a fast bike lane thru cyclist. That isn't very clear. Picture time!

Basically, I prefer this:

Over This:

Please note that in either scenario, I clearly signal my intention well in advance by sticking my right arm straight out. I know ahead of time that the merits of my thinking and riding in this way will be up for dispute, and that's cool, but I am unlikely to be convinced that my way is wrong. I have experimented with both methods and I'm sticking with this one.

So far this has mostly been a re-hash of a  previous "If You Were Riding the Bicycle" post. The difference this time is that I have some video of a right turn that felt fine to me despite the "right hookiness" of it all:

If you were riding the bicycle, would you be OK with that car? I was... it seemed abundantly clear to me that we both knew precisely what we were doing. Is it more difficult to sense intention and automotive "body language" when watching a video?  Perhaps. What do you think? 

Yer Pal,

Friday, December 3, 2010

If You Were Riding the Bicycle #4 - Sidewalk Temptations

99.7% of the time, I don't ride on the sidewalk. I've got a couple of video clips, one from the summer and one from last week sometime...

When I review those clips, I find myself a little confused. Why am content to wait with the rest of the vehicles in one instance and not in another? I think the main reason is that in the first case I would have had to commit to staying on the sidewalk for quite a while because traffic was backed up, while in the second case it was more of a quick "ride around that garbage truck" kind of thing. In the first clip I was headed home from work near the end of my ride, but in the second I was going to work and near the beginning of it, so maybe the potential for lateness played a part too.

I don't believe that taking to the sidewalk is the right choice at any time, yet once in a long while I will do it anyway. When, if ever, does the temptation to ride on the sidewalk overcome you? Would you hit the sidewalk in order to overtake slow or stopped traffic?

What would you do if you were riding the bicycle?


Tuesday, August 31, 2010

If You Were Riding the Bicycle #3 - 4 Way Right

4-Way stops are interesting little studies in human interaction. People get really angry when others mess up the first-come-first-go order of the things. For those of you that don't know, a 4-Way stop is an intersection with four stop signs. Those arriving at the intersections take turns proceeding based on the order of arrival, and in the event of a tie the vehicle on the right wins. Bicycles blowing through these types of intersections really mess up an already tenuous sense of order.

Over the last year or two while I have really reduced my queue jumping and I will merge with traffic and line up like everybody else at a 4-Way stop. The introduction of bike lanes has made this process harder for me, particularly when it comes to right hand turns...

Going straight or left, I would merge about 3-4 cars back and behave like a car at the stop, bike lane or no bike lane, since I would prefer to get through it uninjured. Before the bike lane, I had trained myself into doing right hand turns the "First Way". Before the bike lane, most queue jumpers wouldn't do it at speed, and there were fewer of them since it was tighter and more dangerous. I have gone back to the "Second Way" lately because I think the greater danger lies in cyclists overtaking on the right.

What would you do if you were riding the bicycle?


Monday, September 28, 2009

If You Were Riding the Bicycle #2

Sometimes it seems like no two cyclists will approach a situation the same way. In this scenario, you'll see several different approaches to a situation, and I would like your feedback on what you would do. Here's some lead-up:

In London Ontario there's a spot where the MUP (Multi-Use Pathway) joins York Street at Wortley Road. Lots of commuters and other cyclists hit that point after work each day. It's always interesting negotiating with traffic at this spot, but this time there was just one car in play.

Amazingly, all 5 cyclists aim to ride on the street, southbound on Wortley Road. The Private Drive I use runs next to a Law Office and a small apartment house. One of my questions is whether I should use it or not. It is marked Private Drive, but it also puts me in what I consider the best spot for crossing the intersection. The other 4 cyclists used the pathway, which is part of the reason they were piled up on the sidewalk in various spots.

So, here's the video showing what we all did:

What would you do if you were riding the bicycle?


Friday, May 8, 2009

If You Were Riding the Bicycle #1

The way some drivers love to hate cyclists and the way some cyclists love to hate them back really puzzles me. Its like a kind of bigotry, really, as we take turns making ridiculous sweeping generalizations about each other. I am sick and tired of cyclists who characterize any driver that criticizes them as a selfish, dangerous, gas-guzzling destroyer of the earth.

I am equally fed up with motorists who complain that cyclists are all road-hogging, rule-breaking moronic hippies or Lance Armstrong wannabes.

The truth, of course, is that as with all people, there will be selfish, stupid fools who obviously don't understand anything at all sprinkled through both of these groups.

When I'm riding with cars, I do my best to make good time while being as considerate of drivers as I can and ensuring my own safety. I drive a car too, and I know how worrisome and sometimes annoying certain people riding bikes can be. On the other hand, I have zero problem with a cyclist who slows me down for little while as they make their way along safely and predictably. When I'm riding, I try to put myself in the motorist's shoes, and this approach has served me well over years and years of bicycle commuting.

What I'm asking for in this post (and hopefully others if they present themselves) is that motorists do the same for me in specific road situations that I will illustrate with real video shot from my bike. Please don't jump to the conclusion that other cyclists would agree with or approve of my decisions; I fully expect to get called out by some practitioners of the very safest and best types of cycling too.

So, here we go:

What would you do if you were the riding the bicycle? Until next time,