Showing posts with label bike lanes. Show all posts
Showing posts with label bike lanes. Show all posts

Friday, May 4, 2018

I Am A Big Crab

Crotchety. Cranky. Crusty. Curmudgeonly. Crabby. So many C words! They all describe how I'll seem after today's video. That's a shame, because I couldn't be happier, really. Riding to work is going super well and I'm beginning to feel the health benefits and general joy-joys associated with cycling again.

That said, certain things just can't help but annoy. Certain sounds. Bike sounds, like a chain that sounds more like a big family of mole rats, or a different sound like the one in the video. Many people wouldn't be bothered by it. I, on the other hand, can't hear it without wincing.

Also, certain common behaviours bug me. Watch the video, let me know if I'm being too harsh, or agree with me, whatever. So long as you have an awesome weekend that hopefully includes your bike!

Yer Pal,

Monday, June 3, 2013

Simple, Right?

Just a little video showing what I think is a no-brainer when it comes to bike lanes and right turning cars. Riding around town I often see cyclists and cars respecting that painted line way too much, to the detriment of both.

Comments welcome as always!

Yer Pal,

Thursday, November 19, 2009

I've Got a Question

image source:

I recently read a post on that spoke of some new promises to crack down on people who park in bike lanes. I've got nothing against bike lanes where they are practical, but I don't think it is as simple as painting some lines and saying "don't stop or park here". When you put bike lanes all over the place, you effectively make all curb sides a no stopping zone, so here's my question: where are cars supposed to pull over for a second? Where the alternatives to parking in the lane are limited, the temptation to use them for quick stops will be very hard for most to resist.

It is easy for people who never drive to answer "I don't care where they stop, so long as it is not in my bike lane". Should people who need to make a delivery or run into a shop in a downtown core go find a full-blown parking spot and pay for it? It simply isn't practical, and the lengths people might go to in order to stay out of heavily policed bike lanes could cause different kinds of traffic snarls that are just as bad for everybody.

How would us cyclists like it if we were only allowed to lock our bikes to designated racks because they were getting in the way of pedestrians? No poles, no sign posts, nothing like that. It would greatly reduce the wonderful flexibility of our vehicles. Would that be cool with everyone? Cars are inflexible to begin with, and not being allowed to pull over for short periods makes them even more so.

Regulars on this blog know that I ride my bike to work and back every single day. I am not "pro car" by any means. Cars and trucks, however, aren't going away any time soon, and making it harder for people to move around and conduct their business just doesn't make sense to me. In an ideal world there would be way fewer cars, more transit and cycling and walking, lower speeds and increased civility. Even when we get there, however, vehicles are going to need someplace to pull over once in a while.

In a great many areas of most cities, there will often be an alternative to blocking a bike lane, and where alternatives exist, drivers should be penalized for being lazy or selfish by blocking the lane. In areas like Toronto's downtown core, however, I just don't see any value in it or, frankly, the bike lanes themselves. Downtown traffic is slow. Cyclists don't need bike lane protection in downtown cores (or anywhere else, for that matter, but that's another, bigger, issue). They can find greater safety riding in and among traffic, especially if they avoid messenger style riding and behave like the cars, or more accurately, behave like cars driven by law abiding, civil drivers.

That's it, I've got to pull over and mellow out.


Monday, August 17, 2009

One BAD Bike Lane

My kids recently attended a week long summer camp at the University of Western Ontario. I think, but am not entirely sure, that UWO has almost complete control of its roads and the markings on them. If I am wrong, please comment and correct me. Bike lanes appeared at UWO before they did anywhere else in London. They are sometimes sensible, sometimes not. But when I was driving my kids back and forth from this Sport Western camp (which was excellent, by the way), I saw and took some video of some truly ridiculous bike lane paint.

Just imagine what happens when to medium/big vehicles are in the car lanes. Can you say squish? I have to believe that cyclists faced with such a situation would just line up in the car lane the way they should, but paint can be a powerful influence, in this case one that will definitely create conflict, and quite likely create injury or worse. I got my degree from UWO, and think it's a great school. I also think this may be the worst bike paint I've ever seen!

My online friend and frequent commenter Keri from Orlando, who is a very knowledgeable vehicular cyclist, called parts of the Queens bike lanes "heinous". I wonder what she would call this?

Implicit trust of bike paint is hazardous! Keep using your good sense,


Monday, June 22, 2009

You Be the Judge: Queens Ave. Bike Lane, London, Ontario

I posted something recently about being undecided regarding bike lanes. Keri, a vehicular cycling aficionado and funky Floridian, requested some measurements, so I went and got 'em, and I have put together a video that contains some of my own observations as well.

I liked having my own space to ride in, but the paint conflicted with my instincts sometimes. I'm still undecided. You be the judge, while my own internal jury takes a nice nap. All comments welcome, as always.

Insane in the membrane; Insane in the Lane!


Monday, June 15, 2009

My Jury Is Still Out: Bike Lanes

Being a frequent reader of vehicular cyclist writings and rantings, I am pre-disposed to disliking bike lanes. If you ride like you're a car whenever it makes sense, they are completely unnecessary.

There is a relatively new bike lane here in London on Queens Ave that I rode recently. I went there on purpose, in order to take video that I strongly suspected would show that it forced cyclists to ride in the "door zone". As it turned out, there was room, even with big parked vehicles, to ride outside of the door zone, although much of your time would be spent in what I have seen termed the "startle zone". Just the same I have to confess it felt kind of nice to have some space designated for my particular kind of use. I have other criticisms of this and other painted bike lanes (though they are still few here in London), but I'll save them for when I have time to get the video ready.

I'm feeling pretty conflicted about bike lanes. On the one hand they are the current darlings of planners, some drivers and some cyclists in the same way that helmets were five or ten years ago... and I think "helmet tunnel vision" has caused all kinds of other important safety information to fall by the wayside. On the other hand, they are a clear and public call for cyclists to ride in the street rather than on the sidewalk. I know that many will say, "yeah, but they also enforce riding separate from cars when that's not the best/safest way!" Herein lies my conflict. Getting cyclists off the sidewalk is a huge thing. Making them the poor cousins on the roadway is also a huge thing.

If I had my guess, it would be that the commuter cyclists that currently read this blog (they are few but mighty) , will try to help me see one viewpoint or another on this stuff, but in the end, I want to form my own opinion. Does that mean I want more bike lanes? Not necessarily... but I do want some time to try out what is here now, and I'm sure the current political/popular appetite for them will bring more my way. If I ever feel more sure of myself on this matter, I'll let you know!

Yours in Waffling,