View Full Version : How would you have responded to this??

Running Mommy
06-06-2007, 01:36 PM
I am a part of our neighborhood discussion forum, It's a private forum, so I can't post the link here but some woman named "AZ mom of 3" posted this:

"Saturday I witnessed some bike riders riding in the CLOSED bike lane going South on Estrella right before Elliot. The traffic had to stay behind them because there was obviously not enough room to go by them. WTH were they thinking? Why would they not just go on the sidewalk? It just seemed so dangerous!"

How would you have responded??

This is how I did:

"Ohhh I could go off on AZ mom right now.. MUST HOLD TONGUE!!!
Gee, so people actually had to SLOW DOWN and yield to bikes?? Oh what an inconvienece that must have been....
Kind of like how I have to yield to the SUV mom's who PARK in the bike lanes when they are picking up their kids from school?! Or the landscapers who PARK in the bike lane forcing me into the car lane where a speeding APS truck almost takes me out??!!
Or move as far to the right as possible to avoid the mirrors of the school busses that buzz me going up San Miguel. I have almost been hit more times than I can count.
And BTW- there is so much CRAP on the shoulder of the roads up here, that often I can't even safely RIDE in the bike lanes!!
And the sidewalk? I'm sorry but that is for pedestrains and young kids.

EMR is a popular place for cyclists, and I don't think that slowing down for that little bit of squeeze (it's really not THAT long) to yield to a cyclist should put people out.
It wouldn't be "dangerous" if people would slow down and start thinking of someone other than themselves! SHEESH!!

Ok, believe it or not that was my toned down rant...

Can you tell I'm a cyclist??

Let's all live together in peace folks.. Peace, such a novel concept..."

I wish I could post the link because all of the other responses were positive in favor of the cyclist. One guy even quoted cycling law... Tho of course there were a couple of "I have no problem with them as long as they follow the laws and don't dart out in traffic/ ride 3 a breast and block the lane/ run through stop signs etc"... To which I responded that just like idiot CAR drivers, there are idiot BIKE riders out there as well. And it's sad because they give cyclists a bad name..

I got a PM from another woman on the forum warning me that the lady that posted that was one of the bike lane parkers.. Apparently she drives a hummer that says "NYA2TD" - or New York Attitude- on the license plate and has no problem parking in the bike lane while she is waiting to pick up her kids from school. And the warning was that this lady did not like being "called out" and that I should expect an email from her.. WHATEVER!!

So again, how would you have responded??

06-06-2007, 01:52 PM
So again, how would you have responded??

I would have said all the very same things you said, but I would have ommitted the sarcastic tone. That way, people would read and note your points, yet not also have to react or respond to any perceived attitude- except for maybe the attitude of NY lady.

Too bad she gives the rest of us NY ladies a bad name! ;)

Good going, getting the message across! Too bizarre...maybe you should suggest that pedestrians and children use the bike path to walk so that cyclists can all ride on the sidewalk! :D :rolleyes:

06-06-2007, 01:53 PM
did you include the "Let's all live together in peace" part?

Running Mommy
06-06-2007, 02:40 PM
Yes I did mimiT...
And you are right Lisa, I was a bit sarcastic, but we have such a problem up here with people that are in a hurry and mow others down. You should see some of the road rage that I've witnessed on this stretch of road. It's like people hit that stretch of road and go nuts??!! On that forum folks have taken to "outing" people by posting pictures of the offending cars and license plate #'s. So yeah, it's bad!!

It is scary how people drive out here. I thought it was bad in CA, but it is WAY worse here!!

luckily where I ride people have mostly settled down and drive normal, but there are stretches in the valley I wouldn't think of riding.. sad but true..:(

06-06-2007, 02:44 PM
It's hard to respond to someone that self-centered and ignorant without expressing some irritation, I think, but if you can keep emotion out of it and act as if she were asking an innocent question it's probably the better tactic. It might make her think twice about her opinions, whereas something she views as an attack will likely increase her anger. And it sounds like she drives a large weapon rather regularly!

I'd say something like, I understand that it can seem dangerous to have cars and bikes in such close proximity, but did you know... and then cite the state driver's handbook, that bikes are vehicles and have the right to use roadways just as other vehicles (ours explicitly states that bikes don't belong on sidewalks) and perhaps throw in some stats too, that sidewalks are in fact much more dangerous than roads.

Hopefully she'll e-mail you and perhaps the two of you can have a cup of coffee and a friendly discussion about why bikes might want to be on roadways in spite of the danger posed be people that (ahem) do things like park in the bike lanes. It's possible that you may be able to show her how her perspective is off, but it doesn't sound like she likes to have her opinions challenged.


06-06-2007, 02:47 PM
yeah, meet somewhere that she has to WALK to because there's no place for her car! that'd be the day in the USA!

06-06-2007, 02:50 PM
Saturday I witnessed some bike riders riding in the CLOSED bike lane going South on Estrella right before Elliot.

i wish people would realize that "bike lane closed" does not mean bikes are not allowed - it is to tell the drivers that bicyclists will not be using the bike lane, as it is closed, thus they will be using the street.

cant we all just get along.

well, i guess not the yay-hoos but that is another thread.

runningmommy you done good with your reply.

06-06-2007, 06:30 PM
The gist is right, perhaps a little civility would make the message more palatable....honey/vinegar. I also post a link to our state's driver's manual, which has an entire chapter on sharing the road with cyclists, including the part where we aren't supposed to ride on sidewalks, with a blurb for those too lazy to click.

People simply don't get it. They don't have the experience of riding amongst themselves so they don't understand. Like you said, they get behind the wheel and it's all about them them them them. Then there are people like my dad too. He was driving up a hill with no shoulder, coming up to a cyclist and he complained that it was too dangerous to pass because you couldn't see oncoming traffic due to the hill. I suggested he wait until it was safe. You could see the light bulb brighten, it just didn't occur to him that you could wait. It was only for several seconds and then we carefully passed. This is one of the, no, the gentlest guy I know who does think of the others on the road and is careful but hadn't realized.

Since we can't get them to bike a bunch of miles in our shoes we have to rely on education, sweet and gentle and lots of it. It shouldn't be us/them, we aren't sides, we're people. On the same note, if any of y'all are the sort that bike with a me me me attitude (saw a lot of that at the last group ride), zipping through stops, taking up lanes unnecessarily, etc, well.....

Mr. Bloom
06-06-2007, 06:59 PM
I would have said all the very same things you said, but I would have ommitted the sarcastic tone.

I agree. I might have said:

"as a cyclist, I thank you for your concern over safety. Unless you ride, you might not be aware that:

- the bike lanes are often blocked by other vehicles making them unusable
- sidewalks are designed for walkers and children and actually are more dangerous for cyclist to use
- the road shoulders are so full of sand and rocks as to be unusable (if you'd like to petition the city for better street sweeping, your activism would be appreciated

In addition, were you aware that cyclists in Arizona have rights as set forth in Title 28 of the Arizona Revised Statutes, as follows:

28-815. Riding on roadway and bicycle path; bicycle path usage
A. A person riding a bicycle on a roadway at less than the normal speed of traffic at the time and place and under the conditions then existing shall ride as close as practicable to the right hand curb or edge of the roadway, except under any of the following situations:
1. If overtaking and passing another bicycle or vehicle proceeding in the same direction.
2. If preparing for a left turn at an intersection or into a private road or driveway.
3. If reasonably necessary to avoid conditions, including fixed or moving objects, parked or moving vehicles, bicycles, pedestrians, animals or surface hazards.
4. If the lane in which the person is operating the bicycle is too narrow for a bicycle and a vehicle to travel safely side by side within the lane.
B. Persons riding bicycles on a roadway shall not ride more than two abreast except on paths or parts of roadways set aside for the exclusive use of bicycles.
C. A path or lane that is designated as a bicycle path or lane by state or local authorities is for the exclusive use of bicycles even though other uses are permitted pursuant to subsection D or are otherwise permitted by state or local authorities.
D. A person shall not operate, stop, park or leave standing a vehicle in a path or lane designated as a bicycle path or lane by a state or local authority except in the case of emergency or for crossing the path or lane to gain access to a public or private road or driveway.
E. Subsection D does not prohibit the use of the path or lane by the appropriate local authority.

In addition, were you aware that Arizona Revised Statutes REQUIRES that you as a driver:
' When overtaking and passing a bicycle proceeding in the same direction, a person driving a motor vehicle shall exercise due care by leaving a safe distance between the motor vehicle and the bicycle of not less than three feet until the motor vehicle is safely past the overtaken bicycle.'

So, in the future, we would appreciate your vocal support of our great state's laws by respecting the right of respectful cyclists."

:p There, that's what I would say.:rolleyes:

Running Mommy
06-06-2007, 08:37 PM
You are GOOD!!!!! :D
Kill em with kindness, but kill em nonetheless!! :p

BTW- did you have any luck yet on that wabbit hunt??

Mr. Bloom
06-07-2007, 01:06 AM
BTW- did you have any luck yet on that wabbit hunt??

12 pounds of Tims Tams are arriving tomorrow...how 'bout that!

Shipping to the office so I won't be tempted to consume them myself!

06-07-2007, 02:06 AM
:eek: Mr silver that's a bit overboard on the tim tam front don't ya think?:eek: Tim Tams are in good supply last time i checked :rolleyes:

*shakes head*


06-07-2007, 03:50 AM
RM, I probably would have been as sarcastic, but the honey attitude probably would be more effective.

I am trying to picture where this is; where is Estrella? I used to live s/o Elliot between McClintock and Rural. I remember Estrella as in Estrella Mountains... has the valley grown that much?


06-07-2007, 04:35 AM
I also think what you said was perfect and too the point. Since I have a habit of jumping the gun I probably would have been sarcastic also, but then after the fact, would have thought I should have toned it down.

Mr. Silver's post was GREAT!!! except I would have to get the NY laws. I will always keep that post in the back of my mind.

I recently got in a slightly heated "discussion" recently with dh cousin. He thinks cyclists should ride on the opposite side of the road so they can see the cars coming. geeeezes Needless to say, the discussion just had to be dropped. Sometimes a person can talk until they are blue in the face.

~ JoAnn

06-07-2007, 05:39 AM
Mr. Silver! You're a regulatory wonk! SWOOON!!!!
A man after my own heart.

Ayuh....mom always said..."You catch more flies with honey than with vinegar."
Of course, I would be tempted to key any Hummer with a bad-attitude license plate parked on a bike lane. I wouldn't....but I'd be tempted! :cool:

Tri Girl
06-07-2007, 09:44 AM
I would've responded like you did Denise, but I probably wouldn't have been as nice. I get very defensive when it comes to cars complaining about cyclists (well, the ones who aren't riding like idiots). The 10-30 seconds that is taken out of their drive seems so incredible to them that it'll ruin their whole day. Sheesh... not like a car almost broadsiding me yesterday didn't ruin my day- but in my defense.. my 150 lbs would've been much more hurt than their 2000+ (see, I'm ranting- sorry :( ).

I LOVE Mr. Silver's response!!!! You go guy!!!! Gonna copy that one and save it in my brain file for later... Nice response. Now if only I could think that quickly on my feet- I'm too impulsive...

My DH and I talked yesterday, and we decided that even if gas gets up to $5-$10 a gallon nobody will change the way they live. I'd love to see more bicycles, but sadly I just think that aint' gonna happen- cars are like crack and people will b*tch about their addiction, but will never break away from them... makes me want to move to Amsterdam. There were bicycles EVERYWHERE!!!!!

06-07-2007, 11:08 AM
RM--righteous indignation, my favorite. I'm not great at toning it down, myself.

Mr. Silver--very nice!

and finally--a HUMMER? :eek: I really, really don't get those. Aren't they Army vehicles? I wonder how many bikes you could make out of the metal in a Hummer....Lise wanders off to ponder that lovely scenario... :p

06-07-2007, 11:26 AM
You go RM for standing up to stuffy Hummer. For me, I would have cut down on the sarcastic tone a little and planted some personal situations in her way, i.e, "what if you were on the sidewalk with your kid and you saw a cyclist coming your way, would you walk on the street to get out of the way or just gotten hit?" and other scenarios.
But, the argument that you stated still got the point across very clearly.

Running Mommy
06-07-2007, 11:30 AM
Yes I am in the Estrella Mountains. Estrella Mtn ranch to be exact. We are in Goodyear in the FAR west valley. The road she is talking about is the Estrella Parkway which is currently under construction for about a half mile. They are extending cotton lane to come up our way, and they are putting in a traffic circle. Normally the parkway is a four lane affair with an landscaped median. In the little portion they are working on they have closed one side completely and made about a half mile section on the other side two way with one lane each direction.
The woman is a self absorbed moron from what I've been told. My neighbors all know my screen name on the forum and they told me exactly who she is. She is also the one that parks in a parking spot at the school that has a reserved sign in it.
Every year to raise money for the PTA they auction off a parking spot that is yours for the year. It has a sign that says "reserved parking for the XXXX family ONLY"... Well apparently she doesn't care and parks there anyway. Her reasoning is that it's a public lot, and you can't legally do that. The only spaces that can be legally restricted are handicapped spots... :mad:
So yeah, She is a PEACH!! :cool:

Now Mr. Silver.... May I ask which flavor tim tams are coming your way?? I noticed on that website some minty ones, and some mini's that looked absolutely YUMMY!! I'm trying to hold back! I need to get 25 more lbs off of me!! And tim tams are not helping!! ha ha ha :rolleyes:

06-07-2007, 11:31 AM
I wonder how many bikes you could make out of the metal in a Hummer

Now THERE'S something I hadn't pondered before........
Way cool.
What a lovely image.

06-07-2007, 12:38 PM
I can really understand Running Mommy's concerns about the attitude towards cyclists/pedestrians and other cars in the Phoenix area. I have NEVER heard about more hit and runs than in that town! People mow down children in the cross walks and they never stop and try to help those people. It is incredible the number of hit and runs down there! Even the Bishop of the Catholic Church down there ran over a pedestrian and kept going! It is an epidemic of I am omnipotent, totally not to be held acountable, and if I am in my car, I can do anything I want, including murder even if it was because I was on my cell phone, in a hurry, ran a red light or whatever. It is really an incredible mess down there with this attitude!

I know this sounds like I am being prejudiced, but it really is prevelant in the attitude of Phoenicians that they have certain rights behind the wheel of a car!:eek:

Tri Girl
06-07-2007, 12:44 PM
it really is prevelant in the attitude of Phoenicians that they have certain rights behind the wheel of a car!:eek:

That's really sad to hear. :( I always thought it was just Yumans that drove insanely crazy (I was in 3 car wrecks- none were my fault- by the time I graduated high school). We always blamed everything on the snowbirds... I guess the insanity has migrated further north. Watch out Spokewench- it's moving your way...

06-07-2007, 01:05 PM

Wow, I guess the valley has grown... to me Goodyear is half way to LA. I can't really comment on the above comments since I haven't lived in Phx since 1990. But it seems that any place that is so dependent on cars for transportation is just going to have more cars to be angry at cyclists. I can't think of any area around where I used to live in S. Tempe where I could ride the distances I ride now, without stopping every mile for a stop light. So I guess, you must have a lot of riders out near you, where it's maybe less developed?
It sounds like this woman is crazy. I'd like to put her on a bike and see how far she could go.

Running Mommy
06-07-2007, 03:22 PM
Yeah we really do have some great new pavement to ride on. Thats why I stay up here. It's the safer option. Tho that stretch she was talking about is one that I rarely use. It leads in/out of the hood, and I never leave the hood! ha ha
We have a new 3 mile stretch that is technically still closed that I ride on. Soon it will be filled with homes, but for now it's my little piece of paved paradise! :) Lot's of other cyclists have discovered it as well.

As for the hit and runs, yeah it is BAD! I can't tell you how many times I hear "car vs. bicycle or car vs. pedestrian" reports on the traffic report. I just cringe when I hear it too! UGH! :(
Not long ago a high school girl was hit and nearly killed in a cross walk by the high school. The guy kept going. He abandoned the car at a nearby dairy and they were eventually able to track him down. I think he may have been here illegally as well. That is one of the reasons why we have so many hit and runs.

06-07-2007, 03:38 PM
Gee, I feel pretty safe riding up here in Massachusetts, where they say a red light is just a suggestion...

06-07-2007, 03:44 PM
Until I started riding tandem with DH last Fall, I wasn't really aware of the cycling laws. I knew a cyclist was technically not allowed on the sidewalk and that it was legal for a cyclist to turn left in a left hand turn lane, but I didn't really know they had all the same rights as motorists. I didn't know the "bike lane" was often less safe than the "car lane" because of gravel, glass, etc. I never got irritated at a cyclist, though, if they were in the regular lane. Most people seem to give cyclists a break around here.

However, one of the first times out on a tandem, we were going down hill on a street with virtually no one around except the car coming up behind us. We were pretty far into the lane since we were going fairly fast and there was a whole entire other lane to the left of us wide open.

This lady goes by in her convertible and yells, "Get in the bike lane!" To which DH responds, "We are! Read your DMV manual!" There wasn't a bike lane and, even if there was, it would have been the least safe place to be at the down hill speed we were going. Especially if some lady like HER decided to go by us all close, giving us less room to maneuver.

That's the only time I've ever heard verbal abuse (in my short riding career). But it does make me aware that many motorists are simply not aware of the laws. It is our duty, when possible, to inform them in an effective, kind way. However, if you only have a second, yelling out, "Read your DMV manual!" might be of use. :) I doubt she read it, though. Probably went home and vented to her husband who was equally ignorant and, therefore, made her feel justified!

Meg McKilty
06-07-2007, 04:12 PM
did you include the "Let's all live together in peace" part?

/damn hippies.