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  1. #1
    Join Date
    Sep 2008
    Location
    Atlanta, GA
    Posts
    230

    Infuriating article

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    http://www.thenewsobserver.com/artic.../opinion01.prt

    A friend posted this article on FB. I think this guy needs a reality check and at least a respectful response, although he shows absolutely no respect for those of us who travel on two wheels. Unfortunately, we all have run into just these type of ignorant, uninformed and dangerous types on the road.

    Happy and safe cycling this holiday weekend.
    2011 Cervelo S3/Bontrager Affinity RXL
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  2. #2
    Join Date
    May 2012
    Location
    Maryland
    Posts
    348
    WOW, really? There are so many things wrong with that article. Seriously. People really are disgraceful in their respect for others anymore. I understand that not everyone knows the "three feet law" but doesn't basic human respect say you don't mow down a cyclist, no matter what kind of mode of transportation they are using?
    2013: Riding a Dolce sport compact for fun and a vintage Jetter with cargo rack for commuting

    www.bike-sby.org: A network of concerned cyclists working to make our city more bicycle friendly.

  3. #3
    Join Date
    Apr 2006
    Location
    where the wind comes sweeping down the plain
    Posts
    5,251
    "I only noticed the headline because it was the biggest on the page. I did not bother to read the story because it had nothing to do with anything that interests me. I stopped riding a bicycle when I was a teenager and there are enough local challenges looming that big-city battles can be ignored....

    If bicyclists demand their place on the asphalt, they must be prepared to suffer the consequences. Like the motorcyclist who chooses to ride without a helmet, or the driver who does not wear a seat belt, they must accept a certain amount of responsibility for their actions and the consequences of those actions."


    Ummm...wow. First, he admitted he didn't even read the article that talked about sharing the road. I agree that we must accept a certain amount of responsibility, but we cannot accept (or should not) accept it all. Had it been an Amish person traveling by horse and buggy, should they (who do not reach the speeds that bicycles do) accept being run off the road and killed with no consequences?

    I don't even know where to start with this. I'm not good with words, or I would respond to him.
    Ignorant people suck. And most of them will never change their minds because they are...well, ignorant.
    Check out my running blog: www.turtlepacing.blogspot.com

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  4. #4
    Join Date
    May 2011
    Posts
    195
    oooo, maybe if get bored on the weekend I'll send him a reply. His e-mail is at the bottom, glenn@thenewsobserver.com

    What an inconsiderate weasel. If someone is too incompetent to drive a car without hitting anyone, the problem isn't with the person they hit...

    reminds me a classmmate of mine, a long time ago. Every once in a while you'd hear him yell "stupid computer!", no matter what computer he was on. You'd think after a while he'd realize it's not the computer....

  5. #5
    Join Date
    Sep 2006
    Location
    Washington, DC
    Posts
    1,632
    If you write, you should write to the publication with the intent of getting the letter published. Glenn Harbison, publisher, is, evidently, a caveman. Point him to the Georgia code (http://www.lexisnexis.com/hottopics/gacode/Default.asp).

    For example, 40-6-291 part (b) states that "any person operating a bicycle may ride upon a paved shoulder; provided, however, that such person shall not be required to ride upon a paved shoulder."

    Unless riding a bike on Highway 5 near Blue Ridge is forbidden, the cyclist he encountered had a right to be there. The only aspect in which he is right, is that camouflage is the not wisest choice of clothing to be visible.

    ETA: Better to send the letter to the "letters to the editor" address: letters@thenewsobserver.com

  6. #6
    Join Date
    Sep 2010
    Location
    Jacksonville area of NC
    Posts
    821
    Unfortunately there are those kinds everywhere even in tourist beach towns where bicycle rentals are one of the largest businesses in the area.

  7. #7
    Join Date
    Dec 2006
    Location
    Blessed to be all over the place!
    Posts
    3,433
    My response to him. I'll let you know if I hear back...

    Sir,

    Like you, I drive cars. Unlike you, I ride bikes.

    Like you, I have opinions. Unlike you, mine are rooted in an understanding of the law and a sense of common responsibility.

    In response to a few comments you expressed:
    - "Suddenly, out of nowhere, there was a guy riding a bicycle": Sir, the bicycle was already there. It was you, the faster vehicle, that came out of nowhere. IF THE BICYCLE WAS A SURPRISE TO YOU, YOU WERE FOLLOWING THE OTHER TRAFFIC TOO CLOSELY AND GOING TOO FAST. Your own words convict you!

    - "The bicyclist was on the traffic side of the white line. He was in the way.": Yes sir, that's where he belongs according to Georgia Code 40-6-294. The shoulder is not a roadway; it is not maintained the same way. The bike was in the place proven safest. Your concern seems to be more rooted in a practice of inattentive driving habits.

    - "Highways were built to carry motorists at high rates of speed.". Really? Check your history: the League of American Bicyclists was FOUNDED 9 YEARS BEFORE THE FIRST CAR WAS INVENTED (probably 30 years before the first car arrived in Georgia) to lobby for good and safe roads accessible to all. MY TAX DOLLARS support the maintenance of those roads too!

    - "Innocent motorists stand to pay a life-long price.". Sir, you were driving a 4,000 pound truck - a dangerous weapon! *If you do not drive conservatively and alertly, you are ANYTHING BUT INNOCENT! *If you injure someone, the responsibility is yours.

    In short, while I respect your opinion, the laws, history, and your own words contradict your position.

    Sincerely,
    Xxxxxxxxxxxx
    If you don't grow where you're planted, you'll never BLOOM - Will Rogers

  8. #8
    Join Date
    Feb 2012
    Location
    Florida
    Posts
    452
    ^ love it.
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  9. #9
    Join Date
    Apr 2006
    Location
    where the wind comes sweeping down the plain
    Posts
    5,251
    Quote Originally Posted by murielalex View Post
    ^ love it.
    + a million!
    Well put, Mr. Bloom (I'm not good at well-worded responses- but this is a gem).
    Check out my running blog: www.turtlepacing.blogspot.com

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  10. #10
    Join Date
    May 2012
    Location
    Maryland
    Posts
    348
    Fabulous response to that article!!
    2013: Riding a Dolce sport compact for fun and a vintage Jetter with cargo rack for commuting

    www.bike-sby.org: A network of concerned cyclists working to make our city more bicycle friendly.

  11. #11
    Join Date
    Aug 2011
    Location
    PGH, PA
    Posts
    68
    Great response!

    This is sticking in my craw. Is he really saying that cyclists who want to share the road had a bad upbringing??

    No doubt, if I still rode a bicycle, I would want somewhere to ride. But, thanks to my upbringing, my first thought in finding that place would be for somewhere that I had a good chance of a safe ride. A busy highway with cars and trucks zooming by does not fit that description.

  12. #12
    Join Date
    Dec 2004
    Location
    Fort Collins, Colorado
    Posts
    257
    Not extremely familiar with the area, but the area to which he refers is the NC, TN, and GA area? Do all three states treat bicycles in a similar manner? The level of ignorance displayed by Harbison is astounding, but I am ignorant of the locale as well.

    Just reinforces the reason to always wear bright clothing on the road.

  13. #13
    Join Date
    Sep 2010
    Location
    Jacksonville area of NC
    Posts
    821
    I live in NC and can tell that some areas are bike friendly (at least to a point) unfortunately many cops don't actually know bicycle laws. I used to live in the Charlotte area, which is fairly bike friendly, and in Mooresville (where I lived) there are a lot of cyclists. My only issue there is I really wish the roads were a bit better because it is very hilly with lots of blind corners. Asheville is not only bike friendly but has some biking infrastructure and custom bike builders in that area. I now live in Jacksonville, NC and I see people commuting on bikes all the time. The base is actually more bike friendly in a way, because drivers are truly paying better attention that off base. Unfortunately the tourist areas where there are tons of bike rental places are actually a lot more bike unfriendly than your larger cities that are not really tourist areas.

  14. #14
    Join Date
    Jul 2003
    Location
    Traveling Nomad
    Posts
    6,763
    What a tool. He's the editor of the very largest Raleigh, NC paper so commands a wide audience. The entire Triangle area of North Carolina, where I was born and have spent the majority of my life, is FULL of cyclists. Drivers could be much more educated and bike-tolerant, than they are, though. Unfortunately this ignorant azz's opinion is certainly shared by many. Also unfortunately, I suspect nothing is going to change their pea-sized minds, no matter how many laws or how much logic you throw at 'em.
    Emily

    2011 Jamis Dakar XC "Toto" - Selle Italia Ldy Gel Flow
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