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  1. #1
    Join Date
    Sep 2006
    Location
    Central Indiana
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    6,043

    I'm glad I got this off my chest

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    A few weeks ago, I saw a cyclist run a three-way stop on my way home from work. I actually had the right of way and another car was at the intersection, too. The cyclist didn't even pause for a second as he blew through his stop sign. He then turned into the rec center. I was in a hurry myself, but I promised myself that if I saw him do it again, I was going to follow him into the rec center lot and say something.

    Sure enough, he blew through the stop again this evening when I had the right of way. I pulled in after him and asked if I could speak with him as he got off his bike. I started off by telling him that I, too, was a cyclist and that I wasn't one of those drivers that think cyclists have no right to be on the road. But I proceeded to tell him that I'd seen home blow through the intersection twice with no regard for other traffic. I told him that first and foremost, I really didn't want him to get hurt, but I added that he, like everyone else, needed to follow the rules of the road. He actually thanked me and said he'd try to be more careful.

    I don't fancy myself as a private cop, but I felt justified in saying something.
    Live with intention. Walk to the edge. Listen hard. Practice wellness. Play with abandon. Laugh. Choose with no regret. Continue to learn. Appreciate your friends. Do what you love. Live as if this is all there is.

    --Mary Anne Radmacher

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Jul 2006
    Location
    Flagstaff AZ
    Posts
    2,516
    Good on you! I'm glad he wasn't a jerk. Many people if confronted even if in the wrong can be pretty dumb

  3. #3
    Join Date
    Sep 2008
    Location
    Twin Cities, Minnesota
    Posts
    486
    I do that when I see kids without helmets. I try stop them, tell them my story, and ask them to please get and wear and helmet. Today I saw a little girl carrying the helmet on her handlebars!!! I can imagine how THAT really helps. I yelled as I passed by to put it on. I don't know if she did.

    Sometimes if an adult who is not wearing a helmet and is with children who are wearing helmets is stopped at the same time I am, I kind of "lecture" the adult on whether he/she really cares about the kids at all. What happens to the kids if he/she is in incapcitated in an accident?

    Most of the time they look and me like I have lost my mind. Who knows, maybe I did in the last crash, but had I not been wearing that helmet well . . . Anyway, I feel good for asking.

  4. #4
    Join Date
    Sep 2006
    Location
    Central Indiana
    Posts
    6,043
    Quote Originally Posted by spokewench View Post
    Good on you! I'm glad he wasn't a jerk. Many people if confronted even if in the wrong can be pretty dumb
    That's why I told that I was a cyclist and that I didn't want him to get hurt. How can someone be rude in response? You don't want something bad to me? Well, you're a jerk!

    The first time I saw him run the stop, it's a wonder I didn't hit him. I saw him coming just as I was about to turn into his path, but I had a gut sense that he wasn't even going to slow down.

    I see his bike all the time at the rec center (I belong, too). I wonder we'll recognize one another.
    Live with intention. Walk to the edge. Listen hard. Practice wellness. Play with abandon. Laugh. Choose with no regret. Continue to learn. Appreciate your friends. Do what you love. Live as if this is all there is.

    --Mary Anne Radmacher

  5. #5
    Join Date
    Apr 2006
    Posts
    1,372
    Quote Originally Posted by indysteel View Post
    That's why I told that I was a cyclist and that I didn't want him to get hurt. How can someone be rude in response? You don't want something bad to me? Well, you're a jerk!
    .
    When I renewed my tabs this last time, I got bike plates on my car. I paid that extra $20 so I could do what you have done, and point at them to say I'm pro-cyclist. But, I still haven't had the nerve. I hate seeing cyclist on the wrong side of the road and/or on the sidewalk - there are more cyclist around here riding along those 2 paths than on the right/correct side of the road.

    Good for you!
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  6. #6
    Join Date
    Dec 2006
    Location
    Columbia River Gorge
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    3,565
    Well done Indy!! You said what needed to be said in a non-confrontational way that facilited communication instead of impairing it.
    Living life like there's no tomorrow.

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  7. #7
    Join Date
    Sep 2006
    Location
    Oslo, Norway
    Posts
    4,066
    wow! I often wonder if I should say something and how to say it. That was a perfect example of how to put something well and actually be heard. Kudos!
    Winter riding is much less about badassery and much more about bundle-uppery. - malkin

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  8. #8
    Join Date
    Feb 2005
    Location
    Concord, MA
    Posts
    13,394
    I have been cut off by other cyclists blowing through signs, when I've been on my bike. I usually yell something to him/her.
    But, I have stopped kids without helmets and the adult who rides without a helmet, while their kids have them. Some of them have even been people I know (former neighbor). One time a friend and I were using a porta potty near a playground. We saw a teen (girl) riding by with the helmet on the handlebars. My friend, who is, let's say, not shy, really started in on the kid, and the poor girl put it on and rode away. But, maybe it made an impression.
    I don't see a lot of egregious blowing through stop signs here by cyclists; usually, if they do, I assume they rode out from the city, where this is the predominant mode. My DS always followed the rules and was the only commuter who stopped at lights. I guess he stopped being rule abiding, because he got a ticket for going through a light in Cambridge, earlier in the summer. He thought it was funny when he told us, but he got a big lecture from both me and DH.
    Last edited by Crankin; 08-14-2012 at 05:04 AM.
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  9. #9
    Join Date
    Nov 2009
    Location
    Indianapolis, Indiana
    Posts
    10,889
    I won't blow through a red light, ever. Stop signs, however, are relative where I am concerned. If I am in the country or on empty neighborhood streets where I've a clear line of sight then I will do what we used to call a "California stop", slow down and then go.

    I've really wanted to stop and say something to cyclists I've seen in our downtown area who appear to consider a red light to mean "hurry up and get ahead of the cars). Some of them have their helmets attached to their handlebars I see more and more cyclists, many of them without helmets, and part of me wants to stop and talk to each one.

    Indy, hopefully you gave that cyclist some food for thought and he will be a bit more cautious in the future.

  10. #10
    Join Date
    Sep 2007
    Location
    Uncanny Valley
    Posts
    14,501
    Nicely done, Indy.
    Speed comes from what you put behind you. - Judi Ketteler

  11. #11
    Join Date
    Aug 2008
    Posts
    939
    Well done, Indy!

    I've done something similar on occasion. And whenever I see a kid with a helmet hanging off the handlebars, I do my best imitation of my grandma and scold. So far, they've always put on the helmet-- they might well take it off as soon as I'm out of sight, but still...

  12. #12
    Join Date
    Jun 2006
    Location
    Newport, RI
    Posts
    3,821
    I recently read the riot act to a big rig driver who didn't give me enough room when passing (he nearly ran me off the road). I caught up to him at a stop sign and by the end of our conversation, he was apologizing profusely. So, it can work with truckers, too. I also felt better, like he would be more careful passing other bikes from now on, if for no other reason than to avoid the likes of me.

    If you need to do this, use appropriate language (no name calling), and don't lose your cool. Like Indy did, keep it civilized. If you're isolated, if the person looks sketchy, let it go. Although I was really angry, I was able to stay reasonable and explain why his passing was dangerous and illegal, and the best option when passing a bike is to wait until it is safe.

    It must have looked really funny to anyone watching, to see this little squirt on a bike stop a Mack truck, then hear him yelling "I'm really sorry" out the window.
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  13. #13
    Join Date
    Dec 2006
    Location
    Columbia River Gorge
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    3,565
    Quote Originally Posted by redrhodie View Post
    I recently read the riot act to a big rig driver who didn't give me enough room when passing (he nearly ran me off the road). I caught up to him at a stop sign and by the end of our conversation, he was apologizing profusely. So, it can work with truckers, too. I also felt better, like he would be more careful passing other bikes from now on, if for no other reason than to avoid the likes of me.

    If you need to do this, use appropriate language (no name calling), and don't lose your cool. Like Indy did, keep it civilized. If you're isolated, if the person looks sketchy, let it go. Although I was really angry, I was able to stay reasonable and explain why his passing was dangerous and illegal, and the best option when passing a bike is to wait until it is safe.
    Like you said, it's so important to communicate in a civilized manner. I live in a small town with a lot of farm land surrounding. I ride my bike. I treat a lot of the farmers. When they come in complaining about cyclists on the road and that the roads are too narrow for them to get past (a lot of our roads are twisty with limited visibility but traffic isn't heavy). I ask them two things,what is the longest time they have ever been stuck behind a cyclist before they could pass and do they get just as frustrated when they get stuck behind a tractor on the road. It seems to make a lot of them realize that they are letting themselves get wound up over seconds of delay and that it really is a matter of perspective.
    Living life like there's no tomorrow.

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  14. #14
    Join Date
    Sep 2006
    Location
    Central Indiana
    Posts
    6,043
    Thanks for all the compliments, gang.

    @Red: I would have loved to have seen that!

    @Wahine: What a great way to make your point to farmers. I'll have to try that.

    Thankfully, most cars in my county give us plenty of room. It's the loose dogs that remain an issue. We had to divert our route on Sunday because of a newly chip and sealed road ('tis the season ) and I was so apprehensive the entire ride because I was scanning the horizon for errant dogs. The only chased appeared to be from dogs behind an electric fence. Of course, it's hard to tell if a property owner has an electric fence as the dogs come barrelling toward you.

    As far as California stops, I do that to some degree, but DH is a stickler for full stops, so I stop more often than I used to. In town, it's another story. Certainly, we come to a complete stop when there are cars already in or near the intersection. And I'm wary of the stop-signed intersections in Franklin as it is. If anyone read my rants in the Dear So and So thread last week, the drivers in my community simply don't understand four-way stops. Yet again today, I had a truck pull into the intersection when it was clearly my turn. It drives me nuts. So, when I'm on my bike, I make darn certain no one else is proceeding through before I go.
    Live with intention. Walk to the edge. Listen hard. Practice wellness. Play with abandon. Laugh. Choose with no regret. Continue to learn. Appreciate your friends. Do what you love. Live as if this is all there is.

    --Mary Anne Radmacher

  15. #15
    Join Date
    Dec 2006
    Location
    Columbia River Gorge
    Posts
    3,565
    Quote Originally Posted by indysteel View Post

    As far as California stops, I do that to some degree, but DH is a stickler for full stops, so I stop more often than I used to.
    One of the RAAM rules it that you must obey all traffic signs/signals. So of course the racers want a definition of what is considered a legal stop. RAAM just wants everyone to ride safely but doesn't want to impede forward progress either.

    So here is the definition of a RAAM legal stop: You have to slow down enough that the individual spokes of your wheels are visible to a person watching the stop (ie the officials).

    I think it's a great way to behave at stop signs. Having said that, if I come up to a busier intersection with a stop sign, I always unclip a foot and lower it towards the ground as a visual signal to drivers that I intend to follow the rules of the intersection. Even if I don't actually touch down.
    Living life like there's no tomorrow.

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