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July 4, 2005 8:10 AM   Subscribe

Cyclists face all sorts of hazards. But as the Warrington Cycle Campaign's cycle facility of the month feature shows, sometimes the well meaning local authority provision can be more dangerous than other road users. all links to Warrington Cycle Campaign are coral cache links.
posted by handee (57 comments total)

 
Wear a helmet to prevent serious injury.
posted by Akeem at 8:34 AM on July 4, 2005


I used to do something similar for Glasgow, and Pete Owens of Warrington was a frequent correspondent. The Internet Archive has a partial mirror of Crappy Lanes, a site that nearly got me sued. And this from a city that, in all seriousness, produced this facility ...

(on preview, Akeem's comment links to spam content)
posted by scruss at 8:37 AM on July 4, 2005


Copy and paste Akeem's link to see the image.

Actually, don't.
posted by punishinglemur at 8:45 AM on July 4, 2005


The "provision" link is simply too good to be true.

This one is a bit of a time saver. What a convenient location! Death and disposal in one beautiful package.

With that as your first comment, Akeem, you may want to read our list of things not to do.
posted by NinjaPirate at 8:52 AM on July 4, 2005


I loathe cyclists. Let me explain.

I live in the southern US, just outside of a mid-sized college town. A very large and popular street race is held in said town once a year. Cycling is big - there are shops everywhere. Not only are there a lot of recreational bikers around, there are droves of professionals. And when I say droves, I mean it. These bastards will pick the highest-traffic roads they can find, then bike - twenty at a time - blocking the entire lane.

At rush hour.

Between these pricks and the clueless recreational bikers also using the same roads - roads already too narrow for the volume of traffic they're carrying - I have vastly more road rage directed at cyclists than I do at all other vehicle operators combined. Exponentially more. I could choke a fucking sperm whale with the amount more.

Share the road? Fuck you. Roads are for motor vehicles, not bicycles. Putting up with granny driving 25 for eight to ten miles on a road with zero visibility beyond thirty feet is bad enough, thanks.

Same rules, same rights? Again, fuck you. I can't count the number of times a biker has sped past traffic waiting at a stoplight, cut through the intersection on a red, and gone on their merry way. I see this a few times a week, actually. Not to mention cyclewankers not signalling properly (or at all), riding down the wrong side of the road, or biking in the dark without even decent reflectors, let alone a blinking light or other visible identifier.

There's an infinitude of back roads with light traffic that are very nicely paved and go on for miles. Use them, biketards.

Yeah. I hate bicyclists. You know that I Hate Horses site that's been making the rounds?

Yeah. Like that.
posted by Floach at 9:03 AM on July 4, 2005


And fuck you too floach!
posted by filchyboy at 9:09 AM on July 4, 2005


Floach - Sounds like Critical Mass.
posted by revgeorge at 9:13 AM on July 4, 2005


revgeorge: I'd agree, if they weren't all wearing racing uniforms, and doing it multiple times a week.

Bastards.
posted by Floach at 9:16 AM on July 4, 2005


"I am Hitler; horses are jews. Fire up the gas chambers." - horsehater

"I am Hitler; cyclists are jews. Fire up the gas chambers." - Floach
posted by NinjaPirate at 9:16 AM on July 4, 2005


I loathe cyclists. Let me explain.

I live in the southern US, just outside of a mid-sized college town.


floach is just bitter because he's too stupid to get a job in the car industry
posted by johnny novak at 9:17 AM on July 4, 2005


As a keen cyclist in London, I like to cycle on pavements (sidewalks). That way I shift the burden of risk onto pedestrians.
posted by rhymer at 9:31 AM on July 4, 2005


Same rules, same rights? Again, fuck you. I can't count the number of times a biker has sped past traffic waiting at a stoplight, cut through the intersection on a red, and gone on their merry way.

I saw this one guy run a red light -- blatantly! -- in a car yesterday. I hate all drivers. They all do it. We should make them all stop driving. Or at least make them drive on the backroads where they belong.

I'm gonna start targeting them with my bike. Next time some motorized bastard gets in my way, his bumper is gonna taste my knobby tire. That'll put the fear of god into him.
posted by medialyte at 9:36 AM on July 4, 2005


As a cyclist I'm sure there are laws against most of the offenses Floach is complaining about. There certainly are in my town. As a cyclist I hate when people ride recklessly because it inspires just that kind of sentiment. Public roads are for the use of the public, regardless of their specific vehicle, and all vehicles are supposed to be operated on public roads safely and in accordance with the law. If reckless endangerment by cyclists is a big problem in your area you should be asking your police department to step up enforcement, and make damn well sure you follow the rules with your own vehicle.
posted by Songdog at 9:43 AM on July 4, 2005


just astounding. apart from being a site for cyclists, it really is an outstanding contribution to official idiocy.
posted by quarsan at 9:43 AM on July 4, 2005


I disagree with Floach. He's way too kind to cyclists.

I will start listening to cyclists demands for care and respect from other road users the second they start acting like road users. That means around the time they:

1. Stop jumping red lights. Yes, even if there's nothing coming. You know - just like everyone else who uses the road has to? Don't creep over the line looking both ways. STOP. Wait until the light changes. Don't think sneaking up on the sidewalk to get around the light somehow makes it OK either. You are a road user, fucking well act like a responsible one.

2. Signal your intentions. Look first. Don't just weave out into the middle of the road and assume drivers will either read your mind or hit the brake in time. LOOK. SIGNAL. MOVE. You have responsibility. USE IT.

3.. STAY OFF THE FUCKING SIDEWALK OR WALK THE BIKE. Jesus Christ, this drives me insane. They'd better hope it doesn't drive me insane enough to start barging the fuckers into the road when they zip past me. God knows it's come close a few times. Do NOT ride on the sidewalk. It is for WALKERS.

I could go on. For a long, long time. I'd better not.
posted by Decani at 9:47 AM on July 4, 2005


Floach mate - take a pill.

You get idiots in cars too. And they're much more likely to kill your kids.
posted by handee at 9:49 AM on July 4, 2005


anyone else read the link in the fpp as "Warrington Cycle Campaign's cycle fatality of the month"? damn pisco sour.
posted by andrew cooke at 9:52 AM on July 4, 2005


Come one it's a plot and it has a lot of reasons behind

1. cyclers don't pay the gas tax, the pollution tax, the insurance tax, the parking tax

2. cyclers don't buy gas, insurance, parking and their maintenance cost is very close to 0 per mile

3. they can also carry some little weight like some food or whatnot, but not a trolley full so they're hated by supermarket playing on the trolley-full psyco trick

3. actually their life quality becomes better because regular cycling counts as moderate aerobic exercise...so they visit their doctors less often then others and with a slightly better health they don't incur in obesity and sedentary lifestyle problems

Goddamit, the chineses use cycles, look how much powerful they are. Even more rethorical, half a billion chinese with a cycle can't be wrong.
posted by elpapacito at 9:53 AM on July 4, 2005


That is true. No matter how naughty cyclists are, cars are definitely worse when it comes to killing people. Bikes usually just hurt a bit.
posted by rhymer at 9:53 AM on July 4, 2005


I should add that I've spent the last 25 years of my life in London and New York. The behaviour of cyclists in both those places is routinely and consistently abominable. They constantly flout the rules of the road. I'd say at least 95% jump red lights in New York. I actually saw one make a hand signal before turning left the other day and I had to wind my window down and say thank you. That's how shocking an event it was.

It's no good saying we should complain to the cops either. They don't care. In London all that happened was a few tiny signs went up saying "Don't cycle on the pavement". Nothing was enforced. The local pensioners continue to be nervous and stressed. And my thoughts of a descent into shameless vigilante violence still torment me.
posted by Decani at 9:53 AM on July 4, 2005


Floach:

Yeah. I hate bicyclists. You know that I Hate Horses site that's been making the rounds? Yeah. Like that.

No, not exactly like that. If you want to be more like the I Hate Horses site, please get your own blog instead of trolling cyclists in handee's second post.

handee:

Thank you for your interesting post and for having the courtesy to provide coral cache links.
posted by cup at 9:58 AM on July 4, 2005


Oh for God's sake, people. Two wrongs do not make a right. Saying "You get idiots in cars" too is ducking the issue as surely as a gun nut saying "well, cars kill people too".

Sure you get idiots in cars. But you get far fewer light-jumpers and you see far less egregious and frequent flagrant disrespect for the most basic rules of the road from motorists than you do from cyclists. And cops are far more ready to pull a misbehaving motorist over than they are a cyclist. This is a problem which has got out of hand in many big cities. Cyclists are terrible at thinking the rules of the road can be waived for them. Terrible. And that is why I have no patience at all when they start whining about other road users. Again: start acting responsibly yourselves if you want sympathy in that regard.
posted by Decani at 9:59 AM on July 4, 2005


I don't ever run red lights and I almost always signal (which I think probably looks silly but I do it anyway), but if you saw me on the road you'd probably be enraged at me just because you're lumping me in with the minority of cyclists who run red lights.

Oh, I'm sure it's a substantial minority. But if you started counting bicyclists waiting at red lights versus those who jump them in any place I've ever lived, you'd find that a clear majority follow the rules. But people only notice when something happens that makes them mad...

On preview, Decani, I act responsibly. I think Critical Mass is just mass wankery. But I can't control the other bicyclists. So why be mad at me?
posted by grouse at 10:02 AM on July 4, 2005


All you fucking motorhead car driving shitheads ought to get your fat asses on some bikes and see what the other side is like. For example, having hicks throw onion rings at you while riding to work, or having someone hit you on the ass while climbing out of the saddle up a grade, or even the simple joy of waiting at a light sucking the exhaust from the diesel ram95000 next to you.

For every 5mpg SUV I see with "Support our troops" stickers plastered over the back of it I think of how much more I have done to reduce our dependence on foreign oil by riding about town than these fucktards could dream of by buying some made-in-china refrigerator magnet and sticking it on their bumper.

The only thing more obnoxious than the self-righteous bicyclicst is the self-righteous car driver.
posted by H. Roark at 10:09 AM on July 4, 2005


decani: dude yYou're right on the need to respect rules and be punished if one violates them...BUT not for the shake of punishing the violator because of the rule...but for the shake of making the violator pay for the accident he caused.

What's the problem with 95% of cyclist jumping red light IF and I say IF 100% of them by doing so don't endanger anybody ? I too skip red lights and go on sidewalks, but I never ever try to do so when there's half a chance of danger..for me or for others.

For instance I rarely if ever use sidewalk because I know no matter how hard I can brake I can't predict a pedestrian..and if I hit one both me and the pedestrian will suffer severe physical injury, possibly broken bones if not worse.

But In the rare event of finding an empty sidewalk, I choose to go on it on bike to spare myself from road ragers and complete lack of cycle lanes.

It's a matter of being more or less intelligent I guess..respecting rules because they make sense and actually being taught why they do, if they're not crystal clear. Actually being a cyclist made me more aware and attentive with pedestrian and other cyclist because I experienced directly bruises and pains of being an human on something faster then foots.
posted by elpapacito at 10:12 AM on July 4, 2005


Actually the cops do pay attention. I was fined £30 (about $55) for cycling on a (totally empty) piece of pavement the other day. By a fucking community support officer. Incidentally CSOs really do have nothing better to do and I hate them with a vehemence others reserve for horses.
posted by rhymer at 10:13 AM on July 4, 2005


After stopping at a traffic light this morning, one guy behind me barely scrapes by when passing all in a hurry, practically screeches off. Where does he end up? At another red light, a couple of hundred yards ahead. And I end up right behind him. Everyone who drives gets in this sort of hurry once in a while. But for gosh sakes. Is it too much for all of us to calm the hell down?

Otherwise, despite seeing one other person get all furious when waiting to pass me (going an average of 28-30 on a road bike, downhill, in the right lane of the southbound sectino of a four-lane road with a 30 mph limit, while another person kept pace in the left lane), it was a beautiful ride. Or rather, this was true once I got past that nasty 85 percent humidity problem about 30 minutes in.
posted by raysmj at 10:14 AM on July 4, 2005


but if you saw me on the road you'd probably be enraged at me just because you're lumping me in with the minority of cyclists who run red lights.

I'm with grouse. I've seen far more cars doing fucked up things while I'm biking than bikers. I obey the laws when I ride my bike and still hate having to try to make a left turn when there's traffic.
posted by dial-tone at 10:15 AM on July 4, 2005


It's no good saying we should complain to the cops either. They don't care.
Who pays 'em? If people in town want bike laws enforced, they'll get the cops to do it. You say cars don't run stop lights? Even when no one's coming? Why do you think that is? Could it possibly be because they're afraid of getting in trouble? Or maybe you think that only good citizens purchase gasoline.

As for idiots on bikes, I object strongly to being lumped in with people whose behavior I have no personal control of or responsibility for. I support gun laws too, but I don't lump responsible hunters in with the idiots who shoot at cows. And I don't blame all drivers for the morons.

Those of you who fantasize about running over cyclists should pat yourselves on the back for your responsibility and good citizenship and thank your lucky stars you don't live in a country where the driver of the car is always at fault when contact is made with a bike (the Netherlands, for example, at least the last time I checked).
posted by Songdog at 10:17 AM on July 4, 2005


Also in London pedestrians are forever walking in designated (and often very clearly marked) cycle lanes which mitigates my sympathy for them somewhat.
posted by rhymer at 10:17 AM on July 4, 2005


For some reason, car drivers seem overly scared of bike riders. I did a 50ish mile ride yesterday. When I was on a rural highway, with a good 4-5 feet between me and the average car, most everyone that passed would swerve into the oncoming lane. WTF?
posted by dial-tone at 10:19 AM on July 4, 2005


I'm a flourescent-jacket-wearing red-light-waiting hand-signalling cyclist, who after dark turns my 50 quid pile of shit bike into something closely resembling a christmas tree.

I expect I'm as sick of being lumped in with the light-jumping bike riding arseholes as you motorists are with the cycle-lane-parking horn-honking patently-blind SUV driving fucktards who cut me up on the way to work every morning. The fact remains that they're much more likely to kill me than I am them.

I'd also sorta hoped that a vaguely humourous look at cycle facilities wouldn't descend into a cyclists v. motorists flame-fest, but my expectations were set clearly too high.
posted by handee at 10:19 AM on July 4, 2005


The trick to avoiding disappointment is to set your expectations low.

On a serious note, cycle facilities in London vary hugely by the Borough. I think Camden probably has the best whereas Kensington & Chelsea (home of the City SUV) has the worst.
posted by rhymer at 10:22 AM on July 4, 2005


floach and decani:

When was the last time a cyclist killed someone because of their flagrant violation of the rules?

Yeah, it almost never happens.

What it boils down to is you're jealous. Fine. When I'm in my car and not on my bike, cyclist getting right through the gridlock I'm stuck in annoy me, too. Such is life.

The reality is, cops don't give cyclist tickets. Ever. Cyclists move much slower, and have a much better field of view, and have little momentum. It is thus much, much easier to be safe on a bike on the city streets: the rules of the road are made for cars. They make little sense on a bike. And since no one enforces the rules, cyclists, being rational beings just like you, don't follow them.

Your problem is actually with the city, not the cyclists.
posted by teece at 10:28 AM on July 4, 2005


Handee, the post was good.
posted by dial-tone at 10:28 AM on July 4, 2005


For some reason, car drivers seem overly scared of bike riders. I did a 50ish mile ride yesterday. When I was on a rural highway, with a good 4-5 feet between me and the average car, most everyone that passed would swerve into the oncoming lane. WTF?

As a car driver as well, I can tell you that it is hard to judge distances on the passenger side of the vehicle, and erring on the side of caution is better.
posted by grouse at 10:34 AM on July 4, 2005


Another hand signal using, red light stopping, law abiding taxpaying cyclist here. Who are the fucking dipshits who think that their meager gas taxes pay for road building and maintnence? You clueless morons. All the taxes I pay at the state and federal level give me all the right to ride on any road care to. Oh, yeah, it is illegal here in Philadelphia and in most municipalities for adults (i.e. over the age of 12 in this case) to ride on a sidewalk. So while I sympathize with our ballet dancer, if she were asserting here rights to the road she probably wouldn't have been in the confrontation.

Fuck you very much, floach.
posted by fixedgear at 10:34 AM on July 4, 2005


Wow, all this fighting about cyclists, and no one commenting on the fact that in one of the links they mention that the ballerina-beating asshole is a VP at the Heritage Foundation.

Bicyclists piss me off, and I AM one.
posted by wolftrouble at 10:36 AM on July 4, 2005


What's this thread about again?

Oh yeah: "highlighting examples of how innovative design and outstanding engineering offer safety, utility, and comfort to cyclists."

The very first cycle path in the UK specificaly designed for recumbents:

posted by dash_slot- at 10:40 AM on July 4, 2005


handee: I'd also sorta hoped that a vaguely humourous look at cycle facilities wouldn't descend into a cyclists v. motorists flame-fest, but my expectations were set clearly too high.

Well, you know... Americans love their cars, and this is the 4th of July.

Up the Rebels! If you don't covit those 600 ft.lbs of torque you don't belong here!
posted by Chuckles at 10:50 AM on July 4, 2005


Oh, yeah, BTW floach: Athens, GA and Athens Twilight Crit? The cyclists you see are not professional cyclists, they are amateur racers out training. If they are behaving poorly, why not just look at their jersey, and shoot an email to the sponsoring shop/car dealer/whatever? Most companies that are sponsoring racing teams are doing it for publicity, so letting them know that their riders are behaving poorly and ain't invisible might help. I don't think the south is really a hotbed of pro cyclists, maybe Boulder or San Diego.
posted by fixedgear at 10:51 AM on July 4, 2005


Well, I have to ride a bike because my drivers license has been suspended. Perhaps these bad bikers are people who simply aren't allowed to drive and are bitter at all you gas-waisting fuckheads.

---

actually I got hit by a car the other day. The idiot driver tried to make a right-on-red while I had a green light and a 'walk' sign on an offical-bike-path/sidewalk He hit me fast enough to warp my front wheel and pedal crank so much that I couldn't even turn it because it would hit the frame. I can't complain too much because he wrote me a $200 cheque and it only cost $50 to fix my bike, but still.

carefully auto drivers kill people all the time, and even the most minor auto-to-auto damage costs almost a thousand dollars to fix. And lets not even mention all the drunks, and simply careless people driving around killing people.

Annoying as they may be bicycling is far more socialy responsible the driving a car, in almost every measure. And the fact that they are almost totally non-leathel gives them the right to ride like assholes, IMO. The only lives they are putting in danger are their own.
posted by delmoi at 11:09 AM on July 4, 2005


The biggest pro cycling event in North America takes place in Georgia. And it's warm to hot (nasty hot, but . . . ) for much of the year. However, the Blue Ridge Mountains are pretty big with cyclists too, I believe, and the humidity isn't quite as bad there in the summer. It's not as big as NASCAR or football, of course, but it shouldn't be shocking to hear of pro cyclists being from the South. There is no lack of road cyclists around in these parts.
posted by raysmj at 11:14 AM on July 4, 2005


I think teece and delmoi got it right (among othere). The road belongs to everyone, but be real, there are vastly more poor(skill- and judgement-wise) automobile drivers than there are cyclists.

And,fwiw...I might occasionally jump/run red lights while driving. It's a judgement call. I don't often do it and I certainly don't risk safety, but sometimes it's really not necessary to wait there just because of the red light.
posted by jaronson at 11:43 AM on July 4, 2005


Decani: "you see far less egregious and frequent flagrant disrespect for the most basic rules of the road from motorists"

Hmm, that would explain all the brag stories from motoring mefites on How to Beat a Speeding Ticket, then?
posted by scruss at 12:05 PM on July 4, 2005


Teece, london cops do give cyclists tickets. Although in fairness I may be the only person in the world to have got one.
posted by rhymer at 12:17 PM on July 4, 2005


I alternate between motoring to work and cycling to work, depending on the weather, and my inclination.

When I'm a motorist, I curse cyclists. When I'm a cyclist, I curse motorists. Doesn't everyone do the same?
posted by Chasuk at 12:26 PM on July 4, 2005


rhymer: begs the question what bloody crime did you commit ?
posted by elpapacito at 12:27 PM on July 4, 2005


Good post. Those pictures are hilarious. Is this for real or some kind of joke?
posted by elwoodwiles at 12:27 PM on July 4, 2005


When I'm a motorist, I curse cyclists. When I'm a cyclist, I curse motorists. Doesn't everyone do the same?

No. When I'm a motorist, I curse motorists too. Same with cyclists. And I always curse pedestrians. Fucking pedestrians. If God had meant us to walk, he wouldn't have given us the wheel.

elwoodwiles: These are real! I've seen stuff this bad here in Cambridge.
posted by grouse at 12:38 PM on July 4, 2005


Float and Decani: You are miopic fools. Don't project your frustrations onto cyclists. It is pretty obvious to anyone that's had a passing interest in psychology why you are angry at cyclists, but more to the point... let's talk about why everyone should dislike motorists (and leave the subjectives out.)

NYC-specific:
--
* motorists in NYC run hundreds of thousands of red lights a day (if not millions.)
* motorists in NYC almost always exceed the city's speed limit when they can.
* motorists in NYC routinely kill more than 250 pedestrians and cyclists a year (can you imagine if the subway regularly killed that many people?)
* there has been one documented case of a cyclist killing a pedestrian in the last 20 years (that I've been able to find.)

and the general points:
---
* motorists are polluting the earth, using dozens if not hundreds of times their 'fair share' of our fossil fuel reserves.
* a motorist will be responsible in part (since we are lumping cyclists and motorists into huge lumps) for what will be more than a million other motorist's deaths during their lifetime of driving, usually including at least on friend or family member.
* a driver takes up 9 times as much roadway with their nearly always 20% full car, and causes almost a thousand times as much road wear as a biker or a pedestrian travelling the same distance.
* a car's brake dust and rubber dust are thought to be major contributors to asthma and other diseases that tend to hti the urban poor
* motorists have take the opinion that they are allowed to exceed the speed limit at nearly all times that they are moving--an action that is an infinite amount more deadly to others than any behavior a biker could ever take.
* the leading cause of death to cyclists is being struck by a motor vehicle that is breaking the law by passing too closely (check your local laws for the minimum allowable distance, and consider stop bringing up the law in your attacks on bikes when you are almost certainly very ill informed as to what the law says about cyclists, and for that matter pedestrians.)

So make the choice before you post crap like that: are you a hypocrite or a fool?
posted by n9 at 12:53 PM on July 4, 2005


For every 5mpg SUV I see with "Support our troops" stickers plastered over the back of it I think of how much more I have done to reduce our dependence on foreign oil by riding about town than these fucktards could dream of by buying some made-in-china refrigerator magnet and sticking it on their bumper.
Just what the doctor ordered. I keep a couple of these bumper stickers handy both on my bicycle and in my car, and have stickered everything from Chevy Suburbans to Cadillac Escalades to Ford Excursions. Of course, the chief big game to hunt with these stickers is the Hummer H2. There's nothing quite like the thrill of seeing one of these bimbo boxes roll past with a huge white sticker on the back proclaiming "I'm Changing the Climate! Ask Me How!"
posted by nlindstrom at 12:53 PM on July 4, 2005


In transportation, the ox cart and the rowboat represent the first stage of technology.

The second stage might well be represented by the automobiles of the middle twentieth century... These unbelievable museum pieces were for their time fast, sleek and powerful--but inside their skins were assembled a preposterous collection of mechanical buffoonery. The prime mover for such a juggernaut might have rested in one's lap; the rest of the mad assembly consisted of afterthoughts intended to correct the uncorrectable, to repair the original basic mistake in design--for automobiles and even the early aeroplanes were "powered" (if one may call it that) by "reciprocating engines."

A reciprocating engine was a collection of miniature heat engines using (in a basically inefficient cycle) a small percentage of an exothermic chemical reaction, a reaction which was started and then stopped every split second. Much of the heat was intentionally thrown away into a "water jacket" or "cooling system," then wasted into the atmosphere through a heat exchanger.

What little was left caused blocks of metal to thump foolishly back-and-forth (hence the name "reciprocating") and thence through a linkage to cause a shaft and flywheel to spin around. The flywheel (believe it if you can) had no gyroscopic function; it was used to store kinetic energy in a futile attempt to cover up the sins of reciprocation. The shaft at long last caused the wheels to turn and thereby propelled this pile of junk over the countryside.

The prime mover was used only to accelerate and to overcome "friction"--a concept then in much wider engineering use. To decelerate, stop, or turn the heroic human operator used his own muscle power, multiplied precariously through a series of levers.

Despite the name "automobile" these vehicles had no autocontrol circuits; control, such as it was, was exercised second by second for hours on end by a human being peering out through a small pane of dirty silica glass, and judging unassisted and often disastrously his own motion and those of other objects. In almost all cases the operator had no notion of the kinetic energy stored in his missile and could not have written the basic equation. Newton's Laws of Motion were to him mysteries as profound as the meaning of the universe.

Nevertheless millions of these mechanical jokes swarmed over our home planet, dodging each other by inches or failing to dodge. None of them ever worked right; by their nature they could not work right; and they were constantly getting out of order. Their operators were usually mighty pleased when they worked at all. When they did not, which was every few hundred miles (hundred, not hundred thousand), they hired a member of a social class of arcane specialists to make inadequate and always expensive temporary repairs.

Despite their mad shortcomings, these "automobiles" were the most characteristic form of wealth and the most cherished possessions of their time.

--Robert A. Heinlein, The Rolling Stones
posted by nlindstrom at 1:21 PM on July 4, 2005


I have vastly more road rage directed at cyclists than I do at all other vehicle operators combined

Comparing the number of times I've almost been killed by cars, as a pedestrian (obeying the rules), as a motorcyclist (obeying the rules) and as a cyclist (ditto), to the number of times cyclists have annoyed me by getting in the way of my car, blowing off rules I have to obey... boy oh boy. It sure does piss me off when I have to wait at a stoplight and some cyclist goes through. Hoo-ey! It makes me mad.
posted by dreamsign at 8:38 PM on July 4, 2005


To swerve away from the cyclist v. driver controversy this is one of my favourites. This one and the one under the word provision in my original post. There's something almost elegant about their stupidity.
posted by handee at 2:16 AM on July 5, 2005


View from the nicest cycle track in the world. Yes, it's in a city.
posted by funambulist at 8:10 AM on July 5, 2005


Those pictures are hilarious - what could the people that managed those projects have been thinking? And how could they not get fired for such gross incompetence?

Saying "You get idiots in cars" too is ducking the issue as surely as a gun nut saying "well, cars kill people too".

It's not ducking the issue, it's pointing out that being angry at bikers because some suck while not being angry at motorists because some suck is hypocritical.

Yes, riding on the sidewalk is lame. I do it when there's absolutely no room in the road for bikes or when I have to go the wrong way down a one-way street. And then I ride slowly. I assume (maybe I'm wrong) that it's preferred to holding up traffic by taking up a car lane/going the wrong direction. You can add to that don't ride on the wrong side of the street. I'll go through red lights after stopping if there's no one there - do you honestly never jaywalk? Not signaling your intentions is dumb and asking to get in an accident, though I will admit I don't always do it if there's no traffic - whether in my bike or car.

I don't think you'll find many bicyclists that disagree with your issues. It bothers me off when people overuse the sidewalk, when people ride on the wrong side of the road, or when they generally act like assholes. It bothers me when bicyclists do stupid shit just like it bothers me when motorists do stupid shit, but it's silly to pretend that all bicyclists cause problems just like it's silly to pretend that all motorists cause problems (see above). I've been purposefully struck by motorists before (after being hit and yelling WTF?! they opened their car door into my friend who was riding in front of me; I assume the same was done to me) but I don't sit around all day harping on how motorists are pure evil, I just assume there are some assholes in the world.
posted by nTeleKy at 3:11 PM on July 5, 2005


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