Discussion in 'General Discussion' started by Rodimus Prime, Aug 29, 2006.
An unfortunate incident.
That's ludicrous. He just killed someone; throw the damn book at him.
I agree. Screw "culpable driving" and get him for manslaughter, assault with a deadly weapon, or negligent homicide.
Definately. That's sad.
You know what bothers me about stories like this?
I'm a cyclist myself. Or at least I pretend to be. Do seventy miles a day from time to time on a bicycle. But I do something that drives my fellow riders absolutely INSANE. I FOLLOW THE TRAFFIC LAWS.
I don't know why, but bicyclists, even the ones who claim we should have all the same rights as automobile drivers, say they shouldn't have to stop at red lights because, and this is a direct quote from more people than I care to remember, "Cyclists can see better than cars, and therefore shouldn't have to stop unless there's oncoming traffic. Plus it costs us momentum."
I stop at every stop sign and every red light. Even at the bottom of a hill going either direction. It's just plain dumb and wrong to do otherwise.
I feel bad for the old guy out walking, and feel horrible, HORRIBLE anger towards my fellow cyclist in this incident. And now I'll have to avoid the cycling boards for a few days to avoid hearing all the whiny, self-defeating rants about how that old man should have stayed out of the way.
Is it any wonder I usually ride alone?
Thats not what drives me insane, what drives me insane are other cyclists who do really stupid things in traffic.
Pulling out to overtake parked cars or busses at bus stops without checking behind them has to be the most frequent stupidly i see, which is even more annoying when I'm already overtaking them.
But the clincher goes to the guy I saw a couple of months ago, cycling on a very busy urban road, with no back brakes (from the look of them they'd been broken for some time), if he'd have had to brake hard, he wouldn't have been able to.
All the guys on this "race" are fools, a Bike doesn't have enough ground pressure to safely ride at 60 Kmph in any kind of area where padestrians or cars are going to be arround: at that speed you can barely turn. What happens if you hit a pothole/beer bottle or lose a tyre at that speed? thats right: you go flying. And at 60 kmph the ground is pretty damn unforgiving: I'm amazed this guys still alive to press charges against.
Me too, which is why the stop-sign/stop-light thing kills me.
And I'm a big fan of taking the lane when you're along a street that has parked cars on the side. Better than swerving back and forth.
Ah, see, this is a mistaken idea about the dynamics of bicycling. If he had to brake hard, the rear brake would be meaningless. I always keep both brakes in good shape just to prevent excess wear on my front brake, but in situations where I need to slam the brake hard, I pretty much go for the front one only. The back one will give you a little bit of slow down, the lose traction on the ground and skid you into whatever obstacle you're trying to avoid. Your front brake will give you your maximum stopping power, and only practice will teach you what the limit is before you flip the bike.
It's a pet-peeve of mine to see cyclists riding bikes without a front brake. That's just insane, as they'd have no fast-stop abilities.
As a road cyclist, this one is a bit offensive as well. I'll talk MPH just because that's what I know, but if you know bicycle dynamics you can turn at forty, fifty, even sixty miles an hour. Granted, you can't turn sharp at that speed, but you wouldn't pull that speed on any roadway that requires sharp turning unless you're an idiot. And yeah, it's risky, but it's a balancing act, just like all cycling. It's no more risky than riding a motorcycle really. And if you're amongst cars, trust me when I tell you, you're safer travelling at closer to their speed than you are travelling slowly as they whizz past you clipping you with their mirrors.
Plus it's harder for them to aim at you with their milkshakes. Yeah, I've had to clean that off the back of my shirt more than once.
Now, I'm not out there trying to find hills to ride down at that speed every day, but if I'm on a hilly road and I see nothing but cars for miles ahead I may allow myself to achieve forty or so. Some of the racers go much faster than me, but I have no problem with it as it's their perogative to do so.
Speed is more a function of knowing your bike, knowing the terrain, and having great visibility. The only person that gets hurt if you go flying is you. If you have limited visibility, don't go fast unless you're in a race. But even in a race you need to obey the traffic laws. This man clearly didn't.
And if you're riding at forty or more inside the city, then you deserve to crash and burn. Follow posted speed limits for cars, and you'll be fine. But definitely get to know your bike and its limitations before getting above whatever speed you can achieve on your own on flat, level ground. I've had the same bike for years and hundreds of miles, so feel comfortable hitting speed limits on downhills. Some people wouldn't, and I have no problem with that. But don't assume just because you don't feel safe with it that it's completely unsafe for anyone at any time.
And just to clarify, your little story about hitting a beer bottle or losing a tire at speed? Pay attention to the ground at all times. Glance down, glance up. My eyes are constantly moving when I'm on the bike. Left right, up down. I don't miss much. Other than that kamikaze moron on the bike trails who thought it'd be cool to ram me at speed.
And I've lost tires several times at speed. You don't go flying unless you're cornering REALLY hard. Downward pressure (gravity) is still downward pressure, even if your tire goes out from under you. You have a small chance of ruining a rim, but only if you use the popped tire to stop with or hit gravel or rocks while riding the rim.
There's a lot of misconceptions about biking by people that either don't bike, or bike casually. And a lot of misinformed folks seem to think that their ideas are law, and anything outside of that is "stupid." I can't tell you the number of time some well-meaning soccer mom has stopped me to tell me I should be riding on the sidewalk on the opposite side of the street. Legally, and safely, no I shouldn't. But I also don't think I should be riding a forty miles an hour on a busy city street with a lot of foot traffic. Nor should I be sliding through stop lights and signs.
Cycling is such a weird world to talk about. Even amongst the hardcore there's this weird "we want rights" "we don't want to follow the traffic laws" mentality that just gives me the heebie jeebies.
Ahh heres where the misconunication seems to have seeped in, you see I'm from a country where roads tend to be a lot less straight than they usually are in the US (what bits of it i've seen anyway). The sort of roadways that allow enough visibilty really high speed just aren't to be found in most parts of this country (except for Motorways where cycling would be prohibititively dangerous even if it wasn't illegal), so in practice I tend to forget that they do exist somewhere.
And from the article these guys aren't cycling anywhere where they can do that anyway. I my experience ANYWHERE where padestrians are likely is somewhere where you might need to make a snap turn, and you can't snap turn at high speeds
Thing is most of what you've said is stuff i actaully already know (note i said can barely turn, not "you can't turn"): i cycle something of the order of 20 miles daily, usually in very busy traffic and have done for years (though I don't have a speedometer and so my impression of my speed at any one time is thus very subjective)
Ah, yeah. There's misunderstanding between us because of different experiences then. I tend to do long distances (on the magnitude of thirty to ninety miles) out on open highways in the plains states (South Dakota, Minnesota, Iowa) and so long stretches of open road where you can literally see for miles and miles is just common for me.
Also, I could get going on a rant about how cycle races are run in the US over this deal. Riding through towns while not blocking off the streets used for the cyclists during a race is kind of dumb to start with. The cyclists ARE going at breakneck pace during a race, and if there's pedestrians around, you're bound to have accidents. Throw in disobedience of stopping at lights/signs, and well, it's pretty much a guarantee.
Yet another reason I prefer to just ride alone.
It's not even possible to put front brakes on my bike. But, it is a seven year old BMX.
I tend to have a bit of an attitude towards cars when I ride, but not stopping at lights? That's just stupid. I follow the traffic laws, and stay as far to the side of the road as I can, without getting off the pavement. Once I'm in town, I ht the sidewalks, though. Riding in traffic in this town is taking your life into your own hands. These people have no concept of right of way. I don't even want to talk about four way stops....
Yeah, tell me about it. Sioux Falls is a horrible place to drive a car, let alone ride a bike in the city. Luckily, we live on one end of town so it's a quick trip to the highways where it's relatively peaceful.
BMX bikes are kind of a different breed in my mind. Useable in town, but you wouldn't be doing all-day rides on them. The newer free-style bikes kind of sit in that same category. I see people riding through town on them and wonder how they do it. Then I remember back in the eighties that I used to.
I used to take my bike out all the time, and I couldn't stand cars. They'd try to clip me, I swear. I'd be off the road as far as I could without actually ending up in the ditch, and they'd just want to drive me off the road. I'd stop at every stop sign, every red light, I didn't wanna get hurt.
Of course that was then, before my P.O.S bike broke on me. I took a tumble, clobbered my head, got up, went to the ditch, and passed out. When I look back on it, I laugh. Of course, I've never ridden a bike since then.
Separate names with a comma.