View Full Version : Pay Attention For Safety

03-26-2011, 01:24 PM
I used to bike quite a bit but am not much in the habit anymore. But I try to watch out for cyclists, though - often I might say, in spite of themselves. Today I put on my blog a description of my latest example of sloppy attention by cyclists to rules of the road (http://www.thetinlizard.com/2011/03/bicycling-a-good-investment.html):

If anyone reading this was cycling out Old Dominion Blvd. in Arlington, turning right onto Glebe Road, at 0935 this morning (Saturday, March 26) please read it because you're probably one of the idiots I almost hit. I'm not saying that this group purposely ignored a yield sign (that's possible) but the other possibility -- that they didn't even see it -- seems even worse to me. Pay attention if you want to keep biking!

03-26-2011, 03:47 PM
You lost me at, "every one of these guys (they were all guys) really deserves to be dead or badly mangled at this point." Really? Deserves to be dead or mangled?

I don't doubt that a group of cyclists blew through a yield sign and cut it close, but your account is full of severely judgmental language and gross generalizations. It's frustrating, because I make a special effort to follow the rules. Are you going to give me a close pass on Old Dominion to get back at those guys? You mention it was a good thing you were going 30. That's the speed limit. Are you going to go 40 on Yorktown, and run me down, because you're mad at those other guys?

I understand that you're pissed off, but the facts of your account are some cyclists went through a yield sign, and, in your opinion, cut it too close. You were travelling the speed limit, but were able to change lanes, and nothing bad happened. Are you letting yourself get overly wound up about a situation that may be open to interpretation?

I'll put on my hair shirt for you when I stop seeing cars run that very light every morning, drive 45-50 on Old Dominion, drag race each other at Glebe and Old Dominion, and blow stop signs all around the neighborhood. A group ride may have acted in an entitled way in front of you, but it's a massive jump from that to "cyclists never follow the rules, and it's a miracle they're not all dead and mangled."

03-26-2011, 04:41 PM
I can apologize for "deserved" as the wrong choice of word. It would have been more accurate to say "was very VERY lucky to not have been killed or mangled."

But I stand by the rest. First, I point out that I wasn't pissed off.

Just the opposite. As I said right up front, I have biked in traffic myself, I believe in sharing the road, and I give bikers their space. Please note too that I didn't honk at this group, or scream at them, or flip them off.

No, I posted this and ran the risk of getting angry replies like yours because their concern about safety was so breathtakingly lacking that I felt like I ought to try to reach this group to make them aware how close they came. Not one of them looked over his shoulder to check oncoming traffic. If any ONE THING had been different -- if I had just assumed they would honor the yield sign, if I hadn't slowed and braked, if the speed limit was 50 on this road instead of 30 (and I'm sure you're right that there are people who drive at 50, I see them all the time); if there had been a car in the left lane, if traffic was heavier, if it wasn't me happening by right then but maybe some Marymount student rushing to get to class or some half-blind little old lady -- the results could have been tragic.

I do occasionally observe a cyclist who is clearly observing rules and precautions, as you say you do. I congratulate you - your reward is that you'll be safer out there. But for every one case like that, I see 8 or 9 of the more careless sort so I also don't think I'm being judgmental - or shall I say, not unreasonably so.