May 9, 2012

Talking to other cyclists

If you see a cyclist riding on the sidewalk, do you talk to them? If you see a cyclist blowing through a red light, do you talk to them? Because I am against confrontation, I never talk directly to another cyclist. Instead, I passively aggressively talk about them here.

I also wonder if talking with cyclists would help. Trying to be helpful can sometimes come off as being dickish. Or maybe that's just true for me.

Anyway, have you had any luck talking with other cyclists? For that matter, have you had any luck talking with motorists? I'd be interested to here what you think.

A featurette on the Harlem Globetrotters:


  1. I don't see the point to be quite honest. Motorists roll through stop signs, they blow through red lights with three cars taking a left turn on a red light not being uncommon; is it OK for them because they do the same thing less often? Sidewalk cyclists are fine as long as they're going slow: they're not endangering other sidewalk users and they lower how much they endanger themselves when crossing intersections when they travel at a slow speed. Here in Mpls in the OSU and Short North equivalents there are "No biking on the sidewalk" markings on the sidewalks themselves along with signage (which could have been spent to make more of the city bike-friendly). Many cyclists are motorists anyway, which just means that when you get those holier-than-thou motorists on a bike, chances are very likely they'll do what the rest are doing: more rolling through stop signs, etc. I admit, I do rolling stops quite a bit with stop signs, but with stop lights I stop and wait til it's green. Lane splitting, well, if it's a right hand turn and traffic is backed up I do: just like how every driver will pull up next to me in the same lane if there's room and turn right while I'm heading straight forward. The difference, though is that they're in killing machines and I'm not. I used to share your exact same perspective, btw.

    Commucating with motorists is best not done because you may just get angrier at their response...and they might find a mysterious scratch on the side of their car after they get home. That's what I've heard, at least.

    1. I find the argument that "motorists do it, too" to be lacking. If you see some one pick his/her nose, will you start doing it?

      Sidewalk cyclists are the least of my concern as far as illegal biking. I am relatively supportive of them but I agree that at high pedestrian areas (OSU/Short North/Downtown), there should be signs/enforcement to slow people who sidewalk cycling.

      Rolling stops I'm more or less fine with. I think that full-stops are inefficient and should be avoided by both cars/bikes except for letting pedestrians through. Blowing through stops is something that should not be done. I'm going to suggest somewhere between 3-5 mph is when rolling becomes blowing through a stop.

      I'm not convinced that lane splitting is ever good. If there are one or two cars maybe. If there is a string of cars? No. Just because "killing machines" do it doesn't mean you cyclists don't look like jerks when they do it. Plus, I have only had once instance when a car did a crazy turn with me waiting at a stop.

      I agree with the first part of your statement but you lose me when suggesting that cars get keyed for bad behavior.


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