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  1. #1
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    Cardnial Sins of Commuting

    Today marks the end of the Bike to School week at my college. I'm a daily commuter and I recognized there was a significant rise in bike traffic. Maybe it was the free coffee and minor tune ups given out to anyone with a bike? I regress, I'm encouraged to see more and more bike traffic but it kills me to see people doing it wrong (and yes you can do it wrong). A minor faux pas, such as locking giant ass cruiser bike with 4ft bars so that I have to take my front wheel off to get it out, I'll overlook. However breaking the Cardinal Sins of Commuting, unforgivable!

    So let's create the list of the Cardinal Sins of Bicycle Commuting, no the limit isn't 7 and yes this has probably been done before but w/e have fun.

    The one I hold in the highest regard:

    "Riding against the flow of traffic"

    The shoulder can only fit one bike and just because you're insecure and can't handle cars next to you doesn't mean that I should have to suffer slowing down for you to avoid a head on collision and maybe getting of our bikes so we don't get mirrored.

  2. #2
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    Quote Originally Posted by Renovatio
    The one I hold in the highest regard:
    "Riding against the flow of traffic"
    .
    Took me a while to figure that one out. When I first started, I thought I'd be safer seeing what was coming at me. What I saw mostly was p.o.'d motorists. The whole ride seemed adversarial. Now I follow that cardinal rule.

    Another:

    Don't creep up on the right of a right turner at a red light.

  3. #3
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    Don't pass another cyclist (jogger etc..) without announcing your presence and intentions.
    The More People I Meet the More I Prefer Dogs!

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    Quote Originally Posted by split.therapy
    Don't pass another cyclist (jogger etc..) without announcing your presence and intentions.
    This one is silly. Give the room you would want to be given. Usually I'm going so fast it is impossible for me to announce myself, give them time to settle down after I scare them, and still pass safely. I don't think I could yell loud enough. I tried it for a while. Apparently "On your left!" means leap 3ft to the left because you got scared and get hit by a bike. Thankfully I had disc brakes and grabbed them so hard I went OTB so when I hit her I wasn't going the full 20mph I had been.

    Follow traffic signals.

    Ride Defensively.

  5. #5
    Jason
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    Quote Originally Posted by Schmucker
    Apparently "On your left!" means leap 3ft to the left because you got scared and get hit by a bike.
    This recently happened with me. I was goin over a bridge on the sidewalk. The road surface is to narrow for both a car and a cyclist. So, I'm on the sidewalk coming up behind a guy and I yell "On your left." He jumps in the air and to the left right in front of me while spinning around and hitting the back of his head off part of the steal structure. I cram on the brakes narrowly missing the guy. I somehow managed to not go o.t.b. and over the handrail of the bridge where I would have plumited 50 feet into shallow water.

    Even though I was pretty pissed I asked the guy if he was okay. He said yes, I apologized (even though I feel I did nothing wrong... I was being polite) and I went on my way.

    Same bridge different incident... I left a good chunk of skin from my right hand on one of the hand rails due to a pedestrian jumping in the air when I announced myself. Long story short... I had to turn to the right quick to avoid hitting the person when they jumped in front of me. This put my right hand into the pedestrian hand rail and it sliced off a piece of my skin like a deli slicer.

    I'm no longer announcing the fact that I'm passing to a pedestrian. I will let other cyclist know I'm coming but as far as I'm concerened pedestrians are free game at this point.

    + 1 for following traffic signals. Also, when in traffic make sure to watch for people opening doors in parked cars. This one could lead to a serious mishap.

  6. #6
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    http://www.bikexprt.com/streetsmarts/usa/intro.htm

    This handbook is a good place to start.

    Repeating what has been stated:

    follow traffic laws
    ride defensively
    ride with confidence.

  7. #7
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    Quote Originally Posted by emtnate
    follow traffic laws
    More specifically, at least yield at a stop sign. Don't just blow through them without any regard. Hit the brakes and at the minimum do a California stop. Heavy traffic or blind stops be safe and do a track stand/put your foot down

  8. #8
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    Quote Originally Posted by Renovatio
    More specifically, at least yield at a stop sign. Don't just blow through them without any regard. Hit the brakes and at the minimum do a California stop. Heavy traffic or blind stops be safe and do a track stand/put your foot down
    This is a big one. A lot of motorists will give a cyclist right of way, if the cyclist just bothers to slow, be in control and make eye contact.

    To that, I would add, be courteous and careful, especially around drivers who may be extending the same consideration to you. I ride, and have employees who ride. On the job, most of us operate motor vehicles, including delivery trucks. Each of us has had incidents where it was our attentiveness that kept a cyclist from having something bad happen to them. Sometimes things happen so fast they are frightening, and life gives out very few "do-overs".

  9. #9
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    Ride as if you are invisible. In other words, ride as if motorist can't see you. Sorry, you said cardinal sin. I just gave my cardinal rule

  10. #10
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    Have A bell handy to get people to move is good.

    IF a bell is not sufficient try this horn:
    http://www.jensonusa.com/store/produ...+Air+Horn.aspx
    "If women don't find handsome , they should at least find you handy."-Red Green

  11. #11
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    Ridding down the turn lane...

  12. #12
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    Night with no light (I'm guilty of that one.)

  13. #13
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    Quote Originally Posted by Renovatio
    Night with no light (I'm guilty of that one.)
    I'll second that one. Summer time isn't too bad, as the sun comes up earlier, but in March and October, it's pitch black on my commute. I have a headlight, but it's not bright enough to really see that far in front of me, more for others to see me. At least 3 or 4 times now, I've nearly hit a dude coming the oposite direction as me (this is on a paved bike trail, not a road), and yelled at him to get some lights.
    I need it up, you need it down. You don't see me complaining when you leave it down.

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    I agree with what has been said about stop signs. If there is little to no traffic and good visibility, I simply slow to about 2-3 mph, wait a second to make sure I'm good to go, and continue. If there is moderate to heavy traffic or poor visibility, I take the lane, stop, put a foot down and wait. Once it's safe to go, I continue.

  15. #15
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    Here in Simi, the two that I see all the time are:

    Riding against traffic
    Riding on the sidewalk

    The second one I can forgive in heavy traffic areas with no room for a cyclist, but I see people do this along side the bike lane in the road. And what really gets me about this is, often, when I hear the anti-bike rant of car commuters, they often toss in a "bikes belong on the sidewalk."

  16. #16
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    Quote Originally Posted by taterbug
    Ride as if you are invisible. In other words, ride as if motorist can't see you. Sorry, you said cardinal sin. I just gave my cardinal rule
    where does this idea come from? You are visible. Motorists react to what you do. Other people react to what you do. You are not invisible. When someone rides in this manner, they make everyone angry. Your cardinal rule makes me want to cut your spokes.

    expletives edited out.

  17. #17
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    Um... in my motorcycle class that is one of the things they teach you- even in a car you should never assume the other person knows that you are there. People pull out in front of me all the time.

    Make sure you have front and rear lights. People will ride with only the rear and then no one sees you coming. I also have a rule of never being on the right of any car if there is a turn off to the right coming up on the off chance they take it. One should also always know and understand the traffic patterns for every route they take to work. Not having to think of that leaves your head clear to analyze what the cars are doing. Aaaand... make sure to check as far ahead as you can every ten seconds or so (at least) and constantly scan everywhere else. I'm sure I'll think of others.

    Quote Originally Posted by skottt160
    where does this idea come from? You are visible. Motorists react to what you do. Other people react to what you do. You are not invisible. When someone rides in this manner, they make everyone angry. Your cardinal rule makes me want to cut your spokes.

    expletives edited out.

  18. #18
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  19. #19
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    Quote Originally Posted by skottt160
    where does this idea come from? You are visible. Motorists react to what you do. Other people react to what you do. You are not invisible. When someone rides in this manner, they make everyone angry. Your cardinal rule makes me want to cut your spokes.

    expletives edited out.

    If I have to explain to you, then you will never get it but I'll try. I ride and assume that no driver sees me. If you assume that they see you, then you are ripe to be ran over or hit. I always assume that I am invisible to them. That way, I am not placing myself into a situation that will end up very badly for me. Alway assume that they don't see you and act and react accordingly. Because, guess what? Most drivers that hit bicyclist use the same excuse, "I didn't see him"....even if you have headlights, tailights, bright colors, and you think you are super visible. Never assume they see you. The closest I have come to being hit was when the driver locked eyes with me and yet he still cut a left turn short and almost hit me head-on. He apologized and said he did not see me. I was riding with a Tri-Newt on flash, PB superflashes blinking and a Princeton Tec Swerve going nuts. And it was at dusk. I was also wearing a neon yellow jersey. And yet he still said, "I didn't see you". So, I ride now as if no one can see me and I haven't had any more close calls. So cut my spokes if you want too but if you think about it, you will understand that I am right

  20. #20
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    90% of motorists don't see you... 10% are actively trying to kill you.

  21. #21
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    Quote Originally Posted by JunkShip
    Here in Simi, the two that I see all the time are:

    Riding against traffic
    Riding on the sidewalk

    The second one I can forgive in heavy traffic areas with no room for a cyclist, but I see people do this along side the bike lane in the road. And what really gets me about this is, often, when I hear the anti-bike rant of car commuters, they often toss in a "bikes belong on the sidewalk."
    There's one stretch I ride that it seem suicidal to be on the road - I use the sidewalk there. The corner has a stop light and I've never seen anyone walking those sidewalks. It's a 3 block stretch of drive-up type businesses. I stay to the sidewalk and cross like a pedestrian. The intersection is just so busy, this seems the best way. Plus I have to make a quick left down a side street about 200 feet after the intersection.
    Last edited by harpdog; 05-19-2009 at 03:59 AM.

  22. #22
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    Quote Originally Posted by harpdog
    There's one stretch I ride that it seem suicidal to be on the road - I use the sidewalk there. The corner has a stop light and I've never seen anyone walking those sidewalks. It's a 3 block stretch of drive-up type businesses. I stay to the sidewalk and cross like a pedestrian. The intersection is just so busy, this seems the best way. Plus I have to make a quick left down a side street about 200 feet after the intersection.
    I do something a little worse, something I might get yelled at for here, but I'm curious what y'all think about it. I have to turn left onto a busier-than-yo-momma-on-a-friday-night street. Along this same street is a little strip mall with a pretty wide open parking lot. So instead of trying to cross this street so I can stay on the right side, I ride down the strip mall parking lot, which is on the left side of the road (which is where the cardinal sin comes in). Then I come to a light, and use the crosswalk to get across to the other side, then the other crosswalk to continue to the other side. Here's a map, kind of hard to read, but the RED represents the way I SHOULD go, and the GREEN represents the way I DO go. It would take me 10 minutes to find a spot to cross this intersection, so I figured going down this parking lot to a light is faster and safer. Am I ok, or do I need to break down and do it the right way?

    I need it up, you need it down. You don't see me complaining when you leave it down.

  23. #23
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    OK, peeps, it's CARDINAL SINS, not Cardinal rules to ride by. On topic helps us all.

    1. Riding against traffic (I HATE SEEING THAT!)
    2. Blowing intersections -- stop signs, red lights, etc.
    3. Sidewalk riding when not absolutely necessary.

    Those have been listed.
    My add:
    4. Riding less than 10mph; slowing for a stop/turn is understandable, but don't CRUISE that slow. It ticks ME, you can IMAGINE what it does to the cagers!
    5. Bunch riding 3+ across, taking up space that faster riders need to pass you (mostly on MUPs).
    A bike is the only drug with no bad side effects....

  24. #24
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    aight, I think I was in the wrong here. My momentary fury came from a time I was riding to an event in a nearby area for bicycle folks, and I was riding with someone who repeatedly kept taking incredibly aggressive and dangerous cuts through traffic and intersections including the oncoming lanes, running red lights with lots of traffic around. This was at night, and he was not wearing a helmet or lights. When I asked him about it later, he said he used to live in a large city, and said he "always rode like he was invisible."

    It was this behavior that I wrongly interpreted you as advocating as your cardinal rule, so to taterbug and a few others, it is clear I was mistaken and sorry about that. I won't go and edit it out, but I rescind my earlier post completely.

  25. #25
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    Quote Originally Posted by skottt160
    aight, I think I was in the wrong here. My momentary fury came from a time I was riding to an event in a nearby area for bicycle folks, and I was riding with someone who repeatedly kept taking incredibly aggressive and dangerous cuts through traffic and intersections including the oncoming lanes, running red lights with lots of traffic around. This was at night, and he was not wearing a helmet or lights. When I asked him about it later, he said he used to live in a large city, and said he "always rode like he was invisible."

    It was this behavior that I wrongly interpreted you as advocating as your cardinal rule, so to taterbug and a few others, it is clear I was mistaken and sorry about that. I won't go and edit it out, but I rescind my earlier post completely.
    My respect for you just went up ten fold. I am glad that you understood what I posted.
    Last edited by taterbug; 05-19-2009 at 01:17 PM.

  26. #26
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    + 1 for riding against traffic, bloody stupid.

    Also, not carrying any spares, if you going to ride the 5 miles to work at least carry a pump and patch kit, don't expect the next cyclist to come along (usually me) to have them.
    It's not enough that we do our best; sometimes we have to do what's required.

  27. #27
    PCC
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    Drafting unannounced then not pulling for me. Hey, I'm working hard splitting the wind so that you can catch a break. Why not return the favor? I'm not the strongest rider out there but it irks me when I'm JRA then I notice someone on my wheel. Okay, that's not all that big of a deal because it doesn't affect me. Then, this freeloader blows around me, keeping three or four feet out, and doesn't give me a chance to mooch off of him.

    If you're riding along and need to take a break on someone else's wheel the considerate thing to do is to ask if it is okay to do so. Some folks would blow a snot-rocket at you once they've discovered you are there. I wouldn't do that but I've had thoughts about bunny-hopping over a pothole to see how good your reaction times are. If it is okay to latch onto someone else's wheel then return the favor by pulling him along for about the same distance.

  28. #28
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    Quote Originally Posted by paqman
    . Am I ok, or do I need to break down and do it the right way?
    I think I'd go with your solution. That doesn't make us right, but I believe you sometimes have to be creative.

    I failed to mention that my sidewalk segment also goes the wrong way - because of that left turn 200 feet after the intersection.

  29. #29
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    Quote Originally Posted by PCC
    Drafting unannounced then not pulling for me. Hey, I'm working hard splitting the wind so that you can catch a break. Why not return the favor? I'm not the strongest rider out there but it irks me when I'm JRA then I notice someone on my wheel. Okay, that's not all that big of a deal because it doesn't affect me. Then, this freeloader blows around me, keeping three or four feet out, and doesn't give me a chance to mooch off of him.

    If you're riding along and need to take a break on someone else's wheel the considerate thing to do is to ask if it is okay to do so. Some folks would blow a snot-rocket at you once they've discovered you are there. I wouldn't do that but I've had thoughts about bunny-hopping over a pothole to see how good your reaction times are. If it is okay to latch onto someone else's wheel then return the favor by pulling him along for about the same distance.
    This pretty much should always be verbally initiated. Ask people if you can grab their wheel (Can I sit in?) and always offer to return the favor (Can I take a pull?). Although I've never come across a commuter situation where I'd want to take a wheel...but then again mine is five miles through Boston.

  30. #30
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    Just thought I'd give another plug for obeying the traffic lights. Local news this morning from Utah, two cyclists, or should I say, two dudes riding bikes, both got hit by cars while they (the bikers) were running a red light, and the cars were blinded by the morning sun, and did not see them. One had a helmet, the other did not. One walked to the ER, the other got a free ride. Can you guess which was which? I should mention that these were two completely separate instances about a mile apart from eachother, but happened within about a 30 minute time span. Here's a link to the news story if you're curious:

    http://www.ksl.com/?nid=148&sid=6538323
    I need it up, you need it down. You don't see me complaining when you leave it down.

  31. #31
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    +1 for riding like you're invisible. It's easy to get upset when someone pulls out in front of you or passes too close, but by riding like you expect them to respect you on the road you are basically putting your life in the motorists' hands. Weaving in and out of traffic is not defensive riding, it's f*ck nozzle douche bag-ism.

    Paqman, I also agree that cutting through parking lots is perfectly legit (I do it all the time), as long as you're not going against the direction of traffic, buzzing old ladies with shopping carts, etc.... Just be as alert as you would be on the street. I've had asshats try to pass me on the right by driving through empty parking spaces right as I'm signaling to turn right. Technically, you're supposed to walk your bike in the crosswalk. That being said, I rarely do. I've seen people do this in front of cops and not get popped so I'm not sure if it's an actual law or more of a strategy for not getting right/left hooked.
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  32. #32
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    Quote Originally Posted by Gary the No-Trash Cougar
    +1 for riding like you're invisible. It's easy to get upset when someone pulls out in front of you or passes too close, but by riding like you expect them to respect you on the road you are basically putting your life in the motorists' hands. Weaving in and out of traffic is not defensive riding, it's f*ck nozzle douche bag-ism.

    Paqman, I also agree that cutting through parking lots is perfectly legit (I do it all the time), as long as you're not going against the direction of traffic, buzzing old ladies with shopping carts, etc.... Just be as alert as you would be on the street. I've had asshats try to pass me on the right by driving through empty parking spaces right as I'm signaling to turn right. Technically, you're supposed to walk your bike in the crosswalk. That being said, I rarely do. I've seen people do this in front of cops and not get popped so I'm not sure if it's an actual law or more of a strategy for not getting right/left hooked.
    Yeah, actually sometimes I go through this big mall parking lot too, and those can be dangerous. The kids like to speed through those lots, and it's hard to see them coming, cause of all the cars there. I don't do that one very often though. Mostly on the my ride in at 5:30 am when no one is there.
    I need it up, you need it down. You don't see me complaining when you leave it down.

  33. #33
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    Drying your bike shorts in full view.

  34. #34
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    I guess we get spoiled here in europe. The following things make bike commuting so much easier here:
    -The city I live in (and most others here) has bike/pedestrian paths that parallel each and every road
    -In the built up areas there are dedicated bike lanes with their own traffic markings, direction of travel (each side of the street has a separated, marked bikelane) and traffic lights. They are coordinate with pedestrian crossings.
    -On the larger shared bike lanes, there is often a line separating the bike and pedestrian areas and the pedestrians are to stay out of the bike lane and generally do.
    -This last one is the best part: Most bikes here have little bells ont hem and you ring them to get the pedestrians out of the way. People here are so well indoctrinated to this that when you ring it, they don't even look back, they just step toward the outside of the lane, or away fromt he bicycle portion, and continue walking... probably not even consiously aware that they moved at all.... hmmmm Pavlov anyone? Oh and yes, for you MTBers, these work on the forrest trails as well, though the usual trail courtesy still applies, especially when the trail gets small.

    The cardinal sin that I would cite, that is a problem over here because bicycles are so prevalant and smoking is so prevelant, people smoking while they are biking along the bike path... nothing like getting the heart rate up in the organge just to huff in a lung full of second-hand Marlboro...

  35. #35
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    Quote Originally Posted by Jonesy33
    I guess we get spoiled here in europe. The following things make bike commuting so much easier here:
    -The city I live in (and most others here) has bike/pedestrian paths that parallel each and every road
    -In the built up areas there are dedicated bike lanes with their own traffic markings, direction of travel (each side of the street has a separated, marked bikelane) and traffic lights. They are coordinate with pedestrian crossings.
    -On the larger shared bike lanes, there is often a line separating the bike and pedestrian areas and the pedestrians are to stay out of the bike lane and generally do.
    -This last one is the best part: Most bikes here have little bells ont hem and you ring them to get the pedestrians out of the way. People here are so well indoctrinated to this that when you ring it, they don't even look back, they just step toward the outside of the lane, or away fromt he bicycle portion, and continue walking... probably not even consiously aware that they moved at all.... hmmmm Pavlov anyone? Oh and yes, for you MTBers, these work on the forrest trails as well, though the usual trail courtesy still applies, especially when the trail gets small.

    The cardinal sin that I would cite, that is a problem over here because bicycles are so prevalant and smoking is so prevelant, people smoking while they are biking along the bike path... nothing like getting the heart rate up in the organge just to huff in a lung full of second-hand Marlboro...
    Oh god yes, I remember all the smokers on the bike paths in The Hague. Some of them would be puffing like trains as they knew that once they reached the office there be no smoking until lunch. I also recall as a 20 something fit cyclist being put in my place my 50 year old dutchmen on town bikes with cigars.

    Another cardinal sin for commuting in the Netherlands was sharing the bike path with all the 'bromfiets' or mopeds AND who puts a 200watt on a moped???
    It's not enough that we do our best; sometimes we have to do what's required.

  36. #36
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    How about not looking behind you before you throw (pour) out the coffee from your travel mug. I really hate drinking coffee. And I REALLY hate wearing it.

    How about when you are slightly hungover and you forget to lockout your front shock, as you are riding twords a single lane bridge on a foggy/damp morning. Right when you are leanig down to flip the lockout some sanctimonious (but probably well meaning) jackass on a cyclocross bike rippes past you (on the bridge) And screams GET SOME LIGHTS! As he flashes by you notice he has more lights and mirrors and flashy doodads than most medium sized aircraft.
    In the great Ford vs Chevy debate, I choose Porsche.

  37. #37
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    Riding on the sidewalk almost got me killed, TWICE. First, I was nailed by a right-turning car from behind me on a green light, as I flew into the pedestrian X-ing, directly from the sidewalk. The driver said she never saw me. I broke my scapula, re-fractured my collarbone and got road rash scars that still appear today. Plus, my XC race bike was destroyed. The $13k settlement fixed that, though. The second time I was on the sidewalk going against traffic, when a huge lifted truck came out of a strip mall. The driver's head was looking left for oncoming traffic to safely make her right turn, and was creeping out of the mall into the street. I was approaching to her right, assuming she was going to yield for me...but she never bothered looking at me. The big Dodge Ram 4x4 Diesel truck never came to a complete stop. I could sense she was was in a big hurry and ready to accelerate for her turn right before another incoming car...when I heard her daughter scream, "Mom!!! you're gonna hit the guy!"....she locked-up her brakes at the very last second, as I nervously passed the front of their truck. Whew!!!! Had she made her exit from the shopping center- that huge 4x4 would have EASILY plowed right over me(all 4-wheels!!!)...and they would have never known it until AFTER I was crushed!!!! Yes, I was saved by a kid...if the driver was ALONE, I would have been toast.

    Today, I use the bike lanes EXCLUSIVELY and operate my commuter just like a motorized vehicle.
    Last edited by Cayenne_Pepa; 05-20-2009 at 09:03 AM.
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  38. #38
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    Quote Originally Posted by Zachariah
    Riding on the sidewalk almost got me killed, TWICE.
    I've had some close calls, and so I avoid the sidewalk except that one area. I'll yell a hearty "YO!" to get a drivers attention before they screw up.

  39. #39
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    "This one is silly. Give the room you would want to be given. Usually I'm going so fast it is impossible for me to announce myself, give them time to settle down after I scare them, and still pass safely. "


    and


    "...This recently happened with me. I was goin over a bridge on the sidewalk. The road surface is to narrow for both a car and a cyclist. So, I'm on the sidewalk coming up behind a guy and I yell "On your left." He jumps in the air and to the left right in front of me while spinning around and hitting the back of his head off part of the steal structure. I cram on the brakes narrowly missing the guy...Same bridge different incident... I left a good chunk of skin from my right hand on one of the hand rails due to a pedestrian jumping in the air when I announced myself..."



    Maybe slowing down to make sure that announcing yourself has the desired effect would help in these situations?

  40. #40
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    Quote Originally Posted by dexetr30
    + 1 for following traffic signals. Also, when in traffic make sure to watch for people opening doors in parked cars. This one could lead to a serious mishap.
    Oooh, yeah, I can relate to that. I was riding to the trailhead one day when some ass parked halfway into the street decided to open his door right when I was about to pass it. I hit it head on, and fell into his car, half my body on both seats. The funny part is that the driver got pissed off at me! I wanted to clock him right there, but I decided it wasn't worth it missing a sure-to-be-great ride over some jackass in a huge SUV.
    Good luck with that, mister 300-Mile Turn Radius.

  41. #41
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    Quote Originally Posted by bigpedaler
    OK, peeps, it's CARDINAL SINS, not Cardinal rules to ride by. On topic helps us all.

    1. Riding against traffic (I HATE SEEING THAT!)
    2. Blowing intersections -- stop signs, red lights, etc.
    3. Sidewalk riding when not absolutely necessary.

    Those have been listed.
    My add:
    4. Riding less than 10mph; slowing for a stop/turn is understandable, but don't CRUISE that slow. It ticks ME, you can IMAGINE what it does to the cagers!
    5. Bunch riding 3+ across, taking up space that faster riders need to pass you (mostly on MUPs).
    I got one better!
    Blowing an intersection while riding against traffic!!! I saw this one day and said to my self "dudes gonna die!" LOL
    The most important thing is what God thinks about it. He will have the final say. Joshua Stinebrink

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  42. #42
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    +1bigpedaller Cardinal Sins people, not Cardinal rules

    I got another one. Getting into your drop bars and showing your ass crack to the guy riding behind you.... I was that guy behind him and he is surely going to bicycler's hell

  43. #43
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    One of the big sins of commuting in my opinion is getting upset.
    Stay relaxed, stay calm, and don't get annoyed at the jackass drivers, cyclists, pedestrians, and crosswalk guards.

    This, though, is one of the sins in life that I seem to commit fairly frequently.
    Cheers, Dave

  44. #44
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    Cardinal sins:

    Assuming that the motorist that is going to turn left/right/cut you off actually sees you.

    Not carrying proper tools or spare parts and knowing how to use them.

    Not riding in a relatively straight line.

  45. #45
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    Come to a red light, hang a right at the intersection, do a quick u-turn then hang a right and back on your way...sin or not?

  46. #46
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    Quote Originally Posted by smiley
    Come to a red light, hang a right at the intersection, do a quick u-turn then hang a right and back on your way...sin or not?
    So that you don't have to wait for the red light without "technically" running it? That seems like a lot of work to save 30 seconds or so. And you're having to stop anyway..... twice.
    R.I.P. Ronnie James Dio ~ July 10, 1942 May 16, 2010

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    Quote Originally Posted by smiley
    Come to a red light, hang a right at the intersection, do a quick u-turn then hang a right and back on your way...sin or not?
    Definitely a sin.

    Along the same lines...

    Using a crosswalk. period Ontop of that using the crosswalk button meant for pedestrians even though its clear that the light will turn green in like 5 seconds for motor vehicles and bicycles.

  48. #48
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    One problem with the crosswalk idea, Reno -- my MUP includes several crosswalks. Best way to get back/forth to work/home, too....
    A bike is the only drug with no bad side effects....

  49. #49
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    Also on the crosswalk idea - my bike won't change lights armed with a sensor instead of a timer. -IF- there is a crosswalk button, pushing it is the only way to make the light change, either that or just run the red light once the intersection is clear.

    Things are rarely black and white.

  50. #50
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    Quote Originally Posted by emtnate
    Also on the crosswalk idea - my bike won't change lights armed with a sensor instead of a timer. -IF- there is a crosswalk button, pushing it is the only way to make the light change, either that or just run the red light once the intersection is clear.

    Things are rarely black and white.

    I have a couple of these fixed to the outside of my frame at the bottom braket and it works on 99% of traffic lights:

    http://www.magnet4less.com/product_i...&products_id=1


    Another cardinal rule:

    Riding without a helmet

  51. #51
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    Don't draft buses.

  52. #52
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    Quote Originally Posted by emtnate
    Also on the crosswalk idea - my bike won't change lights armed with a sensor instead of a timer. -IF- there is a crosswalk button, pushing it is the only way to make the light change, either that or just run the red light once the intersection is clear.

    Things are rarely black and white.
    We are talking about a regularly trafficed road, not a stop light where a car comes every 5 minutes. The guy I was tlaking about was riding with traffic, light turned red and he he immediately went over the the crosswalk come on now!

  53. #53
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    Here's one for you, don't be zipping along the bike lane if traffic on the left is bumper to bumper nearby a high school dropoff. Expect every door to open up and some little runt with a backpack to jump out.

    Last month said runt jumped out, I avoided hitting the kid, but the backpack swung around, hit my handlebar and I went to the curb.

    I believe its illegal to jump out of a car in the lane of traffic,especially when there is ample room to pull over. But I guess by the way the SUV moms were yelling at me not to be going to fast, somehow it seemed like it was my fault at the time.

    I avoid the schools altogether now. Its just a bad idea to be bike riding when the mom's are late for work and they have to sit thru 15 min of traffic just to drop off their kid, who I guess is too fat to walk or ride a bike.

  54. #54
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    Quote Originally Posted by megafrenzy
    Here's one for you, don't be zipping along the bike lane if traffic on the left is bumper to bumper nearby a high school dropoff. Expect every door to open up and some little runt with a backpack to jump out.

    Last month said runt jumped out, I avoided hitting the kid, but the backpack swung around, hit my handlebar and I went to the curb.

    I believe its illegal to jump out of a car in the lane of traffic,especially when there is ample room to pull over. But I guess by the way the SUV moms were yelling at me not to be going to fast, somehow it seemed like it was my fault at the time.

    I avoid the schools altogether now. Its just a bad idea to be bike riding when the mom's are late for work and they have to sit thru 15 min of traffic just to drop off their kid, who I guess is too fat to walk or ride a bike.
    Good luck with that, mister 300-Mile Turn Radius.

  55. #55
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    Quote Originally Posted by megafrenzy
    Here's one for you, don't be zipping along the bike lane if traffic on the left is bumper to bumper nearby a high school dropoff. Expect every door to open up and some little runt with a backpack to jump out.

    Last month said runt jumped out, I avoided hitting the kid, but the backpack swung around, hit my handlebar and I went to the curb.

    I believe its illegal to jump out of a car in the lane of traffic,especially when there is ample room to pull over. But I guess by the way the SUV moms were yelling at me not to be going to fast, somehow it seemed like it was my fault at the time.

    I avoid the schools altogether now. Its just a bad idea to be bike riding when the mom's are late for work and they have to sit thru 15 min of traffic just to drop off their kid, who I guess is too fat to walk or ride a bike.
    WTF. A bike lane is a traffic lane, so unless you we going 325MPH I don't see why you should have to slow down. And yes, it is indeed illegal to jump out of a car in the lane of traffic. It's also stupid and dangerous, at least without looking.
    R.I.P. Ronnie James Dio ~ July 10, 1942 May 16, 2010

  56. #56
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    Quote Originally Posted by Gary the No-Trash Cougar
    WTF. A bike lane is a traffic lane, so unless you we going 325MPH I don't see why you should have to slow down. And yes, it is indeed illegal to jump out of a car in the lane of traffic. It's also stupid and dangerous, at least without looking.
    Yeah. Unless you're deathly late for something immensely important (and sometimes not even then) what's the point of doing that? It's stupid and dangerous, and better late than never (if someone in the bike lane hits you.) It's like the intersection thing: if you cross while the light is red for you and a car hits you, you cannot claim a single fcking penny.
    Good luck with that, mister 300-Mile Turn Radius.

  57. #57
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    I would suggest that should a Cardinal Sin be commited, the sinner must absolve theirselves by submitting to public flaming on a bicycle message board before cycling again.

    sanjuro, I agree the public airing of bikes shorts should be elevated to Cardinal Sin. We have this... interesting character at work that likes to hang his jersey and shorts over the cubical walls for all to see. Your crotch may be damp in the afternoon, but I don't care to wafted by the sent of your balls during office hours.

    Running red lights is pretty high on the list and should qualify as a Cardinal Sin, however it depending on the circumstances it could be a venial (forgivable) sin. However, my personal pet peeve (for which I will publically and loudly damn another cyclist), is running a red light in front of another cyclist who HAS taken the time to push the stupid cross walk button and is waiting for the light to cycle.

    Failure to acknowledge a cyclist who has waved to you should be a forgivable sin, however frequent sinning may require a sacrifice of beer to the aggrieved party.

    Any cyclist driving an automobile has committed a Cardinal Sin should they make a right turn in front of a cyclist on a bike.

    Making fun of less experienced cyclist cycling attire in such a way as to discourage their cycling is a Cardinal Sin.

    Refusal to aid a cyclist in need while commuting should be evelated to a Cardinal Sin as well.

    I am sure there are many, many more. Another interesting topic would be Cardinal Sins against cyclists. Lack of bike racks in public places comes to mind.

  58. #58
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    Quote Originally Posted by jfk
    sanjuro, I agree the public airing of bikes shorts should be elevated to Cardinal Sin. We have this... interesting character at work that likes to hang his jersey and shorts over the cubical walls for all to see. Your crotch may be damp in the afternoon, but I don't care to wafted by the sent of your balls during office hours.
    Some people are freakin' clueless. I think I just threw up in my mouth.
    R.I.P. Ronnie James Dio ~ July 10, 1942 May 16, 2010

  59. #59
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    Quote Originally Posted by jfk
    I agree the public airing of bikes shorts should be elevated to Cardinal Sin. We have this... interesting character at work that likes to hang his jersey and shorts over the cubical walls for all to see. Your crotch may be damp in the afternoon, but I don't care to wafted by the sent of your balls during office hours.
    Good luck with that, mister 300-Mile Turn Radius.

  60. #60
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    Words of wisdom:

    Don't blow snot rockets in the window of the car rolling next to you.
    A bike is the only drug with no bad side effects....

  61. #61
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    Quote Originally Posted by bigpedaler
    Words of wisdom:

    Don't blow snot rockets in the window of the car rolling next to you.
    Good luck with that, mister 300-Mile Turn Radius.

  62. #62
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    Showing disrespect towards other cyclists. When I commuted I nodded to other cyclists regardless if they were riding a department store special, mountain bike, roadie, fixie, whatever. I chatted with a few, too. We're all cyclists. I always ask if people need help when they're stopped on the side of the road regardless of what kind of bike they have. The only time I could not help was when a gentleman had a flat on his mountain bike. His valve stem broke so there was no way to keep the air in his tire and my spare roadie tube would not work in this case.

  63. #63
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    I rode on the sidewalk today wasn't commuting, just took a wrong turn on my way home from a ride.

    Quote Originally Posted by jfk
    I would suggest that should a Cardinal Sin be commited, the sinner must absolve theirselves by submitting to public flaming on a bicycle message board before cycling again.

    sanjuro, I agree the public airing of bikes shorts should be elevated to Cardinal Sin. We have this... interesting character at work that likes to hang his jersey and shorts over the cubical walls for all to see. Your crotch may be damp in the afternoon, but I don't care to wafted by the sent of your balls during office hours.

    Running red lights is pretty high on the list and should qualify as a Cardinal Sin, however it depending on the circumstances it could be a venial (forgivable) sin. However, my personal pet peeve (for which I will publically and loudly damn another cyclist), is running a red light in front of another cyclist who HAS taken the time to push the stupid cross walk button and is waiting for the light to cycle.

    Failure to acknowledge a cyclist who has waved to you should be a forgivable sin, however frequent sinning may require a sacrifice of beer to the aggrieved party.

    Any cyclist driving an automobile has committed a Cardinal Sin should they make a right turn in front of a cyclist on a bike.

    Making fun of less experienced cyclist cycling attire in such a way as to discourage their cycling is a Cardinal Sin.

    Refusal to aid a cyclist in need while commuting should be evelated to a Cardinal Sin as well.

    I am sure there are many, many more. Another interesting topic would be Cardinal Sins against cyclists. Lack of bike racks in public places comes to mind.

    You're getting way into this.

  64. #64

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    I don't know if it qualifies as a cardinal sin - maybe just a pet peeve. When riding on bike paths (and not in traffic), riders who have extremely bright lights set to strobe and aimed into the eyes of oncoming cyclist. I encounter this once or twice a night in the winter. While I always dip my head and shield my eyes with my visor, I am often tempted to return the favor with my very bright helmet mounted light (to date I have played nice).

  65. #65
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    Quote Originally Posted by rshughes
    I don't know if it qualifies as a cardinal sin - maybe just a pet peeve. When riding on bike paths (and not in traffic), riders who have extremely bright lights set to strobe and aimed into the eyes of oncoming cyclist. I encounter this once or twice a night in the winter. While I always dip my head and shield my eyes with my visor, I am often tempted to return the favor with my very bright helmet mounted light (to date I have played nice).
    No, that's definitely a sin. Being visible to others is important, blinding people is just someone being a self-important jerk. It's like someone taking the entire lane when they know they are not able to move at the same speed as the rest of the traffic and they have plenty of room on their right.
    R.I.P. Ronnie James Dio ~ July 10, 1942 May 16, 2010

  66. #66
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    Quote Originally Posted by Gary the No-Trash Cougar
    No, that's definitely a sin. Being visible to others is important, blinding people is just someone being a self-important jerk. It's like someone taking the entire lane when they know they are not able to move at the same speed as the rest of the traffic and they have plenty of room on their right.
    Seriously.
    Good luck with that, mister 300-Mile Turn Radius.

  67. #67
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    My neighborhood tends to get quite a few commuters since it's a cut-through to one of the major trails. As a cyclist or a driver, the two things that drive me nuts are 1) No lights in the winter when it gets dark by 4:30, and 2) Cyclists who will buzz a BUSY stop sign and then dish out dirty looks & gestures at the car that narrowly avoids hitting them. These are both amazingly frequent occurances.

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    Take off the (expletive deleted) headphones.

    Seriously had someone with earbuds in scream at me for passing them. I announced, and wasn't heard due to the earbuds. If you're going 8mph on a semi-major road, you're going to get passed - a lot. Hell, if you're going 8mph on a steep incline you're going to get passed a lot. Adding music to the mix is just pure stupidity.

  69. #69
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    weaving in and out of parked cars on the side of the road......many cyclists seem to think it's giving cagers more room for small stretches....but in reality they're popping in & out of traffic unpredictably....kinda what 'woodway' was saying about riding in a straight line

    that and riding 2+ abreast.......that really bugs me.....
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  70. #70
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    Quote Originally Posted by Gary the No-Trash Cougar
    WTF. A bike lane is a traffic lane, so unless you we going 325MPH I don't see why you should have to slow down. And yes, it is indeed illegal to jump out of a car in the lane of traffic. It's also stupid and dangerous, at least without looking.
    Not To Thread Jack but I have the same problem @ the skatepark the little kids drop in on you like crazy! And they say that bikes in there are dangerous!!!!!WTF?
    The most important thing is what God thinks about it. He will have the final say. Joshua Stinebrink

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  71. #71
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    Gutter-grabbing. It's already been stated one way or another, but I want to say it again. Whether it's weaving in and out of parked cars or hugging the curb in a lane that's too narrow to share with a car without having them cross the median. If they see an oncoming car and try to avoid an accident, you're in the space they're going to occupy. Just take the lane.

    Slavishly obeying the presence of bike lanes, MUPs, alternate bike routes, etc. One of the streets I ride on regularly has a bike lane on each side, but all the perpendicular streets are one-ways and people turn into them frequently and at high speed. Actually using the bike lane is asking to get hooked. Especially with the slight downward incline on that road, taking a whole lane is safe and doesn't even mess with traffic flow. MUPs can be really dangerous since pedestrians are unpredictable, and we just make it worse when we insist on using them at speeds appropriate to vehicular traffic. I actually still take the suggested bike route across a bridge near my house, but it puts me in a narrow sidewalk with oncoming pedestrians and sometimes other cyclists. My neighbor stays in the traffic lane, and I think he's right. It's a short bridge, and there are two lanes each way if someone absolutely must pass him.

    And as far as lights are concerned... I have a big one, but I keep a little one in my bag in case I end up out late without having planned it. The small ones weigh very little and can still be pretty bright if you only need a "be seen" light.
    "Don't buy upgrades; ride up grades." -Eddy Merckx

  72. #72
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    The BIGGEST SIN of commuting...are the poor strategic planning and/or execution of bike lanes. Obviously, city planners are by no means cyclists...and this gross oversight sometimes makes our roads becoming downright deadly to commute on.
    "This is a male-dominated forum... there will be lots of Testosterone sword-shaming here" ~ Kenfucius

  73. #73
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    Quote Originally Posted by Zachariah
    The BIGGEST SIN of commuting...are the poor strategic planning and/or execution of bike lanes. Obviously, city planners are by no means cyclists...and this gross oversight sometimes makes our roads becoming downright deadly to commute on.
    Yeah. I bet all the city planners are held up at gunpoint by cyclists and being told: "make a bike lane, you %$^* &%^$^ of a ^*^$%%##ing ^&%^&&!"

    JK, but you get the idea.
    Good luck with that, mister 300-Mile Turn Radius.

  74. #74
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    Pedestrians on Sidewalks

    Quote Originally Posted by SteveF
    "This one is silly. Give the room you would want to be given. Usually I'm going so fast it is impossible for me to announce myself, give them time to settle down after I scare them, and still pass safely. "


    and


    "...This recently happened with me. I was goin over a bridge on the sidewalk. The road surface is to narrow for both a car and a cyclist. So, I'm on the sidewalk coming up behind a guy and I yell "On your left." He jumps in the air and to the left right in front of me while spinning around and hitting the back of his head off part of the steal structure. I cram on the brakes narrowly missing the guy...Same bridge different incident... I left a good chunk of skin from my right hand on one of the hand rails due to a pedestrian jumping in the air when I announced myself..."



    Maybe slowing down to make sure that announcing yourself has the desired effect would help in these situations?
    I agree. If you find yourself HAVING to ride a sidewalk, then recognize that a pedestrian will not expect you there (since technically you shouldn't be there). So, if you're approaching a pedestrian, slow down ALOT, even if you have the room to blow by them.

    Be courteous.

  75. #75
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    Where I live, a lot of pedestrians like to walk in the road. Apparently it's too much trouble to walk on the pavements because you have to cross over sideroads at junctions. This involves stepping off the curb and then stepping back up on the other side, ie requires further effort. You even see people with young children in pushchairs, walking in the road.

    The other day I was cycling home and three women were walking towards me, two side by side on the pavement and one in the road. They could see me coming from a way away but the one in the road did not bother to get onto the pavement. I left room as I came past but hope they got the picture that a bike at 30kph and a pedestrian in the road is not going to be a good combination.

  76. #76
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    Quote Originally Posted by Renovatio
    +1bigpedaller Cardinal Sins people, not Cardinal rules

    I got another one. Getting into your drop bars and showing your ass crack to the guy riding behind you.... I was that guy behind him and he is surely going to bicycler's hell
    I bet people like to see my ass crack. I have a nice ass. It's ok to do that if your a hot piece of ass.

  77. #77
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    Quote Originally Posted by RidersofDslum
    I bet people like to see my ass crack. I have a nice ass. It's ok to do that if your a hot piece of ass.
    Good luck with that, mister 300-Mile Turn Radius.

  78. #78
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    I just missed an idiot yesterday.

    He ran a stop sign, riding on the wrong side of the road, in traffic with no ****ing hands, no helmet.

    I yelled at him and the wife gets on my case......ugh.

  79. #79
    life is a barrel o'fun
    Reputation: Christine's Avatar
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    If you DO decide to break the traffic rules, don't blame anybody else for not seeing you.

    I was pushed over by a car once, as I rode the wrong way up a sidewalk. Driver was pulling out of a shopping center, looking to his left at oncoming traffic, just as I was approaching the car. I started to pass in front of the car just as he took his foot off the brake. Car started to shove me over as I yelled, "Wait! Jeeezzus Chriist!!" and he heard me before hitting the gas and merging into traffic.

    He was very apologetic, but I was even MORE apologetic. My own fault for going the wrong way- why WOULD he look to his right in that situation?!

    Also: Don't think you can't get doored in moving traffic. The one time I got doored, the car was coasting to a stop. Didn't expect THAT!
    "We sat outside the dentist, tooting a horn on the guy's bike."-overheard in the Underground

  80. #80
    I'm SUCH a square....
    Reputation: bigpedaler's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Tones23
    Take off the (expletive deleted) headphones.

    Seriously had someone with earbuds in scream at me for passing them. I announced, and wasn't heard due to the earbuds. If you're going 8mph on a semi-major road, you're going to get passed - a lot. Hell, if you're going 8mph on a steep incline you're going to get passed a lot. Adding music to the mix is just pure stupidity.
    I MISS ALL THE FUN!! Only got hollered at once as I passed a ped -- it was cuz I rolled over some steel plates in the pavement, she jumped, swore, and called me "bi+ch" as I rolled on. LMAO! Called 'bi+ch' by a crack whore....
    A bike is the only drug with no bad side effects....

  81. #81
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    Quote Originally Posted by skottt160
    where does this idea come from? You are visible. Motorists react to what you do. Other people react to what you do. You are not invisible. When someone rides in this manner, they make everyone angry. Your cardinal rule makes me want to cut your spokes.

    expletives edited out.
    Are you in Europe or something?

    In Australia more than half the motorists on the road are just arrogant #@$%#s that have their brake pedal connected to their a$$hole bone.

    One ride in peak hour traffic in any city will soon dispel any notions you had that you were "visible".

  82. #82
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    Quote Originally Posted by dskunk
    One of the big sins of commuting in my opinion is getting upset.
    Stay relaxed, stay calm, and don't get annoyed at the jackass drivers, cyclists, pedestrians, and crosswalk guards.

    This, though, is one of the sins in life that I seem to commit fairly frequently.
    I'm going to confess my cardinal sins.

    I sometimes spit at cars. It's ugly and I always feel bad after I do it.

    Occasionally if I'm really livid I'll even collect a little side mirror as well. No damage, just flick it back a little on my way past.

    These days I really, really try to stay calm.
    But sometimes it's so incredibly hard. Some nights the traffic just seems... like everyones taken their aggressive pills or something. I lose it like this about once every 2 months or so

    After 3 or 4 near misses in as many blocks it starts to feel like everyones trying to kill you. Here I am riding along doing all my fricken hand signals, telegraphing my intentions, (even though it's mostly safer for me just to keep my hands on the bars and near the breaks). I obey all the lights and rules and even no lane splitting....

    but some nights when too many motorists are just doing the most stupid things...... I just want to start souveniring side mirrors, kicking quarter pannels and spitting on windscreens.

    I have to visualise how I'd like to see myself from someone else's eyes. As some smooth, cool, calm, free spirit - at one with his bike - cruzing home while the crazy canned a$$holes work themselves into a frenzy racing each other to know where.

  83. #83

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    for me the cardinal sin is being a dick

    don't be a dick

    there are all kinds of circumstances and conditions and flows and there are some judgment calls -- but don't be a dick

    gotta get around -- need fewer hassle, not more hassles

  84. #84
    I Tried Them ALL... SuperModerator
    Reputation: Cayenne_Pepa's Avatar
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    True...

    Quote Originally Posted by loup-garou
    for me the cardinal sin is being a dick

    don't be a dick

    there are all kinds of circumstances and conditions and flows and there are some judgment calls -- but don't be a dick

    gotta get around -- need fewer hassle, not more hassles
    If you ride like everybody should automatically give you right of way- one day, you will go down...and go down HARD you will. A rider is absolutely NO MATCH for an ignorant driver with a one-ton plus car!

    Don't be a dick...ride like Richard.
    "This is a male-dominated forum... there will be lots of Testosterone sword-shaming here" ~ Kenfucius

  85. #85
    PCC
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    Quote Originally Posted by loup-garou
    for me the cardinal sin is being a dick

    don't be a dick

    there are all kinds of circumstances and conditions and flows and there are some judgment calls -- but don't be a dick

    gotta get around -- need fewer hassle, not more hassles
    Also, remember that one jerk on a bike will label all cyclists as jerks to drivers in cars. I almost want to yell at every cyclist that I see who runs a red light or stopsign, regardless if I'm in my car or on my bike.

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