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  1. #1
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    Thought I'd share my "wriding" experience...

    Just published this column in my college newspaper. Lemme know what y'all guys think

    Amidst the motorized mayhem of our roadways lies those people who shun the conventional. We choose a gentle form of transportation that suits our needs whether it is economical, environmental or quality-of-life justifications. Yet by making this decision, one must accept the grave dangers of becoming a cyclist. But why is this decision, simply choosing a certain means of conveyance, such a dire one? The answers to that question are central to this piece: the cyclist’s manifesto.
    Motorists exhibit feeble thought on the subject, based primarily on impatience, small-mindedness and (most egregiously) a certain lack of humanity. It always leaves me dumbfounded when the average motorist talks about cyclists as if they are subhuman. Somehow, we are obstacles. We are but impediments to your important journey. We have no destination or sense of urgency. We are insistently trying to anger you. We can’t afford a car. We are lawless. We are godless. But most of all, we should ride on the sidewalk (which in San Marcos is non-existent or exasperatingly partitioned). These are but some of the asinine claims I’ve listened to. To those who believe and perpetuate these stereotypes, I hope to vanquish their ignorance. To those who understand the plight of the cyclists, I hope to galvanize our resistance.
    A cyclist is a person — that’s important to remember — riding a bicycle in the road. A cyclist is not a person riding a bicycle on the sidewalk. People who ride their bicycles on the sidewalks are annoying pedestrians. The double meaning is intentional. But, as I will endeavor to explain to you, bicycles on the sidewalk are one of the outcomes of misconceptions that crystallize into misguided policy. That leads to bicycles on the sidewalk or the renegade behavior that produces those misconceptions. I hope you’re picking up on the “cyclical” nature of the problem.
    To understand the manifesto, one must see the road from a cyclist’s perspective. Although cyclists and motorists use the same roadways, the shared experience could not possess a starker dichotomy. Even the smallest car poses a deadly threat to any cyclist. The slightest act of vehicular aggression (i.e.: tailgating, honking, close passes, etc.) is felt tenfold by the cyclist. And since we are in the God-blessed land of Texas, where everything is bigger, we all know there aren’t small cars or “slight” aggressive acts here.
    The protection motorists are afforded, by their sheer power and size, is coupled with the protection they receive from bias within the law and its subsequent enforcement — or lack thereof. To explain this phenomenon, one must understand the real-world application of the current laws, which are vague about key aspects of cyclists’ safety. A prime example is the simple, but dangerous maneuver of passing. Thanks to Rick Perry and his veto of the law requiring drivers to give a cyclist 3 feet of space while passing (Bill White anybody?), many cities in Texas, San Marcos included, do not state a defined passing buffer. Instead, the law leaves cyclists’ safety at the discretion of drivers and police, both of whom (most typically) are in cars. I can tell you from experience, allowing motorists to define (on the fly, no less) a standard of safety for cyclists is foolish. Countless cars have passed me at 40+ mph with less than a 2-foot passing buffer. To them, that was a “safe” distance. Sadly, most police officers would probably agree. This translates into an extremely hostile environment for the cyclist; where laws are irrelevant because of a blatant disregard for safety or a lack of enforcement.
    In the absence of law, to what does one abide? The rules, and they are quite simple. A cyclist can be in the road because of motorists’ most base acknowledgement of the law and human rights. However, a cyclist mustn’t impede, in any way, shape or form, a motorist’s journey. If cyclists do not adhere to these rules, their safety will quickly and drastically be put in danger. In a rule versus law situation, the cyclist is forced to obey the rules rooted in actual roadway experience.
    The cyclist’s manifesto is based on the moral imperative to survive. I will not endanger myself to abide by laws that are one, not enforced, and two, meek in construction and shallow in thought as to render them useless. My advice to cyclists is not to abide by the laws but to live by the rules. And where the rule of the road is “get out of my way or allow me to put your life in jeopardy,” a cyclist’s best chance at self-preservation is to do all they can to maintain safety. “Safe” is a relative and ambiguous term that when applied to cycling says little. Lawful riding is clearly defined but will do little in the way of preserving your safety. I refrain from professing arbitrary and dangerous clichés like “Ride safe” or “Obey traffic laws.” Put simply, the cyclist manifesto is this: “Stay upright.”

    http://star.txstate.edu/content/cyclists-manifesto

  2. #2
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    Nice. I think most of us can definitely relate.
    If ya ain't bleedin'...ya ain't ridin'.

  3. #3
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  4. #4
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    Thanks guys. I posted this in some different forums that I visit and its interesting to see the polarity of responses.

  5. #5
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    Very nice article, but as a cyclist myself I see many MANY "cyclists" touting "share the road" stickers who ride down the middle of the lane during rush hour traffic when theres a perfectly good sidewalk about 5 feet away. This causes drivers to have to make otherwise unnecessary passes in rush hour traffic which is defeating the whole purpose of "share the road." Maybe other areas don't have this problem, but wow does it drive me crazy, for it gives those with a head on their shoulders a bad name.
    I like beer.

  6. #6
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    I really enjoyed the article, OP. Well written.

    Quote Originally Posted by nickav21
    Very nice article, but as a cyclist myself I see many MANY "cyclists" touting "share the road" stickers who ride down the middle of the lane during rush hour traffic when theres a perfectly good sidewalk about 5 feet away. This causes drivers to have to make otherwise unnecessary passes in rush hour traffic which is defeating the whole purpose of "share the road." Maybe other areas don't have this problem, but wow does it drive me crazy, for it gives those with a head on their shoulders a bad name.
    Bikes should not be on sidewalks, it's a danger to pedestrians, just like cars are a danger to cyclists. Literally the middle of the road is another extreme, but the solution to blocking traffic is not the sidewalk.

  7. #7
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    You wont catch me riding on the road unless there is no other choice.
    In my opinion bikes SHOULD be on side walks and that is where mine ALWAYS is.
    Yes I have to drop off into the grass a time or two because of a pedestrian but more often then not they part to one side and say hello happily as I pass.

    It isnt the responsibility of cars to not hit me. Its my responsibility to NOT get hit by cars. May seem backwards but it will keep me alive longer.

  8. #8
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    Quote Originally Posted by scrubbingbubbles
    You wont catch me riding on the road unless there is no other choice.
    In my opinion bikes SHOULD be on side walks and that is where mine ALWAYS is.
    Yes I have to drop off into the grass a time or two because of a pedestrian but more often then not they part to one side and say hello happily as I pass.

    It isnt the responsibility of cars to not hit me. Its my responsibility to NOT get hit by cars. May seem backwards but it will keep me alive longer.

    Wow. Right there, in one sentence is the problem with too many drivers on the road. "It isnt the responsibility of cars to not hit me" YES. YES IT IS. As a driver, it is your responsibility to not hit bicycles, children, road workers. It is your responsibility, if something is in your lane of travel to yeild to oncomming traffic, not just go left of center and play chicken with oncomming traffic. It is your responsibility to pay attention to what the he11 you are doing like not sitting at green arrows, like not getting out of the fast lane when you are going 10 under the speed limit, like paying attention to motorcycles and not turning left in from of them, or any of the 100 things I see on the road every day. Just another example of people not taking responsibility for their actions and everything being ME, ME, ME.

    No, bikes do not belong on the sidewalk. And as soon as a car turns while you are crossing an entrance or exit and runs over you, you will see how quick you can die riding on the sidewalk. Of course it is not the cars responsibility to look to see if the sidewalk is clear before crossing,so at least they don't have to worry about anything.

    And to the OP, nice job.

  9. #9
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    Quote Originally Posted by sdf1968
    Wow. Right there, in one sentence is the problem with too many drivers on the road. "It isnt the responsibility of cars to not hit me" YES. YES IT IS. As a driver, it is your responsibility to not hit bicycles, children, road workers. It is your responsibility, if something is in your lane of travel to yeild to oncomming traffic, not just go left of center and play chicken with oncomming traffic. It is your responsibility to pay attention to what the he11 you are doing like not sitting at green arrows, like not getting out of the fast lane when you are going 10 under the speed limit, like paying attention to motorcycles and not turning left in from of them, or any of the 100 things I see on the road every day. Just another example of people not taking responsibility for their actions and everything being ME, ME, ME.

    No, bikes do not belong on the sidewalk. And as soon as a car turns while you are crossing an entrance or exit and runs over you, you will see how quick you can die riding on the sidewalk. Of course it is not the cars responsibility to look to see if the sidewalk is clear before crossing,so at least they don't have to worry about anything.

    And to the OP, nice job.
    I thought you might be joking about this but reading it a second time and I think you are serious.
    Seriously?! You are going to trust the idiot driving behind you to NOT hit you? Seriously?
    You realize how many half-tarded people are out there speeding around and you are leaving it up to THEM? Whoa dewd. You deserve some kinda medal for bravery.
    OF COURSE it should be on the drivers to watch where they are going. But no one does so it is ON ME not to get my arse treaded on.

    So here is what I say to you......http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=LoXfiSU_wqE

  10. #10
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    Quote Originally Posted by scrubbingbubbles
    I thought you might be joking about this but reading it a second time and I think you are serious.
    Seriously?! You are going to trust the idiot driving behind you to NOT hit you? Seriously?
    You realize how many half-tarded people are out there speeding around and you are leaving it up to THEM? Whoa dewd. You deserve some kinda medal for bravery.
    OF COURSE it should be on the drivers to watch where they are going. But no one does so it is ON ME not to get my arse treaded on.

    So here is what I say to you......http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=LoXfiSU_wqE

    Well you keep riding the sidewalk and I'll keep riding the road and see which one gets hit first. Stats are in my favor.

  11. #11
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    Quote Originally Posted by sdf1968
    Well you keep riding the sidewalk and I'll keep riding the road and see which one gets hit first. Stats are in my favor.
    I thought i told you to jog on already? Does that not mean anything to you?!

  12. #12
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    [QUOTE=scrubbingbubbles]I thought you might be joking about this but reading it a second time and I think you are serious.
    Seriously?! You are going to trust the idiot driving behind you to NOT hit you? Seriously?
    You realize how many half-tarded people are out there speeding around and you are leaving it up to THEM? Whoa dewd. You deserve some kinda medal for bravery.
    OF COURSE it should be on the drivers to watch where they are going. But no one does so it is ON ME not to get my arse treaded on.
    [QUOTE]


    I hate it when people make the case FOR riding on the sidewalk. A study in Toronto showed that 30% of all motor vehicle-bicycle accidents in the city involved a cyclist on the sidewalk. If you focus on the suburbs (faster drivers, bigger roads, so more incentive to ride on the sidewalk by your criteria), that number reaches almost 50%. Better to ride on the road, pay attention to the cars, and follow the rules (don;t run lights, etc). This is how to get around safely by bike.

    http://www.toronto.ca/transportation...icle/index.htm

  13. #13
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    Quote Originally Posted by scrubbingbubbles
    I thought i told you to jog on already? Does that not mean anything to you?!
    It means you are an idiot.

  14. #14
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    stay off the sidewalks

    Quote Originally Posted by EvilScience
    I hate it when people make the case FOR riding on the sidewalk.
    I'm with you on this!

    Sidewalks are for pedestrians and skateboarders! (joke)

    I'm never comfortable riding a bicycle on the road, if feel safer mixing it up with cars when riding a motorcycle. Until we become enlightened like parts of Europe street-riding will be risky business. Here's a good link:
    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Cycling_in_the_Netherlands
    Content here does not officially represent the CA DPR.

    Windows 10, destroying humanity one upgrade at a time.

  15. #15
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    "Thanks to Rick Perry and his veto of the law requiring drivers to give a cyclist 3 feet of space while passing"

    wow, he vetoed a bill that keeps cyclists safe and requires car-people to drive responsibly!?!?! What an Idiot! Did he give any explanation? never-mind, if i read his explanation it would probably make me even more angry.

    I've attempted to ride in Texass a few times and I believe it may be the most bicycle hostile place in the country. whatever they don't understand, they get to kill, right?

    and yes, of course it is the responsibility of drivers to not hit me, just like they shouldn't hit other cars, pedestrians, or your kids playing ball in the street. If they can';t manage that, they shouldn't have a car or a license and probably can't be trusted with any responsibility.
    the time is right for violent revolution

  16. #16
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    I really don't feel that I have to follow the laws when I'm driving either. I just like to be consistant.
    "It's only when you stand over it, you know, when you physically stand over the bike, that then you say 'hey, I don't have much stand over height', you know"-T. Ellsworth

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  17. #17
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    I like to yell out "share the road" as i drive by road bikers that are riding side by side or riders cycling way too far from the shoulder.
    Last edited by idbrian; 08-30-2010 at 07:36 AM.

  18. #18
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    Your rights

    * You may ride your bicycle on any public road, street, or bikeway in the Commonwealth, except limited access or express state highways where signs specifically prohibiting bikes have been posted.
    * You may ride on sidewalks outside business districts, unless local laws prohibit sidewalk riding.
    * You may use either hand to signal stops and turns.
    * You may pass cars on the right.
    * If you carry children or other passengers inside an enclosed trailer or other device that will adequately restrain them and protect their heads in a crash, they need not wear helmets.
    * You may hold a bicycle race on any public road or street in the Commonwealth, if you do so in cooperation with a recognized bicycle organization, and if you get approval from the appropriate police department before the race is held.
    * You may establish special bike regulations for races by agreement between your bicycle organization and the police.
    * You may have as many lights and reflectors on your bike as you wish.

    Your responsibilities: you MUST do these things

    * You must obey all traffic laws and regulations of the Commonwealth.
    * You must use hand signals to let people know you plan stop or turn.
    * You must give pedestrians the right of way.
    * You must give pedestrians an audible signal before overtaking or passing them.
    * You must ride single file unless passing.
    * You must ride astride a regular, permanent seat that is attached to your bicycle.
    * You must keep one hand on your handlebars at all times.
    * If you are 16 years old or younger, you must wear a helmet that meets ANSI requirements on any bike, anywhere, at all times. The helmet must fit your head and the chin strap must be fastened.
    * You must have your headlight and taillight on if you are riding anytime from 1/2 hour after sunset until 1/2 hour before sunrise.
    * You must wear reflectors on both ankles if there are no reflectors on your pedals.
    * You must notify the police of any accident involving personal injury or property damage over $100.

    Your responsibilities: you MAY NOT do these things

    * You may not carry a passenger anywhere on your bike except on a regular seat permanently attached to the bike, or to a trailer towed by the bike.
    * You may not carry any child between the ages of 1 to 4, or weighing 40 pounds or less, anywhere on a single-passenger bike except in a baby seat attached to the bike. The child must be able to sit upright in the seat and must be held in the seat by a harness or seatbelt. Their hands and feet must be out of reach of the wheel spokes.
    * You may not carry any child under the age of 1 on your bike, even in a baby seat; this does not preclude carrying them in a trailer.
    * You may not use a siren or whistle on your bike to warn pedestrians.
    * You may not park your bike on a street, road, bikeway or sidewalk where it will be in other people’s way.
    * You may not carry anything on your bike unless it is in a basket, rack, bag, or trailer designed for the purpose.
    * You may not modify your bike so that your hands are higher than your shoulders when gripping the handlebars.
    * You may not alter the fork of your bike to extend it.

    from http://www.massbike.org/resourcesnew/bike-law/

  19. #19
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    LOL, sorry about that
    Last edited by wallaby123; 09-02-2010 at 02:10 PM.

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