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RSILVERSEA's Photo RSILVERSEA Posts: 80
8/7/11 2:48 P

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Full body armor, an AK-47, and pepper spray.

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BARRONVC's Photo BARRONVC Posts: 1,856
8/7/11 1:55 P

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Unfortunately we have had a tough few days.

Mob beatings on Thursday night at the State Fair, gangs of teens and young adults were pulling people from cars and off motorcycles beating them severely. Sources claim these attacks were racially motivated against random bystanders.

Sunday morning, another 21 year old cyclist kill. The 18 year old driver is in custody for vehicular manslaughter. In my county they would have let the driver go as they did in the past 2 deaths.

www.wisn.com/r/28774396/detail.html

www.msnbc.msn.com/id/44049949/ns/loc
al
_news-milwaukee_wi/t/bicyclist-killeR>d-pleasant-prairie-crash/#.Tj7OjILre
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killed-pleasant-prairie-crash/#.Tj7OjILre_s


These incidences are not exaggerations. These things have been going on for a while and it's coming a head. This state is the forefront for change and a political battle ground. Most people just want a job and chance to live a simple life. The tension is spilling into the streets as rage grows. I have no answers. I have experienced incidences from motorists and teens. I'm not going to change what I do but will try to be more careful of my surroundings and take precautions. I'm sure glad I wasn't involved the past few days.

Any thoughts?

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8/5/11 6:57 P

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One thing I feel compelled to add is that even though there is some danger cycling every analysis that I read indicated that being sedentary was a larger risk than cycling. Yes, you could get maimed or killed while cycling but if you sit on your butt eating bonbons your increased odds of dying or being debilitated by cancer or cardiovascular disease is greater.

BARRONVC's Photo BARRONVC Posts: 1,856
8/5/11 4:06 P

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RSILVERSEA, BLJORDAN,

Frustration is really coming out. Getting buzzed, poor behavior by other cyclists, runners with head phone or on the phone, drivers texting, it's just mindless behavior and lack of respect. It only takes a few to mess it up for all. Is there a solution? I think we need to define what's going on, why, and how to reverse it.

If I ride my bike, South and West it doesn't get much better. If I ride North, or East, anything is possible. Not all communities treat cyclists equally.

Most of your words are pretty accurate regarding a few cyclists giving the entire group a bad name. In my area it's group mentality that breeds tension from both the cyclists and motorists.

BLJORDAN, In my area we have a few fast moving packs that ride out of several locations depending the day that will ride 4+ abreast, run stop signs, cross the center-line going up hills, and disregard all traffic laws. It's the same people riding out of different locations. Here you can ride 2 abreast, as long as, you are not impeding the flow of traffic. They block rural roads that have may have a 45 to 55 speed limit, even if they average 28 mph for 40 miles 4 abreast will cause traffic issues. They will yell at motorists and give the bird freely.
If you were a pissed off motorist and saw a lone cyclists you might look for payback. BLJORDAN, you are correct these actions are hurting all cyclists.

As for me, I follow the rules and taught "Effective Cycling". I ride alone often and if I do ride with a group we never ride more the 2 abreast, take up more than 1/2 of 1 lane, and wave motorists past. There are club rides and group rides that respect motorists and follow the rules but they are small in comparison. If possible I stay on the trails going into the city.

Most of the motorist harassment comes on from teens and young adults probably under the influence. Near public campgrounds on weekends (early evening), campers either coming from the bar or going to the bar. Sunday afternoons if the local pro team loses. Or like Giant said, a few random acts.

There has been deaths here and pretty visible in the media, tension is high and getting worse. A few bike shops tried to get some classes going to help cyclists and motorists understand each other and the laws. It's not working well yet. Another friend was hit by a teenage driver and had her back broken. It was the teens fault and the sideswiped my friend. The impact was so hard the passenger door flew open the the passenger flew out across the road. She has some very cleaver demands in the lawsuit for education. Just think an elite athlete in her prime and the next minute she has a broken back T 11 because a teenager did look before turning.

I don't have any answers.

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RSILVERSEA's Photo RSILVERSEA Posts: 80
8/5/11 9:46 A

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And I'm usually towing a 3 year old. I'm really anxious if I have to tow him on the road.

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DDOORN's Photo DDOORN Posts: 23,575
8/5/11 9:08 A

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One of our local grocery stores put in a bike rack recently and I took time to thank the manager for this.

Good points, re: people on bicycles (they are NOT cyclists!) behaving badly...not sure how to educate / convert them into reasonable cyclists who exercise due caution and follow the rules of the road.

It can be annoying for those of us who DO follow the rules of the road and are cautious when, for example earlier this week I was riding home in the rain, fully square and fair on the shoulder and heading down the 1,000 ft. hill near my house when a car pulls up besides me and lays into the horn.

Fortunately, being "seasoned" it was just an annoyance for me. But for someone with a lower tolerance? What goes on in folk's brains when they do this sort of thing? Are they looking forward to a vehicular manslaughter charge when a startled cyclist goes under their wheels?

Don

Edited by: DDOORN at: 8/5/2011 (11:18)
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RSILVERSEA's Photo RSILVERSEA Posts: 80
8/5/11 7:29 A

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I wish I could bike to my grocery story and the local shopping area. I'd even like to bike my son to school when he starts this fall but all the routes are busy roads. I don't have a death wish and cycling down 28 or 151 is really scary. Neither shopping area has bike racks either. I noticed that about the bike trail on the canal. Considering how many cyclists use it, there are NO bike racks, particularly next to the rest rooms. I have to lean my bike against a post and pray it doesn't tip over. I did more riding when I lived in NJ (and that's sad).

Hubby got into an argument last weekend with some 20 year old who buzzed him. The kid got the "Massachusetts state bird" from hubby then yelled at him to get on the sidewalk. Hubby told him to learn the rules. Riding on sidewalks is illegal, the signs say "Share the Road". Between the local idiot drivers and the tour-idiots, I refuse to ride the roads here. The trails can be unsafe enough. Last Sunday I had a large group walk from one side to the other. Just as I pulled up, the youngest boy started to peddle his bike into my path. Didn't even look. Then you get the walkers who are too fascinated with the scenery and don't get off the path, the people talking on their phones, and the joggers with their headphones on. At least I can deal with them but the kids scare me.

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BLJORDAN's Photo BLJORDAN Posts: 58
8/4/11 11:30 P

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Reading this forum has caused me to sit back and think about all my years in the saddle. I am all about riding bikes everywhere if possible. I lived in Europe for a while and loved the idea of only having a bike and using the rail system when going out of town. At the same time I feel the need to play devils advocate to a point. I'm not saying that objects being thrown at cyclist is right, but I have to think about caused the individual to throw objects in the first place.

There are a lot of great cyclists out there who follow the law to the "T", but there are a lot of bad cyclists who cause a bad name for all of us. A few years back I was driving up a mountain road to go mountain biking and on that small two lane road going to the sky resort was a cycling club. On this two lane road at a couple different locations they were riding four a breast and the other locations two a breast, not one time allowing cars to pass. The cars were forced into oncoming traffic, which endangered the drivers and cyclists. I knew what team / club it was, so I called them out. I contacted the club manager via email and told what I had seen. He forwarded my email to the club, including my email address. He compiled all the responses and sent them to me. But he deleted all their email addresses in an effort to hide their idenity. They called me every name in the book and they said that I don't know cycling or the laws. (I still have that email). This club, is notorius around here for creating bad names. I later found out the club I was riding with was actually affiliated with them, I later quit, but it also explained a lot of things I saw.

Two years ago a guy I knew was killed when he ran into the side of the car. He was racing on a busy street, car made a left and he went right into the passenger door. His death was tragic and changed many peoples lives, including his two year daughters and the driver. The driver was 16 and was texting, she was charged with vehicular manslaughter and is serving time. I look at this accident at being 50/50, she shouldn't have been texting and driving and he shouldn't have been racing on one of the busiest streets in the valley.

There is a guy who rides the same route as me everyday and on the back of his bike he has a flashing light to attract people to his sign that says "Cars Suck". This is the same guy who rides in the cross walk against opposing traffic and runs red lights. When I see him, I take off, because he ruins it for us cyclists. The other day I had it after seeing him run all the red lights and I pulled up next to him and said "Do you know what sucks more than cars", he said what, I said "You, you have broken every law in the book, carry that stupid sign and create a bad name for us true cyclists". Then I rode off.

Cyclists are treated differently, but our fellow cyclists do create bad names. I can attest to this, cyclists are grouped as a whole and one bad cyclists creates a bad name. And sadly it is that bad cyclist who isn't injured, rather than the innocent one, because we are associated with the negative. People want more cycling friendly areas, we need to work on more friendly cyclists as well. We need to obey the laws and explain the laws and how the differ if people ask.

One issue that is coming up really fast is the use of E-bikes and even gas powered bikes. A lot of communties have green belts, which is shared with everyone. With E-bikes being silent and capable of higher speeds there is going to be issues. I have an issue with motorized bikes in general and I hope they regulate them differently from "true bikes". I hope they require registration, insurance and a license. Creating E-bikes may put more people on two wheels, but it creates a much larger issue when it comes to sharing the road.

BILL60's Photo BILL60 Posts: 240,619
8/4/11 5:59 P

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It is indeed sad to hear the horrible bike-related stories. I ride by myself 99% of the time and have not had those problems. The area I live in is mostly country with sparse population. Comparing Europe to the U.S. is akin to apples and avocados. Can you imagine someone from Long Island commuting by bicycle to Manhattan? It just isn't going to happen. Unlike parts of Europe, most of our large cities are relatively new and have been built around fast-moving auto lanes. Many European cities have been around for centuries and were engineered much before autos come to the forefront. While I would love to see more bike commuting in the States, the distances involved will make it extremely difficult.

"Excellence is but for the few."


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BARRONVC's Photo BARRONVC Posts: 1,856
8/4/11 12:33 P

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I'm in the North.

I'm almost 60, with a lot of spare body parts. I ride alone, therefore, a target for motorists coming up from behind. I have a flasher on my helmet and under my seat.

On the other hand we have a rather large cycle racing population and they ride in groups of 80 or more. They don't let cars pass and take over the road and are equally abusive to motorists. Therefore, the old man riding alone is going to be the target of aggression to get back at cyclists. Those large groups of cyclists will run a lone cyclists off the road or bike trail. It's a two headed monster, there is no room for a single cyclist that commutes. If you are not in a group you run a risk of being a target from both groups.

I work a lot of hours and my day gets long. After all my surgeries I have to do rehab so I ride my bike to the gym. Often I leave near dark or as the days shorten after dark. I have lights and stay off the roads for most of the trip. I ride about 13 miles on a paved bike trail and the rest on city streets.

I haven't mentioned all the obstacles. I think you get the big picture.

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8/4/11 12:19 P

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The number of people who mess with cyclists in any area is always small but it doesn't take many people to ruin your day. I've had garbage thrown at me and motorists blaring their horn right behind me to see me jump. Of course cyclists aren't the only people who are messed with. I notice that when I'm walking across the street that motorists often speed up to make me have to run. While on the side of the highway changing a flat on my car dozens of passing motorists shouted obscenities at me since they knew that I couldn't do anything about it.
There are people who so pathetic that they can only feel better about themselves when they bring other people down and cyclists are often the easiest people to abuse.

MINNA72's Photo MINNA72 SparkPoints: (69,621)
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8/4/11 11:59 A

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Barron - seriously? People throw rocks and bottles and what-not at you? Are they insane? Why would anybody do something so evil and crazy? You are minding your own business and doing something good for yourself and others get mad or feel threatened by it? I don't get that. At all.

Kudos to you for doing what you do, even when faced with such "obstacles". That takes courage and determination.

Minna from Sweden

The first recipe for happiness is: avoid too lengthy meditation on the past.
~ Andre Maurois


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DDOORN's Photo DDOORN Posts: 23,575
8/4/11 10:52 A

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I'm curious, BARRONVC, are you in the South...? I hear more stories of your sort occurring around the South...not that us Northern states are hardly immune to this, but there does seem to be more rabid hostility toward cyclists in the southern states.

Don

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Don't die with your music still in you. -- Dr. Wayne Dyer

"We either make ourselves miserable or we make ourselves strong. The amount of work is the same." --- Carlos Castaneda

"You yourself, as much as anybody in the entire universe, deserve your love and affection." --- Buddha

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BARRONVC's Photo BARRONVC Posts: 1,856
8/4/11 10:31 A

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I'm for cycling. I purchase a bike trail pass and have every year for at least 12. I have 2 people i knew for years that were commuters and killed by cars last year. In both incidents the cars were at fault and I think the fine was $285 for not yielding the right of way. Until the laws are changed and respect is given to the cyclists there will be more blood and funerals. These were experienced riders/racers and one owned a bike shop.

I ride to the gym 16 miles one way many days per week on a bike trail, then about 2 1/2 miles in the city. Last night some teenagers put a rock in the bike trail, about 16' long 20" wide and 14" high. It must have take 4 of them and a few skate boards. This happens a lot. The hang out on the bike path, toss rocks at us, shopping carts, and jump the train with dirt bikes or skate boards. Yes, someone got kill on a bike from one of those jumps. After I get off the trail and start on the city roads I get stuff tossed out the window at me like bottles and garbage, called names, they come up really close and scream at you. People think I'm a total nut job for commuting.

I'm lucky I have a good light. In the past I have confronted these 12 to 30 year old trouble makers that do drugs and alcohol under overpasses from highways. I got lic plate numbers and called them in. Nothing has ever been done.

In order to make a change certain things need to happen. The laws need to be changed and enforced. Today, if a cyclists is killed it is always fault of the cyclists. The bike paths need to be patrolled and kept up. This cost money. How do you get an congress person to support cycling when they can't get to vote on the budget? I don't think they will be taking a bicycle.

Cycling is a great venue for transportation. How can this come to be in the USA? Good effort Don.

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DDOORN's Photo DDOORN Posts: 23,575
8/4/11 10:10 A

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Minna, you and Sweden totally ROCK!

Would that America learn QUICKLY how to integrate cycling into our communities!

It is so APPALLING that even the TOP cycling cities in America have such low rates of cycling!

Don

Co-Team Leader for All Health Pros, Binghamton Area Losers & Laid Off But Staying Strong SparkTeams

Don't die with your music still in you. -- Dr. Wayne Dyer

"We either make ourselves miserable or we make ourselves strong. The amount of work is the same." --- Carlos Castaneda

"You yourself, as much as anybody in the entire universe, deserve your love and affection." --- Buddha

rules4humans.com


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SPOOKYRABBIT SparkPoints: (9,418)
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8/4/11 9:46 A

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DDOORN, I always enjoy reading your posts. Keep it up.

MINNA72's Photo MINNA72 SparkPoints: (69,621)
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8/4/11 9:38 A

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Interesting article.

As a European, I can only shake my head at such a strange attitude towards cycling. I live in Uppsala, about 45 miles north of Stockholm, and about 30,000 people commute by train to Stockholm on a daily basis. Outside the station you will see thousands (literally) of bikes. This is how we get around. Not because we don't have cars, but because it's just easier (the city was built many centuries before cars were invented) and cheaper (I want to vomit when American start complaining about their gas prices. Please, until you have been driving in Europe you have no call for complaints) and it's a phenomenal way to get some exercise done. And it's good for the environment. What's not to like, right?

Here's a nice pic in a blog entry of the parking outside the station:

iutlandet.blogspot.com/2008/01/cykel
st
ld-och-tips-p-frisr.html


Even in the winter time:
www.hotelluppsala.nu/index.php?menu=
un
iversitet




Minna from Sweden

The first recipe for happiness is: avoid too lengthy meditation on the past.
~ Andre Maurois


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DDOORN's Photo DDOORN Posts: 23,575
8/4/11 8:51 A

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On Biking, Why Canít the U.S. Learn Lessons from Europe?

(My note: This is a GREAT editorial! Filled with info!)

e360.yale.edu/feature/on_biking_why_
ca
nt_the_us_learn_lessons_from_europe/R>2425/


"Building bike paths alone will not get people out of their cars in the U.S. and onto bicycles. To create a thriving bike culture in Americaís cities, people must begin to view bicycling as Europeans do ó not just as a way of exercising, but as a serious form of urban mass transportation."

Here's a link to another article referred to in the above:

America's Top Cities for Bike Commuting: Happier, Too

www.theatlantic.com/life/archive/201
1/
06/americas-top-cities-for-bike-commR>uting-happier-too/240265/


Don

Co-Team Leader for All Health Pros, Binghamton Area Losers & Laid Off But Staying Strong SparkTeams

Don't die with your music still in you. -- Dr. Wayne Dyer

"We either make ourselves miserable or we make ourselves strong. The amount of work is the same." --- Carlos Castaneda

"You yourself, as much as anybody in the entire universe, deserve your love and affection." --- Buddha

rules4humans.com


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