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Bully bikers

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Bully bikers

Postby Henry Vilas » Sun Aug 01, 2010 9:13 am

Riding "fast and hard" has its downside.

Pedestrians air their beef with bully bikers

My story on riding a bike in Madison has generated a lot of discussion. What caught my eye the most, besides the writer who complained about my "wrinkly middle-aged butt," was the number of pedestrians who have been abused by bicyclists.

"I have been yelled at, called a "f------ bitch" and told to "f--- off," says Betsy Hambrick, who frequently walks the Southwest bike path, in a letter to the editor in response to the story. "I have had my sleeve torn by a biker who passed me so close and at such a high speed that, had I been an inch closer, I would have ended up in a hospital with a badly injured arm."

Ted Voth Jr., who frequently rides his bike on the roads, e-mailed to complain about bicyclists who use the sidewalks, "especially those who ride me down at full tilt from behind."

"Automobile vehicles are a threat and a danger to bikers, but bikers (on the sidewalk) are a danger and a threat to us pedestrians," he says.
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Re: Bully bikers

Postby pattymcnutt » Sun Aug 01, 2010 9:53 am

I hate riding my bike in Madison, but not because of the cars, it's more because of other bikers who try to run me off the road or yell obscenities when I stop for red lights and stop signs. Instead I pack up my bike in the car (not too eco-friendly, I know) and drive out to bike trails for longer rides.

Around town, I frequently see bikers riding two or three abreast on streets, and they refuse to move to single file when cars come by. I don't think they have a right to get mad about pedestrians doing that on bike paths when they do it on the streets. Maybe I'll round up two friends in their cars and we will all drive three abreast down the street.....

Last week I was on the east side at the intersection of E Wash/Thierer Rd and there were 4 bikers (all clad in their spandex and douchey jerseys) riding all the way across Thierer. Despite the long line of angry cars behind them, they refused to move to single file and proceeded to cross E Wash in this formation, which caused a huge traffic hazard. Sorry bikers, but if you are going to ride through a heavily trafficked area and behave like assholes, expect to be treated like assholes (and no boo hoo-ing about motorists "bullying" you).
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Re: Bully bikers

Postby gargantua » Sun Aug 01, 2010 11:22 am

All the back-and-forthing I've been reading about this just leads to the obvious conclusion that there is a certain percentage of assholes in any group, be they motorists, bicyclists, pedestrian, or what have you.

There's not much anyone can do about that, unfortunately.
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Re: Bully bikers

Postby rabble » Sun Aug 01, 2010 11:45 am

I've just finished going through his first article, the one that started the reaction he writes about in the second.

He raises some good points, but when he said this:
I know what some of you are thinking: If it’s so bad out there, why don’t you take the f---ing bike path? The Capital City path is just a block and a half away, and we paid for it with our tax dollars, so use it!

Well, I’ll tell you why. Just like when I’m in my car, I like to take the fastest route to work, and the bike path gives cars the right-of-way at every intersection. For someone who wants to make time and get a good workout, the Capitol City path sucks.


He lost me right there. Riding down Willy St during the morning commute because you want to go fast and get a good workout is just plain stupid. You got a right to be stupid. You even got a right to tell other people they shouldn't get mad at you for being so stupid. But damn, it sure is stupid. You're going to end up being the rightest guy in the hospital. And for the rest of your life, every time it gets cold and damp, you'll have a reminder of how right you were. If you're lucky.

When I make the commute from the same part of town I take the bike path. With all those horrible, terrible, stops and starts, it's still just as fast as the bus or a car to get to my little cubicle.

Want a workout? Go someplace safe and work out.
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Re: Bully bikers

Postby snoqueen » Sun Aug 01, 2010 11:52 am

I read the original article too. You said it better than I would have. Stupidness rules with this person.

I wanted to tell him a) if you are in such a hurry, why not start ten minutes earlier? and b) we've got this terrific bike path, why can't you grow up and use it at a reasonable speed? and c) try just commuting in the morning, and work out some other place at some other time; and d) if two vehicles are trying to use the same space, the bigger one will win regardless of justice.

Incidentally, I bike to work a lot myself and I don't run into half the trouble you do, guy. This is because you are creating it for yourself.
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Re: Bully bikers

Postby green union terrace chair » Sun Aug 01, 2010 11:53 am

Look at the photo from that story ... two guys standing in the bike lane. If they'd just move three feet to the left they'd be in the clear in the pedestrian lane.
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Re: Bully bikers

Postby Henry Vilas » Sun Aug 01, 2010 12:14 pm

green union terrace chair wrote:Look at the photo from that story ... two guys standing in the bike lane. If they'd just move three feet to the left they'd be in the clear in the pedestrian lane.

Two elderly gentelmen, one trying to hurry the other with a cane out of the path of the oncoming bicyclist.
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Re: Bully bikers

Postby HOMOsapien » Sun Aug 01, 2010 9:00 pm

Henry, what part of "bike path" don't you understand?

Letting walkers dominate this public space defeats its purpose. There are plenty of "side walks" all over the city to use.

I smell the NIMBYism of the OP. Old, entitled, and intolerant.
Last edited by HOMOsapien on Sun Aug 01, 2010 9:02 pm, edited 1 time in total.
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Re: Bully bikers

Postby Bad Gradger » Sun Aug 01, 2010 9:01 pm

Henry Vilas wrote:
green union terrace chair wrote:Look at the photo from that story ... two guys standing in the bike lane. If they'd just move three feet to the left they'd be in the clear in the pedestrian lane.

Two elderly gentelmen, one trying to hurry the other with a cane out of the path of the oncoming bicyclist.

The cyclist didn't pay $300 for that outfit so some geezer could be slow and throw off his cadence.

Now that I think about it, Steve Elbow and anyone else who rides Willy "because it's faster" is an asshole. There are two parallel routes a block on either side. If "stopping" at the cross streets on the trail isn't your thing, Jeni has almost no stop signs and an extra-special stoplight at the end just for you!
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Re: Bully bikers

Postby snoqueen » Sun Aug 01, 2010 9:06 pm

And Willy Street has numerous stop lights, unless he just blows them all.

I make a motion he goes over and rides on E. Wash. Now, that's the route for the tough and the bold, driven not by hapless commuters trying to get from the East Side to the Square, but by over-the-road truckers trying to get from the Fox River Valley to Dubuque.

It's even got a labeled bike lane. Steve, do everyone a favor: E. Wash. I even think the posted speed is 35, which ought to keep you in shape.
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Re: Bully bikers

Postby rabble » Sun Aug 01, 2010 10:18 pm

snoqueen wrote:Steve, do everyone a favor: E. Wash. I even think the posted speed is 35, which ought to keep you in shape.

I'd appreciate it if he did that rather than Jenifer Street. I've spent many a bus ride behind some biker who couldn't be inconvenienced to get out of the way of the Number 4. Or 3. Or 38.

Granted, Mr Elbow is probably not going to be one of those mosey-along-at-a-snail's-pace bikers on Jeni, but I'd still rather he took a route that my bus didn't use.
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Re: Bully bikers

Postby narcoleptish » Mon Aug 02, 2010 7:32 am

I love E Wash on my bike. The bike lane is huge, you can hit the lights decently and there are no typical bike path obstacles to contend with. If I go out for an exercise ride I always hit the wash for part of it.

This cars vs bikes thing isn't going away soon, especially with that dickhead mitch henck on the morning drive time, basically egging on his listeners at the exact time they're driving next to bikes.

I have my issues with the bikers that take up the whole lane but I have all the patience in the world in my car and freaking out doesn't solve anything. When I'm on my bike and there's a car behind me I hug the curb. I can ride for blocks in that strip of cement between the curb and the asphalt. THAT was the original bike path.
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Re: Bully bikers

Postby Stebben84 » Mon Aug 02, 2010 8:36 am

narcoleptish wrote:I love E Wash on my bike. The bike lane is huge, you can hit the lights decently and there are no typical bike path obstacles to contend with. If I go out for an exercise ride I always hit the wash for part of it.


I agree. I've been riding it for over a year now and I actually feel safer than I did riding on Jenifer Street. As a cyclist, you are clearly visible with the wide bike lanes and lack of blind spots. Virtually no pedestrians crossing and because not many people use it during my commutes, I can ride at my own pace.

I've had pedestrians walk right in front of me more times then I've had vehicles. Other cyclists have done it as well. It has nothing to do with your mode of transportation. It has everything to do with being a dumb ass.
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Re: Bully bikers

Postby Henry Vilas » Mon Aug 02, 2010 8:38 am

HOMOsapien wrote:... entitled, and intolerant.

Go to the mirror, boy.
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Re: Bully bikers

Postby Bland » Mon Aug 02, 2010 9:05 am

Honest (and off-topic) question for bike commuters:
Do you folks change clothes/shower when you get to work?
Cuz everyone I've ever been around after several miles of biking, especially on a hot summer day, gets kinda stinky.

Forgive my ignorance in advance, but I am curious.
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