By on March 5, 2013

So… what did you get up to last weekend? Probably nothing like what the founder of Skatterbrane (Guitar) Pickups, Rod Kinkade, did. He lost his temper with a group of professional cyclists who were out on a training ride and he rammed one of them with his Oldsmobile Aurora, nearly killing the victim. It was completely unprovoked and he would have gotten away with it if a couple of brilliant men hadn’t run him down and brought him to justice. Now he’s been charged with felony assault. He admitted to the incident, and he’s going down, make no mistake about it.

It’s also possible that none of the above is true.

As some of you know, your humble author competed in various cycling disciplines for twenty years, including a decade as a professional BMX racer. Although I rode on the road for years and have completed over a dozen “centuries”, I never fully settled in with the roadie mentality. Many road riders are great pals and fun people. Some of them, however, are passive-aggressive whiners who are forever complaining about everything from the weather to the use of Biopace chainrings in a paceline, to name just two things I heard bitched about continually when I did winter training rides in the Eighties with a Biopace-equipped Cannondale SR500. BMX and mountain bikers tend to be pretty regular guys, with high pain tolerances and a certain joie de vivre, but the hardcore roadies are often really nasty, picky, bitchy little people.

I’ve written the above paragraph so you understand my prejudices here. I’ve ridden literally tens of thousands of miles in pacelines and I’ve witnessed cyclists take offense at innocuous or accidental actions on the part of drivers more times than I can easily recall. I’ve been struck by cars and trucks five times during my career, including one particularly nasty leg-and-neck-breaker of a hit in 1988, so I understand why cyclists are defensive and hypersensitive when it comes to interacting with cars, but for every genuinely dangerous or offensive action on the part of a motorist, I saw ten cases of overreaction and deliberate trouble-seeking by roadies. The majority of the trouble I saw between drivers and riders was in large part actively sought-out by the riders. I realize that’s not a terribly PC thing to say in the era of Critical Mass, but it’s true in my personal and extensive experience.

Tyler Wren is a 31-year-old pro road cyclist and cyclocrosser. At 5’11″ and 145 pounds, he’s very much the prototype of the modern roadie and when I was racing pro BMX at 6’2″ and 210 it was my pleasure to wipe little people like that off mountain bike trails with my elbows. Nevertheless, he’s well-respected within the sport and he earns a buck riding, which is extremely hard to do. Last week, he published a blog entry which quickly went viral. Here’s the relevant excerpt:

We departed for our ill-fated training ride on Friday at 10:00 a.m., headed out of town on Valencia Road, a common thoroughfare with a generous shoulder bounded by a white line. The 15-rider group was riding two-abreast in a long line, as far to the right as possible, in full accordance with Arizona traffic law. Our team’s strength and conditioning coach Todd Herriott and I were on the front, he on my left, closest to the passing traffic. Kinkade’s tan Oldsmobile Aurora suddenly and violently impacted Todd’s left side. He and I crashed hard on the front of the group as Mr. Kinkade sped away. My teammates also reported that Mr. Kinkade was shouting obscenities at us during the attack through his open car window.

Wren then tells a tale of using chase cars and long-lens cameras to nail the perpetrator. Based on the presented evidence and testimony from the riders, the police arrested Rodney Kinkade of Tuscon, AZ. Mr. Kinkade is apparently facing felony charges. Sounds reasonable and fair, right?

The cycling and music communities of the Internet aren’t exactly two separate circles on a Venn diagram so it was quickly assumed that “Rodney Kinkade” of Tuscon was the Rod Kinkade of Tuscon who operates Skatterbrane Pickups. Mr. Kinkade winds replacement guitar pickups for people who are too stupid, cheap, or plain ignorant to buy Throbaks musicians who want a vintage sound. Over the past week, Mr. Kinkade’s business has reportedly come to a halt as people spread the word of his unprovoked assault across the musicians’ forums. He’s been branded as a bad guy and the chorus of Internet Hammurabian Justice has called for his immediate shaming/beating/death/whatevs.

Mr. Kinkade has yet to respond to any of those claims anywhere with a resounding “Hey, guys, it wasn’t me,” so maybe the Detectives of the Internet were right. Or he’s in a vacation cabin somewhere with a spool of 42 AWG wire and hasn’t heard anything about it. Either way, he’s taking a heck of a hit right now in an economy that’s already stumbling in ways that are too obvious for our tame media to deny.

Let’s assume that Rod and Rodney are one and the same, as seems likely. Does he deserve to be convicted of the most malicious possible interpretation of events, without benefit of investigation or trial? What if he simply was moving back into the lane and made a mistake? What if Todd The Cyclist drifted further to the left and participated in the responsibility for the impact? Mr. Wren’s unambiguous in his sentence of guilt, but a couple of problems with his story are immediately apparent to my cycling mind:

  • “The 15-rider group was riding two-abreast in a long line, as far to the right as possible, in full accordance with Arizona traffic law.” That’s another way of saying: We were aggressively occupying the lane and spread out wide. Double pacelines, and wide double pacelines in particular, are one of the completely unnecessary passive-aggressive maneuvers roadies love to pull. On a massive ride like RAGBRAI or TOSRV, double and even triple pacelines are common because the road is so crowded with bikes. For a 15-person training ride, it was unnecessary. From the perspective of approaching motorists, the cyclists were probably taking up most of the road and obscuring vision as well as making it difficult to get by. While Arizona law may permit double-filing, it almost certainly set the conditions for the incident.
  • The claim that Kinkade began yelling and acting aggressively without provocation. This rings false. Very few people just start screaming at cyclists from nowhere, and from what Mr. Kinkade’s friends are saying about him, this was a gentle and devoted musician, not some inbred hick with a chip on his shoulder about Lycra and Rudy Project sunglasses. Naturally, all fifteen of the riders immediately agreed that Kinkade acted in an unprovoked manner. They’re a team. Professional cycling teams are close-knit organizations capable of telling a uniformly consistent lie about far more complex issues than this. Ask Lance Armstrong. The ring of truth concerning how the incident started is conspicuous by its absence. It’s frankly unlikely that Kinkade simply drove up and started abusing the riders. In relating the incident, Wren himself wrote, “Mr. Kinkade underestimated the cohesiveness and capability of the Jamis squad.” Indeed. Or perhaps the police did.
  • The team’s chase cars tracked down and photographed multiple cars. The photographs were shown to the team, which identified Kinkade’s car after an unspecified amount of effort. It seems unlikely that this step was necessary, unless some sort of consensus-building was taking place. Take it from me: twenty-five years after being hit by a Mac lumber truck, I could pick that lumber truck out of a parking lot, freeway photo, or junkyard at a distance. That kind of thing tends to stick in the mind.
  • Mr. Wren states “…the unprovoked attack by Mr. Kinkade was wholly unnecessary. I understand that cyclists sometimes slow traffic, which can annoy motorists, but we share just as much right to the use of roadway, and no amount of annoyance or delay could justify an assault with a 4,000-pound weapon like his Oldsmobile” That’s not the kind of thing you say unless you gave the man a pretty fair share of annoyance and delay.

Let’s play Monday morning quarterback on this, just for the hell of it. I wasn’t there, but based on the numerous similar incidents I’ve witnessed, my guess is that it went something like this:

  • Kinkade drove up behind the Jamis team, which was occupying the entire lane and pacing at about 22-26mph. Not bad for bikes, but very slow for the open roads of Arizona.
  • Kinkade was unable to pass for some period of time due to the double paceline. Not being acquainted with the roadie mindset regarding road use, he may have found the double-file rather difficult to understand.
  • He hit the horn or pulled out for a pass.
  • One of the team members took offense at Kinkade’s behavrior and flipped him off or started yelling at him. Again, this is something I saw happen again and again: motorist is impatient or stupid, cyclist takes it as deliberate attempted murder and responds with a harridan’s shriek.
  • And it escalated from there.

Mr. Kinkade should make sure he has a good attorney, because otherwise he’s going to serve time for being half of an incident that, despite Mr. Wren’s protestations that his fancy Lycra outfit was “shredded”, injured no one seriously and had no consequences other than a damaged bike and a scratched door. The justice system is unlikely to consider that the testimony of a unified and cohesive cycling team really shouldn’t count for much more than the testimony of a single rider. He’s in a lot of trouble.

Ironically, Mr. Skatterbrane probably would have gotten away clean if he’d simply aimed his Aurora at the back of the group and floored the throttle. The resulting carnage would have destroyed anybody’s ability or willingness to chase him down and/or take any incriminating photos. His mistake may have been acting in an insufficiently violent fashion. Any motorist who finds himself in this kind of situation should probably make sure there’s only side of the story left to tell.

Given that I’m hoping to do a couple of long road rides this year, however, I’m hoping nobody else feels that way. I’ve been hit by enough cars, trucks, beer cans, eggs, and bags of trash already. I’ve also used the steel pegs of my skatepark bike to take a fair amount of urban revenge in stoplight to stoplight situations. None of that’s any good, really. The cyclist/motorist relationship works best when both sides are respectful and courteous. In today’s social environment, however, the chances of that respect and courtesy being mutually extended seem to be as slim as a roadie in his blood-doping prime.

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192 Comments on “Rod Kinkade Has Been Tried And Sentenced For Attempted Murder By The Internet...”


  • avatar
    28-Cars-Later

    Can’t we all just get along?

    • 0 avatar
      mike978

      Fair question. I am glad Jack raises this because it seems to always be assumed that any road traffic incident involving a bike and a car is the cars fault. Cyclists certainly cause a proportion of accidents.

      • 0 avatar
        200k-min

        Are you kidding me? Cyclists DO cause the majority of vehicle/bicycle accidents in an urban environment given what I’ve seen. How many of you have been sitting at a red light and watched a bike just fly through the red light? I see It EVERY DAY…literally, not kidding. When a cyclists thinks he is above the road laws I don’t exactly think it’s the drivers fault when said cyclist gets t-boned by a car.

        On rural highways I think the hardcore long haul cyclists are generally better at following laws but riding two abreast does seem foolish. Single file on the shoulder (or on the white line) is plenty good for anyone but a wide load to pass safely. Causing someone to slow down and pass between oncoming traffic is adding an unnecessary danger for all.

        As for rights to the road, since taxes on fuel fund the majority of the roads I don’t exactly think that cyclists have “just as much right” to the road. I’m not anti-bike but I think the gov’t should be able to regulate what roads cyclists are allowed on and which they are not. I believe interstate highways are already off limits by law. I think some major collector roads and highways should be off limits just for the simple reason that bicycles slow up traffic flow. Dedicated bike lanes are nice, but not always practical. Put those cycles on secondary roads in those situations.

        • 0 avatar
          Slow_Joe_Crow

          Actually taxes on fuel,cars, etc. generally cover 49-51% of road costs, the rest comes from income tax, property taxes and so on, which means the bicycle rider is actually subsidizing you.
          As for limiting bicycle access, that is a complete nonstarter since the issue is roads that take you where you want to go. Even bike friendly Portland Oregon has issues with major travel routes not having either a bike lane or a good alternate.
          Further to that, there have been numerous incidents involving individual riders and riders in single file pacelines being yelled at, bombarded with garbage and even run off the road by people who simply find the idea of a bicycle defiling their sacred highway grounds for attempted murder, or at least a major temper tantrum.

        • 0 avatar
          mklrivpwner

          Actually, any road on which a cyclist cannot travel at speed (10 mph under speed limit) is off limits. This is because a bicycle is, by law, a “motored vehicle” and must conform to the laws regarding motored vehicles. A fact many (all) cyclists seem to ignore at their discression.

          • 0 avatar
            stuki

            If traveling more than 10mph under posted limits were off limits, the last non-off-limits journey on Los Angeles roads took place sometime in the 50s.

        • 0 avatar
          stuki

          If these guys were traveling with a chase car, did Kinkade(sp), pass the chase car, then slam into the bikes?

          For any team with a (presumably double tracked, car width) chase car, who cares how many “files” they travel in. Their widest point is the darned car!

          Anyway, if bikes need to travel “single file” when they are traveling slower than cars, cars really ought to narrow up and do the same when they travel slower than bikes; as in being stuck in traffic.

          The whole thing is silly. Just pass the darned column of bikes. In Arizona out of all places, where rods are nice and wide, and visibility great. If you honestly cannot figure out how to get around a group of slow moving bikes in a multi hundred horsepower car, yo really ought to recognize being stuck behind them until you starve the heck to death is some sort of blessing.

          In dense cities like SF, where bikes deliberately “follow the law” during critical mass like events, crossing traffic light intersections one at a time, just to provoke, I can see being annoyed at them, but on a wide open road, where the are just riding along, side by side, like a driver and passenger in a car? WTF?! Does this ape fancy running into farm tractors as well, for being too wide and too slow?

          People need more guns. If everyone from children to retarded geriatrics in wheelchairs packed sufficient heat, people would be much more concerned about behaving politely. Or, at least those that still refused to be polite, would be much more effectively weeded out.

          • 0 avatar
            fvfvsix

            “In Arizona out of all places, where rods are nice and wide, and visibility great…”

            …Says the person who probably hasn’t seen US 93… :)

            That said, I haven’t had any trouble with packs of cyclists on rural roads out here in AZ. We have a ton of “wide shouldered” roads in scenic country designed specifically for bicycles to coexist with the cars without getting slaughtered in the many blind, hilly areas. Most of them stick to those types of roads with no problem.

        • 0 avatar
          billdsd

          @200k-min: Are YOU kidding me? “From what I’ve seen” is not a scientific study. In fact I have read a couple of dozen safety studies that analyze fault and I have yet to read on that placed bicyclists to blame in the majority of cases. At worst, it’s about 50%. I have seen some studies that placed fault of motorists as much as 80% but most have motorists at primary fault around 50%-60% of the time.

          As for the right to the road, fuel taxes only fund the majority on state and federal highways. Other roads get the majority of funding from general fund taxes.

          Furthermore, the law grants the right to use the road. The payment of taxes does not, except on toll roads where the toll grants the right.

          In other words, every single thing you said in you post was conjecture based upon pure ignorance and a desire to rationalize the delusion that you own the road. You do not.

          Sharing the road with bicyclists is easy. You might want to try growing up and getting over it.

      • 0 avatar
        Ron B.

        When you run a car into the back of another car,the law says you are the guilty party. In Brisbane, Australia a couple of years back. A car stopped in traffic and a line of cyclists hit the rear of the car(!) and the driver of the car was prosecuted.
        Here’s an article very appropo of this whole arguement.
        http://www.couriermail.com.au/news/cyclists-have-hit-back-at-claims-they-bullied-and-threatened-a-brisbane-business-owner-after-a-morning-confrontation/story-e6freon6-1226578334171

      • 0 avatar
        greaseyknight

        Yep, saw a bicyclist who was pulling a wheelie across the street in Bako Ca nearly eat in into the side of a Focus that had a green light.

    • 0 avatar
      Nick 2012

      My parents live in a heavily Amish area of Indiana. The Amish riders are some of the most considerate and safe bicyclists I’ve ever seen. Drivers similarly treat the cyclists with respect and don’t do anything stupid or dangerous in the sticks or in “town” (Elkhart, Goshen, LaGrange). Its a good example of what can happen when the greater good prevails over self-interest. Not that this would ever happen with roadies, though.

    • 0 avatar
      dgran

      I have said many kind things about your articles here, but this one isn’t up to your standards. I dig cars and I ride a road bike. I race, but not at the level of this pro team. I’ve seen bad behavior by cyclists and motorists, but all of this is beside the point when someone uses their auto as a lethal weapon. Game over. No more room for debate about who is right or wrong, because someone has decided to use their 2 tonne vehicle as a weapon against someone who is, at the end of the day, someone’s spouse, parent or child.

      It’s inexcusable. Cyclists should definitely be less whiny, but I’ve been on the receiving end of plenty of harassment from motorists and it gets really old.

      As for riding two abreast, once you have more than 10 people it is actually better for the cars to pass more easily that way so you aren’t stretched out in a long line.

      • 0 avatar
        Lorenzo

        You’re making the assumption that a 2 ton vehicle was wielded deliberately as a weapon. As Jack pointed out, the incident didn’t cause major injuries, just a damaged bike and scratched door.

        You’re also making the assumption Jack’s effort didn’t meet “standards”. Judging by the volume of comments, the driver-cyclist issue is a very real one and his bringing up all the possibilities for interpretation as a counterpoint to the cyclists’ monolithic account is provoking just the sort of debate that is needed. That’s every TTAC writer’s goal, and he’s achieved it with this article.

        • 0 avatar
          dgran

          I think there are a lot of assumptions going around here, but the cyclist vs motorist debate is unfortunately alive and well. The fact is that there are multiple witnesses to the aggressive behavior of the motorist in this particular case. This doesn’t make every altercation between these groups the fault of one or the other, but it is frightening to see the ambivalence that many people in this discussion take toward the life threatening potential of a car+bike collision.

  • avatar
    Detroit-Iron

    You mean there might be extra-judicial consequences for picking fights with people? But… but… I have just as much right to use this road, in my tights and riding a 20lb bicycle, as you in your two-ton automobile. Assuming I survive the encounter I will write a strongly worded op-ed to my local paper!

  • avatar
    olddavid

    “Methinks he doth protest too loudly”.

  • avatar

    I’ve always thought that riding a bicycle in an urban environment made motorcycles look very, very safe. At least most drivers consider a motorcycle a “vehicle”, and you have power as an advantage. I don’t know why this gets such over reaction from both sides. In NYC you have Transportation Alternatives which is anti-car as a concept, I see road bikers (spandex guys = BMW driving a@*les) take up full lanes of 50 mph roads, and back up traffic, and I’ve seen car drivers respond like their manhood was threatened.

    I don’t get it.

  • avatar
    Sky_Render

    Mr. Wren states “…the unprovoked attack by Mr. Kinkade was wholly unnecessary. I understand that cyclists sometimes slow traffic, which can annoy motorists, but we share just as much right to the use of roadway…”

    No, actually, you *don’t.* When I put gasoline or diesel in my car, part of the cost of that fuel is transportation taxes used to fund the upkeep and maintenance on public roads. You’re not putting gasoline or diesel in your bicycle, so you’re not paying for the roads you’re using.

    • 0 avatar
      rwb

      They also do not cause the damage that motorized vehicles do which creates the need for that upkeep and maintenance. That is ostensibly what those taxes are for.

      You don’t have to like it, but legally they are absolutely within their rights. Not excusing discourteous behavior, but it is the law.

      • 0 avatar
        SlowMyke

        I agree that cars cause damage to the roads, but I would venture to say that unless you are driving a semi truck, you really aren’t doing much damage at all. The vast majority of damage to the road will be from natural events like weather or settling of the ground. Unless the road was installed incorrectly, cars will form tracks in a road, but not much else. Drive in the north and then go drive in Arizona and you’ll see what I mean.

        I love bikes, but I do hate bikers. Many bikers are fine, but working in a city where bike are common, they think they not only own the road, but the sidewalks as well. Our road systems are simply not designed well for bikes to be included and our drivers education system does not help. Additionally, bikes should be licensed and education should be mandatory if riders are going to insist on using the roads.

    • 0 avatar
      32x20

      That assumes that riders don’t also have motor vehicles. Which, in my experience, is RARE.

    • 0 avatar
      asapuntz

      This argument about fuel taxes would be more valid if fuel taxes (and vehicle registrations, and maybe vehicle sales taxes) actually covered the cost of road construction and maintenance.

      However, that’s rarely the case, so road construction gets funded out of “general” funds, i.e. sales, property, and income taxes. Therefore, the cyclists are probably paying a substantial portion of the road’s construction and upkeep. And their vehicles exact essentially zero damage on the road surface (10x axle loads).

    • 0 avatar
      Adamatari

      Do you really think your gas taxes pay for all of the roads? I think you need to go read up on how they get paid for – a lot of it comes out of general revenue.

      Beyond that, yes, cyclists DO have a legal right to use the roads in most states. You can check the laws yourself. What, you might get slowed down for 15 seconds until you can safely pass? Deal with it.

      • 0 avatar
        geeber

        Check what percentage of federal motor fuel taxes are diverted to “non-road” projects (i.e., bike paths, downtown beautification projects, etc.). It’s about one-third. If anyone is getting a “free ride,” it’s bicyclists.

        • 0 avatar
          Truckducken

          Honestly? Show me the numbers. I think you’re off by a factor of ten or so. And, as pointed out above, fuel taxes don’t begin to cover road costs. And every bike on the road is one less car, which makes driving easier and faster, except for vegetables too dumb to figure out how to pass a bike.

          • 0 avatar
            geeber

            Since 1970, an increasing portion of “highway user taxes” has been diverted to non-road projects. By 1993, 6.8 cents out of every 18.4 cents collected per gallon was diverted from road projects.

            Things haven’t changed much over the past two decades. The latest federal figures show that, of the revenues generated for the Federal Highway Trust Fund, 21 percent are spent on mass transit, and 12 percent are spent on various projects, including bike paths.

            Taken together, those figures add up to 33 percent…which is one-third of 100 percent.

            We’ll talk about federal fuel taxes “not covering road costs” when the revenues from said tax aren’t diverted to other uses.

            At the state level, several states use gasoline taxes for other purposes. Texas, for example, earmarks 25 percent of state motor fuels tax revenues for basic education in the state budget.

            And where are the figures to back up your contention that every bike on the road means one less car?

            From what I’ve seen, very few people are riding their bikes to work (which would actually mean one less car on the road, as most people do drive to work).

            Most bicycle riders are riding for pleasure on the weekends or during evening hours in the summer. Nothing wrong with that, but for your contention to be true, you’d have to prove that they would have taken a pleasure drive in a car instead of taking the bike.

          • 0 avatar
            Lorenzo

            You have to make a distinction between local (city, county) roads and state roads. At the state level, gas taxes, fees, etc. cover almost all construction and maintenance. At the county and city level, there’s a mix of money sources, but everybody pays into one or more of those sources. Nobody is carrying the load for somebody else.

  • avatar
    Advance_92

    Some roadies (and from my regular experience messengers and commuters in Chicago) are total jerks and their behavior should be highlighted and ridiculed all over the face of the planet – including this site – but leave the amateur sleuthing to Mystery Incorporated and the cast of various CSI programs.

    • 0 avatar
      asapuntz

      I agree that some cyclists are very aggressive. Many of these behaviors (or “cheating” the rules) are actually ways of making up for greater vulnerability, slower acceleration and reduced visibility by ensuring that they are both noticed and/or getting out of the way of motorized vehicles. So a cyclist might lane-split up to the front of a line of stopped cars. They might “jump the light” by starting to cross before the green so that they don’t frustrate the motorists.

      Finally, the shoulder can be a pretty hazardous place to ride, with broken pavement and debris. Aside from controlled-access roads with speed minimums, pretty much all vehicles (not just cyclists) are allowed to used however much of the lane they feel is necessary to operate safely.

      Motorists do not have a “right” to go the speed limit – conditions, esp traffic, dictate what is safe and responsible.

      On the other hand, slower vehicles, whether they be dump trucks, bicycles, or rascals should do their best to allow faster traffic to pass safely. States like WA have laws requiring that a slower vehicle impeding more than 5 faster ones must yield the right-of-way _once it is safe_ to do so. Unfortunately, that’s not always possible, and people need to be patient. Maybe petition their gov’t to make the uphill side of the road wider.

      • 0 avatar
        Topher

        This. When I ride, I do everything in my power to increase my safety and decrease the amount I frustrate car drivers, but sometimes, even with me hugging the right curb, a car passes so close its side mirror would impact my handlebars if they were at the same height. Moments like that make me want to “use the full lane” so that cars can’t pass at all unless oncoming traffic permits.

      • 0 avatar
        nickeled&dimed

        Asapuntz. Thank you. This is how many of the people I used to see commuting rode around here, and I didn’t see many problems. Often if you go in commuting hours the bicyclists average speed is as fast or faster than motorists. This creates situations where cars have to pass the same cyclist repeatedly, since when traffic is flowing faster the natural response is to take enough lane to force the car to actually pass you at a safe distance (move over 1/2 lane or so), but when the traffic stops, the bicyclist still makes headway on the shoulder / space between traffic and parking lane, but slower headway to be alert for doors and turning vehicles. A few get annoyed by this, but I’ve found that usually either traffic gets moving faster or I’ll leave them behind.

        Once my workplace changed, after a few dozen commutes I decided one of the longer stretches was not safe – 3 lanes, 40mph speed limit, with cracked sidewalk and drainage grates on the far right forcing me to take up 1/3 of the right lane (have to get at least halfway over to pass). Nobody was a jerk to me or anything it was just that closing speeds were far too fast for comfort.

        Only time I’ve ever had a bicycle-car accident was when I ran into a car backing out of a parking spot. My fault entirely.

  • avatar
    RatherhaveaBuick

    Considering it was an Oldsmobile Aurora, that was probably an expensive repair…

  • avatar
    28-Cars-Later

    Bicycle training courses, licenses, registration/insurance to use any road marked beyond say 25MPH.

    Personally I think if you cannot keep up with the speed limit you shouldn’t be allowed on the road at all, but I can see both sides of the argument. If one side is regulated, so must be the other.

    • 0 avatar
      David Hester

      A big +1. If it was up to me bicycles would be prohibited from using any two- lane road where the speed limit was greater than 35 mph unless there was either a dedicated bike lane or an improved shoulder/ emergency lane. We have a lot of curvy, winding roads through horse country where the speed limit is 55 mph. There’s nothing like popping over the crest of a hill to find a bicyclist taking up the middle of your lane with a tractor coming towards you taking up all of his. It’s amazing more bicyclists don’t get smeared.

    • 0 avatar
      SlowMyke

      I also second this. If certain mopeds and such aren’t allowed on public roads due to safety and speed issues, why are we letting bikes with no motors on the road?

    • 0 avatar
      Topher

      Check the language you use to argue your position: keep up with the speed _limit_.

      Maximum does not imply minimum, and bicycles ARE prohibited on roads with speed minimums.

      Now, had you said “the speed of traffic”, I could see your point, and I personally avoid roads where the difference between my speed and the speed of traffic is >10 mph (regardless of speed limit).

    • 0 avatar
      sportyaccordy

      I agree. I ride in NYC and thankfully traffic speeds vs my bike speeds are within a manageable delta (~10-15mph). Riding on a road where cars are doing 25+ MPH more than you is just looking for trouble. Thankfully here we have the big loops around Central Park and Prospect Park, as well as some good long and SAFE paths running along side several highways (FDR Drive and Belt Parkway come to mind). But if you live somewhere in the country where you are forced to ride on the street it must be tough. Those parks will be two things I miss about NYC for sure.

      • 0 avatar
        raph

        Oh cool you can answer a question of mine about bike lanes – one of the roads I travel regularly has a well maintained bike lane but I typically encounter bicyclist riding on the white line speerating the bike lane from the regular road rather than on the lane proper.

        A former work buddy said alot of bicyclist tend to do this out of habit since careless home owners tend to block the bike lane with trash collection, junk, et al.

        I’ve never seen it on this partiular road and he did mention places like NYC where it happens with alot of regularity.

    • 0 avatar
      MBella

      I agree with you 100%. The legality of bicycles on public roads comes from a time when there were 5 cars on the road in your state and bicycles were common as transport. Today there is nothing worse than being on a road with a long guard rail very close to the road, a cyclist, and oncoming traffic. I have seen some crazy backups because of cyclists. I just don’t get why you would be on a public road to begin with. When I take my bike out, I go to a local trail designed for bicycles and pedestrians, and go for a bike ride. I would not find it enjoyable being on a public road irritating a guy with an F-350 being 1/2 inch from my back wheel.

      • 0 avatar
        Redleg

        There are vast stretches of the country where there are no bike lanes or shoulder. Growing up in the country , you always came off the throttle going around a blind corner, or over a blind hill because you never knew what was going to be on or in the road, from a cyclist to a tractor to a cow or other animal.

  • avatar
    rwb

    I am satisfied to see that I’m not the only one who has a problem with some of the curious sensitivities of road cyclists.

    I raced MTB for a while, and still like to keep an ear in the scene, and roadies always seemed like a completely different species. Precociousness was a common theme.

  • avatar
    Halftruth

    I have seen this attitude myself and compare it to that rabid PETA mentality.
    I was on a tight road and a single biker was up ahead. He veered into my path
    as I passed (at about 15-20). We came up to a stop sign and I put my window down
    and let him know that I near clipped him as there was another car on the side of the road. Well that is all it took. This guy was just waiting to pop. I am still surprised he didn’t kick my pass side door as we departed. I was nice and not a d**k about it.. Oh well.

    That said, I think there is more to this story than cry baby bikers getting revenge on the evil motorists out there. I would like to see the follow up on this and see what really happened. Either way, a car hitting a bicyclist can’t be good for the driver or the rider.

  • avatar
    32x20

    I’m sure you wrote this to stir up controversy, Jack, but it’s awfully close to blaming the victim.

    I ride MTB mostly, but have been known to race road as well and I’ve had PLENTY of occasions where drivers go off unprovoked. Yes, some roadies are dicks, but my experience with professionals is that they’re usually not the militant types and their double pace lines are not like those of the weekend warriors.

  • avatar
    Prado

    Stories like this make me want to get a dash cam … and one for the rear too since I’ve already had to deal with the accident ‘blame game’ when 2 cars back into each other.

  • avatar
    salhany

    News flash: People, in general, no matter what they drive/ride, suck.

    • 0 avatar
      ttacgreg

      That is why I will never write a bike on the road and mix it up with two and 3 ton vehicles.
      I for one don’t have a death wish.
      I also have often pondered that there must be at least a few road bikers out there who’s motor vehicle is a big gigantic pick up that they bought because they “need a big vehicle in order to be safe”.
      As a motorist I hate sharing the road with bikers. When I’m riding a bicycle I hate sharing the road with motor vehicles.
      The two truly are a lethal mix.
      When I ride a bike, there is a well-developed bike road system here and I stick to those, however bikes to vehicles are the same as pedestrians to bikes. If I were a high-speed cyclist I guess I would resort to the road because the pedestrians on the bike roads up here in my mountain resort area can be pretty damn harebrained, inattentive, and unpredictable, far more so than vehicles.

  • avatar

    This is a great, thought provoking article that looks at the sitation from both points of view and which will, doubtlessly, draw the ire of millions of bicyclists. Really well done.

    • 0 avatar
      chimichanga

      No, it isn’t. Jack has frustrations and scars to show, so he takes that into a situation he knows almost nothing about and muddles the water. There’s much love for Jack on this forum, which explains how easily he is getting away with it. But “really well done” it is not. Again: A CAR RAMMED TWO CYCLISTS AND FLED.

      • 0 avatar
        daviel

        Here’s the team’s account:
        http://velonews.competitor.com/2013/02/rider-diaries/tyler-wren-journal-a-first-hand-account-of-the-jamis-hit-and-run_275971

      • 0 avatar
        fvfvsix

        Seems to me it’s more like A CAR SIDESWIPED ONE CYCLIST, WHO THEN HIT ANOTHER CYCLIST, AND FLED. I seriously doubt anybody involved in this situation appeared to be seriously hurt immediately afterwards.

        These dudes are embellishing their story, and thankfully Arizona juries don’t deal with bullshit very well.

  • avatar
    AmeroGuy

    First, I regularly commute by bicycle so I log a lot of miles and have little patience for roadies/racer wannabes who think they own the road. That being said, I have a bone to pick with you on this. “The claim that Kinkade began yelling and acting aggressively without provocation. This rings false. Very few people just start screaming at cyclists from nowhere,” I don’t know where you live but here in Atlanta it’s far too common an occurrence. It’s like being in a car makes some people feel there are no consequences for their actions. I had one guy stop in the middle of the road and threaten to shoot me, it’s dangerous out there.

    • 0 avatar
      jz78817

      in my experience (not limited to motorists or cyclists,) most of the time when someone says “he just started screaming at me out of nowhere” means “I’m conveniently leaving out what I did which might have provoked the situation.”

      rather like the kid who claims he got detention “for nothing.”

      • 0 avatar
        Truckducken

        Usually ‘being a g-ddamn bicyclist’ is provocation enough. Try it and see.

        • 0 avatar

          Absolutely. I am a hyper-conservative “roadie” in that I obey traffic rules and stick to the right side of the ride where possible. I lived in the Washington, DC area for five years and was always surprised by the occasional hostility of motorists in the countryside in Virginia. I was shouted at plenty of times or had people drive up behind me and lean on their horns on totally empty roads. The worst was when I waited for a rural stoplight and a passenger in a pickup I didn’t notice leaned out of his window and screamed as loudly as he could in my left ear.

          Most of the comments I see here have been rehashed endlessly in the War Between Motorists and Cyclists. There is conflict here in Germany so Europe is not perfect either but at the end the responsibility is the motorist’s when wielding several tons of steel and having to navigate typical driving circumstances, whether caused by farm tractors, bicyclists, pedestrians or whatever. Having driven for forty years, often in densely-populated urban districts, I can honestly say I have never been endangered by an idiot cyclist, although sometimes irritated, which is a lot more than I can say for idiot motorists I have come across.

          Incidentally, Jack, the Ottawa Bicycle Club, one of the oldest in North America, regularly uses double pacelines on club rides. A reason for this is that it is easier for drivers to pass 20 cyclists bunched up as ten than 20 strung out along the road. There is no rule against it in Ontario road laws although motorists do try to argue about it from time to time.

        • 0 avatar
          geeber

          Being an obnoxius cyclist who wants all of the rights associated with the use of the road, but then exempt from the rules when it is convenient, is enough.

          For example, last week I was waiting at a red light. This was on a four-lane (two-lanes each way) urban road with a speed limit of 35 mph. I was the second car in the right lane. A bicyclist was in the middle of the left lane, and all of us were waiting for the light to change. So far, so good.

          The light changes, and the car in front of me makes a right turn. I accelerate accordingly (not full-throttle, just enough to get to about 30 mph), and the cyclist decides he wants to switch lanes. So, he motions with his hand and CUTS IN FRONT OF ME, and then gives me the finger when I narrowly miss him.

          A little education here – if cyclists want to have the same rights as motorists, then they have to follow the same rules.

          The last time I checked, the driver of a car wanting to move from the left lane to the right lane is supposed to:

          a. signal his or her intentions;
          b. WAIT UNTIL ALL TRAFFIC IN THE RIGHT LANE HAS MOVED PAST; and
          c. move to the right lane.

        • 0 avatar
          Ubermensch

          Usually just being a cyclist on the road is enough to piss some drivers off.

      • 0 avatar

        I don’t commute on my bike these days, but drivers would regularly yell at me, honk, and throw trash at me, no matter how I was riding. I’m hyper vigilant about the rules of the road. It doesn’t matter.

        It’s a real thing.

    • 0 avatar
      carlisimo

      Agreed. I’m not a cyclist nor do I usually take their side, but I’ve seen drivers blow up at cyclists who weren’t doing anything wrong at all.

  • avatar
    AMC_CJ

    Out in my little county commuinty we have a road that rides to town. two lane, curvy , no shoulder at all, and the roadies flock to it every weekend. I’m talking hundreds (if not thousands) of cyclist throughout the Sat-Sun time frame, all hours of the day.

    It makes going to town a absolute bitch, and those of us who live here and sick of it. They ride in large packs, 2-3 wide, and won’t break pace to get over (which still, there is no shoulder anywhere on this road).

    Just last week I got into a heated argument with one in front of my house, claiming I almost hit him coming out of my driveway. The old man in tights insisted I step out of my vehicle to “talk”, which was very tempting, but figured if anythign happened I would most likely get blamed by default for kicking the old man’s ass, so I drove away; with a $1000 Giant Bicycle in the back of my Jeep. Headed out to an actual trail for bicycles.

    The attitude of these little pricks are disgusting. When I approach I give a quick toot of the horn; some get over, most don’t. For the ones who don’t I ‘ll get up behind them and downshift hard enough to screech the tires some and lay on the horn. That usually works, then in the Floor it past them in the diesel leaving them in a cloud of soot, or if in my old Jeep, pull out the manual choke and stay just ahead of them as it putts along dumping out raw hydrocarbons into their path. I get yelled at, flicked off, etc.

    When I was younger and in better shape, I’ve ridden Martha’s vineyard, numerous rail trails, and even got around DC for a bit on a bicycle. But why in the hell these pricks think they’re entitled to 45mph two lane country roads, with no shoulders, are beyond me. They’ve even put up homemade signs along our roads saying that they share the road, and legally so…… those signs don’t even last a day though. We try to do our part to let them know they’re not welcomed here.

    • 0 avatar
      Sky_Render

      Out of curiosity, where do you live?

    • 0 avatar
      Boxer2500

      I don’t think the cyclists are the ones acting selfishly here. If this is truly the way you respond to a minor inconvenience on the road, you shouldn’t have a license.

    • 0 avatar
      Acd

      Another good reason to own a diesel.

    • 0 avatar
      chimichanga

      AMC_J: Instead of blaming the cyclists, 1) you can bike to town yourself, and/or 2) you can add your voice to fund shoulders and bike lanes, so both sides can be accommodated.

      • 0 avatar
        raph

        @ chimichanga – this, when a road project is being done, why don’t they just include a bike lane in the project? I can’t imagine adding another two feet and a white stripe (provided there is enough space to do so) would add billions to a road improvement project.

        • 0 avatar
          chimichanga

          I honestly don’t know, Raph.

          I imagine it’s a matter of priorities, and inertia. My father-in-law works for the environmental arm of the Federal Highway Administration (done so for a number of decades now). His google alias reads roadandtreehugger. I asked him how things have changed in terms of environmental sensitivity. He told me that, in his view, the administration’s past attitude was, by far, the biggest factor in not only discarding environmental concerns, but being offended. “We had a mandate, and we rammed highways. Anyway who stood on the way, we either demolished or ignored, in that order,” is how he describes the old days. Things are different now; they’ve smartened up and realized it takes relatively very little to be environmentally friendly in a number of very important ways.

          Tarmac cost can’t be much, though not negligible. Right of way must be more difficult. I think there usually just isn’t enough space. Given that our priorities are car oriented.

    • 0 avatar

      Woah, calm down.

  • avatar
    healthy skeptic

    I’m an occasional recreational cyclist (roadie). I think bikes and cycling are great. Good exercise, better for the environment, a way to get out and enjoy life, etc. And I’m all for motorist respecting cyclists, and cyclists having vehicular rights.

    Having said all that, here in the SF Bay Area, there seems to be a lot of tension between cyclists and motorists…and about 90% of it seems to come from cyclists who have a chip on their shoulder. Especially in SF, the number of traffic violations I see cyclists routinely commit just boggles the mind. You don’t see motorists routinely run red lights and stop signs, go the wrong way down one way streets, drive on sidewalks, etc.

    That really drives me nuts: cyclists demand recognition and respect (which is fine), but then can’t seem to be bothered to reciprocate, and act like total scofflaws. Not all, of course, but a pretty sizable portion. The whole road-rebel shtick gets real old after a while.

    My worst fear is that the road rage that cyclists cause in motorists will someday get taken out on me, while I’m on a bike.

    • 0 avatar
      fiatjim

      I went to San Francisco for the first time in July and made the mistake of walking the Embarcadero in the morning rush hour. About 20 bikes whizzed past me doing 20mph on the sidewalk, missing me by sometimes less than two feet. If I do that again I’ll probably take a cup of steaming hot coffee with me in case I get hit. “Sorry officer, it spilled.”

      • 0 avatar
        healthy skeptic

        @flatjim

        Great point about the Embarcadero, which is a particularly egregious example. I used to have to walk many blocks along that sidewalk to and from work. Cyclists were blowing by me in both directions, and a collision would almost certainly result in an ambulance ride for us both.

        The kicker? There’s a huge bike lane in the road, one on either side of the street. The northbound bike land is right next to the sidewalk. There’s absolutely NO need to ride on the sidewalk either direction.

        • 0 avatar
          fiatjim

          Oh, that’s too much. I hadn’t noticed it that morning.

          If cyclists get mad about cars blowing by them, they can’t also blow past pedestrians on the sidewalk.

          • 0 avatar
            cackalacka

            Yeah, I wanna give cyclists the benefit of the doubt. Last week’s greenway walk with my dog where legions of spandexed fiftysomethings disabused me of any notion that bicyclists are enlightened participants.

            It was as if they were desperately trying to recast my dog and I as them, and them as the wanton dbag driving the rusted out truck.

      • 0 avatar
        corntrollio

        Market Street is another one where bikers will completely ignore pedestrians. Keep your coffee ready.

    • 0 avatar
      jz78817

      I love the whiners who claim they should be allowed to blow through stop signs and red lights because it’s “toooo haaarrrd” to re-attach their pedal clips.

      These twats even piss me off when I’m cycling alongside them. after getting going from a red light, this jackass was trying to clip back onto his pedals, which of course meant he had to weave 10 feet left and right nearly knocking me over.

      idiot.

      • 0 avatar
        CJinSD

        I think people that advocate and scheme for ‘traffic calming’ should be forced to ride everywhere by bicycle. When there is a 4-way stop at every intersection, no matter how obvious the right of way should be, I run stop signs. Traffic circles in a tourist area where half the traffic at any time has apparently never seen one before, are deadly to cyclists.

        When I drive a car, I try to be considerate of all road users. When I ride a bike, I try not to get in anyone’s way and assume nobody even sees me. I make my own rules like many of the cyclists people complain about, but it is my life and I’ve more faith in my own judgment than that of anyone else.

        • 0 avatar
          Russycle

          This. Replace half our stop signs with Yields, everyone will be much happier. Except brake shops.

        • 0 avatar
          mike978

          I wouldn`t call traffic circle traffic calming measures. Roundabouts (to use the UK term) are just an efficient and effective way of getting traffic to move rather than the usually pointless 4 way stop or god forbid stoplights which at some intersections near me can take 5 minutes to cycle round.
          I agree that most motorists here in the US have no idea how to use a traffic circle.
          I would also like to see more yield than stop signs.

          • 0 avatar
            CJinSD

            Traffic circles are 100% traffic calming measures as applied in the US. They are placed at intersections where previously no traffic controls were needed for traffic on the dominant road. They have one lane throughout, forcing merges for all traffic entering. The alternative would be stop signs for side streets and no hindrances for the majority of traffic, which is much more efficient and safe. Keep in mind that the UK is where pedestrians need to be protected with big cushy noses on cars. Traffic circles are murder on foot and bike traffic even when they’re correctly utilized and substituted for traffic lights instead of merely used to hinder traffic flow.

          • 0 avatar
            corntrollio

            “Traffic circles are 100% traffic calming measures as applied in the US. They are placed at intersections where previously no traffic controls were needed for traffic on the dominant road.”

            Care to point us to one that is too much of a traffic calming device? I haven’t seen many.

            There are few enough roundabouts in the US that you can almost name them by town. For the ones I’ve seen, the roundabout was a good substitute for a 4-way stop that would have been there otherwise.

            Some cities/counties/states are using them for low volume freeway interchanges as well. It makes more sense than diamond ramps with low volume in cases where you’d ordinarily have two traffic lights that interfere with each other.

            Agree that they are hell on pedestrians — that’s a decent criticism.

          • 0 avatar
            CJinSD

            La Jolla BLVD, from Camino de la Costa to Colima Street in La Jolla, CA. There are five consecutive traffic circles where once there was nothing but right of ways for the main road and stop signs for the tiny cross streets. None of the cross streets merits a stop sign for traffic on La Jolla BLVD, but traffic circles and planted medians have been used to turn the whole thing into a gauntlet for foot and bike traffic and a backup for vehicle users. Mind you four way stops have been introduced at all surrounding intersections since otherwise nobody would drive this vile tract of imbeciles more than once.

          • 0 avatar
            corntrollio

            Thanks, that’s very helpful. It’s rather misguided to say that because a project that is designed to slow down auto traffic in favor of pedestrian traffic includes roundabouts that all roundabouts are designed to impede traffic flow. Your original statement (“Traffic circles are 100% traffic calming measures as applied in the US”) is hilariously inaccurate:

            www dot sandiego dot gov/planning/documents/pdf/trans/brappend dot pdf

            In most cases, roundabouts are replacing four-way stops, low volume traffic lights, and low volume diamond interchanges, and we should applaud that.

          • 0 avatar
            CJinSD

            Pedestrians were better off on La Jolla BLVD when they were visible because there were no large obstructions decorating the new traffic circles that also distract drivers from sidewalk traffic and anything other than trying not to knock the sidewalls off their rental cars. I will not applaud such changes and I will express my views passionately to any advocates of traffic calming that have the misfortune of crossing my path.

            I’ve changed the route I ride on my bike because of the traffic circles on La Jolla BLVD. They’ve completely ruined the area for bike traffic and I don’t want to see any more of them. This is a resort community. We’ll never run out of new people that don’t have a clue how to deal with traffic circles and are menaces as a result through the complete fault of intellectual midgets that couldn’t foresee the inevitable damage they’ve caused.

          • 0 avatar
            mike978

            CJ, in your particular area I would agree they were not needed and in general Americans don`t know what to do with roundabouts. However in nations where drivers are aware of how to drive around them they are a great aid and allow traffic to move much quicker without waiting at stoplights.
            A lot of those cars you complain about with EU pedestrian safety features are on American roads, you drive one – the Audi A6. Most of the BMW, Audi, Mercedes, Mazda and Ford line usp are the same. Even some Honda’s are!

          • 0 avatar
            CJinSD

            I know that all the ugly, blunt-nosed cars are the result of pedestrian deaths due to traffic circle popularity on the other side of the pond. That was my point.

          • 0 avatar
            hurls

            CJ , my mechanic is on one of those circles, so I’ve walked across those streets too many times. Some significant percentage of people I notice seem to have figured out how to deal with those pedestrian crosswalks (the flashing red lights seem to help), but far fewer seem to know how to properly merge/yield on them.

          • 0 avatar
            CJinSD

            Do you take your car to Carl Nelson at La Jolla Independent? I used to go there. Nice folks.

          • 0 avatar
            hurls

            Sure do. Great folks. Need to find the Audi equivalent now :-) preferably not located on pointless traffic circle.

      • 0 avatar
        Nick 2012

        Anyone remember the Top Gear race through London where Hammond was on a bike and – because he was on TV – had to obey traffic laws? When Hammond stopped at red lights he almost was swept away by the sea of bicycles going through the red lights.

        • 0 avatar
          Syke

          While watching that episode I was thinking (based on 40+ years experience bicycle commuting) that if he’d have ridden that ride more like a normal bicycle commuters had done it (small infractions and pushing the rules, nothing overtly stupid and aggravating) he’d have won that competition by a much bigger margin that he did. He was under orders to keep it down, to try and make it look like the others could compete.

    • 0 avatar
      corntrollio

      The big problem in SF is also that roadies have no respect for pedestrians either. Roadies expect cars to yield the right of way to them when roadies illegally run red lights and ignore stop signs, but then roadies fail to yield the right of way to pedestrians as required.

      Agree with Jack that roadies are a different thin-skinned breed and generally nasty people. They take anything as a slight.

      Whenever you ask them why roadies must run red lights, run over pedestrians, and ignore stop signs, they either a) complain that it takes too much energy to follow the law, or b) that there are so few bike paths and so many roads for cars, so stop bitching.

      That said, excluding the Critical Massholes who need to DIAF, the roadies in the Bay Area are better than those in Los Angeles. The LA roadies were the worst. There are so many instances of roadies in LA riding on fast-moving canyon roads in the middle of a lane on blind curves and then blaming drivers.

    • 0 avatar
      corntrollio

      The big problem in SF is also that roadies have no respect for pedestrians either. Roadies expect cars to yield the right of way to them when roadies illegally run red lights and ignore stop signs, but then roadies fail to yield the right of way to pedestrians as required.

      Agree with Jack that roadies are a different thin-skinned breed and generally nasty people. They take anything as a slight.

      Whenever you ask them why roadies must run red lights, run over pedestrians, and ignore stop signs, they either a) complain that it takes too much energy to follow the law, or b) that there are so few bike paths and so many roads for cars so we should back off (that’s orthogonal to the point…).

      That said, beyond the Critical Mass idiots that need to go away, the roadies in the Bay Area are better than those in Los Angeles. The LA roadies were the worst. There are so many instances of roadies in LA riding on fast-moving canyon roads in the middle of a lane on blind curves and then blaming drivers.

      • 0 avatar
        geeber

        A friend of ours was hit by a bicyclist in France, and suffered some serious injuries. I will say that the great majority of bicyclists I encounter while out for my lunchtime walk/run are very polite, but few of them are hardcore “roadies.”

        • 0 avatar
          corntrollio

          There was a famous case recently in San Francisco where a guy was riding downhill at excess speed (beyond the speed limit for automobiles) and killed a pedestrian, and within a 2 week period of that incident, there were at least 1 or 2 other pedestrians killed by bicyclists too.

          The interesting thing is that the bicyclist I mentioned wrote about running into that pedestrian on his blog (while the pedestrian was still alive) not long after doing so, and he had data posted on his ride from one of those logging websites. The logged data was, of course, quickly taken down, but I’m sure it got subpoenaed.

          The guy had no remorse and admitted that he didn’t slow down or do anything else, but just looked for a hole in the line of pedestrians and couldn’t find one. The guy was ridiculously negligent.

          • 0 avatar
            geeber

            I used to ride in the country with a group of friends. We had a great time, and tried to be considerate of everyone. It was a really fun. Most drivers were fine with sharing the road, too. I can’t remember having a bad experience with a motor vehicle.

            Interestingly, our “leader,” who was also a spin-class instructor, didn’t have many kind words for some members of the “hardcore” local cycling club.

          • 0 avatar
            burgersandbeer

            This is actually back in the news (preliminary hearings): http://www.sfgate.com/crime/article/Rider-in-fatal-SF-crash-goes-to-court-4334406.php

            Also in the bicyclist’s blog was a eulogy for his helmet.

  • avatar
    JuniperBug

    As a formerly active cyclist and higher-end bike shop employee (clarification: the shop was high end, I as an employee was not), I’m well acquainted with the roadie mentality. A lot of them do make a point of taking up as much road as possible, to the point that I was once on a motorcycle ride with two roadies riding side-by-side on a 55 MPH road taking up as much lane as they could. My riding buddy responded by splitting between the two of them on his 135 hp Yamaha, that’s how far apart they were riding. I have to say there’s a certain satisfaction to watching their outrage sometimes.

    I remember another incident where I was on my mountain bike approaching a 4 way stop. Being that I got there first, I signalled and turned left in front of a group of roadies who’d made no move whatsoever to slow down for the intersection. Judging by their yells, they were horrified at my gall for not automatically yielding the right of way to them. I see them doing this with cars at red lights, too. Newsflash, guys: if you act like you’re above the law, you don’t get to be outraged when people in 2 ton cars have no respect for your 20 pound bikes and lycra shorts.

    • 0 avatar
      Advance_92

      Typically I have no problem rolling through an intersection on the bike, but never when it interferes with someone who has the right of way, on foot, bike or car. That’s where the real rage sets in.

    • 0 avatar
      05lgt

      I especially love how roadies will expect all others to accept the annoyance they cause without batting an eye, while having no patience for anyone who’s rights happen to slow them. Just from my last years experiences, people like 5 year old children in crosswalks that don’t get out of the “for gods sake, we’re a peleton”‘s way, or traffic that stopped at the 4 way, or slower bikers not in their club… None of my distaste for hypocrisy is meant as forgiveness for assaulting with a vehicle. Run my little girl over (bike or car, I don’t discriminate) and it’ll be hot lead or cold steel; act an ass and I’ll just loose respect for you.

  • avatar
    laphoneuser

    Living in the Conejo Valley in Southern California, I have to deal with “roadies” all. the. time. Their behavior boggles my mind. I put up with their arrogance, because really, what choice do I have? But they are an absolute nuisance, and I would be thrilled to see new laws which protect motor vehicles over them, as I only see this issue escalating.

  • avatar
    daviel

    I’m turning y’all in to Bike Snob NYC! The prissy roadies are a pant load, I agree. No reason to run them off the road. I’m an old, slow guy who likes to ride alone – after being hit from behind by a car driven by a woman smoking a camel, and all pilled-up, I don’t ride on country roads with no shoulders. This guy, whoever he is needs to do time, IMO. Too bad the car was an Aurora, it might have been a good lawsuit. He probably had minimum limits insurance if any that excludes intentional acts. I favor bike lanes. and wasn’t this in AZ ? If it was there are all kinds of teams training out there. You said, “He’s been branded as a bad guy and the chorus of Internet Hammurabian Justice has called for his immediate shaming/beating/death/whatevs.”
    That is correct. Plenty of time in the joint will suffice.

  • avatar
    Adamatari

    This actually is a subject somewhat near to me. I currently use a bike as my sole means of transport.

    I’ll make this clear – there are four basic common types of trasport in the US, walking, biking, public transit (usually combined with walking), and driving. Currently, most places have put driving first in nearly every way. For example, where I live, the sidewalks are in terrible condition (the roads are bad too, but the sidewalks are worse), and there are several places where, if you are walking, you have to go out of your way because of the design of the streets. There are almost no bike lanes, instead there are a few streets that are designated as “bike routes”… Except, how would you know? The only thing that makes them “bike routes” is that there are a couple signs, no bike lanes, nor are they particularly convenient as they are obvious just streets with less traffic (and less businesses – if I’m biking, usually I’m trying to go somewhere!). Here, biking is allowed on sidewalks in less busy areas, but as the sidewalks are narrow, filled with obstacles (signs, bus stop benches, light poles, etc), and usually in bad shape, I only use them if there is no other safe or practical route. Cars also routinely drive across the sidewalk to “see the road” – I almost got hit 3 times when I first started biking and was on the sidewalk too much.

    With these conditions, OF COURSE cyclists and drivers will end up at war. It is hard to get around in any way other than driving. Cyclists in particular have no safe way to ride. If they are allowed on the sidewalk, they are a hazard to pedestrians and risk having someone pull out into them, if they are on the road they contend with traffic.

    Drivers, of course, find bikes extremely frustrating. Bikes are slow compared to a car. Bikes don’t have turn signals or brake lights (actually, these would be really nice to have), and few cyclists actually signal with their arms. On top of this, many cyclists frankly ignore road rules (I have seen this to my frustration several times – going through red lights, etc.).

    In my mind, the biggest cause of all of this is a failure of infrastructure (seriously, try getting around on a bike or on foot/public transit for a week), followed by a failure of cyclist education and manners (a license to ride would not be that terrible an idea). By far the failure of infrastructure is the greater cause!

    Additionally, we need to figure out if bikes belong on roads or sidewalks. In Japan they stay on sidewalks generally, but sidewalks are often much wider and sometimes include bike lanes, and people also bike slower. There are also more streets that don’t have sidewalks or bike lanes and everyone has to share, which actually works pretty well too. If we DO decide bikes belong on streets, well, we need to give them lights and turn signals, put up more parking, and have some sort of accomodation for left turns and other situations where there is likely to be conflict.

  • avatar
    Syke

    Jack,

    You need to spend way less time being Boy Racer at VIR and other venues . . . . . and way more time back on a road bike, living with traffic, the attitudes of too many drivers, and the other vagaries of the daily ride. It’s been 25+ years, and you’ve forgotten. Completely forgotten. And, in my world, you’re out of line.

    Second thought: I wonder if you’d even care if that Aurora driver worked at a McDonald’s, rather than being known for creating a highly thought of guitar accessory.

  • avatar
    rwb

    Easiest solution to all of this is if you’re riding for recreation only, ride MTB.

  • avatar
    MeaCulpa

    So this was about: 1 A car that had – for some reason unknown to both mechanics and biologist – mumps. 2 Some Guy that describes Precious bicycle pants as “mentality” and his failure to squeeze into a pair. 3 Something about guitars…?
    I don’t get it.

  • avatar
    Nick 2012

    Where I live, large groups of road cyclists are very common on the weekend due to the hilly terrain, winding roads, and large state park nearby. I’ve never had a problem with cyclists and go out of my way to give them a wide berth, but have asked my wife on occasion to start recording me passing large groups cyclists with her phone in the event something crazy happens (a bike pulls out in front of me, someone falls into my path, crashes, etc). Much better to have objective evidence than competing stories told at the scene of the accident while emotions are high.

  • avatar
    mnm4ever

    This is going to be fun to read the comments on this one. I think the roadie vs car debate is almost as polarizing as the gun control debates. Actually quite similar too, as one side tends to quote “letter of the law” and “intension of the law” a lot to justify any behavior on a bike, while the other side throws out “common sense” and “safety” and “why do you need..” to justify any behavior in a car.

    I agree with JB, most of the road bicyclists I know are total d**ks, and my dad is a hardcore roadie so I meet a lot of them. My dad is not like that but even he will tell you he is the exception. He tends to stick with a smaller subset of his local riders and they stay on the trails whenever possible. But he also knows probably 3 or 4 people that have been killed by motorists, all accidentally of course, that I remember him telling me about. So maybe it is like being a cop, if you go out every day in such dangerous conditions, you might be more of a d**k to people that present a possible threat.

    Personally I think that just because I have a legal right to do something doesn’t mean I should be stupid enough to do it. I can legally walk down any street in town that I want to, but there are parts of town I won’t even drive through. We have beautiful long flat “rails to trails” paths all over FL, very safe with safe intersections and no cars within 20 feet or more. Why would you ride double or triple down busy highways with no bike lanes pissing off bad drivers who can barely negotiate around cars while they eat or text behind the wheel????

    • 0 avatar
      corntrollio

      “most of the road bicyclists I know are total d**ks, and my dad is a hardcore roadie so I meet a lot of them. My dad is not like that but even he will tell you he is the exception. ”

      To be fair, I’ve run across several roadies who don’t fit the stereotype too. All of them complain about the others giving them a bad name.

      The douchey roadies that I know well often fit certain molds in the rest of their life too. A random observation is that they are usually overly opinionated about trivial mundane aspects of life that would never show up on the radar for most people. They generally overreact to things that a normal person wouldn’t bat an eye at and often will overreact in a way that escalates things. They are also often regularly rude/anti-social in certain social situations and often feel the need to defend it/rant about it in bizarre ways.

      • 0 avatar
        JuniperBug

        I confirm this. When I was a bike mechanic, these guys had no problem being anal jerks about every aspect of work you did on their rides – things like tire labels lining up exactly with valve stems, drive chain being spotless, etc. – but God forbid they thank or tip the guy who just worked half the day at minimum wage to get everything perfect on their $5,000 bike before handing it back to them.

    • 0 avatar
      Syke

      By the way, we tend to call those amongst us with prissy attitudes, spandex gear and carbon fiber bicycles “Freds”. It is not a term of endearment or praise.

    • 0 avatar
      gessvt

      My theories from 17 years as a weekend roadie:

      You say hello as you pass and get no response? D**k.
      He silently rides by while you struggle with a broken part or flat? D**k.
      You acknowledge fellow cyclist across a 2 lane and get no response? D**k.
      He sports a flashy lycra jersey and matching shorts with dozens of logos? D**k.
      Shaved legs on a dude roadie? D**k.
      Triathlon bike (e.g. Felt)? D**k.

  • avatar
    Beerboy12

    All emotions aside, if you strike a bicyclist with your car, if through rage or negligence, you seriously endanger that persons life and therefore you need to face the law… End of story.

  • avatar
    Dave M.

    As a former roadie my guess is the bike line wasn’t staying to the right like courteous bikers.

    Which in this case sucks for them.

  • avatar
    snakeboat

    Mr. B, I love your writing, but there is little excuse for knowingly steering into a group of cyclists, even if they are pissing you off for whatever perceived slight. Perhaps a little more respect for the dead next time… one of the fellers in the picture just breathed his last breath.

    http://www.nbcnews.com/id/24943229/

  • avatar
    stryker1

    I can’t stop staring at the image above.

  • avatar
    Russycle

    This is a tough one to Monday-morning quarterback. I’d say a lot hinges on the definition of “generous shoulder”. I don’t have nearly Jack’s cycling experience, but a possibly relevant anecdote:

    After a long mountain bike ride, about 10 of us were heading home on a busy highway. The shoulder was about 6 feet wide, plenty of room for us to ride two abreast without impinging on the white line designating the bike lane. Despite this, there was a car that refused to pass us, even though his lane was clear, while the driver screamed at us that we had to ride single file. Plenty of asshats in this world, on two and four wheels.

  • avatar
    DC Bruce

    In a sense, the “fault” here begins with the Arizona legislature which, apparently, allows cyclists to ride two abreast. This effectively keeps automotive traffic bottled up behind unless the oncoming lane is free.
    Not surprisingly, everyone is going to get frustrated in this situation: the automobile driver who doesn’t want to travel at 20-22 mph and the pair of cyclists who feel they are legally entitled to occupy about 1/2 the roadway.

    The arbitrary and sometimes thoughtless creation of “bicycle lanes” out of existing roadways often creates more problems than it solves — for both cyclists and motor vehicle drivers.

    Regarding this situation, I’ll suspend judgment. As a sometime cyclist I’ve been run off the pavement more than a few times; and as a driver I have had more than enough of cyclists disregarding stop signs, traffic signals and common sense.

  • avatar

    ” twenty-five years after being hit by a Mac lumber truck, I could pick that lumber truck out of a parking lot, freeway photo, or junkyard at a distance. That kind of thing tends to stick in the mind.”

    I can tell you exactly what the front bumper of an Infiniti QX4 looks like.

    FWIW, as a roadie who rides a bike for transportation as much as for exercise and recreation, typically riding 2,500-3,500 miles a year, I’d have to say that while some roadies can be way too assertive on the road regarding cars, and while I despise Critical Massholes, I’d say that it’s at least 60/40 on the side of drivers being the bigger jerks. Maybe jerks is too strong a term, since a lot of drivers endanger riders (bikes and motorcycles) by being clueless and inattentive.

    I don’t like aggressive bike riders because they piss off drivers who then take it out on all riders, not just the bikies who ignore the realities of physics when it comes to two ton vehicle and one that weighs 20 lbs trying to occupy the same physical space. That said, there are still plenty of drivers that are way over the top hostile to bike riders.

    FWIW, I’ve confronted bikies who I thought were riding unsafely, like the dude riding no-handed in traffic so he could use his cellphone. Even though I explained that I was a rider myself and that I was concerned for his safety as well, he really didn’t take the criticism well.

    I’ve been hit by three cars and have been run off the road deliberately a few times as well so drivers are hardly blameless. Still, I think that when guys like Jack and myself, who literally have scars to prove that we’re dedicated riders, express criticism of aspects of bikie culture, it says something.

    • 0 avatar
      Domestic Hearse

      I’ve got a teal green mid 80s F-150 seared in my brain. Broke my spine when I flipped over the curb onto the sidewalk. Took a year to ride PTSD free.

      In all, I’ve experienced by far more courtesy from motorists while I’m out on my bike. However, there have been a few instances of extreme, dangerous aggressiveness.

      As a TTAC staffer, Ronnie, what’s Baruth’s motivation with this article? Clicks? Stir the pot? Rile things up? Cuz it’s pretty much all anecdotal speculation and rather non-sensical (and not in a Baruthian good way).

  • avatar
    AtSeaWatch

    Congratulations, Jack, you’ve successfully acquitted the man, regardless of possible mass-murderous intent.

    Yes, cyclists can be annoying. I recommend killing them all. Every last one of them. Can’t be too certain. You know who else is smug and should die? People who wear fast-beat chronographs. Your parts wear out quicker, jerks! Also, wingtips. Anyone who sports those shoes is probably a skylark.

    Court of public opinion? I too can’t stand it when people who know nothing about a situation weigh in authoritatively. They should probably be run over too. We should do this, Jack. We’ll get a car and start this justice. Meet me at the Hertz counter at CMH. We’ll rent a Malibu.

  • avatar
    Topher

    Just to point out: most anger starts with fear (e.g. “holy shit! that a**hole cut me off! *adrenaline rush*). For a bicyclist, any unexpected interaction with a vehicle is scary; hence their propensity to fly off the handle with what seems like little provocation.

  • avatar
    TW4

    Jury selection is the biggest problem. If I were summoned, I would admit openly that I hate roadies with a burning passion, and I lack the ability to empathize with them or objectively interpret the law. Not only would it be a therapeutic assertion, but I would likely get out of jury duty. Sympathizers, on the other hand, would probably hide their true biases. The jury will skew towards roadies by default, regardless of protestation by the defense.

    Despite being a motorcyclist who’s experienced the unfortunate carnage caused by inconsiderate or incompetent drivers, I have always despised push-bikers. Their idiotic single-minded obsession with reducing rolling resistance results in machines that lack the necessary contact patch properties to achieve evasive braking or evasive turning at moderate speed. Furthermore, these performance-oriented push bikes are built to achieve speed by raising the center of gravity to achieve leg extension, which merely impairs evasive handling even further. The indifference of legislators to the road worthiness of bicycle equipment, and the indifference of law enforcement to bicyclists who flout road regulations is incomprehensible. But my loathing for roadies was rendered irrevocable by a case of mistaken vehicle identity when I was visiting my parents in Southern California. Even my out-of-state plates were insufficient to make them realize I had not encountered them earlier in their ride. Insufferable sub-human filth is far too complimentary a descriptor for the “people” in their ranks.

    At the very least, we need to change bicycle regulations to get these ridiculous top-fuel drag bikes off of our streets. They can’t turn and they can’t brake relative to the prodigious straight line speed they can achieve on flat ground and downhill. If you want to ride like a racer, you’re going to die like one too, that includes smash ups (some intentional) with spiteful motorists who are competing for the same piece of tarmac. Motorcyclists learned that long ago. Time for roadies to get with the times.

    • 0 avatar

      Do you have the same ire for chopper riders?

      I don’t know how much experience you have riding a high end road bike. I’m pretty sure that my road bike can more easily make an evasive maneuver than just about any chopper with a raised and extended front end. Brakes on most good road bikes are good enough that they can lock up the brakes and pitch you over the handlebars.

      Yes, I’ve considered how small the contact patch of a 23mm wide road bike tire is (usually when doing something like 40 mph on a downhill), but I’ve driven cars capable of .9g or higher on a skid pad and I’m pretty sensitive to G forces (something Karesh and Niedermeyer can attest to after encouraging me to take some laps in a go-kart) and I’d say that on dry pavement a bicycle can corner at fairly high G forces.

      BTW, are you familiar with the two-wheel technique of making an evasive maneuver by first counter steering in the opposite direction? If you try to steer a two wheeler in one direction, as opposed to doing a leaned turn, the bike will naturally try to right itself which initiates a very sharp turn in the direction you want to go. So you sort of steer left and then immediately lean right once the bike starts to right itself.

      • 0 avatar
        TW4

        I have little ire for the chopper buffoons or the crotch-rocket brigade b/c a majority of motorcyclists know that the machine they ride and the equipment they wear affects survivability. Society knows it. Regulators know it. Law enforcement knows it. Everyone usually acts accordingly, and motorcyclists are indoctrinated incessantly with the danger of their hobby.

        Push-bikers, on the other hand, will argue with you for hours about the relative merit and relative safety of their past time, as if it will somehow alter the tough-love of physics. The reality is that roadies often travel at the same speeds as motorcyclists, but roadies ride without proper head protection, without proper crash protection, without proper tire grip or handling capacity, especially considering the quality of the surface in the bike lanes and shoulders. When they get killed or injured, they want the whole of society to adjust for their lifestyle or to validate their recreational behavior. It won’t happen. Instead, road bikers will endure accidental and intentional carnage, like their motorcyclist cousins, but roadies will endure endless psychological torment, as well, b/c they often refuse to make peace with the danger. Many roadies gleefully spread their trauma to the rest of society. Sadly, motorcycling has a few sects that practice the same culture of trolling and misery proliferation, but they are generally the exception, and law enforcement often hunts them mercilessly.

        Jack is right. The victims are more culpable than they are willing to admit, either by way of personal misconduct, as he hypothesizes, or according to the roadie culture of inadequate/misguided risk mitigation. This is not to suggest that Mr. Kinkade is off the hook, far from it, but we should use candor when speaking about the physical realities of operating two-wheeled vehicles in the land of four-wheeled tanks.

        MSF Maxim #1: Dress for the crash, not the ride (or die).

        MSF Maxim #2: If you want to play boy racer, on a high-performance bike that requires incredible skill and precision to operate safely on public roadways, you prolly gon’ git keelt.

        • 0 avatar
          dgran

          Motorcyclists would emerge better from more crashes if it weren’t for the motorcycle in close proximity. It sounds a bit odd, but crashing on a bike at speed is painful but not as risky because there isn’t a 300lb machine in the mix. That is how many legs are broken in motorcycle wrecks.

          As a cyclist I’m not asking the world to accommodate me anything beyond a basic courtesy to respect that I’m travelling somewhere too. I ride near the edge, keep a fairly rapid pace and make an effort to ride predictably. It isn’t a death wish and I can’t very likely wear a snow suit of armor when I’m exercising.

          • 0 avatar
            TW4

            Imagine if motorcyclists all rode 1000cc Superbikes, without proper safety gear and without any restrictions on performance. Not one of us would be left alive. We’d be victims of accidental and intentional destruction, and we’d be hunted to extinction by law enforcement and auto culture.

            Imagine if roadies all bought carbon-fiber codpieces, clothed themselves in exercise lingerie, and then rode their bikes however they pleased regardless of the performance limitations of the environment and the tires…….I think the problem has been identified.

            Society will never accommodate the unnecessary risks taken by roadies. In fact, they are more likely to lash out as Kinkade has allegedly done. Motorcyclists learned the salient lessons of tragedy a very long time ago. Push bikers need to get with the program.

    • 0 avatar
      32x20

      Not that it’s gonna change your mind or anything, but I’ve passed a lot of motorcycles on long twisty descents. You haven’t ridden one if you think they’re not maneuverable.

      I’m a motorcyclist, too (on and off road) and REALLY don’t understand the hate…we all face the same issues. Cruiser riders puttering along fun mountain roads are a lot harder to get around than pushbikes.

  • avatar
    toxicroach

    1) Getting flipped off is not an excuse for ramming a person with your car. Neither is being delayed, as annoying as that is.
    2) Hit and run is also not acceptable.

    While I think the roadies probably were being a bit douchy, you don’t ram someone with a car because you are annoyed. Nor do you get to flee the scene of the accident. I don’t really get this. If I rammed some old guys car into the ditch because I was annoyed they were doing 45 on twisty highway, nobody would be leaping to defend me.

    By this logic a guy who hits on a girl at a bar is 50% responsible when somebody flips out and stabs him. No, not really.

  • avatar
    OldandSlow

    I just want to say that is one hell of a photo that JB chose to portray this story.

  • avatar
    IowaCircle80

    “They can’t turn and they can’t brake relative to the prodigious straight line speed they can achieve on flat ground and downhill.”

    Great! So my Cervelo is going to go for $200,000K at Barrett-Jackson in a couple of decades like all of those muscle cars that couldn’t brake relative to the straight line speeds they could achieve? Good thing it’s already Top Banana yellow.

  • avatar
    Brian P

    License plate, insurance, valid license and all the training that goes along with it, for ALL vehicles including bicycles, that are on a public roadway that is not a dedicated bicycle lane. If that means creating a new license category for “bicyclist” then so be it. And, the same degree of enforcement as currently applied to speed limits for cars, equally applied to stop signs, traffic signals, and requirements to travel single file for all bicycles.

    If laws need to change to facilitate bicycles going through a red signal whose sensor won’t detect the bicycle, then so be it … but the bicyclist must STOP and WAIT. Blowing thru a red signal without stopping is never legal.

    The e-bikes are a problem in this area, too. Same problem, same solution.

    Very politically unpopular. It’ll never happen.

  • avatar
    dswilly

    As for the above scenario, hypothetic theories aside, the dude left the scene. Doest really matter if he was provoked, is a soft spoken musician, the riders were all over the road, etc. he’s in deep sh*t whoever he is.

  • avatar
    APaGttH

    I live in the land of passive aggressive whining roadies. You would think the way they complain, moan, and whine here the bike lanes of Puget Sound are paved with shards of broken glass that conceal anti-personnel land mines, that rabid pitbulls await at every corner and drug crazed drivers drive down those same bike paths in steam rollers, throwing full glass bottles of beer at any cyclist they see.

    On the other hand the Seattle region is near the top of every list that reviews cycling friendly cities. Hundreds of miles of dedicated bike lanes. The “green” bicycle boxes. Entire lanes of roads on high traffic areas removed to create bike lanes, even at the expense of traffic congestion (which in the infinite wisdom of our overlords only creates a more dangerous situation for bikes and cars alike). Worse, entire rows of parking spaces also eliminated to create bike lanes. That situation has gotten so severe that business owners are complaining about the lack of parking and congestion hurting business, and the city of Seattle is seeing a steady decline in sales tax collection despite having a relatively mild experience through the “great recession” and being one of the first cities to rebound. For those not in the know, Washington doesn’t have an income tax, so cities are dependent on sales and property taxes to fill the coffers.

    I’ll also sidebar for a moment to note that a full 20% of the taxes collected in Seattle come directly, or indirectly from the Seattle Mariners and the 81 home pages played there. As the Mariners have been sucking wind for more than a decade combined with ever increasing ticket costs and the above mentioned elimination of parking, attendance is at record lows at Safeco Field. I’m not laying all the blame on cyclists – there are other factors and the Puget Sound region at a local and county level is run by blithering idiots. You know you’re in trouble when you look back and go, “I fondly remember the days of Mayor Nickels.”

    I have driven all over this country and in Europe. I did a quick back of the envelope adding of all the miles I’ve put on cars I’ve owned (so that doesn’t include spouses vehicles, rentals, parents, etc. etc.) and I’ve easily driven 3/4 million miles through my life.

    Yes – drivers make horrible mistakes. But I agree with Jack. Many of the incidents involving bikes are provoked by the cyclist. Here in Seattle a red light or stop sign to a cyclist – MEANINGLESS. And I don’t mean at 4 PM on a sunny Sunday in downtown where there is little traffic. I’m talking rush hour, I don’t care because I’m going uphill and I don’t want to break momentum so I’m just diving into cross traffic because that’s how I roll.

    Even when you get out of the urban core – it’s just as bad. Just last week I was driving on the east side. I was first car at the light. Watching the light above I could see the cross light was turning yellow – and noticed two lyrca wearing cyclists pedaling along in the same direction. “They’re going to run the light,” I thought to myself. Cross light turned red, about a second later my light turned green – I stayed put, and about 4 seconds later as the person behind me honked – sure enough – they blasted right through the red light. Had I gone – I guess my name would be splashed on the internet as an evil bike hating assaulting driver.

    Cyclists need to SHARE the road (as do motorists) and cut this passive aggressive behavior out. In this region millions upon millions have been spent on cycling infrastructure, including some projects (like the 125st Street Bike Lanes) that not even the cyclists want, and at the expense of other initiatives.

    The gas powered car is not going away as efficiencies in autos improve, and we move to NAFTA energy independence (e.g. needing Canada and Mexico and that’s it). The actions of, “engineered congestion,” as its so boldly called here in Puget Sound just makes it dangerous for everyone.

    It also appears Arizona has a similar issue with laws that Washington does. There are two sets of laws that at time conflict with each other. Highly educated cyclists use this knowledge to avoid the law by transferring from a roady to a sidewalk using pedestrian and back again. These loop holes need to be closed so that cyclists answer to one set of laws. Further, as this movement continues, I feel bicycles should be registered, just like cars – to make it easier for law enforcement to cite for egregious actions – and to make cyclists pay their fair share.

    • 0 avatar
      toxicroach

      Its funny how the rather small percentage of douche cyclists represent all cyclists, but drunk drivers or street racers don’t represent all drivers.

      As far as congestion, each cyclist is one less car to compete with for lane and parking space, so making the area livable for cyclists does not necessarily make it worse for drivers. Nor is the assumption that all possible space should be dedicated to making car ownership more rewarding something that should be granted.

      Cyclists also have virtually no road wear. Since the transportation costs of vehicles are already heavily subsidized with taxpayer money and the cyclist is probably a tax paying citizen, trying to tax a bike for their fair share is probably a rhetorical avenue that motorists don’t want to go down. If motorists paid their fair share of transportation costs you can add an extra dollar to every gallon of gas.

      For what I’ve seen the amount of concern and vitriol motorists show towards cyclists is very confusing. The amount cyclists is pretty tiny, and the total cycling related deaths in a year are about equal to a weeks worth of vehicular deaths (and about 50% of the cycling deaths are the motorists fault). Maybe they’re a lot more aggressive in other places, but I’ve never seen this outrageous cyclists flipping everyone off. It’s just not a big thing and I’m really confused at how much dislike is getting thrown at cyclists, when they are really a minor annoyance at best. If you wonder why some cyclists are so butt hurt and whiny, it might be because they read threads like this.

      • 0 avatar
        geeber

        Most “road wear” comes from tractor trailers, and we’ve already established that 1/3 of all federal motor fuel tax revenues are diverted to non-road projects (including bike paths), and many states use gasoline tax revenues for other purposes. Until those issues are honestly addressed, we’re going to drop the falsehood that motorists are not paying their “fair share.”

        If entire lanes of roads are being switched over to cycling lanes, and congestion is increasing, and decreased parking is hurting business, that is an example of devotion to a mode of transportation trumping common sense. Most people are going to drive cars, as this mode of transportation best meets their needs. That is called common sense.

        Bicyclists also benefit from paved roads, which were not common outside of the downtown areas of large cities until widespread automobile use created a demand for them. Most cyclists wouldn’t appreciate slogging through thick mud during the spring and fall months, or dealing with heavy dust during the dry summer months. Cyclists contended with those conditions before most roads were paved, which is why cycling was largely a hobby for the well-to-do in urban areas.

        Cyclists are benefitting from widespread automobile use. The only reason people can think about taking a pleasure ride in the country, or riding to work, is because the roads have been paved and maintained to accommodate vehicular traffic.

  • avatar
    56BelAire

    Funny this subject came up. Just friday night was out at a club and met a 35something hottie/dancer/roadie. We started chatting and hit it off great, I complimented her on her great ripped body figuring she was a runner or gym rat, she said, ‘no, I’m an avid cyclist’. I then offered, ‘haha, are you one of those cyclists who ride on or over to the left of the bike lane even though there is a 10 foot paved shoulder to the right of the bike lane’? ……..well if looks could kill. I knew I almost blew it but quickly recovered with, ‘I’m just kidding, I know the shoulder is full of stones ad pebbles that could easily throw you off you bike and crash into the path of a car and get you killed. I don’t blame you one bit’.

    The rest of the night went great and we plan on meeting for dinner and drinks this Friday.

    BTW, roadie roadhogs drive me crazy and it’s no wonder more don’t get killed. However, biking/cycling will not be brought up anymore, especially Friday night.

  • avatar
    George B

    The is a difference of inconvenience in getting caught behind a single recreational cyclist and a group training ride of athletes. It’s harder to patiently wait to pass a spandex-clad pack of douches occupying the whole lane than a few single-file cyclists riding near the shoulder. I have to admit I enjoyed watching the Richardson, TX police department pull over and ticket every cyclist in a training group that failed to stop for a traffic light.

  • avatar
    mnm4ever

    I was just thinking, can we even be sure that the driver “rammed” anyone?? I am used to Florida drivers where about once a week we read about a bike or motorcycle that gets hit by a driver that simply didn’t see him or know they did anything.

    I am by no means saying the driver wasn’t at fault, please don’t misunderstand. Even if it was an accident he was wrong for leaving. But people are assuming the bike riders are telling the entire truth, and we have no proof that it happened like it did.

  • avatar
    dgran

    I have said many kind things about your articles here, but this one isn’t up to your standards. I dig cars and I ride a road bike. I race, but not at the level of this pro team. I’ve seen bad behavior by cyclists and motorists, but all of this is beside the point when someone uses their auto as a lethal weapon. Game over. No more room for debate about who is right or wrong, because someone has decided to use their 2 tonne vehicle as a weapon against someone who is, at the end of the day, someone’s spouse, parent or child.

    It’s inexcusable. Cyclists should definitely be less whiny, but I’ve been on the receiving end of plenty of harassment from motorists and it gets really old.

    As for riding two abreast, once you have more than 10 people it is actually better for the cars to pass more easily that way so you aren’t stretched out in a long line.

    • 0 avatar
      CrapBox

      I agree. Either you have the right of way, or you don’t.

      If you’re behind a slow-moving vehicle such as a tractor, horse and wagon or cyclist, you do not have the right of way. You can pass only when it is safe to do so. It’s irrelevant whether you feel that the other driver is taking up too much of the road, hasn’t paid enough tax or is somehow in league with other, similar drivers to ruin your day. If you rear-end the slow-moving vehicle or strike it while attempting to pass, you are at fault.

      Similarly, if a cyclist blows a red light and strikes your car, then he is at fault and liable for damages. In most cases, these damages will be paid for through his homeowners insurance policy.

      • 0 avatar
        Dan

        The difference is that the tractor or Amish buggy holding you up is, usually, blocking the road to get somewhere. Those spandex covered fruitcakes are blocking the road because they’ve mistaken it for a free gym.

        It’s like being held up in a checkout line for 10 minutes while the people in front of you check out against being held up for 10 minutes while someone chats with the cashier.

        10 minute is 10 minutes but only one of them makes people see red. Only one of them should.

        • 0 avatar
          toxicroach

          Not really. They are going somewhere too. It’s not like they are playing street hocket.

          Odds are they are going farther than you, and unlike the motorists, they’re actually putting in effort to get there.

        • 0 avatar
          CrapBox

          Are these differences written into the law? Do the rules of the road or the criminal code specify that some road users have more rights than others? I’d argue that they don’t. The actual rules are designed to be easy to learn and retained for a lifetime.

          To inject other considerations — such the amount of tax you pay, the type of vehicle you drive, or the the purpose of your trip — creates unnecessary and dangerous complications.

          So yes, the delivery truck driver who makes a living on the public roads must slow down and give way when he approaches an obstruction on the roadway. There’s no such thing as a good obstruction (a farm tractor) or a bad obstruction (a bicycle). There’s also no such thing as a group obstruction; each driver, cyclist and pedestrian is judged individually under the law.

          This situation is frustrating but it isn’t unique. Other public places are becoming crowded. Sidewalks, for example, are jammed with massive baby buggies and motorized scooters. Are the healthy, unencumbered people suggesting that the sidewalks belong to them alone, and that they can solve the problem by “punishing” the interlopers?

  • avatar
    Summicron

    Airliners! Share the Sky with Geese!

    No.. wait.. the geese actually *need* to be up there.

  • avatar
    ttacgreg

    IMHO there is certainly a small percentage of road bikers have a secret death wish. Why else would one voluntarily go out on a 20 pound bike and an essentially bare naked tender body, and mix it up with two and 3 ton vehicles traveling many times faster than yourself and having them brush within feet or inches of you?
    Aside from physical threat, the few times I have been on the road on a bike, the noise and the smell, particularly of heavier vehicles are quite unappealing.

    • 0 avatar
      ihatetrees

      +1. I stick mainly to trails when biking, and even that’s not as enjoyable anymore. I find biking inefficient for travel and fitness.

      Back to the issue at hand: there are di**heads aplenty on both sides. But at the end of the day, one side has the law of physics on its side.

      And as far as the other law goes (the Legal System), road bikers aren’t much better off. In NY State, good luck getting a DA to press any sort of hard charges against even a grossly negligent motorist who claims to “have never seen you.” Many crippled motorcyclists can document the joke that is traffic law.

      In a civil action, and injured bicyclist MAY hit the lottery if the motorist has deep pockets and nice insurance. But in many areas, the motorist is just as likely to drive off / have no insurance / have no licence.

  • avatar
    Kendahl

    Having had some experience with “roadies”, I have considered retaliating in a couple of ways.

    One would be to buy a bike myself and treat them as disrespectfully as they treat others. This would include carefully calculated near misses strictly in accordance with the letter of the law.

    My wife has nearly been run down by cyclists on the sidewalk. I have considered accidentally on purpose stepping into such to deflect them into a lamp post or parking meter. “Officer, I was walking down the street, took a step toward the curb and this SOB ran me down from behind.”

  • avatar
    talkstoanimals

    This is mostly off topic, but wow – Biopace. There’s a blast from the past! I had Biopace crank rings on my first mountian bike, a 1988 GT IIRC. I thought about putting them on my road bike, too, but noticed the same thing Jack noted – real antipathy to them from other road bike riders. That’s about when I hung up my road bike for good and became an MTB-only rider.

    • 0 avatar
      CJinSD

      Does road speed vary that much over each rotation of the crank? I remember when they were all the rage and how they vanished from the showrooms by the next time I was shopping for a bike.

      • 0 avatar
        talkstoanimals

        Not really. I thought at the time that I could feel it helping my sprinting ability. But in hindsight, I think it was mostly a marketing gimmick. Similar to your experience, when I bought my next mountain bike, a ’93 Haro, the industry had already moved away from Biopace. I have a vague memory that it was revealed that Biopace was bad for the knees, but I could be making that up and am too lazy to fact-check on the web right now….

        • 0 avatar
          Russycle

          Never heard about the knee thing. I believe it was found that Biopace didn’t really have any tangible benefits. I still have a Biopace ring….ground the teeth off of it and now it’s a bash guard on my single speed.

  • avatar
    reclusive_in_nature

    As a scooter enthusiast I refuse to take my 50mph-capable scooter on the 70mph interstate due to safety concerns. Apparently other scooterists feel the same way.

    With that in mind, why does a bicyclist feel it’s okay to take a 30mph-capable (at best) on a 50mph road?

  • avatar
    JaySeis

    I bike (MTB and road) and drive (Mustang) thousands a mile a year in rural Washington state. Maybe 6000 miles a year on the GT and half that on my mix of 3 bikes. In 40 years of cycling I’ve been yelled at, sworn at, flipped off, had water thrown at me, a handgun fired over my head, honked at, brush passed and run off the road. Yea, I’ve been flipped off by a tweaker trying to cut me off in the Stang on the interstate…but nothing like he crap one faces having your ass hanging out on a road bike and feeling the wrath of drivers. One summer I rode 4000 miles-Seattle to New York via Canada.

    When I see roadies or tourers two abreast I cringe. Most do not travel with front or rear strobes and you’d be amazed how many cyclists wear dark clothing.

    The again I’ve had long haul truckers, hippies in vans, complete strangers stop and offer me a lift (flat tire), food, road advice, a place to stay. Road cycling is dangerous, takes an eagle eye and an attitude and more defensive skill than a NASCAR leader on the final lap. I rode motorcycles for a decade longer than cycling and I thought that was dangerous. I pays my taxes and I takes my chances by reducing the odds. Early early mornings weekends, MUP’s, secondary streets and avoiding evenings helps eliminate drunks, teenagers, tourisistas, old folks…those most likely to drift a foot right and send you flying. As for the “Take the lane types”? Darwins knocking on your door.

  • avatar
    joeveto3

    I ride all the time. I love my bicycles as much as I love my cars and motorcycles. It’s a constant tug from one to the other as to what mode gets my time and attention. I might work on the car, ride my sport bike, maybe go for a cruise on my Harley. Or, I might be restoring an old Fuji, Panasonic, or Phillips.

    So I see both (all) sides. I’ve been out on the road and been blitzed by a cable truck, mirror uncomfortably close to my skull, and I’ve chased him down. I don’t ride with others, I ride alone, and I ride with respect for the road and drivers. I stay within the white line, on the berm.

    At least as often as I’ve nearly been hit, I’ve seen bicyclists acting like complete d-bags. Riding indignantly 3-wide, not yielding, not sharing. And it pisses me off, because their behavior feeds into the rage of the non-bicyclist driver who loses patience for all bicyclists.

    It’s like the a-hole motorcyclists, with the too loud look-at-me, f-me or fight me pipes, and the crotch rocket squids who ride down the freeway standing on their handlebars. A-holes, ALL of them. Not only do they endanger all of us, but they give the good folks a bad name.

    There needs to be an enforceable middle ground. Bicylists need to have a space on the road, and motorists, texting, talking, eating, whatever, or not, need to expect and respect the bicyclists, and contribute to a safe road environment for all.

    That said, bicyclists should ride single file when on public roads with traffic present or be fined. That simple. If traffic is unreasonably restricted, fine them heavily.

    But good luck with all of that.

    As someone else said, Can’t We All Just Get Along?

    • 0 avatar
      mcs

      “As someone else said, Can’t We All Just Get Along?”

      You see these sorts of conflicts everywhere. Cross country skiers get pissed at hikers with snow shoes trashing their tracks, mountain bikers vs. equestrians and hikers, and let’s not forget the shopping cart battles in supermarket aisles.

  • avatar

    What this guy said: 1) Getting flipped off is not an excuse for ramming a person with your car. Neither is being delayed, as annoying as that is.
    2) Hit and run is also not acceptable.

    While I think the roadies probably were being a bit douchy, you don’t ram someone with a car because you are annoyed. Nor do you get to flee the scene of the accident. I don’t really get this. If I rammed some old guys car into the ditch because I was annoyed they were doing 45 on twisty highway, nobody would be leaping to defend me.

    By this logic a guy who hits on a girl at a bar is 50% responsible when somebody flips out and stabs him. No, not really.

    WORST PIECE YOU HAVE WRITTEN JACK. YOU WERE A CYCLIST ONCE, SO WE
    ARE TO TAKE THIS ABSURD SPECULATION AS FACT ON ACCOUNT OF YOUR GREAT
    EXPERIENCE. YOU KNEW ALOT OF BIKEHATERS WOULD LINE UP TO CHIME IN WITH YOU BUT REALLY, YOU HAVE LOST THE PLOT. MAKE AN APOLOGY AND START THINKING. GOODBYE,TTAC. YOUR BEST WRITER HAS DEFENDED ATTEMPTED
    VEHICULAR HOMICIDE.

  • avatar
    DavidB

    Jack,

    I’m a longtime lurker who rarely comments. I enjoy your writing but am disappointed about the tone of this piece. Specifically, the gratuitous hypothesizing about events — Spare me. If I wanted that, I’ll re-subscribe to cable news. Let’s stick with the facts.

    Why do so many commenters above, and people in general, ascribe the actions of a few cyclists to ALL cyclists? I don’t ascribe the actions of a few motorists to ALL motorists. When I’m not driving my Expedition or Forester or Honda Shadow to work — passing the occasional cyclist safely with 3′ THAT KANSAS LAW REQUIRES — I’m riding my Madone to work. Racing it on the weekends. I cycled slightly more miles last year than I drove, both on and off-road, so I too appreciate both sides of this first-hand.

    “…but the hardcore roadies are often really nasty, picky, bitchy little people.” You must’ve been surrounded by a bunch of d-bag roadies back in your riding days. Do you tolerate the equivalent in your race car group of friends, these “bitchy little people?”

    The Clash said it best — “Number One: You have the right not to be killed. Murder is a CRIME!”

    I’ll hum this as I click in tomorrow morning for my ride to work. Naive, I know…

  • avatar

    The tour de France was just won on nonround rings. 2nd place used them too. Shimano
    is not my favorite outfit in the world, but they have serious resources and interests in improving the bike.
    I have just tried the biopace ring again after what,20 years. Perhaps I am far less sensitive now,
    but I thought it felt very natural, whereas in the past I did not. I put in on my bike to help prevent
    knee pain. Ironically I hurt one knee on that ride. I attribute that to not having upshifted enough
    to create a proper load for standing. My foot went down much faster than it should have and stressed the knee. The foot falls faster on the downstroke with the biopace, and
    so one may have to upshift more than usual in order to stand out of the saddle.

  • avatar
    doublechili

    Just to clarify the “many”-roadies-don’t-follow-road-rules comments: in my experience finding a single roadie who actually does observe all traffic rules is the very, very rare exception. I’d say it’s like 99% non-compliance.

    Drivers are only maybe 60% non-compliant.

    Roadies driving cars? Probably 99% non-compliant, but that’s pure speculation as opposed to the other semi-scientific numbers.

  • avatar
    josh smith

    Simple rule. DON’T HIT SOMEONE ON A BIKE.

    If you don’t like it, then get out of your car and we’ll settle it another way.

    In reality, you’ll never get your lazy ass out of the driver’s seat. Because you understand the ramifications of that decision.

    It sucks getting pounded on by a guy in bike shorts.

  • avatar
    DenverMike

    Cyclists usually have little regard for the rules of the road and even less for their own safety.

  • avatar
    Buckshot

    Why are you trying to make an excuse for the dirtbag Kinkade?

    Even if the cyclists were totally blocking trafic (which i don´t believe) you cannot try to kill them.

    It´s like saying if someone drives too slow, you can pull your gun and shoot them.

  • avatar
    Otterpops

    “Very few people just start screaming at cyclists from nowhere”

    Sounds like someone’s never ridden a bike in Arizona.

  • avatar

    Holy shit, Jack. You cast doubt upon proper identification of the
    driver when it never was in question.

    http://tucsonvelo.com/news/driver-accused-of-hitting-cyclist-defends-himself-in-online-forum/15835

    Real nice ending to your ditty: Rodney should have floored it and
    killed all of them. It’s just so IRONIC that had only he pointed
    his car at the group and gone for it he would be in the clear.
    It was a MISTAKE that he did not act more violently!

    What has happened to you. You have become a monster.

  • avatar
    mnm4ever

    Just as I thought, the comments were fun to read, everyone gets really worked up over this one!!

    Apparently most of the cyclists who commented automatically assumed that the rider’s story was gospel, and got their panties in a bunch because the driver “tried to kill a rider with his car”. Well, no, we don’t know if that is true at all, actually there are about a dozen more plausible scenarios that would make this an unfortunate accident as opposed to attempted manslaughter. Wake up guys… Jack did not say it was OK that he hit a bicycle, no sane person thinks that is OK regardless of what the bikes were doing, it was wrong. But it isn’t automatically a targeted attack either.

    Also, the simple act of riding in a bike pack, blocking lanes, and slowing down traffic, regardless of whether or not it is legal, is both dangerous to you and annoying to many drivers. If you insist on partaking in that activity, you are should expect a certain amount of animosity from some people who aren’t “into” your sport. It doesn’t really matter that your on a bike, if a guy in a car was rolling along at 20mph in a 45 lane, he would get way worse treatment. Still, no one should deliberately try to hurt you, that is clearly not OK, but sometimes they will flip you off, honk at you, etc.

    And if you are one of those riders who thinks you ride perfectly safe and respectful all the time, yet you find yourself constantly being swerved around, flipped off, cut off, yelled at, etc, then possibly you are NOT as a good a rider as you thought?? And if you are a driver who has experienced multiple incidents with bike riders flipping you off or yelling at you, then perhaps YOU are not as safe around bike riders as you thought??

    • 0 avatar
      corntrollio

      “And if you are one of those riders who thinks you ride perfectly safe and respectful all the time, yet you find yourself constantly being swerved around, flipped off, cut off, yelled at, etc, then possibly you are NOT as a good a rider as you thought?? And if you are a driver who has experienced multiple incidents with bike riders flipping you off or yelling at you, then perhaps YOU are not as safe around bike riders as you thought??”

      Truest statement on the issue so far. If this happens once or twice, maybe the other guy is a nutjob. If this happens repeatedly, maybe the nutjob is in the mirror.

  • avatar
    Domestic Hearse

    Rod is toast. When the state is done with him, he will face a civil suit from these guys (hint, they’re the lead sponsor of the Jamis cycling team)…

    “Hagens Berman Sobol Shapiro LLP is a plaintiff-focused law firm that seeks to protect the rights of consumers, workers, whistleblowers, investors and others.”

    National law firm with offices across the country. Methinks they’ll not take kindly to their “workers” being assaulted, regardless of how this click-bait of an article spins it.

    • 0 avatar
      mnm4ever

      I doubt it. This kind of thing happens all the time around here and the drivers rarely get in much trouble, especially if there is no injuries. There is no proof that there was any confrontation of any kind, aside from the word of the bike team. By the law, this is just one guy’s word against theirs, and since no one was hurt it would be tough to do anything about it. If you remove the “confrontation” part of the story, all you are left with is a car and a bike impacted, which then crashed into another bike and they fell… accident. Technically there isn’t even any proof of who swerved into who, what caused said swerve, etc. Sure he left the scene, but he is just going to say that he didn’t know there was a scene to leave. People have successfully argued that they didn’t see the bikes, didn’t know they impacted with the bikes, it was the bike’s fault he swerved into me, etc, etc. Not saying he is right, just that it is far from an open and shut case.

      If Kincaid gets himself a good lawyer he has a pretty good shot at getting off completely, and possibly suing the bike team for slander and even the damages to his car. This sounds like a case Barry Cohen would love.

      • 0 avatar
        Domestic Hearse

        Courts recognize as “proof” eyewitness testimony all the time. In this case, 15 people. Plus the physical evidence of the crash itself (which includes scratches to the right front of the Oldsmobile, and the fact Rod drove straight to a carwash after the incident in an attempt to clean off the evidence.)

        In addition, many states have drafted cyclist harassment laws. Even if a cyclist is alone and has only his/her own word that you, the driver, behaved aggressively toward the rider, you’re going to take a trip to the police department. Then, based on the rider’s account, it’ll be up to the AG if you’ll be tried.

        Anyway, I will make a $20 wager with you. Hagens Berman nails him to the wall.

        • 0 avatar
          mnm4ever

          Those are good points too. Maybe in Florida riders don’t get as much respect as in other states, and I would be wary of any law that puts more power in the hands of one side over the other… in general people have a tendency to lie, or at least skew the true story to making themselves look more innocent than is likely. And I did not say Kincaid wasn’t wrong or even guilty, just that it is not an open and shut case and a good (or sleazy) lawyer would have a field day with all the speculations: “15 people were all members of the same team with a common interest in the testimony, do they have any other witnesses”… “Sure the car was scratched, no one will deny there was impact between car and bike, but it surely wasn’t intentional, a car crossed the yellow line and I had to swerve, my radio was on very loud and I didn’t see or hear any bike or impact, I had no idea anyone was hurt I just feel terrible about it”… “Yes I was heading to the car wash when this unfortunate incident occurred, it was then that I noticed the scratches, and before I could call police I was accosted by a team of crazed bicyclists in colored spandex and a bunch of guys in chase vehicles surrounded me”… etc etc… see how this can go??

          But I won’t take your bet, we live in a country where a young mother can kill her kid and get off scott free, where a teacher can drunkenly plow into a group of students and drive away and hide and doesn’t go to jail… the legal system is not worth $20 in confidence.

          • 0 avatar
            corntrollio

            “before I could call police I was accosted by a team of crazed bicyclists in colored spandex and a bunch of guys in chase vehicles surrounded me”

            This is very common. In some Critical Mass incidents, the aggro bikers have been known to flip over cars in response to incidents like this. Those guys are nutjobs.

  • avatar

    Just one point about the flagrant law breaking attitudes of cyclists.
    If I were to set up at a busy urban intersection or high traffic area where I could observe a relatively large number of vehicles and pedestrians, I would likely see just as many law breaking car drivers as I would cyclists. Not using turn signals. Not completely stopping at stop signs. Aggressively forcing their way into merge lanes before there’s even a broken white line. Speeding. Not yielding to pedestrians. Texting. Running stop lights. How many times a day do you curse another driver for being a law breaking, dangerous dumbass compared to a pedestrian or cyclist? To be fair, per capita we deal with more drivers, but in my experience the frustration with people on bikes has more to do with the fact they’re slower or CAn do things we can’t, like use sidewalks or crosswalks, split lanes, etc. than the fact they’re flagrantly breaking traffic laws at every opportunity. Not saying there aren’t dangerous dumbasses on bikes too. Again, just an observation.

  • avatar
    Domestic Hearse

    The situations where roadies behaved badly cited by Jack are true. Yes, there are a minority of jerkish scofflaw riders with bad attitudes who’ve given all cyclists a bad name with boorish, prickish behavior.

    But this was a professional team on a team sanctioned training ride. They’re on their team bikes, sporting team kit, followed by a team car. As such, they’re representing themselves, their team, and their sponsors, not to mention cycling fans. Pro teams on such a ride have an obligation — which is almost universally understood and upheld — to be…professional.

    They also ride defensively and carefully as possible. It takes incredibly good genetic fortune, thousands of hours of dedication, and a lot of luck to land a job as a riding pro. Guys who are drawing paychecks riding their bikes know they’re among the luckiest guys on earth, and it takes just a blink of an eye to lose it all, to blow a season, to lose all the form they’ve built up, and heck, lose their jobs.

    They’re not out there taking chances, trust me. They’re not being dicks. And most pros are incredibly nice people, gracious, willing to chat, and have shed that superior, jerk-off attitude you’ll find among the Cat 3 racers at your local club. (Wiggens excepted.)

    I’m not buying a word of Jack’s article condemning the Jamis team. These were not some club riding road snobs. (And if you’ll do a little investigation, you’ll see they had five feet of shoulder, which they were availing themselves of. More than enough room for pros to ride in a double pace line and stay clear of the roadway.)

  • avatar
    kosmo

    I once had a long discussion with a law enforcement officer about this topic. His take? If you (cyclist) break the law, that’s for me (John Law) to deal with. Running a stop sign or doing something stupid in traffic on your bike doesn’t give a driver the right to deal with you as he sees fit. If that were the case, the roads would be armageddon BECAUSE I SEE DRIVERS CONSTANTLY BREAKING SMALL LAWS LIKE NOT STOPPING COMPLETELY OR USING THEIR DIRECTIONALS ALL THE TIME.

    I love your writing, Jack, but this article was terrible. Far too much conjecture. You were not there. You may have been a rider at one time, but this article indicates that you’ve morphed into a too cool for school car guy who also believes that being semi-talented with an electric bass gives him special crystal ball powers.

    Or perhaps you’ve gone over to the remote viewing faction?

  • avatar
    nrd515

    We have a big local bike race here and it’s really annoying, to put it mildly. The police block intersections and that alone is a hassle, but the riders do stuff, like ride on the wrong side of the road, side by side, and some wobble like drunks and scare the hell out of you wondering if they will wobble right in front of you. A couple of times they have and been hit. Nobody has been seriously hurt, somehow.

    But having been held up by this race for about the last 6-7 years or so, I can understand how someone could get frustrated, but not homicidal.

    • 0 avatar
      Domestic Hearse

      “…but the riders do stuff, like ride on the wrong side of the road, side by side, and wobble like drunks and scare the hell out of you…”

      Wrong side of the road: Who cares, it’s a race, the road is blocked — ever see an F1 road race — the cars, ack! are on the wrong side of the road sometimes. Oh. Wait.

      Side by side: That happens sometimes when you go to pass. Same concept as car racing. Maybe you are a NASCAR fan and like your racing single file for two hours.

      Wobble like drunks: I doubt it. Wait. Maybe your local race isn’t very good, in which case, rant all you want. Though, somehow, I don’t think you’ve actually stopped to watch much of it, if any.

  • avatar
    daviel

    Here’s an update from Velonews:

    “Driver charged with hitting cyclists — Arizona Daily Star

    As we reported a week and a half ago, a Tucson, Ariz. driver had a run-in with the Jamis-Hagens Berman cycling team while the group was on a training ride late last month.

    Riders on the team told police Rodney Kinkade drove up next to the two-column, 15-person group and began shouting obscenities. Moments later after he pulled even with the riders at the front of the paceline, Kinkade allegedly swerved into the group and knocked some of the riders to the ground. Then he sped away.

    A team car traveling with the team was able to catch up to Kinkade and take a photo of his license plate, which eventually led to his arrest. Police have charged him with felony aggravated assault.”

    Maybe somebody can send Jack’s piece to the defense lawyer.

  • avatar
    Buckshot

    Very poor article. Sounds like Rod Kinkade is a cousin of yours?


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