The two type of cyclists

The last paragraph was the real zinger, Unforutnatly I think the compexity of most of the language probably flies right over the head of most typical “newspaper complainers” :frowning:

President Obama has to write his speaches for a grade 6 to 10 audience, and gets chided if it goes to 11 [Unlike Spinal Tap]

How many times do you drive down a road and witness a cyclist coming straight towards you in your lane of traffic. Or how about them darting across in front of you on a cross walk, or running you down while you may be walking on a side walk?
How many of them are weraing helmets?

There really are two types of cyclists. Those who take it seriously, and those who don’t know any better.
As I drive downtown halfax I see this all too often, and when I see people riding bikes, ( I will not call them cyclists) endangering their lives and the lives of others it angers me. Not just because of their stupidity, but also because it gives real cyclists a bad reputation and like bad apples we all get lumped together.

How can we fix these people? Do we stop them and educate them, or just ignore them?
Should the police be more vigilant with these folks?

there’s times i’ll ride the sidewalk, certain roads, or have a coffee in my hand. no situations where i’d endanger myself or others. but yes i understand what you’re saying, some cyclist’s are somewhat ignorant and it affects us all. i’ve seen some bad examples set by the knowledgable also. it’s moot in my mind atleast they’re on bikes.

my biggest pet peeve is cyclists that figure stop signs are for cars only. … “Get out of the city if you dont want to stop at intersections.” save your life and mine.

Smile and nod, Troy…smile and nod. And follow the rules of the road. I figure there is nothing one can do about the weenies. And there are a lot of them out there. People seem to be getting slacker and slacker about the helmet thing.

I’ve been riding my bike to work almost every day for a month and I’ve realized there are a lot of weenies behind the steering wheel, too. Like PASSING ME ON THE RIGHT SIDE. Now THAT ticks me off.

What we have is a very sharpe double edged sword. It seems that most motorists are uneducated about cyclists and most cyclists are unaware of their responsibilities and behaviors.
The unknown causes both sides to become dangerous and agressive towards each other.
I like to yell at the weenies who pass to close on the road in hopes that they will stop so I can educate them, I yell at the weenies who are pedalling also.
A grenade launcher would fix a few problems and send a clear message me things… or I guess I could try to start a massive education program instead. The latter could cost less than my legal bills resulting from option A.

Agreed. My favourite yell is, “Share the Road!”. I guess the only logical response is to continue to follow the rules of the road to a) maybe set an example and b) restore faith in motorists that not all bike people are weenies!

This was an interesting response by BNS to a letter someone submitted to the CH going on about the hassle bikes make for drivers in the city, how they should be forced to pay taxes via licensing as they use the “same” infrastructure as cars, etc:

I am responding to a number of recent letters regarding cyclists on our roadways.
I merely offer another point of view.

While it is true that many cyclists drive through stop signs and red lights, it is also true that many automobile drivers speed, fail to signal, roll through stop signs, don’t use their seatbelts and text while driving.
Every milieu, it seems, has its own scoff laws.

In an attempt to do something positive about cycling however, I became a CAN-BIKE Instructor in 2006 (a program funded by Transport Canada –
Unfortunately, as with the many driver education programs, the CAN-BIKE is completely voluntary.
Some cyclists, as well many motorists, feel that “they” do not need any training.
It’s a typical human failing.
I still joined a group of cyclists whose members co-authored the Nova Scotia Bicycle Safety Handbook.
It details proper road etiquette for cyclists and motorists alike.

Regardless of the efforts being made with respect to safe cycling, it would seem that there are still many motorists who are reluctant to share their roadways with their pedaling fellow citizens.
They talk about the licensing of bicycles and other means by which to tax and control the cycling public.
They sadly appear to know very little.

The motor vehicle is a wonderful technology for traveling long distances, carrying heavy loads or giving more independence to those with limited physical mobility.
I, too, own and drive motor vehicles but I realize that their usage comes with many generally negative consequences as well.

According to the Transport Canada, Statistics Canada, and the Bureau of Transportation Statistics websites, an average of 2,957 annually died in motor vehicle collisions in Canada between 1995 and 2004.
The same period averaged 600,000 motor vehicle collisions annually on Canadian roadways.
Additionally in 1990, 1995 and 1996, the only years for which the statistics are readily available, an average of more than 200,000 people were injured annually.

A quick mental calculation would reveal that these sad events result in billions of dollars in rescue, care, treatment, personal injury compensation and repair costs.
And even these observations ignore the other health care burdens which are resulting from the chronic overuse of the automobile: obesity, diabetes, high blood pressure, heart and stroke and a host of other serious physical ailments.
Bicycles and their riders simply don’t account for any such things.

Unlike cars, trucks and busses, bicycles also have a minimal impact on street expansion and on street maintenance and repair.
Thus, those who argue that cyclists should pay “their share” should consider how small – proportionally – that share would really be.

As more people ride bicycles instead of driving motor vehicles, positive spin-offs result: cleaner air, healthier people, reduced traffic congestion, cost savings on road maintenance and on public transit.

Cycling is neither inherently dangerous nor particularly difficult; therefore, like walking, we allow people to do it for free.
Requiring cyclists to pay for the privilege of using the streets they already pay for through their taxes would be like requiring pedestrians to pay a toll to use the sidewalks.
How absurd.

Different vehicle types have different advantages and disadvantages, and different people have different needs and preferences.
Fortunately, our roadways and traffic laws allow accommodation of a diversity of vehicle types for transportation.
If this were not the case, many people would be limited to vehicles they don’t need, don’t want, can’t afford, or can’t use.
However, this diversity requires co-operation and patience of all road users because an unfortunate reality of our roadway system is that all forms of traffic affect all other forms of traffic.
No road user is immune to traffic delays nor innocent of creating them for others.

Some motorists who wish to avoid their responsibilities and occasional inconveniences of motor vehicle travel have claimed that use of slow, open vehicles on roadways is unreasonably dangerous.
However, bicycle riders who follow the rules of the road and motorists who exhibit patience and pass cyclists when safe and at a safe distance will all enjoy a better safety record.
Our society’s respect for the travel rights of vulnerable but lawfully operating road users is what keeps all road users safe.
Those impatient road users (thankfully a minority) who treat others with disrespect and make inflammatory statements intent on depriving other groups of their legal right to travel upon our public system are the ones creating the real danger.

Doug Regular

Vice president of Education, Bicycle Nova Scotia

CAN-BIKE Instructor/national Examiner


I have a new hero.