Re: [CR] Is this fair

(Example: Framebuilders:Norman Taylor)

From: "robert st.cyr" <rpstcyr@hotmail.com>
To: <paccoastcycles@sbcglobal.net>, <classicrendezvous@bikelist.org>
Date: Wed, 14 Oct 2009 13:03:40 -0700
In-Reply-To: <1FB2FCDCED9B4CCAAAA22B08DDE55359@home69dc7846f7>
References: <1FB2FCDCED9B4CCAAAA22B08DDE55359@home69dc7846f7>
Subject: Re: [CR] Is this fair


I commute five days a week (On an on-topic, lugged steel frame I made last year in Doug Fattic's shop) through mostly undesirable neighborhoods and boulevards in South Sacramento. As a cyclist I feel like I have very little control of what is going on around me in traffic. I do my best to avoid any maneuvers and gestures that will anger or upset motorist and city buses. I contend with heavy glass in the bike lane, rocks, tree branches, green waste cans, needles, condoms and various junk that has fallen off of passing cars and trucks. Many of the cars that pass me should be condemed. All this mess frequently forces me out into traffic. I ride at a modest speed (13-16 mph), any faster and I find that motorists misjudge my speed and simple do not see me, pull out in front of me or cut me off at drive ways and intersections. I have had cans, drink cups and a case of beer box thrown out the windows of passing motorist aimed towards me. This usually happens when traffic is backed up and I am making better time than the motorists. Unfortunately, cyclists are all lumped together in the eyes of motorists. So the wrong-way riders on department store bikes sans helmet, lights, etc. are the same as the law abiding riders that stop at stop signs and traffic lights. Sometimes these riders are more of a hazard to me than the drivers of cars. When I was stationed in Germany at Bitburg AirForce base. I owned a lugged steel Kotter's Team racing bike. I was a member of a German bike club in Trier during the mid 1980's and when out on a solo ride I was run off the road by a biligerent motorist. It was American G.I.'s in a red Ford pick-up... The roads in Germany were so clean I could ride sew-ups and the German people were polite and respectful to me as a cyclist. I miss those days...

Robert St.Cyr

Sacramento, California USA


> From: paccoastcycles@sbcglobal.net
> To: classicrendezvous@bikelist.org
> Date: Wed, 14 Oct 2009 12:28:02 -0700
> Subject: [CR] Is this fair
>
> It is often heard, and just recently was said regarding fixies, that if
> a cyclist does something "wrong" in traffic, he/she is hurting other
> cyclists. The fear is that motorists will treat every cyclist worse
> because of the wrong action of other cyclists.
>
>
>
> I've often felt the same way but have reservations about the whole
> concept. How close is the act of a motorist who has decided all cyclists
> are bad because of the actions of others to racial stereotyping? I think
> it is pretty similar. Both racial stereotyping and discrimination
> against cyclists happen and I'm not suggesting hiding our heads in the
> tarmac. (ouch!)
>
>
>
> I expect more from my fellow man than to stoop to such low behavior as
> to treat me badly because they are mad at someone else. It is true that
> when people get behind the wheel, they change; mostly for the worse. For
> many, the automobile is the only place in their lives where they feel
> they are in control. I know that is pathetic. But I am certain it is
> true in many cases. The acting out of this control issue can and does
> have dire consequences for cyclists using the same road.
>
>
>
> Have you been harangued by people telling you how much cyclists held
> them up on the roadway? They don't seem to mention how a slow moving
> cement truck held up their speedy progress in traffic. What is the
> difference? Why do they mention us and not the cement truck? I think
> that is because as the smallest vehicle on the road, motorists perceive
> us as the babies and they are the mommies and daddies and they are ever
> ready to teach us a lesson.
>
>
>
> There is plenty of anger on the roadway and think that motorists in
> general carry their mindset with them and do not need an errant cyclist
> to provide an excuse to act disrespectfully toward bicycle riders.
>
>
>
> This does not excuse any cyclist's wrong actions, but it may be useful
> in trying to keep the issue in focus.
>
>
>
> Also, I've been a passenger in cars driven by other cyclists who, when
> they get behind the wheel of a car become the very driver I am wary of
> when I'm on my bicycle. Maybe irony is the force that makes the world
> turn.
>
>
>
> Chuck Hoefer
>
> Vista, California USA