Author Topic: bicycle thread (sport, utilitarian, fun...)  (Read 34013 times)

deBeauxOs

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bicycle thread (sport, utilitarian, fun...)
« Reply #30 on: June 12, 2007, 02:35:19 PM »
That is quite a number of kliks there, lagatta.   :bike  And uphill cycling back home, too.   :shock:

Catchfire

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« Reply #31 on: June 12, 2007, 05:11:43 PM »
Apparently, according to the CBC, there is a "crackdown" on unsafe cycling practices right now in Montreal.  They've started a no tolerance policy on lack of reflectors (even during the daytime), cycling on sidewalks/pedestrian streets, and going the wrong way down one-way streets (legal in bike-friendly Europe).  The officer in charge of the program defended it, saying that there were no "good" offences and "bad" offences, so they had no choice but to crackdown on all of them.  I wonder...if there's no "good" or "bad" offences, why the need for a "crackdown"?  Shouldn't they just be ticketing everyone, all the time, for anything?  It would be tough, I know, in a city like Montreal where the drivers and pedestrians are so well behaved....

I'm sure cop corruption is item two on their list.  They just need to get those bastardly bikers cleaned up...

lagatta

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« Reply #32 on: June 12, 2007, 06:41:46 PM »
There are indeed cyclists who are macho idiots, endangering other cyclists and pedestrians, and I have no problem with a clampdown on them. But the police (surprise?) take a heavy-handed and obtuse approach, for example ticketing a cyclist because her front wheel reflector was white, not yellow (!). I also heard a cop talking about clamping down on cyclists who cross during the advance pedestrian sign - something I ALWAYS do, not to intimidate or mow down pedestrians, but because it is the safest moment to cross.

Sidewalks: in general, cyclists should not be there, agreed. But many, many cyclists here go on the sidewalk to cross certain railway viaducs where there is no other safe place to cross. There I think it would be better to enforce PRIORITY for pedestrians.

Problem is, a lot of poilice view cyclists, even law-abiding ones, as some kind of nuisance and as hippies who have remained in their adolescence for not buying into the AUTOcracy...

Without losing sight of the fundamentally repressive role of police, I think there are things we can do to improve their intervention and behaviour; similar to what women working in shelters for battered women and with sexual assault victims have been able to achieve. I'll definitely be discussing this with my cycling comrades...

:bike :redflag: :bike :redflag: :bike :redflag: :bike :redflag: :bike :redflag: :bike
" Eure \'Ordnung\' ist auf Sand gebaut. Die Revolution wird sich morgen schon \'rasselnd wieder in die Höhe richten\' und zu eurem Schrecken mit Posaunenklang verkünden: \'Ich war, ich bin, ich werde sein!\' "
Rosa Luxemburg

Catchfire

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« Reply #33 on: June 13, 2007, 10:27:21 AM »
I don't deny that there needs to be some reform in much of the way cyclists behave in this city, but like you say, the repressive "hit-them-with-a-bigger-stick-until-they-behave" method wants something...

Someone suggested having the police hand out reflectors rather than give tickets for not having them (the officer in charge of the crackdown claimed it wasn't her "responsibility").

The main problem, which, you alluded to, is that cyclists are a marginalized group in the city...a "nuisance" rather than a legitimate mode of transportation to be encouraged.  This kind of attitude fosters the defensive, even aggressive state of mind many cyclists accrue.  I've been intentionally targeted by cars who have swerved to hit me because they felt I was riding on the wrong side of a one way street (not wrong way...on the left side, rather than right, even though bikes are allowed the whole road) so many times, it's easy to see why this state of antagonism exists.

I feel if there we're more bike-friendly laws rather than bike-tolerant laws, we'd be much happier and act accordingly.  Besides, it's common sense in the context of global warming, Montreal's annual pot hole festival, and our crumbling highway overpasses.

lagatta

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« Reply #34 on: June 13, 2007, 10:44:35 AM »
Except for riding on viaduct sidewalks (as one would get killed riding in the street there), I am an utterly law-abiding if not to say "pépère" cyclist (I'd say "mémère", but that stereotype involves gossiping incessantly...) and I never stop getting harassed by drivers who think I am taking up their space.

And I think chatting on a cellphone while driving should be banned - I have seen far too many near accidents with Mr Important on his way to work, chatting on his thing while barely avoiding pedestrians - including parents pushing prams and yesterday, a lady with serious motor problems - she was walking with one of those canes with four ends on it for stability - and was no older than I am so I guess she'd had a stroke or something. Getting honked at for the crime of not being able to cross a street fast enough.

There is also the matter of this being a cash grab...
" Eure \'Ordnung\' ist auf Sand gebaut. Die Revolution wird sich morgen schon \'rasselnd wieder in die Höhe richten\' und zu eurem Schrecken mit Posaunenklang verkünden: \'Ich war, ich bin, ich werde sein!\' "
Rosa Luxemburg

deBeauxOs

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bicycle thread (sport, utilitarian, fun...)
« Reply #35 on: June 13, 2007, 11:16:21 AM »
This pisses me off royally.  Only once in my lifetime has my life been endangered by a cyclist flouting vehicular regulations - he was riding on the sidewalk and he was racing to get through the intersection on the amber light.  

Yet I've lost count of the number of times that my own vigilance and prudence has kept me from dying under the wheels of SUVs and cars being driven by adrenaline-fuelled assholes, talking on their cell phones or too much in a hurry to be concerned about other individuals on what they presume to be "their" streets.   :evil:

brebis noire

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« Reply #36 on: June 13, 2007, 11:23:24 AM »
It's the same personality types of profiles who are dangerous in cars that are also dangerous on bikes. The 16-yr-old daughter of a friend of mine was killed by a cyclist who sped down a long, steep hill in the city and ignored a red light at the bottom as she was crossing on the signal.

But of course cars are always more dangerous than bikes, it's a simple matter of basic physics. The extent to which car travel endangers everybody's life is extremely underestimated. You can't let kids go just about anywhere alone anymore, and it's not because of the pedophiles.  :roll:

Boom Boom

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« Reply #37 on: June 13, 2007, 11:27:04 AM »
When I lived in London, Ontario in the early 70's, I was riding my expensive racing bike and got cut off by a car that turned right, abruptly. I crashed into the car, and flew over the hood.  The driver of the car stopped and was very apologetic, checked to make sure I was okay, but in my dazed state I said "I'm okay" and she drove off. I've been wary of driving on city streets since.

k'in

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« Reply #38 on: June 13, 2007, 12:00:02 PM »
I don't much care for the zero sum analyis that often emerges when the topic of Who Is the Biggest Asshole-Car Driver, Cyclist, or Pedestrian? comes up.  It's a personality issue.  A self absorbed entitled asshole is going to behave selfishly whether running red lights in their car, cycling on the sidewalk, or walking out into oncoming traffic and expecting traffic to grind to a halt because they are so special.  

I'm predominantly a pedestrian.  I'm not stupid and I don't really care to embarrass by family by offing myself via miscalculating a jay walk attempt.  Annually the Toronto pedestrian fatality stats break down close to 50/50 driver/pedestrian fault.  There does not seem to be many shared fault incidents. Pedestrians are at the bottom of the food chain.  If we collide with a bike we might die.  If we collide with a car we are even more likely to die.  Cyclists are generally not going to win too many (if any) battles with cars.

Courtesy for others and self preservation would be a good start whether the person is behind the wheel, on their bike, or walking.

lagatta

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« Reply #39 on: June 13, 2007, 02:36:18 PM »
Yes, but that doesn't take the central environmental angle into account. Not that it is any excuse for cyclo-bullies, but the most polite motorist pollutes countless times more than the rudest and most unthinking cyclist.

In the Netherlands, motorists have the burden of proof.

Now, I know that alas many people need motor vehicles, not just in the countryside but tragically, even in metropolitan areas, but for the most part that is due to criminally bad planning deliberately designed to make people have to buy cars.
" Eure \'Ordnung\' ist auf Sand gebaut. Die Revolution wird sich morgen schon \'rasselnd wieder in die Höhe richten\' und zu eurem Schrecken mit Posaunenklang verkünden: \'Ich war, ich bin, ich werde sein!\' "
Rosa Luxemburg

justme

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« Reply #40 on: June 14, 2007, 09:15:26 AM »
A good stretch of road I drive to/from work every day is a "share the road" road (signage placed).  The road is narrow, windey, with narrow dirt shoulders.  I am so very nervous when I have to pass bikes, and often travel slowly behind for a long way before passing.  Due to the twists and turns you can't see what is coming (double solid line all the way), and as the cyclists often travel side by side, or in large groups that take over most of the lane I don't dare pass.

I get the signage and I share the road, but is there any onus on the biker to share too?  I often wonder why they can't travel single file when a vehicle is putting along behind them.

I would rather travel at 20 or 30 klicks all the way home (the speed limit there is 60) than risk a bike in my path, but I have a hard time some days accepting that this is really OK.

I don't want to give the impression that I am against bikes on the road, 'cause I'm not.  I would love to be able to ride to work - but it would take me hours to get there  :wink:

kuri

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« Reply #41 on: July 05, 2007, 11:07:17 AM »
I'm a little pissed about the latest bike development in Edmonton - almost all our bike racks are disappearing! The ones in front of my work building are already gone (luckily I had parkade access) and I'm sure my grocery store bike rack will be gone soon.

L. and I had planned on biking down Whyte Ave this weekend for a nice b-fast at a café. I hope there's somewhere to lock up along the avenue!

arborman

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« Reply #42 on: July 05, 2007, 12:20:56 PM »
BIL and Sister have reached Calgary in their cross canada bike tour.  I'm impressed...

As an aside about bikes in Edmonton.  My BIL, while they were saving up for their bike trip and move, had a job at Ford Credit (he is bilingual, a rare skill in Edmonton).  An ardent, non car owning eco-geek, he rationalized it to himself as a way to take SUVs off the road and away from idiots.

Anyway, he rode his bike to work whenever it wasn't too icy.  The office being somewhere in Northeast officeland.  All of his coworkers simply assumed that he must have lost his license for drunk driving - why would anyone ride a bike when they could just drive their car (non-car ownership being outside the range of possibilities).  Ah Edmonton, how I haven't missed living there.
The pleasures of the table are for every man, of every land, and no matter what place in history or society; they can be a part of all his other pleasures, and they last the longest, to console him when he has outlived the rest.

kuri

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« Reply #43 on: July 05, 2007, 12:43:00 PM »
I usually love living here - but I'm in a central area equally close to downtown and Old Strathcona.

You'll find car-loving idiots in suburbs of any city. And it's the growth of those areas and the vision-less politicians they elect (I'm looking at you Councillor Nickol and Mayor Mandel) who threaten to ruin the city for everyone. :(

arborman

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« Reply #44 on: July 05, 2007, 01:27:19 PM »
Quote from: kuri
I usually love living here - but I'm in a central area equally close to downtown and Old Strathcona.



Sure, I used to have a huge apartment facing onto Whyte for $300/month.  1000 square feet or more, 3 bedrooms, all hardwood, huge back deck, laundry.  One of those above a store thingies.  Best apartment I ever had, if we don't mention roommates.  And Whyte was a gas, though it has changed for the worse in the intervening 15 years I think.  It was all an improvement on Leduc, my natal home...

And the summer festival season is wonderful.  It's just, it's just.... The 6 months of icy barbaric wastelands, and the shockingly high yob factor...
The pleasures of the table are for every man, of every land, and no matter what place in history or society; they can be a part of all his other pleasures, and they last the longest, to console him when he has outlived the rest.

 

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