Saturday, September 09, 2006

Cycling Road Rage

I flipped a guy off the other day on my ride to work. I don't normally do that sort of thing and I feel bad about it.

I find I'm getting angry during my commute.

I have to cross an intersection where I wait alongside vehicles going the same direction as me, waiting at the red light to turn right. I am waiting for the green to go straight across. I have almost been hit a few times by these right turning drivers.

It's not because they don't see me. I look like a frickin' irradiated carrot, lit up for Christmas.

I have my blinky lights blinking, my dayglo orange reflective vest reflecting, my headlight shining and I also stand a bit further UP than the vehicle I'm next to.

The light turns green, I go, the vehicle goes into the turn also.

The brakes squeal as they hit them so they don't hit me.

I point to the green light, I point to the "walk" crosswalk indicator, I point to myself and then point straight ahead of me. Hopefully the driver understands this simple sign language and is aware that next time the light is green, I am going to GO as I have the RIGHT OF WAY, just like a pedestrian.

Correct me if I'm wrong.

I looked it up in the state laws. It's not legal to ride IN the roads here, either have to be on the bike path, on the shoulder of the road or as far to the right as possible if there is no shoulder.

I am riding on a bike path that leads up to the intersection and is then shared with pedestrians as it joins up with the sidewalk.

Also, bratty teens who block the bike path and will not move over also pisses me off. At this point I am supposed to yield to the pedestrians but those little shits deserve to be run over.

Good thing cycling burns off the negative energy. The rage is usually neutralized by the end of my ride. Besides, guns are too heavy to carry on my bike.


George said...

You are a vehicle-take the lane.

The WHOLE lane.

If someone behind you wants to make a right turn on red-too damn bad-they will have to wait.

If they honk their horn at you-turn around, wave and smile:-)

I guess it's easy for me to say "take the lane" I grew up riding in heavy city traffic and am used to the give and take of city riding.

Mark said...

You are right; the drivers are wrong. But the real culprits are the nitwit bike path designer and the lawmakers who made the rule that you must use the path. Those folks stupidly put you in a position where getting hooked is reasonably likely. As a matter of self preservation, not as a matter of justice, riding through a crosswalk is a bad idea. (Frankly, walking through a crosswalk with right turners is also hazardous, but pedestrians have more time to watch for stupid auto behavior.)

On a slightly different slant, I think my "road rage" feelings are worse on a bike. On my 12-mile commute, I'll bet I get pissed at stupid drivers, idiot bike planners and traffic engineers, and the whole auto-centric world around 6 times a day. I need to work on it.

Michelle said...

Alaska state law does not allow cyclists in the road to take the lane. I think my chances of survival would drop to less than .5 percent if I did take the lane...Alaskans are almost like cavemen in a lot of ways (I can say that, I'm one of them, but smell much better than a caveman)

I agree the bike path planning in Wasilla itself is very poor! It's weird how the paths sometimes just end. No reasoning to it that I can see. Alaska is really behind the game when it comes to being bike friendly as far as providing safe, ridable areas. But is it legal to ride on the side of the road pretty much anywhere in the State. We don't have many roads though. And it's pretty scary out there, I will not take my chances on the sides of most major roads. I see accidents probably bi-weekly.

Yesterdays ride through the intersection was pretty good. I'm calming down a bit. No close calls. :).