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Cyclist: If you are not perfect, I pay for it with my life

Wednesday, March 21, 2012   by: SooToday.com Staff

SooToday.com has received the following letter from a very frustrated cyclist. He tells us the challenges he describes in his letter are common among cyclists in Sault Ste. Marie who often share similar stories.

*************************
Like to drive?
 
Read this.
 
Now that the snow has gone and weather has warmed up, many people will be out enjoying it.
 
My favourite activity is bicycling (both winter and summer).
 
It's a great way to stay fit and a great method of transportation that produces zero emissions!
 
Now that I have your attention, I would like to address some of the challenges that we face from local motorists.
 
A bicycle is classified as a vehicle under the Highway & Traffic Act of Ontario, which means we have to  ride on the road and follow the same rules that you have to follow. Individuals over the age of 18 are required by law to ride on the road.
 
If one of us were to ride on the side walk and get stopped by law enforcement, we can face somewhere between $30 and $90 in fines.
 
Riding the sidewalk has its own set of dangers that many people never think about.
 
Getting right hooked, cars pulling out of driveways, hitting pedestrians, etc are all things that have to be carefully watched for.
 
Just like you, we have to stop at red lights or stop signs and also for school busses.
 
We have to signal our turns, obey posted signs and respect other vehicles on the road.
 
If we fail to comply with those, we can be fined and also charged under the traffic act.
 
So what is it about a man or woman on their bike that causes so much aggravation to people who drive cars?
 
Is it because we look different?
 
I don't have a couple thousand pounds of metal shell protecting me.
 
People tell me they are mad at cyclists because they get in their way when they are driving.
 
I'm sorry that I am going 25 km/h in a 50 km/hr zone that you want to go 60 km/h in.
 
It's tragic.
 
Wait for a safe place to pass! 
 
Why would you give me the one finger salute as you go by?
 
Why do you need to throw your half empty water bottle at me?
 
Why do you need to fling your cigarette butt at me when you pass?
 
Why do you need to yell at me?
 
Why do you need to get out of your vehicle and try to fight me?
 
I don't think you'd do the same to someone in their car. Why the disrespect?
 
I really don't care what you drive or what gang you are a member of.
 
Why do you feel like you have to speed by me at 60km/h when neither of us have a shoulder to travel on?
 
Even worse, why do you have to play chicken with me to see how close you can get to me?
 
I think two-feet is a little close, don't you think?
 
If you slow down and give me a little room then you can simply speed back up when you get around me safely.
 
Is it that hard to press back down on the accelearator?
 
Why is 5-10 seconds so precious out of your life that you are willing to sacrifice mine for it?
 
Why the hatred?
 
I am riding a bicycle.
 
I don't pollute.
 
I don't use any gasoline in my travels.
 
When you pass me by in your dual-king cab V-8 pickup truck towing a boat, you should be thanking me that I'm not using any gasoline in my recreational activity that you are, and will be using.
 
You would rather throw your fast food wrapper at me instead and tell me to get off the road.
 
The very same road that my tax dollars helped pay for too.
 
I see a lot of things when I ride my bike.
 
You might be amazed at the number of fresh beer cases I see on the side of the road during my bike rides.
 
Lots of people in cars are pigs in other ways.
 
Cigarette butts are all over our roadways like you wouldn't believe.
 
Litter is still a problem.
 
I think if more people got out of their car they wouldn't be so quick to chuck stuff out of their windows!
 
Car drivers aren't worried about being perfect.
 
Why, they have too much stuff going on: Unwrapping a Big-Mac, getting the DVD spun up for the twin spawn in the back seat, texting their boyfriend the location of the party, lighting up that cigarette or fumbling about with the iPod, all at a comfy speed of 60 km/hr in a 40 km/hr or 50 km/hr speed zone.
 
The problem is, if I'm not perfect I pay for it with my life.
 
If you aren't perfect, I pay for it with my life.
 
It doesn't matter if you are right or I am wrong, or I am right and you are wrong, when it comes to sharing the
road, the cyclist always, always, always loses.
 
Always.
 
The next time you drive by me and decide it would be a great time to throw your pop can out the window in my path,
consider if you would like for me to throw the same can at you when you are walking into the house for your
5 o'clock feeding.
 
I doubt you would be very amused.
 
I am sure that it would make for a good youtube video!
 
I am certainly not amused at your antics that you perform from your car when I am riding my bicycle.
 
A little respect would be really cool.
 
As for those of you who pass by me at a reasonable speed, leaving a distance between us whie smiling or waving
when passing: Thank you!  
 
It doesn't go un noticed, we notice almost everything!
 
Thank you for being considerate of others and respectful as if it was you on that bicycle!
 
p.s.
 
We are allowed to use a full lane if we want which means we can ride in the middle of the lane.
 
An increasing number of us have "crash cam's" mounted to our bicycles.
 
Smile for the camera!
 
*************************
Comments
78
Note: Comments that appear on the site are not the opinion of SooToday.com. If you see an abusive post, please click the link beside the post to report it.
Luca_3 3/21/2012 10:33:47 AM Report

Great article! The drivers in this city are terrible and careless when it comes to cyclists. Hopefully this article gets through to some of these reckless drivers. We don't need a fatality for this issue to come to light.
squirel 3/21/2012 10:41:25 AM Report

Cyclists should be treated as a vehicle when trying to go around them. As much room as there would be when passing another vehicle.
bus 3/21/2012 10:45:50 AM Report

i understand your frustration. i wouldnt want any kind of litter etc thrown at me but this is the part that gets me:

"Just like you, we have to stop at red lights or stop signs and also for school busses."

I wish those certain bicycles wouldnt cut past all the cars stopped at intersections. like you said, theres only about 2 feet there, apparently enough room for a bike to get through and disobey the law. im not saying its all bicycles or the majority for that matter. but the law is the law and sometimes even bicycles disobey the law.

running red lights is illegal for everyone. not just the guy in the big diesel truck or hummer.
i appreciate what your doing for society by cutting your emissions, but just as motorists make frustrating mistakes, so do bicyclists and people in motorized scooters and everyone else on the road. you may not believe it but sometimes people driving cars make mistakes that not only bikers hate, but fellow car drivers hate too!
mully 3/21/2012 10:50:52 AM Report

If all the cyclists in the Sault were as consciencious as this rider there wouldnt be as many problems. Unfortunately many riders dont follow the traffic laws, failing to stop at intersections, failing to signal, cutting from sidewalks to traffic lanes with no warning, travelling the wrong way in traffic lanes, riding in the dark with no lights or reflective clothing, the list goes on.
I will gladly share the rode with some one who respects the rules!
Bob the builder 3/21/2012 10:51:41 AM Report

You mention a whole bunch of rules that cyclists are supposed to obey. When will they start doing this? They don't stop at red lights or stop signs, they don't signal when changing lanes or turning a corner, they tend to move in the direction they happen to be looking,
if the direction they are going in is stopped by a red light they scoot across on the walkway in the other direction scattering pedestrians right and left and then go across in the walkway against the red light and they totally ignore the "don't ride on the sidewalk" rule. It's no wonder motorists don't treat them with respect.
And lastly riding a bike may be the "green" thing to do but you are using roadways paid for by the motorists gas tax dollars. Start obeying the rules and you may get some respect.

bluesslinger 3/21/2012 10:52:29 AM Report

Act right and be treated right.

I find some cyclists have a chip and have something to prove - asking for trouble.
milldog 3/21/2012 10:55:52 AM Report

That's odd...I cycle all across town, but I have realized the roads were designed for vehicles. I don't pretend I own the road, nor do I get garbage thrown at me or vulgar hand gestures. I have come to the conclusion that this guy has probably brought all of this upon himself by acting ignorant. Maybe a half eaten burger in the face might knock him down a few steps to realize he's just a guy on a bike....not some kind of freak'n hero.
Luca_3 3/21/2012 11:02:57 AM Report

It's not up for debate that there are poor cyclists and poor motorists. There are careless people in both categories. There is no need to argue about that. I think the point of the story is that there are some drivers that have come very close to killing cyclists. And if this article gets through to at least 1 person and has even the slightest possiblity of saving someone's life, I don't see why anyone would be against it.

bluesslinger 3/21/2012 11:06:56 AM Report

If this article gets through to one smart ass cyclist it would be awesome.

They need to own it.
PunkBob 3/21/2012 11:09:53 AM Report

I'm not going to commend whoever wrote this for this rant. I am always cautious whenever approaching a rider. Be it in town or on the highway, I will not pass unless I have an oppertunity.

Do you really have to add insults to get your point across? Do you need to use stereotypes of gas guzzlers being the only type of vehicle on the road? No, this was a poorly written letter about a real issue, that shouldn't be taken lightly.

When I'm stopped at a light why are you right next to me? It means I have to swerve into the next lane or on comming traffic. I was there first. Why do you go to the crosswalk and cross on a red light. Why do you swerve across two lanes of traffic when I am beside you.

Take your insulting letting and blow it out your well you know. Yes it is a problem, however your letter is far from a bridge to motorists who behave in this manner. Rather a hinderance to any actual help that may have come from a decently written open letter to motorists.

Sincerely
Guy in car behind you.
Pansyflowerlady 3/21/2012 11:11:38 AM Report

I understand the way you feel but when you start paying for a licence and insurencwe like a car owner, I think there would be more respect. As it stands, you can report us but we have no way to report you .
sooboy 3/21/2012 11:21:12 AM Report

As someone that walks a lot I have zero sympathy for cyclists. I've been nearly driven over so many times that I have lost count. A lot of cyclists appear to be demented.
Bad Dawg 3/21/2012 11:21:15 AM Report

remember your on ashpalt roads, plastic helmet, pads, rubber tires and shoes....... you aint green, get a horse and buggy.
jean-paul 3/21/2012 11:32:25 AM Report

I think you should have to buy insurance also to drive on the roads, and pay a road tax like everyone else.
Right Winger 3/21/2012 11:33:28 AM Report

So Mr Cyclist, how about those of you who sneak up the right side at a stop light? My car can't do that.

What about those of you who avoid red lights by doing the turn right, head 20 feet and do a U turn and avoid the light all together. My car can't do that either.

What about when you cut through parking lots to avoid lights. Again my car can't do that.

A car that is generally driving a bit slower generally moves over to allow faster cars to pass. How about the cyclists that say "Hey I am am entitlted to this lane no matter how much traffic is being held up."

Cyclists disobey laws and are as inconsiderate if not more than drivers. Talk to your cycling friends first, and ask the police to enforce the laws for them. Then we can talk.
Just Curious 3/21/2012 11:43:01 AM Report

By the way,I had an occasion last year to come in contact(literally) with a cyclist and found out a couple of interesting things I never knew. One,the age to NOT ride on sidewalks is 10,not 18 and two,in the eyes of insurance companies there is no such thing as a cyclist,they are considered a pedestrian in case of an accident or insurance claim. I drive and ride both and if I'm considerate I find I usually get it back...
right wing 3/21/2012 12:05:31 PM Report

As stated there are both types of bike riders.
From what I have observed there are far many more cyclists that DO NOT follow the rules of the road.
Something I see being done often and especially on Queen St. is cyclists passing a long line of cars stopped at a red light, yes passing on the right or left hand side between the curb and the cars.
The same cars that just had to squeeze past this cyclist a block before and now have to do it all over again because the inconsiderate cyclists pedals to the traffic light again.
One of these days a passenger is going to open a door and launch one of them.

As for the bad actions of drivers claimed to be witnessed by our anonymous author, I have not witnessed anything close to what you have and I drive a car and ride a bike.
What the heck are you doing and if you have a video cam as claimed please post one of your videos supporting your claims.
Pudelpointer 3/21/2012 12:11:08 PM Report

As a cyclist, there is nothing that irks me more than other cyclists that cannot follow the highway traffic act. When driving my car I pull up close to the shoulder so the jerk that I just passed doesn't pull along side me, blow through the red light, then make me try and pass him again. Because of these bad actors, it gives cyclists a bad name. When cycling i've had close calls with vehicles, that attempt to push me off the road, don't give me room, or pull along side me at intersections These idiot motorists give drivers a bad name. I would encourage the police to start charging cyclists and motorists for failing to comply with the highway traffic act. Nobody is perfect in this situation, but you are only going to see an increased use of bikes, so get used to sharing the road. Education through enforcement is the best solution in my opinion for this issue.
Bree20 3/21/2012 12:20:45 PM Report

What about cyclists on the highway? I live in a rural area, the highway is the road here. If you swerve out and I hit you with my car, and you die, I get hit with manslaughter. Wheres the justice in that? You shouldn't have been on the freakin' highway, on a bike! The most unsafe thing to be on the highway with. I don't understand why cyclists are considered vehicles, when they clearly aren't. what if you fall off your bike and someone hits you? You're obviously going to figure out who it was and press charges, even though it was an accident. So, No, I'm not going to sympathize with you, not when my ass is on the line and yours isn't. When you can cycle at 100km and have a bubble of protection around you that protects you from a vehicle should you fall off or swerve, then maybe I'll sympathize, after people stop going to jail for accidentally killing cyclists.
statusquo 3/21/2012 12:21:05 PM Report

I can certainly relate to the above letter as I am a motorist and an avid recreational cyclist. Well written as it is, with a tinge of frustration , I am afraid it will do very little to alleviate the plight of cyclists in this town. Certainly, there are elements in both camps that do not seem to obey basic road courtesy rules , let alone the law .
From my own experience, some motorists in this city are catatonic for the most part and some are outright a-sholes! In general however, I haven't experienced too many issues while riding my bike. I've cycled in Europe and over there if a cyclist gets three feet of room he can consider himself lucky, just by virtue of the far narrower roads and much heavier traffic. Having said that, motorists in Europe are far more attentive to sharing the road with cyclists as they have a more ingrained bicycle history and culture.

I try to avoid the city streets like the plague......I usually find the shortest possible route out of town and I cycle the "lines"...4th, 5th , 6th, base Line, Airport, Gros cap etc.... or all the way out to Goulais or Searchmont. I feel much safer on Highway 17 or 556 or 552 than on any city street!

The litter on all our roads, within and outside city limits though is unbelievable! We live in a region of the world that in terms of natural beauty ranks at the top with few others . I believe that folks who were born here and had little opportunity to see different parts of Canada or the world in general, can not fully appreciate the beauty of our natural surroundings here in the Algoma region.

Potato chip bags, bottles, coffee cups, cigarette packages, pop cans, complete garbage bags....it is disgusting and a shame. I honestly cannot understand the mentality. Can we change it? Doubtful.

I rode out to Goulais this past weekend and for the most part it was a pleasurable ride. Coming back on 552, a rusty piece of shit Tempo past me and made it a point to slow down and drive on the shoulder, stirring up a cloud of dust....just because, seemed like a fun thing to do at the time I guess....I had to stop and wait for the wind to blow it away. Now, to the driver...is your life that much of a bore that you find enjoyment doing this?

Having said that, most motorists outside the city limits are very accomodating, I try to stay to the extreme right of the fog line and the roads are great!

But let's not forget the idiot cyclists, that think the rules of the road do not apply to them,...and there are certainly plenty of them.

Like the writer stated before, the cyclist will always lose in a confrontation with a car or a truck!

Just remember that cyclists have families...they are someones husband, wife, father, son, daughter...consider the consequences when asserting your supremacy in a two ton vehicle.....and it doesn't matter who is right or wrong.
The results can be tragic.

D_Laity 3/21/2012 12:22:56 PM Report

I agree that it is a well written article and raises some valid, potentially life saving points.

I just don't like when articles are written in such an agressive tongue and the writer does not disclose their name, looks weak...
pyper39 3/21/2012 12:27:48 PM Report

Dear Cyclist
When you start obeying ALL the traffic laws,start paying insurance on you bikes ,pay taxes that help maintain roads and registration fees then maybe you will gain the respect of other motorists. Lets be honest if you were to see a motor cycle on the road in the dead of winter you would shake your head,what then are you thinking when you are trying to ride your bike through two or more inches of freshly fallen snow down a hill! Maybe if cyclists showed the motorists the same respect that they DEMAND maybe things maybe a little easier for you . Good luck in your crusade!
angie_pie99 3/21/2012 12:41:50 PM Report

I will never ride a bike in this city.....and why they don't make bike road like other town....peoples drive crazy around the Sault
euroman 3/21/2012 12:46:43 PM Report

Tiresome rant, heavily laden with BS. For the record, not all cyclists are angels.
keeper 3/21/2012 1:02:16 PM Report

Good story, but the reality of the situation is that the majority of cyclist do not adhere to the rules of the road and there is no enforcement to change that behaviour.

Circumventing red lights by using the sidewalk and crosswalk, not signaling, riding against traffic, no lights at night, etc., that we see are not the exception but the norm with pedal pushers.

That behaviour will not endear you to motorists. Maybe if the polce would start to the enforce the same laws that motorists must abide by but with bikes are let slide, we would not see some of these issues.
mr_jmac 3/21/2012 1:19:15 PM Report

The reason so many motorists have bad attitudes towards cyclists is that they are jealous.

They see a fit, healthy person on a bike and it reminds them that they are fat and lazy.

They see a cyclist with the wind in our face enjoying the fresh air and sunshine, and they realize that they always seem to be in rush and stressed out when they are driving.

They see a person on a scooter and they are reminded about the cost of insurance they pay for their vehicle or the new muffler they have to pay for.
milldog 3/21/2012 1:24:33 PM Report

I see a pansy on two wheels whining about how the world should revolve around them.....anyone else?
local2 3/21/2012 1:25:22 PM Report

I invite SSM police to begin doing patrol via bicycles. This way they can get a true appreciation of what it is like on the streets. All it will take is one incident with an officer and enforcement will become increased and enforced. Truly we need co-operation from both parites cyclists and drivers alike. Spring is here and here to stay. Have fun stay safe!
miksmyk 3/21/2012 1:33:27 PM Report

I can agree with the obvious lack of courtesy and respect we see often on our city streets, but you couldn't sound more arrogant and pretentious. How do i get a membership to your elite soap box club?
trollic2 3/21/2012 1:44:18 PM Report

yes i drive around cyclists
but what really ticks me off is the cyclist that rides in the middle of the lane cars struggle to pass then at the light the cyclist moves to the front of the line just to have the cars start the pass process all over
there are alot more of these cyclists than the other also ever be driving have a
cyclist cross in the middle then cross at a red light.... i have or riding a bike at night with no reflectors and dark clothes that's fun too
foxylady069 3/21/2012 1:50:55 PM Report

I have biked and driven on the roads here and I have never seen the ignorant actions that the writer states. I have seen cyclists running red lighs, passing me while I'm stopped at intersections, turning right when a previously stopped vehicle is turning into the same lane at a 4-way stop, and of course weaving through traffic.
Well I knew some of the laws were being broken so I looked up bike laws and found a one on the MTO website that this cyclist obviously is not aware of.

HTA 147 - Slow moving traffic travel on right side
any vehicle moving slower than the normal traffic speed should drive in the right-hand lane, or as close as practicable to the right edge of the road except when preparing to turn left or when passing another vehicle. Set fine: $85.00

In no way does it say a slow moving vehicle is allowed to take up the entire lane!
propatrol 3/21/2012 1:58:19 PM Report

Wow, lots of animosity in response to this article. Cyclists are not perfect but then again motorists aren't either and some go out of their way to be jerks to cyclists.

There are many people in cars that blow through red lights, ignore stop signs, speed up at 4 way stops when they see someone else slow down and speed. I don't know if there are any perfect drivers and if there are that person should be the first one to cast the first stone.

I find it funny when motorists get so upset when a bicycle passes them on the inside. They were probably just passed by a speeding car too closely trying to squeak us out before an intersection.

It's true treat people the way you would like to be treated. As a cyclist I take up my 3 feet of road to ensure cars must safely pass me, otherwise it leads to many unsafe passes. Why does it bother motorists so much to wait a few extra seconds to pass safely.

Consider us the same as passing a tractor. That's life. Don't kill me because you are in a rush.
propatrol 3/21/2012 2:05:01 PM Report

From the MTO website for Cycling Skills.

http://www.mto.gov.on.ca/english/pubs/cycling-guide/section3.0.shtml

Riding in Traffic

The Ontario Highway Traffic Act (HTA) defines the bicycle as a vehicle that belongs on the road. Riding on the road means riding with other traffic. This is only safe when all traffic uses the same rules of the road.

When everyone follows the same rules, actions become more predictable. Drivers can anticipate your moves and plan accordingly. Likewise, you too can anticipate and deal safely with the actions of others.

Where do you ride?

Because bicycles usually travel at a lower speed, there are two rules of the road to which cyclists must pay special attention:

slower traffic stays right
slower traffic must give way to faster traffic when safe and practical

Accordingly, cyclists should ride one meter from the curb or close to the right hand edge of the road when there is no curb, unless they are turning left, going faster than other vehicles or if the lane is too narrow to share.

Check for local regulations that affect where you may cycle in your municipality. Bicycles are prohibited on some provincial highways.
bluesslinger 3/21/2012 2:05:21 PM Report

"I don't use any gasoline in my travels.

When you pass me by in your dual-king cab V-8 pickup truck towing a boat, you should be thanking me that I'm not using any gasoline in my recreational activity that you are, and will be using."

Condescending self important tree hugging fool. You deserve what you get.
yoyo165 3/21/2012 2:11:04 PM Report

This may be off topic, but I have to say it: We talk about big gas guzzling vehicles....what about big monserous homes? Mr. Cyclist, you just might live in a 3000sq.ft. mansion with your 2.2 kids....Houses are getting bigger while average family sizes are decreasing .....What kind of energy does it take to heat all of these oversized homes? Just saying.
learningaswego 3/21/2012 2:15:14 PM Report

As a cyclist I appreciate this person's comments - though I don' think the tone will win many drivers over.
As a cyclist who follows the reccommended rules for safety, it annoys the he11 out of me, and I think most cyclists that do follow them, when we see people who don't give a damn about those same rules. I can see how that would frustrate drivers, because I'm a driver too. Hopefully, as cycling continues to grow, most cyclists and drivers will: a) learn what the rules are, and b) govern themselves accordingly. They can both get along, and that is precisely what the rules are for.
There will ALWAYS be those that don't, and it would be appropriate for the police to fine them, just as the law dictates.
perception from here 3/21/2012 2:24:56 PM Report

Once cyclists adhere to the rules they are governed by (or state they are entitled to), respect will be forthcoming. As mentioned/indicated in the comments prior to this, more often than not, rules of the road are consistently broken (not bent) by cyclists. Frustrating for both sides. As a cyclist you do not own the road - you, as a user, must use common sense as well.
sweetnsexy69er 3/21/2012 2:30:20 PM Report

I know one time I was waiting at a red light,,a cyclist comes up beside me,between me and the curb,,there was no room and they accualy scratched my car..so yes I hate that fact that the cyclists can ride on the roads and not have to pay for any damages they do to a car..I also had a guy who was on his bike that was riding on the sidewalk come flying out onto the road and cut me off I had to swearve to avoid hitting him..thank God there was no traffic coming up beside me...this city has to make more bike paths that will start from 1 side of the city to the other side so both motorists and cyclists are safe
moparmike1 3/21/2012 2:37:02 PM Report

Apparently all drivers belong to the evil cyclist hating club and all cyclists are absolutely law abiding and perfect with every move they make.

Whoever wrote this obviously has a huge chip on their shoulder and has done nothing wrong while cycling, ever. Puhleeze!

"The problem is, if I'm not perfect I pay for it with my life.

If you aren't perfect, I pay for it with my life.

It doesn't matter if you are right or I am wrong, or I am right and you are wrong, when it comes to sharing the
road, the cyclist always, always, always loses.

Always."

This is called physics. A cyclist and the bike weigh 1/10th to 1/20th to what a typical car weighs. If you choose to put yourself in that position and something goes wrong, what do you expect?

Grow up and stop complaining. If you hate it so much here, move to a more cyclist friendly city.

Mike.
Rhinoman 3/21/2012 2:51:51 PM Report

Let's just make it law that all vehicles must have a deadly spike installed right in front of the operators face. Perhaps on the handlebars of a bike, or in place of vehicle airbags. One wrong move and, Shish Kabob. Everyone's driving habits will change overnight. Problem solved.

At least I'm offering up a solution, rather than just ranting from the safety of my couch.

Do something constructive.

Peace
rookie 3/21/2012 2:51:52 PM Report

I always try to respect bicycles on the road. This guy is high on his bananna seat right now. What makes you think I throw things out of my window when I drive. People eating? All the things you mentioned above can go for people on bikes. How many times do I have to swerve to avoid hitting the guy on his bike with his 2-4 of blue on his handle bars going down bruce? Why do I have to wait in a turning lane through 3 lights while you "CRAM" your way to the front? You want respect follow the same rules. You come on here ripping every driver a new one. How about your bike pals? I respect those who ride thier bikes as I enjoy to do so the odd time. So show drivers respect and quit blaming us for everything and start taking your own responsibility. Next time I see one of you biking up to the front at a red light I am going to throw in my 2 cents as you have the same rules as us. Quit writting a letter and not signing it. If you feel you did not disrespect everyone else and feel you are so much better than me please, please sign your letter. I am just outraged with your tone in the letter and how your basically saying you rule the road cause if something happens those in a car are to blame. DISGUSTING!
kbett 3/21/2012 2:55:33 PM Report

When bicyclists have to get a licence to drive on the road, can be ticketed for infractions, and pay for the privledge of riding on the roads I will have more respect for them. It's darn hard to report a bicyclist for breaking the law, going thru red lights, hanging on to your vehicle not signaling,when there are no identifiying marks on a bicycle. I have lost count of the fingers from bicyclist I have had, they can & are very rude just like car drivers.
SO GET A LICENCE PLATE!It has been done in the past!!
thumbs4208 3/21/2012 3:38:16 PM Report

As a cyclist - and a father of two young cyclist - many of us including me drive defensively - that means - road,sidewalk, grass, whatever I ride to be sure I and my kids make it home.
I have made it very clear to my children that most people in cars are PINHEADS. Does not matter if it's the tailgating motherin law (and the Soo tailgates like crazy), the texting girl or boy at whatever age, etc,etc . pint being - I would ride by the rules of the road if I knew us Cyclist had a fair chance on the road. Between drivers and distractions why can't they just drive when they drive. If I have a phone while i'm on my bike it's hands free - duh .
I drove the City streets of Vancouver everyday and felt 100% safer with that traffic than I do here in the Soo - Drivers simply need to wake up here in the Soo. Maybe then us Cyclist would follow the rules of the road, until then why would we ? - just to get hit .
PS
3 hours on my bike over the last 4 days I got cut off twice - almost swiped three times and watched 5 people on phones or texting while driving within my 2 feet .
shakerbaker 3/21/2012 3:39:08 PM Report

It should be against the law to ride a bike in the Winter.They are taking their lives in their own hands if the bicycle happens to slide in front of a car.
thumbs4208 3/21/2012 3:49:39 PM Report

If your referring to me I have a valid drivers license for car and motorcycles and is clean and has been for almost 20 yrs.
college_gurl 3/21/2012 3:51:13 PM Report

Well if you are the one who wrote this , then i guess i am??? You dont even have the back bone to sign your name...
thumbs4208 3/21/2012 3:57:58 PM Report

I don't see any names - especially your after that comment - it's not the point of the thread - the point being to raise awarness.
qmwm 3/21/2012 3:58:24 PM Report

Sounds to me like this whiner should start paying insurance or maybe just shut up and show some respect for the people who do.If it seems like motorists are not happy with you I'm willing to bet you have given them good reason.Maybe try mountian biking!
thumbs4208 3/21/2012 4:00:51 PM Report

try biking
college_gurl 3/21/2012 4:03:58 PM Report

Thumbs - i respect that people who drive cars sometimes are crazy... But you also as a bicyclist must also admit that people on bicycles not all respect the rules... which sadly screws things up for the good bicyclists that follow the rules
tonka 3/21/2012 4:08:53 PM Report

Holy Moly, this is crazy; mr_jmac your a goof for making that comment, saying that people are jealous and fat and lazy because we don't ride bikes guess what alot of people don't ride bikes and have a very active life style and are healthy and fit, as for the article Man, you can get the point accross without being rude, WAY TO BE TACTFUL!
college_gurl 3/21/2012 4:10:09 PM Report

I agree TONKA
Something_Different 3/21/2012 4:12:10 PM Report

the author makes a good point though.
motorists should use extra care and yes there are many cyclists who don't obey the rules. i think its something that EVERYONE needs to work on, not just the motorists. cyclists too. maybe we need more traffic enforcement!
mr_jmac 3/21/2012 4:13:20 PM Report

The majority of the responses from the "vehicle-side" of the argument are using the logic that because some cyclists dis-obey the rules of the road this causes them to not respect cyclists.

My question to these people is if you notice another vehicle disobeying the rules of the road, do you throw things at them, or flip them the bird or pass by them really close and unsafely? Does it bother you as much as when cyclists disobey the rules.

Remember, the main point of the original posters letter is that when you disrespect a cyclist on the road you are are putting their safety at risk. This is not the case with cars and trucks.
mr_jmac 3/21/2012 4:15:39 PM Report

Tonka,

I have been cycling for two decades. Every time I've had an incident with a motorized vehicle the driver has been fat/or some redneck driving a big truck or had a smoke hanging out his/her mouth.

I've probably only had a dozen or so incidents in 20 years. So maybe not a big enough sample size to generalize and make the statement I did.

Just sayin'
perception from here 3/21/2012 4:18:59 PM Report

One last comment for the day - I feel sorry for you on the roads/trails that you may travel because no one is perfect - not drivers, not cyclists - if that is what you are looking for, you are in trouble. Drive carefully!
PunkBob 3/21/2012 4:30:18 PM Report

In response to getting mad when motorists break the law. I get just as mad when motorists or cyclists break the law. It's not hard to pay attention and use common sense. I take more offense to the high and mighty attitude then anything. Ride a bike don't ride a bike, I don't mind either way. Just do whatever you do with common sense and don't think you are smarter then everyone else because of it. The attitude he shows here is probably the reason why he has motorists do those things to him. I've never seen anyone have something thrown at them in my life for riding a bike.

Generally for every action there is an equal or oposite reaction. We are humans we are emotional if someone angers us we all do things we regret.

I really think we should have a bicycle patrol, on the other hand I think they should enforce the law for cyclers as well.

Not everyone who drives hates the earth, just as not all who ride bikes do it to save the earth.
tonka 3/21/2012 4:45:09 PM Report

mr_jmac,

You clearly are so self absorbed that you only judge a book by the cover, What are we 12 yrs old, if you have been riding for the 20 yrs then I can assume you are an adult act like one! I think that everyone is missing the point here...it is not about if you are fat or thin, it is about having respect for others on the road because we all share the road with bikes, motor vichicles, and wheelchair bound individules and pedestrians it is called have a little respect for one another, the writer of the article could have done that without being rude and pompus

Just Sayin
thumbs4208 3/21/2012 4:49:09 PM Report

Good point punk . I drive and ride and if needed I will do what I need to do to save myself on a bike. Yes there those who make us cyclist look bad as there are drivers for cars. We need to have the distractions while driving , be it cheese burger , cell , text ,coffee, music etc enforced so this is not an issue. It would be favorable to have clear defined laws and expectations for cyclist posted and enforced,also pathways and room on roads designated for cyclist. The need for bikes is not going away. We all need to pay attention on both bikes and cars.
Bobbi Jo 3/21/2012 5:05:09 PM Report

Thank you for saying a few things that I have wanted to share for a long time.
I too have been run off the road, had garbage hurled at me, and been threated with assault. I read the bicycle safety handbook each year before getting on my bike, yes nerdy, but it's important for me to know the rules so I can make safe decisions. I am also a driver, and I am guilty of not doing the same for driving a motor vehicle. You mentioned that cyclists notice everything - drivers going 60km/hr will never see the debris, holes, or other obstacle that could send us to our maker. As a driver who cycles as often as possible, I always trust the cyclist - if the cyclist thinks s/he needs more room to be safe, then thats what s/he needs. We don't want to be dead, so if we take up more room in the road and drivers are forced to slow down behind us, the verbal abuse and garbage means YOU SEE US! In the grand scheme, that is critical to my continued existence.
cityhallguy 3/21/2012 5:11:47 PM Report

Call or email your Councillor asking for a bylaw to stop bicycling during winter months! Motorcyclists are smart enough to know the limits, why not bicyclists??? I would love to see Andre Riopel's face at Council trying to defend that!!!
If all cyclists were respectful, we would have better feedback, but the guy who wrote this just doesn't have a clue!!!
beanie 3/21/2012 5:24:02 PM Report

LOL @ milldog.. agreed.. I'm still laughing!!
HondaChick 3/21/2012 5:46:16 PM Report

"So what is it about a man or woman on their bike that causes so much aggravation to people who drive cars?

I'm sorry that I am going 25 km/h in a 50 km/hr zone that you want to go 60 km/h in."

What about us people who are traveling at 50 km/h, not exceeding the speed limit. You didn't mention about that.

There are bicycles made for people who want to travel on city road-ways going the same speed as other vehicles around, they're called "road bikes". And if you're not that skilled enough to drive a bicycle on roads at those speeds then you should definitely not be risking the lives of licenced vehicle drivers as well as vehicles that cost tens of thousdands of dollars.

The problem is that these people who drive their bicycles on the road DO NOT FOLLOW THE RULES OF THE ROAD.

And the law states that drivers have to be AT LEAST 1 metre away from a cyclist when passing him. That's 3.2 feet. If you're too scared and have a problem with cars coming that close to you, then riding a bicycle on the roads isn't for you.

AND IT IS CLEAR that most people who ride bikes on the road and complain about drivers, aren't drivers themselves. You've never been driving a vehicle in a lane following a line up of other vehicles that all the sudden stops and slows right down to a crawl in the middle of nowhere. That's how "accidents" happen.

I care about my driving and my car, as I'm a very skilled driver and my car costs me lots of money. Hell if I'm going to ever take my eyes off the road to use any technology or take my hands of the steering wheel to eat a snack. How dare you. 'A little respect would be really cool.'
michjala 3/21/2012 5:52:14 PM Report

couldn't have said it better....nicely put Milldog.
HondaChick 3/21/2012 6:05:03 PM Report

And to answer mr_jmac's question, YES I would go as far as following someone into their own driveway to tell them off if they did something stupid on the roads. I've yelled at other drivers, honked at stupid drivers, given the finger to people who don't follow the rules of the roads.

Sometimes I even feel like going up to their door at a stop light and dragging them out of the vehicle to beat the rules into them. I can't tollerate ANYBODY who risks other peoples lives.
A.B. 3/21/2012 6:21:14 PM Report

Perhaps it would take an unfortunate incident like this to happen between a driver and one of his own, family or friends, to make the many wise up. Then when the driver realizes he/she has just hurt or infuriated his own, then maybe they, the drivers would wise up. Or, perhaps what is needed, though impossible perhaps to enforce, would be to force an inconsiderate driver to ride a bike for two weeks to see what it is like on the other side. Hmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmm
LisaB 3/21/2012 6:28:32 PM Report

I don't mind cyclists on the road, but just the other day, I was driving down John Street, and a cyclist ran through a stop sign right in front of my car. I had to hit the brakes to avoid hitting him. He then proceeded to run right through the 4-way stop sign without even slowing down. I realize that a lot of cyclists obey the rules, but it's the ones that don't that make it dangerous for everyone.
thumbs4208 3/21/2012 6:37:50 PM Report

Good for Honda girl -pass that on -as or the other stuff it's part of driving.cycling.
wife 3/21/2012 6:41:23 PM Report

cyclist also have an attitude of owning the road.
They wear dark or black clothing, no lights, fail to signal properly and seem to have an attitude that they and they alone own the road.
If you are going to cycle wear bright clothing do not pass on the right between me and the curb when I am driving in the right hand lane and signal when you change lanes or are going to stop.
Your letter says you are bound by the same laws as a motorist so use them.
If I passed on the right between you and the curb I would be given a ticket.
You should also be ticketed of this offence.
Motorists are not all the problem you folks are bad drivers too.
Norm 3/21/2012 8:12:55 PM Report

I ride a bike periodacally. Some people on bikes drive pretty eratic, most though are serious and sensible in their riding habits. I think cars should be considerate of the bicyclist, and likewise for the guy on the bike towards the car. One thing that bothers me though is when bikers ride two abreast when there is vehicle's wanting to go around them. If there is oncoming traffic then the car behind has to slow up and this can be very frustrating. Riding single file in those situations is very considerate and a sensible thing to do for the cyclist. I've seen this happen many times on Second Line West, west of the Airport road
kamen 3/21/2012 9:47:00 PM Report

I ride on the sidewalk and I am twenty-three. I know the sidewalks belong to pedestrians and I am very carefulI only ride on the road if it is a side street because I am afraid to ride on the road. I stop and allow pedestrians to walk by me before I continue on my way. I will take the fine with my head held high. I know I am not a danger to pedestrians, I ride fairly slowly, I even hold my brake halfway down when I travel down hill. I know pedestrians can come out of no where. I have never hit anybody. Drivers are too dangerous in this city and most other cities as well, We need a strict bike lane in this city, and the hub trail, as nice as it is, does not always get us to where we need to go.
Bad Dawg 3/21/2012 10:01:01 PM Report

the worse I do to cyclists is block my lane after I pass I will pull over even go up on the curb (joys of a jeep)... they don't get the hint. They in turn give me a dirty look as they have to go up on the curb. I usually run my mouth I'll admit to that...... but they are too "in the right" to see they are wrong when passing on the right
Ms. Mc 3/21/2012 10:54:48 PM Report

Hello everyone.
First I would like to thank everyone who has given me the appropriate room as they were passing me while I was riding my bicycle this past winter. My work was located north of the city and I had to use Black Road and Landslide Road to travel to work, five days a week. Not one person got mad or honked at me this winter. Drivers were very courteous to me. Thank you! My last point, cityhallguy response about Andre Riopel facing Council about banned cycling in the winter - this would not happen! There are many people who would support Andre on this cause. Thank you again motorist for your respect while riding by bicycle all year round. Remember also that not everyone can afford the cost of gas and need to use a bicycle to reach their place of employment.

Scott

sweetnsexy69er 3/22/2012 8:56:02 AM Report

Since the bike is considered a vehical and you cyclists have to ride on the road then do the speed limit if you are slower then the speed limit then you should get a fine just like us who drive...Bikes should have a spedometer and if you cannot keep the posted speed then get off the roads..I know I have been stuck behind a cyclist many times doing 20km/hr for about 5 mins cus she would not move over to the curb to let me by and no I could not pass cus there was uncoming cars,so yes I was getting quite upset...or better yet, go complain to the council or the city and fight for bike paths throughout the city
wardlaw 3/22/2012 9:40:58 AM Report

Sault Ste. Marie... WE NEED BIKE PATHS!
colourful 3/22/2012 11:12:45 AM Report

Definitely a problem here. I would love to ride my bike around town , but I would never put my life in the hands of someone else driving behind me texting, drinking, or falling asleep. it is dangerous on the roads plain and simple. I though riding my motorcycle was taking a risk, but riding a bike on a public road is nuts.

I was driving behind an older lady last year by the steel plant, and she dipped down on the right side of the road and popped back up half on the sidewalk and half on the road, less than 50ft ahead was a cyclist, I thought I was going to see someone get killed, I was just about to lean on the horn and she pulled back off the sidewalk less than 20' from the cyclist and went around him . The cyclist had no idea what took place behind him, how close he came to being run over. SCARY!!!
Bad Dawg 3/22/2012 2:11:22 PM Report

Ms Mc....you are very welcome. Respect goes both ways. Nobody threw anything at you or disrespected you. and Black is only one directional lane and you rode it all winter with out an incident. Please teach your skills to the author of the letter. thanx
Ms. Mc 3/22/2012 5:31:34 PM Report

hey sweetnsexy69er learn how to spell before you post comments on Sootoday. The word vehicle is not spelled "vehical". lol
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