[Two-wheeled Boneheads] It happened again this morning. I witnessed yet another close call on the road between a motorist and a bike rider. This is becoming a near-daily occurrence. Depending on the length of time I travel, I sometimes note three or four idiotic cycling infractions in one trip.
In today's case, a car turning left, legally, from westbound 1700 South onto southbound 1300 East (Westminster College intersection) nearly took out a middle-aged guy, with no helmet, on a fat-tired cruiser bike. The cyclist, who also wanted to turn left onto 1300 East, pedaled into the left turn lane and up to the passenger side of the car in question. That meant when the light changed, and the car turned left, dumbass cyclist turned in tandem with the car. The driver apparently didn't see the guy on the bike, and when she swung a bit wide on her turn, nearly took the bike rider out of commission.
Then came the best part: The cyclist cussed her out!
The right way for the cyclist to make that turn was to pull up in the lane behind the car--just as another vehicle would do it. He was supposed to make his own left turn, waiting for oncoming traffic to clear.
Other common observations in bike riding idiocy:
1. Riding on the sidewalk. It's illegal and stupid, to boot. Pedestrians have the right of way on sidewalks. A cyclist risks running over a pedestrian as well as running into objects like planter boxes, signs, trash cans, sleeping homeless guys, etc.
2. Riding without a helmet. Sorry, words pretty much fail me here. If you can't figure out why you should wear a helmet while bike riding--even for a short distance--your brain probably isn't worth preserving anyway. Just make sure you've filled out your organ donor pledge before hopping on your bike, ok? (BTW, this applies to all you cutie pies on shiny new scooters, too. Because scooters lack the engine power of a motorcycle, you have far less ability than a big hog to quickly escape a dangerous traffic situation . )
3. Riding in crosswalks. Stop it. Utah law says bicycles must observe all the same laws as a motorized vehicle. Yes, it's hard for people who are riding bikes again for the first time since third grade, but you're running with the big dogs now people, so stop pissing like a puppy. Riding a bike in traffic can be scary, but the more you do it, the more nerve you grow and cars will begin to respect you. Grow a nut.
Ok. Are we all on the same page?
You all get mad props for using your human power to get around town. You're saving money on gas and you're shrinking our carbon footprint. Just learn the rules of the bike world, all right?
Last point: Please don't go all bongo calling me a bike-hating bitch. I'm one of you! I'm a mad road cyclist--I spend every free moment I can riding up and down the canyons in SL County. I'm a regular bike commuter, too. I stop for lights. I ride in bike lanes or in traffic. Just like a car or truck.
I'm sick of you knuckleheads who can't figure the game out. Ride big and brave or get off the road. (Holly Mullen)
P.S. Love that Einstein fellow, above. But he's a dumbass for riding without a helmet.