Friday, July 25, 2008

Stupid, Stupid Bicyclists

[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.

50 comments:

  1. Excellent post, Holly.

    I am both a cyclist and biker. I'm no big fan of cars but I have no sympathy for stupids on bikes. The other day, some dude on a bike cruised into an intersection from the sidewalk and was nearly hit. What did he do? He screamed at the driver of the car, even though there was no possible way for the driver to see him coming.

    After witnessing that, I told my wife that, while there may be more people on bikes, which should be a good thing, there are too many idiots on bikes these days, which is a bad thing. Sometimes, I feel like running the pricks over myself.

    If you're too dumb or scared to commute properly on a bike, leave the thing in your garage and take the bus. You're fucking it up for the rest of us and you're going to end up with broken things on your body - things like heads, arms, spleens, livers and spines.

    And, unless it's absolutely necessary, don't wear your little spandex suits. You don't look good in them and you don't need them to ride a few blocks. Buncha lemmings.

    Oh, Holly.....if one needs to grow any at all, one should grow a pair of nuts. One nut, while still usable, isn't really desirable.

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  2. I am glad you wrote your post Holly. Bicycles are vehicles! If you were driving a horse or a slow moving tractor down the road you would not run red lights or ride on the opposite side of the road. Common sense please. Now, I can't wait for the cycle Nazi's to tear your and my comment apart.

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  3. As cute as it is for you to call bicyclists who don't wear helmets including Albert Einstein dumb ass, I would like to see your statistical data which shows that bicycle helmets do enough to justify wearing them.

    Most statistics are inaccurate on helmet usage, and others flat out lie.

    http://cyclehelmets.org/
    http://neptune.spacebears.com/opine/helmets.html

    Do you wear a helmet when you walk down the street? Statistically, you are a greater percentage to die by simply walking than bicycling.

    Further more all this whining and moaning does nothing if you don't attempt to educate the bicyclists:
    http://www.slcbikecollective.org/component/option,com_attend_events/Itemid,38/

    Cyclists can be stupid which is annoying, but self righteous spouting out cyclists are far more annoying.

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  4. So you like Einstein--it's just that his brains probably weren't worth saving? Get off your high-horse! And heartlessness like yours is Hannibal-eque

    No question that one should wear a helmet when trying to navigate the horrors of high-traffic areas full of Utah drivers doped on anti-depressants.

    But, sorry, if I choose to ride self-propelled along my Country's country roads, with relatively few cars to combat, and let the wind flow through my hair, free from choking straps across my throat, that makes me and my brains expendable? Nice.

    Or, on the other hand: Maybe you're just a timid human-thingy, with a life less exciting than mine.

    And also ... be fair: For every rant against bicyclists I expect to read at least a few dozen against cars. The ratio of idiots-to-transportation-styles demands it!

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  5. I agree that we should make it safer for cyclists. I agree that cyclists should obey the rules. But would it be possible to change the rules a little bit concerning bikes? Let us use the momentum we worked so hard to gain. Let us roll through open stop signs (slow and go). Let us stop and proceed through red lights when there is no one coming. Our bikes lack the mass to trigger the light. And for God's sake let us have somewhere to park our blessed beasts that don't double as parking meters, street signs, or trees. $4.00 a gallon and rising, see you soon on your bike.

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  6. Great post - however you left out the cyclists who wobble and weave all over the road. One can never tell whether they are intentionally doing this or are inexperienced riders who may without warning swerve into another lane or just tip right over in front of an oncoming car. Please drive in a straight line like all other vehicles on the road.

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  7. Nearly every day while running on the sidewalks I am nearly hit by someone on a bicycle. One woman even has a bell that she rings when coming up behind me so that I will get out of her way.
    GET OFF MY SIDEWALK!

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  8. Also found this today:

    According to a report on www.streetsblog.org, San Francisco is considering new legislature that allows cyclists to treat stop signs as yield signs, and stoplights as stop signs. It’s something a lot of us do already, so this law essentially aims to decriminalize a victimless crime.

    - http://urbanvelo.org/san-francisco-law-would-let-cyclists-run-stop-signs/

    Still waiting for some accurate and reliable statistics on the helmet bit...

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  9. E.O. Wilson Apparently wears a helmet when driving. Helmet use is a personal matter, and the pro-helmet side is filled with poorly designed studies, bad statistics, and anecdotal evidence (and a whole lotta name calling).

    I think a part of the issue is people who have not ridden a bike since they were a kid getting on one and not knowing the rules, or that there are rules for bikes. Such as, not knowing that a bike is a vehicle and subject to the same rules as other vehicles. I am living in Ferrara, Italy currently, and the roads of filled with bikes. But most people do not ride as vehicles, or stop for stop signs or lights (often just blowing through intersections), ride the wrong way, and just are not predictable (weaving, just turning left or right without looking). It bugs me to no end. Safe thing as a lot of riders in America, they do not know that they are supposed to be following the same rules as cars.

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  10. Dear Zed:

    How about I simply give you a case of the wonder of my bicycle helmet?

    Two months ago I was screaming along the Bonneville Shoreline Trail on my mountain bike above Red Butte Garden. I hit a big patch of gravel while rocketing downhill. I went off the left side of my bike, hit the gravel and hard pack head-first. Gashed open my right cheek just under my eye and spent the afternoon in the U. of U. Med Center ER, where I got a half-dozen stitches.

    Now...the helmet. It took a deep gouge on the right front but my head came out just fine. (Though some of you posters might argue that).I'm sure without a helmet my brain would have been mashed potatoes. So no, I don't have a handful of stats for you on helmet safety. Just personal experience, which means a lot to me as i sit here. I came out of that wreck with a scar below my right eye, a pair of busted sunglasses and a slight headache.

    I've got friends who race bikes and ride every day on the road to stay in shape. They wouldn't think of doing so without a helmet.

    Finally, I've been out front on bicycle safety for years. I love the SLC Bicycle Collective. My husband and I and a few others started the Utah Bicycle Coalition and the annual Josie Johnson bike ride to emphasize bike and car safety. I guess my question is: Why would anyone not wear all the safety gear they can--knowing the dangers of riding on urban roads? It makes no sense at all.

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  11. Zed actually wears a bike helmet. I gots the proof. This is actually a case of a helmet wearer questioning the legitimacy of the bicycle helmet studies.

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  12. A few months ago I got yelled at by some lady in a pickup truck when I was riding to the TRAX station in Murray. She insisted that I should "get on the sidewalk". I couldn't believe there were people who actually thought that the proper place for a bicyclist is on the sidewalk. (Then again, there were also just enough people believing the wrong things in 2004.)

    I'm hoping that motorists will learn to treat bicycles as valid elements of the stream of traffic. We're supposed to be treated like other vehicles, and we're expected to observe the same rules.

    Where there isn't room in the far right lane for a car AND a bicycle, I will occupy the center of that lane, because I don't want people trying to squeeze by me at 40mph in that narrow space.

    Now, if I could only figure out how to avoid getting 2-3 flat tires every week, maybe I could spend money on a brain bucket instead of all those inner tubes. But you'll probably be happy to know that I'm a registered organ donor.

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  13. It would be great to see some change in the laws around here concerning bikes. I agree with the person that explained what a bummer it is to lose momentum gained to one of SLC's notoriously long lasting lights.

    Cyclists actually work to get from point A to B, while drivers sit on their asses.

    Cyclists make more room on the road for drivers that refuse to consider transportation alternatives.

    Cyclists contribute to clean air, water and roadways. We don't go around blasting exhaust while dripping oil and anti-freeze.

    The act of cycling is conservationism.

    Cyclists should be allowed the privilege to responsibly yield at stop signs and lights without the threat of legal action.

    I once had a cop go well out of his way to write me a ticket for riding through a stop sign. He saw me in his rear-view mirror, meaning he was watching me, anticipating (hoping for) my move. He caught up with me about six blocks later, and, mustache twitching, gave me the gift of a $75 ticket.

    I'm sure that's satisfying to some drivers (and a few bikers) to hear but know this: I still ride through lights and stop signs (I look for cops first, of course) and will continue to do so until something is done to lessen the impact our city's crappy stop light grid. I believe that Becker promised to do something about this during his campaign.

    How about it, Becker?

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  14. Please do research before you post. Utah code is very explicit: unless it is specifically posted, it is perfectly legal to ride a bike on the sidewalk. You should, of course, be aware of pedestrians and not travel too quickly. Sometimes it is ABSOLUTELY NECESSARY to ride on the sidewalk simply because your life is in jeopardy. The same goes for cross walks. In fact, legally, one of the options to make a left hand turn is to use the cross walk.

    If you want to verify this, please just look up the Utah code on bicycles.

    I would also suggest you read up in the future before you make a fool of yourself. It is unfitting of your high standards, Holly.

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  15. I might add, for those of you who are going to fly off the handle about the sidewalk thing: do you really want your kid riding in the street? IF you ban bikes from sidewalks, kids will not be allowed to ride there either. The law has to be applied equally and since licenses are not required to ride a bike, you can't make a specific class.

    I had a moment, so I pulled up the Utah code on bicycles so you don't have to wear your fingers out typing "UTah Code bicycle" into Google:

    41-6a-1106 Bicycles and human powered vehicle or device to yield right-of-way to pedestrians on sidewalks, paths, or trails -- Uses prohibited -- Negligent collision prohibited -- Speed restrictions -- Rights and duties same as pedestrians.
    WP Zipped -- 2,612 bytes
    41-6a-1107 Bicycles -- Parking on sidewalk, roadway -- Prohibitions.
    WP Zipped -- 1,968 bytes
    41-6a-1108 Bicycles and mopeds -- Turns -- Designated lanes.
    WP Zipped -- 2,706 bytes
    41-6a-1109 Bicycles and mopeds -- Turn signals -- Exceptions.
    WP Zipped -- 1,956 bytes
    41-6a-1110 Bicycle and moped inspections -- At request of officer.
    WP Zipped -- 2,000 bytes
    41-6a-1111 Bicycle racing -- When approved -- Prohibitions -- Exceptions -- Authorized exemptions from traffic laws.
    WP Zipped -- 2,512 bytes
    41-6a-1112 Bicycles and mopeds -- Carrying bundle -- One hand on handlebars.
    WP Zipped -- 1,640 bytes
    41-6a-1113 Bicycle -- Prohibited equipment -- Brakes required.
    WP Zipped -- 1,886 bytes
    41-6a-1114 Bicycles -- Lamps and reflective material required.
    WP Zipped -- 2,437 bytes

    Here is where you can find the whole of the traffic code (scroll down for bicycles): http://le.utah.gov/~code/TITLE41/41_06a.htm

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  16. Fuck Utah code, anonymous. Are the majority of Utah's drivers aware of this code? NO. Would it make a difference to them if they were? NO. Does this code make it safe for cyclists to use the sidewalk? NO. Does is make it safe for pedestrians? NO. Is using the crosswalk to make left hand turns safe? NO. All this code you speak of does is help to confuse an already confused driving populace.

    These codes don't mean shit out there. Reality usurps code any day. Just as Utah's drinking laws are written by ignorant teetotalers, Utah's biking laws are likely written by people who haven't ridden since childhood.

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  17. Hayduke: Just because you scoff at the law does not nullify it. This is reality: riding on the sidewalk is necessary at times to prevent the rider's death. Get a grip.

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  18. I might also note that the downtown business district is posted to not allow bicycles on the sidewalks. That is fine for that busy area.

    Hayduke: you want your 7 year old on the street? That's mighty smart thinking.

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  19. I love how this thread begins by championing "Utah Bicycle Codes" to strengthen the case made by cyclers frustrated by moron drivers, and ends with an emphatic "Fuck Codes!" when it backfires. I bike and drive, and I can't say I care for either sect more than the other.

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  20. Anonymous,

    Maybe you're posting here thinking that everybody lives in the suburbs? Riding on the sidewalk in the burbs is generally fine so long as traffic in the area is low. Although, the way the burbs are built up anymore, it might be more dangerous than city riding. Riding on the sidewalk in busy areas that experience an abundance of traffic is not fine - it's dangerous to riders, pedestrians and drivers alike.

    There are a couple of examples I can give you when I avoid riding in the street for fear of death:

    A) Upper South Temple Street - High curbs, fast, aggressive traffic, no escape.

    B) 4th South - Need I say more?

    I don't ride the streets or sidewalks listed above if I can help it.

    You weren't posting law here. You were attempting to refute Holly's stance by posting ridiculous codes; codes that have no anchor in reality. You're either not a cyclist and have no clue as to what you're talking about or you're one of the cyclists Holly pointed out in her post, in which case, you still have no clue as to what you're talking about. There was never any reason for Holly to research city/state code to develop an informed opinion.

    Don't try that "kid" shit with me. You're wasting your time.

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  21. Show me where I attempt to champion cyclist code, anonymous. I did no such thing. I champion changing traffic laws to benefit cyclists. I have no interest in your codes, sidewalk, crosswalk or otherwise.

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  22. Hayduke: I didn't say that cyclists should ride on the sidewalk in lieu of the street. I said that IT IS NOT ILLEGAL to ride on the sidewalk. Mullin claims it is. IT IS NOT. Of course cyclists should not tear down a sidewalk, and they are required by law to audibly warn pedestrians they are approaching.

    I will try whatever shit I want on you, buddy. It is short-sited people like you that make stupid laws that get people killed.

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  23. Oh and Hayduke, get a clue: The Utah Code IS THE FREAKING LAW. Don't confuse "Code" with something else. It is what the law is called.

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  24. And, by the way, I am a biker who occasionally resorts to the sidewalk when my life is in danger.

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  25. I think I see the difficulty here: Hayduke does not realize that the "Utah Code" is Utah Law. That's what it is. It is not some code of behavior or whatever. It is the law. The law of the land that people are required to obey.

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  26. Anonymous,

    Are you sure there's nothing more you'd like to add or have you gotten it all out?

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  27. Hayduke: No, I can go on ad infinitum against misinformed asses like you who don't even know what the law is.

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  28. Anonymous,

    By all means then, go on. Meaningless debate steeped in semantics is a personal favorite.

    I'll just sit back and try to "get a clue" while you scurry to make a valid point.

    Go ahead, entertain me.

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  29. Here we go again, Hayduke. Just because you don't recognize it as valid doesn't mean that it isn't. The LAW is very specific. If you don't like the law the way it is, get it changed. Then we'll have cops issuing tickets to kids because they rode on the sidewalk.

    You are making invalid points by cheering on a clearly misinformed Holly Mullin that it is ILLEGAL to ride on the sidewalk. It is legal and should remain so.

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  30. Your presumption that all these "anonymous" comments are from the same person is likewise erroneous, Hayduke, like your quaint idea that Utah Code is somehow an optional and not binding law. I know this because I'm the author of two of the anonymous comments above but not the others.

    You really are a silly fool, hayduke.

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  31. I don't have time this minute to research Utah Code on sidewalk cycling--deadline day.

    But I will.

    I have no doubt I made a mistake by calling sidewalk riding illegal. My bad.

    It's still not a smart thing to do, and gives drivers the idea that the sidewalk is where bikes belong. In other words, sidewalk riding nurtures the notion that we don't belong on the roads with our bikes. And we do.

    And stop being silly about kids on sidewalks. We all rode on sidewalks as children and that's fine. As I wrote in the original post, cyclists should stop riding like they did in third grade. And as Hayduke pointed out, another of my mistakes: Don't just grow a nut. Grow a pair! Get out in the road and ride like a grownup.

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  32. Being cautious is not being a pussyJuly 28, 2008 at 4:00 PM

    Wow, Holly. You really believe that someone should ride on 4th south just to prove that they bikes belong on the road? Do you really think proving a point is worth risking your life?

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  33. Okay, anonymous. It is true that, unless writing styles differ much, I cannot tell one anonymous from another. Could you please refer to yourself as anonymous #1? We'll call the other anonymous #2. It is strange, though, that both of you are touting the same line. Interesting, indeed.

    So let's address that line, shall we?

    You're glued to your laws, rules, codes, whatever. You're upset that Holly stated that riding on the sidewalk is illegal. You claim in one post that riding on the sidewalk is perfectly legal but contradict that in another post where you illustrate that riding on the sidewalk is, at times (when posted), illegal.

    So let's crush this one here and now. You're both right. Think you can live with that?

    Now here's where we leave your twisted world of semantics to address the discussion at hand. Holly may have stated that it is illegal to ride on the sidewalk (she was correct to state that), but her message was not necessarily bound by the codes you cite. In reading her post, I noted that her main concern is how dangerous the act of riding on sidewalks is. Why would you disagree with that?

    For some stupid reason, you brought kids into the picture. In my opinion, that's a favorite tactic of an individual that has no other argument. Thus far, you've brought it up a couple of times. Very well. Neither Holly nor I stated that children should ride in the street. You attempted to inject that one into a disparate subject. This post is about cyclists as commuters (correct me if I am wrong, Holly). Your children, should it be deemed safe by their parents, are welcome to ride in the sidewalk to their little hearts content. The day your child becomes a commuter on busy streets, you can bring that one up again.

    You also pleaded that Holly do research before posting what essentially was nothing more than an informed opinion. You did that just before calling her a fool. Her opinion is informed because Holly rides often and knows what she knows. Her opinion as to how things work on the street stemmed from witnessing an idiot on a bicycle and not from some obscure city/state code. This is an opinion blog. This is not a feature story, where fact checking counts. If you're still stuck on the law thing, I think I've already shown that you are both wrong and right, even though your code shit has very little to do with this discussion.

    I've been riding in this valley for upwards of 15 years. I think that gives me some insight into what you (both anonymous 1 and 2) are trying so very hard not to understand.

    Most times, as a commuter, it's fucking dumb to ride on the sidewalk. Rules be damned.

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  34. alright,

    popular topics here. here goes..

    helmets.

    first off. I used to wear helmet, but don't for normal riding, but for downhill bombing I intend on getting a full face helmet. the helmet debate won't be lost or won here. i am still in search of some actual statistics on the matter that are accurate for helmet usage. most i have seen aren't accurate.

    sidewalks.

    second off. Riding a bicycle in the downtown square sidewalk from something akin to 500 south to north temple to 3rd east to something west is illegal. Signs are posted downtown if you don't believe me. In the county, I was under the impression that it was illegal on all sidewalks as friend had been ticketed for it. This needs to be researched.

    However, sidewalk riding should not be debated. It increases your chances of getting hit threefold. Try to avoid it at all cost, and if you absolutely must go SLOW and be crawl to an almost stop at every driveway and get back to the road asap. Why? Because you will be more safe in the road because you will be more predictable. Memorize this: "Cyclists fare best when they act and are treated as drivers of vehicles." As a bicyclist you have an equal right to use the road.
    Learn your rights. Take a free class: ROAD 1.

    Finally. While wearing a helmet is important to many, I wish basic bicycle road knowledge was more important to more. You can have elbow pads, you can have chest guards, you can have multi plated armor, you can have he best helmet ever, but if you don't know how to navigate on a bicycle to avoid accidents it is all worthless.

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  35. Ok, riding on the sidewalks is legal (with some exception), but it is still stupid and dangerous. You should be in the street at all times. If you do not feel safe in the streets, than either walk your bike or ride very slow on the sidewalk. But a lot of bicylists riding on the sidewalk ride at the speed that they would in the street, and when the enter the crosswalk (even if they have the right of way) enter so quickly that motorists are not prepared for them (because they do not expect them. Ironic, they expect us to be on the sidewalk, not then not to use the cross walk). If you do not feel safe riding in the street on a certain road, such as 400 south, find a route you feel safe on. You are on a bike, talking a slightly alternative route may add a minute or so to your commute. Don't be like the cagers and get all panicky about the extra minute it may take to get somewhere. Riding in the street is safer, so at least you get there safely.

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  36. excellent article on children on the sidewalks & bicycling children in general:

    http://www.kenkifer.com/bikepages/traffic/children.htm

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  37. I am the anonymous who brought kids into the issue. This is not a matter of making the "won't somebody think of the children argument" but an argument of class distinction. Since bike riders are not licensed you cannot differentiate the adult rider from the child rider. Children, therefore, when riding on the sidewalk if it was illegal to do so which it is not unless it is posted, would be subject to a ticket. In our litigious and "rule of law" times, cops would be more than happy to hand out such tickets. Think I'm wrong? Try talking to any policeman who is hell-bent on enforcing the law, no matter how trivial.

    As I've stated, the law is very clear on sidewalk riding: you must ride with care and, indeed, as others have posted, slowly.

    Now as for contradicting myself, you are sadly mistaken, Hayduke. The law is again very clear that a city or county may post certain sidewalks as off-limits to bicycles. Salt Lake City has done this in the downtown business district. It has not, however, done this in other areas of the city where it is clearly dangerous to ride. You and someone else mentioned 4th South earlier. That is a fine example of a street that is not bike friendly. Some folks, however work and live along 4th South. If they proceed with caution they can safely ride the sidewalk.

    Finally laws are not silly things, Hayduke, and despite your opinion of our legislature, it does not make them moot because certain individuals think they are silly. Sidewalk riding is legal simply to prevent harm.

    Now with that, I will say that I myself only ride on the sidewalk if I feel my life is in danger. Most of the time in such situations I often just walk my bike, as others have suggested, particularly if there is a lot of pedestrian traffic. As another anonymous stated, it is flat out foolish,a nd I might add dangerous behavior, to ride with 5000 pound cars just to prove a point. Nope, I'm not the guy in spandex either. I ride my bike to work and to various stores.

    You also have stated that I called Holly a fool. I did not. I stated that she should do research before mouthing off. I, in fact, stated that I was surprised at such a glaring error from a journalist with such high standards. I cannot help if you read that as sarcasm, it was not.

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  38. You are full of shit !

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  39. Yikes, Holly. Nothing like the fervor of a fresh convert. It doesn't really make a bit of difference how big your nuts are, or how fancy your helmet is, if someone doesn't see you patiently waiting in the middle of the road to make your legal left turn.

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  40. Hey Metah:

    Not sure whom you are calling "fresh convert."

    Puh-leze.

    Haven't you been reading these posts?

    I've been riding the roads for six years at least. Regularly. Hill climbs, fundraisers, advocacy for "share the road" through numerous columns in a previous newspaper life. (Google it. Keywords: Holly Mullen Josie Johnson)

    I now know, given the boom in cycling because of gas prices and pollution, that a whole new audience is interested in these topics.

    I'm glad people are so stoked. Bikes, and the people who ride them in traffic, are a favorite subject.. And I might add, I've seen a big positive turn from drivers in the past few months. They still have a learning curve in sharing the road with bikes, but it's actually getting a bit better (again, since I'm not new to this cycling thing). The suburbs are a whole other matter. I rode the Jordan River Parkway from 400 South to Bluffdale a couple of weeks back and came home through traffic on busy streets. Sheesh. Scary stuff.

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  41. Anonymous 5:25, you'd say anything for the sake of argument. I wouldn't have responded to you again but you make it too easy to illustrate that you're full of it.

    Though I'm sure you don't, you should feel stupid for bringing the kid thing up again. I doubt you understand why.

    You should feel stupid for bringing the law thing up again, as well. Why you would continue to peg me as a scofflaw, be it true or not, is beyond me.

    I tried to illustrate that you were mired in semantics (dragging me with you) when you could have simply stuck to the post's message. We could have talked about that. Where we could have debated the intended meaning of the post, we wasted time on your silliness. I blame myself.

    With your progressive posts, you further sabotage the work you put into this debate (if you can call it that). I cannot take you seriously anymore. At this point, I'm not interested in your input concerning this subject as I don't believe you ride like you say you do. I think you're a liar.

    You said that in pointing out your contradictions I was "sadly mistaken". If the following aren't decent examples of personal contradiction, I honestly don't understand the concept.

    You claim this:

    "This is not a matter of making the "won't somebody think of the children argument"

    And yet, you said this:

    "I might add, for those of you who are going to fly off the handle about the sidewalk thing: do you really want your kid riding in the street?"

    And, though I am not positive, I believe this belongs to you, as well. Apologies if not:

    "Hayduke: you want your 7 year old on the street? That's mighty smart thinking."

    You claim this:

    "You also have stated that I called Holly a fool. I did not."

    And yet, you typed this beforehand:

    "I would also suggest you read up in the future before you make a fool of yourself. It is unfitting of your high standards, Holly."

    Hell. I'm sure there's more but believe it or not, I actually have work to do. If only you had commented on the spandex thing earlier.............

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  42. We're going to be seeing more and more cyclists and scooters on the road and it's no doubt a good thing considering the corporate rape and plunder-dunce we have for a president who wasn't even aware that gasoline was $4 a gallon. (Reminds me of his dad using a grocery scanner for the firsttime when he was President. He didn't know how it worked because he'd never had to go grocery shopping!)

    Regardless, we must work together to keep everyone safe and keep the experience fair for all taxpaying, law-abiding citizens.

    There is an element in the cycling community that believes they have a right to decide which traffic rules they're going to obey, which laws need to be created for their pleasure and whether or not they will ride safely, or as safe as they can be, by wearing helmets, reflective gear at sunset, etc.

    What motorists see coming from most of the cyclists on our roads is a contempt for contemporary traffic law, hostility toward anyone driving a car, and a wider sense of accomplishment for pedaling a little machine around town. Easy to really dislike most cyclists. I have a particular attitude toward the ruling class of White, Affluent Cyclists, or WAC's. They're the ones in day-glo spandex who scream obscenities at me when I say,"Excuse me! That was a red light you just ran through!"

    They're the ones who pull up to a red light crosswalk and start doing the pedal-push, standing- still balancing act all over the crosswalk. I believe the command is "STOP," not put on knuckle-biting floor show. Lately, I noticed that some cyclists coming up to a red light simply turn right, pedal about 20 feet and cross traffic lanes to avoid the intersection. Anything, as long as you dont make me put down a foot on terra firma and stop causing a distraction to drivers. After all, this about me.

    I love the argument that my 5000 lb. car has such a great physical advantage over a cyclist that any foolish, childish, law-breaking a cyclist commits is somehow insignificant because the resulting impact would only injure the cyclist.

    Or that running red lights is a "victim-less" crime. That's just clouded mental processing. Probably too much carbon monoxide inhaled in traffic.

    The last poster claims that cops write superfluous tickets and kid-bikers on sidewalks will be next in the cops' sights.

    Nonsense! When was the last time you saw a cop writing a ticket to anyone on a bicycle? I've never seen it, ever.

    Thank you, Holly, for having a pair (ewww!) and taking a stand. I know you are a member of the local cycling community and it takes guts to take on such a privileged, dangerous and arrogant attiude from a special interest group.

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  43. Black mamba:

    "Plunder-dunce." That's funny!

    I'm sure our plunder-dunce will have plenty of time to ride a bike when he gets evicted in January. He'll be able to scoot all over the Crawford, Texas ranch on his cool mountain bike.

    While the rest of us millions pay off his biggest-record-setting debt ever. Bastard.

    Since I drive a car and ride a bike on occasion I like these posts. Keep it up.

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  44. Arthur Poulin (of Genola)July 29, 2008 at 11:41 AM

    As an avid biker whose been doin it long before it was trendy, I only wear a helmet when I'm in high-traffic areas. Luckily, I live in a rural area where I'm more likely to run into an elk than a Dodge ram. I like having wind thru my hair too, and I hate those damm throat strapzz!

    But i am always aware of what's goin' on around me, and that's the No. 1 element of bicycle safety.

    As to some of these posts:

    Holly -- whaddya mean you don't have time 'cause it's deadline day? How long does it take to write that dreck you put out at every Walmart in the state?

    Hayduke -- dude, get your nose outta there! Get some fresh air in your nostrils, get out in the open; man, do you realize you are sucking up to an irrelevent fish-wrapist? Unsavory!

    Everybody -- I'll tell you what I used to tell my kids: Make your argument better, not louder. Dropping F-bombs and lobbing personal attax doesn't make your point any tighter, it just makes you look desperate to score a cheap point.

    Now I'm off to ride my bike with some fat-bottom girls. Ah Freddie, we all miss you down here...

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  45. "...lobbing personal attax(sic)doesn't make your point any tighter, it just makes you look desperate to score a cheap point."

    This is just after Aurthur Poulin spit a slew of cheap insults at Holly.

    Hypocrite! You have no footing in this discussion, sir.

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  46. Arthur Poulin (of Genola)July 29, 2008 at 12:41 PM

    Hey hey black mamba -- is that you Kobe??

    Look, I didn't mean to insult H., only the rag she puts out. Sorry, as somebody who's seen the complete decline in Utah journalism over the years, it's sort of a sore spot, i admit, and i'm pissed that the once great Pvt Eye is reduced to...well, you can see for yourself what it has become.

    But i'm sorry to be insulting...

    That said...she did write that my brains weren't worth sh--, so she started it nyah nyah nyah!

    And "sic?" -- dude, you must be one busy mf.

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  47. I am busy, Arthur. It took me all of 3.93 seconds to put (sic) behind your quote. Your quote took me all of 5 seconds to copy-and-paste. I went through all these exercises because you said you missed responsible journalism and reporting.

    I'm totally kidding you, Arthur. And, no, I'm not Kobe, who calls himself Black Mamba. Not unlike the way Karl Malone used to refer to hisself "Dumbass Embarassment To The Local White Establishment."

    And don't forget Beatrix Kiddo from Kill Bill. Codename: Black Mamba.

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  48. I think you should give Einstein a break and perhaps read beyond the helmet hysteria that's mostly an American thing. I made the comment over at SLWEEKLY about Robert Hurst's book, Art of Cycling. You should check it out Holly. Especially as you've decided to use the loud podium of publication to sound off on what you feel is right. Perhaps a little research and maybe a more in-depth feature in City Weekly is in order?

    I'd also recommend reading any of the following posts from a Copenhagen cycling blog I regularly read, but especially the last one:

    http://www.copenhagenize.com/2008/04/great-bike-helmet-hysteria-introduction.html

    http://www.copenhagenize.com/2008/04/fear-mongering.html

    http://www.copenhagenize.com/2008/04/great-bike-helmet-hysteria-part-2.html

    http://www.copenhagenize.com/2008/05/hierarchy-of-bike-helmet-empire.html

    http://www.copenhagenize.com/2008/07/dreams-on-wheels-rolls-into-brisbane.html

    -The last post, has the most information.
    http://www.copenhagenize.com/2008/07/cycle-helmets-and-other-religious.html

    Take Care,

    Ryan

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  49. One last comment. I too am very concerned by the lack of concern for safety I see displayed by a large number of cyclists I see while riding. I'm happy that someone who is riding regularly is making an attempt at constructive criticism in a state known for being mostly passive-aggressive and non-confrontational. "Someone's feelings might get hurt!" I've had the argument about stopping for lights and stop signs and riding against traffic or riding on the sidewalk too many times with people unable to take constructive criticism. Thank you for taking the time to put some of these thoughts into the public sphere through your position as editor at City Weekly. I hope that this continues, although perhaps after checking out some of my recommended resources!

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  50. First off, I'd like to make the point that you said that Utah Law treats bicycles as motor vehicles. This may in fact be true, but motorists usually don't. Whenever I ride my bike (and I'm sure many of you have had this same problem) its almost impossible to get over in the left lane. So even though I may know my rights as a bicyclist, apparently most people who drive don't, and frankly, i don't think they really care either. So why shouldn't we use our bikes like the maneuverable vehicles they are. I never see cars on the sidewalk (even though i have driven a car on a sidewalk before) because while a bike takes up a small portion of the sidewalk, a car takes up the whole thing.
    Lets also consider that not ever street had a bike lane. I know that there are only a few on my way to work that actually do. So if the law is treating me like a motor vehicle, why am i not being entitled to a whole lane like a car is, let alone a foot of lane. Most people driving cars are pretty much going to stay where the lines tell them to stay, and if the lines aren't saying to stay away from people on bikes, they wont.
    I'd like to know which law is giving me the freedom to ride my bike on the sidewalk in the city limits, because a while ago i was detained by the police and told that i wasn't allowed to be riding my bike on the sidewalk.
    On the subject of helmets. Yes, everyone should be informed of there safety potential. No, just like seat belts, not everyone is going to wear one. Who cares if someone is or isn't wearing a helmet, thats just natural selection. Don't tell other bicyclists that they are morons simply for making and unsafe choice, they know the risks. Just like how everyone makes unsafe choices every day. Holly, I'm sure that you make an unsafe choice daily that you don't realize is that unsafe, until it one day will be your demise. We all do.
    But really, my ultimate point is that, cars can burn in hell. And as bicyclists we should show everyone what danger they can cause to people (like running them over when we're swerving in between traffic). The world needs its martyrs, and i think most of the fixie kids are willing to be that martyr.

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