Primal as mentioned or Assos.
I’m going to have to give this a try with my USAF (I have 3 different Primal USAF jearseys) & USMES kit (membership required) when I visit the folks in rural Minnesota.
I don’t think this is the messaging (white guilt) we should be promoting on the left. We can be better and include all voices in this culture debate. Obama was probably one of the first people to go after the term. Not trying to indicate that it’s any sort of mic drop, but it’s fair to mention that there are others beyond staunch conservatives that take issue with woke culture. I think we might all be able to agree (I agree on his point to a degree) that a big problem is defining what woke even means. I’m tying it to the very most radical ideas forming on the left, whereas the Tucker Carlson crew has a different agenda. Gotta leave room for nuance and removing the broad brush strokes please.
That was not my takeaway from that thread…I didn’t see it as an attempt to lay “white guilt” as much as that the term “woke” is yet another example of a term from Black culture being repurposed for another intent by white communities.
But you make the critical point later…different groups are using the term for different purposes, without refelction on what the term originally met.
I must really live in a butt hole part of America, but I’ve gotten brushed no matter what I wear.
My experience has been, around here, that if you give a car/truck an inch, they will take even more. I don’t get over, the roads around here suck enough that the shoulders are flat tire bait, so I stay at least in the middle of the lane, or in the right tire zone, unless there is a lot of traffic oncoming, and then I get even more to the left. Even on group rides, we have had cars pass within inches of the group. We’ve been ‘brake checked’ too, which was astounding. (I had one particular jerk actually pass me on the right, swearing and throwing things as he passed. There was no traffic oncoming. shrug) (The group rides were harassed by an old man that would brush them, and then stop and swear at them. The cops finally caught up to him. That was really frightening. The cops wanted to use the group as bait for him!)
I’ve had a-holes try to squeeze between me and oncoming traffic! I’ve had vehicles try to pass me on a hill, only to miss a near head-on and slam on their brakes, and nearly hit me swerving over. I also have had cans and bottles of whatever they have handy thrown at me, or occasionally the group. It had gotten so bad, I stopped riding outside, except for the rail trail, and even then have gotten screamed at by the trogs for trying to ‘take over the trail’.
I’m sure glad people think that a patriotic jersey is some pass from getting harassed, but it hasn’t worked around here. The pandemic has made me ride indoors completely for the 16 months, and it’s been a godsend. I can not ride without being harassed.
Before the local paper went out, they were running letters to the editor dripping with hatred for bikers. Some saying, anonymously, that they wish they could run them (us) over, and someone pointed out that the local police and prosecutor were busy with other things, and drivers likely wouldn’t get more than a ticket. Yeah, nice… I had thought of getting a carry permit, but it’s actually illegal to shoot a gun from a bicycle in this state/county! Go figure…
I don’t imagine things have gotten better, with the pandemic and all.
But be safe people!!! If a patriotic jersey makes you feel safe, ride on… Around here riding a bike seems to make anyone a target for some level of harassment and it’s damned sad…
Wow, what state do you live in?
Ironically, I live less that 30 miles from a ‘Bicycle City’ award winner. Seriously.
The animosity between the two cities is palpable. The hatred is just shocking.
The letters to the editor were horrific. It was like people were declaring war on bicyclists. So far, to my knowledge, there haven’t been many car/bike accidents, but there have been some serious accidents putting bikers in the hospital, and off the bike for long periods of time.
I hope it’s not as bad now, but I won’t ride outside on the roads yet.
How did it get so bad. People rail about how ‘elite’ bikers are. How they want to ‘rub our noses in their fitness’. I mean, I was stunned. And having the incidents I’ve had… Getting dropped is worth your life on some of the deserted roads around here judging by the incidents and hatred of people. A guy was mowed down by a teenager late last year. I think the prostitutor partially blamed the biker! ‘Too dark’.
I have a varia, and rode with at least two tail lights, and I am conditioned now to dread approaching dots, and felt I was just drawing more attention, the wrong kind, to myself. Groups didn’t escape some of the harassment either, but riding alone seemed to embolden the butt heads.
People: Be safe. BE SEEN!!! Use lights! Use colors! Stay observant! Use technology! Stay safe.
I hate seeing ghost bikes…
IME this is pretty much the safest strategy. Hugging the edge of the road won’t win you any points from the real haters and just increases your own risk.
That does indeed sound like a butt hole part of the country. But where is it? We want to be sure to never visit with a bike!
I have to disagree with this sentiment.
By riding in the middle of the lane this purposefully pisses drivers off. They have enough reasons in their mind to be irritated to wait a few seconds to safely pass a cyclist. Doesn’t make it right, but I prefer to deal in reality. By purposefully blocking them from passing at all you’re making them more angry and more likely to make an unsafe pass. The next cyclist down the road riding in the shoulder, like me, is way more likely to receive the hate that was created by riding in the middle of the road when there is enough room to be in the shoulder.
I see it fairly often when I’m out that people are riding in the lane, don’t hear a car coming from behind, and end up being in a dangerous position. Buy some more robust, wider tires, or maybe ride gravel or MTB or something. I would much rather be in the shoulder and at least have a chance of not being hit from behind if a car isn’t paying attention vs being just obliterated from behind being right in the middle of the lane.
In my opinion it is riding like this, group rides echeloned across the road, riding 3-4 up on a group ride, etc. etc. that make the roads less safe for other cyclists because they are pissing drivers off even more.
One other point about some of the political points made above. I live in Colorado and generally what I see is that the bicycle lobbyists are focused on demonizing people who drive cars/trucks instead of advocating to get more people on bikes. There is a difference between advocating a healthy lifestyle, enjoyment of riding, etc. vs narrowing roads, closing lanes, demonizing diesel trucks, demonizing people in rural areas, charging for parking to force people to carpool or commute by bicycle, etc.
When the bicycle community acts like this all it does is make it more likely people in cars are going to hate us. Closing a lane of traffic to attempt to force people to ride bicycles does not work. All it does is make traffic worse and piss people off. Anyone want to explain how I’m going to haul a 3,500 pound truck camper RV to a bike race I’m going to this weekend via pedal power or an electric vehicle, over a 10,000 foot mountain pass? How about a Physical Therapist that drives to people’s houses to take care of them; how do they do that by bicycle when they drive 50-100 miles a day? Or how is my Mom is going to walk to the bus station with her “aftermarket” ankle and hip to get to the next town to go to the mall? Most of the United States is rural smaller communities that are either small or spread out into suburbs of larger cities. People need vehicles to get to the grocery store, Costco, the doctor, pick their kids up, take them to practice, get materials from Home Depot, etc. We all don’t live in big cities and trying to dictate policies to expansive and rural communities that are designed for densely populated urban cores is not appropriate and creates animosity between cyclist and vehicles.
I think as cyclists we need to be much more focused on the joy of riding a bicycle than the social justice, climate change, make everyone do what we think is right through the force of government way I see organizations behaving right now.
If we do that we’d be way less likely to be pissing off the people that we need to share the roadways with.
This is going to be unpopular, but I do agree with your sentiments - although I do think the best answer is somewhere between where you sit and what @ibcoleman does. Dynamic lane control is what I think is best. So, I typically ride in the middle of the lane, but my head is on a swivel; once I have a vehicle that wants to get around me, I move over when it’s both safe for me to do so, and safe for the driver to do so. I’ll wave them on if I have adequate sight line, I’ll also use the blocking hand signal when I can tell they want to pass but I can see oncoming traffic they cannot.
All of it is exhausting though, no matter what side you fall on, there’s an amazing amount cognitive load that we take on be being on open roads. I’m enjoying it less and less.
People do need to be honest about their group rides and how that effects other cyclists. It’s a shame that it’s like this but it’s human nature. Be safe, I’ll be on the trails.
No one could mess with someone wearing a Ricky Bobby limited edition jersey! “Shake & Bake” on the side panel. “If you ain’t first you’re last” and “Help me Tom Cruise” on the back. “Ricky Bobby” on the front. I need one!
The chances of getting hit intentionally by someone angry about your legal, safe behavior is about a billion to one. The chances of your getting hit by someone who can’t be bothered to pass with more than a couple of inches to spare is significantly higher. The chance of someone playing on their phone and not glancing far off into the gutter is higher still. I try not to sacrifice safety for virtue signaling.
We have a lot of data about when and how car/bike collisions occur. The safest place to ride is about a foot or so to the left of the white line demarcating the right-hand side of the road. If there’s a wide clean shoulder that doesn’t appear and disappear every 200 yards I’ll ride that. But if there isn’t, the safe thing to do is take the lane.
Absolutely. By default, I take the lane position as described. When it’s safe to pass (and there are no potholes, etc…) I pull over and let people pass with a wave. Of course, the danger is coming back to the “default” position and having some jerk ride you off the road because you’re “swerving” but that’s another topic.
If the average driver knew how much time and cognitive effort a typical cyclist expends trying to be as deferential as possible and not inconvenience drivers, a lot of the hate would probably dissipate.
Yup anyone that has commuted in urban areas for 10,000’s miles for over a decade knows this well. To a driver viewing a snapshot of the activity it look like swerving but its a very deliberate effort to balance safety and courtesy. Add in a wave when you move over to acknowledge you know they are there and you are making a conscious effort to let them pass when its safe and you get a lot better response.
I agree with you half-way on what to do, I think you start with the wrong thing to worry about. I think you should be giving other users of the road as much space as the situation permits, but when the situation calls for in my opinion it is advisable to take the space you need. That includes blocking the lane in some specific instances. Trying to unnecessarily provoke drivers is a good principle to have, but if that results in additional risks for cyclists, then this is not the right balance to strike.
The reason why I disagree with your premise is that anger isn’t the issue that makes cyclists less safe or less popular. In my experience one reason is that a lot of drivers do not know the rules of the road for cyclists. More specifically, they do not know that for the most part cyclists have to ride on the road and are afforded the same rights as any other vehicle on the road (of course, there are exceptions). Some things cyclists should or have to ride on the side walk, which is in most places forbidden (again, with exceptions for e. g. young children). The second point is that drivers often either do not notice us or grossly misjudge the speed. It is not uncommon that I ride close to or even over the legal speed limit and overtaking will take a lot, lot longer than the driver anticipates. Drivers are also often not aware of good reasons why cyclists do not or cannot ride on the shoulder (e. g. because of debris or cow manure).
While I agree that you shouldn’t aggravate drivers unnecessarily, that shouldn’t be your main concern. Your main concern is your own safety — which is also true when you are driving a car. Taking space often gets you noticed, and you should use that when appropriate. (IMHO that is a must on traffic lights, I always stagger half-way between cars so that drivers have a chance to see me.) That includes close passes, which is one of the default ways in which cyclists get hurt. In most cases these are unnecessarily close passes, because there is oodles of space. And if not, this was not a good point in time to take a turn. A favorite variation is a close pass, followed by immediate braking and a turn. Another one is right turns when there is oncoming traffic: if I were in a car, the driver wouldn’t even think twice about having to wait a few seconds until the road is clear and the person in front of them takes the turn. For some reason, if you do the same on a bike, people get anxious and furious.
For the record, when I last rode in the rural US 24 years ago (boy, I’m old), there was so little traffic that I didn’t even have to think about safety.
I don’t get your point here. Just because some people need or prefer taking their car doesn’t give them special rights on the road. Cyclists are in most rural places still quite a rarity. Even when they get too numerous IMHO the solution is to change roads so that cyclists and cars are better separated. I can only think of few cases where cyclists were actually blocking the road, but then the road was quite narrow and cars had to contend with oncoming traffic in addition to cyclists.
Agreed. There are totally appropriate times to take the lane and I do it to but not as a matter of default.
Related to the other portion. Generally the bicycle advocacy groups lobby for the political agenda of the left. Climate change, electric cars, less cars on road through public transport, smaller vehicles, increased emission standards, increased fuel taxes, etc. This can lead to people in cars associating every cyclist with this agenda unfortunately. So the ire related to impacts of this agenda gets targeted at cyclists along with the other issues we cause by blocking traffic when not necessary. They are basically pissing everyone off by the way some people and groups ride and then they are doubly pissing off people on the right by demonizing their lifestyle and vehicles.
Two things here: I think it is horrific that people are afforded consideration and care depending on their inferred political views. This just doesn’t happen in other industrialized countries. You focussed quite a bit on not making other people mad. If the mere fact that drivers see what they think is a liberal and that makes them mad, the problem does not lie with whether cyclists ride in the center of the lane or as far to the right of the lane as possible.
I’d also say that this inference is just plain wrong in many places, and mixes different types of cyclists. In my experience, urbanists prefer bikes, because they are cheaper and much more convenient. Where I live, a car would be expensive to keep, not least because I’d need to rent a parking place.
If you look to other countries, being a cyclists is statistically much less dependent on your political leanings. In the Netherlands, most people are cyclists, i. e. most drivers are also cyclists. I’d argue that has much more impact than their political opinions. It is the same reason the opinion on women working has shifted: it wasn’t some great conspiracy of “the Left”, but just that most families can’t make ends meet (comfortably) unless both parents are working full time.
Although I’d add that for many drivers, what matters is the perception that it is unnecessary. They don’t care if there are potholes or tire-slicing stones on the road where cyclists are “supposed to” ride.
Sorry, but I think this reaction is highly inappropriate and wrong-headed, and smells of perversely enjoying being aggrieved. Pestering a cyclist on the road restores a feeling of superiority. A cyclist on the road is not going to take their SUV away. Nor are they preventing them from driving to the grocery store, whether it is 2 miles away or 25 miles away. They don’t even know that person.
Most drivers are completely blind to the advocacy positions of associated bike groups…hell, they don’t even know they exist.
You are also conflating multiple subjects / ideas / groups into one homogenous group.
I’ll avoid discussing the idea that those are issues of the “left” when they clearly affect everyone.
People „treating“ cyclist as described are brainless idiots. Now, where are idiots predominantly found? Left, right? Well…