Bikes and Cars: The Saga Continues

There was another bike and car incident. This time though, the bike hit the car. A car was making a turn and the bike hit it head-on. Biker in the hospital, driver more or less shook it off. Sounds familiar, doesn’t it?

That terrible driver! What was she thinking? I can’t believe nothing has been done about this. Cars are a TOTAL menace! I wish there was a website where bikers could go and talk about this sort of stuff and try to organize some sort of action. Ooh! You know what would be good? There’s this Oregon Law that says if I conduct an investigation and gather enough evidence I can go to a judge and get the judge to issue a ticket. That would be great! Then those scofflaw drivers would have to be accountable! I’ll show them!

Wait…what?

You say it was the CYCLIST who hit the CAR? Because he was riding downhill on the wrong side of the road? As it was getting dark during rush hour?

That terrible biker! What was he thinking? I can’t believe nothing has been done about this. Bikes are a TOTAL menace! I wish there was a website where drivers could go and talk about this sort of stuff and try to organize some sort of action. Ooh! You know what would be good? There’s this Oregon Law that says if I conduct an investigation and gather enough evidence I can go to a judge and get the judge to issue a ticket. That would be great! Then those scofflaw bikers would have to be accountable! I’ll show them!

There. Now everyone who reads this post agrees with at least half of it. I actually believe there is a middle ground to be struck-drivers need to pay more attention and cyclists do too. And pedestrians and bus drivers. Especially now that we are entering the darkest time of year. Aaron makes a good point. And to quote him from the last go round, cyclists need to understand the laws of physics will trump the laws of Oregon. Which has been my stance all along: Right or wrong the car usually wins, and EVERYBODY needs to take that seriously.

Hey Bikers: Get over yourselves. Let’s just pretend that everyone with a car has loudly proclaimed your superiority because you are above fossil fuel transport. You’re better than me because I don’t bike to work every day. Now lay off the outrage and pay attention on the road. Mention to that doofus who rides his bike with no helmet and his iPod on maximum volume that a little awareness goes a long way.

Hey Drivers: Get over yourselves. Let’s just pretend that everyone with a bike has loudly proclaimed your superiority because you bought American and you are doing the patriotic thing at 15MPG city and shun other modes of transport. You’re better than me because I bought a Mazda. Now lay off the outrage and pay attention on the road. Mention to that doofus who drives with a cigarette or hamburger in one hand and a cell phone in the other that a little awareness goes a long way.

The More You Know… (cheesy music)(star moves across the screen)

9 Comments so far

  1. Smashing. (unregistered) on November 15th, 2007 @ 6:25 am

    One really important thing to note is that to drive a vehicle or ride a motocycle you have to pass a written test and a driving test… you also have to pay for insurance.
    What does a bicyclist pass to prove they understand the rules of the road and what do they pay in terms of insurance if they are involved in an accident-whether or not it is there fault? Nothing. That has to change… you want to be on the road? time to get a license and pass the tests, get insurance and get tickets when you do stupid things like speed, cut people off, run red lights–just like a motorist.
    That would be a big help and it would bring a lot more respect to the road on both ends.


  2. Melissa (unregistered) on November 15th, 2007 @ 8:10 am

    Here’s another idea – have every single person that commutes by bike get in a car one day and see what that does to traffic around town.

    There are idiots everywhere, on bike, in a car, on foot, and on skateboards. But every evening that I can get home in less than 30 minutes I am thankful to those on the bike path that aren’t on the road.


  3. McAngryPants (unregistered) on November 15th, 2007 @ 8:33 am

    And what about those pedestrians!!! All that walking walking walking around. I saw one the other day fail to signal a single turn. They should get a license too! And don’t even get me started about the ones that RUN! Now those bastards need to be licensed, taxed and wear lights. GASP!

    How about this, we legislate against stupidity, ignorance, and intolerance.


  4. PAgent (unregistered) on November 15th, 2007 @ 9:10 am

    There are, as has been pointed out, plenty of asshole drivers. I seem them every day, weaving in and out of traffic, following too closely, taking shortcuts through parking lots at high speed. There are, as is obvious, plenty of asshole cyclists rolling through red lights, lane-splitting at rush hour, and generally being a menace.

    But when a cyclist is being stupid, he’s mostly endangering himself/herself. When a driver is being stupid, they endanger everyone on the road with them. So why do people get so much madder at cyclists?

    I KNOW why cyclists are so defensive. I’ve been the target of anti-cyclist abuse from drivers. It doesn’t take many near-misses, shouted epithets, and hurled cups of soda before everyone in a car looks like they are wearing a black hat.

    I just don’t understand why drivers are so threatened by cyclists that they’re capable of the kind of hate and vitriol that gets spewed, on blogs and elsewhere.


  5. Mick (unregistered) on November 15th, 2007 @ 9:20 am

    Smashing: Almost everyone who rides bike does have a license to drive, does pay insurance and does pay the same taxes you do. Your argument is oft-repeated but always wrong.


  6. Fat Barry (unregistered) on November 15th, 2007 @ 10:01 am

    The most important point Banana makes is something that would help everyone, on all sides of this deal: pay attention. Why can’t more folks understand this? Licenses and bike boulevards and increased policing aren’t going to stop these things from happening if people continue to operate in their own worlds.

    I couldn’t believe how many cyclists kept railing on the two Interstate Ave. drivers for turning after passing a cyclist. Hello? What’s easier to see: a huge-ass truck (or even a car) driving past you while on bike? Or, a cyclist in the bike lane while operating said huge-ass truck? I bike all the time, and I love long downhills. But when I approach any sort of intersection, guess what? I slow down and put my head on a swivel. And I am not that smart – this just makes sense to my general survival. Sure, it bums me out every single time I have to feather the brakes, and even moreso when I need to actually stop and shake my head because the truck turned without seeing me. Sometimes, depending on my mood, it pisses me off enough to yell something at the offending vehicle. Then I ride on, and it’s no big deal. I lost a few seconds and a little nostalgic, youthful thrill.

    I try to remember this when I drive and make turns and it’s getting dark, and I can’t see if there’s a bike coming but I don’t want to get rear-ended by a big-ass truck. I try to look a few times, because I know it’s a lot harder to see a bike from a car than vice versa.

    I think the majority of people DO these things, so just keep paying attention. On both sides. And maybe we can avoid some of these collisions and resulting word wars.


  7. IRK (unregistered) on November 15th, 2007 @ 10:23 am

    First, Banana: that post was hilarious, awesome and I really enjoyed reading it.

    Second, why can’t we all just get along? (Have I heard that somewhere before?)

    Third… I had another point but suddenly I realized that I’ve posted way too much about this issue and I no longer have any points that haven’t already been made about 5,000 times before by myself or others…


  8. Dodge Ram (unregistered) on November 15th, 2007 @ 5:06 pm

    A one of the posts ask why are “car” drivers are so upset with bike riders here is one ‘I stop for a red light and said bike rider hit’s me and gets injured he/she don’t have insurance for the wreck so my insurance covers him/her as an uninsured motorest so my insurance gos up.

    Another post said that “MOST” bike riders have a license and drive a car do me a favor at the next “critical-mess” bike get to gather stop 100 of them and ask if they have a drivers license and I’ll bet that less than 25 do.

    Also if you look at the “critical-mess” types they want more bike lanes, bike paths, and bike only roads which makes comerce even more of a pain in the neck for the commercial drivers so when “they” get there way how are “they” going to get there tofo and organic carrots when the trucks can’t make it to the store.

    And of those that do drive a car how much do they spend on gas cause that is where the money comes from for the bike paths so having a “bike” drivers license and a “bike” plate that needs tags every two years “like cars” would help defer the cost.


  9. Ol' Hippy (unregistered) on November 17th, 2007 @ 12:45 am

    I’ve been around here long enough to remember when bicyclists were obsessively law-abiding and polite, car drivers erred on the side of caution enough to bring traffic to a halt just ’til everybody got their heart rates down, Tri-met drivers were the most generous and thoughtful drivers out there — always ready to hold back if it would help someone else. Anymore? Not so much.

    What made it work was a city-wide sense of community. As the saying goes, make the pie bigger, rather than fighting for a piece. Nowadays, seems everybody gets off thinking they’ve taken something away from somebody else. So, the dork in all black w/ no lights at night feels a perverted sense of victory every time he gets honked at — Ha, got you!

    The Gotcha Culture. How do we get rid of The Gotcha Culture? This town will only keep getting worse if we keep up the way we are going. I think it is the widening gap between have and have not.



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