Saturday, March 31, 2012

I stop and stop signs

Greetings Bloggies.

This post has been sitting in my head since spring.  This is a default rant of mine.  My favorite mode of transportation is a bicycle.  I own three with two in Vancouver.   I ride to work in every month of the year, not every day, some times the weather is too nasty, sometimes I am hung over and sometimes things need done in town that make a bike a pain, but the trip gets made often.  My route to work is over one of the busiest bike paths in Vancouver.

The Georgia Via Duct, looking toward Main Street

I take the Adanac Union bike route, which connects to Dunsmeir street in down town Vancouver.  The majority of this route is residential side streets where the vehicle traffic is low and generally slow, but intersections must be crossed.  It is the un regulated or weakly regulated crossings where I see the worst of cyclists and drivers. I have issues with both the drivers in the cars and other cyclists.  Bad habits are had by  both sides and need addressed.

First and foremost bikes are governed by the same set of laws as motor vehicles and it when that fact is ignored by either set of road users I get a bit angry.  It happens some times that I actually get angry at drivers for stopping to let me through.  Firstly I stopped because, legally I should, more importantly it is unsafe for me not to.  When I have stopped I do what any driver would, look both ways and judge when to make my move.

Now two things can happen, I am ignored by the cross traffic on the other road and I make my crossing when it is safe to do so.  I like this out come, I know whats going on and I am not as subject to whims of others.  The other out come which makes me angry is a car that legally has no business stopping sees me and stops.  In the mind of the driver I imagine the bike is viewed as toy and the rider a subset of pedestrian.  Now why I hate this, I am crossing a street with two lanes, and I can never be sure if any one in the other lane has seen me.  That means two out of three people know whats going on and the third could plow through there.  After all they have no stop sign.  

So you folks in the cars, I try to play by the rules so you know what I am going to do.

Now my complaints to other cyclists are largely mirrors of the issues with cars.  Thats right folks on two wheels I expect you to signal, stop where it says you should, have lights so you can be seen.  It comes down to playing nice with others.  If we all agree that we are following the same rules, we all be come more predictable.  For the one with the steel underneath me rather than around me that makes the differences between broken bits or not.

Now I have a special set of rants for people who, ride on side walks,  ware helmets wrong, don't where helmets, or worst of all hang the helmet on the handle bars.  I always imagine the rider magically putting it on adjusting the fit all while flying through the air.

Play nice folks. Enjoy the spring.
Viking 1, the Long Bike

1 comment:

Tanya Stemberger said...

Honestly, cars stopping for me on larger streets as a pedestrian (even though they're "supposed" to) makes me uncomfortable for many of the same reasons it bothers you while you're on a bike. It also bugs me because often times by stopping they have slowed us both down; it would have been faster if they had gone by and I could cross the street once they're gone. Instead we both have to wait for them to decelerate.