So was playing hooky from work and napping with my door open.   Slowly, as if almost in a dream, I heard 2 people yelling at each other.

I got up and looked out, and it's a biker and some body in a car.

I made out this exchange.  "What am I supposed to do?  There aren't any bike lanes..."

"Why don't you get a car?" and something else that I couldn't quite make out.

Then the biker says, "Fuck you," and walks off.

The car peals out, and the biker, angry, walks his bike up the street.

As I fully wake up, I notice the biker is my neighbor and I pull on my shoes and go and find out if he's okay.

He is.   He wasn't hit, and the confrontation started when he finally called out the driver on being overly aggressive, revving her engine, crowding him as he took the lane.  He, like a lot of us, wasn't just willing to let the cars intimidate him and he spoke up.

I don't have any answers. and admit I'll generally take the biker's side in almost any car-bike conflict but want to point out a few things:

1) Bikers have the right to travel any road, at any time.   Now the road in this case was Gold Ave, which is not a major thoroughfare.   I've written elsewhere that while I, as a biker, may have the right to travel any road that doesn't always mean its a good idea.   But, in this particular case, Gold Ave. is a perfectly fine road for a bike.   I live on Gold Ave. and if you think its a good way to bypass Central Ave. or the Lead/Coal debacle, think again.   People, some with kids, live here, and we don't take too kindly to choosing our road for your shortcut and in most cases its not a shortcut at all.

2) A car is not an extension of you.   It is a large, almost 2 ton vehicle that can kill.  So, if you don't have the wherewithal to keep your temper in check, then don't get behind the wheel.   We are an overly violent society anyway, so we don't need your contribution.

3) Not all bikers, in fact most of the ones I know, bike because they 1) can't afford a car, or 2) lost their license.  Most of the bikers choose bikes because they want to.   It's a cost effective, efficient, environmentally friendly way to travel.   So, we are going to assert our rights to travel on our streets.

Share the'll make for a much smoother trip.

Views: 294

Comment by Don McIver on March 26, 2012 at 5:33pm

Sure... I made the assumption that the driver because of their actions--crowding, revving their engine behind the biker, yelling, (much of it inarticulate), etc. was angry too.   Both actors were upset (the car peals out), but I admit I only could make out what the biker was saying.

As it being a diatribe, I'm assuming you're meaning the archaic definition of "prolonged discourse" cause I don't think its particularly bitter or abusive.   

On a side note, we actually used to spell "by the way" out, but thanks for the grammar check.   Ah text speak...

Comment by Don McIver on March 26, 2012 at 11:39pm

Actually the "we" would refer to the people who live on Gold and society overall.   Yes, "we" are overly violent...perhaps not "you" specifically but "we" (myself included).   Perhaps you don't agree? 

I also wonder if your use of "sirrah" is referencing, "Mister; fellow. Used as a contemptuous form of address" or "a contemptuous term used in addressing a man or boy."  Addressing me as such is actually more of the offense than ending the sentence with a "proposition," (of course I think you mean preposition) cause I didn't see any "proposition."  

I admit, I generally side with the biker, but also admit that I was going on the information as I saw it.  

I'm willing to discuss the the bike-car interface and how we can all get along.  I'm not an either/or person generally, but I have noticed the recent increase in ridership and was specifically addressing some of the comments I've gotten through various channels about the "danger" of biking in this town.  This episode seemed to illustrate that and runs the risk of deterring people from biking, which actually makes it more dangerous for me.   I have been biking, as in no car, now for almost 2 years, and if you followed some of my other posts here you'd see that is a common theme.  I have biked as my sole source of transportation off an on for the better of 20+ years.  I am continually amazed that my posts illicit responses, let alone such "problematic" responses.  

Good day sir.

Comment by mjh on March 27, 2012 at 10:03pm

The most dangerous drivers probably haven't been on a bike since they were 10. If everyone who is remotely capable rode a bike for a week, there might be more understanding of what cyclists face. Almost everyone knows the problems drivers face.

Comment by hettie on March 27, 2012 at 10:24pm

both silver and gold seem to have seen a steep increase in traffic as people try to bypass the lead/coal construction without thinking about the actual efficacy of their alternative routes. because  silver and gold each have multiple stop signs, cyclists and lots of pedestrian traffic (especially when cnm and unm are in session), both of these streets move just as slowly as whichever of the one-ways is open to two-way traffic at the moment. I think people get even more frustrated when their "aha, a shortcut!" route is slow and heavily trafficked. the result is that some of them drive recklessly and end up creating truly dangerous conditions for cyclists and pedestrians. I'm hoping that the re-opening of the one-ways on april 1st will turn the "small metals" back into comfortable streets for bikes and peds. 

as far as aggression, I've witnessed multiple incidents (and heard many more personal anecdotes of the same) of harassment towards a cyclist because a driver is either ignorant of cycling law or just an asshole--sometimes both, I'd venture. I and the cyclists I know have all at one time or another been pushed to the edge of "well, fuck you!" toward a driver who has come close to hitting us. there's a huge adrenaline rush from almost being killed (not an unlikely outcome when you match a two or three ton vehicle against a human body), and I frankly don't hold it against someone if their fear is expressed in anger at the person who almost hit them.

Comment by The Bindi Queen on March 28, 2012 at 10:01am

I sold my bike because riding it around cars was too stressful. While driving I have had some incredibly frightening close calls with the rare stupid cyclist riding on the sidewalk and crossing traffic against the light at high speed. Cyclists and drivers are all human.  Some of us are stupid, some are bullies, some are careless. But I always remember that in a bike/car collision, the driver isn't the one who is going to get hurt.  Pedestrians and cyclist safety comes first. 

Comment by Leonard Poareo on March 28, 2012 at 11:20am

When driving I watch out for bicyclists and bikers and give them as much space as I can. At times bicyclists make things difficult, they ride abreast rather than tandem, they rarely signal their turns as they are required to do nor do they always stay in the bike lane. I'd hate to run a cyclist down. I'd feel like chit even if they were wrong. 

Comment by Rich Boucher on March 29, 2012 at 10:19am

Don McIver, I am very interested in your personal demons. 


Sirrah Boucher

Comment by Julie H. on March 29, 2012 at 11:31pm

@John Drake

You have expressed concerns elsewhere about the decrease in content and discourse on DCF, which I agree with, yet here you come off as a self-appointed English professor.  That tone will not encourage more discourse, it will discourage it, and DCF will suffer for it.

As far as bicycling in ABQ, it seems like every 6 months I see a new "ghost bike" show up, bringing home the point of how many bicycle vs motor vehicle related deaths there are in ABQ.  According to the below blog, 108 since 1989!  This say nothing about the near-misses.  It certainly has deterred me from riding on the streets.

Comment by Leonard Poareo on March 30, 2012 at 12:14am

Don, John & Julie: M,M,M we gettin' bitchy now!

Comment by Julie H. on March 30, 2012 at 6:58am

@John Drake

Though I may not care for your tone, I appreciate your postings.  You have been quite busy on DCF in the past few days and hopefully your efforts will increase the flow of traffic here.  Thank you.


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