Monday, September 22, 2008

I'm not above the law, it's just below me.

From the Statesman website today...
Other states ponder Idaho bike law-  The Chicago Sun-Times reports on the Idaho law that allows bicyclists to yield instead of stop at red lights and stop signs. In asking whether the law would be right for Illinois, the paper says that Minnesota introduced a similar bill in its Legislature in May, but Oregon shot down a similar proposal. The story quotes Boisean Dwight Tovey who thinks the Idaho law creates in motorists the perception that bicyclists aren't following the rules. "The negatives outweigh the positives," said Tovey, who's an instructor with the League of American Bicyclists. "It sets the bicyclists apart, and it's not that big an advantage."
P77 9.22.08


a. mortician said...

I live in a world that has very little to do with bicycles most of the time and consequently, find myself doing a fair amount talking about bicycles to those who know very little about them.

I find that, (for the most part) non bike-riders don't mind bikes on the road as long as they stay out of their way. I also find that, (for the most part) we do cuz if we don't we'll get killed. However, the unfortunate reality is that it only takes a few douche-bags (car-driver or bike-rider) to create a shit-storm of controversy.

I think we could talk about the subtleties of "the yield" for hours, so I won't touch it here. HOWEVER, if you are riding through Dry Creek Cemetery and you happen to see that a group of folks are congregating around looking sad around a casket, DON'T FUCKING RIDE BY THEM. Nothing says indifference like a fully kitted-out asshole gawking at a funeral. Surprisingly, that shit pisses people off. Including me.

The bottom line here is about respect. Not just "them" for "us" but "us" for "them".

I don't want to mess with cars while on my bike. They are big and will crush me. I do like to ride by them at high speeds but I would rather them not have to swerve to avoid me either.

hmmmmm, long post. very little said. I think I am going to go out now and key an H3.

oldschooly said...

I'm not sure what riding through Dry Creak Cem. has to do with the stop/yield issue but there is an interesting article about it in this months Oregon Cycling Magazine. Check it.

Codizzle said...

I was confused about the relevance of riding through Dry Creek Cemetery myself. Must Have been a personal experience. Funny thing though, right after reading a. morticians comment I proceeded to the Bikes and Rec blog. There I found a video of their latest allycat. It seems that one of the stops was in the Morris Hill Cemetery. So I pose to you this question, what is the difference between a "fully-kitted out asshole" casually riding through the cemetery, and a whole shitload of decked out hipsters, (84 i think it was) riding at high speeds through a cemetery during a race? Just seems a little contradictory to me.

a. mortician said...

well, I suppose my point about respect was rather vague. My point was about yielding in respect to others. My point was obtuse at best.

A far as the Morris Hill deal, I too was pretty hesitant about that stop. I had nothing to do with the creation of that manifest. In fairness however, the stop didn't really make anyone go into the cemetery, the sign was about ten feet off of the road.

As far as Dry Creek thing is concerned, it's a peeve of mine and mine only apparently. I will keep to myself from now on.

As far as the yielding law is concerned (to stay on topic) ask 10 people that don't ride bikes regularly what the law is and those ten will say that bikes are supposed to act just like cars.
It's a good law for bikes, I would fight hard to make sure it does not change. It's just unfortunate that exercising a legal right will, many times, still make you look like an asshole.

P77 said...

Yes, respect the dead and the living. It's like cats an dogs or hippies an soap or Boise and bike polo: they don't mesh. Cars hate bikes hate cars. Laws or no laws we, as cyclists need to tread lightly, cars DO own the road and with little or no accountability for their actions. Look at what transpired with the Sarah Howard accident:
She was hit and killed while sitting at a red light. The driver, hopped up on pain meds, never admitted her guilt and simply loses her license to drive and gets 10 years probation. Do you suppose she'll choose to ride a bicycle from now on?