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Don't Be An Idiot

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Don't Be An Idiot

Old 03-16-22, 08:12 AM
  #1  
Paul Barnard
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Don't Be An Idiot

Idiot and inconsiderate riders make it harder for the rest of us. One of my routes takes me through a short stretch of a light industrial area with several train tracks. I get caught at the tracks fairly often. Traffic can get backed up substantially. This section of the road is the only reasonable route to connect a large residential area to the Mississippi River Levee Path.

It is Central Avenue in Metairie LA, between Airline Highway and Jefferson highway if you want to look at it on a map. It's a narrow 35 MPH road. It is often that I see abhorrent bicycling behavior at these tracks. Cyclists will often filter to the front. When they do, they leave all of the cars they just filtered past stuck behind them on a narrow road that leaves motorists no good opportunities to go around them.

Yesterday I saw a first. As the guard arm lifted and the first of the cars started crossing the tracks, a kitted out roadie riding astraddle the double yellow started passing the cars that were accelerating up to speed. I thought it might be excusable if he were going to turn onto a nearby side street but he didn't. The side streets run to the levee as well and have little to no traffic. I always use them rather than stay on Central. Seems like the most respectful and the safest strategy.

The net effect was that he passed a line of cars on the double yellow, then tucked into traffic and kept the cars he had just passed stuck behind him for over a half mile. Mind you, that these were motorists who had just been stuck at a train track for 10 minutes.

Motorists will lump me in a group with riders like that and treat me accordingly. Not cool. I couldn't help but express my displeasure to him.

This shot shows the track and the cyclist's direction of travel.

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Old 03-16-22, 08:50 AM
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Your world must be crumbling down.
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Old 03-16-22, 09:05 AM
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Originally Posted by prj71 View Post
Your world must be crumbling down.
I am not understanding the purpose of your post.
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Old 03-16-22, 09:06 AM
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This got me thinking. Whenever I hear an anecdote I put myself in the shoes of the bad actor, because Ive made mistakes.

I filter on occasion, and I would probably do so at a train stop.

However for my safety I avoid packs of cars. So that practice would mean Id normally pull off to the side until the platoon passes.

Ok, Im mostly vaccinated for this particular idiocy.
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Old 03-16-22, 09:19 AM
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I've waited in-line with congested traffic before and then I realized it doesn't make any sense.

Cyclists who filter remove themselves from being part of the congestion. Those cars are going to be waiting the 10-minutes regardless if the cyclist was in front of them or not. But the line up is shorter than the length of that bike.
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Old 03-16-22, 09:21 AM
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Originally Posted by flangehead View Post
This got me thinking. Whenever I hear an anecdote I put myself in the shoes of the bad actor, because Ive made mistakes.

I filter on occasion, and I would probably do so at a train stop.

However for my safety I avoid packs of cars. So that practice would mean Id normally pull off to the side until the platoon passes.

Ok, Im mostly vaccinated for this particular idiocy.

I will only filter if the motorists I filter past won't be slowed by me once they proceed. This particular crossing requires different strategies depending upon my direction of travel and the amount of traffic. Like you, I won't position myself in front of a platoon of traffic, especially in a situation where they my be a little peeved about having to wait for a train and can't easily pass me.

I'd love to be able to have a conversation with the rider in this case to see what in the heck he was thinking.
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Old 03-16-22, 09:24 AM
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Yah, someone thinking they need to ride in the middle is a moron.
Except for right beside the tracks, the shoulder is near THREE feet, and there's a sidewalk soon after.
NOT a PROBLEM of ANY sort.
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Old 03-16-22, 09:31 AM
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Originally Posted by Daniel4 View Post
I've waited in-line with congested traffic before and then I realized it doesn't make any sense.

Cyclists who filter remove themselves from being part of the congestion. Those cars are going to be waiting the 10-minutes regardless if the cyclist was in front of them or not. But the line up is shorter than the length of that bike.
In this case, by passing them on the double yellow then dropping in front of them at 20 MPH on a narrow 35 mph road, with few to no opportunities to pass, he didn't remove himself from congestion. He created more of it. It was very discourteous, and I don't see how that can be argued. From a safety standpoint, he passed in between slow moving lanes of traffic on a double yellow then dropped into his lane of traffic in front of the cars that he had just passed. Those cars then could not come up to posted speed, and couldn't easily pass him. I know from having conversations with motorists that this angers them. I can't see how that makes for a safer situation than simply waiting your turn. From my view his inconsiderate strategy put him in a less safe situation.
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Old 03-16-22, 09:39 AM
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Originally Posted by GamblerGORD53 View Post
Yah, someone thinking they need to ride in the middle is a moron.
Except for right beside the tracks, the shoulder is near THREE feet, and there's a sidewalk soon after.
NOT a PROBLEM of ANY sort.
I don't mind occasionally using a sidewalk to let traffic vent. I do so with a keen eye toward the unique safety hazards that sidewalks present. In this particular location, the side streets make a lot of sense.

The only downside to the side streets is that they do not afford a protected crossing of Jefferson highway. The rhythm of the traffic on Jefferson does allow easy and safe crossing though.
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Old 03-16-22, 09:46 AM
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Originally Posted by Paul Barnard View Post
I am not understanding the purpose of your post.
He's making a minor complaint that your post is a minor complaint. And completely missing the irony of that.
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Old 03-16-22, 09:58 AM
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I had a look on street view. So more than half has no shoulder and or a poor sidewalk, so nothing going thru. Not fun.
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Old 03-16-22, 10:17 AM
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Idiots will always be with us. And unlikely to change their habits until they have a life threatening experience of their own.

I count my blessings many times for the lessons I've learned from the idiotic things I use to regularly do!

I'm sure I have more idiotic things to realize yet. Hopefully with a decent enough outcome to be able to learn from them.
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Old 03-16-22, 10:18 AM
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if it were not 35mph & was 25mph, it wouldn't be too much of a concern. Being not the case, I'd be more considerate & let the initial crowd of vehicles have the jump before I'd play leap frog.
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Old 03-16-22, 11:50 AM
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Filtering is a situational call. In a situation like that, it's really just a question of how many cars are going to be behind you until it's safe for them to pass. Somebody is going to be unhappy with you being there no matter whether you filter up or don't.

Riding on a double yellow line between trafficked lanes is ridiculous,
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Old 03-16-22, 12:12 PM
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Originally Posted by Paul Barnard View Post
I am not understanding the purpose of your post.
Likewise!!!
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Old 03-16-22, 12:15 PM
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Originally Posted by Paul Barnard View Post
I always use them rather than stay on Central.
You followed him for a half mile on Central Ave? I do not think that word means what you think it means.

Just wondering, when some holier-than-thou roller lectures you about riding the wrong way or running stop signs or stop lights because "Idiot and inconsiderate riders make it harder for the rest of us," what do YOU say to the holier-than-thou roller?

I mean, when the shoe's on the other pedal and all.

p.s. NEVER delay a motorist's journey to a stop light. ESPECIALLY to a long stop light like at Central and Jefferson Highway. They've got to hurry up and wait!

-mr. bill
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Old 03-16-22, 12:27 PM
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I'm still trying to figure out why Paul has his undies in a bunch about these other cyclists.
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Old 03-16-22, 12:32 PM
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Originally Posted by prj71 View Post
I'm still trying to figure out why Paul has his undies in a bunch about these other cyclists.
(Thank you for using a gender neutral article of clothing. Seriously.)

Not "these other cyclists." THIS OTHER CYCLIST. Singular.

Apparently this is a dispute between two "roadies" on their way to a levy path, and perhaps, their clothing choices too? (Gratuitous "kitted out.")

-mr. bill
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Old 03-16-22, 12:36 PM
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I guess I don't care how others ride their bicycle. Not my monkeys, not my circus. Thus I see no reason for his rant.
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Old 03-17-22, 07:48 AM
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A rant about another person's rant.
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Old 03-17-22, 08:11 AM
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Taking your anger out on other people just isn't healthy. Paul should maybe look into a punching bag or some pillows to release his anger.

Unfortunately...Computers and the Internet have made it really easy to rant. It's made "some" overly opinionated.
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Old 03-17-22, 08:17 AM
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I don't see the point of this post. Do you want the cyclist to wait for all the cars to pass before going on the road?
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Old 03-17-22, 08:21 AM
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That is one awful rail crossing. The shoulder leading into it disappears into a narrow wheel catcher....nasty. There is only two ways to make that crossing. On foot or take the lane. You fall with traffic next to you and you are probably dead.

The rider crossing in the middle was probably trying to minimize those risks.
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Old 03-17-22, 10:40 AM
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Originally Posted by vespasianus View Post
I don't see the point of this post. Do you want the cyclist to wait for all the cars to pass before going on the road?
Let me see if I can break this down for you.

This is a safety and advocacy forum. Let's start with some definitions.

Advocacy is the act or process of supporting a cause

Safety is the condition of being protected from or unlikely to cause danger, risk, or injury.

The circumstances were this. The road is a narrow 2 lane 35 mph road marked with a double yellow line. A rail crossing that had been closed for 10 minutes is opening. There is a line of cars in each lane perhaps a quarter mile long coming up to speed following the opening. There is anywhere from 4-7 feet of space between the cars in each of the lanes. There are a number of parking lots that cars may be entering or exiting. It's not uncommon for motorists to let other motorists into or through traffic in such circumstances. Motorists are not expecting a cyclists to be passing them in these circumstances, so they are very unlikely to check the rear view mirror before turning. There is an intersection a few hundred feet down the road.

The cyclist has a number of options. Keep his place in traffic and remain on the high traffic road. Keep his place in traffic and turn onto the nearby side-street. Remove himself from traffic until the congestion subsides. Pass as much of the traffic as possible on a double yellow until traffic comes up to his speed, then reenter traffic, forcing those he just passed to be stuck behind him at 20MPH on a 35MPH road.

The cyclist exercised the latter option. Revisiting the word safety, his illegal actions eliminated NONE of the safety threats and introduced more into the traffic scenario. The area is a no passing zone during ideal visibility and traffic conditions for a reason. The 3 foot (or more) rule is in effect in most states because moving autos and bicycles passing each other at that distance is unsafe. There was less than 3 feet between him and the cars he was passing.

From an advocacy standpoint, his actions had a detrimental effect. Nobody likes getting caught by long trains. It is rude for a cyclist to illegally pass a line of cars that are coming up to speed only to force those drivers he just passed to be stuck behind him at 20 MPH on a 35 MPH road. Motorists often have a negative perception of cyclists for no legitimate reason. Giving them a legitimate reason serves to further that negative perception and can build a negative attitude. Negative attitudes can and do foster dangerous behaviors and interactions. Cutting in line because you think you are more important than the people you cut in front of is frowned upon in our society. If you don't think it is, and don't think it's rude, cut in line next time you go to the grocery store, a sports event or movie.

Now with the obvious out of the way, I'll give our members the opportunity to change my mind on the subject rider being a rude idiot.

Explain to me how the riders choice made him safer. Explain to me how his actions were not discourteous.

The purpose of this post is to highlight how the rider's unsafe actions had a detrimental effect on advocacy.
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Old 03-17-22, 10:41 AM
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Originally Posted by Paul Barnard View Post
Motorists will lump me in a group with riders like that and treat me accordingly.
This guilt by association is a common argument that cyclists use about themselves, and I simply don't buy it. Do drivers of autos do this? I know lazy politicians do it all the time. I look to the thread title for the correct answer.
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