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  • Bikes Vs. Cars

    It’s not a real rivalry, but our local media in Portland enjoy portraying it as one because it gets people fired up. Us/Them stories bring in the viewers and readers, I guess. I like The Oregonian, but they play into it too, like in this article, which makes it appear that roads aren’t getting fixed because money is going to making bike lanes (they call greenways bike routes, despite what an enormously different thing they are altogether).

    As a result, people in cars feel they can scream at me on my bike for something they perceive I’ve done in the street war between us, which by the way no bike could win. Like cyclists are a separate form of humans, and like I wasn’t driving a car better than this person just a couple of hours earlier. I know idiots on fixies without brakes fly through stop signs- look down at all these brakes and gears on my bike, it will be easy to tell the difference between who annoys you and who doesn’t. Nearly every time I almost get mowed down it’s by someone in an SUV talking on a cell phone, so I distinguish.

    While roads are built to accommodate cars, they’re for every vehicle AND pedestrians. My righteous screaming, often out of my car window, is mainly at cars (again, usually with cell phone in use) blowing through a crosswalk that pedestrians have the legal right of way. I often see people and children having to jump back because these drivers don’t know what a crosswalk is for. Wake up earlier and leave in plenty of time if you’re in that kind of a hurry that you can’t stop for baby strollers.

    Back to the article- don’t blame some other beneficiary for funding that another area didn’t get. If there were more bikes in use, the roads would require a lot less expensive work. The big offender is semi trucks and people driving around with studded snow tires. And really, we could use a sales tax to get all these unimproved roads paved, but that’s a whole other subject.


    Comment from Erik Burnham
    Time: February 28, 2012, 2:35 pm

    I sympathize. Many of the drivers here in MN drive like they are retarded — mentally incapable of understanding how to operate a vehicle. I’ve been the guy in the crosswalk almost plowed into (though in my case, it was a guy who was just tired of being at a stop sign while a bunch of people crossed.) He honked and swore at me for objecting to almost being run over.

    Just today, a woman almost side swiped me — she wanted into the turning lane and began to move over. I was right beside her, within the range of peripheral vision, mirrors not required. I had to lean on the horn. (She also didn’t use a blinker.)

    People like that is why I gave up bicycling (which I used to love.) I tried again last summer only to give up after three miles on a shoulderless road with a group of teens in a car swerving at me to try and scare me into a ditch.


    Sorry to hijack, you just reminded me how much I hate local drivers…