Car/bike Conflicts

I received several comments about the 2nd to current article. Not every cyclist has the same experiences as I have had so not everyone will come to the same conclusions either.

In my experience, I've had rude drivers pass me right before an intersection and the cut sharply back to the curb. In one situation this year I almost took out  a mirror. Some drivers, especially bad and young drivers, refuse to allow cyclists enough room to make right turns at intersections. This pulling in front of a cyclist and turning towards the curb is a sure recipe for a lawsuit against any driver... unsafe passing, careless driving, use a vehicle as a weapon to intimidate and threaten others is a sure sign of a sick mind in my opinion.

In another repeat of this same situation at the same intersection, another motorist who was making a right turn pulled out onto the crosswalk where I was making a right turn. Having another repeat of the same situation by yet another inconsiderate SOB, I pulled ahead in front of the car to make my right turn.

Because the City of Calgary does not consider it important to have paved shoulders on the right sides of roads, once I make the right turn I have to get immediately over to the left shoulder or else take up a lane and deal with inconsiderate motorists who don't know how to pass and who always attempt to pass in my lane instead of the lane beside me.

Since bicycles are considered vehicles, motorists are required to use a second lane to pass in whenever one is available. Squeezing cyclists into curbs when passing is a dangerous and stupid behaviour even though it is very common to see drivers trying to use a cyclist's lane to pass them.

Well, after the traffic cleared the intersection, I pedaled off and finished my right turn then got over to the left lane. The impatient motorist behind me honked his horn. After a few terse words from me about his reckless habit of cutting off cyclists, he turned left on the next street into Coventry. Beware of this nut if you live in Coventry!

On many, many other occasions I've had motorists pass me right before a light and then pull over to the right side of the lane where I'm cycling. In such instances, I simply pull up ahead of them and get back in front of them at the light. By doing this, I am claiming enough of the lane to proceed through the intersection without the risk of some nut trying to turn right and drive over me. Being a little assertive is a good thing. If you have to be more than a little assertive about your right to cycle on roads (due to the City of Calgary not clearing bicycle paths/sidewalks etc), then it may be necessary to take stronger measures to make sure they learn courtesy to all users of the roads or deal with it in court. (I don't have much faith in our court system based on experience from people who use courts to abuse other people's legal rights).

One more instance of rude drivers in Calgary and how some of these sick people harass cyclists on club rides.

I was cycling with a small group. Our route required us to go over one of the many Trails in Calgary in order to get onto back country roads which have very little traffic between rush hours.

I was cycling three feet from the curb. My understanding of the law in this regard is that a cyclists stays to the right side at a safe distance from the edge of the road. Because I was on a twitchy racing bike, it is very sensitive to any slight turn of the handlebars. On that bike, I consider the minimum safe distance from the edge of the road to be three feet.

A motorist passes in my lane at a dangerously close distance even though there are two lanes. There is no traffic in the left lane but that idiot thinks he does not have to pass in a safe manner and allow a safe margin between any vehicle he passes, bicycles included. In law, a motorist is required to allowed 51% of the road to other passing vehicles. This nut didn't even allow 20% of the road to the group I was riding with.

Yeah, I know... all cyclists should have video cameras on their bicycles to prosecute such imbeciles or at least post on YouTube. Some of us don't have the time to spend our entire lives devoted to charging insane people who drive cars as if they were weapons of mass egotistical delusions. Who wants to spoil a ride with having to take idiots to courts every time some moron in a car thinks he has the right to use a car to threaten others?

Such bad drivers only promote future conflicts with cyclists running them over on sidewalks when the cyclist has the upper hand of inflicting threats and injuries. Or worse yet, some cyclist getting so upset they go home, get their car, and run the SOB over in their own driveway. Is this what we want in Calgary people?

These are a few incidences where people drive cars as if they have a right to threaten and intimidate other users of the roads. Some of these people belong in a mental institution. Others belong in jail.

Every time a cyclist has to deal with such hostile drivers, it only promotes further retaliation from Mass Rides where cyclists block roads and force drivers to endure the kind of abuse they dish out.

This of course says nothing about the considerate drivers in Calgary. It would be an interesting project (certainly more interesting than blogging about bad drivers), to tally up the number of courteous verses bad drivers.

It needs to be remembered that although some drivers have a grudge against cyclists, they also are capable of having grudges against anyone that gets in their way, including other drivers. I even had one driver with a 5 year old, race me through an intersection as I was passing him a long distance before the intersection due to his excessively low speed. If the safety of his kid don't matter (wasn't even buckled in), will yours?


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