It’s Called a Side-“Walk” for a Reason

658304 from Bikesafer on Vimeo.

Via Jeff Frings, who politely tries to educate a driver (who’s clearly trying to overcompensate in all kinds of ways) on traffic laws. Later he’ll tell his long-suffering wife about some “idiot” cyclist on the road who wouldn’t get out of his way. It leaves one to wonder what actual percentage of drivers out there have a grasp of, say, more than 50% of the traffic code.

[The gist of the conversation is cyclist points out to driver that he’s blown a stop sign and almost hit him; driving tells him to get on the f***ing sidewalk where he “belongs.” Cyclist points out that that’s illegal. Driver threatens bodily harm. Yadda. Yadda. Yadda.]

This entry was posted on Thursday, March 18th, 2010 at 7:54 am and is filed under Bicycles, Cars, Traffic Culture. You can follow any responses to this entry through the RSS 2.0 feed. You can leave a response, or trackback from your own site.

17 Responses to “It’s Called a Side-“Walk” for a Reason”

  1. Mike Says:

    I can’t understand a word of this — can anyone make out what they’re saying?

  2. David Says:

    The driver is an idiot, but I have to wonder why the cyclist was filming his bike ride.

  3. Scott Says:

    Another middle-aged white man in a pickup truck — I’m not surprised. Nearly all of the negative encounters I experience on the road are from drivers in this demographic.

  4. Brian Says:

    David, the guy’s handle is “bikesafer” — I’m pretty sure he was filming so that he could help other people to learn how to use the roads more safely. Which he’s doing, with this video.

    Mike, the guy in the truck really only uses one word, and it rhymes with “truckin’.”

    Scott: bingo. Now, the more interesting question is why there are so many angry middle-aged white dudes out there, looking for any opportunity to act angry. I’m serious. If we can figure out what causes the behavior in this video, we can probably explain Rush Limbaugh and Glenn Beck, too. Any ideas?

  5. fred_dot_u Says:

    @david, some of us commuting cyclists record for various reasons. Sometimes the video is amusing or entertaining, other times it may serve as an example of poor driver behavior, as in Jeff’s video above. I store up to 6 months of my ride videos in case I need validation of location or validation of events later.

    In the video posted at I was not struck by the passing motor vehicle, but only by a matter of inches. The driver’s justification for the close pass was “But I didn’t hit you”. Note that the audio has been removed, as I lost control of my faculties and felt it was improper to provide the rant in original form. A transcript is part of the info to the video.

  6. Nancy Says:

    David–Jeff films his rides because it is not uncommon for drivers to threaten him [and other cyclists] and without video, he has no proof. The Establishment generally sides with motorists when it comes to car/bike conflicts and most complaints cyclists make are not taken seriously. More and more cyclists are camera-equipped these days, so behave out there!

  7. Josh R Says:

    I simply love love love the idea of cyclists filming their ride so they can have proof of abuse by drivers. I don’t bike at all, but the thought of some pickup driving a-hole getting slammed with a charge of making terroristic threats for shouting at a biker warms the cockles of my heart.

  8. Dbratland Says:

    If you ask me, this type of confrontational bicyclist is compensating for something too. There, I said it.

  9. Dave in KY Says:

    The reality of serious transportation bicycling on real arterials – the only roads connecting anything that we’ve built for the last 50 years – is that you will be threatened, cursed at, and bullied. Just today I had an angry Jeep Cherokee driver using the F-word at me. I got honked at for failing to “push it” through a yellow. I got honked for failing to use a bike lane (nevermind that a car was partially parked in it). Yesterday, my friend got a beer can thrown at him, and when he confronted the driver, the motorist pulled a gun. He got plates, but guess what? The justice system is swamped and doesn’t have time for this stuff.

    This is a civil rights issue. It is not going away. Our system of government is simply not equipped to deliver justice, or even education, to these sorts of motorists. The best tools we have are being firm, polite, and taping it. Beats carrying a gun, IMO.

  10. fred_dot_u Says:

    @dbratland, I’m pretty certain that the level of “compensation” a cyclist has to make is quite different from that of the driver of a massive SUV or even that of a compact car. The compensation has much to do with the lack of consideration for safety of other road users. Multi-ton vehicles with “safety” features to protect the driver with no regard for others requires compensation in the manner displayed.

  11. Hendrik Says:

    If those people would even attempt to ride a bike for themselves instead of having their lazy bodies dragged around by cars all the time a whole new world would open up to them.
    Then they can use their high pitched cursing against drivers just like themselves…

  12. Josh R Says:

    The only thing they’re compensating for is the fact that there are unbelievable assholes out there who seem to think it’s perfectly acceptable to run bikers off the road, throw things at them, threaten them and verbally abuse them for the crime of trying to use the road like the law says they can. And half the time when the biker goes to the police they get treated like they deserved it for not driving a car like a real man.

  13. Stuart Says:

    As a daily bike commuter in the southeast (US), a region known simultaneously for its “southern hospitality” and its inhospitable roads, I’ve been please to encounter mostly the former. The rare abuse I’ve gotten, sadly, has been from what appear to be younger 20-somethings — punching motions from a guy having to wait to turn left, a honk and yelled curse from a guy on an otherwise empty four-lane road who apparently didn’t want to shift lanes, a guy at a 4-way stop who stopped briefly, looked straight at me, and then cut me off after I started to cross.

  14. jason Says:

    oh man, all too familiar…why do all of these guys have the same limited vocabulary? the best time was when a pair of chicago cops in an unmarked car pulled up beside me while i was waiting to make a left turn in a turn lane and was told that i had to use the crosswalk. they sped off before i could pull the illinois code booklet out of my wallet.

  15. Dbratland Says:

    All I’m saying is I know some bicyclists who work on legislation and transit research and education and boring stuff like that, and other bicyclists (young, male…) who seem to find themselves in a great many confrontations out in the street. Kind of like guys who somehow can’t go to a bar without getting in a fight. Something’s going on with guys like that. Maybe the idiots in the SUVs and the vigilante bicyclists complete each other in some way.

  16. wes kirkman Says:

    Dbratland, certainly if you look for it, you’ll find it. Just a few years ago I was a hot headed bicyclist/pedestrian. I found a lot of trouble because it is all over the place to find. There is always someone willing to pass way too closely at too high a speed, cut you off, park blocking the entire sidewalk, tail you way too closely, fail to yield, completely ignore your presence, etc. Thankfully, I’ve come to peace with the plight of refusing to own a car and, so, I just brush most of that stuff off. Every now and then, there are situations that just suck you in, such as someone speeding around you at seriously unsafe speeds and way too close screaming something inaudible yet obviously unfriendly at you, simply for daring to ride on the street. Those that react to situations both as extreme as this and as common as someone rolling through a red barely missing your toes are compensating for something: a lack of respect and freedom to use our public rights-of-way in the manner they choose without suffering from constant berating from self-absorbed and entitled automobile drivers.
    There, I said it. Now call me a self-entitled elitist pedestrian all you like.

  17. fred_dot_u Says:

    Today’s article, Kafka in Texas, has a new thread about safer cycling. The curious thing is that since I took the LAB training and learned how to properly operate on roads of sub-standard width, the grief and harrassment I receive from motorists has been reduced by a factor of ten or better.

    I still ride with cameras, mostly for the fun of it, but there’s always that one percent out there. Now that I ride safely and as a trained cyclist, interacting with other motorists is far more pleasant.

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