The Chainlink

You blew the red light east bound on Lawrence at Damen at 5:26 pm this evening.

 

There was enough time for the biker in front of me to make it half way into the intersection, northbound on Damen, before you came whizzing past my front wheel.

 

I yelled "You're an idiot!" at your big haired chick, self, and you looked back at me. I meant it!

 

I woulda testified for any of the cars, that managed to not kill you, if they had.

 

Keep riding like a tard!

love,

gabe

 

Witness bad behavior during your commute? Feel free to post. Maybe that lovely human can read it and think they are famous. Maybe you can also inspire the whole generation of kids to shower but we can start with small things.

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A funny coincidence:

On Wednesday evening I biked northbound on Elston rather than Milwaukee--was meeting a friend in Avondale.

For a while on Elston I was behind a woman who had a light on the back of her helmet. At Diversey, we exchanged a few pleasantries with the motorcyclist waiting next to us at the red light.

The next morning (Thursday), I start crossing LaSalle, eastbound on Kinzie, when who do I see but the very same woman with the same helmet!

Take it as a sign Alex!

A 3-fer this time one from last week and 2 from tonight only!

Disclaimer:No gender bias implied just factually they were all Female.

Last week you were turning left to head North onto a one way wide enough for 3 cars not including the parking spaces. I was going straight also in a North direction. You were stopped and had been as I rolled up to the stop sign I could see you were confused and were not going to turn so I proceeded you followed for a bi tat my blistering pace of 9 mph trying to pass but given the 30 feet couldn't manage it but then finally did and I told you you did a good job. Then you leaned over and asked me if I wanted a slap in the face.

Lets run down the list of 20 years or so...shot at twice.Car stolen, car broken into,wrecked on my bike and knocked unconcious (yesI  know a helmet...) mugged on my bike and then said bike stolen. 

Fired from a job because my then boss tried to intimidate me with his SUV.

A 40 oz bottle thrown at me riding through Humboldt park.

Another former boss attempting to hit me with his car.

5 police officers drive on the bike path to the viaduct where I was waiting out a severe storm and waiting for my parents to give me a lift back, they ask me if I just was in the CVS down the street because a Black guy on a bike just tried to rob it.

Thrown over the handlebars due to road conditions another former somebody who doesn't like me making himself get hit by me and one on Lower Lake.

2 wrecks along railroad crossings in the rain that aren't completely perpindicular to the road.

One steel platecovering a hole also wet from rain.

Thealmost clockwork of a flat a week when I was homeless and locked my bike outside.

Lastly the dooring of almost 2 weeks ago.

A slap in the face is really nothing.

Tonight you wave me through onto Illinois even though you had the right of way and I stopped but it doesn't do any good if you then pass me to squeeze me over because your turning right. were you trying to "right hook me passive/aggressively or just that stupid?

Lastly not only did you blow a red light Itwas green for several seconds not just recently turned Red, all other cars were stopped with traffic going through on Dearborn in your cab it was from the right lane of Lake which got you a couple honks you swerved towards the bike lane to avoid an oncoming car then saw me in the bike lane swerved back out to pick up a woman hailing a cab also from the bike lane.

WHEW!

"you wave me through...even though you had the right of way and I stopped but it doesn't do any good if you then pass me to squeeze me over..."

 

This happens to me all the time on residential streets. I can only assume that the majority of the drivers who do it are "just that stupid" and actually think they're doing me a favor somehow.  

i'll admit it gets annoying sometimes. i usually insist they just go ahead and wait them out.

However, it speaks to another problem: the drivers' assumption that a cyclist will blow through the stop automatically, so a driver prefers to wave them along to prevent a collision.

Whence comes this assumption?

i wouldn't judge the driver as being "just plain stupid" for waving me through. "Just plain stupid" is a driver who has no regard at all for a cyclist.

"However, it speaks to another problem: the drivers' assumption that a cyclist will blow through the stop automatically, so a driver prefers to wave them along to prevent a collision. Whence comes this assumption?"

Bingo. And this gets us back to the whole larger topic of, how you behave as a cyclist on the streets impacts us ALL.

The assumption is deeply rooted in the fact that far too many cyclists do not respect right of way. I do not care (and I certainly don't) come to a full stop and put my feet on the ground at stop signs, but I always respect the intersection's dynamics and other users. Ideally I go through with a vehicle in order to not disrupt the traffic flow. This is good for everyone, pedestrians included. Little makes me as irritated as the cyclists that play chicken with pedestrians in the crosswalks, you have to respect everyone.

Yep.

Yes! and this is going to a very hard problem to address. I'm pretty sure that most riders who do not respect the right of way also do not read the glorious Chainlink.

I always wonder if a passive reader has ever made a change of heart based on anything here...we'll never know.

P.S. Tony, I saw you on Dearborn last night - didn't realize until I'd passed. So you weren't crazy if you heard, "Hi Tony!"

Yes! Lets hope that some passive readers do have a change of heart, or at least get to thinking about incorporating respect into their riding!

And, yes, I did hear a "Hi Tony" and was wondering who that was! I was running late to a meeting at your friend Chuy's office* or I would have stopped to say hello back. :)

*not very bike related

Agree that drivers unfortunately need to assume that a cyclist will ignore their right of way. But once I've come to a complete stop and put my foot down, they can safely assume that I'm not blowing the sign. It doesn't help any of us to hold a stop sign staring contest and, if you know that we'll both end up travelling in the same direction, you might as well make your move now instead of "letting" me go first only to pass too closely 20 seconds later.

I don't like it when a car driver gives me the right-of-way when I clearly do not have it. I'll put down a foot, and if that doesn't do it I'll act as if I've dropped something. It's not that I don't appreciate the courtesy, it's just that it departs from traffic norms.

Steve

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