The Chainlink

What does everyone do or say to 'bad' cyclists?? Anything?

People do all kinds of ridiculous stuff on the road - we all know it.

It stinks that, as cyclists, we often pay the price no matter who is really at fault.

I feel very strongly that motorists should be held to a higher level of liability, given that cars kill so many people every day and cyclists are the most vulnerable to this. So, it makes sense that we can 'get away' with stuff that cars cant.

I also have zero issues about pointing out awful motorist behavior directly to their faces - yelling, kicking, and even sometimes spitting all fall within the realm of acceptable behavior from my own prospective when it comes to people who choose to drive their cars in a way that hugely risks my safety (and life!).

No one likes to be told that their behavior is wrong - even when it clearly is. People don't learn this way. It's only natural to become defensive and angry.

When it comes to motorists - I don't care. Let them get angry. Maybe they'll think about it again later and perhaps not do that again.

so... here's the huge BUT....

What about cyclists?? I believe that it's totally okay to treat stop signs like yields and red lights like stop signs. I'll even do a bit of slow, cautious sidewalk or wrong way riding to save myself a trip around the block every now and then.

But I'm talking about those who dart through intersections, wrong way riders in all black with no lights or helmets, cyclists who zip past us within inches and don't announce it, bad attempts at track stands at intersections confusing motorists... Sometimes, it's also just an FYI - like locking only the front wheel, wearing a helmet backwards, untied shoelaces, dying blinkies...

This stuff does no benefit to city cycling whatsoever. In fact, I often worry that I now have to pass all those motorists that the 'bad cyclist' who darted in front of me has just pissed off. I cringe nearly every day at how many bike-hating motorists are created by us.

Let's not give them a reason to hate us, huh?!?

Even when it's just a backwards helmet or bikes locked with only a front wheel, etc... That person won't be a cyclist for long. Their bad experience is clearly just around the corner, and they'll be back in a car before the fall, telling all their friends that they tried bicycling... and it was awful.

SO...

While it's still early in the season, this is the time of year that all this stuff is at it's peak.

How do you call out 'bad' cyclists?? It's just as important that we say something to them as it is that we do it to motorists... if not more so.

Sometimes, I just call out, "Please ride safely!", but that's a bit silly. Like I said, no one likes to be told that what they're doing is wrong - people get angry and defensive.

What's the proper way to encourage folks to make the right decisions?? What does everyone here do or say?

Thanks!!

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I try to ride courteously and cautiously. Sometimes i tell people when their lights are fading out. Other than that, i try to mind my own business.

I think that unless you know the person, leaving the policing and education up to the city, and organizations like Active Trans is right right choice.

I don't see how yelling at and/or spitting on motorists does anything to improve the reputation of cyclists. Certainly there are better approaches. People make bad choices all of time, motorists and cyclists alike. I think should leading by example is the best approach

I've experienced road rage by motorists numerous times. It sucks and it's scary. you just got to ride away though. Those incidents don't compare to the time when a cyclist threatened to brain me with his u-lock for inadvertently cutting him off a block earlier. Why couldn't that guy just suck it up, put on his brakes for a second, and not said a word?
I'm not sure there is a way to call out ill-mannered cyclists. If only bike cops were around more to enforce safety. I highly doubt anyone will listen to someone without authority.
When I come across Bike Salmon I point at them and yell, "Look its Bike Salmon!"
I ride a aluminum 85 trek or my 68 steel Typhoon! No cro-moly for me ;P! I also force them to ride into traffic, if it's 2 of us we ride abreast forcing them out of the bike lane and point and shame them! Also I have been riding a bike since I was 5 and have yet to ended up a bloody mess from it(am 44 yrs old now)...

h3 said:
I like your style. Even when you're laying on the ground in a bloody mess of arms, legs, and cro-moly, it's important to know you got the last laugh!
Chuck a Muck said:
When I come across Bike Salmon I point at them and yell, "Look its Bike Salmon!"
My greatest pet peeve...bicyclists passing a few inches from me with no word up...they are so antisocial or self-absorbed they cant make a sound??? A bell, an "on your left". I love telling people I appreciate their word for the FEW who do let me know they are gaining on me and about to pass. I wish people would be happier, too. A lot are oblivious...in their own world. People with scowls on their faces...shit in their ears...how can you be aware with music blasting in your ears or deep in thought about a scowl-inducing thought? Be in the moment for heaven's sake it will do wonders for your mind. Making eye contact is good. No more is even necessary in most situations but it can go a looong way. I also fear a bike hitting me as it flies through an intersection. Watch out because I watch out for you!!! In a good way!
The hard thing...as a bike whizzes inches by me...there isn't even enough time to tell them they should've given an "on your left"...maybe WE should just say it for them..."on your left!" ya that's what I think I will do! Model it for them.
Sometimes, as silently passing cyclists nearly brush my left shoulder, I'll blurt out, '...on your RIGHT!'.

Probably bratty of me, huh?


Barbra Mann said:
My greatest pet peeve...bicyclists passing a few inches from me with no word up...they are so antisocial or self-absorbed they cant make a sound??? A bell, an "on your left". I love telling people I appreciate their word for the FEW who do let me know they are gaining on me and about to pass. I wish people would be happier, too. A lot are oblivious...in their own world. People with scowls on their faces...shit in their ears...how can you be aware with music blasting in your ears or deep in thought about a scowl-inducing thought? Be in the moment for heaven's sake it will do wonders for your mind. Making eye contact is good. No more is even necessary in most situations but it can go a looong way. I also fear a bike hitting me as it flies through an intersection. Watch out because I watch out for you!!! In a good way!
The hard thing...as a bike whizzes inches by me...there isn't even enough time to tell them they should've given an "on your left"...maybe WE should just say it for them..."on your left!" ya that's what I think I will do! Model it for them.
In any situation where another cyclist is endangering my life, I will certainly say something. I have never been accused of laying back too often. I particularly like to say something that folks I believe will appreciate, like you light's dying. I wouldn't say that it is a bad cyclist to have a light dying, or let them know their helmet is on backwards, etc. that is so much more about not being aware of something than being deliberately unsafe to others like riding the wrong way, zipping by without space, cutting off, etc.

As for always saying something when someone may be doing harm to the "image" of cycling, I am not one to bother, or bother others. No helmeted-folks, the untalented-brakeless-hipster-fixters or folks riding unsafely is so common I can't bother saying something all the time, and i am a myob if it isn't immediately endangering any more than I chase cars that don't come to a full stop sign to read them the riot act.

I am like a lot of city cyclists. Meaning sometimes I take PT, sometimes i walk, and sometimes I even drive. i try my very best to be courteous to others in all of these actions because i know I have skipped a stop sign, just as I have rolled one, or jaywalked, etc. If on the other hand your idiocy is endangering me, I am not shy at all.

only at parties.
over it. way over all this. too much bike bikering jesus who gives a shit about any of it. just ride a bike or dont ride a bike. haha just stop thinking so much please. over analyze yourself to death
To wrong way cyclists "it's safer on the other side"
Not at all... "on your right!" is only missing a colorful name at the end of it. Some jackasses are really special, and it's our duty to make sure they're aware.

Jody said:
Sometimes, as silently passing cyclists nearly brush my left shoulder, I'll blurt out, '...on your RIGHT!'.

Probably bratty of me, huh?


Barbra Mann said:
My greatest pet peeve...bicyclists passing a few inches from me with no word up...they are so antisocial or self-absorbed they cant make a sound??? A bell, an "on your left". I love telling people I appreciate their word for the FEW who do let me know they are gaining on me and about to pass. I wish people would be happier, too. A lot are oblivious...in their own world. People with scowls on their faces...shit in their ears...how can you be aware with music blasting in your ears or deep in thought about a scowl-inducing thought? Be in the moment for heaven's sake it will do wonders for your mind. Making eye contact is good. No more is even necessary in most situations but it can go a looong way. I also fear a bike hitting me as it flies through an intersection. Watch out because I watch out for you!!! In a good way!
The hard thing...as a bike whizzes inches by me...there isn't even enough time to tell them they should've given an "on your left"...maybe WE should just say it for them..."on your left!" ya that's what I think I will do! Model it for them.
Thanks - that's the kind of answer I was looking for!

Bill Watson said:
To wrong way cyclists "it's safer on the other side"
Feel free to call me that "colorful name" but if I see a biker with headphones in their ear, cruising along in the middle of the lane I do make a point of inching by with a late timed "On your left!" that is a little on the loud side.

If you are going to ride your bike nice and slow than at least have the common courtesy of doing it on the right side of the lane.

Also if I see any "bike ninjas" aka bikers wearing all black, riding at night with no light I do call them out...

-Ali

Joe said:
Not at all... "on your right!" is only missing a colorful name at the end of it. Some jackasses are really special, and it's our duty to make sure they're aware.

Jody said:
Sometimes, as silently passing cyclists nearly brush my left shoulder, I'll blurt out, '...on your RIGHT!'.

Probably bratty of me, huh?


Barbra Mann said:
My greatest pet peeve...bicyclists passing a few inches from me with no word up...they are so antisocial or self-absorbed they cant make a sound??? A bell, an "on your left". I love telling people I appreciate their word for the FEW who do let me know they are gaining on me and about to pass. I wish people would be happier, too. A lot are oblivious...in their own world. People with scowls on their faces...shit in their ears...how can you be aware with music blasting in your ears or deep in thought about a scowl-inducing thought? Be in the moment for heaven's sake it will do wonders for your mind. Making eye contact is good. No more is even necessary in most situations but it can go a looong way. I also fear a bike hitting me as it flies through an intersection. Watch out because I watch out for you!!! In a good way!
The hard thing...as a bike whizzes inches by me...there isn't even enough time to tell them they should've given an "on your left"...maybe WE should just say it for them..."on your left!" ya that's what I think I will do! Model it for them.

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