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Motorist Involved in 50 (!) Bicycle Crash

by JoelGuelph

I subscribe to a feed on Google News with the search term bicycle. It tends to be a rather depressing feed, with news stories of bicycles hit by cars on a daily basis. This one stood out among the rest: “Furious driver takes out 50-strong cycle pack” from the Sydney Morning Herald.

Witnesses to the crash have told smh.com.au the group of about up to 60 professional cyclists were riding south on Southern Cross Drive, just south of Dacey Avenue, Mascot about 6.30am when a driver, agitated with being held up, accelerated in front of the pack and then slammed on his brakes, giving the riders no time to stop.

Michelle Ferris, who was at the front of the pack, described the collision.

“We we’re all in the left hand lane and this Ford Falcon came from the middle lane and swerved into the front of the bunch and braked suddenly,” she said.

“We were doing about 40 kilometres an hour , there was no way for me to go and I went straight into the back of his car and other riders went into me.

Looking through the Google feed, I came across this follow-up. “Driver from 50-bicycle smash speaks: ‘It wasn’t my fault’” from livenews.com.au.

‘Jason’ called in to say the accident wasn’t his fault and that the group of cyclists was trying to overtake him when a number of them smashed into his car.

He says a mechanical problem caused his sudden stop – his car had just been converted to dual-fuel and a gas misfire meant he had to pull over.

As cyclists, are we too quick to blame motorists for all bike/car accidents? I rarely, if ever, see reports of accidents where it is determined to be the cyclists fault. Is it because it is always motorists fault? Surely cyclists are at fault sometimes. In this incident, the cyclists did rear-end the car. Does it even matter if the motorist did it on purpose or not, if he was the one who was rear-ended?

Following Too Close
Should some or all of the cyclists be charged with “following too close“, even for following too close to the rider in front of them? If I’m driving my car and there is an accident in front of me, and then I plow into, I’d be charged with “following too close” or some similar infraction. This 50 bike accident would not of happened if the riders at the front were able to stop in time to avoid hitting the car or as severe if the riders following other riders were able to stop before hitting the rider in front of them. I realize this is a dangerous precedent for road riding in a peleton or even a bike convoy. I am not up to speed on traffic laws in Australia, so I wonder if there is a law saying bikes must ride single file, as there is in many jurisdictions in North America.

Are cyclists too quick to point the finger when they in fact breaking laws themselves?

 
Burley nomad 229

29 Responses to “Motorist Involved in 50 (!) Bicycle Crash”

  1. Stu says:

    Really? Someone from “Commute By Bike” can read that initial story and take the side of the motorist, who by all accounts was following them closely, darted around them, and slammed on the brakes, who the off-duty police officer who witnessed the crash described as there being “no doubt the driver of the dark blue Ford Falcon – described by other witnesses as in his 30s with a female passenger – had done it deliberately.”

    I find that hard to believe.

    Also, the story you posted to described the laws that you say you are ignorant of, and quoted people who were biking in the group saying they’d followed the laws.

    They were, after all, professional cyclists training for the Olympics. Not neophytes on the road.

    I find it so weird that you seem to be writing in support of the driver rather than the cyclists. But oh well, they’re not commuters.

  2. fixedgear says:

    You’re kidding, right? From the accounts that I’ve read they were in a double paceline, and that he was angry about being delayed. He sped in front of the group, and then braked, causing them to rear end his car.

    Isn’t this basic physics? A car, with four wheels on the ground and a larger tire contact patch area can decelerate much more quickly than a bike. Something like 60 – 70% of a bicycles stopping power comes from the front brake, with the limiting factors being that if you skid the front wheel you lose steering ability and that your mass will rotate round the front hub putting you over the bars.

  3. Matt says:

    Without commenting on this specific incident, I too subscribe to the Google News bicycling stream and read the dreary litany of thefts, crashs and deaths. I have to say that reading it makes me hesitant to always blame the motorist; time and again, the cyclist is drunk, riding the wrong way, has no lights at night or is in some other way making worse their odds of survival. I’ve thought about compiling a year’s worth of this into a database and seeing if it’s possible to assess the relative blame, but haven’t been that motivated; anecdotally, I’d figure maybe half of 750 annual U.S. cyclist deaths at the hands of motor vehicles involve cyclist misbehaviour. Motorists in the U.S. take out around 8,000 pedestrians each year as well, and kill off another 33,000 or so of each other. Be careful out there.

  4. Juan says:

    “They were, after all, professional cyclists training for the Olympics. Not neophytes on the road.”

    Being a professional cyclist does not mean you are more likely to obey traffic laws. We have more than our share of elite cyclists in the Boulder area, but you still see large packs riding well outside the shoulders even though we have “Single file law applies” signs everywhere. I’m not taking the side of the motorist, who from the sounds of this story is clearly guilty, but cyclists should realize that “Share the Road” does not mean we own it. I raced for many years, and still ride/commute regularly, but I get irrated when I see packs blocking lanes because I know the motorists they are pissing off, will be behind me someday.

  5. benshead says:

    Echoing Stu and fixedgear, I can only say, “You’ve got to be kidding.” I’ll strenuously agree with your idea that cyclists must be held responsible for their behavior, but I am offended and angered that you chose this story as your example. Let’s look at a few of your points:

    “I rarely, if ever, see reports of accidents where it is determined to be the cyclists fault.”

    Really? You must live in a very different world than I do. The one I live in (New England, USA) has a police force has been documented telling cyclists that they don’t have the right to ride on roads and misrepresenting many parts of the law. I have personally witnessed police officers “forgetting” to interview cyclists who have been involved in crashes and I know of a number of cases where the official ruling on the accident was heavily prejudiced against the cyclist. Have you read Bob Mionske’s excellent book “Bicycling and the Law.” He makes what seems to me to be a very airtight argument that our legal system, from enforcement to the courthouse, is prejudiced against cyclists. You really disagree?

    “In this incident, the cyclists did rear-end the car. Does it even matter if the motorist did it on purpose or not, if he was the one who was rear-ended?”

    The driver left the scene. Do I really need to say anything more? What’s unclear here, though, is whether you’re making a legal argument or a moral one. Since you admit to not knowing the laws in Australia I can only assume that are making a moral one.

    The driver and his companion were seen by witnesses (passersby not involved in the crash) laughing and joking after the crash, before they sped off. What was your moral argument again? That the cyclists were in the wrong? Please elaborate.

    “This 50 bike accident would not of (sic) happened if the riders at the front were able to stop in time to avoid hitting the car or as severe if the riders following other riders were able to stop before hitting the rider in front of them.”

    WTF. Regardless of what local laws apply in this specific case, your argument is morally repugnant.

    Look, if this is the way Commute by Bike is going to advocate for the bike commuting community, I’m out of here. I have nothing against discussing the responsibility of cyclists to obey traffic laws and act respectfully on the roads, but this post is upsetting and shows really poor judgment. 50 people were almost killed by a lunatic and you are making it an example of how cyclists share the blame for road accidents?

  6. Len says:

    Here in the states, the bicyclist is almost always blamed or at least looked at suspiciously. For example, if a car swerves and hits a bicyclist, even intentionally, the media finds some reason to make the bike rider look bad. Like not wearing a helmet. As if that’s a legitimate reason to run a bike off the road.

    Recently the sheriff who swerved across the centerline and hit three and killed two, yet all the follow-up articles were about how “bicyclists” are typically at fault. Even though in this case they did nothing wrong and the sheriff was clearly at fault. And this is in the SFGate in bike-friendly San Francisco.

    Yes, some bike riders ride like idiots, but overall the media bias in the states is pro-car right now.

  7. idbob says:

    THERE IS A DIFFERENCE BETWEEN RECKLESS DRIVING, AND FOLLOWING TO CLOSE. PASSING SOMEONE AND THEN SLAMMING ON THE BRAKES IS ALL IT TAKES. IT WOULD’NT HAVE MATTERED IF THE BIKES HIT THE CAR OR IF THEY SWERVED IN TIME AND AVOIDED THE CRASH…RECKLESS IS RECKLESS. ON THE OTHER HAND WHAT WAS THIS GUYS INTENT, MAYHEM???

  8. bikesgonewild says:

    …first off, i extend my empathy out to all the cyclists involved but in particular to kate nichols who, as a representative of aussie road cycling was an unfortunate participant in the 2005 death of amy gillet during training for a race in germany, where a car plowed into the small group, almost killing everyone…

    …that said, while i usually save my real vitriol for other sites & i’m sure most posters here will address you politely about this matter, i now feel no such need…, you ought to wake the fuck up, joelguelph, you disingenuous little prick…if you have the responsibility of writing a column read virtually worldwide, you owe it to yourself & your readers to invest in simple research…& in this case, the news w/ a great deal more information than you seemed to have allowed yourself was all over the cycling sites…there are even quotes from an off duty policeman, who is trained to be an impartial observer…
    …any way you look at it, whether you believe the driver had mechanical problems or not, nothing justifies his action of intentionally pulling over & braking hard, knowing full well, the side of the road was occupied w/ upwards of 50 speeding cyclists…
    …the driver would have been safer to gradually slow the whole lane of traffic, let the cyclists pass & then pull over, if he did indeed have mechanical problems…as it stands, with crashing cyclists spilling into the roadway, while the offending driver then sped away, the traffic lane virtually had to lock their brakes, including a big rig which ended up jackknifed but some how or other, actual fatal carnage was averted..

    …to use this tragic situation as nothing more than the basis to write a column “about responsibilities” & then w/ little research & half-assed information, to basically take the side of the protagonist defies intelligent logic & extremely little responsibility on your part…we are all very aware that cyclists can regularly be their own worst enemy out on the road but your disingenuous musings exemplify the worst of those moronic actions…we all need to think before we act & you need to think before you write…

    …i’ll say it again, wake the fuck up…i’m not here as a poster to make friends & sweet talk idiots…whether people happen to like my approach about this subject or not, consider it tough love & accept the bloody responsibility of the position you’ve been offered…

  9. anakcu says:

    If this was in fact an accident, caused by bikers following too close and so unable to avoid hitting a car suffering a mechanical problem, then why the hell did Jason flee the scene? Reading this post I am not convinced that all cyclists are too quick to blame the motorist, but it got me to wondering whether _some_ utilitarian cyclists are more comfortable ascribing blame to their lycra-clad brethren. Many in the group were Olympic cyclists and hopefuls that convinces me that their bike handling skills are far superior to most anyone reading this blog. If a car pulls over because it is misfiring, I am confident these cyclists even with skinny tires would have plenty of time to avoid a collision. Only slamming on the brakes produces the carnage described. JoelGuelph–you’ve been pwned.

  10. Jared says:

    Joel, I understand that you’re trying to be compelling and play the devil’s advocate. Let me give you some advice: stop right now, as a matter of fact, stop writing right now. Taking an opposing stance on an issue does not make you insightful and this line of questioning is simply ludicrous. Are accidents in which cyclists are at fault? You bet! However, there is NO reason to think this was anything other than it is: road rage.

  11. JoelGuelph says:

    Matt and Juan picked up on the point I was making in the post.

    @bikesgonewild: I respect your opinion. Your comments on CBB are never to “sweet talk idiots” and I appreciate how you tell it like it is. I did word this post in a way that implies I am taking the side of the motorist, but at no point did I place fault on either the cyclists or the motorist. I’ll admit to the fact that I worded it in such a way as to “stir the pot” to create discussion and it may have been a bit irresponsible given such a wide audience.

    The article is an attention grabber and meant as a kicking off of a discussion. It seems fairly clear to me that the driver was angry and dealt with it in a very poor way.

    Anyway, as Juan pointed out, the behaviour exhibited by any cyclist will have an impact on what a motorist thinks of cyclists. If a motorist is held up one day by a pack of riders, that driver could form a negative opinion of cyclists and be less respectful when encountering a rider, such as a commuter, in the future. I believe that large group rides that get 3 or 4 riders wide is something that may be perceived negatively by motorists, as it is against the law in many places and sometimes slows them down. I’m not saying I think that group rides are wrong, I participate in a couple myself. I want to know what can be done to resolve that difference. Do motorists need better education about cycling so hopefully they won’t get road rage towards cyclists? Do we need to lobby to change the ‘single file’ law?

  12. Jared says:

    Wanted to stir the pot, eh? As if this pot needs stirring. Puh-lease! Apparently, the second thing you missed was that there is NOTHING you can say about this issue that hasn’t been said before. How many news articles or blog posts do I read in a week that ask this insightful question? At least 3.

    Public attitudes toward cycling will not likely change until a good portion of the public become cyclists. You want to lobby for something? Work on changing people’s travel habits; only then will we see progress.

  13. fixedgear says:

    If a motorist is held up one day by a pack of riders, that driver could form a negative opinion of cyclists and be less respectful when encountering a rider, such as a commuter, in the future.

    Let me fix that for you:

    If a cyclist is held up one day by a pack of drivers, that rider could form a negative opinion of motorists and be less respectful when encountering a driver, such as a commuter, in the future.

    See how that works? The theory is that when motorists see groups of cyclists behaving poorly they’ll want to take it out on the next lone cyclist that they see. I used to subscribe to that theory, but I’m not so sure any more. I see motorists behaving poorly every day, driving with their heads up their asses, texting, talking on cell phones, putting on makeup, fucking with GPS units, the list is endless.

    Slow them down? Fuck them, my errand/trip/ride is just as important as theirs is. I’m not a second-class road user just because I’m on a bike. I’m joe-middle-class-suburban-homeowner-taxpayer-civil-servant on his way to work. What I don’t get is that motorists don’t flip out at things like slow-moving trucks, but the sight of an adult on a bike sends some people into an irrational rage. Yes, education is the key.

  14. wannaCmore says:

    That driver needs to go swimming with the sharks! While his ‘mechanical problem’ is at least plausible (he was driving a FORD after all), it just doesn’t hold up. If his car died suddenly due to a fuel supply problem as he claimed, then he would not have been able to brake that hard. No power, no brake assist, it would have taken longer to come to a stop. It would have been less outrageous if his car had lurched into the pack from the rear. This almost sounds like it was premediated…

  15. Adrian says:

    This isn’t really a “driving” issue – it’s a case of serious assault. That’s we he should be charged with – not a driving offence.

    Riding in a pack is definitely risky in terms of avoiding the other pack riders in front of you, but the relevant issue is the distance between the pack and the car in front. In this case that doesn’t come into play because the driver in front was not in front until he swerved in front and then immediately braked. His tale of a mechanical fault is ridiculous.

  16. svenny says:

    uggg….1 mechanical failure doesn’t mean you slam on your brakes. You can let off the gas and coast. The guy was a poor driver if his first instinct when something is wrong is to do a 4 wheel lock up. Imagine trying that on a slippery road.

    Bikes being the cause of accidents??? I’m sure there are some dorks out there who disobey traffic laws because they are on bicycles and end up getting into trouble.

    But this week I was pedalling straight coming to a side road, a lady in a jeep was waiting to turn left into the side road (which would be across my path) We made I contact, she saw me, she was waiting, and just as I almost got into the junction she gunned it and turned in front of me. I grabbed both brakes quickly and scrubbed off enough speed not to T-bone her vehicle, then she sped off. How is that my fault for her impatience?
    Months before that at the same junction a BMW overtook me right at the junction to then turn right in front of me as I was heading straight. I almost smashed into his rear fender.
    Thinking back I almost wished I hadn’t have braked so well and bashed a big dent in his Beemer.
    I used to ride a Motorcycle and always cover the brake lever, car drivers appear to think that you are a small vehicle and thus don’t have as much right to the road.
    I tend to wear steel toe boots when riding, you never know when you have to kick a car’s door to let them know they CAN’T squeeze into your lane.

  17. bikesgonewild says:

    …joelguelph…i’m going to apologize for calling you a “little prick” on a public forum…it was an unfortunate choice of words on my part despite the extreme anger i felt regarding what i still consider to be an extremely insensitive approach to the subject matter…

    …as far as matt & juan who “picked up on the point i was making in the post”…i didn’t mention it in my original response but i was as incensed by their lack of sensitivity to the “actual” subject as i was at you, the journalist who created the format…

    …it’s as if all three of you lost track of the pertinent & relative facts & decided to have a little “tete a tete” that suited your own purposes…the truth is, not one of us on this forum would deny the relevancy of your statements in a different context but i still maintain that it was an ill-advised & unfortunate perception, that led you to choose a matter this sensitive to “stir the pot”…perhaps if it had been crafted differently or you had done an article from the perspective of “in light of recent developments” the response from myself & others would have been different…

    …anyway, despite my attempts to sway you, it’s not my job to tell you how to do your work but i do hope in the future that common sense will prevail even when you are trying to be insightful or”controversial”…

  18. Ghost Rider says:

    +1 and a big “AMEN” to Fixedgear’s second set of comments !!!

    JoelGuelph, I think you may be onto something with your line of questioning, though…I suspect that bicyclists ARE pretty quick to point the finger at “bad” motorist behavior, even when such may not be justified in all cases. I think a lot of us would rather blame a motorist rather than look in the mirror when any of us are actually in the wrong…I know I’ve been guilty of this from time to time!

    I only wish you had figured out a better way of starting a conversation about this — this particular case in Australia was terrifying to hear about, and your presentation of it was quite insensitive and underinformed, as Bikesgonewild so vehemently pointed out.

    By the way, plenty of jurisdictions have a “two abreast” rule if the road is wide enough to accomodate such. Bob Mionske over at Velonews.com discusses pack-riding legal issues all the time — you may want to brush up on some of his articles.

  19. Blue says:

    Svenny, I love the steel toe boots. Once my brother had a driver change lanes into his lane. He moved over to accomodate the car and then knocked on the driver’s side window. Not exactly what I would have done, but hilarious.

  20. Quinn says:

    Bicyclist may be quick to point the finger at motorist, But if we/they didn’t, bicyclist would just get beat down. I think its a good thing if motorist become wary that every bicyclist they pass will call the cops.

    The inccodent in Australia- that was clearly the motorist fault, a clear case of road rage. Everyone should realize/know (and I suspect this guy did) that a peloton is A vehicle.
    Is a spider 4 seperate bi-pedal organisms? No

  21. Elizabeth says:

    My partner was involved in this crash and was extremely shaken by it.

    I understand the point you are trying to make, but this was a clear case of road rage enacted by a delinquent driver. They were going at about 50-60km/hr in an 80km zone at 6.40am, out of peak hour and in the opposite direction to the beginning commuting vehicles heading into the city. Cars passed them on the fairly empty road about every 30 secs (indicating just how empty this road was at the time). Passing vehicles could pass safely in the adjacent lane without being slowed down or hindered. It was not an accident. Who knows why the driver did it but he has a criminal record, drove off, didn’t report the incident, is now in hiding and I doubt this is the first time he has driven dangerously or intimidated others, including motorists.

    I just wonder whether this question would be being raised if it had been an issue of road rage between motorists?

    Unfortunately, most comments against the cyclists around the web seem to be coming from people who don’t understand how these training rides work and why they ride in bunches of two abreast. Most members of the public won’t have ever watched a cycling event or even heard of our most famous professional cyclists, so most arguments about bunch riding have been treating this case as if they were talking about commuter cyclists, which most know nothing about either. The fact that the fallen cyclists were taunted by subsequent passing motorists really sums up the attitude here in Australia.

    I hope this publicity does something to educate the public rather than perpetuate the ignorance. I fear though that since the NSW Government aren’t behind the cyclists in this case it may be a lost cause!

  22. VegHead says:

    I’ll second the comments made by Fixedgear….I could care less about the guy who might be in a hurry on his way to work or wherever ….so am I.

    Actually drivers do lose it(mentally) when they’re behind a slow moving truck but then not a lot they can do when encountered with something weighing 10 tons.

    Yeah it irks me when I see cyclist riding on the sidewalk or going the wrong way in the bike lane, etc… but just like certain drivers they kind of fit into a category of their own and I think the ignorant/less educated types operating the automobile will not differentiate between the “different” types of cyclist out there where as there are certain drivers(a low % I’m sure) who totally respect that bike commuters who’s out there day in and day out.

    In a way you can sort of break it down like this:

    You’ve got the serious commuter type that follows at least 90% of the traffic laws, knows the rules applied to him and maintains excellent visibility for himself in all situations.

    Then you’ve got the road racer type decked out in full gear/decent visibility who again most likely follows all the rules applied to cyclist but at times just like the commuter might roll through a stop sign if no one is anywhere near the intersection.

    Finally you’ve got the guy wearing dark clothes, no helmet, no lights, either riding a bike too small for him or a beater mountain bike that may or may have not ever seen a mountain, riding on the sidewalk going the opposite direction of traffic who is more likely to encounter a motorist by either pulling in front of it’s path or the motorist coming not seeing that cyclist and and inadvertently mowing him down.

    Of course not all cyclist will fall into these general categories but based on simple observations in my daily commute its what I’ve come up with.

    As far as this article the driver was clearly at fault…period. No need to discuss that any further.

  23. Juan says:

    Bikesgonewild,

    First of all, you need to learn some manners. Judging from your foul language and personal attacks, you feel an anonymity behind the safety of your keyboard, similar to that which the road raging motorists out there feel behind the wheels of their cars.

    Second, my comments were directed at Stu’s post, which is why I put what he said in comments at the top. The point I was making is that being a pro cyclist, does not make you better at obeying traffic laws.

    Fixedgear said, “The theory is that when motorists see groups of cyclists behaving poorly they’ll want to take it out on the next lone cyclist that they see. I used to subscribe to that theory, but I’m not so sure any more”. Speaking from experience, I KNOW this is true. I rode into work one day to learn of the death of a coworker, so to say the least I was in a pretty down mood for my commute home. The road I was on had a very narrow shoulder, but as usual I did my best to stay clear of traffic. A large, red Dodge pickup felt I wasn’t over far enough, and swerved over towards me as he passed even though there was no traffic coming the other way. I know my actions that followed probably weren’t the smartest, but my foul mood took over and the fickle finger of fate made its appearance. The brake lights came on, he pulled over and proceeded to back up towards me VERY quickly. The first thing he said when he got out was, “Someday I’m going to get one of you bicyclists”! We had a very heated discussion, and I thought more than once it was going to come to blows. My actions caused him to pull over, but I now realize by his comments, that it was not my actions that caused him to swerve at me. He’d obviously had run-ins with other cyclists, and was taking it out on me. The name of this site practically guarantees non-cycling motorists will never read these words, but I know my actions are seen every day I ride.

    Third, how dare you make assumptions of my sensitivity to the people involved in this crime? I have had more than my share of bicycle related broken bones, stitches, dislocations and concussions, not to mention more roadrash than I’d care to remember. I’ve seen myself and all my friends hurt in racing accidents, as well as training and commuting rides. As far as the physical pain felt by the 50 in Australia, I’ve been there and feel for each and every one of them. The emotional trauma is a different story, and I’m sure none of them will feel any type of restitution, until this maniac is caught and placed behind bars. Elizabeth, I truly hope your partner is ok, and I send my best wishes.

    I apologize to everyone here for venting like this. I used to read this website often, and have recently rediscovered it. I try to post comments that are respectful to others, and possibly pass along information I have learned over the years. Public forums are no place for some of the language and comments this thread has generated. If we can’t discuss stories and ideas with each other like civilized human beings, how can we ever expect to be taken seriously by motorists and lawmakers? We’re supposed to be on the same team here.

  24. Marley says:

    To be honest, I am also astounded at the over-the-top reactions from people such as Bikesgonewild. From reading the original post from JoelGuelph, I hardly think that he is “on the driver’s side”. No one wants to hear about a large group of bikers in a serious accident, but it is very difficult to really determine what exactly happened since no one here was actually there (Elizabeth being the closest to what happened…hope your partner is ok). Some points:

    - no charges have yet been laid….since the law has not found it fit yet to lay charges, why are we all judge and jury?
    - some “facts” were hardly that…one biker said that they were pushing 60km/h and another said 40km/h
    - Jared’s point about this being an “old” pot that doesn’t need stirring….it seems that the pot has been stirred and if he doesn’t deem it worthy of discussion, then luckily everyone isn’t like him.

    I am sure that the point if this story wasn’t to determine where the guilt lies….but to open a valid discussion on a topic that is forefront in most bike commuters minds. How do we stop this terrible conflict that occurs between biker and driver at times? Very few people here have actually addressed this and instead have acted no better than the driver that likely caused this horrific accident. How did this happen? When people acted on emotion instead of reason.

  25. bikesgonewild says:

    …to anyone concerned w/ beating the dead horse…i shan’t reiterate the actual words but if you’ve been paying attention you will note the joelguelph & i have addressed each other w/ explanations & i did make an apology…i think he & i are now squaring up, not squaring off…

    …beyond that, i find freedom of expressive choice to be a beautiful thing…whether we’re all on the same page as far as basic opinion is concerned (((& hopefully as cyclist that will be true to some extent ))) , i reserve the right to allow you to express yourself in any manner you see fit…of course, i expect the same for myself & while hopefully a modicum of civility will always be applied, if i feel passionate enough about a subject then i’ll damn well say it as i see it…

    …if you personally find me not to your liking, c’est la vie…i only go to grouphugs.com when i feel the need…otherwise starkreality.com is good pour moi…

  26. Jared says:

    Marley, you are apparently to close to the wall to see the writing on it. My point about the “old” (which I never said, thanks for the misquote) pot was not just that the pot didn’t need stirring (I’ll keep the metaphor rolling here), but in fact the contents of the pot need to be thrown out. The recipe doesn’t work because the mix of ignorant/arrogant public attitudes toward cycling and the often preachy/accusatory nature of cyclists is rancid.

    As I said, if people want change, then they must stop engaging in the same old rhetoric about who’s at fault and work towards a shift in our transportation paradigm.

    Thank you, drive through please.

  27. Anne says:

    I’ve been in a car v. pedestrian accident as the driver (where the pedestrian was a stoned teenager with headphones on who walked into the side of my car…he’d been walking alongside the road, turned quickly and into my path (toward the mini mart across the street); the point of impact was my side view mirror. I was going 40 MPH. I don’t know if he was just really high, or trying to kill himself, or what, but the entire incident convinced me that no matter how carefully you try to drive, cars are potentially deadly (though the kid was fine, at school the next day). He wasn’t a cyclist, of course, but we all occasionally make mistakes and fail to follow laws regardless of the vehicle. Sometimes the motorist is at fault, and sometimes a cyclist or pedestrian is, though I’d assume that most cyclists are more careful since we are in greater danger. Sometimes the cyclist is to blame, but I don’t think that’s true in this case. I think that the truck driver’s behavior was pointed and despicable.

  28. LosFelizRider says:

    Worthy point of discussion (are bicyclists sometimes responsible for the car/bike accidents they’re involved in?) but very wrong real-life example with which to highlight the point.

    The news stories about this assault are clear: Unjustified road rage committed by a criminal. The bicyclists were NOT at fault in any way.

    My sympathies and well wishes to the injured cyclists.

    And my condemnation to the criminal who assaulted them as well as the drivers who jeered at the injured cyclists.

    It never ceases to amaze me how second-class we bicyclists are regarded. There is no contest between a bicyclist (be they racer, commuter, or migrant worker on a $25 Huffy) and a car or truck. No contest at all. It’s not ever a fair match, regardless of whose behavior (carelessness, anger, mistake) causes the collision. So why are people so quick to side with the motorist, who is cocooned in 1-2 tons of steel and glass, rather than the flesh-and-blood and 22-pounds of tubes that is the bicyclist?

    Ride on.

  29. Patrick says:

    “I have nothing against discussing the responsibility of cyclists to obey traffic laws and act respectfully on the roads, but this post is upsetting and shows really poor judgment. 50 people were almost killed by a lunatic and you are making it an example of how cyclists share the blame for road accidents?”

    QFT.

    I was in a really violent bike vs taxi accident (me being the bike) and sustained serious roadrash on 10% of my body. The taxi driver was charged with wreckless driving and im still waiting to get a new bike 1.5 months later.

    That said this is a biased article, the poster should be fucking ashamed.

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