Jaybikers

The other day I was waiting at a red light while a flood cyclists passed by me in every direction. It was a particularly long red, and car traffic was lower than normal. And I’m glad there has been such and increase in biking. However I witnessed several close calls because no one was operating by the same set of rules:

Jaybikers

It seemed their main concern was to get from A to B in the shortest, quickest way possible. But it got me thinking about the mindset. There is vehicular cycling, and then there is a more pedestrian approach…

Jaybikers

 

However if you’re just out to get places as fast as possible and not willing to rest on a red, you may just be on a collision course. Stop at a red light sometime and watch what almost happens.

 

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72 Comments on "Jaybikers"

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mech1
3 years 6 months ago

Wow this is really cool!

I thought that this kind of silly cycling is popular in just my country (Czech Republic in the middle of Europe). But seems that it’s worldwide illness?!
Two of them maked me laugh – lycra cool enough and the flying one :-DDD
Seriuosly I see those kinds at my daily commute.

Anyway thank you! Love your job. Pretty nice. Wish I can comment my experiences in the same way you did …

3 years 6 months ago

I recognize this situation. Here there are lots of cycling clubs who purely go for speed. Thinking everybody will / must give them right of way. They give cyclist a bad reputation if you ask me.

3 years 6 months ago

My attitude: there are laws and rules of the road, and integrated cycling techniques that take advantage of those road rules to make cycling very simple and very safe. It’s not all that burdensome to learn the law and follow these rules and guidelines – and doing so could save one’s life. I’ve been cycling for 40 years and over 20,000 miles, and in all that time and distance I’ve never once had a crash on the road. That doesn’t happen by chance. It happens through cycling visibly, predictably and carefully, and using the rules that all road users are… Read more »

Connor
3 years 1 month ago

I’ve been road cycling for 3 years and over 25,000 miles, I ride both ways. If you don’t crash on the road, then you’re probably in a better place to cycle than me. There are times in which I have been forced to blow stop signs because some guy in a massive 4×4 is chasing me yelling “SPANDEX FAG” Really loudly and trying to run me over. I’m in Orange County, CA. This place rocks.

3 years 6 months ago

By the way, the cyclist who’s ‘following the law exactly’ is not. He’s too close to the curb. The law in almost every state expects cyclists to take the lane on narrow lanes like the one in the cartoon, to avoid close passes and to remove the threat of right hooks. If that were a real truck, that cyclist would most likely be in the truck driver’s blind spot and would be in danger of being crushed if the driver chose to turn right. On a multi-lane roadway, a cyclist following the law exactly would have been in a position… Read more »

Jen T
3 years 6 months ago

Ian Brett Cooper, I am glad you pointed that out, because I would definitely pull way out of that driver’s blind spot, but in Mass, he’s not breaking the law. Mass bike law is pretty short of actual content. In Mass, the laws pertaining to cycling are all in one short series of sections – MGL ch. 85, sec. 11B-11E. Two of those sections deal with helmets, one deals with fines for violations, and only one – sec. 11B – deals with actual traffic laws. http://www.malegislature.gov/Laws/GeneralLaws/PartI/TitleXIV/Chapter85/Section11B The law is skimpy; basically, it says bikes have to follow standard vehicular traffic… Read more »

3 years 6 months ago

@ Jen T: You’re right – he’s not technically breaking the law. Not the letter of the law. But in my view, he’s breaking the spirit of the law, which aims to keep road users safe. As you rightly point out, in MA, the law has no provision requiring cyclists to ride farther right. And this is what I was referring to with my assertion that he wasn’t riding according to the law. You do not have to ride far right in Mass. As for the idea that MA law is not useful, I completely disagree. The fact that MA… Read more »

Ralph S. Sturgen
3 years 6 months ago

@ Jen T: MassBike has been active over the past several years. There is no longer an “as far to the right as practicable” law – making use of the full lane legal. Bicyclists are no longer required to ride single file. We may operate our bicycle (defined as a vehicle) on any street, road, way, etc., except for limited access highways which are marked to prohibit bicyclists. Each municipality is required to define their business district. Thus it cannot be defined in the state law. In general, to frame the discussion as a matter of “cars” and “bicycles” is… Read more »

Jen T
3 years 6 months ago

Hi Ralph! No, I know, I didn’t mean that to come off sounding so critical, I was still drinking my coffee. I appreciate all of MassBike’s efforts, and I have carefully followed all the changes in the law. I would just love to see a push to make a big a change – I know starting with smaller changes to those obviously problematic laws was the way to go, but there still needs to be a major overhaul, and I feel like there is finally some momentum to push for it! Re: business districts, that phrase appears in many bike… Read more »

Steven Goodridge
3 years 6 months ago

I noticed that too; never stop curbside at a red light beside traffic that might turn right, especially trucks, which will trail to the inside of the turn and take you out. When going straight, always stop ing the center of the general purpose through lane to wait for the green light. If the lane is wide enough to share side by side with other drivers, or if there is a curbside bike lane, wait until you get to the other side of the intersection before you move to the right again. Lots of people get hurt by right turning… Read more »

bostonperson whohasbike
3 years 6 months ago

unless I know I can get out front, I never stop immediately to the right of the first car at a light – I typically stop where the second car can see me but slightly behind the first car – it’s safer because I can let the first car do whatever without being in their blind spot, and the second car can see me so they’ll be more likely to let me go before they turn. I ALWAYS stay behind trucks and buses at lights. for left hand turns (non-turn lanes) I just take the whole lane b/c I don’t… Read more »

3 years 6 months ago

Oregon law states that you must ride ‘as far to the right as practically possible’ or something like that. So essentially, it’s up to everyone’s interpretation at the moment what that means, and of course, the person on the bike, and the person in the car behind them may have different ideas as to what is practically safe – not to mention a judge in a courthouse. It’s not illegal to take the full lane, but if you are determined to be ‘impeding the reasonable flow of traffic’ when you potentially could have been (in someone’s eyes) getting out of… Read more »

3 years 6 months ago

In practice, what the law means is determined by a police officer and then finally by the judge in a court. Sadly, police officers and judges tend not to be cyclists, so they are often ignorant regarding what is safe and practicable for a cyclist on the road. This is further complicated by the fact that cycling safety is often unintuitive – what looks safe (i.e. riding in the gutter or on the sidewalk) often isn’t, while what looks dangerous (i.e. riding well away from the curb) is often safest. This is why cycling advocates are trying to get ‘Far… Read more »

Jeff C
3 years 6 months ago

Taking the lane is still an act of courage in Boston (though drivers have become much less road-ragey when I do this in the last couple of years).

I always tell myself that when somebody behind me in a car honks at me when I take the lane I’m just going to slow down to punish them for their lack of patience and respect but I also realize that cars can easily turn into weapons in the hands of a drive at wits end.

3 years 6 months ago

Cycling with a smile helps too, though it’s not required by law.

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