Santa Cruz cyclist responds to reader’s call for manners among bike riders

Dear Street Smarts, Regarding today’s column, I’m sure the letter writer saw something that bothered her, but I would be willing to bet the cyclists’ side of the story is very different than what the witness thinks happened. For example, just as you wouldn’t step in front of a speeding car to cross the street, the wheelchair person may not have seen the cyclists, or misjudged how fast they were going, and cut in front of them, forcing them to swerve and almost crash. I bet that’s what happened because it happens all the time to me on rides. People just don’t look for or see cyclists because they’re worried mostly about cars -- same thing with motorcycles. In that scenario, it’s easy to understand the cyclists’ reaction, and it’s the wheelchair person who was at fault for not looking and cutting them off. A more useful/helpful/educational response to this letter then would have been to explain how important it is to be careful when entering a bike lane, explain how bikes travel faster than it seems and can’t stop that fast, either. Then, printing the letter writer’s unrelated negative comments about cyclists not stopping at stop signs only fuels more hatred towards cyclists. And with cyclists being killed on a regular basis in Santa Cruz County it would be the considerate and responsible thing to omit those unrelated slurs, as the wheelchair incident did not occur at a stop sign. At risk out on our roads on two wheels, Jim Langley, Santa Cruz
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6 Responses to Santa Cruz cyclist responds to reader’s call for manners among bike riders

  1. Anonymous says:

    In regards to Jim Langley’s letter:nnnnTalk about unrelated slurs:u00a0 nnnnCyclists are not being killed on a regular basis.u00a0 If cyclists are hatedn as much as Mr. Langley suggests, then there would be a much higher nstatistic in this regard.u00a0 Granted, that we are supposed to be double nthe state’s average (second highest), but 75 incidents per 100,000 of nINJURY-fatality rates (regardless of fault) does not suggest this nongoing slaughter.u00a0 Perhaps this statistic is high because our communityn supports anarchistic cycling practices.u00a0 He doesn’t mention how ncyclists crash head-on to each other and cars when they disregard rules nof the road.u00a0 He doesn’t mention how cyclists are the primary reason forn hit-and-runs which involve crashing into pedestrians.nnnnSee this week’s Santa Cruz Weekly:nnnnhttp://news.santacruz.com/2011/06/14/cyclists_death_underscores_grim_statistics

  2. Anonymous says:

    In regards to Jim Langeley’s letter:nnTalk about unrelated slurs:u00a0 nnCyclists are not being killed on a regular basis.u00a0 If cyclists are hated as much as Mr. Langeley suggests, then there would be a much higher statistic in this regard.u00a0 Granted, that we are supposed to be double the state’s average (second highest), but 75 incidents per 100,000 of INJURY-fatality rates (regardless of fault) does not suggest this ongoing slaughter.u00a0 Perhaps this statistic is high because our community supports anarchistic cycling practices.u00a0 He doesn’t mention how cyclists crash head-on to each other and cars when they disregard rules of the road.u00a0 He doesn’t mention how cyclists are the primary reason for hit-and-runs which involve crashing into pedestrians.nnSee this week’s Santa Cruz Weekly:nnhttp://news.santacruz.com/2011/06/14/cyclists_death_underscores_grim_statistics

  3. Westb says:

    “anarchistic cycling practices”? Do tell.n”how cyclists crash head-on to each other and cars when they disregard rules of the road”? Data please.nnWithout data, it’s just heresey and adds fuel to the fire in regards to the car/bike “fued”, which isn’t helpful to either cause. As someone that rides as many miles as I drive, both in Santa Cruz proper and surrounding mountains, here is what i have observed:nn1. Drivers don’t always know that cyclists not only must obey the same rules of the CVC (california vehicle code), but opperate under the same priveleges as well. This meansu00a0bikes can ride in the lane as long as they don’t obstruct traffic.nn2. Cyclists need to place emphasis on being seen. This includes lights (day or night), reflectors and loud colored clothing. Unfortunately, this doesn’t always work, and a loud/colorful mouth is required. In a bike vs car incident the car wins 100% of the time, so I’m not sorry if being vocal when a car is impatient and unsafely cuts me off offends the ears of the public. My safety comes first. I would act no different if I was in a car being cut off. nn3. Cars & bikes need to obey traffic laws – period. And it goes both ways. The most recent nearu00a0incidents I have witnessed have involved drivers blowing stop lights, unsafely pulling into bike lanes and rolling stop signs. So, Pot meet Kettle. We both are responsible for this.nn4. The homeless. Having drunks careening through parking lots crashing into people/other cyclists does not qualify as ‘cyclists crashing into eachother’. They are equally as dangerous as a car yet I have not seen that mentioned as a problem. Taboo or not, it is a safety concern for cars, cyclists and pedestrians. Period.nn5. Sharing the road (not enough bike paths and tourists). The bike paths in SC are a great way to get across town – unless you need to go somewhere where there isn’t a bike path. Then you share a lot of miles with cars on surface streets. Add in the tourist season/lost drivers and riding agressive is required to be seen & protect yourself. Don’t think so? Go spend a weekend riding in San Francisco, then come talk to me.nnCars and bikes can co-exist, this is not the issue. The egos on both sides need to be checked as bothu00a0are equally entitled to the road – not one side more than the other. Unfortunately, every time there is an incident, its the cyclist that loses (injury/death). Please share the road & drive/ride safe.

  4. Kcar69 says:

    “printing the letter writeru2019s unrelated negative comments about cyclists nnot stopping at stop signs only fuels more hatred towards cyclists”nnMaybe if they would start stopping at stop signs, there would be less “Hatred”nn”omit those unrelated slurs, as the wheelchair incident did not occur at a stop sign.”nnI bet you would love to have that part “omitted” but life doesn’t work that way. The scenario happened within sight of a stop sign and both riders blew it off. Fact Jack. No Omitting allowed!

  5. Anonymous says:

    “Do Tell”:nnhttp://www.peoplepowersc.org/newsletter/2005/051013_guerrilla.lassonnhttp://www.santacruzhub.org/issue32.pdfnnhttp://cfu.freehostia.com/Members/colin/criticalMassRap/nnhttp://www.metrosantacruz.com/metro-santa-cruz/04.05.06/bike-0614.htmlnnhttp://shine.yahoo.com/channel/food/farm-to-table-visionary-jim-denevan-is-gardenless-2406053nnhttp://soiliewatch.wordpress.com/about/nnhttp://www.midnightridazz.com/forums.php?topicId=3196&pgnum=56nnhttp://santacruzcrankmob.blogspot.com/2008_05_01_archive.htmlnnnn”Data please”:nnhttp://www.ridemonkey.com/forums/archive/index.php/t-203676.htmlnnhttp://santacruzwire.com/index.php/university-life/287-bike-wrecks-spur-campus-concern.htmlnnhttp://www.santacruzwire.com/index.php/la-vida-local/21-la-vida-local/273-bike-traffic-school-tough-love-on-two-wheels.html?tmpl=component&print=1&page=nnI couldn’t find info about how two cyclists both ran stop signs on campus and crashed head-onu00a0 within the last year.nnYes, there are angels and devils on both sides of the issue.u00a0 Everyone needs to practice:u00a0 Courtesy, Common-Sense, Caution.nnnnnnnnnn

  6. Westb says:

    I guess we have different definitions of “anarchistic” and “cyclists crashing head on” based on the info you provided. Way different (not sure how sit in’s to watch movies at unused industrial spaces 5-6years ago applies at all today or is specific to cyclists as a whole) – and I’m sure our definitions of speeding/wreckless driving are different too. Stupidity, lack of common senseu00a0and anarchy are not one in the same.nnWhile I agree w/ you on the critical mass/breaking stuff, generally speaking, any group (cars, motorcycles, bikes, etc) that follows the rules of the CVC is fine, even if others don’t like it.

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