20 August 2008

I Get Way Too Mad Too Easily At People, Or Do I?

First off I just want to start off by mentioning that I will be foregoing the usual Weekly Roundup this week, but rest assured I will have a Roundup for you next Wednesday. There really isn't too much going on, save talk about the Olympics which I just don't really want to get into right now. I guess I'm just burned out on all that is the Michael Phelps Show, formerly known as the Summer Olympics.
With that said I want to take a minute to, sort of, follow up on last weeks Weekly Roundup. In that post I talked about the joy that is riding in some less than bike friendly cities in Cleveland, but I have to admit it seems to be cake compared to what is going on in California. I caught wind of the following video that Gary borrowed from John Prolly's article that was based on an LA Times article. Phew... Or something like that. Anyway, the story goes a bit like this. Two cyclists were put in serious danger, dare I say are lucky to be alive, after a DOCTOR in Los Angeles pulled in front of them slamming on his breaks. The kicker to the story is about three months earlier a third, unrelated cyclist, filed a police report about the doctor in a similar incident and along the same stretch of road. The following video is a brief news snippet.

So once again I'll ask: What the hell is wrong with people? Seriously, what can we do as cyclists to change the world so that instances like this don't continue? What can we do to better peoples view of cyclists? We need to pool our resources and together make a difference. The positive side is there are more people who are using bicycles as a viable means of transportation. Hopefully this will also positively impact the way cyclist are viewed when there are more of us on the road.
I'd love to hear your comments. Also, if you have a good advocacy site please post that in the comments. I'd love to start a list of bicycling advocacy websites.


Jeff and Kathy said...

As cyclist, we need to do what we can to change our image to a more positive one. I have seen cyclists, (myself included) blow through stop lights, ride on the wrong side of the road, ride at night with no lights, ride four abreast etc. While this does not excuse the Doctor's actions, it doesn't help our cause very well either. What we can do as individuals is to know and be respectful of the traffic laws as they apply to us and motorists, break down to single file to allow approaching traffic to pass (especially on two lane winding roads) and use hand signals to alert drivers of our intentions.
Unfortunately there will always be drivers like the Doctor and cyclist who are less than friendly towards motorists, if we go out as cyclists or motorists,with our mind set on respecting others on the road. We can make a positive impact one ride/drive at a time.

Harp said...

The comment above pretty much sums it all up. Both sides of the coin need to learn to co-exist on the road. Unfortunetly I think we are always going to have people like this idiot dr around causeing problems.

Blue said...

This is not about cycling, its about attempted murder or assault with a deadly weapon.

The answer is to severly punish those who do things like this.

If the man had been prosecuted for his previous assault of cyclists, this would not have happened.

yeahdog said...

Amen to Jeff and Kathy's post. Most of us could do a much better job on the road at obeying the traffic laws; if we want to be treated as legitimate traffic, we must act like it. Sad thing is, you have drivers and pedestrians who are just as lax about the rules of the road, but with the exception of the rare fit of insane road rage, people don't seem to get as angry about these non-cyclist scofflaws.
I think we as cyclists have to be aware that there are people out there like this doctor who actually get some kind of pleasure in threatening harm to us on the road (I have a feeling that most of these people intend to scare us off but don't realize how easily they can misjudge time, balance, and speed and kill us), and be 100% more cautious and observant of potential threats. I know that takes a lot of the joy out of carefree riding, but it's probably worth the increase in personal safety. Not many people sharing the road with us are looking out for us, so we need to look out for ourselves.

Lazy Lowrydr said...

http://www.iowabicyclecoalition.org here's one to add to your listings. Love to read your stuff.