Tuesday, July 22, 2008

Bike Shenanigans

Yesterday at about 6:30 I noticed a strange occurrence on 14th Street. There was a guy on a bike who slapped a car pulling out from the curb, yelling "F%(# you!" or something like that at the car. The car went about 50 feet then stopped, and the biker stopped. They waited a bit, like gunslingers, then the bike guy started to ride again. He started to turn around, then the driver got out of the car, and the biker sped off in the opposite direction.

As far as I could tell, there wasn't any damage to the car, and the biker looked like a normal guy, not a weirdo. I couldn't tell who was at fault, but the bike rider was pretty angry.

Anybody have any issues with cars or bikes on the street of Columbia Heights?


  1. Cars keep cutting in front of bikes, even if the biker is on the painted biking lane. Drives me nuts.

    Having said that, us bikers run red lights like crazy, maneuvre into tight spots between cars etc. Must drive car drives nuts.

    Result - shouting and virtual gun fights.

  2. are you kidding me? too many issues to list

  3. It's a problem. Cars are only used to looking for peds and other cars rather than bikes hauling ass in their blind spots at 15mph. Meanwhile bicyclists think they can pick which laws of the road apply to them in an ala carte fashion. Bikers want the rights of cars when it's advantageous for them. However they also want stop lights and stop signs to only signify yield for them.

    Heck, just look what Viipottaja said "Cars keep cutting in front of bikes, even if the biker is on the painted biking lane." Cars cut in front of other cars too. This is part of driving. Much like a bicyclist, a motorcycle rider is always going to bear the brunt of a crash with a car. Yet I don't hear them whining about cars all the time. If you are on the road and your method of transport puts you at a safety disadvantage then drive/bike defensively.

  4. Cars suck when I'm riding my bike. Bikes suck when I'm driving my car.

  5. Bikers often bike on the far right side of traffic. They do this to yield the right lane to cars and help speed traffic. Perhaps this is a poor choice and they should bike defensively (ie in the center of the rightmost lane). Many cars pull partway out of spots before they check traffic. This sets up a blocade in front of the biker causing them to need to jam on the breaks. This is turn can cause the back wheel to swing out to the left or right, potentially pushing them into traffic. The driver is putting someone else's life in danger. It sounds like a slightly less intense version of that series of events happened here. It should be worth at least 4 points on a license, potentially an immediate suspension for cars to pull out without adequately checking for cars, pedestrians, and bicycles.

  6. "Meanwhile bicyclists think they can pick which laws of the road apply to them in an ala carte fashion."

    To some extent, though clearly not to the extent that some bikers wish, laws allow bikers to choose whether, at a given moment, they prefer to use pedestrian or vehicle rules. In most of DC (not the downtown business district) bikes may either us the traffic lanes, or sidewalks. they may cross in crosswalks or in traffic.

  7. As a pedestrian, bikes are the most annoying thing on the road/sidewalk given their typical speed and tendancy to go the wrong way down one way streets. As a driver, other drivers are more annoying and obstructive than bicycles.


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