View Poll Results: What is your opinion of Critical Mass

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  • Great -- we need freedom fighters for cyclists

    1 8.33%
  • OK - but they need to be more considerate of others

    5 41.67%
  • Against - like the idea, but don't approve of how they do it

    3 25.00%
  • Dislike - they are little more than cycle terrorists

    3 25.00%
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Thread: What do you think of Critical Mass?

  1. #11
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    Re: What do you think of Critical Mass?

    Quote Originally Posted by ludahai View Post
    Actually, in states where I have lived, roads are paid for out of the general fund.

    Again, roads are paid for out of the general fund in most cases. I have never heard of a state that dedicates road construction solely out of registration/fuel taxes.
    Depends on the state, depends on the specifics. Compared to the taxes the bicyclist pays, the motorist is paying through the nose for the roads. The ostensible purpose of fuel taxes is road maintenance construction. Bicyclists pay no comparable tax.

    A significant fraction of the cost of operating a motor vehicle is paying taxes that go to funding roads. Cyclists pay no similar tax.

    But let's skip that and go to your next statements. For simplicity I'll concede your argument has merit.

    The law disagrees with you. In most, if not all states, bicycles have full rights to the road as their motorized counterparts, and in most (if not all cases) have full rights to use the lane they are in.

    Cyclists pay taxes too and have the right to use the roads safely.
    Yes they do have the privilege to use the roads in a safe manner that does not impede the safe use of the roads by others who make different technological choices in how to best use the MOTORWAYS for themselves.

    So, people on bikes should not be able to block traffic lanes. I understand perfectly, from both sides, the hazards of riding a bike on a narrow lane with some ass driver popping his door out just as the bike rider is coming up, with a car coming up behind him. Due caution by all parties is always essential, on the part of the idiot opening the door (he could have looked first - I do - and waited) and the biker has to be aware so he can have the time to choose to swerve into a traffic lane to avoid hitting the door or he can brake, and the car driver who sees the parked car and the bike and has to be aware of what may happen, so he too can swerve or brake...with his additional hazard of whatever is happening in the lane to his left.

    But, people on bicycles should not presume because they have the privilege to share the road (all operation of vehicles on public roads is a privelege, not a right) that they can abuse that by pedalling in the center of a lane at 15 mph and thus blocking a car from travelling a posted faster limit. That's just abusive. In a narrow lane situation, caution is required. If it's possible for the biker to shift right and thus allow the faster vehicle to pass, he's obligated by courtesy, in states where it's not law, to get the hell out of the way.

    Hey, I've got no issues at all against anyone riding a bicycle. If I lived just a few miles closer to work, I'd be pedalling, too. Great exercise. But when I did ride a bike, I did make sure I wasn't obnoxious, and I made damn sure I didn't offer any motorist a free opportunity to smear my butt over the asphalt.



    On this point, I agree. However, please do not demonize all cyclists based on the actions of Critical Mass.
    Oh, I hope you didn't get that impression. I'm impressed as hell at someone who can pedal at 20 mph or more. And almost all serious bikers are courteous and safety conscious. They get the "skid marks", after all.

    [qoute]Yes to following the rules of the road. However, in most states, biccyles are not required to keep as close to the right of the road as possible. Cycles have full rights to use the lane they are travelling in. Bicyclists have to be very wary of the door zone and many times will be a few feet into the road more than you think they should be because they have to worry about the potential of a door swinging open and knocking them onto the pavement.[/quote]

    The law should require them to move to allow faster traffic to pass, just as is done on the freeway.

    Don't forget the chance of the jackass pulling out from the parking lot halfway into the lane, cutting off the invisible biker. (BTW, I wrecked a perfectly good Celica when someone pulled that trick across a three lane street to stop blocking both lanes in front of me. There's no accounting for what truly stupid - on in this case a moron seeking an insurance payout - will do.)

    ANYONE on the road is subject to unexpected hazards. I contend the biker so overly concerned with the infrequent but real hazard of doors flying open is ignorin the greater risks with the more realistic and likely hazard of getting tagged by the front bumper of an unobserant driver. He's on the road, he has to be realistic and make reasonable compromises. It's not realistic nor reasonable to block the right lane if the opposite lane has oncoming traffic that prevents drivers in his flow from moving around him.

    Well, we can go back and forth all day on this one. I just saying the biker has to excercise judgement based on both safety and courtesy so that his use of the road does not unreasonably infringe on the freedom of others to use the same road with their vehicle of choice. That's all I ask from anyone.

  2. #12
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    Re: What do you think of Critical Mass?

    Quote Originally Posted by ludahai View Post
    YouTube - Vancouver Critical Mass - 2000 bikes

    Here is one of the more benign ones... No violence in this clip...

    YouTube - Car Runs over bicycle At Critical Mass ride

    This one was not so smooth... but the driver here was pretty over the top...
    And why do people on bikes insist on blocking traffic lanes?

    That second video did show a strange event, why did the driver go over the center divider to get into that lane? That's clearly a sign he's either disturbed or in a hurry. Was there some reason the guy on the bike, who shouldn't have been in the left lane anyway, couldn't move his ass over to let the lunatic go past?

    The video didn't show. What's the possiblity that the biker braked deliberately and forced the nut in the car to hit him? That possibility is greater than zero, I'm afraid. So we, the viewer, can't say for certain what happened.

    And it's those kinds of interactions that make me opposed to uncontrolled bicycle parties on busy thoroughfares.

    They're inherently unfair to other people who want to use the roads.

  3. #13
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    Re: What do you think of Critical Mass?

    Quote Originally Posted by Scarecrow Akhbar View Post
    Depends on the state, depends on the specifics. Compared to the taxes the bicyclist pays, the motorist is paying through the nose for the roads. The ostensible purpose of fuel taxes is road maintenance construction. Bicyclists pay no comparable tax.

    A significant fraction of the cost of operating a motor vehicle is paying taxes that go to funding roads. Cyclists pay no similar tax.
    Also remember the expense of maintaining roads is needed because of the wear and tear on the roads. A car puts far more wear and tear on a road than a bicycle ever will. If everyone rode bicycles, there would be far less road work necessary.

    Yes they do have the privilege to use the roads in a safe manner that does not impede the safe use of the roads by others who make different technological choices in how to best use the MOTORWAYS for themselves.
    Not going to argue with that. There are different vehicles on the road with different capabilities. We should all respect one another.

    So, people on bikes should not be able to block traffic lanes.
    Define "block traffic lanes." In town, I am as often, if not more often, blocked by slower moving cars. In town, I am every bit as fast as most cars during most hours of the day.

    I understand perfectly, from both sides, the hazards of riding a bike on a narrow lane with some ass driver popping his door out just as the bike rider is coming up, with a car coming up behind him. Due caution by all parties is always essential, on the part of the idiot opening the door (he could have looked first - I do - and waited) and the biker has to be aware so he can have the time to choose to swerve into a traffic lane to avoid hitting the door or he can brake, and the car driver who sees the parked car and the bike and has to be aware of what may happen, so he too can swerve or brake...with his additional hazard of whatever is happening in the lane to his left.
    Which is why I stay out of the door zone. If that means that I am riding in the middle of the lane, so be it. Change lanes and pass me legally.


    But, people on bicycles should not presume because they have the privilege to share the road (all operation of vehicles on public roads is a privelege, not a right) that they can abuse that by pedalling in the center of a lane at 15 mph and thus blocking a car from travelling a posted faster limit. That's just abusive.
    Then change lanes into the faster lane. So long as the bike is on the inside lane and is operating safely and in a manner consistent with the law, then it is incumbant on the motorist to change lanes to pass the bicycle.

    In a narrow lane situation, caution is required. If it's possible for the biker to shift right and thus allow the faster vehicle to pass, he's obligated by courtesy, in states where it's not law, to get the hell out of the way.
    Which I do when it is safe. I don't get too many problems from motorists largely because I maintain a pace higher than most other cyclists and I do pull over when I can.

    Hey, I've got no issues at all against anyone riding a bicycle. If I lived just a few miles closer to work, I'd be pedalling, too. Great exercise. But when I did ride a bike, I did make sure I wasn't obnoxious, and I made damn sure I didn't offer any motorist a free opportunity to smear my butt over the asphalt.
    Most drivers aren't obnoxious, but the ones that are ruin it for everyone else. The same is true of cyclists.


    Oh, I hope you didn't get that impression. I'm impressed as hell at someone who can pedal at 20 mph or more. And almost all serious bikers are courteous and safety conscious. They get the "skid marks", after all.
    On my group workout on Wed morning, I rode 57km with the group at an average of just over 20mph and in a triathlon, I cover the 90km in about 20-22 mph depending on the terrain...

    The law should require them to move to allow faster traffic to pass, just as is done on the freeway.
    Only if it is safe to do so. Problem is when cars double-park illegally or make illegal stops on the side of the road that force cyclists out into the middle of the lane...

    Don't forget the chance of the jackass pulling out from the parking lot halfway into the lane, cutting off the invisible biker. (BTW, I wrecked a perfectly good Celica when someone pulled that trick across a three lane street to stop blocking both lanes in front of me. There's no accounting for what truly stupid - on in this case a moron seeking an insurance payout - will do.)
    Too many Darwin awards to be given out, to be sure... Idiots on all modes of transportation...

    ANYONE on the road is subject to unexpected hazards. I contend the biker so overly concerned with the infrequent but real hazard of doors flying open is ignorin the greater risks with the more realistic and likely hazard of getting tagged by the front bumper of an unobserant driver. He's on the road, he has to be realistic and make reasonable compromises. It's not realistic nor reasonable to block the right lane if the opposite lane has oncoming traffic that prevents drivers in his flow from moving around him.
    I don't know what roads are like where you are, but large numbers of roads in the city where I live have multiple lanes (and I try to stick to those roads unless I have to use a narrower road to get to my destination).

    Well, we can go back and forth all day on this one. I just saying the biker has to excercise judgement based on both safety and courtesy so that his use of the road does not unreasonably infringe on the freedom of others to use the same road with their vehicle of choice. That's all I ask from anyone.
    Which is exactly what I try to do...

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  4. #14
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    Re: What do you think of Critical Mass?

    Quote Originally Posted by Scarecrow Akhbar View Post
    And why do people on bikes insist on blocking traffic lanes?

    That second video did show a strange event, why did the driver go over the center divider to get into that lane? That's clearly a sign he's either disturbed or in a hurry. Was there some reason the guy on the bike, who shouldn't have been in the left lane anyway, couldn't move his ass over to let the lunatic go past?

    The video didn't show. What's the possiblity that the biker braked deliberately and forced the nut in the car to hit him? That possibility is greater than zero, I'm afraid. So we, the viewer, can't say for certain what happened.

    And it's those kinds of interactions that make me opposed to uncontrolled bicycle parties on busy thoroughfares.

    They're inherently unfair to other people who want to use the roads.
    Which is why I am not a fan of Critical Mass...
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    Re: What do you think of Critical Mass?

    Davis, CA is an interesting town to drive in. It has more bikes than cars if I remember correctly, so there's always cyclists in your way.
    The Makeout Hobo is real, and does indeed travel around the country in his van and make out with ladies... If you meet the Makeout Hobo, it is customary to greet him with a shot of whiskey and a high five (if you are a dude) or passionate makeouts (if you are a lady).

  6. #16
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    Re: What do you think of Critical Mass?

    Quote Originally Posted by the makeout hobo View Post
    Davis, CA is an interesting town to drive in. It has more bikes than cars if I remember correctly, so there's always cyclists in your way.
    Or there are always cars in your way, depending upon your perspective...
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  7. #17
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    Re: What do you think of Critical Mass?

    Many states post that bicycles are not allowed on the interstate highways because there is posted a minimum speed limit. On all other roads, only a maximum speed is posted. We all know what maximum means right? Yes, that it's legal to go from 0 MPH to the maximum speed. Why is everyone in such a hurry that they can't share the road with slower vehicles? Besides, some bike riders get up to pretty impressive speeds.

    I ride a chopped Harley, so I'm able to go with the flow. I'd be scared to death to ride a slower bicycle in today's city traffic. Why do cagers think that the sun rises and sets in their assholes? Share the ****ing road.
    Last edited by d0gbreath; 07-09-10 at 09:34 AM.

  8. #18
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    Re: What do you think of Critical Mass?

    Quote Originally Posted by ludahai View Post
    For those who don't know, Critical Mass is a movement of cyclists that grew in the United States but has now spread throughout much of the world. They claim to be fighting for road rights for cyclists, but many critics say that they are not following the rules themselves and do more harm than good.

    What do you think of this?
    I am ok with cyclists as long as they do not get in my way with their slowness.

  9. #19
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    Re: What do you think of Critical Mass?

    Quote Originally Posted by Mickey Shane View Post
    Many states post that bicycles are not allowed on the interstate highways because there is posted a minimum speed limit. On all other roads, only a maximum speed is posted. We all know what maximum means right? Yes, that it's legal to go from 0 MPH to the maximum speed. Why is everyone in such a hurry that they can't share the road with slower vehicles? Besides, some bike riders get up to pretty impressive speeds.

    I ride a chopped Harley, so I'm able to go with the flow. I'd be scared to death to ride a slower bicycle in today's city traffic. Why do cagers think that the sun rises and sets in their assholes? Share the ****ing road.
    I have never seen a bicycle on an Interstate highway back in the States. Here, on expressways, they are not permitted either.

    I would prefer to enjoy the air around me rather than be trapped inside a hulk of metal all day...
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  10. #20
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    Re: What do you think of Critical Mass?

    Quote Originally Posted by megaprogman View Post
    I am ok with cyclists as long as they do not get in my way with their slowness.
    and I suppose I am ok with cars so long as they don't slow me down during rush hour...
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