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Reader shares story of bike path rage on Hawthorne Bridge

Posted by on January 9th, 2013 at 2:56 pm

Summer bike traffic-3-3
Traffic on the Hawthorne Bridge
path can get dicey… and nasty.
(Photo © J. Maus/BikePortland)

We’ve all felt it: You’re riding along on a crowded bikeway and sense someone is coming up fast from behind. Do you speed up? Ignore them? Merge to the right as fast as possible? Just maintain your speed until you can safely get out of the way?

We just heard from a reader who was in this position — and it didn’t turn out well at all. Let’s call him Kevin (he wants to stay anonymous). Kevin says he was biking eastbound on the Hawthorne Bridge path yesterday around 6:00 pm when it happened. I’ll let him share the details:

“A slower bike was in front of me. She stayed in the bike lane and didn’t make room. There were some pedestrians, some of them in the bike lane too [the bridge paths are 10.5 feet wide and shared by walkers and bikers]. I noticed a guy close behind me, so made room by riding on the pedestrian side whenever possible, but he didn’t make an attempt to pass.

Halfway over the bridge, he started calling me the worst names and screamed I should move over. Because of more pedestrians and the other bike, I was forced to continue. It’s maybe worth adding that we didn’t go slow by any means. The bike in front of me took the “OMSI” exit at the end of the bridge. So when there was finally room, the dude behind passed me like a mad man, screaming and yelling at me. He then cut me off and wanted to get off his bike, but got all tangled up and tipped over on the sidewalk in his apparent rage. At that point, I decided to avoid any kind of confrontation with this mad man and rode off.

If anybody witnessed this, I’d be curious to hear their perspective. He was maybe 50, with a white beard, a yellow jacket, and messenger bag.”

What Kevin experienced could be the result of someone simply letting out their stress after a bad day at work; but this kind of riding behavior is, unfortunately, not uncommon.

Reader Natalie Baker shared with us on Twitter today that she recently heard a nasty exchange between two riders behind her while waiting for the light on NW Lovejoy at the Broadway Bridge. “Every couple seconds,” she recalled, “this one guy would break the silence and loudly say something like, ‘Don’t forget to leave room,’ in this bizarre, taunting way as if he was trying to pick a fight, to the woman next to him. She’d respond, annoyed, with something along the lines of, ‘Don’t tell me how to ride,’ and they just kept going back and forth.”

“I couldn’t believe this kind of BS was happening among bike riders,” Natalie said, “I generally chalk up road rage to frustration from being trapped motionless in a tiny metal enclosure.” After a while she even turned around and asked the guy to “quit being a jerk.” (It didn’t have much impact.)

The fact remains there’s a large disparity of skills and speeds among people who share our bikeways. Back in 2007 we published an essay by veteran messenger John “Dabby” Campbell that explained why some people like to ride fast and urged everyone to co-exist peacefully.

To me, the problem is likely a mixture of people simply being jerks and a lack of space to ride freely. In a car, you can usually swerve and go around someone in a different lane; but on a bike there is often not the same amount of space to operate. On dedicated paths like the Esplanade, a similar phenomenon plays out with fast-riding “pathletes” swooping by more leisure-focused traffic.

For Kevin, he’s still trying to figure out if he did anything wrong. “Should I have stayed in the bike lane so he could pass me on my right in the pedestrian lane?” he asked. “I don’t even know… I have never been yelled at by a bicyclists so far. It was bad.”

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Comments
  • jocko January 9, 2013 at 3:03 pm

    A lot of adults are still big stupid babies.

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    • Spiffy January 9, 2013 at 3:54 pm

      I would have said big stupid poo-poo heads, but yeah… (:

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      • A.K. January 10, 2013 at 10:09 am

        Doodie heads!

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  • SilkySlim January 9, 2013 at 3:04 pm

    I have only had the most congenial experiences over my last, I dunno, 2,000 trips over the Hawthorne Bridge.

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  • Allan January 9, 2013 at 3:05 pm

    Its the most depressing time of year. Credit card bills for presents are coming due. Just give folks some slack.

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  • Luke January 9, 2013 at 3:07 pm

    It’s disheartening to hear cyclists being volatile to other cyclists. We face enough adversity out there that we don’t need to turn on each other. In my humble opinion if you’re looking to get where you’re going as quickly, and with as little regard for others as possible, you should probably turn to other options for your commute. Cycling is for the thoughtful, patient minority.

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  • Esther January 9, 2013 at 3:09 pm

    I agree with your overall sentiment and with the fact that we need more roadway for bikes and pedestrians on the Hawthorne bridge. another problem is not just the harassment but the simple fact of people tailgating me on the bridge. It is dangerous and illegal in/on ANY vehicle.

    I’m a relatively slow and defensive driver and biker, so on the freeway I just cruise along in the right or middle lane and let people pass me as necessary rather than tailgating me. With only one effective ‘lane’ on the Hawthorne at rush hour, I get VERY nervous with people riding close behind me in case I have to stop suddenly or in case a pedestrian suddenly passes another pedestrian.

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    • Sunny January 9, 2013 at 3:17 pm

      little old lady syndrome

      Sunny. Please be careful with your comments. I left this one up because Esther dealt with it with such aplomb. Also, you’ll notice you have been placed on auto-moderation. I would appreciate you using a bit more sensitivity with your comments. Thanks – Jonathan

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      • Esther January 9, 2013 at 3:18 pm

        Yes, and proud of it! :)

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      • Esther January 9, 2013 at 3:19 pm

        I actually would estimate I ride faster than at least 1/3 of people on the bridge. But, that means a lot of people are still faster than me. And some of them tailgate….which pisses me off and probably, in fact, slows me down (because I’m nervous).

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        • davemess January 10, 2013 at 12:31 pm

          But do you move over and give people a chance to pass you if you have the space?

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          • Esther January 14, 2013 at 5:09 pm

            Yep.

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        • dr2chase January 11, 2013 at 8:39 pm

          Are they tailgating, or drafting? :-)

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          • Esther January 14, 2013 at 5:10 pm

            Drafting, like many other things, should only be a mutually consensual activity. :)

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        • Cole January 14, 2013 at 2:26 am

          Tailgating on a bike is a perfectly natural thing to do. As a racer, it is quite literally impossible for me not to “tailgate” you as I have years of training to be about 2cm from your rear tire. Do not worry, I will not run in to you if you have to stop suddenly, and I certainly won’t accidentally hit your rear tire or cause you trouble in any way. Being nervous and acting irregularly and strangely probably will cause an accident due to you not paying attention to the road though.

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          • Esther January 14, 2013 at 5:17 pm

            From the Oregon DMV at http://www.odot.state.or.us/forms/dmv/37.pdf:
            “A safe following distance is defined as 2-4
            seconds.

            In all of
            these situations, you should increase your following distance:
            -On wet or slippery roads. You need more distance to stop your vehicle on wet or slippery roads
            -When following bicycles or motorcycles. You need extra room in case the rider loses control of the bicycle or motorcycle.
            -When following drivers who cannot see you.
            -When it is hard for you to see. In bad weather or darkness, increase your following distance to make up for decreased visibility

            On average, how long does it take to STOP?
            Traveling at 20 mph = 64 feet to stop”

            In other words…get off my behind, please.

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          • Esther January 14, 2013 at 5:41 pm

            In other words: YO COLE, IMA LET YOU FINISH, BUT MY BOYFRIEND DOES THE BEST GETTING-2CM-FROM-MY-BEHIND OF ALL TIME!

            (Sorry to drag you into this, boyfriend!)

            I’m sorry to hear you find it “quite literally impossible to not” tailgate people by 2cm. Perhaps you should use your racing skills to detour up to the Burnside Bridge or Ross Island Bridge, where you can use your speed to take the auto lane, instead of terrorizing commuters on the Hawthorne Bridge.

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          • VTRC January 15, 2013 at 9:17 am

            Crashes happen all the time at PIR where the situation is under a lot more control.

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          • Alan 1.0 January 15, 2013 at 10:40 am

            Cole, please don’t do that. Leave the drafting for rides with your racing buddies, where they know you and expect you, and will ride accordingly. For us strangers just riding our own rides around town, please either pass or back off. And yes, I have been hit by a roadie while minding my own business on the far right side of a MUP with railings. Fortunately neither of us went down.

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      • annefi January 10, 2013 at 11:57 am

        No need for stereotyping and rudeness.

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      • Barbara January 10, 2013 at 12:30 pm

        Wouldn’t it be great to have European style bike infrastructure that would actually encourage little old ladies to bike! Germany is full of them. That’s the 60% interested but concerned category!

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      • Sunny January 10, 2013 at 12:44 pm

        I meant it as “driving miss daisy” and was meant as a poke at the behavior, not the person. I was just posting rapidfire yesterday.

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    • Alex Reed January 9, 2013 at 3:42 pm

      I ride the same way. And, I stay on the side of the Hawthorne bridge path marked for bikes unless someone lets me know (verbally or with a bell) that they want to pass. I think this is the only way to ride on that bridge without taking over space that is clearly designated for people on foot.

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      • 007 January 10, 2013 at 3:38 pm

        I cordially disagree with your tactic, Alex. There are not that many pedestrians, especially in the winter, that cyclists who are not passing can not ride all the way to the right. I also find it irritating when cyclists ride in the middle of the bridge to the left enough that if one tries to pass one risks being yelled at by a nervous rookie or knocked off the bridge by a clueless Sunday cyclist.

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        • Alex Reed January 10, 2013 at 4:44 pm

          Sorry, I tried riding to the right. I found it very stressful to merge back to the left when I needed to – some faster cyclists would not let me back in. That’s why I just ride on the left now unless someone says they’re passing. In addition to being less stressful for me, I think it’s more respectful to people walking – I spend less time riding straight at them in space clearly designated for them. Thanks for your feedback though!

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          • Martin January 10, 2013 at 8:17 pm

            I can see both sides of the argument. I usually ride really fast on the bridge just because I enjoy riding fast. I sometimes get stuck behind someone riding slow, but it’s not a big deal, I just wait. If everyone followed the same set of protocols about when to get over and let people pass would it be more efficient? probably, but that’s not going to happen so just relax and let people move at their own speed.

            I disagree that bike rage is “a common occurance” I’ve commuted about 4000 miles in the last 4 years and cant say I’ve ever experienced anything like that. I just think it’s the rare crazy person that happens to be riding a bike. just try to laugh it off and let it go.

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    • jd January 10, 2013 at 7:15 am

      I could have written this (and I’m not little or old, Sunny, WTF with the belittling stereotypes). It sucks that neither safety-conscious cyclists nor pedestrians feel safe on the Hawthorne bridge when it’s crowded.

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  • Erik E January 9, 2013 at 3:10 pm

    Just on the subject of the Hawthorne, why are there not rails seperating the sidewalk from the grated street? How people are not knocked into the street daily (especially in the summer) is baffling to me. Sorry to hear ‘Kevin’ experienced this. Personally, it doesn’t sound to me like he did any thing wrong, (unless you consider not beating the crap out of aggressive/rude rider a mistake).

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    • Sunny January 9, 2013 at 3:19 pm

      yes, and why people aren’t falling out of bike lanes

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    • OnTheRoad January 10, 2013 at 10:29 am

      It’s been explained before that adding railings would reduce the overall width of the multi-use path, pushing users even close together.

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      • 007 January 10, 2013 at 3:41 pm

        Rails? We need elbow room.

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  • Pete January 9, 2013 at 3:21 pm

    “Pathletes” is my new favorite word of the day!! (Replacing “Market-ecture”, which is the new “Vaporware”).

    Sigh, too long behind a desk and out of the saddle… :(

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  • Reza January 9, 2013 at 3:22 pm

    If you’re a fast cyclist, coming upon a slow cyclist, the proper way to pass them is on the right, in the pedestrian zone (when all is clear, of course).

    Remember, the slower vehicle always has the right of way, and there is only one bicycle lane on the bridge in either direction.

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    • oliver January 9, 2013 at 3:34 pm

      First time I’ve heard of that. In my experience, people get cranky when you pass them on the right.

      “Pass left, Ride right” and all that.

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      • smj January 9, 2013 at 7:47 pm

        Huh? passing on the right? If you are on any major (CO, STP, etc) bike ride it is recommended to tell the person that you want to pass, “on your left”. If you’re in a car and you want to pass., you pass on the left. Fast lane on is on the left. Move over to the right if you may be slower.

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        • Gregg January 10, 2013 at 9:11 am

          Yeah. Please don’t pass me on the right.

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          • john January 11, 2013 at 8:47 am

            Not on the bridge, but on roads, I pass on the right all the time ! Why? SAFETY SAFETY SAFETY !. Let’s see, I have 10 feet of open space to my right, or I can go left and get hit by a car. So Yes I ring my bell and pass on the right.

            And by the way if you don’t like getting passed on the right, then stay to the right and leave room to the left.

            Yes in a narrow situation I’ll stay behind you, but dont expect everyone to line up behind you when there is 10 feet of space to your right and you aren’t moving over.

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            • Scott January 11, 2013 at 1:11 pm

              All the bikes I have hit while riding my bike have been passing me on the right. I have never been hit by a car while passing a bike on the left.

              Thinking that passing on the right is more safe is like saying we need more nuclear bombs deter nuclear war. It is an argument full of holes.

              It’s not natural. It’s not expected. It’s not safe.

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            • Esther January 11, 2013 at 4:49 pm

              So, as the faster biker who wants to pass, you want to stay safe by passing on the right? Then, if the biker you are passing suddenly comes upon glass, or an obstruction in their path….their only choice is to move left into car traffic (or in the case of the Hawthorne Bridge – fall off the curb into traffic)? That may be fine for you, but it’s not fair to make that choice for the person you’re passing.

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    • Anthony Choate January 9, 2013 at 3:37 pm

      Seriously, passing on the right if your preferred course of action? Seems awfully dangerous and breaks all conventions of the road. I tend to swerve right when someone fast comes up behind me on the Hawthorne lest I get bumped into the roadway. I’d probably yell in frustration is I was passed on the right on the bridge.

      I think the proper way to handle it is to ring your bell or say “on your right”. If they don’t get over, then chill out for a few hundred feet until you are off the bridge.

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    • dan January 9, 2013 at 4:08 pm

      I believe this is a minority opinion – most seem to adhere to the “pass on the left” approach. I’m aware that some share your opinion though, so I try not to make assumptions about where a given rider is heading.

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    • Mike January 9, 2013 at 4:16 pm

      You’d be pretty wrong about this. Why force the faster bikes that are moving in and out of traffic (as they pass slower bikes) into the path of pedestrians?

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      • Sunny January 9, 2013 at 4:18 pm

        I’m not advocating for it but it seems to work well in New York City.

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        • Donna January 9, 2013 at 9:12 pm

          I could see how it might there, but I don’t think the bridge pedestrians in Portland have the nerves for that.

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    • whyat January 9, 2013 at 4:19 pm

      I think passing on the right is a really bad idea. The proper way to pass is to pass on the left when it’s safe and announce yourself with a clear ‘On your left’ or a bell ring. This is just asking for trouble.

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    • Christianne January 9, 2013 at 4:35 pm

      I had a faster rider do this to me on the Hawthorne actually. Problem is, is that I was moving to the right in order to let her pass on my left. Some quick thinking on my part and quicker pedaling on hers kept us from colliding – but it was nerve-wrackingly close.

      So yeah. Passing on the right? Not so much.

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    • jj January 9, 2013 at 4:38 pm

      Are you kidding me?! Passing on the right is downright rude and it’s unsafe. I know you’re there, I’m waiting until there are no pedestrians and I’ll move over. Especially if you say “on your left” or ring a bell. The worst offender was the oblivious jerk who passed me and my then 8-year old son on the right on Hawthorne just past Grand while I was actively signaling that we were preparing to turn right on to 6th.

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    • Reza January 9, 2013 at 5:09 pm

      So you all think that the slower rider needs to “get out of the way” of faster riders?! Gee, that’s not how most people here seem to think about cyclists vs. drivers. Seems like people usually want drivers to go around them when it’s safe to do so instead of giving way to every single motorist coming up from behind. At least that’s what I want to have happen.

      Obviously, the passing lane is usually on the left in almost every other situation but given the design of the bridge path, that would mean you end up on the bridge deck.

      Please people…

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      • el timito January 9, 2013 at 5:57 pm

        Passing on the right – is so wrong.

        The Hawthorne Bridge is 1372 feet long. If one *has* to follow an average cyclist going ten miles an hour it takes about a minute and a half to cross. If one instead zooms past at 20 miles an hour, wow – 45 seconds saved. Which will probably then be spent waiting at the next traffic signal.

        How about we all just consider the narrow bridge path to be a “take a breath and enjoy the scenery” zone?

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        • spare_wheel January 9, 2013 at 6:37 pm

          have you every biked on the weekend when the tourists are on the bridge in those #@$%^ing trikes?

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          • Pete January 9, 2013 at 11:11 pm

            I used to live in a ‘tourist’ town, and on summer weekends the last place you’d find me biking is where the tourists are.

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          • Psyfalcon January 11, 2013 at 12:17 am

            Those are bad, but one bridge lift will ruin you average commute times for a week.

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          • Todd Boulanger January 15, 2013 at 11:05 am

            As for those tourist trikes…does their operating permit allow them to access the bridge? With the trail and bridge already congested, I could see their access be restricted during peak periods.

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        • davemess January 10, 2013 at 12:38 pm

          This line of thought really doesn’t do much to promote cycling as a viable form of commuting, and really pegs it to the stereotype that all cyclists are just out leisure riding.

          I’m not a jerk when I try to get around people on the Hawthorne, but if I’m riding faster than you, that’s not a crime.

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          • spare_wheel January 12, 2013 at 2:52 pm

            most of the “ride slow” judgey types have other modes they can depend on when they are in a hurry.

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    • Emily January 10, 2013 at 9:50 am

      Why would you ever pass on the right? No one is looking for you on that side. Slow down a bit and pass on the left like you should. BTW – I always thank people for the “on the left” or bell warnings that they are coming up behind me/passing. Common courtesy.

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    • 007 January 10, 2013 at 3:45 pm

      No way. Passing other cyclists on the right is risky, not that I haven’t done a time or two because of slow riders HOGGING the bike lane and not sharing it so that faster riders can pass on the left.

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    • Martin January 10, 2013 at 8:20 pm

      nope. i would call that “improper”

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    • matthew vilhauer January 14, 2013 at 10:57 am

      i blow my nose to the right… might not want to pass me on that side.

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  • Dolan Halbrook January 9, 2013 at 3:23 pm

    Crossing the Hawthorne can get a bit dicey at times if people are overly paranoid and won’t move over for faster cyclists, or conversely overly aggressive and start passing dangerously, or even worse, on the right. I see both often enough, but day to day things go smoothly overall.

    The worst experience I’ve had is a near altercation with a shirtless runner who, I kid you not, was swinging his arms out at passing cyclists in an attempt to punch them if they so much as rode one centimeter in the pedestrian lane. He very nearly sent a newbie rider into the car lane. I was pretty shocked and confronted him; he backed down and kept running the other way. I really hope I never encounter that guy again or if I do, that he’s taken his meds.

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    • Sunny January 9, 2013 at 3:33 pm

      SHIRTLESS runner!!! that explains it all

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      • SilkySlim January 9, 2013 at 3:36 pm

        The shirtless runners are generally the skinniest, and hence easiest to avoid. For example, me.

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        • q`Tzal January 10, 2013 at 1:13 pm

          Hopefully the skinniest ;)

          Note: I won’t ever be running shirtless.

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  • Ben January 9, 2013 at 3:27 pm

    I’ve never heard of this before, but I have been yelled at by other cyclists for not running red or yellow lights, especially at T intersections where my lane of travel parallels a sidewalk through the intersection.

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    • Sunny January 9, 2013 at 3:30 pm

      you can just ride up on the sidewalk and ride back down after the light…it’s legal and drivers will love you for it

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      • Psyfalcon January 9, 2013 at 4:05 pm

        But you still need to be careful. A cyclist could be coming from the T and want the same bike lane space.

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      • Kris January 9, 2013 at 8:25 pm

        Are you sure it’s legal? I’m not sure about Oregon law on the matter, but in most states it’s illegal to leave the road to avoid a traffic control device whether on a bike or in a car.

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        • matt picio January 9, 2013 at 9:33 pm

          I’m not an attorney, but it seems from a layman’s reading of the law that it is legal provided (A) it’s legal to ride on the sidewalk in that location, and (B) the cyclist yields to road traffic when re-entering the roadway. Of course, one could argue that the “all responsibilities of a motor vehicle” provision of Oregon law prohibits cyclists from doing that. It’s a good example both of how driving laws aren’t written to accommodate cycling, and how much of the law doesn’t cleanly apply.

          Is it smart? I would argue “no”. Legal, though? Who knows, really?

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      • Donna January 9, 2013 at 9:16 pm

        It is most definitely not legal downtown where it is not legal to ride on the sidewalk. I also suspect it may not be legal at all, since you are doing it with the intent to evade a traffic signal.

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  • maxd January 9, 2013 at 3:30 pm

    I commute on Interstate, and my pet peeve is “fast” riders passing in the 5-foot bike lane. There is not really enough room for one bike in those lanes. When I want to pass someone, I wait until there is a break in traffic and use the auto lane to overtake. BTW, I put fast in quotes because I have encountered quite a few guys (always guys) on road bikes who think they are faster than they are, work up enough speed to pass, then I get stuck behind them going up a hill. I think that is just classic machismo, though.

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    • Natalie January 9, 2013 at 5:39 pm

      Happens to me on Williams all the time. Quietly re-passing those dudes is all the response needed.

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      • Chris I January 9, 2013 at 9:11 pm

        Williams cracks me up. It’s like a contest to see who can ride the fastest without looking like they are working hard.

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    • matt picio January 9, 2013 at 9:38 pm

      Not always machismo. Sometimes it’s just us heavy guys rolling out from a downhill. I don’t pass in the bike lane, though, I move into the general traffic lane when passing. Generally I like Interstate better than Williams, since there are fewer cyclists and those who ride Interstate don’t seem to be so intent on passing me as closely as possible on my right between me and the parked cars. :-P

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  • Kevin C January 9, 2013 at 3:32 pm

    I avoid the Hawthorne Bridge because of the overly aggressive riders and lack of space. There is not much room to pass and for some reason that baffles me some riders will fly by way to close to both me and the traffic lane. I’d much rather take another route.
    Is it machismo that causes riders to pass, speedism, do they sleep to late?

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    • Adron January 9, 2013 at 4:22 pm

      Sometimes I pass people on bikes on Hawthorne, but it is rare. The extra 30 seconds isn’t worth the risk. In addition, when I do pass, I announce I’m to the left (because if I’m going to be risky I’m not going to endanger someone with right side passing, that’s just disrespectful). Once I announce I wait until they move, respond or just glance over to me just a bit. Hopefully I’m not seen as one of “those cyclists”. I try diligently to be helpful on the road. Even to fellow motorists (pending their being respectful themselves). :)

      As a last note… it will indeed be nice to have the dedicated bridge to the south done one day. I know it won’t be able to serve for everyone, but when we do get to use it, it’ll be a great example. :D

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      • spare_wheel January 9, 2013 at 6:54 pm

        oh good grief.

        so now, in addition to the slooooooooooow bike movement, we have the nooooooo paaaaaaaaaass movement.

        the vast majority of riders are courteous and move to the right to let me pass. in fact, some mornings i pass more than a dozen riders as i go over the bridge. if you are a real cat-6 commuter, slowing down to pass is an opportunity to show off your bulging gastrocnemius as you accelerate from a near standstill.

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    • Donna January 9, 2013 at 9:22 pm

      My housemate is not a regular or strong rider. She prefers to pay money that she really could use elsewhere in her life to take the bus 3 miles from where we live to downtown because she is terrified of the aggressive cyclists on the Hawthorne. I’ve seen her and other slower riders on that bridge and I swear, the aggressive cyclists are like sharks that sense blood in the water. It’s a sad state of affairs.

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    • Dolan Halbrook January 9, 2013 at 9:47 pm

      I regularly pass three or four riders on any given ride over the Hawthorne Bridge. When I do I give people plenty of space and warning, slow down to pass if necessary, and I never pass if I sense another rider is overtly uncomfortable with it, or on the right. Generally it’s a non-issue. Occasionally there will be someone who simply refuses to move over, even if the bridge is completely clear. Not sure why, but so be it. I just cruise behind them until it’s safe to pass on the left again.

      The reason I pass is that I’m just more comfortable riding at around 15-18 mph or so. Other people may feel more comfortable at slower speeds, and still others at higher speeds. There’s really nothing wrong with passing provided it’s done safely, and it is possible to pass safely on the bridge. Many of us do it many times every day.

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  • dan January 9, 2013 at 3:33 pm

    Woohoo, full contact Cat VI racing! If you’re really the Lance Armstrong of the Hawthorne, you would be able to pass at will. If you’re not capable of getting around a slower rider in the available space, maybe you’re not quite the burly-thighed powerhouse that you imagine yourself to be, and you should just relax until there’s a safe place to pass.

    I am a dedicated and competitive Cat VI racer, but it’s all in fun. Crowding slower riders and passing unsafely is just being a jerk: if you routinely stoop this low, perhaps you need to rethink your approach, and what you risk vs. what you gain.

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    • Sunny January 9, 2013 at 3:42 pm

      If we could all be as gifted as Lance Pharmstrong

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  • jocko January 9, 2013 at 3:34 pm

    “When commuter races commuter the only winner is disgrace” -Das Snob

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    • dan January 9, 2013 at 3:57 pm

      I would make that “the only winner is fun!” Jeeze, we’re a species/culture that hunts for the fastest checkout line in the grocery store, how can we not hammer when we’re on our bikes? Granted, you need to keep your sense of humor about it (and some fail to do so), but isn’t it always more fun to team up with another rider to push yourselves a little than to plod drearily home in the rain?

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      • SilkySlim January 9, 2013 at 4:37 pm

        I’ve had some great commute battles! Passed someone on the long incline after Hawthorne, was passed back going into Ladd’s, we both did a full-on track race style stop at the Circle, and a drag race through the other side. One of my favorite memories of this winter!

        Sidebar: these stories will bore your significant other, to no avail.

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      • Donna January 9, 2013 at 9:25 pm

        Not really, no. I just like to get home without a face plant near miss on those steel grates.

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        • spare_wheel January 10, 2013 at 8:24 am

          “In 2007, an internal report for Transport for London concluded women cyclists are far more likely to be killed by lorries because, unlike men, they tend to obey red lights…”

          Maybe the scorchers and vroom vroomers like biking fast because its…um…safer (and fun).

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  • Charley Gee January 9, 2013 at 3:36 pm

    I almost always bear to the right on the Hawthorne Bridge if it is safe to do so, leaving the left bicycle path open for those who wish to pass me. I consider passing others on the right very dangerous and counter to our traffic system “norms”.

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    • Sunny January 9, 2013 at 3:39 pm

      the reason you don’t pass on the right in a car is because the drivers sits on the left and it’s harder to see a car in the passenger rear view mirror

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      • Charley Gee January 9, 2013 at 3:43 pm

        Well, and it’s also illegal in Oregon in a car. The bear right model doesn’t just apply to motor vehicles. Anyone who has ever used a busy escalator or stairway can testify to that.

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        • Sunny January 9, 2013 at 3:51 pm

          in theory, yes…but they’re on their phones in those places too

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        • John Lascurettes January 9, 2013 at 4:06 pm

          Charley, that’s incorrect: http://www.oregonlaws.org/ors/811.415

          It’s perfectly legal to pass on the right in a multi-lane situation and there’s even other situations (such as left turning cars in front) where it’s still legal to pass on the right on a single lane in your direction situation.

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          • Charley Gee January 9, 2013 at 4:28 pm

            Under the statute it is legal to pass on the right if you fall under the permitted exceptions, that is correct. But those exceptions are the exceptions to the rule, found in ORS 811.415(1)(a) that it is illegal to pass on the right.

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            • John Lascurettes January 9, 2013 at 4:33 pm

              Which simply states that it’s illegal to pass on the right if you’re not following the rules elsewhere in the same law. Which is like saying it’s illegal to do anything if you’re not following the rules of the law. Well, duh.

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            • John Lascurettes January 9, 2013 at 4:39 pm

              Note: I’m not advocating to passing on the right as good practice. It’s just that it’s generally not illegal.

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              • matt picio January 9, 2013 at 9:57 pm

                And yet you’re contradicting a traffic attorney. All due respect, I think I’ll trust Charley’s opinion on this, even if he’s not speaking in his professional capacity.

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    • dan January 9, 2013 at 3:48 pm

      Agreed, I do the same. If I’m overtaking someone in the left lane, I hit my bell, give them some time to move over, and if they stay left, call out “Passing on your right”, wait a bit to make sure they didn’t hear “Move to your right!”, then pass on the right. My preference would definitely be to pass on the left but I understand that not everyone sees this as the norm.

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      • Charley Gee January 9, 2013 at 3:51 pm

        I usually won’t even pass on the right except for really slow riders. If I come up behind a slow rider on the left and I know they know I’m there but don’t move to the right, I will usually slow to their pace and use it as an excuse to look at the river. However, this morning I came up behind a very slow rider in the left, and knowing I had a large group of riders behind me I said “on your left” and he said “pass on the right!” so I did and as I went by I said “passing on the right isn’t safe, you should bear right if you can”. Had it not been morning rush hour I wouldn’t have passed at all though.

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        • Sunny January 9, 2013 at 4:00 pm

          some riders need lots of concentration to keep straight ahead and any deviation could cause them to fall…it may seem unreasonable to a seasoned rider but hey

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          • Spiffy January 11, 2013 at 8:12 am

            and many people are scared of bridges so it takes all their concentration just to get themselves across without worrying about others…

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  • Todd Boulanger January 9, 2013 at 3:55 pm

    If the description of the white bearded rider where a bit older then it could be a road rage rider than has been a problem on the Interstate Bridge a few years back.

    It is time for the City of Portland to seek to buy (or trade for) the Hawthorne Bridge from the County, so it could be managed in a more bike friendly way. (Unless the County wishes to make these proposed changes.) Given the peak volumes of bike traffic on the bridge (and assuming the City wants to meet its 2030 ped and bike goals) perhaps it is time to convert the outside motor vehicle lane to bicycle use to make it safer for all bridge users. [Any PSU students want to take this traffic modelling on? Hint hint.]

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    • are January 9, 2013 at 7:22 pm

      that open grid steel deck would be dicey in rain and snow

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      • Todd Boulanger January 9, 2013 at 8:33 pm

        Yes true. It would need to be upgraded for bicycle traffic, as is typical of past work on other bridges.

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      • Spiffy January 11, 2013 at 8:18 am

        the original wooden sidewalk was also that way…

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  • Nate January 9, 2013 at 3:55 pm

    About the only time I get peeved by other cyclists are the Freds that pass at stoplights/signs from the rear of the pack. They inevitably gum up the works at the far side of the intersection because they aren’t actually [fast cyclist not doped up]. Prime locations for this are on N. Williams and at the W. end of the Broadway bridge.

    I watched one such yahoo brush the shoulder of a woman with a kid on a trail-a-bike, pushing her into the auto lane on NW Broadway. He got an earful at the stoplight at NW Flanders.

    Just chill out folks. Not everyone is as comfortable on their bike as you, and brushing them on your way past can end in disaster.

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    • Adron January 9, 2013 at 4:26 pm

      This is when I often remind people, “WE’RE ALL GOING SOMEWHERE, HELP EACH OTHER OUT”. The karma comes back in droves, ya know. :)

      I guess some people, just get a bit entitled in their self importance.

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  • John Lascurettes January 9, 2013 at 3:59 pm

    I generally chalk up road rage to frustration from being trapped motionless in a tiny metal enclosure.

    Though one can feel trapped on the Hawthorne as well. Certainly don’t like the precipitous edge of the sidewalk to the bridge grate below. I generally avoid the Hawthorne because of the bike-ped gridlock on it. If I do ride the Hawthorne, I know it’s a place where I just need to chill the hell out for the duration of the span. What’s an extra 30 seconds to traverse it?

    In a car, you can usually swerve and go around someone in a different lane; but on a bike there is often not the same amount of space to operate.

    I find the exact opposite to be the general truth. I cannot just “swerve” to a different lane, nor should I. I must check that the lane is clear, etc. On a bike, I generally have much more room to operate. I often come out of a bike lane to go around a slower biker, taking the auto lane for the duration of passing that other cyclist. Since I require less space than a car, it’s often easier to find the gap to get in and get out than it takes in a car doing an analogous maneuver. One cannot do this as readily on the Hawthorne (or any of the bridges, really) while on a bicycle because you are “stuck” in the bike-ped mixing zones which are particularly congested on the Hawthorne.

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  • Spiffy January 9, 2013 at 4:01 pm

    if I hear a bell or an “on your left” then I get over if there’s room… but I try to stay to the right side of the bike part of the sidewalk… I won’t ride in the ped zone unless I see a backlog behind me… and I time my reentry into the bike zone…

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  • Sunny January 9, 2013 at 4:06 pm

    guys guys guys….the morrison is over there <—-

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    • wsbob January 10, 2013 at 10:53 am

      Not that it would necessarily have kept this particular type of incident from happening on the Hawthorne, but is the Morrison improved bike lane now finally working to relieve demand from the Hawthorne’s MUP? If the Hawthorne MUP is too congested, the logical option may be the Morrison, which is not far away from the Hawthorne.

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      • spare_wheel January 10, 2013 at 12:59 pm

        morrison would have been an awesome cat-6 route except for the fact that it begins at water ave instead of grand.

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      • Arem January 10, 2013 at 1:09 pm

        I used the Morrison daily for my commute when I was working downtown. I began to loathe taking Hawthorne even though it was closer to the office. The Morrison bridge was more work because of the climb, but it was a breath of un-pressured fresh air. Donna! Tell your roommate to try out the Morrison instead! Wide…rails on both sides…little traffic and a fun downhill slope whenever you cross! Whee! Plus, going east you can get to B.A. Sandwiches, Sheridan’s Fruit Co. and Guardian Games on your way home or on your way to downtown. :-D

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        • Donna January 10, 2013 at 7:02 pm

          Right, because getting dumped onto a freeway off ramp and traversing the nastiest tangle of railroad tracks going to be the way to go for an inexperienced rider.

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          • Arem January 11, 2013 at 1:24 pm

            I do not think it is as bad as some of you are making it out to be, even for an inexperienced rider. Studying some maps and routes and even just walking over there and imagining out the ride to better anticipate what it would be like are useful tools and choices. There’s a risk to take certainly and some planning ahead for possible snarls if somebody is unfamiliar, but so it goes with most bike routes and other things in life.
            You don’t want to use it and don’t want your friend to take a chance either? Fine, I’ll not try to further persuade. The lot of you can continue to fill the Hawthorne if that’s what works for you. No skin off my back. More room for me when using the Morrison when I need to do so. :-) It’s a shame that money was spent and a nice path is there, yet it gets lonely over there. Coming from Idaho, I take what I can get and although the Morrison is not whole-heartedly satisfactory, it met my needs for a better commute and I’m fond of it, despite its short-comings.

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    • Champs January 10, 2013 at 1:25 pm

      Option 1, take the Morrison:
      1) Get dumped in front of a freeway offramp
      2) Wait for the trains between Water & 2nd
      3) Not go due east, because you can’t cross MLK from several streets
      4) Deviate your route and cross MLK—streetcar tracks and all
      5) Wait forever to cross Grand

      Option 2, take the Hawthorne, and have none of these problems.

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      • Arem January 10, 2013 at 6:19 pm

        Instead, you get an entire new set of problems! Enjoy! Boo-hoo if you’re not able to tolerate the Morrison bridge. I think it’s great and it’s advantages outweigh the disadvantages, IMO.

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  • CPAC January 9, 2013 at 4:07 pm

    The bridge just isn’t that long. Go slow for a few hundred feet. It’ll add all of 20 seconds to your travel time.

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    • JL January 9, 2013 at 4:23 pm

      The bridge just isn’t that long. Go fast for a few hundred feet. It’ll subtract 20 seconds from your travel time.

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      • Greg January 9, 2013 at 9:27 pm

        As someone who used to be more hardcore, and now have gone through a number of injuries…
        Give us slow people a break. We’re all going to get where we’re going, and no one wants to detour to the ER, or get pissed on the commute.

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  • deborah January 9, 2013 at 4:14 pm

    If someone comes up on me fast I move to the right to let them pass on the left when the right hand side is clear. I feel like passing on the right is poor form.

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  • Joe January 9, 2013 at 4:25 pm

    Ride diffrent bridge if you don’t have a skillset to ride close or avoid stuff.
    * Squids all over the place these days * fast squids,slow squids * just share the path with eachother we are on bikes and not in cars with rage right?

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    • Spiffy January 11, 2013 at 8:29 am

      they now have footage of the elusive giant squid…

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  • John January 9, 2013 at 4:29 pm

    To Kevin (aka anonymous), I was right behind you and the raging dude when this happened. (You might have heard me say “whoa!” just as he fell off his bike. Then I passed you again at Hawthorne and MLK as you were looking back.)

    I have no idea what his deal was. I didn’t witness anything that would have warranted such a reaction. I also vaguely recall him making some kind of hand gesture halfway across the bridge before this happened, and I thought “what did that gesture mean, and who was that intended for?”

    Anyway, sorry you had to experience that.

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  • Jeff January 9, 2013 at 4:32 pm

    Remember, all requests to pass via bell or voice are simply that. Requests. Being among the top 5% speed wise (not bragging), I frequently say aloud “request denied” if it’s not safe to get over. Given the high volume of walking traffic during commute hours, this is frequently the case.

    There’s a general problem with zig-zaggers as well. Esp. those on bike who are pretty fast (faster than they think) but insist on riding the right rail and weaving in and out of the walking and biking zones. Please stop doing that. It’s the worst of the bad forms.

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    • spare_wheel January 9, 2013 at 7:31 pm

      (*dons spandex tights, pulls on neon jacket, climbs on immaculate vintage nishiki with mirror, and shakes fist*)

      you damn zig zaggers should learn how to hold your line!

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  • was carless January 9, 2013 at 4:56 pm

    Folks, drug will mess you up. Im sure this has a Lot to do with these bizarre incidents.

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    • Spiffy January 11, 2013 at 9:19 am

      true, too much caffeine and nicotine can put you on edge…

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  • wsbob January 9, 2013 at 4:57 pm

    For some people, this type of incident is an example of the reasons they’d rather drive rather than bike or take mass transit. Humanity in very close proximity can be tough to deal with when people aren’t conducting themselves well.

    Kevin, relating his experience here, sounds as though he did about everything right that he could have, but Mr. white beard with yellow jacket appears to have flipped out nevertheless. That kind of reaction could upset anyone not prepared for it. Especially if no other riders happened to stick around to observe and possibly back him up, riding off was probably better than sticking around and attempting to talk with the guy.

    Might not have been a bad thing though, if someone had been able to stay there, counter the guy’s apparent anger and frustration with self assured smile and a “How’s it goin’ man? What’s up?’ If safe to do so, it’s important to find out what’s going on with people having things bothering them, before it becomes a worse problem elsewhere.

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  • Hugh Johnson January 9, 2013 at 5:00 pm

    That’s what’s so flawed about the “us versus cagers” mentality some have on this site. Jerks are everywhere regardless of their mode of transportation.

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  • Dolan Halbrook January 9, 2013 at 5:00 pm

    wsbob
    For some people, this type of incident is an example of the reasons they’d rather drive rather than bike or take mass transit. Humanity in very close proximity can be tough to deal with when people aren’t conducting themselves well.

    I fail to see how this would cause people to drive, as poor conduct is a pretty accepted part of the general driving experience. I mean seriously, who hasn’t given (or wanted to give) the bird to a fellow driver at some point? Overall I find cyclists are far more courteous on average to other cyclists than drivers are to other drivers.

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    • wsbob January 10, 2013 at 1:29 am

      “I fail to see how this would cause people to drive…” Dolan

      People within their cars have a privacy and protection people on bikes or on mass transit don’t have. Private cars offer their occupants an ability that bikes and mass transit can’t, to ignore some of the obnoxious, possibly dangerous people.

      Motor vehicles isolate for people driving and riding in them, much of the noise, odors, and danger from other members of the public, people riding bikes and mass transit are exposed to.

      I’m not offering the above as reasons I personally would find driving to be preferable to biking, but as reasons that may occur to certain other people having reservations about biking.

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  • joel January 9, 2013 at 5:03 pm

    base problem for most of the rider courtesy issues i see out there is people riding how they drive/drove. drivers on bikes, thats what i see, day in, day out.

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    • Donna January 9, 2013 at 9:31 pm

      It’s nice to know I’m not the only one that has thought this.

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  • Livellie January 9, 2013 at 5:14 pm

    I think it was a couple of years ago a fast moving cyclist on the Hawthorne clipped a slow moving cyclist while passing…sent a young lady right into the steel road decking. Ouch! There’s certainly been times when I’ve wanted to get around slower moving riders but I try to take it easy on the narrow bridge pathway. My commute is long enough that I can make up any lost time once all clear and back on the open road.

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  • Andrew K January 9, 2013 at 5:17 pm

    Every once in a while I encounter bike riders on the Hawthorne bridge who are pretty rude and going way too fast as if that bridge is their personal race track.

    The way I look at it, those of us on bikes expect auto drivers to slow down when they mix in traffic with us. As such, pedestrians have every right to expect bike riders to slow down when we are in a situation mixed with them (like the Hawthorne Bridge for example).

    There are signs at either end of that bridge cautioning bike riders to slow down. I obey those signs and I reduce my speed giving pedestrians as much room to enjoy their walk as possible. If that means the bike rider behind me has to add an extra 30 seconds to their ride then so be it. I’m not going to feel bad about it.

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  • Reza January 9, 2013 at 5:27 pm

    In almost every application of the law (besides maybe tractors on rural roads), it is the faster moving vehicle that must give right of way to the slower moving vehicle. It is the faster moving vehicle that has the onus of deciding when it is safe to pass. It is NOT the job of the slower moving vehicle to decide when it is safe to get out of the way. The slower moving vehicle should NOT have to risk their safety by weaving in and out of lanes to satisfy those going faster than them, like a majority of you seem to claim.

    And I say this as a fast rider, I feel like I am giving more respect to slower riders than the rest of you are by passing on the right. I should be the one taking the risk (for myself and for other pedestrians) by judging when it is safe to pass. Slower riders SHOULD NOT have that responsibility. They have the right of way.

    In every other conceivable situation I can think of I pass on the left. But I don’t on the Hawthorne Bridge. Blame the design of the path that put cyclists to the left of pedestrians if you want. Better yet, blame the narrow width.

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  • dwainedibbly January 9, 2013 at 5:33 pm

    I’m fairly slow these days, probably 12mph or so in most situations unless I’m in a hurry or need to generate more body heat. I’ll move right when necessary BUT ONLY WHEN IT’S SAFE! Otherwise, Lance Pharmstrong (love it!) can wait. Worst case, I’ll slow down and let him stew. An advantage of that is that is it’ll make shorter gaps safe to pass in.

    Kermit: “Bear Right”
    Fozzie: “Left Frog”

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  • pixelgate January 9, 2013 at 5:41 pm

    90% of cyclists in those yellow/neon jackets are awful people. Complain about road rage all you want but the cyclist rage in this town is unprecedented. I’ve never seen so many aggro Lance wannabes in my life. The ‘hipster’ cyclists are fine, the bmx riders are fine, the casual riders, fine. It’s the neon jacket, rearview mirror, spandex wearing types who are always barking out orders at other cyclists. I just smile and give them a thumbs up when they yell at me (or others near me) on the esplanade.

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    • John Lascurettes January 9, 2013 at 6:06 pm

      Good thing you didn’t make a blanket statement and generalization by putting a percentage-accurate figure on it. :/

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    • spare_wheel January 9, 2013 at 7:10 pm

      i am a spandex and (sometimes) neon jacket wearing rider and i avoid the esplanade like the plague. i think i ride it a few times a year when i am riding with the better half (still trying to convince her to get a *real* bike…sigh). moreover, if i were to install a mirror on my plastic bicycles i would never be able to look at myself in the bathroom mirror again.

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      • Alan 1.0 January 9, 2013 at 10:06 pm

        Oh, yeah! A Typhoon with kick-back two speed, Wald front basket and streamers! She’ll rock the Esplanade!

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    • jd January 10, 2013 at 7:43 am

      The dude/chick who got yelly when I was back on a bike the first week after maternity leave were an average dude and a gal who probably thought she was pretty hip. The one person I know with a neon yellow jacket is the biggest mensch I know in Portland. This behavior is not caused by attire.

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    • oliver January 10, 2013 at 10:35 am

      Talk about not being able to win. Half the day you listen to motorists rage at you for dressing in black, the other half you listen to the fashionistas alternately mock you for wearing hi-vis or even cycling specific clothing at all.

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    • Jerry January 10, 2013 at 11:57 am

      Wow. My new rain coat is neon orange. I hope it doesn’t make me an awful person.

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  • Jim Lee January 9, 2013 at 6:06 pm

    Wessen on Hawthorne!

    Shirtless rage!

    Do not call Captain Renard!

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  • J.M. Jones January 9, 2013 at 6:39 pm

    Call this whatever you want to…..The PATHELETES are pathetic. They fail to inspire others to ride and certainly put forth a shining example to those in automobiles at the same time. See this a good deal. These people are all wrapped up in themselves and show a degree of disrespect to all who are not just like (or can keep up with) them.

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    • spare_wheel January 9, 2013 at 7:18 pm

      when someone passes you how does this make you feel?

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  • Randy January 9, 2013 at 7:17 pm

    Bridge bike conjestion…time to plan for a larger and affordable floating bike bridge

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  • Rol January 9, 2013 at 7:20 pm

    Leave room for what, exactly?? I would’ve been like “Sure! And don’t forget to leave room for my FOOT in your BUTT!”

    Ironically and backwardsly, you could say that “Kevin” erred on the side of courtesy in trying too hard to accommodate the guy behind him. The best kind of error, mind you, like when two people get into a Portland Standoff (“Go ahead.” “No, you go ahead.” “No, you go ahead.”) Because I’ll bet what ended up annoying our Crybaby Schmuck was the tantalizing nature of the well-intentioned back-and-forth (essentially extending and retracting several passing invitations). I say this not because the Schmuck has any right to be mad about it, but because of experience — an analogous thing happened to me on a winding California highway once.

    Realistically no one’s going to be able to pass anyway, until Slow Girl is able to pull over, and/or there are no walkers. It’s okay to make that judgment call, and devour someone’s 8 seconds that he would’ve saved. You presumably paid your taxes in some form or other, and when you’re done using that particular piece of public infrastructure, he can have his turn.

    Final message to all Crybaby Schmucks:

    In Rwanda in the 90s, if you happened to be of Tutsi descent, crowds of Hutus with machetes would chase you down and hack you up with machetes.

    ***

    OK? Does that provide a little perspective on your problems?

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  • Sunny January 9, 2013 at 8:01 pm

    If the passing cyclist had his emergency siren and lights on, we wouldn’t have this problem.

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    • matt picio January 9, 2013 at 10:02 pm

      True – but then they’d be getting arrested for impersonating a police vehicle. (seriously – there’s a law against using a siren on a bicycle)

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      • Sunny January 9, 2013 at 10:22 pm

        /sarcasm@ the dude in a hurry

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      • Spiffy January 11, 2013 at 10:15 am

        there’s also a law against using a bell on a vehicle…

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  • Protour January 9, 2013 at 8:24 pm

    Pass wherever it is safest and make your presence known duh.

    This article is easily explained by the fact that Portland and big cities in general but especially Portland are full of deranged people, many of whom travel by bicycle.

    Also be aware that some riders aren’t just riding, they are racing on Strava, trying to set a new fastest time on a predesignated course on the internet. If you see someone who is riding by themselves but looks like they are racing, be a good citizen and get out of their way and warm others that they are approaching. Maybe root them on a little also.

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    • Spiffy January 11, 2013 at 10:20 am

      it’s not “their” way…

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  • Arundo January 9, 2013 at 9:11 pm

    Much of the traffic going to and from the south should be alleviated with the new options on the Caruthers bridge opening sometime 2014/15.

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  • Skid January 9, 2013 at 11:17 pm

    There’s a lot of “commuter racers” in the town and what bugs me most about them is they can’t seem to be able to form the words “on your right” when they want to or are passing you. And then they get all mad. And then they get in front of you and bonk because they wasted so much energy passing you.

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    • Ted Buehler January 10, 2013 at 1:39 am

      What bugs me is that the city should be designed for commuter racers as well as pokey commuters.

      I’d rather have those racers on bikes than in cars, and if they need to ride at 21 mph out to St. Johns or Vancouver just to make things cost effective, we should be designing infrastructure for them.

      The pokey city folks that ride 3 miles downtown are a relatively small market for getting cars off the streets, the big reward come when you can make it time-effective for someone 5, 7, or 9 miles away to get to downtown in a timely manner. Humans in good shape can bust along for 20 mph for a long time, and if we designed our cities to let this happen, we could convert a whole lot of car trips to bike trips.

      Ted Buehler

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      • Brad January 10, 2013 at 9:30 am

        Thank you! What troubles me most about bike planners and bike advocates is their insistence that everything be designed for the lowest common denominator, least fit, and, most nervous potential bike rider. That mindset creates the sort of conflict being talked about here.

        Fast cyclists do need to extend courtesy and slow down on MUP infrastructure but, design transportation systems that do not penalize fitter riders that can push the big ring. Not everyone is a vehicular cyclist but, vehicular cyclists are not disappearing and should be served as well.

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        • tonyt January 10, 2013 at 9:47 am

          The cycle track on Cully Blvd. is exhibit A for this. Just AWFUL for anyone wishing to go over 8mph with that zig zag every block or so. Horrible. I’d MUCH rather take the road but then I’m the jerk biker to the cars that are behind me.

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          • spare_wheel January 10, 2013 at 12:46 pm

            people who ride faster than 8 mph are riding too fast for conditions. /snark

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          • Spiffy January 11, 2013 at 10:23 am

            and yet you can’t legally take the lane when there’s a brand new cycle track right there… unless you want to argue its safety in court…

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        • Anne Hawley January 10, 2013 at 12:18 pm

          If by “Lowest common denominator” you mean “kids, seniors and newbies” then could I recommend rephrasing that? I’m not anybody’s lowest common denominator. I think you think you mean “the slowest” but my experience riding around Portland suggests that the infrastructure is aimed pretty squarely at the middle of the bell curve. If it hadn’t been fairly safe to start with, I’d never have gotten any faster or any better because I’d never have started at all.

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          • Ted Buehler January 10, 2013 at 12:54 pm

            Anne — the problem is designing *only* for the center of the bell curve.

            There needs to be infrastructure for the newbies, pokey folks, etc.

            And there needs to be infrastructure for folks who want to commute in from The Couve.

            And, of course, for average riders.

            If they just build stuff for average folks, and (lately) for pokey folks, then they miss out on the relatively larger population of commuters who live more than 5 miles from the city center. And engender conflict, frustration, and dangerous riding behaviour.

            Ted Buehler

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            • Anne Hawley January 10, 2013 at 2:58 pm

              My complaint was about the term “lowest common denominator”: demeaning to at least one person who regularly reads this blog, and an inaccurate description of how bike infrastructure is designed in Portland.

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              • spare_wheel January 10, 2013 at 5:02 pm

                oh boy…do i disagree with this statement. i don’t know a single experienced rider who is happy with the design of current separated infrastructure.

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  • Halley January 9, 2013 at 11:54 pm

    I am just thrilled that it wasn’t about me. I’m proud to say that I have stopped “accidentally” spitting and blowing snot rockets on people that pass me on the right.

    I also have stopped snarking on the lycra clad lady that runs every stop light and sign on my commute to work just one block ahead of me every Thursday morning only to have me catch up with her at the last light before my destination(while obeying every signal ) – breaking the law really doesn’t make you faster. . .

    It’s about good manners and etiquette people! The last time I got honked at and told to get off the road & someone wanted to rage at me, I screamed back, “You wanna talk about it over some chamomile!?” They stared shocked, rolled up their window and drove off.

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  • Ted Buehler January 10, 2013 at 1:34 am

    We’re still in the dark ages of bicycle roadway markings.

    This free-for-all is probably what it was like driving in American cities before Detroit invented the traffic light in 1920.

    Someday, hopefully soon, there will be channelization for bikes — multiple lanes, passing zones, no passing zones, and much less mayhem.

    In the meantime, the lack of channelization will result in a lack of clarity on acceptable behaviors, and it will continue to bring out the worst in people.

    Be careful out there, folks. Be nice, state your truth, hold to your principles when safe, and don’t get run off the road by other bicyclists.

    Ted Buehler

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  • Al from PA January 10, 2013 at 2:46 am

    They used to be called “scorchers” in the 1890s and were generally loathed and feared… Nothing new!

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    • spare_wheel January 10, 2013 at 8:26 am

      bike stockholm syndrome.

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  • roger noehren January 10, 2013 at 4:00 am

    I subscribe to the minority view so well explained by Reza. I ride as far to the left of the portion of the sidewalk designated for bicycles, leaving plenty of space for faster riders to pass on my right when a safe opportunity presents itself.
    If there are no pedestrians for a long way ahead of me, I ride on their side to savor the river view and fresher air. When I see oncoming pedestrians, I merge back onto the bicycle side (after determining that there are no cyclists approaching).
    Perhaps this is because I have been a non-driving cyclist for over 50 years and have shared the Hawthorne Bridge sidewalk with pedestrians and other cyclists for over 30.

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  • Joe January 10, 2013 at 7:16 am

    lets stop profiling everything until we get both sides or story. as riders we need to have diffrences and let go and ride on. nobody is perfect or maybe some can only judge stuff by 1 event or more, take time to chill and smile or whatever!

    peace

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  • geezer January 10, 2013 at 8:30 am

    I don’t understand this insistence on “never pass on the right.” It’s not coded in our DNA — there are entire countries where they drive on the left and pass on the right. The Hawthorne Bridge is not a dual-lane bike thruway, it’s a multi-use path with bikes assigned to the left lane. It plainly wrong to assume cyclists should normally ride in the pedestrian lane, and it seems only courteous that the rider who wishes to pass should be the one who makes the maneuver into the non-bike-traffic lane. You could announce it by saying “on your right”, which is then just a warning that someone is overtaking you (as “on your left” is on the Springwater), and not a demand meaning “get out of my way.”

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    • dan January 10, 2013 at 9:25 am

      I would actually say that the faster rider who’s so eager to pass should be the one who risks falling off the path onto the bridge roadway, and therefore we should pass on the left…but as I’ve said before, nothing wrong with a little diversity in how we approach the question.

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  • jeremy January 10, 2013 at 9:54 am

    I ride the Hawthorne everyday, twice and I am often passed and just as often I pass others. I am disappointed to hear about “Kevin’s” experience, but I hardly think we need to redesign the entire bridge over one jackass rider. I would say on the whole, I wait until the person ahead of me heads to the right side of the path, then I pass–likewise, when there are riders behind me I wait until there are no peds close and I head to the right side so others can pass me. I have not had any conflicts, any near misses, nada. I consider myself a reasonably confident rider (although lugging a first grader around on my xtracycle makes me more cautious) and I would encourage anyone who avoids the Hawthorne bridge to give it try. The light phase at Grand creates a boom and bust pattern heading into town. If you go slow off of the light, everyone will pass you (in the double lane area) and you can tool along at any pace you want until the next set of CAT VI racers shows up… on the eastbound return, it is not as clear a break, but it is pretty easy to slide right if someone is creeping up on me (I usually get passed on the eastbound rides). There are crazy aggro people everywhere, if I made decisions to avoid all activities that could possibly maybe interact with a crazy I’d have to lock up at home and get my groceries delivered…

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    • Dolan Halbrook January 10, 2013 at 9:57 am

      My guess is that 90% of the passing issues are east bound on the river span because of people building speed on the slight downhill and wanting to conserve it over the industrial area.

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  • Scott January 10, 2013 at 10:00 am

    Keep Portland Passive-Aggressive. Seriously.

    We need protected bike lanes, and now personal escorts so we don’t get yelled at? Who is going to escort the escorts though? What if they get yelled at?

    Now we see what happens when everyone gets a trophy when they’re young. They never learn that they are not special. No one is special. Deal with life. There is no way to insure that you will not get yelled at.

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  • Scott January 10, 2013 at 10:03 am

    “Humanity in very close proximity can be tough to deal with”-wsbob

    News flash, everything can be hard to deal with if you don’t deal with it and act like its an insurmountable problem that requires a safety glass enclosure, powered by explosive liquids with the computing power of NASA ’85.

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    • wsbob January 10, 2013 at 1:41 pm

      Having to endure abuse from an out of control road user was Kevin’s experience. He really had no way to deal with that abuse except to wait until he could ride away from it. This is the reason I’m suggesting is one that many people may have for choosing to ride or drive in a private car rather than bike or take mass transit.

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      • Scott January 10, 2013 at 4:29 pm

        “Having to endure abuse from an out of control road user was Kevin’s experience.” – wsbob

        Tell ‘Kevin’ that dealing with first world problems will continue until he moves to a third world country.

        “He really had no way to deal with that abuse except to wait until he could ride away from it.” – wsbob

        He really did have a way to deal with it in ignoring it until he rode away. Dealt with. No harm except maybe a skinned shin for the dude who tripped on his bike.

        Here is another place where I will say that mental health issues can take many forms. We have no idea what this person is dealing with and therefore since no one was hurt, it seems odd that this is so disturbing to some people.

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  • o/o January 10, 2013 at 10:39 am

    Type A cyclists could ride metal grated road. They need to be relaxed sometimes.

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    • Paul in the 'couve January 10, 2013 at 11:27 am

      That was my first thought. If anyone thinks they are so fast and in a hurry that they get frustrated with bike traffic on the MUP – let them take the grate!!!

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  • grimm January 10, 2013 at 10:52 am

    There will always be jerks. Regardless of vehicle variety.

    That said try to play nice. You never know when you’re gonna spout off at an ex-racer who had a bad day who knows how to chop your front wheel out from under you.

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    • pengo January 10, 2013 at 12:51 pm

      I agree that jerks is jerks and the mode doesn’t dictate the behavior. However, I think that the guy who tries to take out your front wheel is less “ex-racer with a case of the Mondays” and more “sociopath intentionally engaging in behavior that could kill you because you had the gall to suggest that he ride more carefully”.

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  • Slammy January 10, 2013 at 11:07 am

    LOL at him eating it after his pass… let’s face it, yellow jacket, messenger bag, grey beard is a type of portland rider… one that thinks they have it aaalllll figured out.

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    • Paul in the 'couve January 10, 2013 at 11:23 am

      Hey – at least sometimes ( I don’t always where a yellow jacket) that description fits me! And I do have it all figured out! Patience and enjoy the ride. I ride fast, and I pass people, but I don’t want speed to get in the way of enjoying being on a bike.

      If bicycling stresses you out and makes you angry – You are doing it wrong.

      See – I DO have it ALL figured out! ;)

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  • Joe January 10, 2013 at 11:15 am

    Scott ohh dude LOL

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  • Terry D January 10, 2013 at 11:35 am

    Conflicts inevitably occur whenever congestion occurs and it forces people to slow down from what is SO important to them, frustration happens. You just have to slow down and take a breath. I find traveling over the Hawthorne in busy summer periods or during commute time to be rather….frustrating myself. Just like crossing the lower deck of the Steele. We were so proud of it it when it opened in 2002 and I thought at the time “it is so narrow, this will be a bottle neck soon”…a decade later and we all know how busy, tight and congested it gets. The Hawthorne is the same way….it was not designed with the future bike capacity in mind…..the planners did not anticipate the volumes.

    This will ease up a lot when the new MAX bridge opens up. The city also should invest is some serious conductivity connections to the Morrison. The MUP on it is very nice, but the connections are a little off. I usually take it instead of the Hawthorne if I am going into downtown from the eastside since it dumps you right in the center of downtown…..with some basic improvements on both sides of the river bike traffic volumes can be spread out among the three bridges.

    That should hold us for a few years at least….

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    • A.K. January 10, 2013 at 2:25 pm

      I don’t work downtown so I mostly ride the Hawthorne during non-peak times. However, even on summer weekends it can get quite crowded.

      My favorite alternative is the Burnside. Not quite as handy, but it’s hardly ever crowded, and only takes an extra few minutes to reach if there is a lot of traffic.

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  • Sean up North. January 10, 2013 at 11:38 am

    I’ve run into similar behavior on the Interstate bridge heading South. Lots of people riding the wrong direction and then getting pissy when they have to move over to let those of us going the correct direction get by. There’s a North path for a reason. If you don’t want to use it then get out of the way when someone is heading South. Silly. Yes, I’ve heard the whining about the North side being narrower and I ride it every day. I have friends that have used it without issue on recumbents, cargo bikes, and pulling trailers so suck it up.

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    • Paul in the 'couve January 10, 2013 at 12:31 pm

      Yeah, I agree, except there is not generally agreed upon and established “correct direction” on the I-5 bridge. Historically – it was reverse of what I (and I think most experienced commuters) believe it should be – north bound on the East span, southbound on the west span – same as autos and pedestrians probably the opposite (although they will do what they want). OR and WA DOTs can’t get together to sign it one way or the other. I finally gave up and since I am no more likely to run into someone heading the opposite way on the “wrong” span, I take the one that is easiest to access from where I am.

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    • JDL January 10, 2013 at 1:27 pm

      I have twice witnessed faster riders bullying slower riders (going in the same direction) on the Interstate bridge, where the only way to pass is for the slower rider to duck between the girders and stop completely. One case was very similar to Kevin’s. I was behind a slower rider, waiting for an opportunity to pass after the bridge. A guy rode up behind me and rang his bell. At first, I though he was just letting me know he was there. I few seconds later, he rang the bell again, longer this time. I shrugged and threw my hands up to mean ‘what can I do?’. Then the guy rang his bell continuously – like a driver leaning on the horn – until we reached the end of the bridge where the path widened and he could pass.

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      • Paul in the 'couve January 10, 2013 at 1:48 pm

        stupid! The interstate bridge is definitely a place where common sense and civility are just required.

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  • Belov January 10, 2013 at 11:40 am

    These things happen. One guy lit into me for saying, “good morning” as I was overtaking him rather than “on your left.” I won’t recount the whole conversation (him angry, me largely puzzled and speechless), but he finished by saying, “I’m in a hurry, let’s go,” and tried to sit on my wheel. Fortunately, that’s the worst encounter with another cyclist I’ve had in twenty years of bike commuting.

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    • Sean up North. January 10, 2013 at 11:45 am

      Weird. Seems like most people like the “good morning or evening” over the “on your left” when I ride. Maybe it was a lack of coffee day for him. :-)

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  • ME 2 January 10, 2013 at 12:38 pm

    I consider myself a relatively fast rider, but I don’t see conflicts about speed as much as it is about patience and courtesy. I ride up N Williams for evening rush hour commute. I’ve never had to wait more than 40 seconds to take lane to pass a slower rider. It’d be hypocritical of me to crowd a rider out because of my lack of patience, especially when I expect cars to give demonstrate similar patience and wait until they have adequate space to pass me on my bike. The one species of rider who seems to bother me most are the entitled ones who feel the need to cut you off and crowd you out so they can be at the front pack when you’re heading north in the weidler and broadway intersection.

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  • GlowBoy January 10, 2013 at 12:57 pm

    I ride the Hawthorne both directions (in the winter, that is … in the summer I return home via the Ross Island) and frankly I find MOST of the other commuters to be courteous and good about sharing the path, especially considering the crowding and the awful westbound design.

    It’s just a few self-involved jerks causing the problems, and they come in both fast and slow flavors. I definitely see a fair number of people passing on the left, or attempting to, when it isn’t safe. But oddly enough, the only really significant altercation I’ve had has was with a fellow cyclist who yelled at me for wanting to pass him, even though I was courteous and it was perfectly safe to do so. HE had a perfectly clear idea in HIS mind of EXACTLY the precise speed that is safe to go. He didn’t think anyone should go faster than him and told me I should be in less of a hurry. Reminds me of the old George Carlin bit that everyone slower than you is an idiot, and everyone faster than you is a maniac.

    I would ask the slower riders not to stick to the left no matter what, and please shift to the right to allow faster riders to pass when there are no pedestrians on the right (because passing on the right is really insane). If you’re lucky enough to have a 2 mile commute maybe you don’t care about the extra 20-45 seconds stuck behind a plodder who won’t let you pass even though it would be safe. But I’m at the end of an hour-plus ride at this point and want to get my ass home as quickly as is SAFELY possible. If there are pedestrians on the right I’ll be happy to wait behind you, but IF THERE’S ROOM please don’t be a self-righteous jerk and hog the left side. Fortunately I’ve only seen this happen a couple times, but it disturbs me to see a couple people on this thread advocating it.

    Faster riders, likewise, need to be patient with slower riders who may also feel the need for a little more space around them. ESPECIALLY coming off the viaduct onto the westbound bridge deck, where speeds can easily be 20-25mph but you have a semi-blind curve and an intersection. This is a really dicey spot, a horrible design, and really, really awful for those of us who are trying to merge onto the path from the Esplanade at much lower speeds. Some day, somebody’s going to get seriously hurt here, and then we may have to install traffic calming devices for bikes coming down the grade. I’m not kidding, and maybe that won’t be a bad thing.

    I live well south of the Hawthorne and unlike some I can’t easily avoid the Hawthorne (the only real alternative is the often-worse Ross Island), but I certainly will be glad when the new bridge opens up and I don’t have to deal with the Hawthorne (especially the eastbound merge from the Esplanade ramp) anymore. Fortunately the new bridge should have enough room for cyclists to pass each other even while pedestrians are present, greatly reducing conflicts.

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    • roger noehren January 11, 2013 at 12:05 am

      Why is passing on the right really insane? I’ve never done it, but people pass me on the right frequently w/o any apparent problem (except for the occasional devotee of the “always pass on the left” doctrine – who cuss at me; will they still do so when I’m 80?).

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      • dr2chase January 11, 2013 at 8:43 pm

        It’s not expected. The one and only time I almost hit a jogger on the MUP, it was passing on the right. I *thought* I was going to do the nice thing and ride on the ice (on the right) with my studded tires, but when I said “on your right” she heard “on your left”, and stepped right. So-o, jogger on the ice, and a locked-up longtail threatening to go sideways into the jogger. No harm, but very scary. I stopped and apologized a whole heck of a lot.

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  • q`Tzal January 10, 2013 at 1:28 pm

    I don’t know why we expect any better behavior from people on bicycles than the same people exhibit in automobiles.
    It is a trained habit to rage, yell and swear at other road users from inside your guilded cage.
    The only surprising bit is that these same people are unaware that they are no longer afforded the anonymity of an automobile for their daily rant.

    To those people :
    We can see you and hear you.
    We will remember you.
    We may even take pictures and identify you to the large community, both on and offline.
    While your ranting is perfectly legal you will soon discover that your antisocial behavior will follow you like an ill-conceived Facebook page.
    Who knows it could even impact your current job and future employability; if I was going to do a thorough background security check why not include publicly verified reports of unstable behavior.
    Watch out: the Internet is turning the world in to Mayberry and you won’t be able to get away with it forever.

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  • Dave January 10, 2013 at 1:53 pm

    I’ve nearly knocked people off the raised path onto the grating on the Hawthorne bridge a few times, because they try to pass me closely just as I’m moving over to avoid people walking on the outside edge of the bridge near the railing, and they just barely squeeze by me. I always try to look if I see that I’m going to have to move over to the left, but if someone is coming up on me at 15-20mph, I don’t always see them when I look, but they still overtake me just as I’m moving over. It really scares the s**t out of me, because I really *don’t* want to ever see anyone fall into traffic on that grating.

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    • dan January 10, 2013 at 4:17 pm

      Yeah, when I pass, I prefer to wait until there is not a pedestrian abreast of us. Three wide is too tight – 2 bikes or one bike+pedestrian(s) is about as much as the path accommodates.

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  • VTRC January 10, 2013 at 3:17 pm

    I’ve had some close calls on the steel bridge as a faster rider. It’s just hard to gauge the speeds of who I’m passing, who they could be passing, and oncoming traffic and it’s easy to make a mistake there. So now I just try to relax and enjoy it no matter how slow it may be. It’s a couple hundred feet of a several mile ride, I can make up the time.

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  • Jim Lee January 10, 2013 at 3:36 pm

    Haven’t Carrie and Fred sorted this out already?

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  • lisa January 11, 2013 at 9:18 am

    I’m so embarrassed for people who think they have a right to travel unimpeded, whether in cars or on bikes.

    So a few impulse control challenged babies ruin it for everybody. No more riding across the bridge, everybody off your bikes and walk across. Problem solved, for 5 minutes, until they want to pass you on foot.

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  • Over and Doubt January 11, 2013 at 10:18 am

    Such behavior may be related to all U.S. bicycling being marketed as racing-related from the “bike boom” of the 1960s up until at least the late 90s. Pretty much every bike shop nationwide had posters of Merckx, Boyer, the 7-11 dudes, Lemond and/or Armstrong conquering with arms raised; hardly a bike in inventory that wasn’t a racer (road or dirt) or an imitation thereof; and staff members who steered customers toward a certain mindset and aesthetic, even though most of those customers never encountered the realities of actual racing and related training. It might take another decade or two for folks (such as whitebeard) who absorbed that–and combined it with other challenges–to drop off the back.

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    • Dolan Halbrook January 11, 2013 at 10:31 am

      I’d argue it has as much or more to do with much less dense development and lack of infrastructure as the emphasis on sport. A lot of people I know ride fast (myself included) simply to cover a lot of ground quickly. Combine that with a longstanding need to battle it out with cars because of lack of dedicated cycle infra, and you have a recipe for assertive, possibly aggressive, riders.

      Also, this is how a lot of people get in their daily workout…

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  • GlowBoy January 11, 2013 at 1:28 pm

    Over and Doubt, I agree that the racer-mentality promoted by the industry probably contributes. (Of course, I’ve been reading and rereading GP’s Just Ride lately, so I’m definitely in full Unracer mentality these days).

    But I think there’s also something about riding on a bridge that somehow kicks in an instinct to want to go fast. I first noticed this in myself when I was a college student in the 1980s, riding the (bike/ped only) upper deck of the Washington Street Bridge in Minneapolis. It wasn’t about showing off or trying to beat other riders: it was late at night, with no one else around, that I was most prone to hammer across the bridge as fast as I could go.

    I do, of course. try to keep this instinct in check when I’m riding across the crowded Hawthorne. :D

    Somehow a bridge feels like a racetrack, subconsciously. Combine that instinct with the crowding on the fairly narrow Hawthorne path, and you have a recipe for conflict. I think it’s a credit to Portlanders’ general respect for each other that we don’t have more problems, and the problems that we do have are due to self-centered people who don’t accept that not everyone wants to ride the same way as them.

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  • q`Tzal January 11, 2013 at 1:52 pm

    Too bad we can’t swing a rush hour pontoon bridge for cyclists near here; something segmented like a lightweight version of an Army Corps of Engineers troop bridge but scaled down for bikes.

    I might be tempted to pay a daily toll for use, and maybe even purchase a monthly pass with a reimbursement agreement for each time it is offline for river traffic.

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  • Beth January 11, 2013 at 4:29 pm

    I love how the gist of these arguments seems to be:

    1. Ride faster.
    2. If you can’t ride faster (or fast enough), get off the most popular bikeways and stay out of the way of faster cyclists.
    3. The law is an ass; therefore you must ride like one as well.

    Here are some solutions I have found to be helpful:

    1. Work from home, or get a job with non-peak commuting hours. Working 2 to 7 — am OR pm — may not be for everybody but it has saved me a whole lot of heartache.
    2. When the roads get tough, go multi-modal. As long as Trimet hasn’t run itself into total bankruptcy I feel entirely comfortable tossing my bike on transit now and then to shorten or de-stress a route. It’s there, people; use it.
    3. My direct answer to N. Williams: NE Rodney. It’s just as direct, and has a LOT less traffic. I’m also far less likely to find speed-demons and traffic scofflaws on Rodney, because they’re all over on Williams trying to prove something.
    4. Getting there in a safe and RELAXED manner means far more to me than getting there fast. As the city’s population — and population of bicycle riders — continues to grow, perhaps we’ll see more riders like me on the streets.

    Happy riding.

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    • GlowBoy January 11, 2013 at 10:43 pm

      Funny, that’s not the gist I’m picking up. To me the message is “share the path, and don’t be an ass.”

      1. If you’re a fast rider, share the path and don’t be an ass. That means respecting others, being aware of your surroundings and passing only when it’s safe to do so.
      2. If you’re a slow rider, share the path and don’t be an ass. That means respecting others, being aware of your surroundings and giving faster riders room to pass when it’s safe to do so.

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      • q`Tzal January 12, 2013 at 5:59 pm

        The key word here is “share”.
        “Share” means sometimes you don’t get your way.
        This seems to be a difficult concept for us `Muricans to grasp, not always getting your way.

        Of course if Americans started all acting polite the rest of the world would assume that the alien body snatchers had invaded.

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  • roger noehren January 11, 2013 at 8:01 pm

    When I wrote that I’ve never passed anyone on the right, I was of course referring specifically to other cyclists on the Hawthorne bridge sidewalk, where I’m perfectly happy riding behind others (since very slow riders tend to mingle with the pedestrians by the railing).
    When riding on arterial streets with or without a bike lane we do all of course pass people on the right all the time – they just happened to be motorists stuck in traffic.

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    • Sunny January 11, 2013 at 9:12 pm

      That brings an interesting point — right hooks are caused by cyclists passing cars legally but unwisely at intersections. But when a cyclist passes another on the right, though in the same “lane”, the passing cyclist is clearly wrong, some would argue. Maybe both the driver and lane cyclist being passed should look before they turn right.

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  • dr2chase January 11, 2013 at 9:02 pm

    Not too many people give me any crap at all, but I’m big, and I ride a big (cargo) bike. I try really hard to be polite to other people and be sure to leave them plenty of room. I did have a guy bitch at me once for riding no hands, and I don’t think my reply was polite, and I once saw some asshole yelling at a woman for talking on her cell phone while she was riding on the path (she was doing it just fine, passing pedestrians, etc.)

    But mostly, I try really hard to be nice and safe. I spent quite some time thinking about the right way to use a bell (some distance back, so it is not a surprise or a “get-out-of-my-way”), the right way to pass (as much room as possible), and tried to enumerate exactly those situations where I should be extra careful, no matter what the hurry (for example, TWO dogs).

    My only real gripe is the new damn-bright headlights. They’re just too much. Yes, I have low-beams; amber, aimed low.

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  • Todd Boulanger January 15, 2013 at 11:21 am

    Bells and horns are a must for passing (faster) cyclists. And a mirror is nice for passed (slower) cyclist.

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