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OregonLive forums reveal bike haters

Posted by on January 17th, 2006 at 10:42 am

Did anyone notice the posts to the Portland forum on OregonLive.com in response to the Albright/TriMet lawsuit? I clicked on them just out of curiousity. Wow. They reveal the dark underbelly of how some Portlanders feel about cyclists. I’m not posting these to get cyclists all pissed off, I just think its useful to know how “the other side” feels about us.

Here are some selected comments from that forum:

“if he (the driver) had aided his passenger they could have thrown the bike and perhaps the rider off the bridge, to the betterment of all who use the streets.”

“why didn’t the driver simply run the guy over when he had the opportunity?”

“If the moron on the bike wants to argue with a 3000 pound car, you know who will ultimately lose. Yes the driver may get in trouble but the bicyclist may very well be DEAD!!! If he has no respect for his own life, why should I??”

“They get theirs in the end, then their slow learning buddies scream and put flowers out for them.”

He should be charged with many counts of kidnapping as he held all of those people against their will.

“He (the cyclist) should be charged with multiple counts of attempted assault as by stopping and holding the bus he was threatening all on the bus. Not to mention the laws against terrorism.”

“Gravel doesn’t make the bike lane unusable. It just makes the rider pay better attention to what they are doing. He was riding illegally out of convenience for himself. Then he gets pissed because traffic didn’t bow down to him. He got exactly what he deserved.”

“If I had been driving the bus…the city would have one less idiot bike maniac on the road. I say mow them all down if they want to pull such stunts.”

Geez. I feel like I need to take a shower after reading all those.

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Ben
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Ben

More interesting to me is the continued impression most motorists seem to have that 1) they are paying their way and that 2) cyclists are not.

See: http://www.kenkifer.com/bikepages/advocacy/free.htm
for a good bit about why cyclists should not pay to use the roads.

I have the right to walk or cycle on the road. Motorists must pay for the privlege, and for good reason. Not to mention, they don’t pay for the negative externalities of driving: more accidents, more cops, more hospitals, more children with asthma, more runoff, pollution, global warming….

Damon
Guest
Damon

I don’t like bicyclists on the roads. I don’t like riding my bike on the road either. Its bad juju and motorcyclists feel the same. I do believe everyone on the road should pay to use it, sidewalks excluded of course. Bikes need their own paths.. cars need theirs. But don’t start talking about global anything. You don’t know and you don’t control me and never will. Cars will be electric and self drive.. speed will be correct, and body glove striped skin tight assholes need to stay the hell off the road. Period

Evan Manvel
Guest

Those comments are indeed disturbing. I often think that blogs and web fora can bring out people who just want to get noticed, and that those people say things on anonymous screens they wouldn’t say in person.

That said, that they’re advocating for running over cyclists is outrageous.

Meghan
Guest
Meghan

I’ve found the OregonLive forums in general to be overrun with hostile, reactionary comments. I don’t think OregonLive has done much to foster or facilitate real, productive discussions among its readers.

But it’s still frightening to think that one of these “mow them all down” types might be behind me on the road.

Jeff
Guest
Jeff

These comments along with the long list of drivers who get off with a “slap” on the wrist for killing cyclists and pedestrians leads me to believe that we should have only one or a few “official” BIKE ONLY states! The rest of the nation can build all the roads, highways, sprawl and automania. They can play bumber cars all day and sit in traffic. The few “BIKE ONLY” states could enjoy a different way to travel… My .02

There will always be some negative comments. I believe people state the worst but in person they are actually very much cowards.

Keep Cycling,

Jeff

TIM
Guest
TIM

IF BIKE RIDERS CANT FOLLOW THE RULES OF THE ROAD THEN THEY GET WHAT THEY DESERVE, Randy Albright WAS IN THE WRONG WHEN HE BLOCK THE BUS AND WHEN HE ROAD OUT OF THE BIKE PATH. BIKES DONT PAY INSURANCE WHEN THEY HIT SOMEONE

Bry
Guest
Bry

ugh, I feel a bit sick reading some of the comments on OregonLive. Do people really think like that?

I have to take some solice in the fact that the same five people were the ones sitting at their computers, spewing that garbage about how bikers are fit to lick the roads they drive on – I doubt they represent a true sampling of what most Portlanders think on this issue. If they did, I’d more than likely have been killed on Hawthorne long ago.

etta-tron
Guest
etta-tron

those comments are frightening ideed. it never ceases to amaze me how irreverant people can be about something as basic as another person’s right to live. drivers can hate on bikers all they want, and vice versa (everyone is entitled to their own opinion) but to go around spouting off about mowing people down and practically advocating for the death of people who disagree with you reminds me a bit of some of the more unsavory dictators history has to offer (not that there are really any “savory” dictators…)

Bry
Guest
Bry

Reading those postings, and the rest on OregonLive, turned my stomach. But I can take some solice that most of the postings were written by the same five people, who obviously had nothing better to do than rant back-and-forth for hours together in the middle of the day.

I believe those people don’t represent a true majority of Portlanders – if they did, I would have been killed on Hawthorne long ago.

David
Guest
David

Tim,

If I am not mistaken, cyclists are allowed a full lane EVEN if there is a bike lane.

Mike
Guest
Mike

Yeah, those comments on OregonLive (and now one here) do suck. To me, though, they just prove that the anonymonity of the internet will entice people to make much more offensive, cowardly and idiotic statements than they ever would in person.

Jason
Guest
Jason

What kills me is the motive of TriMet bus drivers. They don’t view every citizen in Portland as a potential customer. If your in the way look the f* out. Do any of these drivers take any pride in their job and think about the safety of not only their passengers but other users of the road?

Bicycle
Guest

If cyclists are allowed a full lane (which they are) then ride in the middle of the lane not to the far right side of the lane as this cyclist was.

Kevin
Guest
Kevin

The same problem happens when you take a full lane Bicycle. I have a 1 mile commute to school. I take an entire lane, but almost daily get honked and yelled at within my 5 minute commute in downtown Portland. I am a strong rider, and average about 20 mph while riding. yet even when I’m going that fast and taking a full lane, cars still pass go around me at about 35+ mph (4th avenue, just after it ceases to be Barbur) without completely moving out of my lane. At that speed, I can easily become a twisted wreck underneath their hunk of state regulated deadly weapon that requires a permit to operate. However, they seem to think that going the speed limit, allowing me a full lane, and using their blinkers so I know when they are about to turn into me, are laws they can disobey.

R.E.
Guest
R.E.

Yes, there are a lot of nasty comments on this subject and yes, it is very unfortunate that there seems to an influx of riders getting hit…as a driver and sometimes rider I can see it from both sides. It seems the one thing over looked here is that it’s EVERYBODY’S responsibility to maintain safety out there.

The fact is there are some riders who are what I call “Ride Ragers”, Randy Albright chose to become one and got his A#@ handed to him…he should suck it up.

Ask your self this…how many of those of you who ride daily, have ridden your bike in gravel safely? I know I have and I’m no where near the level of riding experience. This issue involves not only the driver, but also the people on the bus, going to wherever it is they a going and then being held up Randy Albright and Randy’s ego at the time because he needs to “make eye contact”…are you kidding? I think it’s safe to assume that cars are going to pass cyclists on the road and visa versa. Also I have seem a lot more cyclist throw stuff, bang on hoods of cars, yell at drivers over situations that in no way endanger them, more then I have seen drivers getting enraged…

The argument that drivers don’t pay for the negative effects of driving is silly at best. I’m pretty sure my insurance still goes up when I have an accident, pretty sure I still have to pay DEQ, Pretty sure I’m a small part of how the city is able to afford yellow/white paint for bike lanes. And that’s just it..if you all remember years ago, BEFORE there was ever such a thing as bike lanes in Portland, Cyclists had to have them, demanded them! And got them rightly so. But now it’s not enough…Let me ask this…if cyclists shouldn’t have to pay to uses the roads, then why should they be allowed to use them at all?

Regarding Bike Riding safety, It seems the cyclist community could use a refresher on road rules for bicycles (especially you Mr. Albright) here’s an online link to the Oregon manual:

http://www.oregon.gov/ODOT/DMV/forms/manuals.shtml

Pg. 5 In Oregon, a bicycle is a vehicle by law. When riding your bike on a road, you have the same rights and duties as other road users. With a few exceptions, the rules of the road for drivers apply to you. Consult the Oregon Driver’s Manual to become familiar with these rules.

Interesting…hmmmm.

Pg 6. Does read to watch for hazzards like glass, rocks, drains and gravel.

But really. Won’t that make all the roads an unridable hazzard for cyclists? And also given the choice between gravel and the possibility of being hit outside of a provided bike lane…I would have taken the gravel.

Pg 7. Clearly states that a rider can a full lane if: there is no shoulder or bike lane, and the travel lane is narrow and that if a rider takes the lane to take the lane in the center traveling at the SAME speed as traffic….

not slower than traffic, not holding up traffic and most certainly not to put themselves in a position where cars are going to pass closely to them.

I guess it all boils down to individual safety and education for all parties included…you all now have your homework link to manuals…class dismissed!

Doug
Guest
Doug

FYI – Regarding bicyclists being entitled to a full land, I think the writer is confusing this with the statute regarding motorcycles and mopeds. In Oregon cyclists are not entitled to a whole lane. If you are not keeping up with traffic you must stay as close to the right edge of the road as practical. Exceptions for hazards, passing, etc. are permitted.
For riders interested in learning more about the rules of the road for cyclists and everyone else, the Oregon Revised Statutes are online at http://www.oregon.gov. Chapter 814 has most of the rules that apply to cyclists.

BT
Guest
BT

I agree with most in that it is abhorrent to me that people think as they do about other modes of transport. I do the I-5 Salem to PDX commute 4 days a week. I see far worse each day. If somehow people could embrace the notion that a car is a privilege and there are “humans” piloting all these mechanized means of transport AND that as humans they deserve the same consideration each of us expects this type of situation might end.

Further, historically we have had to sometimes take things in hand to make a point. Randy did this; it wasn’t legal or right but he made a statement. In doing so he has sparked debate and hopefully it will have enough inertia to be a catalyst for something positive!

On a more irreverent note quoting Blog poster etta-tron ~ “(not that there are really any “savory” dictators…)”

This depends entirely on how long they are marinated! I suggest broiling for best results

Brian ~ Roady and daily freeway commuter

apcow
Guest

The comments on that forum remind me of the RNR section on portland craigslist or the forums at shameless restaurants dot com. There must be literally dozens of portlanders who have nothing better to do than type anonymous derogatory and sometimes incoherent messages on forums. The anonymity of those boards render them useless.
That said, as a long-time car driver, the only cyclists I dislike are the helmetless ones that scream down the wrong way in the dark on SE Belmont between 12th and 20th. 99% of the time, however, these cyclists are simply meth addicts with a stolen bike and not representative of the cycling community we have here in Portland.

Aaron
Guest

I think that we should invite ‘Tim’ to a Shift meeting or other bike event and see if he has the courage to say something in person. The reason many drivers act aggressively is because they have anonymity. Very few of them actually get out of their cars and ‘discuss’ the situation face to face.
True courage is knowing the roads are dangerous and getting out there on a bike because you love it, or because you don’t want to be the one ‘mowing down’ someone else.

R.E.
Guest
R.E.

Hey, just wanted to ask Doug if you were referring to my post needing the clarification …here’s the rule partaining to the Taking of a lane, cut and pasted from the Oregon Bicyclist Manuel @ the link I provided..

When you should take a lane
If there is no shoulder or bike lane, and the travel lane is narrow, ride closer to the center of the lane. This will prevent motorists from passing you when there isn’t room. You should also take the lane when you’re traveling at the same speed as traffic. This will keep you out of motorists’ blind spots and reduce conflicts with right-turning traffic.

Cyclist can legally take a lane providing they can match the above criteria..

Bulldog
Guest
Bulldog

I’m a bicyclist when it’s dry and a driver when it’s wet, so I try to see things from both sides. So when I see that Albright blocked the front of the bus with his vehicle so that it could not pass to “engage” the driver, I wonder if he was breaking some sort of road-rage law. If he had cut off the bus and forced it to halt using a car, wouldn’t he have been charged with something? And if so, why wouldn’t he have been charged if his vehicle was a bike? Anyone?

Nate
Guest
Nate

I noticed yesterday (tues) as I was rushing to a meeting that a fellow biker did get ‘mowed down’ on SE hawthorne and about 9th. The police were there and ambulence etc coming. Other bikers were there in support. Does anyone know if he/she is okay?

Shawn
Guest
Shawn

i’m a pittsburgher, and commute via one of my bikes as often as i can. i just want to say that everyone in portland should be happy you even have bike lanes at all, for i have none, and have to deal with idiotic people nearly hitting me all the time. if it was me i would have slowly rode down the dirty bike lane, and been happy i even had the lane at all.

look at america today, there’s way more bad sh!t goin on than this, and we can’t do anything about it either. a majority of people are ignorant, end of story, and i don’t think that will ever change.

Doug
Guest
Doug

R. E. I was actually responding to Kevin’s post, but your clarification is correct. If you are traveling at the same speed as traffic and/or are going the speed limit, you can take the entire lane. At all other times, you must stay as close to the right side of the lane as practical and safe (my paraphrasing). Certain exceptions are outlined in the ORS Chapter 814.

organic brian
Guest
organic brian

Everyone: some of the crew at ODOT have assembled a document that consolidates all of the bike / ped related statutes, so that you don’t have to go searching through all the ORS chapters. It is here in the link “ORS Summary”:
http://www.oregon.gov/ODOT/HWY/BIKEPED/laws_regs.shtml

Happy reading! Every cyclist should know this stuff, I’ve skimmed over some of it but actually read most of it, so I know for example that to make a legal stop YOU DON’T HAVE TO PUT A FOOD DOWN, and that you can legally “take a lane” when debris or other hazards make riding all the way to the right unsafe. Note the addition of the recent laws regarding, for example, passing on the right, and yielding at pedestrian crossings.

THANKS, ODOT, and especially Sheila Lyons for being patient with my pestering.

Chriss Pagani
Guest

I was watching Fox 12 last night and they were talking about a cyclist in Vancouver who was attacked while riding in the bike lane.

Apparently these two guys pulled up ahead of him and started beating the rider with baseball bats. He was hurt too bad to offer much of a description, so the police are looking for clues.

Guys, I want to note that there is at least a reasonable possibility that the Oregonlive 5 bike haters were the perpetrators of this attack. The police ought to be tracing those IP addresses and asking questions…right?

Sheldon
Guest
Sheldon

Internet message boards by their nature bring out the a-hole in people. It is easy to rage when its anonymnous and you don’t have to do it to someone’s face. Having said that I’m starting to feel a little unsafe out there on the streets. I obey the law regularly but it isn’t enough. I regularly race home on NE Knott St. I’m only about 3 or 4 miles below the speed limit and I still have frustrated drivers buzzing by me, some rolling down their window and cursing. I feel pretty frustrated when a group of people (drivers) are telling me to follow the law when they don’t know what it is themselves.

R.E.
Guest
R.E.

Ok, after watching this video of the event ( http://katu.com/stories/82598.html )…Mr. Albright your no angel in this situation and frankly, I’ll come right out it with…you deserved it (not hating on cyclists) I’m just saying, you sir are an a*$! Your lack of better judgement and common sense is not only what started the chain of events, but it is also what fueled it. Let me explain and ask a few questions:

1) Oregon law states it is acceptable for a cyclist to use the sidewalk. the video clearly shows a large, open sidewalk, Why didn’t you use it in the first place? You used it to catch up to the bus!

2) Mr. ALbright did not take a lane as he should have and opened himself to the possablty of a car/bus hitting him. and that brings me to…

3) If a bus is passing that close, logic is going to tell me that cars were too!..How’s your financies Mr. Albright? Need cash? Trimet an easy target? Do you often measure the distance of vechiles passing you with your arm?…

4) He threw himself and his bike in front of the bus, that was moving mind you, to establish his “eye contact”. Putting himself at an even greater risk of the bus hitting him (which is why is why he was mad to begin with, right?), endangering the people on the bus and the traffic behind it…after racing down the side walk he should have been using in the first place all for his “eye contact” ….WHAT. A. DICK!

I hope they find the guy that assualted Mr. Albright and buy him a dinner and the city grill…seriously, I don’t hate cyclists but that video pretty doomed any sympathy i had for the situation…I will be shocked if anybody turns that guy in…That guy’s a hero

Chris Smith
Guest

I was in the Lloyd District a couple of days ago and watched a (auto) driver pull over and (illegally) block the bike lane and the #8 bus for almost a minute while discharging a passenger.

No one on the bus seemed to be motivated to violence.

Brooke Hoyer
Guest
Brooke Hoyer

The two biggest beefs that motorists have with cyclists are 1) that cyclists are an impediment to getting where they are going and 2) cyclists are getting away with breaking laws — which lets them “get ahead” by cheating. Motorists will throw around arguments as to why bicyclists don’t belong but their intense dislike of cyclists is derived from those two simple reasons.

I’ve had plenty of moments in my life where I’ve been in a hurry and someone just isn’t doing something fast enough. Occasionally, I’ll get frustrated and sometimes act a little snippy. Lots of people act this way and their behavior doesn’t change when they get behind the wheel. The significant difference is that when driving, they are wielding an enormous bludgeon disguised as an automobile. When a motorist encounters a cyclist, she will often have to slow before proceeding around the cyclist. Having to slow to 10-15mph for even a couple seconds is enough to inspire a motorist to punctuate their pass with revved engine and a close shave.

The second – and perhaps most infuriating – dispute motorists have with cyclists is that they believe cyclists are getting away with something. Cyclists blow though stop signs and traffic lights. Cyclists cut to the front of lines of traffic waiting to get through an intersection. Cyclists hop up onto the sidewalk to get around an obstacle while motorists are stuck in traffic. Motorists reserve the same sort of scorn for other motorists who cut into the front of the line when traffic is congested or perform other violations that allow them to line cut. However, when a motorist “cheats,” it is unlikely that anyone enraged enough to do anything about it will be able to catch them. Not so for a cyclist. An enraged motorist has a good chance of catching a lawbreaking cyclist and buzzing him – or worse. Cyclists are also readily identifiable as a class of individuals. There is no way to determine whether a motorist is a likely to engaging in line cutting unless actually engaging in that activity. Therefore they can’t be singled out for retribution. However, many motorists identify all cyclists as scofflaws whether they obey traffic laws of not.

Because motorists see cyclists as impediments and hooligans, they often try to find justifications for banning them from the roads. One justification that always seems to get used is that bicyclists don’t pay taxes for road construction. The argument is that gas taxes pay for roads and bikes don’t use gas. Therefore, roads are “owned” by motorists. The fact is that gas taxes are insufficient for road construction and maintenance so cyclists do contribute with other taxes (property, income, etc.) In addition, most cyclists also own cars and purchase gas. To demonstrate how absurd this argument is, by the same logic many other vehicles should be banned such as electric cars and horse drawn vehicles like those used by the Amish.

Another justification is that motorists contend that cyclists should be required to pass a test akin to a driving test and have licenses. Cyclists should understand the rules of the road but it is ludicrous to expect children to trek down to the DMV to take a cycling test so they can ride around their neighborhood. Perhaps pedestrians should be required to have licenses as well? They cause at least as much mayhem as cyclists. Motorists also complain that cyclists are allowed to break traffic laws. Their grievance shouldn’t be with cyclists, it should be with law enforcement. If motorists want to have equity in ticketing, perhaps they should complain to their police department.

I am very disturbed by the vigilante nature of the response to the Albright lawsuit. Mr. Albright didn’t behave appropriately but he shouldn’t have been subjected to physical assault. Should the guy delaying an airplane departure because he is arguing about his carry-on luggage that doesn’t fit in the overhead or under the seat be assaulted and physically removed from the plane? Should the woman holding up the line for an amusement park ride because one of her two kids is too short for the ride be shoved out of line? Vigilante justice wouldn’t be appropriate in those cases and it wasn’t in Mr. Albright’s case either. If physical assault is justified for boorish behavior, then very few people would escape a beating.

Ron Strasser
Guest
ron

Truth is… When so many people live in relative close proximity these types of interactions will happen. Each person thinks his/her trip or destination is “the most important one” and thus the set-up for potential conflict is in place. There are lots of things that can be done to help prevent these from taking place or getting out of control. Patience and a willingness to give way when needed are good for all to practice. That said, there will always be people out there (cyclists, drivers, or pedestrians) that will NOT be willing to “give” and so these conflicts will continue. I still believe that the most important thing a cyclist (driver or pedestrian for that matter) can do when traveling is to be as courteous as possible to those we encouter. This will not solve all the conflicts but will help minimize them taking place. RIDE SAFE FOLKS! Being on a bicycle is one of the neatest things we can experience… be it commuting, racing or touring!

Bicycle Commuter Mike
Guest

I’ve been following this a bit from the midwest or as I refer to it “hell” and the thought that I have had for some time is this… non-cyclist or folks who don’t use their bike to commute with may not admit it but deep down they resent the fact that they are not more self relieant. They see bicycle commuters and wish that they could do the same because they know that it is a great idea. Folks alredy don’t like cyclist and when they are given just an ounce of fuel it just builds the fire.

I do not live in a bicycle friendly city, as a result I hve had to resort to “militant tacticts” just to protect my life on the street. It’s too bad that there is this mentality but I do not see it changing anytime soon if ever.

Chriss Pagani
Guest

Wait until gas hits five dollars a gallon.. and it will.

In the meantime, I STILL think the police need to know about the haters on the Oregonlive site – the ones that said all cyclists should die. They are probably either the perpetrators of the anonymous attacks on cyclists or they know who is.

Bob Maginnis
Guest
Bob Maginnis

Some dogs just can’t help but bark at bicycles, and some people are just like those dogs. Still, Albright should have been on the sidewalk if he didn’t like the bike lane. In all my riding on sidewalks, I have only been gently reprimanded once.

When I saw a bicylist run off the road by a bus in India, the bus slowed just long enough to see that the bicyclist was able to get back on his feet. Albright’s lawsuit just increases the bus fare.

I would prefer benign neglect to more rules and regulations.

unithraxer
Guest
unithraxer

I ride to work a majority of the time and have for years. Why even have a bike lane if it’s avoided? If you don’t like the rocks and debris go up a size in tires. It really bums me out that Albright and Critical Mass think it’s their right to block auto traffic. It makes me want to give up bicycling so I’m not associated with this aggressive behavior. And they say it’s for the better of society.

Brooke Hoyer
Guest
Brooke Hoyer

To unithraxer: Like you, I bike to work almost every day. I use Conti Gatorskins with Tuffy strips because I hate flats. However, my general rule is that I will avoid anything (gravel, standing water, crash debris, etc.) that I would also avoid were I driving a car. Even with significant flat protection, I still get flats this time of year.

The primary road surface is “naturally” swept of debris through car traffic and the cycle lanes are not. That means that there is a greater likelihood that dangerous debris will concentrate in the cycle lanes.

Of course you already know this since you are out on the streets almost every day on your bike.

Terry Nobbe
Guest
Terry Nobbe

Revenge is the Lords’:

It is mine to avenge: I will repay.
In due time their foot will slip;
their day of disaster is near
and their doom rushes upon them.
Dt 32:35 NIV

Ronald Bourgeois
Guest
Ronald Bourgeois

I have no problem with cyclists, as I ride a lot myself. One thing that disturbs is this idiotic belief in “Global Warming” that 99% of the biking community holds dear.

As cyclists we should promote conservation and care for the environment. That would be fine. Perpetuating B.S. to line the pockets of rabid activists, is another thing entirely.

Where are all the stories about the large amount of Arctic Ice returning this winter?

Bob Maginnis
Guest
Bob Maginnis

Ronald,

The Arctic freezes every winter, but the thickness is less (less old ice) and the ice area trend is down as shown at:

http://www.nsidc.org/arcticseaicenews/
and
http://arctic.atmos.uiuc.edu/cryosphere/

We should enact a $50/ton carbon tax and a dollar a gallon Mideast oil war tax, also a “pay at the pump” basic auto liability of about a dollar a gallon (about of which an amount we drivers pay to private insurance companies.)

More “global Warming” info at:

http://www.realclimate.org/index.php/archives/2004/12/index/

Bob

wsbob
Guest
wsbob

Everybody’s entitled to their own opinion. The belief that global warming is occurring doesn’t seem at all idiotic to me. There are many, many indications that global warming has been going on for sometime. Mountain glacier size reduction is just one of them…even on out own Wy’east, aka, Mt. Hood.

How much of global warming is human related? Lots of argument back and forth about that, but I think I’ll continue to encourage efforts to reduce human contributions to global warming.