My wife and I love to ride. When we do ride on the road, we do it legally,and with respect to the traffic around to cause as little inconvenience to traffic as possible, which many times includes not doing things that we are legally entitled to do as a cyclist. Many times, we will ILLEGALLY ride on the shitty old sidewalk full of broken concrete, missing concrete, exposed tree roots, fallen branches, garbage cans, and children playing, to avoid LEGALLY riding on the road.
We've all but given up trying to ride on the road unless there is a huge (48" wide or wider) shoulder, or it's an organized even with the roads blocked off. Even rural roads that one car goes down an hour aren't safe with some off the assholes out there. Even BIKE LANES aren't even remotely safe to ride in. Some of the attitudes and thoughts expressed in this thread are a perfect example of why. There are too many ignorant assholes out there who....
- who think that just because they've seen a few cyclists do stupid shit that every cyclist on the road needs to be "paid back" for the stupid shit that those people have done
- who think it's some game to "buzz" me by going by at highway speeds purposely hugging the right side of the road and missing my head with their big tow mirror by just inches
- who insist on staying in the far right lane on a 4 lane divided highway so they can buzz me, even though there are no other cars on the road, and they could have easily moved over
- who like to wait until the very last second before they blow their horn for absolutely no reason and scare the shit out of me
- who won't slow down for just a few seconds until it's clear to pass
- who think passing a cyclist is the perfect opportunity to show how much coal their diesel can roll
- who like to throw trash and other shit out the window as if it's a game of "hit the cyclist on the way by"
- who throw nails and glass bottles on the road ahead of me as I'm riding
- who feel entitled to the road for themselves only for ridiculous reasons that usually defy the law
I find that most of these assholes have some sort of entitlement problem, and apparently think "I'm the best driver on the road and everybody else can get the fukc out of my way". Along with this comes their thought that....
- semis and anybody with a trailer needs to stay in the right lane at all times, except for me when I have a trailer
- everybody going slower than me (regardles of the speed limit or road conditions) is impeding traffic and needs to speed up
- everybody going faster than me (regardless of the speed limit or road conditions) is reckless and needs to slow down
- you should know that I'm driving a big truck with a big trailer and I can't stop in a reasonable distance, so if I run a red light and hit you, it's your fault because because you were too stupid to not know that I can't stop, and you shouldn't have went when the light turned green
- anybody towing a trailer is too heavy / loaded wrong, except me, because I drive a 30 year old Cummins and I can tow 50,000 pounds safely
After riding respectfully for years and years, and being treated like that (potentially killed - many, many times), people wonder why cyclists do stuff like pull out into the middle of the extra-narrow lane as they cross a bridge so nobody can get by until they are across the bridge. It's because we know that one of these days some asshole is going to kill us. So because so many drivers are so stupid, we need to force them to obey the law and do what's safe, because we know that many people won't.
Regardless of what is legal, illegal, right, wrong, or what anybody says, I've all but given up. Car versus bike = bike loses every time. I don't love cycling so much that I'm willing to roll the dice with death that often. Cyclists are way outnumbered, so no matter how hard we try, or what the laws are, it's a losing battle for cyclists.