Hey Bikers:

By:  Diane Benjamin

Bikers are their own worst enemy!  Bike Blono guy Michael Gorman was quoted in the paper saying bikers don’t ride on the roads to disrupt traffic.  Since he is a reader:  Yes Michael bikers do disrupt traffic.

When a motorcycle is hit by a car, the driver of the car frequently says he didn’t see the cycle.  Think a bike is going to be seen any better than a motorcycle?

Anyway, one instance of a bike blocking traffic I was willing to overlook.  Now I have two stories.  Since I’m not driving in town every day, residents have probably seen the same things many time.

A couple of weeks ago I was on Streid Drive heading south toward Ireland Grove Rd.  Streid is the road Oakland turns into when it curves around the airport.  Traffic was heavy in both directions, so when I got to a lady doing 10 miles an hour on her bike, I could not pass her.  Since I was in no hurry, I just followed at 10 miles an hour behind her.  Soon at least 10 cars were behind me all going 10 miles per hour.

The lady had ample opportunities to pull off on 2 or 3 side roads, but she was oblivious to how she was disrupting traffic.  The speed limit is 40 or 45 on Streid.

Then Friday I was heading east on Ireland Grove out by BENJAMIN School.  (Yep, a relative of my husband donated the land).  It was sometime between 3:00 and 3:20pm.  Traffic was heavy in both directions, mostly due to people picking up their kids from Cornerstone Christian Academy.   Suddenly traffic is at less than 10 miles per hour.  The speed limit is 40 before by Benjamin School and 55 after.

This time there were at least 5 cars ahead of me and 20 after me.  All of us were blocked by – you guessed it – a guy on a bike.  I didn’t see how he got there, but when traffic started moving again I passed the guy in the ditch.  Hopefully he put himself there because he realized he was a menace.  He was no novice rider, he was outfitted in a riding suit with an expensive looking bike.

Government makes stupid laws all the time.  Allowing tiny bikes on the same roads with thousands of pounds of cars is near the top of the list.  Since I found two bikers in two weeks more than willing to disrupt traffic because they have a “right” to be on the road, bikers are ruining their chances of ever being accepted as equals.  The two bikers I encountered give all bikers a bad name.

Bike Blono can claim all they want that they have rights.  It doesn’t matter.  Some women think they have a right to kill their babies too.  How is that working out?

Government didn’t have a common sense when they decided to promote biking on heavily traveled roads and then declare bikers have “rights”.  Government thoughts lack common sense, biker’s need to make up for it by at least being considerate of larger and faster machines capable of squashing them.

What say you Michael?



24 thoughts on “Hey Bikers:

  1. I come across bikers too but so infrequently that whenever I have to be behind one it barely gets my blood pressure up. What are bikers supposed to do? For that matter, how many times a day, a week, or a month are you even unconvenienced by them? You are alleging that bikers want to disrupt traffic as their modus operandi? Sounds like you are just mad you had to show some patience. Gorman is right and I am not a biker. Maybe you should avoid bike routes?
    You can pass bikers if there is an opportunity. But apparently you want traffic to be perfect all the time? It only would be fixed if there are bike only roads or widening current ones. You want to pony up money for that? Doubt it. Are you like this at the grocery store when senior citizens are crossing in front of your car?

    1. Neither road had a bike trail. Riding in side streets isn’t possible? Holding up dozens of cars do a bike can be on the roads is like climate change causing terrorism. Asinine

      1. Don’t walk on the sidewalks downtown unless you have adequate health and life insurance. The bikers have no respect for pedestrians who have a right to be on the sidewalk.

      2. This comment makes no sense; it is as if you’re so mad about people getting exercise and minding their own business has affected your ability to type a coherent response.

      3. It’s called defense driving, that is to say look out for the other guy, because he/she probably is not looking out for you. I come across bad drivers more than bad bikers and I hardly see it as a call to reduce the amount of drivers. Things dont need be perfect for you all the time. Please realize that bikers follow the rules just as much as automobile operators. And they probably break the rules at comparable rates too. If I had my way, I wouldn’t have to wait in lines at amusement parks. Not happening.

        1. How is blocking traffic following the law? A car driving 10 miles per hour would be ticketed for driving too slow. When it’s impossible for a car to pass a bike safely, the bike needs to get off the road. Gee, farmers do.

  2. I come across bikers that frequently disobey several of the rules of the road which makes the roadways dangerous for both bikers and drivers. The most common disregard for the law is that they run stop signs. They ride on the wrong side of the road a lot too. At night many do not wear reflective or bright clothing, Some do not have any lighting and/or their lighting is insufficient, hard to see. Although I am not an advocate of more government licensing, since these lawbreakers don’t have any license plates, it is difficult to identify and report then to the authorities to reprimand or get these lawbreakers off the road.

    If bicycle riders are going to be on the streets with automobiles shouldn’t they be held to the same rules of the road as automobiles?

    1. Yes, Mudd, the bikers should be held to the same rules of the road. “Rights” come with responsibility. For that matter, the bikers should pay a fee for licenses to off-set the cost of painting bike lanes.

      1. Interestingly enough. The same laws all drivers claim cyclists break at will have been shown to be broken by motorists at least the same % of the time, sometimes higher. Only when cyclists do it they generally only endanger themselves.

        Also, statistically, Bikers pay MORE into their share of “road tax” (technically it doesn’t exist, but clueless motorists always bring it up) because all tax payers pay into our roads, yet cyclists do not add wear and tear on the roads like Drivers. Some studies show that choosing to drive instead of walk/ride costs some areas over one dollar per mile in tax dollars, whereas riding or walking SAVES 30-50 cents per mile.

        The reason you people think cyclists are all law breakers can be put down to two main human traits: perception and psychology. Perception: Motorists mostly travel at the same speed as each other, this means you pass “less” of them, and are more stuck in the pack. However cyclists and motorists pass each other more frequently (at least given the low number of cyclists on the road) leading to more interactions with cyclists than motorists. This is the reason I, a motorist and cyclist but I usually cycle to work, see far more motorists run stop signs, run red lights, pass other cars dangerously, NEVER use their damn turn signals. Because I’m traveling at a lower rate of speed, so have more motorists pass me. Whereas with cyclists we’re usually traveling within a few mph of each other and there are fewer times we cross paths.

        The psychology is simple. Here in America, we are motor centric to an astonishing degree. We most likely passed at least one fatal car accident as a passenger before we were one year old. We are used to hopping in the car just to go a few blocks to the corner store. We circle parking lots trying to find a spot 20 feet closer to the store. Everything about being a motorist is seen as normal. You see motorists speed, cut people off, drift over lanes, stop abruptly when they almost miss a turn, run lights, run stop signs. But YOU are a motorist. That’s your pack. You forgive and forget that which doesn’t immediately affect you, and even when it does, you are able to empathize because you yourself have almost hit people in your blind spot, you’ve forgotten to signal, stopped abruptly, merged poorly, all things which affect traffic more than cyclists, and affect human lives by killing tens of thousands every year. A high year for cyclists is about 100 I believe. Yet that one time an unreasonable cyclist hits a granny in the cross walk and she dies, the world is in an uproar(and it is truly tragic, and I do hope there is justice in those situations). Meanwhile that week in the same city no less than five cars “hit the gas instead of the brake” and drove up onto the sidewalk injuring or killing pedestrians. In NYC, for example, people can blatantly break the law, drive dangerously, cause a death, and often get nothing more than whatever traffic violation they would have. A sub $500 penalty for taking someone else life because you felt inconvenienced.

        1. One more thing – automobile drivers don’t want to kill cyclists. Obviously running stop signs doesn’t only endanger the cyclist – the other driver has to live with what happened.

      2. The City and State collect Motor Fuel Tax from the purchase of gasoline to be used for road repair. It costs the City money to paint the bike lanes on the road. Licensing a bicycle has two benefits–one for tracking a bike if lost or stolen, the other to off-set the cost of painting the bike lanes. You may not know but the cost of implementing the bicycle Master Plan is $250M.

  3. Many Bloomington-Normal bikers are arrogant, totally disrespectful of the law, explosively short tempered, self aggrandizing snots. Has Mayor Tari discovered a previously unknown cloning process?

  4. You all make it sound like every driver on the road is an angel… no rolling through stop signs, no texting while driving, etc. Give me a break. As a cyclist and someone who agrees with most of the things that are said on this site, the anti-bike sentiment gets my blood boiling.

    No one here is so important that they can’t wait 30 seconds to find a gap where it is safe to pass. Everyone should be happy that some people are out getting some exercise, improving their health, and reducing their potential burden on the health insurance system.

    1. I was side-swiped and nearly knocked over by a cyclist while walking on a sidewalk downtown near the History Museum. I nearly hit a cyclist at night because there were no lights or reflective clothing. I don’t mind sharing the road as long as the rules are followed and cyclists make a real effort to make themselves seen. No–I do not talk or text while driving. And, there are many ways to stay healthy if one cannot afford a bicycle.

      1. Stiff arm them. When on a sidewalk this may get their attention. When meeting a biker who appears to not want to yield to a pedestrian, simple straighten out your arm towards the curved part of the bikers handle bars and when it makes contact with your palm, it will turn the bike away from you and it may force the rider to crash. It’s called self defense.

  5. Bikers DO need to follow the rules of the road just like the rest of us! A biker(s) is going to be seriously hurt some day when they disregard stop signs! Bikers need to note that Grove and Bryan in Normal is a two way stop! Bikers need to stop on Bryan at the stop sign or they are going to be hit by the north/south traffic on Grove!! Bikers do not own the road!

    1. The rest of you? The rest of you are too busy causing tens of thousands of deaths a year. I love when motorists who tried their best to steal the roads from everybody start seeing a more common sense approach, with mixed traffic and start screaming about cyclists not owning the roads! It’s hilariously hypocritical. YOU, Janet, do not own the road. Yes, cyclists often need to stop at stop signs (in some places there are common sense laws where stop signs are treated as yield signs, legally). But so do cars. Here’s a statistic: everyone breaks those laws. The difference is one person breaks the law safe in their little climate controlled safety cage while texting their BFF, while the other one is out in the elements with a padded hat to protect them. As soon as you start showing outrage at the millions of texting and driving nitwits on the road who cause more deaths, accidents, traffic collisions, and damage to infrastructure than a cyclist could, then you can show rage at a cyclist who got himself killed.

      Grow some rational objectivity.

  6. More then 5 vehicles trailing you is “OBSTRUCTION OF TRAFFIC”, which don’t seem to apply to “cyclists” just like STOP signs! Want to keep a count? Go just north of Ironwood on Towanda toward Lake Bloomington on a nice day and see HOW MANY run ANY of the STOP signs going north OR south, don’t matter. Bet you’ll get better then 50%, and they SHOULD be ticketed, but the deputies must have better things to do then keep the roads safe.

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