Those scofflaw cyclists

Where: Ringwood Avenue, Menlo Park, California.

When: This morning.

Who: The guy riding the bicycle in front of me.

What: He almost got creamed by a left turning car.

Why: Because the ditz on a bike completely blew through a stop sign at the all-way stop. The left turning car driver very clearly had the right-of-way and had to stop short when the cyclist darted out directly in front of him. Props to the motorist for paying attention to cretins hazards; boo on the cyclist for making the rest of us look bad.

I don’t get too update uptight about rolling through stops if nobody else is around, but if you’re riding in traffic, it’s a really good idea to pay attention to these traffic rules, whether you’re on bike or in a car. Elly Blue explores this topic in more detail at Grist: “What does it mean to cycle responsibly?”

(For those enamored of Dutch cycling — the high level of compliance among Dutch cyclists puzzles and sometimes annoys American visitors, who’d like to jaywalk when traffic is absolutely clear).

More bicycle blog updates.

The photo caption says “Malvern Star abreast tandem bicycle” — but tandem means one behind the other so this isn’t really a tandem bike. (Malvern Star is to Australia what Schwinn is to the USA.)


Man and woman on a Malvern Star abreast tandem bicycle, c. 1930s, by Sam Hood

Bike Hugger looks at bicycle derailleurs then and now in a pair of videos.

WSJ: Gen Y wants walkable communities. Via Streetsblog.

John Prolly says “Tokyo to Osaka” is worth checking out.



GPS-equipped bait bikes used to nab bike thieves in South Carolina.

LA Critical Mass, police brutality video, and a lawsuit.

Ghana: Advertising supported bike transport to schools.

Grist: “War On Cars” – A brief history of a rhetorical device.

Bike Hacks: Dog Bike.

Good: Those invisible cyclists — and we’re not talking about Bike Ninjas. Via Planetizen.

Android-powered cyclocomputer.

Bike that automatically saves crash data for post-mortem analysis so put to rest those “he said she said” issues in accident reports.

6 Comments

  • Murali
    January 18, 2011 - 6:59 pm | Permalink

    “I don’t get too [upset] about rolling through stops if nobody else is around”

    Does that apply to both cars and bikes? I mean if no one else is around, there is no harm in a car rolling through a stop sign, right?

  • January 18, 2011 - 7:05 pm | Permalink

    glad you don’t get too update about spelling errors either….

  • January 18, 2011 - 7:22 pm | Permalink

    I don’t have statistics, but my Dutch friends jaywalk in Amsterdam.

  • January 18, 2011 - 7:32 pm | Permalink

    Bikes like that Malvern Star are called “sociables.” They were fairly popular at the beginning of the last century but AFAIK no one is currently producing them.

    (Cue poster providing site link for a custom builder that ONLY makes sociables. :)

  • January 18, 2011 - 7:48 pm | Permalink

    Thanks for that — ‘sociables.’ THey look pretty fun to ride.

  • Murali
    January 20, 2011 - 8:25 pm | Permalink

    Yikes.

    True story: last night I am commuting home at 6:00pm. Just before Mary Ave (Sunnyvale), a guy in a AT&T work van rolls through the intersection that I already entered. (He has a stop. I don’t.)

    Clearly he did not see anyone else, so it was safe to just roll through and not stop. BUT the “anyone else” he looked for was other cars. The gorilla he did not see was me on my bicycle, even though I am fairly well lit up.

    Fortunately I was only going 12 mph at the time and could stop quickly before we collided.

    That is the problem with accepting people rolling through a stop sign at an empty intersection. The “emptiness” may be mistaken. More so if the person is in a hurry or distracted.

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