Friday, December 21, 2007

Bikesafer ????


What kind of name is that for a blog.

Well I'm on a bit of a mission. The short version is in my profile. I hate getting harassed by cars and trucks.

So I have been doing what I can to make it safer for all cyclists.

The long story goes back a couple summers. The wife and I were biking on Lake Drive when a minivan passed us with about a foot of clearance at the start of the pass and getting closer as he passed. I was fairly certain he was going to hit me so I put my left had out so he would hit my hand before he hit my handlebars and sent me flying. I was right, he hit my hand. Then he swerved over in front of us and started screaming obscenities at us. I decided that was a good time to get the authorities involved.

The Whitefish Bay Police arrived a couple minutes later. They talked to the driver first and told us to wait about a half block away. After they talked to the driver for a couple minutes they let him drive off and came to talk to us. We told them what happened. They told us we were "lucky" they didn't cite me for disorderly conduct for "striking" his car. So I guess in Whitefish Bay WI, if you get hit by a motorist, you are guilty of disorderly conduct.

That is when I decided I'd had enough. I now call the police whenever I have a close call with a driver like this. I know the police are busy fighting crime and all, so I don't call them unless it is a particularly egregious offense or if the driver swears, swerves or throws something, etc.

That hadn't gone very well. I had been told that I wasn't riding in the proper position on the road, or that I should find a different road if I didn't want to be forced off the road. I've even been told by numerous law enforcement officials that I didn't have the right to be on the road in the first place! It's bad enough to hear this from the motoring public, but to get this from law enforcement was too much.

So I read and re-read the state statutes , and then found this little number. Now when I go to the authorities, I have proof of what happened. I still get the same response from most officers, but then I write letters to chiefs of police, or mayors or county executives, explaining the laws and our rights as cyclists. Unfortunately of the 6 or 7 complaints I've made in the last couple months ZERO tickets have been issued.

That's where this site comes in. I am going to begin posting the videos and perhaps the names of those officers and the nonsense they tell me about our rights to be on the road.

I will also welcome comments and discussion from motorists who have horror stories about cyclists who violate the laws and come close to causing accidents. We have right to be out there but we also have responsibility to behave appropriately.

The difference, of course is when cyclists break the law they put their own lives at risk, when motorists violate the laws relating to cyclists they put the cyclists lives at risk.

I'm sick of getting pushed around out there and I'm starting to push back. If you want to help fight for you rights to use the road, keep checking back here for useful links. I'll also have just plain fun biking stuff too.

Thanks for reading, keep riding and bike safe.


What Do I Feel Like Riding today? said...

you should check out velocity's new Reflective painted rims.

Anonymous said...

Im sorry... I think you were absolutely in the wrong. Cycling on that street at that time was hampering the city's ability to perform emergency maintenance... and that is what snow removal is. I think your lucky that he even moved over at all. If you were cycling that close to my plow I'de have choice words for you as well.