Tuesdays with Dirty: Still a long way to go

Cycling has come a long way in recent years. IMBA has become a highly respected advocacy group and is spreading its model world wide. There are now bike lanes criss crossing all over major cities and motorists even seem to be a little more aware of us. There is a Bike Share program in New York City which as a former resident, is completely mind blowing. More and more race promotors are starting to offer equal payouts for pro women racers. Even the good old boys of the Tour de France are “considering” a women’s Tour to run concurrently with the men’s.

All of this fills me with pride for a sport that I love so much and have dedicated most of my life to. All of these positives are due in part to the fact that there are now more of us out there. But this power in numbers has led to a few downers. We are in traffic and at trailheads in far greater numbers than we have ever been before. There is more litter on the trails and more bitch lines around obstacles. That stop sign at the end of your street that you have rolled through for  a decade, now gets you a ticket and a trip to traffic school. But all of these negatives are pretty easy to fix, they are just growing pains. I pick up trash, inform other riders about their cheater lines, and now I look for cops before rolling that stop sign.

In my opinion, one of the greatest things to have come out of our recent evolution is the “Bikes May Use Full Lane” sharrows. How cool are those things! We always knew we could take the whole lane of traffic. Now there it is, clear as day, painted on the road. But the more things change, the more they stay the same. Pavement is hard, trees rarely move, tubulars ride better than clinchers, and cops are still dicks. As witnessed in this video:

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Am I surprised by this? No. But it does bum me out a little bit. How can we expect motorists to know the rules, when even the cops don’t? A cop, who himself was on two wheels and fully knows the unique dangers this presents. I am not one for writing letters, but I decided to pen one to the officer in the video

Dear Officer Teufel,

As an avid cyclist I would like to inform you of  the laws that you have been sworn to uphold. I am in no way a lawyer or an expert of the law, but I do have Google and that is pretty good. It is a very handy tool and you are able to access it from the mini computer you have in your pocket we like to call a phone. In fact, I’m not even a resident of your fair state and I still found this in a matter of minutes.

Section 9B.06 Bicycles May Use Full Lane Sign (R4-11)
Option:
01 The Bicycles May Use Full Lane (R4-11) sign (see Figure 9B-2) may be used on roadways where no bicycle
lanes or adjacent shoulders usable by bicyclists are present and where travel lanes are too narrow for bicyclists
and motor vehicles to operate side by side.

You were being a douche and you got caught on video being a douche. Please take this as a lesson learned and try to be less of a douche in the future.That guy was just trying to get someplace just like everyone else on the road. 

There isn’t a bag of dicks big enough for you to suck.

Hugs and Kisses,

-Dirty

And that brings us to this:

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We have come so far, but there is still a long way to go. Let’s keep this party moving forward.

Keep it dirty…

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About dirty biker

I am a fan of singletrack, singlespeeds, single malt, and single women. Tempe, Arizona, USA

44 thoughts on “Tuesdays with Dirty: Still a long way to go

  1. To be fair, the cyclist didn’t need the whole lane, even though he is allowed to have it. There was light traffic and he could have easily ridden further to the right. Not saying he was wrong, but he could have used some common sense as well. Know what I mean?

  2. If he felt comfortable using the entire lane, and also has the right too, then by all means he should have.

  3. I’d have to say that Officer Teufel wasn’t being a total dick but more just letting the cyclist know that in LA ya should be staying to the right of traffic and if yer holding up traffic by being a douchebag (ie – Bro, bikes are allowed a full lane! Bike talk, bro!) not moving over to let cars pass then yer getting a ticket.
    Yes, bikes are allowed by law to take a lane IF circumstances prevent a cyclist and a motorist to safely pass one another in the same lane. At least that is the case in Oregon, where I live, and really it’s not hard to cruise with traffic on streets without designated bike-lanes ya just gotta move over, let the cars pass or bike harder to keep up with the average pace of vehicular traffic.
    Aaaand one final piece – I’m pretty sure that cop wasn’t trying to be a fucktard. Maybe that biker was holding up cars behind him. Afterall, we never did get a view of what was behind him the entire video soooo… Who the fuck knows.

  4. I’m right there with you up until you assert, “and cops are still dicks.”

    No. This cop was uninformed, that does not mean that all cops are uninformed, or dicks. Frustrating as it may be that this cop is uninformed, making blanket statements about a group of people makes you the dick. (Not that you, Dirty, are irrevocably a dick, but in this instance, you are acting dickish.)

    Actually, Dirty, we’ve met, and I think you are a sweet guy. But I won’t tell anyone.

    And your letter to Officer Teufel got off to a really good start. I like your moxie. Until…

    “You were being a douche and you got caught on video being a douche. Please take this as a lesson learned and try to be less of a douche in the future.”

    Using the word “douche” when you aren’t talking, literally, about a douche — the unnecessary feminine hygiene product created by marketing dicks — means you are 15 years old. (Not that you, Dirty, are literally 15 years old, but in this instance, you are acting like you are.)

    But you know who is really f-ing wrong? giantcu92 is.

    Why don’t cyclists need the whole lane? So that motorists can try to squeeze by, dangerously close? If motorists would change lanes to pass a cyclists — as if we were legitimate users of public infrastructure — then I’d be happy to use whatever part of the lane had the least potholes and broken glass. But most motorists will not change lanes to pass unless the cyclists asserts his/her right to the full lane. Timid gutter-hugging cyclists make streets less safe for all cyclists by reinforcing the notion that cyclists are intruding on space that belongs to motorists.

    Yes, Dirty, we still have a long way to go.

  5. Dear Dirty,

    Don’t get sand all up in your vajayjay when an officer politely asks you not to slow down cars on a busy road. It won’t hurt you to inch over a bit, when there’s plenty of room as shown in the video. The officer didn’t stop the rider, harass him, or otherwise be a tool, so don’t whine like a bitch about it. Save that for the real jerk cops, so they’ll/we’ll take you serious and not think you a crybaby.

    Sincerely,

    Everyone.

  6. Spoken like someone who has never ridden a bike in traffic. If you move to the right of your lane, you are inviting motorists to pass you in that lane. Fine and dandy if we’re talking about a 14-15′ wide lane but the amount of space the law in most states says is needed for safe passing would be: 18″ from right elbow to right side of road (eg cars, gutters, curbs), plus 36″ which is the average width of a cyclist from elbow to elbow, plus 36″ required space between slower vehicle (cyclist) and overtaking vehicle, plus 8′ which is the average width of a car or truck mirror-to-mirror. Most lanes are 10-12′ wide… NOT wide enough for a cyclist and motorist to safely share them. Riding to the right of your lane is inviting an accident.

  7. I’m all for Dirty using the lane the way he did, as it is the safest way to ride, and indeed perfectly legal. And the cop was indeed wrong.

    But I dunno about your logic, Austin. Being comfortable doing something and having the right to do it, doesn’t mean that by all means it should be done.

    Two words: drunk karaoke.

    Yes, I’m being facetious. ;)

  8. Yep, I’m gonna have to agree, that cop was a dick! You’d think he could relate to the cyclist since he is on two wheels also, and probably never rides his moto off to the side in free-flowing traffic.

    Take the entire lane if you need it, much safer than riding in the gutter or next to car doors.

  9. i think it went pretty good both ways.. the rider has the right to a full lane.. regardless.. if he wants to use it then so be it, he’s not breaking any laws, AND fuck the traffic honestly, let them pass on the left, thats why there is more than one lane.. if its one lane.. then sure, move over a bit and be considerate of traffic behind you, just as if you were in a car.. think of old people that drive 20mph, you get mad at them too right.. but they aren’t breaking any laws.. As far as the cop, ill admit I’m generally a cop hater, I’ve met more pricks than helpful, polite ones.. although i treat everyone as I’m treated so if i meet a nice cop, ill be respectful back, and i’ll even tell them, thanks for not being a prick like so many i’ve met before.. i usually just get a laugh from that. I personally don’t think the officer was being rude.. although, he shouldn’t tell you to move over when there is clearly signs on the road every block showing that the bike has access to a full lane, and not a designated bike lane.. they are obviously two distinctive types of markings and lanes.. and this one is obviously a full lane. He should have went about his business instead of trying to be big dick about it. However, he wasn’t really rude.. so in the video i think you handled it right.. and if he pulled you over, you can walk him over to the big ass marking in the road of the cyclist in the middle of the lane.. its obvious. However the letter was a little different, the first paragraph was good, a little snarky, but deserving of the cop not knowing or understanding the law he’s supposed to uphold. but the name calling was probably a little much.. especially since he really didn’t hassle you by pulling you over, etc etc.. anyways.. hopefully they got the letter and can educate their officers better.. lord knows more than half of the police in this country need to be educated about their jobs.. hah.

  10. Dear Dirty, your name truly suites you. I know a great deal about biking and bike laws. When my great great uncle Harry Huffy invented the first bicycle he swore that he and his indirect descendants who became police officers would forever and always be allowed to manipulate bike laws to how they feel at the time. This can be found in the standard issue police handbook which I keep on my person at all times under R4-11.5. I was feeling pissy because of my menstrual cramps and Steve ate all the donuts at the station so I decided to exercise my aforementioned right upon you. I hope this clears everything up.

    -Officer Teufel

    P.S. If you could direct me to the bag of dicks that would be great.

  11. Dirty, you wouldn’t have been holding up traffic if you would have just jumped on the cop’s rear wheel and got motorpaced by him.

    - ASS

  12. From what I can see, he was riding in a lane marked for cyclists. Surely in this case, the only traffic he should be holding up would be a boat load more cyclists? And as for when he was ‘holding traffic up’ at the junction, this was only because the cop was yabbering to him instead of letting him go off left in the correct lane. Personally, I can’t see he did anything wrong.

  13. It seems like the people who don’t think the cyclist “needed a full lane” are people who have never used a bicycle as their main form of transportation. LA is also a special place where it is a little bit more difficult than other places (someone cited Oregon). Thanks d00d for making cruising in LA easier for everyone else!

  14. I ain’t blocking traffic. I AM traffic. Fuck Ossifer Dickbreath.

    Oh yeah, and fuck NWA while you’re at it.

  15. If anyone claims that he didn’t HAVE to take the full lane then screw them! If you have ever had a door opened right in front of you, or moved over to allow a car to pass only to be almost hit by another who doesn’t see you hiding far right then you would understand. Bikes are traffic. They hold you up from getting somewhere on time? Cry me a river! You could just crank your tunes and climate control, turn down your seat heater and massage setting, and piss off.

  16. I don’t know what all the fuss is about…. isn’t that half the fun of riding in traffic?? Getting to snugly up to the buses and cars through the city streets…. I thought the reason they come so close is because they want to check out the sweet ride you have :)

  17. Yeah, I am one of those guys who think he didn’t need the entire lane. And the bicycle is my primary mode of transportation. In Washington DC, not the most friendly of bike places in the world, and with a shit ton of traffic. As I mentioned before, sure, he can have the entire lane. He is justified in using the lane. He isn’t breaking any rules. Does he need the entire lane? From the footage, it looks like, no.

    I do know what I’m talking about. I ride. A lot. Have ridden on the road. A lot.

  18. I think one thing some folks are missing here is the city intended bicycles to use that entire lane, as the installed “sharrows,” as some towns call it.
    http://www.bikearlington.com/pages/biking-in-arlington/sharrows/
    This means that the guy isn’t just taking up the entire lane of traffic, just to do so, which yes he could if he wanted to, but because the city is asking him to, for safety. I have had a cop buzz up on me in DC on a motorcycle doing the same thing, at which point we stopped in traffic and had a nice discussion about the law, I don’t know if I got my point across with him as I don’t think Teufel got the point in the end, but there is not much you can do in a 30 sec discussion across traffic.

  19. Just because you can doesn’t mean you should. This applies to all parties in the video. The cop forgot he was a cop and became an ordinary guy pissed at a cyclist, difference was he has a shiny badge. Never mind he knows just as much as the next guy/girl regarding the law and cyclists, he is pissed at the cyclist for being a cyclist. Face it, that’s it.
    As for the cyclist, shit you got all kinds of rights. None of which mean shit when you are squashed like gum on hot pavement. What? You think the law will save you? You think the driver will get equal punishment to your agony and pain of being hit? If you think any of that, you should get back on the sidewalk and walk across every intersection. Like the laws of Physics, the law of the land is heavily weighted to the driver (even when it is not and the cyclist is right).

    http://www.vaildaily.com/article/20101104/NEWS/101109939

    Arguing with a cop? Hell man, I am as white as wonder bread and know better than that. That’s like arguing about cycling in traffic on the interwebs…circular and no winner.

  20. As a cyclist in Chicago, I hate bikers. I’ve ridden nearly 3500 miles so far this year in the city and find it really easy not to be in this situation. I’ve put a couple of things below that I never see other cyclist do. Those sharrows are labeled in Chicago as shared use and are in place of a designated bike lines when the space is not available, when not safe- then take a lane. It’s pretty commonly known that you should try to be as far right as possible. I’d add to that, go as fast as you possibly can, take less trafficy streets (usually one block over), stop at all stop signs or at least smile and wave vigorously at the car or other cyclist you are cutting off. Have fun.

  21. I ride in the curb because one, I don’t trust one living fucking person on this goddamn planet (especially LA or Chicago), two because I’m not going to try and make a statement when some fat bitch is trying to sext their co-worker, eat a bacon ranch cheeseburger, take a drink of their chocolate malt, and drive her 3000 pound death box all at the same time, and three, because riding in the curb makes you stronger. Sewage drains, broken glass, holes in the road, without them, we’d all be a bunch of pussies. Embrace the misery, because one day you’ll feel nothing but contentedness.

  22. You were right and the police officer was wrong that was the whole point but then you use faul language toward the officer and you got on the wrong side of the law. What was the point of that? You had a perfectly good case why did you feel the need to swear in this blog?

  23. Marco, welcome to Drunkcyclist. If curse words offend you, you might want to consider another blog.

    Shitfuckpisscockballs, etc.

  24. This misunderstanding is good argument for expanding the road he was riding. Neither he nor the cop was at fault; it’s simply infrastructure not supporting the lifestyle needs of modern people. One of those needs is alternatives to cars, and it’s a need that will always exist.

  25. @Marco

    2 things.

    1. It’s foul not faul.

    B. You’re an asshole.

    This is DC motherfucker !!!!!!!

    Get used to it or go away.

  26. @cupcake — fuck YES. “Embrace the misery, because one day you’ll feel nothing but contentedness.” Word. Squared…

  27. I’m surprised to see so many cyclists split opinions on this. The way I see it, if there is not enough room for a car to pass a cyclist without moving into the other lane, you are safer taking the lane.

    1. A car can’t move partially over unless the whole lane is clear, but if you ride too far to the right they will try to squeeze in and not realize they still need to move over until they are on top of you. The left lane may not be clear at that time.
    2. You prevent yourself from being boxed in at intersections. Do you really hug the right at intersections? What about a right hook, or a car on the opposite end pulling too far forward into your path?
    3. It makes you more visible to cars pulling out of businesses.
    4. It makes you more visible to cars pulling left crosses and gives you more room to maneuver.
    5. It gives you more room to maneuver around surface road hazards.
    6. Because of point 1, cars are likely to merge over more soon so there will be less sudden braking and improved traffic flow.
    7. If the car behind you merges over, are you really more likely to be hit from behind from the following car if you are taking the lane versus occupying the rightmost 1/3? I don’t think you are more visible to trailing vehicles on the right, but if vehicles are merging to the left earlier I believe this makes you more visible to all traffic. Someone is more likely to see you if they are distracted front on than in their peripheral vision … And either way they would hit you. Both outcomes are bad. It’s possible riding more to the right gives you an exit probability but its not convincing.
    8. There is another lane, so you are not impeding traffic. If there is not a second lane to the left, yes you ride to the right, but Impeding traffic does not mean cars are briefly slowed and inconvenienced.

  28. I don’t live in a city (thank you thank you thank you) but I do own a bike shop, and the number one bitch I hear about cyclists, is one that I too, have bitched about.

    We have country roads around here, not always great shoulders, or lines painted, and certainly no bike lanes.

    The new thing ’round these parts in the last 10 years or so, must be an outgrowth of what you all are talking about.

    Roadies, in packs, taking up the whole lane, on winding country roads, without passing zones, chatting it up, looking back, seeing a string of traffic behind them as they perambulate down the road, and blithely ignoring that growing column, because it’s their right, by law.

    Mom always taught me, if you’re riding with a group, fine, group up and have fun, but when a car comes, single file out, let them pass, then group back up if you like.

    Common sense, and a touch of that all too rare commodity, courtesy.

    Folks come into my shop and bitch about the asshats that do the blockade thing, I hear it, at least once a week, and it’s almost always the guys in full kit, “training”.

    You know what that does? Makes motorists with an inclination towards disliking things that piss them off, hate anyone on two wheels. Not just the douchebags that held them up, but every 15 year old kid, 65 year old grandma or grandpa, every mom out getting groceries for the family, hipster on a PBR run, all of them.

    We may have rights to the road, but act like you’re the only one that matters on it, and you make enemies you’ll never know you made, and victims of folks you never even met.

    Dead right, or dead wrong, either way, you’re still dead.

    “Share the road” needs to go both ways…..

  29. 100% with Mendon. I live in semi-rural North NJ. No bike lanes on any road much less the country roads. Pulling the fuck over has saved my ass more than a few times.

  30. I think this gets at Mendon’s points pretty well. Many of us probably started riding at a time when there was still somewhat of an apprenticeship involved in joining group rides. Now everyone is an expert.

    http://www.bikelaw.com/blog/lost-art-of-the-group-ride/

    As for the sharrows, most motorists (and even cyclists) don’t know what they mean. I saw them for the first time earlier this year, and had to look up what they meant.

  31. Great post Mendon. I hate the roadies with the kits hogging the lane. A little courtesy goes a long way. If we want cars to “share the road” then we need to act accordingly.

  32. Police officer’s in PNW Washington (Especially Lacey or Around there) are serious dickhoser’s. They all yell at me whining to me about how my bike is too shiny. It’s a chrome Bianchi Pista. So fuck ‘em! I still ride it everyday, no matter what they say! So let’s all give out a big: Hooray Hooray Hooray!! OH! And just for the DC community’s knowledge, cops tend to hate flashy bikes more, but if your bike is “Stealth” they don’t bother you, so my commuter bike was rattle canned black… And I haven’t been late yet! And another cure for dickeating cop disorder is put two headphones in, and go really fast and take a bunch of shortcuts, -Ride It Like You Stole It!
    -From an Olympian biker!

  33. A combination of safety and courtesy will go a long way…
    And rights or no, car v bike is as mentioned above, a matter of some basic physics.

  34. Pingback: Law and Order and Bikes | Commute by Bike