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Right or Wrong: call out another cyclist...

Right or Wrong: Calling out another cyclist on the road when they do not yield, run a stop sign, run a light, jump on the curb then off it to get around traffic, pass cars up when moving, etc, etc, etc, blah, blah, blah... Curious if others out there try to correct the actions of the rebels who make us all look bad. 3,2,1... GO!
2014-11-14 12:38:12
Just saw that on the other thread, figured this would be a good new thread since got off topic. So you do not think that the actions of the few bad apples influence how people see every other bike on the road?
2014-11-14 12:57:57
The only times I've ever corrected another cyclist was when they were doing something dangerous to me. So... one instance over the summer was someone passing close to my left (salmoning) at high speed when I was signalling left and starting to cross grant/first after the light change to get back on the EFT from downtown. That one was kind of messed up. But I think maybe I've felt unease at a road going situation ~maybe~ 3 times in two plus years because of another bicyclist.
2014-11-14 12:58:35
Answer: it depends. The only time I every really chewed someone out was because they didn't wait for the "walk" sign at a crosswalk (mixed use path) and then instead of either a) continuing onto the sidewalk or b) riding in the correct directional lane of a split road... the guy went straight into opposing traffic riding between cars to his left and right that were both traveling in the opposite direction. When it was safe to do so, I chased him down and had a few words regarding how stupid and dangerous that was. Other than that, I generally ignore bad behavior. I might share some snark if I see a roadie fly through a red light but it's more snark than lecture since the rider knows what they are doing regardless of how reckless.
2014-11-14 13:16:33
I'm a "dude" kind of guy. Sometimes "shit!" The other day I was taking the lane at night on Morewood cycling away from CMU and a cyclist passed me closely on the left with one of those very bright blinking headlights. "Shit!" Another time I was riding on Murray and I saw a cyclist riding up a sidewalk. "Dude." I sure hope this works.
2014-11-14 13:32:13
For the most part I don't call cyclists out for running red lights, even though it can sometimes really piss me off. And the reason why I don't do this often is because when I do, the response I get is usually some variation of "Whatever. I do what I want!". If it's an experienced-looking cyclist running the red light, I simply don't bother (looking at you, bearded messenger-looking dude who's a regular on the Penn Ave bike lanes) I suppose there's cases where you can spot a novice-looking cyclist running a red light/stop sign, and if you get a chance you can calmly mention to them that what they are doing is wrong, as they simply may be blissfully ignorant about how the rules of the road apply to cyclists. At that point, you've done your part. It's up to them to decide what they do with this information.
2014-11-14 13:40:20
^^No, I am 100% unconcerned about the image of cyclists in the eyes of the general public. Most of the allegations that the average non-cyclist tosses out is nothing more than repeated stereotypes and hearsay. If every cyclist followed every law to the nth degree, the anti-cyclist haters would still spew the same nonsense. Some people just can't stand bikes on the road. But being law abiding isn't really what's at the center of the matter anyway. Where the other thread was going was that cyclists should be "nice" and "polite" and "deferential" to motorists, which is complete nonsense. Everyone should follow the law. If you're on a bike, following the law can still get you yelled at or worse, killed. The last 4 or 5 cyclists that have been killed in the last several years have all been experienced, law abiding riders, so I am far less concerned about being law abiding than about staying alive. If this country was in the least concerned safety on our roads, every citizen would be trained from childhood in pedestrian, bicycle, and automobile safety. There would be no "us or them". All we are concerned about is getting people into cars. This is deliberate.
2014-11-14 13:41:20
I rarely say anything. It's not worth my time to chase them down. But I might mime a "wtf?", particularly if it's daylight, I'm stopped at a light, and there are a lot of people around to see. I obey the rules, and have video to back up my claim.
2014-11-14 13:41:43
Only engage another cyclist if they're putting me or somebody I'm with at risk. I am not the Cycling Police. I'm also waaaay not above reproach. If a person was to be engaging other cyclists behaving poorly, I would ask: Do you engage bad parents? Bad Drivers? Bad Police? If you don't engage bad parents, why are you engaging "bad" cyclists? Also, I give zero shits about "keeping the community in line" lest we offend drivers. Drivers who are categorically anti-cycling are not subject to rational discussion or persuasion. Great phrase in the link Bill included above: #HallMonitorSyndrome
2014-11-14 13:57:31
No. Never. Dont. I had some dickhead talk shit to me. Ive ridden probably literally 1000 more than he has and am probably safer with my eyes closed than he is wearing a flashing billboard that says "im a jerkbag" on it. UNLESS they put you in harms way.
2014-11-14 16:13:07
I might actually act regarding a bad parent in public, if serious enough. Even then, there are productive and highly counterproductive ways to do that.
2014-11-14 17:54:24
@steevo, I doubt this applies to you, but some really experienced cyclists don't know how to ride in traffic. Lucas Brunelle posted a video showing him riding past a line of cars in the rain at high speed, then into a van turning right. Seems to me he's got a lot to learn: Also, @edmonds: of the three riders killed last year and the one killed this year, only one was really experienced (John Pearson). NOT to blame the victims. But let's get this right.
2014-11-14 19:23:26
I was going back to Donald Parker and James Price, for two.
2014-11-14 20:46:54
And not necessarily local, but Albert Varacallo, whom I would categorize as expert.
2014-11-14 21:22:42
I wonder if the cyclists who think they should call out other cyclists feel the same way about pedestrians. If you're on foot, and you see someone jaywalk, or cross when the sign says Don't Walk, how often do you tell them not to do that?
2014-11-15 02:17:55
I have on occasion yelled at riders who do something illegal and cause a car to emergency brake. It is my belief that even rational drivers can learn to hate cyclists as a result of such incidents. As we become more numerous on the road, I think we as a community will need to become more law abiding. Part of that process is a shift in what's considered socially acceptable.
2014-11-15 08:16:47
There are plenty of drivers out there who have been driving for 20 years and still drive like asswipes. I got into an argument with a guy downtown a summer or two ago after he cut off/salmoned around like 10 cars, ran several red lights and I still ended up right behind him waiting to go into the jail trail by PNC. He very well could have been cycling longer than I've been alive and about said as much. Rush hour traffic is annoying enough without having to consider all vectors for cyclists who can't wait 10 seconds. "I might actually act regarding a bad parent in public, if serious enough." I'm actually struggling with this myself, because I have shit for parent neighbors and only a 4" plaster wall between us. For some reason, they think telling their infant daughter to "shut up" and "go lay down" will result in her compliance. That and saying her name louder and louder. For some reason, it doesn't work... I don't know if this is a country specific problem, but you know what, we're not always right and we can't be experts in everything. Sometimes people will tell you stuff and they're idiots and wrong. But sometimes they're right.
2014-11-15 08:35:39
If they are riding with me (a riding partner, not just someone who I happen upon) and were riding in a way that made me uncomfortable, then I would say something. If they do something that puts me in danger, I'll say something, it's usually also a 'Hey', 'Yo', or 'Dude'. At most a single sentence, like ' Yo! Are you stoned or stupid' (best reply was 'both') Otherwise, I'm not their mom, and I'm not the police. It's out of my jurisdiction.
2014-11-15 09:29:49
TIL about altruistic punishment and the pathology of drivers hating bicyclists bbc: and the wikipedia article also wiki
Third-party punishment, also known as altruistic punishment, refers to a phenomenon in which a person or party is punished for violation of social norms by an outside observer who is not directly affected by the violation. It can be argued that third-party punishments are the essence of social norms, as they are evolutionary stable unlike second-party punishments. It has also been shown that third-party punishments are exhibited in all examined populations, though the magnitude of the punishments varies greatly, and that costly punishment co-varies with altruistic behavior.
so to shift from driver-hating-cyclist to cyclist-corrected-cyclist, the uninvolved third party acts to enforce/impose cultural norms that the 3rd-party believes are beneficial to their group. but I'm still down with what Steevo said, "no never don't" unless they're putting you-and-yours at risk.
2014-11-15 09:37:57
I only call out cyclist if their actions are putting me or my ride mates at risk. I will also call out bad cycling behavior on organized group rides because I am usually volunteering as a ride marshal and consider it my job. Otherwise I will give an exaggerated head shake when I see a cyclist blows through a red light while I am waiting with for the green. This lets the cars around me see that “I” disapprove of such behavior and hopefully they will remember my law abiding (good) behavior more than the scofflaw cyclist’s.. But I’ve been known to scream RED LIGHT at the top of my ability when I see a car do the same. This serves two purposes: it draws attention to the offending dangerous car, and it alerts the cars around me to the fact that not only cyclists are blowing through red lights.
2014-11-15 09:48:01
As the number of cyclists increases their abiding of the law will asymptote to that of the general population. But the distribution of infractions will (necessarily) remain different.
2014-11-15 11:28:42
OK, one datapoint for me. A guy coming up the left shoulder on Schenley Drive this morning while I was trying to pay attention to a car behind me so I could merge into the lane. I saw him from far away, waved hard at the other shoulder, and hollered "that's incredibly dangerous you should be over there" as I went by in the lane. His response was "I am a member of this golf course." ?!
2014-11-24 08:18:38
if I may: so what did you get out of your interaction? What did you expect?
2014-11-24 14:00:55
To get the idea that riding a bike opposite to traffic, especially in something used as a bike lane, is dangerous. There is a chance that he would be somewhat more receptive to the message coming from another cyclist; he was definitely putting me in danger, and if someone was paying less attention it could have been quite nasty.
2014-11-24 14:21:43
I only yell if they are being a jag in my direction or come up on me fast. BELLS ARE HARD TO HEAR WHEN YOU ARE TRAVELING AT 25 MPH fyi for the moron who cuts by me on the trail like everyday and rings his bell as he approaches like a freight train
2014-11-27 19:19:56
@thedood I don't understand - what is the problem with ringing a bell on a trail before passing someone? It always struck me as the right thing to do.
2014-11-30 19:50:29
Mick, it's ok for people expecting it. But I don't see difference between voice and bell if people do not expect it. I have very pleasant experience with seasoned runners on trail (staying right, no ear buds, going pretty fast). Almost all of them say "thank you" and many of them raise left hand acknowledging that they have heard me (I usually nod in conformation to passing bicyclists).
2014-12-01 08:28:46
My experience, voice or bell, is that if someone is wearing earbuds, they won't hear me until I'm five feet away. I just give the widest berth possible, and slow way, way down if the passing distance I'm giving doesn't border on comical. If it's snug at all, I pass at a relative velocity of 2mph and wish them a nice run.
2014-12-01 09:19:33
In my young/crazy/stupid college days, zipping across the SUNY Geneseo campus on unicycle, I regularly flew past people on the Tundra sidewalk, stealthily and silently coming up behind them, then passing them at a jogging pace at a distance of two feet or less. Hundreds, nay thousands, maybe tens of thousands, of such passes. The typical reaction was that people would jump out of the way *after* I was three feet past them. Having had all this experience, I suspect that what's going on on the trails is the equivalent of this, that people are startled by what didn't hit them, and are merely annoyed that they didn't have advance warning. As if it matters. In current, real-life, common practice, I second what @byogman suggests.
2014-12-01 12:17:11
^ That is funny. I use to ride on campus in State College doing "fly-bys" of pedestrians going to class within inches. Yes it was rude and just being a plain dick. But that is the lesser of the things I regret in my college years. But thedood is complaining about the guy who does give him a warning with a bell. Maybe he is just upset that some guy can pass him at 25MPH on a trail. Cycling on a trail is like driving on the turnpike; ride on the right side of the trail except for passing. Still utilize a mirror as well. I don't get why any cyclists would not use a mirror even if you just do rails for trails and not street riding. I can't tell you how many times I been going down the GAP with group riders fully decked out in their cycling gear and road bikes riding side by side not allowing anybody to pass. It isn't rocket science and just because you are decked out in full blown cycling gear and on a expensive road bike doesn't mean others are faster and going to pass you. Move over to the right.
2014-12-01 12:30:19
I saw a bunch of bicyclists on my way to work today in the feeezing rain and even spoke with one of them. (Hi, Paul!) Props to the guy on Craft and the guys on Fifth at 10:30 or so!
2014-12-02 11:23:53
Had an interesting and relevant experience the other day. Riding downhill on Forbes, stopped at red light behind 3 cars waiting to turn left onto Margaret Morrison. Another cyclist passes both lanes of cars stopped at the light, turns left in front of 2 lanes, and heads onto campus. Paraphrased: Me: I guess you're one of those cyclists drivers always complain about. Him: I've been riding this way for 30 years- you are the unsafe one riding in traffic like that. Me: I am traffic. You ran the red light. Him: My first responsibility is my safety. Me: If you really want to be safe you should stay on the sidewalk. Him: Riding on the sidewalk is illegal! Me: So is running the redlight cutting in front of 2 lanes of traffic. At this point, we parted. I hope to see him again- he looked professorial (including white goatee) and had a blue mild carton on his rack. I am pretty sure I did not convince him of anything, but I am thoroughly convinced he does not have a clue. Hey guy, if you are reading this, please chime in.
2014-12-06 13:17:56
Saw two cops on bicycles run the red light turning from eastbound Penn to northbound 6th Street. I guess if they do it...
2014-12-16 21:43:43
I guess it would be ok if their blinkies were flashing and they were making siren noises. Maybe even that whoop whoop sound you hear sometimes.
2014-12-16 21:46:25