Straight-up list of Pittsburgh idiot cyclists
Happened twice to me today, in the Penn Avenue bike lane, had two bikes going side by side head on with me and barely moved out of the way until it was almost late.
Oh. That’s why group riders ride so damn close. Arodynamics like geese….. But why do it to a anti-social crabby stranger who likes riding alone. He provided danger when I had to pass other trail users and would yield as I waited to pass until other cyclist coming the other way passed. What if a squirrel ran out and I had to brake all of a sudden? Had to google this for etiquette involving this.
“Look,” he hissed, “we’re individuals, we’re not in this together. We’re cycling alone. Don’t you get that?” Even by London’s famously misanthropic standards this was strong stuff.
I get on the jail trail and this douche on a road bike and head to toe in spandex is tailgating me by inches. I never been tailed that close.
This is normal if you are on someones wheel. 12′ at most. 2 foot and you are losing a lot of “energy savings”. But it’s considered inpolite to get on someones wheel without a warning and you can drop one from your wheel by suddenly breaking a couple of times.
I have other opinions regarding Cat 6 riding on mixed use trails that I won’t go into here, but aside from that, it is completely contrary to the point, not to mention boneheaded, to AVOID headwinds by drafting if you’re “training”.
I encountered a doozy of an idiot cyclist in Millvale last night. I was driving (gasp!) the family & out-of-town company into Oakland, and had the green light at the corner of Klopfer St, when a young male, 16-24, on a 20″-wheeled bike, comes flying through the red at full speed, and proceeds to salmon against a constant flow of northbound traffic, which swerves into my path to avoid him. No headlight, no helmet, dark clothing at 9 p.m.. I’ll grant that he did have a reflector. He continued this all the way up to the next light.
It’s difficult not to think that if he had gotten mashed immediately by a northbound car at that light, he had it coming. If he keeps this up, he will.
Ha, I’ve been trying to figure out how to edit video to post the close-pass I had on my commute last week – I’m stopped at a stop sign in Point Breeze and a cyclist I never saw or heard blows by me within two feet ON MY RIGHT. Not cool, dude. Not cool.
On a Saturday morning, a woman riding a Healthy Ride bike going inbound at Penn and 11th. While holding and using her phone on one hand, she slows down at the intersection, kinda checks for cars and proceeds to blow the red light, all while continuing to look at her screen.
My guess is that she probably does this when she drives, as well
PS: If it was anything like last year, I’m sure there was plenty of idiot cyclist behavior during this weekend’s Pedal Pittsburgh. I still have a vivid memory of a mom that ran a red light at PNC Park, and of her kid, who was a half block behind her, running the red light at full speed without looking in an effort to catch up with her
^Half the reason I ride Pedal Pittsburgh is so I can make complete stops at stop signs and stop at red lights. :)
> I’m sure there was plenty of idiot cyclist behavior during this weekend’s Pedal Pittsburgh.
my particular (least) favourite was the riding marshal cheerily waving folks through stop signs, though the folks who would blast past as my riding partner and I were stopping at stop signs were also highlights…
Pack of a dozen or so spandex guys coming from Hot Metal Bridge onto South Water Street: I’m not part of your group. Don’t get so close. Got passed by 2 of them a week ago, both only inches away.
Generally, I’m fairly tolerant of how others ride, but that passing on the right in the same lane as me stuff is bush league riding, for sure, especially when I’m stopped at a light/stop sign. Had a guy do that on Ft. Pitt Blvd when I was in the right lane, he threaded between the curb and I with no warning while wearing earbuds and blowing a red.
Ha! I had that happen on PBP! I was at the bottom of a hill, in a group of cyclists, riding on the right, when all of a sudden another group shows up. I start to shift further to the right to accommodate when I hear, behind me, Watch your line! Somebody was catching up to me on the right and had decided to fit herself in between me and the right side of the road. Watch you own damn line. She had to go off the road a bit into the dirt, and lost speed. Serves her right.
People have to stop riding like racers, or motorists, or whatever the hell they think they’re doing, when they’re around cyclists they don’t know, and who don’t know they’re there. Back off, give us some space, and pass on the left. If you find yourself on the right, call out.
Who the hell passes on the right anyway? I had that happen on Beechwood yesterday, where Reynolds comes off to the left (near Fifth and Mellon Park) this guy hovers in the bike lane. I’m turning left onto Reynolds so I stop and then veer left – he turns left next to me at the right side of the lane and cuts me off on Reynolds. It wasn’t scary, just annoying. But seriously, guys. Don’t turn left from the right lane and don’t pass me on the right!
There have been a bunch lately, so I won’t list descriptions. But I can’t stand anyone doing their own personal time trial on the North Shore Trail before a baseball game, at lunchtime, or on a busy weekend.
If it’s you, I’ve told you to slow down. You’ve called me a bitch or flipped me off. Way to be mature. Just slow down before you kill a kid, a dog, or a goose.
Dude riding the wrong way going west on Penn Ave between 6th and Stanwix. The man was also riding with his toddler, who was on a seat mounted on the top tube. Yup.
I’m pretty sure I’ve seen this guy – he is always weaving back and forth a lot, riding in the door the door zone, etc., and then I pass him and am always shocked that there’s a child on the bike.
To be fair in this instance, though, the end of of the Penn bike lane is a travesty, with no signage of any kind telling bikes what to do and no paint on the street indicating where the lanes are or what direction they go. If you don’t already know that Penn is two-way there, I can see how it would be confusing. Hopefully the lane gets extended very soon.
@willb at least one car passed him going the other (correct) while he was riding next to the curb. Assuming ignorance, he should have quickly realized his mistake and, at the very least, stopped and gotten on the sidewalk. Oh well, here’s hoping he wises up
And that extension to Stanwix will apparently happen soon. The remaining section is scheduled for repaving starting this week. I would assume that the cycle track would come in soon after
I think I’ve encountered that man with the toddler too. He worries me. I REALLY wanted to say something to him.
Perhaps “You’re much safer out here in the middle of the lane with me.” would be the most tactful way of letting him know he’s going to to get clipped by a sideview mirror if he keeps that up?
Ok. Fair is fair. I am self-reporting as an Idiot Cyclist.
I was returning home from a twilight ride in near-full darkness Friday around 8:30. I was merging onto the Highland Park Bridge from Butler Street, headed northbound. At the merge, two cars coming up from Washington Boulevard reached the merge point as I did. I had a 600-lumen headlight and a crazy bright rear blink, so I should have been fairly visible.
I eased up a bit to motion the two cars ahead, as I’d rather not have to ride in front of a car if I can avoid it. The first car went on ahead. I kept motioning the second car, but by now I was rolling too slow, and the car seemed determined to go behind me.
I am sure there was every reason from their perspective to do so. I am sure she was trying to do the safer thing. I am sure she had a better take on the circumstance than me in that moment.
But my blood was up, I became frustrated, and I flipped her off emphatically before turning and hustling across the bridge. It was stupid, dangerous and un-called for.
So, to the driver of the newish, blackish, little chevy on the Highland Park Bridge, please accept my sincere apologies for my profane gesture. It was inappropriate, and I was wrong.
And to the other cyclists who cross the Highland Park Bridge, please also accept my apology for casting you in a bad light by my actions.
It was definitely one of those “what the f_ _ k is MY problem” moments. So, mea, culpa.
Last night a bit after 6:00 pm I was rolling along Irvine St toward Hazelwood when I “passed” a fellow riding against traffic way over on the left (without a helmet for what it is worth). I hollered out “you should be over here, that is really dangerous”. He said “I know”. Yikes. A bit later a really big dump truck was making a right off Mobile. I sure hope he at least got himself up onto that nasty sidewalk before he encountered the truck.
(It really would be nice to get some sort of bike lane on Irvine for the next few years – I hate the traverse from Greenfield to Hazelwood Avenues)
I get scared, seeing riders riding counterflow in the bike lane. Encountered one the other night when it was raining while driving at the intersection of Negley Run Blvd and East Liberty Blvd. Rider had no lights, was riding toward Larimer Ave counterflow. Very dangerous move.
My number 1 pet peeve “cyclist” while I am cycling or even driving is the one who rides along the door zone slow as shit on a street that still does not allow enough room for the cars behind them to pass. So you end up with piddling around going 5 MPH and leaving a long line of frustrated cars following without room to pass. Just take the lane and pedal and do at least 12-15 MPH. Going up hill I understand, but this is mostly flat or even downhill surfaces. They pedal occasionally with enough speed to obtain upright without falling over while keeping inches from the car doors the same speed of the pedestrians on the sidewalk. They feel they need to be as far over as possible along the door zone even through being passed would still be detrimental. I see this on S. Highland a lot, Murray Ave (the flat part), and yesterday a girl going downhill on Penn from Children’s to the Strip. The whole way downhill she is riding inches from a door zone at 5 MPH. Cars are just following as they can’t pass with cars coming up. Doesn’t it occur to these people to just get in the middle of the lane and pedal consistently? That is the whole point.
My monthly vitriol rant. I am sure there will be another in November.
Going downhill? Unless you brakes are broke. If your brakes are broke then fix them if you are going to cycle on the city streets.
What is slowing down most of these type of cyclists is the fear or their understanding that they must be over against the door zone as far as possible. While riding a door zone you are going to go much slower. This isn’t a rant on slow cyclists. More so on the ones who ride dangerously in a door zone for no reason.
It’s just that the complaint reminds me so much of drivers complaining about waiting behind slow cyclists. The cyclist is probably aware that they’re slow and is trying to create space to pass by riding to the right. I think they shouldn’t do that, but it’s common and drivers aggressively demand it. It’s easy to get intimidated, especially when you don’t know about the danger of getting doored. And someone may be slow even going downhill; they could be afraid of losing control of their bike at “high” speeds. Doesn’t make them an idiot.
I’m with SFP here. Learn the rules, own the damn road. It’s for your own safety. There’s *no point* trying to squeeze right to let cars pass you, since they have to do a straddle pass to get by you anyway, even if you are nearly clipping mirrors.
This is how people get hurt. Cyclist squeezes right, trying to “get out of the way”. Motorist tries to squeeze past in the lane. Meanwhile, something comes up on the left (on a four-lane) or approaches oncoming (on a two-lane), nudging the motorist right, and the cyclist gets caught in the middle with no wiggle room.
Again and again and again, I want to scream out, take the goddamn lane. I don’t even care if you’re going 4 mph. Safe is more important than fast. If that car got stuck behind a school bus or a transit bus or a truck trying to make a turn, they wouldn’t even question being stopped, so to hell with them. If they’re laying on the horn, they can see you and are not killing you. It says they’re impatient assholes, but that’s their problem.
Shout out to the cyclists who often ride down the Penn Avenue bike lane two abreast, coming head on. Just know that I’m not moving off the road to let you go past, crash into me if you want.
it’s not a rule to take the lane. It’s just the best way to ride in many circumstances. Some cyclists are comfortable doing that. Others aren’t.
And I think that from SFP’s comments he’d be even more annoyed with cyclists taking the lane at 5 mph. Other motorists definitely would.
One thing I find a bit annoying about cycling is how certain we are that our way to ride is the only way to ride. Sure, you’re refined it over many years. Yes, you’ve thought about it quite a bit. And there are books to back you up. But that doesn’t make it right for everybody in all circumstances. I can totally see a slow cyclist who doesn’t want to get yelled at by motorists choosing to ride to the right. It’s not as safe as they think, and definitely not what I would do. But it just doesn’t make them an idiot. It’s just not the best way to go.
This afternoon, on Carson St.
1) Filtering through traffic by switching between riding the double yellow, passing on the right, and hopping on and off the sidewalk…not my cup of tea, but whatever, not the worst thing in the world.
2) Cruising through red lights, when there’s active cross traffic…not a great idea.
3) Doing all this, while holding a camera in the air above head level and staring at the viewfinder, really not so bright.
4) Nearly hitting a pedestrian at the corner of 17th and Carson, who was crossing with the light, while you’re running a red against cross traffic, BECAUSE YOU WERE STARING AT YOUR CAMERA: not effing cool.
As I was riding in to work this morning around 8:20 – 8:30, I saw 2 other riders commuting in from the west, so that was plus. Except one was a lycroid with zero viz gear, no lights whatsoever, in poor overcast light conditions, who blew several red lights on Main Street in the West End, through heavy backed up auto traffic. So if that was you or you know this individual, kudos for commuting, but get some proper riding equipment and learn to fucking ride. I’m tired of defending people like you.
“with zero viz gear, no lights whatsoever”
8:30am is nearly an hour past sunrise. Most of the cars I saw on the road didn’t have their lights on because they weren’t necessary to see. Get over yourself.
So you rode Noblestown Road this morning and saw what I saw? Heavy cloud cover, twilight conditions at best, along with a heavy tree canopy. And yeah, it aggravates me when cars don’t put their lights on as well. No excuse.
I was surprised how dark it was at 8:30. Even without tree cover in Monroeville, still too dark for sunglasses.
Even with the dingy grey lighting out right now I would put my blinkies on to add extra contrast and this is at 11:15 AM. For cyclists it isn’t about being able to see for yourself as much as much as making sure you are noticed by even a drunk 80+ year old with cataracts texting.
@shooflypie making sure you are noticed by even a drunk 80+ year old with cataracts texting
Because isn’t that how all drivers are at heart?
If you cannot be glaringly obvious in a 10 millisecond glance, you will eventually get squashed.
Assume nothing. I run a blinky and a solid, front and back, all the time, and try to avoid wearing anything dark. If I have to wear dark pants, I don the bright pant-cuff straps.
One minor detail: 80-yr olds do not text. How is it possible to type into a telephone? And why would anyone want to do that anyway?
Note: in the unlikely event I ever make it to 80, I know there will be some perfectly obvious technology that everyone is using that, despite my best efforts, I will not be capable of comprehending.
And apologies to all the 80yr old bikers on the board who text, maybe even while riding; I didn’t mean to offend, though it’s something I do quite well (the offending).
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