I Can’t Believe a Bike Stopped…



I Can’t Believe a Bike Stopped…

I probably sound like a broken record at this point, but I’m a big believer in vehicular cycling… obeying the same rules as other vehicles on the road.  I think it makes cyclists more predictable for motorists and sure makes it hard motorists to argue against our right to the road.

Anyways, I had a great interaction with a school bus driver and monitor this morning.  A bus stopped to drop off some kids and dutifully turned on their flashers.  Two cars stopped momentarily and then decided it was safe to break the law and pass the bus.  I was third in line and decided to put myself and bike in the apposing lane to block any further cars from passing while they were unloading.  A heard a couple of honks, but responded by pointing at the flashing lights… not even looking back at the cars that were honking.  The kids got off the bus and before the driver turned off the lights, I saw the monitor come out to my side of the bus and motion me forward.  She then said, “I can’t believe it was a bike that stopped!”  I had a nice quick chat with the bus monitor and the driver, both of them were very appreciative of the fact that I actually obeyed the law and even stopped more cars from breaking the law.  They told me I would be amazed at how many cars simply disobey the law, especially when dropping off kids, and at the high rate of speed with which they actually pass the bus.

I think I left a favorable impression of cyclists with at least one bus driver and monitor.  I’d like to think they will remember this encounter the next time they are driving and approach a bike on the roads.  Score one for cyclists!


  • Ghetto Diamond
    Apr 12, 2011 at 11:46 am

    Some Providence school busses are equipped with a camera on the exterior of the driver's side. $300 fine… but that only matters if the car is registered ect. Propo also have (had) a plate scanning vehicle. How do you reign in the worst? They just don't care.

  • MattyCiii
    Apr 13, 2011 at 4:09 pm

    I like your moxie, Mark. Someone needs to take a stand.

    I sincerely hope those cameras are used and people are fined. The jaded 51% of me says those cameras are only ever used when a child gets run over.

    On the topic of vehicular cycling: Commute Orlando (Google it) has a great set of animations that show how VC techniques are implemented and how they mitigate risk. They have videos including one showing the value of "taking the lane" properly – complete with real life on the street video from both cyclist and chase car. Very well worth the viewing.

  • Labann
    Apr 14, 2011 at 4:31 am

    I'm a believer in vehicular manslaughter… er, as an indictable charge. Use of public streets by non-motorists is an inalienable right. BICYCLES ARE NOT VEHICLES, any more than sneakers or tap shoes. Everyone should behave nicely, whether in private or public. Traffic is a global DANCE to which all are invited. When state legislatures feel they must take a stand to protect vulnerable users and The Pope has to issue a Bull with the following motoring commandments, it's clear that enraged/inconsiderate motorists are the jackbooted villains who endanger everyone else, not bicyclists, children crossing streets, construction workers, domestic animals and pets, police directing traffic, stranded drivers fixing flats. Cars come with brakes, entertainments, seats… but if you get to thinking of fuel you're wasting waiting for slowpokes, and time you're wasting paying for this convenience, anger could be a result.

    1. You shall not kill.

    2. The road shall be for you a means of communion between people and not of mortal harm.

    3. Courtesy, uprightness and prudence will help you deal with unforeseen events.

    4. Be charitable and help your neighbor in need, especially victims of accidents.

    5. Cars shall not be for you an expression of power and domination, and an occasion of sin.

    6. Charitably convince the young and not so young not to drive when they are not in a fitting condition to do so.

    7. Support the families of accident victims.

    8. Bring guilty motorists and their victims together, at the appropriate time, so that they can undergo the liberating experience of forgiveness.

    9. On the road, protect the more vulnerable party.

    10. Feel responsible toward others.

    11. If you can't abide 1 – 10, you shouldn't be driving. Humorless? Motoring is as serious as a heart attack; motorists kill nearly as many annually nationally. Believe that!