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Bicyclists...Do they have the right to NOT share the road?

Original post made by Ange, West of Foothill, on Oct 21, 2009

Question...Why does our society often tolerate some bicyclists' general disregard of the laws that govern our roadways?

I often see bicyclists riding two, three sometimes four across the width of a road. Sometimes a group of 25 in a large pack cycles down Foothill Road riding through stop signs and traffic lights. This action always results in blocking the roadway/lane from a motorist right to use. Do these cyclists bother to move and allow a motorist to pass by safely? No, not really because it's acceptable to have a motorist follow them for an indefinite period of time.

Does a cyclist have the ability to pedal 40 - 45 - 50 MPH? As a motorist, it's ok to tolerate someone not sharing the road? It's ok to put my safety at risk because I have to try to pass these cyclists on a road notorious for traffic accidents and fatalities? Or hope that I am allowed to turn on a green light when cyclists riding by fail to stop on a red light?

Is it politically incorrect to question these actions? Let alone the phrase "Share the Road."

Comments (20)

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Posted by tyu
a resident of Birdland
on Oct 21, 2009 at 10:31 am

Ok, I'm not a road biker and am annoyed at times by them but...It is illegal to ride on sidewalks and if a bike lane is not present they must, by law, ride on the road. They must obey all traffic laws, or they can be ticketed as a auto driver would. There is also no law against lane sharring as long as it's deemed safe. Motorcyclist can legally split lanes or ride alongside another motorcyclist although a staggered formation is considered safest. It seems environmentally and for health issues the American's have (fat and out of shape) we need to support those doing something healthy for themselves and us. SUVs spewing pollution, taking up large amounts of road real estate, using massive amounts of oil and gas, causing massive damage in a crash, seems to be a larger villan than the old bike.

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Posted by Parent of Two
a resident of Val Vista
on Oct 21, 2009 at 11:00 am

Parent of Two is a registered user.

If they're in the way, HONK. I have no problem with bicyclists that stay in the bike lanes. I also have no problem honking at bicyclists that seem to think that the entire paved surface is their lane.

And it's never the kids, it's the pathetic Tour de Pleasanton wannabes wearing spandex and euro-decals that block the roads.

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Posted by poster boy
a resident of Another Pleasanton neighborhood
on Oct 21, 2009 at 11:08 am

those wearing those spandex pants need to be regulated. i mean fat does not look so good vibrating along on a bicycle seat. if you are over the age of say 18 then spandex should be against the law.

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Posted by tyu
a resident of Birdland
on Oct 21, 2009 at 11:20 am

Ha, I hear you guys. I always think, "If I was racing I would do whatever it takes to get an edge like spandex and leg shaving. If I was exercisinging I'd wear baggy clothes to create more wind resistance to get a better workout." It's their culture though and they want to look the part. Anyway, bike lane and they are in the road honk, no bike lane then be patient and pick your pass location carefully.

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Posted by cyclist too
a resident of Downtown
on Oct 21, 2009 at 1:19 pm

The stretchy-pant boys need to be held accountable for the laws. PPD what's up with allowing them to flaunt the laws without being ticketed?
If you really want to get your fill of it come to the Big Island before Ironman. Restaurants filled with obnoxious Europeans in Speedos, roads hogged by "athletes in training", the locals hide out until the whole fiasco is over. There is a race before Ironman just to make fun of the speedo-boys. It is called the Underpants Race and runners run downtown in their underwear. Pretty funny and without all of the attitude of the "aaaaahhhthletes" who overrun this place the rest of the month.

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Posted by Susan
a resident of Another Pleasanton neighborhood
on Oct 21, 2009 at 1:21 pm

Speaking of safety on the road, the majority of Pleasanton residents disregard the crosswalk law. They disregard it when there are children in the crosswalk, EVERY morning and EVERY afternoon. Pleasanton police do nothing about it. They could give out hundreds of tickets every day if the safety of children were taken seriously.
I'm more concerned about that than a driver inconvenienced by cyclists.

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Posted by Langdon
a resident of Another Pleasanton neighborhood
on Oct 21, 2009 at 2:12 pm

Condemn all cyclists with spandex to death by giving them a big wegdee ... most have an arrogant attitude to cars. I drive a care, therefore they have an arrogant attitude to me. Wedgee's to all cyclists.

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Posted by Driver
a resident of Pleasanton Valley
on Oct 21, 2009 at 7:06 pm

Let's face it, have you ONCE seen a bicycle rider get pulled to the side by the Pleasanton Police because they weren't wearing a helmet, not properly riding on the road, etc???? The consistency of ALLOWING some bike riders to be able to break the rules of the road is ONE THING we can count on around town, in both grownups, kids, pros in spandex, etc The bad thing about that is one day a tragic accident may occur; I'll guess that the driver of the vehicle will not be the one to suffer much... (at least physically). In the end, it's all about being considerate and less of a jerk both as a vehicle driver and bicyclist. We all have the right to be on the road, but we also depend on rules to help keep us safe. BTW...Spandex isn't the's the person in it!

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Posted by Patti
a resident of Another Pleasanton neighborhood
on Oct 21, 2009 at 7:48 pm


it is not against the law to be an adult and not wear a helmet while riding a bike in this state.

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Posted by Furious
a resident of Another Pleasanton neighborhood
on Oct 21, 2009 at 11:26 pm

Why do some bicyclist think they can run red-lights just like other cars? I was at the red-light and see this bicycle guy riding down the sidewalk. The light in his direction has turned yellow and he is still going full steam. By the time he got into the intersection, the light in his direction is clearly RED! Yet, he zooms through the intersection. There are 4 lanes of traffic ready to go because their lights have turned GREEN.

Sharing the road doesn't mean hogging the road. Bicyclist don't have any more rights than motorist. Don't complain if they get hit by a car next time.

Also, why do parents allow their kid (some 3 years old) cross the road riding their bike? Don't they know the law - walk the bike across the street!!!!! Some parents don't have any common sense!

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Posted by Furious
a resident of Another Pleasanton neighborhood
on Oct 21, 2009 at 11:30 pm

To Driver, yes! I have seen Pleasanton Police pull over kids not wearing helmets. But that was years ago! So, not recently! PPD should re-engage! This is extra $'s they can raise for their department!

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Posted by Tango
a resident of Valley View Elementary School
on Oct 21, 2009 at 11:54 pm

In some areas in the valley there are seperate trails for bike riders and no real bike lanes on the streets , but the bike riders choose to ride the street instead of the bike trail. Stanley Blvd comes to mind. Are they just lazy or do they not like the trails that have been built for them? I drive out Vineyard toward Livermore two or three times a week and most of the time I get stuck behind bike riders that think that sharing the road means that they can use the all of the street. I love to see familys rideing together but , They sometimes ride in a bunch instead of one behind the other. As I see it an adult should be in the front and the kids should ride one behind the other in the middle with an adult in the back. As they are doing this family outting, they could use the time to teach their children good bike manners and the rules of the road, that is they even know them.

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Posted by Heather
a resident of another community
on Oct 22, 2009 at 9:35 am

Nobody ever HAS to pass a cyclist; if your trip was that important, you'd have been given a siren and flashing lights. Be calm... it's just traffic, and eventually there will be an intersection where you will part ways with the cyclist(s).

As to why cyclists are in the road; everyone pays for public roads, and while some bike paths are great, a sure sign that a bike path is not adequate it when cyclists would prefer to use the road and mingle with motor vehicles. There are a number of ways bike path can fail: too narrow, too bumpy, too many unpredictable users (children, dogs, etc...), dangerous when it intersects roads, doesn't go to a desired destination.

By the way, about the spandex, it's for comfort, not necessarily wind resistance; flapping clothing and poorly placed seams can become pretty irritating to the skin after a few hours, and the sweat-wicking properties of the material and built-in seat-cushion are pretty nice comfort features, too.

Don't knock it 'til you try it. (and by that, I mean just about everything people here are complaining about... they've obviously never spent much time on the other side of the windshield, whereas most cyclists are also motorists).

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Posted by Pedro
a resident of Livermore
on Oct 22, 2009 at 10:34 am

I like driving real close to them when they are going slow and then I slam my hand on the ourside of my door and you should see their reaction and expressions!!!!! Priceless!!!!

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Posted by tyu
a resident of Birdland
on Oct 22, 2009 at 12:35 pm

Heather I have put many miles on bikes and spandex is not the only option. They make seemless clothes out of wicking synthetics that aren't spandex. Not that I care really but it's more about culture than comfort. Why all the team jerseys when they aren't on, let's say, Sierra Nevada's cycling team? There are other shirts out there that can do as good of a job, but then they wouldn't look like who they wish they were.

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Posted by lyndalu
a resident of Amador Estates
on Oct 22, 2009 at 1:59 pm

I am sick of these bikers getting in the way of traffic, they deserve what they will eventually get (run over). I am also sick of these [Portion removed due to disrespectful comment or offensive language] that walk/jog in the street instead of the sidewalk. I see this a lot on West Las Positas Blvd., they also deserve to get run over.

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Posted by annonymous
a resident of Castlewood Heights
on Oct 22, 2009 at 2:03 pm

heather is obviously an [Portion removed due to disrespectful comment or offensive language] she thinks cars should just sit behind bicyclists doing 5 - 10 mph - give me a break

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Posted by Tango
a resident of Vineyard Avenue
on Oct 23, 2009 at 12:07 am

For the person who said that bke riders should be able to use the streets because thay pay for them , does that mean that because I pay for the bike trails that I should be able to drive my car there? Unless your in some kind of sanctioned race or ride. use the bike trails. they were put there for people who like to go slower. Foothill road is the worst for both cars and bikes because there is nowhere to put bike lanes.

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Posted by Ange
a resident of West of Foothill
on Oct 23, 2009 at 9:11 am

Thank you Tango for your comments. Yes, Foothill is the worst for both cars and bikes. It is a beautiful road that attracts many on a weekend. I not only drive that road daily but I have often rode my bike or walked down it. I am very familiar with the condition of and the blind spots Foothill Road contains on its path to Dublin or Sunol. There are many areas that just have enough room for a car to safely pass a solo cyclist. Not a group of cyclists riding alongside each other in the lane. I am just appalled by the sense of entitlement these cyclists have when they completely take over the roadway. I really do love the friendly gestures shared by these road hogs when you honk your horn to get them to share the road.

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Posted by Rider
a resident of Another Pleasanton neighborhood
on Oct 26, 2009 at 9:09 am

As a recreational bike rider, I agree that riders not pulling into single file lines is not acceptable as car approach from behind. It is also accepatble to be two or three across when no cars are approaching from behind. I am keenly aware that in a collision I'm not in a SUV and not likely to come out on the better end of things.

On the other hand I regularly run stop signs(like most bike riders), I'm not in a two ton pile of mass, I can see if there is oncomming trafic both ways and stop on a dime. If I do ram something, I won't hurt it.

I'm sorry for my spandex, I know it is not the visual treat you get from some.

Really it is about everyone being considerate, safe and reasonable.

Sorry, but further commenting on this topic has been closed.

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