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Photos: How not to be a dickhead on Bike to Work Day

Categories: Things to Do

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Big photos below.
Editor's note: In honor of Bike to Work Day 2013, we're re-sharing Jef Otte's timeless advice for drivers from 2011.

Used to be, the only adults who rode bikes were either weird fitness freaks or those with multiple DUIs. Times have changed, however, and more bicyclists than ever are taking to the pedals and jockeying for road space against drivers in an atmosphere of barely contained and increasing animosity. And the problem isn't going to go away.

[In 2010], Denver Bike to Work Day drew out some 30,000 riders, and this year's event (coming up on June 22) is expected to attract even more -- meaning the only question is, in the immortal words of Rodney King, "why can't we all just get along?" Answer: because a lot of people are being real dickheads about it.

As a daily bike commuter myself, I tend to sympathize with the terrifying, irritating and sometimes just downright confusing situations bicyclists get put into every day -- but I also own a car and drive in the city, so I'm well familiar with how annoying bicyclist's frequent habits can be on the other end. So in the interest of fostering a community of peace and empathy where riders and drivers alike can hold hands and sing songs about harmony and shit, here are a few guidelines for cooperative behavior that people need to start observing immediately, whether their vehicle has two wheels or four.

90827867.jpg
This thing has an excellent use!
Use your turn signal
Here's the thing: When I am riding a bike, I'm not occupying an actual lane of traffic; rather, have a few feet of lateral space toward the side of the road. What that means is that, when you're turning right, you're crossing directly into my path. The moral: I really need to know if you're about to turn right. It is imperative. It's nice to know if you're turning left or going straight, too, so I can avoid having to adjust my trajectory.

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Obey.
Don't wantonly run red lights/stop signs
But let's be honest: When you're stopped at an intersection and I'm coming up on your right, there's a good chance I'm doing that because I'm about to run a red light or a stop sign. And it's totally a bullshit habit, I know. There's nothing more nerve-wracking for me as a driver than having a dude on a bike dart out in front of me, so please: I know we don't want to lose that precious momentum and everything, but let's all agree that blowing red lights -- even on a bike -- is bad.

Continue for more ways not to be a dickhead on Bike to Work Day.


My Voice Nation Help
80 comments
Evelyn Maria
Evelyn Maria

A biker recently was crossing a major road without stopping and looking I had to slam brakes to keep from hitting him (50 yr old man) Responsibilities have to be on both sides. I continually see bikers go thru red lights. I think tickets need to be given out just like cars!

Christopher Fish
Christopher Fish

I would like to add: Wear a helmet. Have lights on your bike if you plan on riding at night or at least a reflective vest. Stop Signs and Traffic lights apply to cyclist as well. You MUST Walk your bike in a crosswalk (it's the law). IF you want respect you have to give just as well. I am a commercial driver and if it is the nut job trying to pass with out a signal its a cyclist darting out into traffic or riding in a crosswalk.

LivCupcake Elgethun
LivCupcake Elgethun

I can't believe how many things you have posted about what drivers can do. You are being pretty ignorant.

Stephan Reuchlein
Stephan Reuchlein

.....and how not to be a dickhead on a bike on bike to work day. 1. Ride single file, do not block traffic. 2. Use hand signals to let vehicles know your intentions. 3. Follow the laws, stop at red lights. Do not transition to crosswalks if the light is against you. Do not split lanes. Stay in position, do not ride up to the line with vehicles in front of you. Do not ride in the middle of a lane in which you cannot sustain the speed limit

ReluctantDenverite
ReluctantDenverite

I am convinced there is a lot of "suicide by car" among bike riders after nearly hitting more than one bike rider not following the rules of the road when they're riding among cars.  Bikers, please don't lock in when you know you're going to be in stop and go traffic.  

disco-nap-pete
disco-nap-pete

car drivers would have you breath in their exhaust because they want to go faster. how selfish.

disco-nap-pete
disco-nap-pete

when i ride i ride in the right lane towards the center left side of the lane. this way car drivers wont try to pass me in my lane this is the correct way to ride in the street when there is no bike lane.

Stephan Reuchlein
Stephan Reuchlein

In addition to that roads were built for horses carriages and ultimately automobiles not bicycle bicycle do not belong on a path that a minimum speed limit is 25 miles an hour they cannot sustain that speed.

Stephan Reuchlein
Stephan Reuchlein

Manny yet again you show your ignorance it's like comparing apples to oranges people on bicycles in Denver area and Boulder area do not follow the law. I go about 120 miles a day and everybody bicyclist I see is breaking the.law in some way or another.

Schittphaiç Magü
Schittphaiç Magü

Yes, because it's cyclists who are responsible for nearly 30K traffic fatalities on American city streets and highways last year. Oh wait....those numbers are for MOTOR VEHICLES. D'oh!

Jay Breese
Jay Breese

Boy that Sean Miller guy is something. That guy lowered the bar in decency to a new low. How he could justify a murder's actions is beyond me. A real jackass.

Courtney Donaldson
Courtney Donaldson

WHEW, I thought I was alone in the blinker world.. I don't even have to think about doing it, now it's just a natural brain synapse ... and pedestrians are only covered under the law if they are in the cross-walk...

Courtney Donaldson
Courtney Donaldson

Che, it's been a law since before I was a kid growing up in Denver (undisclosed but many decates), but back then we actually GOT in trouble for it as well as not registering our bikes... Wonder who can say that today? OH, wait, you are "supposed" to register your bike... Why yes... yes, by statute, you are!!!!

Sean Miller
Sean Miller

oh yeah do not forget the massive income if they actually cracked down on people that live here and do not register their cars...

Sean Miller
Sean Miller

and stopping at lights/signs. going the wrong way, using the wrong lane. etc etc

Juan_Leg
Juan_Leg

Rule #1 should be ;

STOP IF YOU HIT A BICYCLIST !

Sean Miller
Sean Miller

funny real funny. Too bad it is not field hockey. But what do you expect from a prissy little CC kid. Ignorant to the bone.

Tyler David Brachmier
Tyler David Brachmier

Do you just spend your day commenting on westword and facebook? helmet looks officially gay to me. I didn't know field hockey was an adult sport, oh maybe its for retired adults. Are you in a senior league?

Courtney Donaldson
Courtney Donaldson

This city could make a FORTUNE off of cyclists and drivers not using blinkers!!!!

SxPxDxCx
SxPxDxCx

If the majority users of the road, cars, followed all the rules of the road motorists might have a legitimate bitch about cyclists.  But the last time I checked, when I drove my car into work this morning, they don't.  People drive like shit and barely can follow the simple traffic rules or even be bothered to read street signs.


Michael Keyes
Michael Keyes

Ok serious question...why field and not ice hockey? I don't get it, didn't even know doods played that game...

Sean Miller
Sean Miller

this is hilarious. What did you recruit your ignorant buddy to help you out. And maybe I should call my old coach and have him give you a little talking to about respect since he is a coach at your high school.

Sean Miller
Sean Miller

you mastered Hurling huh. That is funny you do not play here in this state........ And that is the official helmet BRO!

Karen Trujillo
Karen Trujillo

I use my turn signals! As a flagger, several years ago, I became even more aware of those who did not... also, as a pedestrian, when without a vehicle, walking & busing it around town. Look out! It's the law! Read the Co. driving manuel.

Tyler David Brachmier
Tyler David Brachmier

Baseball is better then a sport I mastered when I was 7. Nice face mask bro.

Michael Keyes
Michael Keyes

5 and a half...what are u like 50? eww gross

Sean Miller
Sean Miller

you liked your own comment.... What are you 5?

Sean Miller
Sean Miller

and if you are going to quote law you might want to think about quoting the whole law not just what suits your argument.

Sean Miller
Sean Miller

Soooo when a police officer on a bike breaks the law who enforces it?

Michael Keyes
Michael Keyes

Real hockey. Doi. That's cute tho my sis has the same face mask lol

Matt Mega C
Matt Mega C

Actually it's not just downtown... "Sec. 54-576. Riding on sidewalks. (a) Riding bicycles upon or along sidewalks, whether on public property or private property opened for use by the general public, shall be unlawful except when the operator or rider thereof is a uniformed city employee riding a bicycle or a police officer riding a bicycle is a marked or unmarked official police bicycle while engaged in the discharge of his or her official duties, or when the operator or rider thereof is engaged in the delivery of newspapers or where the sidewalk is part of a designated bicycleroute. Bicyclists shall yield the right-of-way to pedestrians on the sidewalks, and shall leave the sidewalk or dismount if necessary to yield such right-of-way.

Sean Miller
Sean Miller

what should I play instead? Baseball.... Baseball is just the bastardization of Hurling by lazy assholes like you.

Sean Miller
Sean Miller

Especially when the sidewalk is 6+ feet wide. It was actually originally designed for both bikes and peds

Madi Snyder
Madi Snyder

I appreciate all the information but I think some of these photos were a bit graphic! I love the Westword but I really don't like seeing bikers get crushed by cars! I just biked to work I don't want to be reminded of all the bastards out there going on road rage rants and crushing us! Keep the photos a bit more PC for the light stomached crew

Sean Miller
Sean Miller

And it is You're or you are. and also it is YOU. How is that college education working for you bud.

Sean Miller
Sean Miller

it is not field hockey and that just shows your ignorance even more.

DonkeyHotay
DonkeyHotay topcommenter

 It's long past time to End the Free Ride for Bicycles on Public Roadways!



-- Mandatory Bicycle Registration for ALL Bikes that operate on Public Roadways

-- Mandatory License Plates for ALL Bikes so that Criminal Scofflaws can be identified 

-- Mandatory Licenses for ALL Cyclists who ride on Public Roadways

-- Mandatory Liability Insurance to compensate those they Harm, Maim or Kill



End the Free Ride for Bikes !! ... Treat them like ANY OTHER Vehicle that operates on Public Roadways!


michael.roberts
michael.roberts moderator editortopcommenter

@Christopher Fish Thanks for the post, Christopher. We're going to feature it as an upcoming Comment of the Day. Much appreciated.

Gilbilly
Gilbilly

@disco-nap-pete you are breaking the law.  From the state statutes:  (5) Any person riding a bicycle shall ride in the right-hand lane. When being overtaken by another vehicle, such person shall ride as close to the right-hand side as practicable. Where a paved shoulder suitable for bicycle riding is present, persons operating bicycles shall ride on the paved shoulder

michael.roberts
michael.roberts moderator editortopcommenter

@Courtney Donaldson A lot of people don't have that natural brain synapse reaction to turn signals, Courtney. Thanks for the post.

michael.roberts
michael.roberts moderator editortopcommenter

@SxPxDxCx Thanks for the post, SxPxDxCx. We're going to make it an upcoming Comment of the Day. Much appreciated.

michael.roberts
michael.roberts moderator editortopcommenter

@Karen Trujillo You're so right, Karen. Thanks for posting.

michael.roberts
michael.roberts moderator editortopcommenter

@Matt Mega C Thanks for sharing the statute, Matt.

mystery7513
mystery7513

These days some people would rather text and talk on their cellphones then worry about safety first.

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