Social Question

ibstubro's avatar

Why is it that bicyclists don't like to cycle in the bicycle lane?

Asked by ibstubro (18804points) August 27th, 2016

I encounter this all the time.
I’ll be driving on a road and meet a bicyclist that’s ignoring the bicycle lane in favor of riding just to the left of the solid white line.
My taxes have been spent so they can have a dedicated lane for riding their bicycle. Why can’t the use it?

I think there should be a law that if a bicycle lane is available, a cyclist has to use it unless they can give a good reason (like blockage) that they can’t.

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33 Answers

janbb's avatar

Do you mean the so called bicycle lane? :-)

ragingloli's avatar

Because motorists can not be trusted.
Just a month ago, I saw a car intentionally and repeatedly bumping into a cyclist from behind, while honking his horn. What a cunt.

ARE_you_kidding_me's avatar

I’m an avid cyclist but the road bike community is filled with cunts. Just because it is perfectly legal does not mean it is ok to take over high traffic routes. I get the fuck out of the way, why can’t you. Sorry if my being in a cage inconveniences your ride. Perhaps you should find a place to ride that does not put both you and me at risk.

ibstubro's avatar

That sounds Seinfeldien, @janbb. But I don’t know it.

So. A cyclist would be better off in the road than a bicycle path, @ragingloli?

I can’t give your “C” word a pass, @ARE_you_kidding_me.

zenvelo's avatar

One of the big reasons is that dedicated bike lanes are not kept clear of debris. Cyclists will ride on the left stripe to avoid glass, rocks, and dirt.

Re @janbb‘s answer, are you speaking of dedicated bike lanes with two stripes and marked with a bicycle painted on the asphalt? A “fog line” on the right side of a road marking the shoulder is not a bike lane.

And, how close is it to parked cars? Cyclists run the danger of severe injury if they ride into a door being opened.

And, just so you know, cyclists pay taxes too, and have a right to take a lane.

funkdaddy's avatar

I don’t know. Personal preference? Unaware of the lane?

We have a lot of bicyclists around here. My neighborhood has been completely reworked in the last five years so there are a ton of bike lanes. People still bike on the one windy, narrow, road that doesn’t have bike lanes. There’s a wide, wonderful, straight, dedicated bike lane one block over in either direction. Some go down the windy road every morning.

We also have constant arguments on the neighborhood mailing list regarding each group’s concerns with the “misuse” of “their space”. The bicyclist don’t like the “turtle” bumps that mark the bike lanes, they don’t like people walking in them as well, they don’t like strollers, they don’t like the transitions and intersections. They’re saving the world, could you please make it easier?

The drivers don’t like the bikes rolling through stop signs, or riding in the middle of busy roads, or the groups that get together and block 2+ lanes of traffic weekly. They’ve got places to be and the roads were built for them, ok?

It’s constant.

Two thoughts made it a lot more peaceful for me personally

1) Separate infrastructure is really the only way to make it safe and keep everyone happy, but no on wants to pay for it, so we’re all compromising. Everyone.

2) They’re all people. Not motorists vs cyclist vs pedestrians. Just people, mostly who live within 20 blocks of me. Some are lame, but i try to quit defining them by a current mode of transportation.

It used to bother me a lot on both sides. Now, not so much.


this also reminds me of one of my favorite fluther flameouts
Why don’t you ride a bicycle instead of driving a car?

is that against the TOS?… If only life had a TOS

MrGrimm888's avatar

Oh god. I see them all the time. In big groups, FUCKING traffic up. The thing that makes me the madden is their cycling gear. I know BMW isn’t sponsoring you to be a dick.

My question is, Why can’t they join a spin class, or ride a stationary?

PLEASE. FOR THE LOVE OF GOD, get off the road! !!!!

YARNLADY's avatar

I have heard that there are so many hazards in the bicycle lane that it isn’t safe. Where I live, the streets were recently resurfaced, and the bike lanes are smooth, safe and well used.

Stinley's avatar

Let’s turn this around and put it another way. Would you like to be told that you can’t drive on a road because it was restricting people like me in my faster car from going fast? That you need to drive on a bumpy, glass strewn part of the road? You’d need to drive much slower and risk punctures. But that’s ok because I’m able to speed past you in my sports car.

Cycling is an amazing activity. You get exercise, fresh(ish) air. You get to see what’s around you at close quarters. It’s cheap and mostly non-polluting. It’s accessible to most people. It feels great to cycle. We should be celebrating the beauty that is cycling, not honking our horns at the cyclists!

Now, if you will excuse me, I’m off out for a bike ride :-)

ARE_you_kidding_me's avatar

@ibstubro that was about a half bottle of wine talking

JLeslie's avatar

If the bike lanes are well maintained and clear of debris there is no excuse. Cars have to stay in their car lanes, they can’t just ride over on the shoulder, or even in the bike lanes.

People using their bikes for transportation I think are to be respected on the road and some people need to be more tolerant of sharing the road with them, but if they have been given a designated safe/safer lane then they should be using it. People who bicycle for exercise, or the joy of it, should be using relatively safe places to ride within reason. I’ve seen groups of cyclists on the road in front of my house where I lived in TN and it was downright dangerous! Twisty, turny, hilly, no shoulder, dangerous. I don’t get it. Why put your life at risk like that? The alternate route was a little longer, but a much safer road. These people were in full cyclist garb, likely cycling for several miles, they could go a safer route.

If I hit someone in a bicycle with my car (God forbid) my car is likely to win. I don’t want the cyclist to have to live with any injuries, or worse I don’t even want to mention, and I don’t want to live with having caused the injury, even if it really wasn’t my fault. I don’t want to hurt anyone obviously.

Where I live now we have golf cart lanes. Bikes can go there too. Once in a while at intersections the lanes merge to avoid an accident if a car is turning. It works pretty well, but everyone (for the most part) is obedient to the rules. In our community the car has the right of way. It feels odd to me as a car driver to have a right of way to a golf cart trying to cross on a “crosswalk.” But, it is the golf cart driver who needs to be more careful so they put in these rules from the get go. They have to be more careful, because they wind up dead, or seriously injured in an accident with a car. They should not trust drivers to see them or do the right thing, and the rules of the road here emphasize it.

ibstubro's avatar

I’m on a road a lot that has a clear, well maintained, and clearly marked bicycle path. The vast majority of the cyclists don’t use it. And they’re recreational, for the most part as it’s not an urban path.

I live on a narrow, 2-lane highway that has very high traffic. No bicycle lane. It’s a favorite of cyclists for some unknown reason. There’s no shade or water or retail places to stop for a bit. It’s like they have a death wish. For themselves, or the drivers that have to accommodate them.

kritiper's avatar

That’s where all of the road debris ends up. Rocks, nails, slippery sand. You are asking about intelligent, law abiding cyclists, aren’t you??

SecondHandStoke's avatar

People should not comment on things they don’t fully comprehend.

There’s a reason I don’t go up to anglers and demand that they resume their fishing a few meters to their right. I don’t know from fishing and have no knowledge base on which to support my command. They do, I move on.

Or how about this? Why don’t I carry an air horn into your gym and interrupt your workout by sounding the horn behind your head and begin shouting instructions even though I have no knowledge of proper bench pressing technique?

This, you ass, is how you come off. It really is best to leave that which you don’t understand alone.


You are obviously the biggest offender here, but I’ll explain for everyone. Not that I’m confident it will do much good.

If I take my bicycle into a store and ask an employee what kind of bicycle it is, he or she will respond with “a road bicycle.” This is because my bicycle, it’s components, it’s wheels and tires HAVE BEEN DESIGNED FROM THE GROUND UP FOR USE ON THE ROAD. Note it wasn’t called a “lane bike”, or FUCKING “SIDEWALK BIKE.”

Proper bike handling skills cannot be refined and mastered in a so called spin class or on a stationary bike. Your suggestion of both makes it clear that my needing to explain means you’ll never understand.

You say “fucking traffic up.” WE ARE TRAFFIC, you dolt. I’M SO SORRY THAT THE ONLY TIME you were ever slowed by something in front of you on the road it was a cyclist.

IT WAS BICYCLISTS, NOT MOTORISTS, that first lobbied for paved roadways, YOU’RE FUCKING WELCOME.

My bicycle is a precision instrument, with parts machined to aerospace tolerances and is capable of the takeoff and landing speeds OF SMALL AIRCRAFT. Why don’t you pilot your rusted Datsun on a bike lane or sidewalk?

I’m stunned that people would harass an individual who’s circulatory system is awash with adrenaline during ride hour six, maybe seven or more. Go ahead, open your idiot yap at me. You might receive a pounding before I realize what I’m doing.

Cyclists riding 2 or more abreast: No, we aren’t doing this to piss you off. GUESS WHAT? EVERYTHING ISN’T ABOUT YOU. Either you’ll learn this about life one day or you won’t. We ride abreast so that each rider in a group can man up and take their turn eating the wind IN A ROTATION.

@JLeslie want’s to act like a government and restrict my choices as a cyclist in the name of what she perceives in her mind to be my safety.

Perhaps I choose a road because it is challenging? Let me guess. You are one of those drivers I get stuck behind in my car, going ever slower as the ribbon of pavement gets more and more interesting.

YOU WOULD HAVE ME RIDE ON A LANE BUILT FOR GOLF FUCKING CARTS?? How exactly am I supposed to maintain 30 MPH on that?

My safety? Why don’t you chew on my bombing down the back of a North Georgia mountain at 55 MPH+, geared out, rear above the saddle, chin just above the stem, knees gripping the bike’s top tube, hands clasped behind back in a skiers tuck, spokes screaming… Perhaps MY BODY, MY CHOICE only applies to some, not all.

Bike lanes in Manhattan: These are places of chaos in a bottle. NYC has ruled that riders must use bike lanes when they are available, but there are no enforced rules to keep these places of order. Riders will constantly encounter head on bike traffic, pedestrians, trash containers, restaurant signs, car doors, parked cars INCLUDING PARKED POLICE VEHICLES.

When I have a head on collision with a 45 pound delivery bike (mass of rider not included) I may be in the right, even if I am not injured I’m not in the mood to scour the Internet for months searching for another ‘91 Eddy Merckx frame, Faema livery, in my size and in good condition. I also don’t feel like replacing up to five thousand dollars worth of bleeding edge Campagnolo components. That Selle Italia Flite saddle in perforated white leather? I’ll probably never find another one of those.

The safest answer is to simply avoid streets that include so called bike lanes.

I’m appalled, but not surprised, by some of the mentalities I’ve found here.

Actually, I am surprised. Fluther pretenses itself to be a “progressive” forum, a place where people of all kinds can coexist in harmony yet people here are obviously biased against that which is different from themselves.

Response moderated (Personal Attack)
zenvelo's avatar

Way to go @SecondHandStoke. I would give you 500 GA’s if i could.

ibstubro's avatar

Well, if you want to spend your tax dollars building me a Red Camry Lane, I promise to stay in it, @SecondHandStoke.

GUESS WHAT? EVERYTHING ISN’T ABOUT YOU. How would you like it if cars and trucks started driving 2 abreast for the aerodynamics?

SecondHandStoke's avatar

^ You prove my point regarding ignorance.

If you cannot tell, simply by looking, that a bicycle is going to be much more subject to aerodynamic issues than your off the rack Camry perhaps you shouldn’t be driving.

We riders are constantly vexed by the fact that since so many motorists piloted toy bicycles as children they believe themselves to be experts on road cycling as executed at my level.

My effortlessly smooth form and laser straight line should indicate to you that I know what I’m doing due to decades of experience, but alas, no.

Again, Please spare yourself the embarrassment brought by commenting on something you effectively know nothing about.

ibstubro's avatar

Then go cycle at the park.
What’s so hard about that?
Hard roads are a direct result of the automobile. If you can’t ride a bike without impeding automotive traffic, stay home. That’s not ignorance, it’s common sense.
You’re on “on a road a lot that has a clear, well maintained, and clearly marked bicycle path” and presumably wearing a rear viewer. If you can’t swerve into the bicycle path so that I don’t have to slow my car to your speed until I can swerve around you, you’re a rude motherfucker and tempting fate.

SecondHandStoke's avatar

^ If you are serious.

“Hard roads are the direct result of the automobile.”

A bicycle designed for use on trails or tracks simply would not be suitable for all day use on sometimes irregular road surfaces.

My bicycle is the result of hand picking components designed specifically for comfortable and efficient all day use on such surfaces. It uses a shock absorbing stainless steel frame with a relaxed geometry for use on roadways, not trails, not tracks, ROADS.

The same goes for the custom specified wheelset. A rigid, 28 spoke, one cross configuration at the front for precision steering. A more compliant 32 spoke, three cross pattern at the rear for all day comfort.

The $100 Michelin slicks employ a Kevlar belted weave for compliance and traction on varying public road surfaces.

An extreme close ratio ten speed (twenty gears total) cogset is chosen for a very wide, but finely adjustable ratios to accommodate all elevation changes and rider fatigue.

“Go cycle in the park” Last time I checked road cycling isn’t about dodging tourists on a loop for up to eight hours in a day.

I don’t “swerve” FYI. My flawlessly straight tracking is the result of decades of form refinement.

Please God, stick to something you know something about.

funkdaddy's avatar

@SecondHandStoke – why so insulting? Are you just bragging about gear? Is it just a chance to feel exceptional? Is it personal? What’s the point?

Actually, I am surprised. Fluther pretenses itself to be a “progressive” forum, a place where people of all kinds can coexist in harmony yet people here are obviously biased against that which is different from themselves.


SecondHandStoke's avatar

^ I’m not bragging about gear, or kit as we call it.

I’m trying to convey to the “public” just what a precise, fine tuned art road cycling is. I’m sure you can see how being instructed by non cyclists how to do my thing could be infuriating, especially considering the long hours, obsession with proper form, and welcome suffering involved.

Road cycling is one area where I am exceptional. Yes, of course there are those that are smoother, faster and more durable than me. No problem.

After a while, being ordered to hop up and down curbs via the sideWALK on thousands of dollars worth of precision and bespoke equipment by people that wouldn’t know the difference between a lug and a pawl gets OLD.

My manner on the roads?

Usually things go fine, especially since returning to cyclist friendly Atlanta. Just like when I’m behind the wheel of my cars, when I am riding I am constantly scanning my surroundings, not just for hazards, but for opportunities to graciously accommodate those around me.

I despise rudeness an all forms. After being exposed to enough of it it gets hard to keep it inside.

The Law states that both cars and bicycles are wheeled traffic to observe the same rules while sharing the same asphalt covered space. Many motorists here don’t seem to understand this. Sad. But when they begin to get righteous or militant about it…

Lightlyseared's avatar

Bike lanes in New York

Cycling is the new golf. Motorists are going to have come to terms with the fact cyclists are on the roads and are allowed to be there – preferably without killing too many (more). Although most motorists don’t seem to give a fuck about other motorists never mind anything else.

SecondHandStoke's avatar

^ Yes, I’ve seen that video some time ago thanks to /r/nycbike.

A little goofy but the bewildering problem stands. Bike lanes must be used by law, but there is where the regulations end.

The police are not at all concerned with this conflict and are just out to collect as much dosh as possible for NYC Inc.

“Car” lanes are far safer places to operate a bicycle. It’s understandable that the average NYC hack motorist isn’t going to understand this.

I lived with this bullshit firsthand as a rider and motorist in Manhattan for eight years.

I finally gave up and limited my riding to taking the GWB to New Jersey to take the 9W North sometimes as far as the state line. That was some beautiful and hard as fuck riding.

I’m glad I don’t live there anymore, for this reason at least.

zenvelo's avatar

@ibstubro Hard roads are not the result of automobiles. The Good Roads movement was started by cyclists. You can thank the League of American Wheelmen (now known as the League of American Bicyclists) for lobbying for improved roads twenty years before the Duryea Brothers tried their first automobile.

SecondHandStoke's avatar

^ This.

Thank you.

I mentioned this fact in my initial rant.

ARE_you_kidding_me's avatar

@SecondHandStoke we are usually on the same page but not so much here. I’m an avid cyclist have done my share of road cycling and will never ride certain roads because my presence there cycling is simply not safe for me and other drivers. Thankfully my real love is mountain biking

SecondHandStoke's avatar


I admire your velo and your zen.

I am actually quite zen on the velo.

Perhaps not so zen on the Internet.

But hey, the OP asked the question.

I’m not about to apologize for the more thorough than anticipated answer.

jonsblond's avatar

A spin class? Seriously? Would you tell a kayaker to ditch the kayak and buy a rowing machine?

JLeslie's avatar

@SecondHandStoke Woah, hang on there. The golf cart lanes are next to, or part of, the roads where I live in FL. They are throughout the entire town. You can drive your cart to the grocery store, hospital, theatre, restaurants, everywhere. It is a town of over 100,000 people.

Aside from that, the golf paths on some of the golf courses are way more difficult than any of the roads, but I don’t think they would take kindly around here to bikes actually crossing through the golf courses. I guess towards the evening it wouldn’t matter. You can ride the roads here if you like. About 80% of the roads are 35 mph and fairly straight and level except for the traffic circles. The circles are 20 mph, so you won’t be slowing me down much.

As far as my twisty turny road in TN, you don’t “bother” me. You barely slow me down, because it is twisty and hilly. What I am worried about is you getting killed. Relying on drivers to be alert and always do the right thing is not my usual MO. I expect people to fuck up. If you want to take the risk go right ahead. The alternate route to my very twist road is just less twisty, but it’s still lined with trees, fabulously verdant in the summer, and has turns and variations in elevation. You could go through some housing developments, which is even less twisty than that, but I’m not suggesting that.

I don’t think bicycles are allowed on interstates. Why do you think that is? Yet, they are allowed on lesser roads that have 50 and 60 mph limits. The speed is just as high, and it can be very dangerous.

I’m just talking about danger, you are reading too much into my answer, and maybe I wasn’t clear about the golf cart lanes where I live. Golf carts here are usually traveling at 20 mph.

What I gather from your answer is tax payers have been wasting a shitload of money on bike lanes.

DominicY's avatar

So…yeah…just gonna comment on the question as asked.

As a cyclist (I regularly bike to work, but also go on rides for fun/exercise on a regular basis), I always use the bike line when available, but often the bike lane is blocked by parked cars or God knows what else, so I will go into the road when that happens. Otherwise I will stick to the bike lane as much as possible. I never ride on the sidewalk.

There’s a road around here, Woodside Road, where cyclists are mowed down on a regular basis; it’s basically just a death wish road for cyclists at this point. But that’s because this road literally has no bike lane; it is curvy and windy and the shoulder just goes right up next to the dirt. Bikes have no choice but to ride in the road. And motorists frequently ignore cyclists or think they can ignore them and thus you have the situation here. (And I have no doubt that most of the cyclists who are killed are killed by people speeding on this road).

But as someone who drives about as often as I bike, it’s made me aware of both. When I’m on a bike, I don’t swerve in front of cars or refuse to move over to let them pass and when I’m behind the wheel, I’m constantly aware of bikes around me and treat them like traffic.

ibstubro's avatar

Bikers are rude. Where I live. IME.

SecondHandStoke's avatar

^ I suppose bikers (people riding Harley Davidsons and wearing leather) could be rude.

The OP is about bike riders.

I, on the other hand am a cyclist.

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