Twin Cities' biking offers lessons in tolerance

  • Article by: Andreas Aarsvold
  • Updated: March 28, 2013 - 8:16 PM

While prejudice can be powerful, it often is undone by a personal connection.

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owatonnabillMar. 28, 13 8:33 PM

Owatonna is pretty lucky. We have lots of really nice bike paths that wind around through our parks--you can get from any part of town to pretty much any other part of town by sticking to the paths, and with the river and park scenery it is pretty pleasant. We've had only a mild to moderate infestation of cyclists on our streets--nothing overboard at this point.

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efleschMar. 28, 13 9:40 PM

Much of the attitude of drivers comes from the entitlement mentality and is not just directed at cyclists. Drivers who force cyclists off the road, honk at cyclists, tailgate other drivers, cut drivers off and many other behaviors feel entitled to the road and to drive without any interference from others.

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hiclovinMar. 28, 13 9:55 PM

Last season we were cursed off the path by a couple walking their dog. A group of cyclists going 20 mph doesn't belong there and we didn't blame them. Less than a mile later we were cursed at by a driver on the road. Were were going g 5 to 10 under the speed limit (30). I wonder what condition our roads would be in if the hostility towards cyclists was instead directed towards people driving home from the bar after too many drinks. Riding a bike on a road is legal. The other is not but far too tolerated.

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arspartzMar. 28, 1311:11 PM

As I pulled up to the stoplight next to the Range Rover that barely missed me,

Therein lies the problem. The Range Rover (as well as many other cars) had to pass you once, causing a however mild, traffic snarl. Now when you get to light, you merrily ride past all of those people who had to avoid a much slower vehicle in the preceding block, causing them to have to dodge around you AGAIN. Stay at your place in the traffic flow and much of the attitude from the drivers will go away

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bikiesterMar. 28, 1311:20 PM

The average mass of a car in the US is about 3,500-4,000 pounds or about 2 tons. I inherited a SUV which I drive about 5,000 mile per year, my truck weighs 4300 lbs. I have a healthy respect for this mass--it has the capacity for being a dangerous tool. I bike the remainder of my miles to and from work. The part I don't get about car agression on bikes is why it's not illegal-- like threatening someone with a gun is illegal. Both have equal rights to the streets, but there is a power dynamic. I wonder if the police ever give tickets to aggressive motorists?

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scottkyMar. 29, 1312:05 AM

Much of the attitude of bicyclists comes from the entitlement mentality and is not just directed at motorists. Bicyclists who do not obey traffic regulations, do not respect the traffic flow, ride against traffic, ride on sidewalks, do not ride in marked bicycle lanes/paths, have a complete disregard for pedestrians as well as many other behaviors feel entitled to bicycle whereever they want without any interference from others.

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jarlmnMar. 29, 1312:39 AM

The author's smug and sanctimonious screed aside, the main problem is that *neither* motorists nor bicyclists in this town know the rules of the road. Instead of publishing sappy stories like this, the STRIB would do us ALL a favor by publishing what the actual rules are ... so that we all can share the road safely and sanely. Yes, many motorists are bad-apples. But it also must be said that TOO many bicyclists in this town ride like they are still on their Hotwheels in their mom's driveway and blithely disregard the laws and rules of the road.

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dityspeedMar. 29, 13 7:50 AM

Oh great. Now people are really going to want to run me off the road after this piece. Just don't threaten my safety, alright. That's all I ask. Yeah, we cyclist do annoying stuff (and write annoying opinion pieces) but I've seen way more annoying stuff coming from vehicles and that can get dangerous. And arspartz, what you are suggesting is what we call "taking the lane" we do this because sometimes when we move over as far as we can it's still not far enough and cars will try to squeeze through and that's what we call being "buzzed" and we have crashed and injured ourselves doing this so we instead of giving them and foot, because they will take an inch if they can, we just take the whole lane. Vehicle drivers hate it. We are now in their way, or what you call our place in the traffic flow. We never win. So that's why I ask folks to just please don't threaten my safety. That is all. Thank you.

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northhillMar. 29, 13 8:43 AM

Why can't cyclists and drivers get along in Minneapolis? They seem to in California and Europe much better than they do here. The cyclists and drivers are both to blame.You can't have your own way all the time. The running track at a Northern Suburbs YMCA can be like I94 at times. There are senior citizens;some using canes and walkers,co-existing with fast walkers,slow walkers, joggers,and runners of all ages.It works because people using the track respect each other.They understand that everyone's membership is equal and we all have a right to use the track.They watch out for others. There is a fast lane and a slow lane.Faster walkers and joggers look out for runners before they pass another person.It is so unlike Minneapolis streets where everyone thinks they are the most important person on the road.

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rlundl02Mar. 29, 13 9:12 AM

After reading this I know one thing: My bicycle is going to gather dust in the shed for the third consecutive summer. Too dangerous.

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