Thursday, April 24, 2014

Drivers: Don't "creep" towards bicyclists!

Riding into to work this morning, I encountered an all too common event: I have the right-of-way, I'm in the intersection and a car who does NOT have the right-of-way starts.... creeping in.

I'm sure the driver is creeping into the intersection because they want to save that 1/2 a millisecond after I've cleared the intersection to enter it.

Please do not do this!
  1. As a cyclist, it is impossible for me to distinguish between you seeing me and thinking it's okay to creep into the intersection and you not seeing me and starting your move into the intersection.
  2. What if you sneeze, cough, or your foot just slips on the throttle and it goes from creeping to fast acceleration?
  3. As I usually ride with 1-2 other folks, and you're stopped when one of them passes and then you start creeping - I really don't think you see me. I am the slowest in the pack, so there is often a small gap (about one car length - which is NOT enough space for you to pull through).
  4. Bicyclists are going faster than you think.  Or slower. It depends on the rider. Pay attention, please.
When this happens, I will yell (I've already dinged my bell as I approached the intersection).  Do NOT rev your engine in response. See #2 above.

I'm lucky that much of my commute is on quiet neighborhood streets and trails, but I've even encountered the "creeper" in parks!

Please just stay stationary as bicycles pass you. Look at them so that they can see your eyes and know you see them.  If your windows are darkly tinted and I can't see you - I don't know that you saw me.

The worst creepers are those who are clearly playing with their phone or radio (ie NOT looking).  While it's illegal to play with your phone while stationary, if you MUST do it - please have your foot on the break.

Right now, my regular trail is closed due to construction on the new SF 49ers Levi Stadium in Santa Clara, so I have to ride through a parking lot for a park/tennis courts/golf course/ACE Train/SF 49ers construction (yes, that IS the official bike detour).  That is scary enough. Drivers not stopping at the T intersection (which is a 1 way stop - I do not have a stop sign) is pretty scary, especially when they are large construction trucks or employees running late.

There is always a Santa Clara police officer there, but he seems to be on break as he's always at the far end of the parking lot where the bike trail begins again and not where everyone is running their stop sign and revving their engines at bicyclists.

Be careful out there, y'all! :-)

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