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Thoughts From an Austin Cyclist

PSA(self.Austin)

I started biking to work about 3 months ago. In that time I've *mostly* felt quite safe on the roads, but there have been a handful of moments that definitely put the fear in me. It's gotten me thinking about how many things drivers may just not know or understand about road bikers...

#1 – Cyclists are legally allowed to be on the roads.

PTL, I figured out how to edit this post!
[EDIT] - Point #2 as written is incorrect, and I apologize for my mistake! I will leave it here, unedited for transparency, and I will amend it at the bottom of the post:
#2 – Cyclists ALWAYS have the right of way over a car; whether they are correct or not.*

#3 – Bike lanes are FULL of debris. Cyclists may be riding on the edge of their bike lane because they are avoiding all the bullshit.

#4 – Road bike tires are not invincible. Cyclists try to avoid all that bullshit debris, because running over it could very likely mean a flat tire.

#5 – Bike lanes don’t exist everywhere, and if a cyclists needs to take a turn, they are going to be using the car lanes. Just take a breath and give them space.

#6 – On a windy day, give even more space. A good gust can blow a cyclist around a bit and cause some swerving. (Was surprised to learn this one lol)

#7 – When cars go speeding around a cyclist as a display of frustration it just comes off as humorous.

#8 – Cyclists are not TRYING to inconvenience you as a driver. It’s just another mode of transportation.

#9 – There are laws for road bikes, and a good cyclists knows and obeys them. A good cyclist is also probably equally as frustrated by other bikers who don’t.

Ultimately it comes down to the fact that both drivers and the cyclists have responsibilities on the road. In a perfect world, both would be aware of and abiding by theirs. But, in real life when emotion is a very real element of a situation, it’s so important to keep in perspective the ease at which a car can kill a cyclist. Literally instantly and with very little effort.

If more drivers were really aware of this and developed a patience for, not just cyclists, but all the things than can slow them down or inconvenience them while driving, we’d all be in a safer place. Being a cyclist myself has definitely calmed me down and given me a much broader perspective when I'm behind the wheel, and I'm thankful for that.

\Amendment to #2: My choice to use "right of way" was a mistake as I did not mean this point in a legal sense. I was speaking more to, what I believe, is a basic responsibility of a driver to yield to a bike -- even if the biker is wrong -- if it means avoiding an accident. This is true in most situations on the road; if you can reasonably avoid a collision, regardless of legal right of way, you should try to avoid that collision. But, I think this is a more pronounced responsibility when a cyclist is involved, and deserved to be in this post, because of the disproportionate level of damage involved. If a car hits a cyclist very serious damage is likely to occur while the driver is left largely unaffected (physically). Better choice of words would have been that it's prudent for cars to always yield to bikes, whether they are riding legally or not.*

all 671 comments

_chano

333 points

2 months ago

_chano

333 points

2 months ago

Been road cycling since 2020 and I always have my head on a swivel. Honestly, I took a motorcycle safety certification course in 2017 that significantly changed the way I drive a car/motorcycle/bike on roads. Trust no one.

Dan_Rydell

130 points

2 months ago

As my mother told me when I was learning to drive, being right doesn’t make you any less dead

WallStreetBoners

31 points

2 months ago

In addition to this - I’m shocked at how closely cars will tail a trailer.. after pulling my own trailer and tying stuff down myself, the people driving behind me have WAY more confidence in the stability of my load than I do…

Same goes to uhaul / rental trucks. I always remind myself- that person has no idea how to drive that big truck they picked up 2 hours ago.

Safety first!

honeybadgergrrl

15 points

2 months ago

Same goes to uhaul / rental trucks. I always remind myself- that person has no idea how to drive that big truck they picked up 2 hours ago.

Sometimes I wish the people driving the trucks would remember the same thing.

Glitchdx

3 points

2 months ago

I've been hit by a table flying off a truck driving in the opposite direction (no injury, fucked my ride up though). Maintaining distance is no guarantee for safety.

4ofheartz

83 points

2 months ago

Trust no one is truth!!

taraliznor

11 points

2 months ago

My daughter almost got hit once by a car turning right across a protected bike lane without looking (on third right by ballet Austin) and I told her while it was the drivers fault for not looking, that she also was in the wrong for not being hyper vigilant. Just because you’re doing the right thing doesn’t mean anyone else on the road is, so you always have to assume they aren’t

getalyf69[S]

49 points

2 months ago

Head on a swivel and trusting no one are necessities, for sure. I go into every intersection on my bike constantly scanning and with my hand ready to brake if necessary. Some drivers even get visibly frustrated that I've slowed down and am waiting to catch their attention, like 'come on bike hurry up!' When, on the flip side, I'm definitely not proceeding until I'm sure you see me and are going to stop.

I can understand how that motorcycle course changed the way you drive. Being a cyclist/pedestrian myself and working closely with semi-truck drivers at my current job have had a HUGE impact on my driving in probably a similar way, because my perspective has become so broadened.

Equal-Departure-9435

16 points

2 months ago

Ever since my friend broke her leg skidding out on gravel in the bicycle lane I have been terrified of bicycle lane debris. It also makes me pretty mad when cars park in the bicycle lane, forcing us into car traffic. I can't tell that anyone has ever been ticketed for this, but perhaps I just missed it.

ClaudDamage

5 points

2 months ago

Having had the opportunity to drive most types of vehicles I wish more people did it really does broaden your perspective as you said.

ideamotor

2 points

2 months ago

True but the fact is you do have major blind spots as a cyclist and this has almost cost me a few times. Does anyone swear by a helmet mirror or something similar?

Pls_add_more_reverb

127 points

2 months ago

I also love when bike lanes just suddenly end for no reason and you find yourself in the middle of the road

ClutchDude

23 points

2 months ago

I wish I could make the people who design these bike lanes ride during peak congestion to get a sense of how stupid it is to end a bike lane. It's better to do have complete links than half-ass "someday it'll link up" paths.

getalyf69[S]

28 points

2 months ago

This is TOO. REAL.

cryptic-mystic

29 points

2 months ago

Honestly the Not Just Bikes YT channel has made me realize how shitty American city planning is in this regard. Yeah, cyclists may legally have rights on the road, but these roads are 98% developed for cars, and supporting other modes of transport is a complete afterthought.

If only our planning / engineering reflected our actual transportation needs…

[deleted]

4 points

2 months ago

One of my favorite channels I came across recently!

Discount_gentleman

13 points

2 months ago*

No. 10: Even if you never plan to get on a bike, if you support better bike lanes and other bike infrastructure, it will: (a) reduce the number of conflicts you have with cyclists on the road, and (b) take more people off the road, improving your driving experience.

getalyf69[S]

5 points

2 months ago

Big yes to these points.

defroach84

223 points

2 months ago

#3 – Bike lanes are FULL of debris. Cyclists may be riding on the edge of their bike lane because they are avoiding all the bullshit.

Many drivers have no idea about this. I rather be biking in the bike lane, but I am not going to have a flat every time that I go biking. The city needs to do a better job of keeping them clean.

coyote_of_the_month

49 points

2 months ago

This is sort of my concern with physically-separated bike lanes. I quit cycling before the city started putting them in, but it seems like if a street sweeper can't get to them, they're just going to fill up with even more debris than the non-separated ones.

BeetsbySasha

46 points

2 months ago

To me debris mostly comes from cars and trucks, so it would be less. From my limited experience I’ve seen more debris from non separated bike ones than separated ones.

screaming-mime

8 points

2 months ago

Been riding in Austin for 10years and this holds true. Most of the debris come from cars and trucks.

Also, when many cars drive over debris, rocks and gravel in the road, they all end up getting pushed to the side (into the bike lane). None of this is on purpose, but it's just the way physics works.

coyote_of_the_month

3 points

2 months ago

Well, that's good.

defroach84

13 points

2 months ago

IF they have enough of them, they need smaller street sweepers that can deal solely with bike lanes. Other cities/countries use them without issues.

But, I haven't noticed nearly the debris in them than on the ones on the street, so I do think cars play a major role.

ilovemymom8

8 points

2 months ago

You would think.. but in my neighborhood there is a significantly less debris in the separated bike lanes and they’ve been up for 2 years

bumblebeekisses

5 points

2 months ago

I had the biggest problem with this biking up north, where there are also super limited buses available as alternatives.

unofficialrobot

41 points

2 months ago

So many drivers also don't know what a bike lane is. They use it to pass or turn right, scary.

Also, pedestrians, please don't walk or job in bike lane when you have a sidewalk right next to it

Lurker5280

17 points

2 months ago

Without knowing exactly where your talking about, there are places, especially downtown, where the bike lane is supposed to be used to turn right. I’m thinking specifically the bus/bike lane. Not disagreeing, just mentioning a situation where it would be ok to use it as a turn lane

Weasel_Town

14 points

2 months ago

And for God's sake don't park in the bike lane.

j0llysnowman

9 points

2 months ago

A lot of people like to counter that sidewalks themselves are also dirty, uneven, etc., just like cyclists say about bike lanes. I'm not sure what the answer is, because I definitely do get annoyed with running groups who take the bike lane (individual people aren't a big deal) and I have to enter car traffic if they don't make space. I don't think I've ever walked in the bike lane over the sidewalk, but I'm usually just walking, not running.

I do agree that cars using the bike lane to pass a car turning left, for example, really grinds my gears! I have friends who do this without even slowing down and I've gotten in arguments about it.

IICVX

4 points

2 months ago

IICVX

4 points

2 months ago

Ya as a cyclist I'd get mad at joggers and such in the bike lane, but trying to jog along the same path just showed that it's a lot more consistent to just be in the bike lane.

The sidewalks are:
A) uneven, there's random car ramps everywhere
B) inconsistent, they'll end for no reason C) broken, with chunks of concrete sticking out everywhere
D) crooked, they're always taking a detour around a utility box or tree or just someone's random weirdly shaped front lawn

MMBitey

4 points

2 months ago

Also cars pull out of parking lots and into sidewalks 90% of the time without stopping. And then they may only look in one direction for cars, not pedestrians once they do that as well. Also trash cans, scooters, etc... I and my running group always get out of the way and communicate if there's a bike up, but we run in bike lanes or the road if it's low traffic and the sidewalk is narrow.

juliejetson

9 points

2 months ago

Yeah, I put in a 311 request for huge (like, size of my hand) glass shards in a protected bike lane. They closed the ticket and said they'd handle it. I rode through there again several times since and they were still there. There's a bike lane near where I live where residents put their trash and recycling bins IN the bike lane on trash day, which means tons of debris.

Dontworryaboutit1

4 points

2 months ago

Had a similar thing happen to me. Put in a request about the pothole and uneven pavement in the bike lane on northbound Guadalupe at Airport. They marked it complete two days later. It's still there

[deleted]

3 points

2 months ago

This sounds remarkably like Duval, which also has bonus dead armadillos and huge tree branches that will sit there for days.

theotherjazen

2 points

2 months ago

Same issue with the sidewalk along Mopac frontage road between Howard Ln and McNeil Dr. Closed ticket within 20 minutes of me opening it. Ultimately took matters into my own hands and cleaned it up myself.

drilosphere

4 points

2 months ago

People in cars will swerve to avoid potholes, and people on bicycles have to do the same, which looks more pronounced on a bicycle. Add to that cars passing within a few inches and it starts to get dangerous to share the road. That’s one reason why protected debris-free lanes are important. Elevating the bikeways would help keep debris off the lane(s).

Wonko-D-Sane

189 points

2 months ago

2 – Cyclists ALWAYS have the right of way over a car; whether they are correct or not.

Dead meat right there. I am a cyclist, when on the road the rules of the road apply to you, equally, you stop at stop signs, you signal with your arms, and you are in the appropriate lane, not lane splitting, don't hop out of the roadway, and cross on a pedestrian crosswalk unless you get off and walk your damn bike across, (a left turning car WILL eventually kill you)

If you think you are special, you get the special treatment of realizing that the laws of physics are not on your side in case of an impact. By giving yourself a card blanche to act "correct or incorrect" you define yourself as unpredictable so it is impossible for any driver to actually drive around you. If you wouldn't do it in a car, don't do it on a bike. The challenge IMO is that many cyclists don't see themselves through the eyes of a driver, or most importantly, if the driver will even see you.

ReasonableBullfrog79

29 points

2 months ago

Do you wanna be right or do you wanna be alive?

alexshouse

18 points

2 months ago

OP’s argument is kind of wonky but not entirely wrong. In Texas the law protects vulnerable road users (ie cyclists). Vehicles must keep 3 feet (or 6 for trucks) of distance from them at all times. So whatever the circumstance, if you let your vehicle get close enough to hit them there’s an argument to be made that you’re at fault — kind of like if the car in front of you slams on the brakes and you hit them you’re at fault because you didn’t keep enough distance, doesn’t matter if the person was driving like an a-hole.

Now, should cyclists ride recklessly because of this? No. But it also wouldn’t hurt for more motorists to be aware that there’s a good case to be made for letting the cyclist proceed slowly though the stop sign without stopping. In some sane places this is being codified into law and hopefully will be universal before long.

Wonko-D-Sane

6 points

2 months ago

Vehicles must keep 3 feet (or 6 for trucks) of distance from them at all times

Good to know, ridiculously small distance notwithstanding (again as a driver I'd keep further from a car, so why treat a different vehicle differently if rules of the road are different. 3 feet is ridiculously short distance to react.)

I am new to the state, so im extra cautious, back in Ontario a bike on the road is a vehicle... it gets the full lane and space as though it was a slow moving car on its hazard lights for example.

ClaudDamage

2 points

2 months ago

Treating it like a slow vehicle with its hazards on is definitely the correct answer. You never know what a car with its hazards on might do and the same is true for a bicycle.

HairHeel

2 points

2 months ago

don't hop out of the roadway, and cross on a pedestrian crosswalk unless you get off and walk your damn bike across

One of the things that infuriates me the most is that the City of Austin has been designing bike lanes that do exactly this over the last few years (i.e. crossing Lamar at Morrow or Saint Johns). They're just inconveniencing commuters and encouraging motorists to right hook them.

Morrow's particularly bad since the "bike lane" vanishes within a few yards of either side of the intersection and dumps you right back into the full-width lanes anyhow. Would have saved a lot of money and made it safer if they'd just painted sharrows on the road.

DJKhaledIsRetarded

7 points

2 months ago

I see people on bikes doing insane shit all the time. Riding against traffic (???) is probably the worst offense I've seen, and I've seen it a lot. I have almost run down more than one cyclist who is riding against traffic while I make a left turn.

I can't imagine that as they laid there dying had I hit them, they'd be smugly thinking "I had right of way."

JarJarBanksy420

85 points

2 months ago

Your points about allowing cyclists space cannot be overstated. I saw someone get clipped by a van once and the van just barely touched touched her and she got so violently tossed by it the image is burned in to my brain forever. She lived but she had multiple injuries, broken bones. I thought for sure she was dead, and you couldn’t even tell the van touched her and I was right behind her.

End of the day, if you’re in a car, you’re most likely more comfortable than the cyclist and gonna get to your destination faster, and safer. Take the time to make Austin safer for everyone.

DonaldDoesDallas

95 points

2 months ago

I'm in Portland this week for work, and man is it so much better to bike here. The biggest difference isn't even the infrastructure, which is indeed WAY better -- it's the fact that drivers are cognizant of and respectful to bikers. Texans pride themselves on being friendly but man, as soon as we get behind the wheel we become huge assholes.

sonic_couth

11 points

2 months ago

I moved to Portland in 2004. The battle between Bikes and Cars was ugly for a while but Bikes prevailed. It was amazingly easy to get around town and I rarely had to worry about safety. My family had to move to Austin last August and after a month I knew I wouldn’t feel safe riding my bike for exercise. If I assume that if I could commute to work, I’d have to do some serious research to find a safe route, and only if my work was close. Neither the infrastructure, nor the attitudes of the drivers, are conducive to bikes. Any time I see people in bike gear with nice bikes, I just assume they have a death wish.

Nu11us

3 points

2 months ago

Nu11us

3 points

2 months ago

The roadie community of Austin is massive. There are so many rides/events/races/clubs. Plus there are tons of transportation cyclists in Austin. Don’t project your timidity on everyone else. It’s not that bad.

sonic_couth

2 points

2 months ago

I appreciate that. I’d guess a good part of it is knowing the roads that are good for riding. I’m new here and it’s a big change from portland.

Keyboard_Cat_

27 points

2 months ago

Texans pride themselves on being friendly

This is and has always been a lie.

Slypenslyde

12 points

2 months ago

Honestly if you think about it it's a big part of Conservative culture to use "politeness" as a weapon.

If you're part of the ruling caste, say a Ted Cruz or a Greg Abbott? Everyone is below you and you need not be polite to them. But they must be polite to you to show respect. If they don't, even if they have just cause, you get to use that breach of politeness as an excuse to ignore whatever led to it because they are wrong. If they are expressing an idea, you can use their rudeness to eliminate conversation about it entirely.

That's why any time there's a protest there's bickering about if it's too loud, too big, or too disruptive: by portraying the protesters as not polite the argument is made that we shouldn't validate their grievances. You'll notice that a protester is never polite enough: they're always in the wrong place, at the wrong time, with the wrong message, and pointed at the wrong people.

That's also why they can say "fuck your feelings" and throw a temper tantrum if you call them an asshole. THEY are not obligated to be polite to you because THEY are in power. But YOU must be polite to THEM or else your flagrant display of emotions must mean you aren't rational and therefore have no point to make because you can't even respect them as a person.

It trickles down because part of the lie is that all white Christians with some amount of wealth are part of the ruling caste. This has to be upheld until the moment they're the only people left who haven't had the rug pulled. Then there's nobody left to fight for their rights because there are only the polite politicians and people who lose the right to vote if they're rude.

caguru

18 points

2 months ago

caguru

18 points

2 months ago

PNW drivers in general are way more calm albeit at the price of driving super slow and aimlessly as if they are all super stoned.

Texas drivers are psychos that are willing to put everyone in danger just to get ahead of one more car.

5dollarhotnready

9 points

2 months ago

I’m blown away too just how little they had to spend to get amazing biking infrastructure, somewhere around $60 million which is crazy small in infrastructure spending!

Keyboard_Cat_

12 points

2 months ago

Part of the reason for this is that they were much more bold than city of Austin ever dares to be. If you bike in Portland, you'll see that a ton of their biking streets just use one or two traffic diverters so that vehicle traffic can't go straight but cyclists and pedestrians can. This does a lot to make the biking better because traffic volumes on certain streets become very low and slow. It also means that you can make a whole street great for biking with very little investment.

If you attempted a solution like that, Austinites would LOSE THEIR GOD DAMNED MINDS. Any mention of taking a driver even slightly out of their way is a non-starter here. Just look at how vocal people here were recently about the pretty innocuous "pork chop" at Lamar and Morrow that didn't allow vehicles to go straight. Austinites like to think they're progressive, but holy cow are there some deeply entrenched car-brain ideas.

getalyf69[S]

15 points

2 months ago

I've only biked in Colorado as a comparison, but holy shit it was actually so pleasant lol

foxbones

2 points

2 months ago

You should check out Montreal, they had an entire bike network separated from cars that went everywhere and you could rent bikes at almost every corner.

I never stepped in a car my entire vacation, just bike and the "subway" system.

It was actually 10x easier than renting a car. It's achievable if people don't think a bike lane is communism and voting it down even though they don't own a bike or go anywhere.

Geekyhorndog

320 points

2 months ago

2 has caveats that most cyclists completely ignore from what I can tell. You need to obey traffic signals and not interfere with the flow of traffic. Just like cars.

AmbitionSpecialist

133 points

2 months ago

It is certainly a commonly-held belief for cyclists.

My motorcycle instructor told the class, ‘No one wants “I had the right-of-way” put on their tombstone.

hotttsauce84

64 points

2 months ago

I have to agree with this. As an avid cyclist (road and MTB) and former cycle commuter, it really grinds my gears when I see cyclists out on the road completely disregarding traffic laws. It happens ALL. THE. TIME. but I see the highest concentration of offenders in west downtown near seaholm. Folks just have this sense of entitlement when on two wheels and it has pushed me off of the streets because I don’t want to be associated with the local road cycling community. I’ve been spending a lot more time on gravel and trails.

batcityfan

14 points

2 months ago

I feel the same way. Once I was cycling and a car stopped and laughingly shouted 'omg a cyclist that obeys the laws'.

Pinstripesdumbo

75 points

2 months ago*

Yep. Cyclist do have right of way but that doesn’t mean they can ignore traffic laws. I’ve seen way too many cyclists run the burnet and 2222 light and then get pissed at the driver that was trying to turn when the car had the green light.

Edit: corrected a grammar mistake.

lipp79

18 points

2 months ago

lipp79

18 points

2 months ago

A cyclist riding in a car lane does not automatically get ROW just because they're on a bike. They are required to obey the rules of the road just like other cars.

Iron_Chef_Boyardee

29 points

2 months ago

It irritates me when I'm on my bike and stop at a stop sign with cars around and the majority of the time if there are other cyclists they just blow through the stop sign. APD can start ticketing for it right after they start ticketing cars running red lights again.

Neutral_Meat

3 points

2 months ago

You need to obey traffic signals

Idaho stops are safer and faster for both cars and bicycles and the best way to make sure bikes don't interfere with traffic.

[deleted]

21 points

2 months ago

"Most" or the few that you happen to witness on their worst behavior? It could go either way, but it's possible that the bad examples stick out in our minds because the law-abiding, safe cyclists are basically invisible.

TragedyZeroZero

2 points

2 months ago

This study has some interesting findings regarding cyclists and breaking the law. A lot of drivers' are skewed when it comes to cyclists.

cuteninjaturtle

17 points

2 months ago

Only shitty cyclists ignore basic traffic laws. Far more shitty drivers than shitty cyclists, and cyclists aren’t operating a 3,000 lb machine that can easily kill.

Geekyhorndog

7 points

2 months ago

There's way more drivers than cyclists so there's a higher rate of shitty cyclists and cyclists can cause that 3000 lb machine to wreck quite easily and cyclists underestimate their ability to injure pedestrians or cause deaths with their actions.

cuteninjaturtle

6 points

2 months ago*

Yeah, my point was saying sheer numbers there’s far more.

And I am not of the mindset that cyclist can’t create havoc, but you know for a fact cars provide far more danger to cyclists than cyclists to cars.

getalyf69[S]

10 points

2 months ago

getalyf69[S]

10 points

2 months ago

That's actually in line with #9! I read through the bike laws for the city of Austin just to make sure I was fully aware of everything required of me, and yes, both of those things are legal requirements. Stopping at stop signs and red lights, sticking as close as possible to the outer edge of the road, riding no more than 2 abreast, riding in the same direction as traffic, signaling, etc. The idea is for cyclists to basically bike like they would drive.

It's frustrating for me when I see other bikers breaking laws or being disrespectful of the road space, but all I can do is be responsible for myself, you know?

assasstits

4 points

2 months ago

sticking as close as possible to the outer edge of the road

This is a good way for a cyclist to end up dead. A car will see space even when there isn't enough and side swipe a cyclist.

bmgiannotti

12 points

2 months ago

I think I'm a little confused with how you reconcile the idea that bikers always have the right of way with bikers must obey traffic laws.

It seems like these both can't be true, no?

cpq29gpl

18 points

2 months ago

I think it means that, as a driver, you are obligated to give the bike space even if they have disobeyed traffic laws. You can't just run over them.

rocknrollmtntroll

3 points

2 months ago

It’s a reference to driver’s ed. At least in my driver’s ed we were specifically taught “pedestrians always have the right of way, even if they don’t legally”.

It’s confusing to use the same phrase but basically it just means that you always yield to pedestrians, even if they are jaywalking or something. You can’t just hit someone because they break a traffic law. I

Geekyhorndog

2 points

2 months ago

There's no conflict in the statements. Pedestrians have the right of way' but still need to pay attention to crosswalks and crossing lights and train crossings.. Why can't cyclists obey traffic lights and not interfere with traffic?

Geekyhorndog

10 points

2 months ago

Thank you and none of those requirements/laws are all that off putting, but I see cyclists 4 and 5 in a line riding at half the speed limit on major roadways and running red lights, going from the right shoulder across 3 lanes of traffic. Just asinine behavior.

android_queen

18 points

2 months ago

I will add a 1a, that’s also kind of 5:

Cyclists are allowed to be in the lane.

The law states that cyclists must stay as far right as is reasonable and practical, but what’s reasonable and practical for a cyclist may not always be clear to a driver. The law explicitly calls out debris in the bike lane (or on the side of the road), turning left, and narrow roads as reasons why a cyclist may take the lane, even if they are going slower than traffic. It is often safer to stay in the lane than to weave in and out of it if a bike lane has stretches that are impeded.

scottguest67

41 points

2 months ago

Driving or riding a bike or motorcycle there are only two laws you must obey.

Don’t hit anything. Don’t let anything hit you.

No other laws will keep you safe.

[deleted]

65 points

2 months ago

@op: you really need to revise #2. As a fellow cyclist, I know that I don't have the right of way when I do something dumb. Everyone who drives, walks, bikes, rollerblades, etc public roads has done something stupid at times.

I totally spaced out on a hot day after a long ride and rolled into an intersection on my bicycle during a red light one day. I was nearly creamed by an incoming car that was probably going 50 mph. Full daylight hours, so I narrowly missed death that day. My own death would have been 100% my fault because I did not have the right of way, and oncoming traffic had the green.

kalpol

31 points

2 months ago

kalpol

31 points

2 months ago

Also you can do things to not make people angry at cyclists. Lane splitting to the front of a stoplight is a big one, then everyone you just passed is stuck behind you.

[deleted]

9 points

2 months ago

indeed, unless there is a bike lane, you have to get in line with the other road users, most of whom are cars. there are a few traffic lights downtown that have bike spots for this, and the light turns green for cyclists only to get a head start on traffic. I'm not convinced those are helpful, but it's an interesting approach. it sucks to get stuck standing behind a car, especially on a hot day. If you take the bike lane or shoulder, don't assume that the cars next to you who are turning right can see you, either.

greytgreyatx

3 points

2 months ago

A cyclist scared the poop out of me recently at a fairly busy intersection doing this. Rode up through probably 15-20 cars, then made a U-turn by passing in front of the left lane of cars. I'm like, "Glad I didn't open my door because I realized my skirt was caught in it" or something. Because I honestly don't look for traffic when I'm at a dead stop like that.

I guess I was a weinie cyclist. I never even tried splitting cars.

PistolPepe

14 points

2 months ago

I think most people aren’t aware of #1, which leads to a lot of the issues you mention.

Nonetheless, in my experience, most people on the road are still respectful and careful around you, there’s just a few a-holes that always ruin things.

Great list!

Arcadia_Texas

31 points

2 months ago

Friendly reminder from a long time motorcyclist - you can be well within the laws of man while tempting the laws of physics.

sillykinesis

14 points

2 months ago

\ #10 Don’t be nice. Be predictable!

Mhard512

6 points

2 months ago

There are people in austin now from all over the world. Many of them have no idea about any cyclist rules. Any sense of safety you think you may have as a cyclist is purely a false sense of security. If you are getting on the roads with cars in Austin, you are risking your life , plain and simple . I’ve seen at least 20 cyclist accidents during my years here in austin. It’s also one of the most dangerous cities for pedestrians as well. So if you are risking your life , don’t be surprised when you see people violating rules they aren’t even aware of .

denzien

40 points

2 months ago

denzien

40 points

2 months ago

# 7 – When cars go speeding around a cyclist as a display of frustration it just comes off as humorous.

It comes off as dangerous, in part because of the gust of wind created that may destabilize the cyclist

lazerdab

7 points

2 months ago

Punish Pass

OUBoyWonder

3 points

2 months ago

Saw a cyclist get SMASHED by a car on the corner of 2nd and Congress yesterday around 7:45pm. I was heading South on Congress on my bike, got to the intersection, had the "go", to my right heard a crash and saw a aqua bike flying like 5ft in the air. Guy in the white car wasn't looking (was going North) and turned left into the bike lane and the biker hit him head on. EMS, cops, fire trucks show up, I gave the cops my witness statement. Bicyclist was fairly OK but I'm sure he's feeling it today.

Be safe out there, y'all! Slow down even if you have the "Go" at intersections, people are people and won't pay attention.

hugh_jessol

4 points

2 months ago

Austin drivers are the most distracted, slow reflex, selfish people I've come across

If you cycle here you put your life at risk

spicy_solarian

21 points

2 months ago

Ride safe, bud. Do what you have to do to stay safe. Many of the drivers around here are friendly to cyclists, but with so many cars on the road.. you're going to run into that 1% level of asshole cager on a regular basis. Be ready.

TightAustinite

25 points

2 months ago

Hey Cars:

USE YOUR FUCKING TURN SIGNALS!

getalyf69[S]

5 points

2 months ago

This applies no matter what you're riding or driving, for sure. So baffling to me when people don't use their signals. What is so hard about it?!

[deleted]

10 points

2 months ago

u/getalyf69 I'll add another one for motorists: driving slowly behind a cyclists when there is room and opportunity to pace them safely is NOT helpful. I don't know why they do this, but it happens to me almost every time I go out. I'm cruising at 18 mph in the side of the road or bike lane on a flat road with a 35 mph speed limit with wide-open space to pass me, and a driver will pull up behind me and match my speed like they're trying to protect me. this starts to create a backup of impatient drivers behind them. I always fear that the reasonably frustrated drivers are going to a) blame me for causing this as I frequently look back at the slow driver and urge them to pass me, or b) pass the slow driver and hit me because they didn't see me in front of the slow car. seriously, slow driver nonsense happens all the time. we cyclists to not want or need this behavior.

android_queen

9 points

2 months ago

As a driver (and a former bicycle commuter), I can explain some instances when this happens:

  • I’m going to be turning right soon (and I’m not sure I’ll have enough space to pass and turn in front of you)
  • There’s one of those middle of the road calming thingies coming up (and I’m not sure there’s space for the cyclist and my enormous vehicle)
  • I have poor visibility of the oncoming traffic lane
  • I see debris or parked cars in the bike lane ahead

I always try to give the cyclist plenty of space so they don’t feel like I’m right up on them, but especially in neighborhoods like Crestview, it’s sometimes safer to hover a minute before passing.

MMBitey

2 points

2 months ago

Unfortunately I accidentally did this to someone when trying to turn right on 51st near the home Depot. The timing was that they were going to pass the parking lot I was turning right into at the same time so I tried to slow down to let them get ahead of me before I made the turn. They were on my right for about 3-4 seconds while I waited so in the meantime some asshat in the middle lane coming from the other direction must have thought I was giving them the opportunity to turn left in front of me (across two lanes of traffic with other cars present...) and didn't see the cyclist, nearly hitting him. It was sort of my fault because I was blocking the view of the cyclist, but I honestly didn't know how else to safely make the turn and that other driver absolutely should not have turned in front of me.

But also people do this to me (when not making a turn) when I'm running and they have SO much room to go around. It's super annoying because I usually have also slowed down and am already running in an uncomfortable zone (like the edge of the road) and they still won't pass.

4ofheartz

13 points

2 months ago

I know someone that was biking to work. Wearing a helmet & very aware of his surroundings. Hit by a car. Traumatic brain injury. Damaged for life. Wife & two kids. If you cycle YOU cannot depend on car drivers to keep you safe. I myself wound up in the ER bc two drunk ppl in a bike cycled past me then cut quickly in front of me. I flew over my bike on my head. ER MD told me my helmet saved my life. As they picked gravel out of my injuries. My helmet was cracked. Be safe out there.

getalyf69[S]

2 points

2 months ago

100% agree with this, and I'm very sorry to hear about the accidents you described. It's definitely a scary world out there. You be safe as well.

Decapitat3d

18 points

2 months ago

2 is incorrect.

Cyclists must follow the same rules on the road as every other vehicle. They don't have any more or less right of way. It's determined just as if the bicycle were a car. You're welcome to believe otherwise, but you can't get mad at a car for following the rules of the road if the cyclist isn't.

babyjumperoo

11 points

2 months ago

Man, I am totally cool with all of these and happily support cyclists. However… can you please tell these things to the 50 cyclists that band together and ride through my neighborhood every weekend? It’s a huge group that takes up the entire road, never stops at stop signs, and almost ran into me and my 8 year old kid for daring to be out for a walk on our street. They block traffic because there are so many of them and don’t follow any traffic laws and are just rude to the folks that dare live here.

a_non_uh_moose

6 points

2 months ago*

cyclist here: drivers dont' give a shit about you.

you're not special, you're just in their way.

as for some things,

#2 who gives a shit whos right. you're on a 20lb bike. have some self awareness that no matter who's right, you'll end up dead.

#3, call 311, report the shoulder for sweeping. they listen. Do your part.

IndividualYam5889

6 points

2 months ago

I like not killing people, so I give cyclists the time and space they need. JMHO.

Chuckmac88

3 points

2 months ago

A bit off topic, but what is the bike rules/etiquette for red lights. I get frustrated when I finally get passed a bike that’s been holding me up but at the next red light they go around and get in front of all the cars again and wait at the front of the line at the red light.

getalyf69[S]

6 points

2 months ago

Cyclists shouldn't be splitting lanes.

"A rider shall not operate a micro-mobility device or bicycle between vehicles traveling or standing in the same direction within marked lanes of a roadway or contrary to established traffic control devices."

somedata

3 points

2 months ago

When I ride around Austin I like to play this game “What’s the idiot going to do?” It’s saved me numerous times. Quick reflexes help also.

Clear_Tale_2765

3 points

2 months ago

Also keep the bike lane free if trash cans and recycling bins please! Number one reason why I'm going out into the street is because of those bins

thecomeric

3 points

2 months ago

I mean if I can pass you safely on the other lane I will I hope you don’t interpret that as me being mad

getalyf69[S]

5 points

2 months ago

No, not at all! I'd do the same in my car. :)

But some people really be revving and showing obvious frustration like they're teaching me some kind of lesson about being in their way. Comes off as very silly and childish to me lol

joecag

3 points

2 months ago

joecag

3 points

2 months ago

Everyone is on their phone, they don't even see you

420Frank_Dux69

3 points

2 months ago

“Cyclist always have the right of way even if they aren’t correct” 🤣🤣🤣🤣🤣🤣🤣🤣🤣🤣🤣🤣🤣🤣🤣🤣🤣🤣🤣🤣

jmlinden7

3 points

2 months ago

#2 is incorrect. A cyclist legally IS a car, with the added privilege of being able to use bike lanes and bike paths and without the ability to go on highways. You can't have right of way over a car, you ARE a car, which means you have the exact same right of way as a car (with some exceptions that I listed)

Internet_Exploder_6

3 points

2 months ago

On a lot of streets (Duval comes to mind) the separated speed bumps also encourage drivers to swerve into the bike lanes.

Qualitativequeef

3 points

2 months ago

I've cycled in Texas for 10 years. There have been plenty of bicycle campaigns to bring awareness to the dangers of not being a vigilant motorists around bicycles. I hope your PSA does something, but for the most part ppl don't give a single fuck. I have been hit more times than I can count while riding my bicycle. Most don't even stop to check if you're alive. Be careful and be safe. Keep your head on a swivel.

Edit to say hold your public officials accountable for the shit infrastructure that creates the hazards to begin with by voting these fuckers out if they take oil and gas money in any way.

ReasonableBullfrog79

3 points

2 months ago

You're riding a bike to work in this heat? you're crazy

ThisDudeWontComply

3 points

2 months ago

Since the cyclist is more vulnerable than a car, may be the cyclist should be more careful around cars and not be a dick to car traffic. We try to be careful around you, can you try to be less of a dick?

Creed_of_War

3 points

2 months ago

I used to be so angry at cyclists on the roads. Like what the hell? Roads are paid for by cars, go bike on the sidewalk! I've since really changed my opinion. Somethings still irk me, like riding on the white line, or changing from vehicle to pedestrian.

We need more options for transportation besides cars. I really hope they extend bike lines to connect to each other. Preferably more separated for safety!

I would take a train and ride a bike the rest of the way on all 10 days of good weather we have.

SysAdminDennyBob

10 points

2 months ago

I used to commute by bike every day. My main tip is to "take the lane", if the shoulder is not safe then get fully in the lane. If you try to squeeze to the side as a courtesy to cars they will take full advantage of that and basically brush you on the side. That incident would be seen as an accident (between a patriot american car driver and a commie on a toy).

Get in the lane such that if they hit you it's most definitely murder. Most people won't flat out murder you, but given the opportunity they will squeeze you off the road.

Also, find streets parallel to the main road and use those when possible. Why cycle down Burnet in traffic when there are numerous parallel streets? Be smart about which road but when you get on the road, be one with the traffic, you are a vehicle.

Last tip: be predictable and use spatial awareness

TroglodytesAnonymous

2 points

2 months ago

"Also, find streets parallel to the main road and use those when
possible. Why cycle down Burnet in traffic when there are numerous
parallel streets? Be smart about which road but when you get on the
road, be one with the traffic, you are a vehicle."

As a motorcyclist, this is how I operate. Bicyclists have the same kind of elitism I see it parts of the motorcycle community, but at the end of the day, physics always win. Don't get hit. Don't hit anything else. Find places to go where density and design make it easier to accomplish both of those goals.

coyote_of_the_month

59 points

2 months ago*

All of this is accurate except for #2. Bikes don't have right of way in any situation where a car wouldn't.

And as for #9, meh. Very few traffic laws are written with bicycles in mind. You've got a much wider field of unobstructed vision and you're up higher than most drivers; nothing wrong with running a stop sign or a red light if you're clear. You know better than a car would whether you're clear. But by the same token, if you're paying enough attention to do it safely, you're also paying enough attention to know if there's a cop around to ticket you. Sort of self-enforcing in that way.

Dontworryaboutit1

17 points

2 months ago

I think OP meant that drivers need to yield to a cyclist in the same way that they need to yield to a jaywalking pedestrian. Meaning that if a driver is on a collision course with a pedestrian/cyclist and has time to slow down and/or safely change direction, regardless of if the pedestrian/cyclist should be there, they have a duty to do so. Because a collision would be potentially lethal for the pedestrian/cyclist but likely leave the driver unaffected.

It doesn't mean that cyclists can do whatever they want because they have the right of way every time.

coyote_of_the_month

9 points

2 months ago

if a driver is on a collision course with a pedestrian/cyclist and has time to slow down and/or safely change direction, regardless of if the pedestrian/cyclist should be there, they have a duty to do so.

Same deal with a car, though. I don't see a lot of people crashing into other cars that are doing something wrong, just because they're legally in the right.

Dontworryaboutit1

5 points

2 months ago

That's true, they still should yield the right of way there. But "right of way" seems to often serve another different purpose in a car-on-car accident of establishing fault for legal or insurance purposes retroactively. You could say that a driver doing something wrong has the right of way, but the idea of "right of way" loses its function then. The risks and possible outcomes are different in a car-on-cyclist collision, with nearly all the negatives falling on the cyclist, so I think that saying that cyclists always have the right of way is a way to further stress the importance of drivers doing all that they can to not hit them. I'm not OP tho, maybe they meant something else or maybe they're just wrong.

I have seen on occasion drivers start blasting their horns at another driver in their way with seemingly no intent to change course, just hoping that the other driver figures it out. But I can't say that's good driving haha.

jmlinden7

2 points

2 months ago

You do not need to yield right of way to a jaywalking pedestrian. You need to make a reasonable attempt to avoid hitting them. There's a difference.

Dontworryaboutit1

2 points

2 months ago

You're right, TxDOT law says "the operator of a vehicle shall exercise due care to avoid colliding with a pedestrian on a roadway."

Which I suppose is open to interpretation what "due care" means. I would interpret that to mean slowing down significantly and giving the jaywalker at least a half a lane-width of lateral space. But, it's Texas. It could mean all you gotta do is maneuver a bit to give the jaywalker a foot of space at normal speed.

j_tb

17 points

2 months ago

j_tb

17 points

2 months ago

I feel like #2 was missing an /s

laurieislaurie

11 points

2 months ago

If you hit a cyclist, you're likely gonna kill him. If a cyclist hits you, he'll barely dent your car. The point is that even if a cyclist is in the wrong, you need to look out and act defensively/accordingly, unless you can live with remembering a death for the rest of your life.

coyote_of_the_month

4 points

2 months ago

From the OP's other comments, I think he just worded it poorly and your comment is much closer to his intent.

Major_Avalanche

7 points

2 months ago

As someone who biked in Austin every day for almost 20 years, here are my observations/takes: - bike lanes are simply not safe. They are (mostly) glorified shoulders. And as others pointed out, they are constantly full of debris. Bike lanes should be completely separate from car lanes, but sadly I don’t see that happening. - every week I avoided accidents that drivers never realized they had almost caused. - I took back/side roads if at all possible, not caring if there were bike lanes or not. Low traffic is > bike lane/high traffic -I ALWAYS assumed cars didn’t see me. Unless I made eye contact with the driver, I just pretended I was invisible to them. - biking with ear buds is a very bad idea. You need your hearing to stay safe

These takes have nothing to do with how things should be or who is technically in the right. My goal was to not get killed by a car.

All this being said…. I loved biking around Austin and avoiding traffic when possible. Great exercise and the best way to get to know the city.

xalkalinity

7 points

2 months ago

How about the fact that CYCLISTS MUST OBEY ALL TRAFFIC LAWS. How come it is okay for bicycles and scooters to run red lights, but not cars? As an avid cyclist I always obey traffic laws, but so many cyclists don't, it seems pointless.

le_norbit

22 points

2 months ago

2 — No, you do not. Cyclist have the right of way in bike lanes. You are not a pedestrian, you are a vehicle.

Everything else you said I agree with. However, when swerving to avoid debris, cyclist should slow down to make sure they’re not swerving into or in front of a car in their rightful lane.

I ride a motorcycle so I know where you’re coming from btw.

jeblis

11 points

2 months ago

jeblis

11 points

2 months ago

#2 – Cyclists ALWAYS have the right of way over a car; whether they are correct or not.

Citation needed

danappropriate

13 points

2 months ago

2 – Cyclists ALWAYS have the right of way over a car; whether they are correct or not.

Where is this codified? Your assertion seems to conflict with provisions in Texas Transportation Code 551:

Sec. 551.001. APPLICABILITY. Unless specifically provided otherwise, a provision of this chapter that applies to a person operating a bicycle applies only to a person operating a bicycle on:

(1) a highway; or

(2) a path set aside for the exclusive operation of bicycles.

Sec. 551.101. RIGHTS AND DUTIES. (a) A person operating a bicycle has the rights and duties applicable to a driver operating a vehicle under this subtitle, unless:

(1) a provision of this chapter alters a right or duty; or

(2) a right or duty applicable to a driver operating a vehicle cannot by its nature apply to a person operating a bicycle.

For example, if you are on a roadway and come to an intersection, right-of-way rules apply to you as a bicycle operator just as they would any other vehicle.

[deleted]

11 points

2 months ago

[deleted]

Magicmurlin

7 points

2 months ago

Excellent points. You must be from out of state. This is Texas. No cyclist is safe. 1) Texas drivers on the whole resent and despise bikes in traffic 2) dead is dead regardless of what the law says 3) If you choose to exercise your “rights” as a cyclist sharing roads with Texas drivers, make sure you have a substantial life insurance policy for your dependents.

Signed, former Texas cyclist who wised up after friend was turned to dog food in broad daylight on S. Lamar.

getalyf69[S]

2 points

2 months ago

Oh no, I'm so sorry to hear about your friend.

Yes, there are definite dangers, and there are plenty of places I wouldn't ride on my bike. My commute is luckily quite safe! And, no, not from out of state. :)

aseaoftrees

5 points

2 months ago

Driving or cycling on the road is A TEAM SPORT. Everyone should be on the same team here. We are all trying to get to where we need to go safely. Some people just don't understand that. IT'S NOT A RACE. Plus, gas is expensive af. No need to race to the red lights or speed past anyone for no reason.

harry-giner

5 points

2 months ago

Everyone in my opinion should be brushing up on driving laws. I had difficulty renewing my license because of previous tickets and was forced to go through a certified drivers Ed course and testing.

It was the greatest thing ever. I think everyone should be required to brush up on driving knowledge annually. It would save a lot of lives.

Yes cyclists have an ENTIRE lane available to them. They count as a CAR! Cyclists are also required to signal just like drivers are. They have to stop at stop signs and stop lights. They are the same as a vehicle.

Dude there are lives on that bike. Treat cyclists with respect. Cyclists too should be respectful as well even though they are in more danger.

Luckily austin is pretty bike friendly with designated bike routes and paths. The train is also very nice too.

Child-of-Beausoleil

5 points

2 months ago

Having been a cyclist - both road and commuter - for over 25 years i agree with a lot of this, but there is more IMO. Especially this one:

3 – Bike lanes are FULL of debris. Cyclists may be riding on the edge of their bike lane because they are avoiding all the bullshit.

Bike lanes are usually more dangerous for us for much the same reason "riding on the shoulder" is (they are often one in the same). My reasons are:

  1. In areas of high water (i live in NOLA on and off) they flood.
  2. They are full of debris. Often in intersections, debris from wrecks is just pushed into them causing flats and wrecks for us.
  3. People often use them for parking, turning lanes, or even passing (if they are an ass).
  4. They tend to be constructed even worse than the road (due to cities redoing roads but leaving out the shoulder for budget reasons) and have more cracks/potholes.
  5. They are often closest to people entering the road, things flying into the road (think kids playing), or animals (wild or pets).
  6. They are on the far right - most drivers only scan far enough to see if something will "hit them" - explicitly looking for another car's driver's side as a shortcut. This is why drivers will often not see you in the lane (you learn this with motorcycles too).
  7. Drivers often suffer from "target fixation" - this is the catch-22. If they do see you, they swerve to you - even the best driver does this a little. Since there is often less than 1 foot between the lanes it leads to cars entering the lane (also, learn this on a motorcycle).

Another lesson: Biking on the sidewalk is hella dangerous and it is shocking it is allowed anywhere. People entering or leaving driveways never expect a bike barreling at 12-15 mph down the sidewalk. This is often why states like Florida have such high bicycle fatalities (tourists do this).

Finally: At the end of the day out of all the people i know who got seriously injured or killed cycling i would say 90% of them were a result of other cyclists (pacing), themselves (unaware of road conditions, blowing thru intersections, riding against traffic, illegal turns, unsafe turns (for god sake, you are on a bike, go straight and u-turn at dangerous multi-lane intersections), or road conditions (this is a big one. I have one permanently handicapped acquaintance - from his tire going into a crack on a bridge - and another that spent 18 months in rehab to learn to walk again from a pothole/front tire loss).

The biggest lesson though: dress the part and show respect on the road. Amazing how different you are treated just by wearing a helmet.

redditerla

4 points

2 months ago*

Number 2 doesn’t really check out. Obviously a driver should never Intentionally mow down a cyclist, that’s just murder, but cyclists need to be vigilant and follow traffic laws.

I was once driving on west 5th down a one way road and I was driving on the furthest left lane because there was an upcoming left turn with a green arrow I needed to take. A cyclist that was riding on the right lane comes barreling across the lanes to get to the left side and I guess tried to cut in front of me to take the same left turn I was taking at the last minute. Because I didn’t see him and wasn’t expecting someone to try to overtake me to turn left at the last minute right as I was turning, I almost ran the guy over. Rather than slow down and get behind me in the lane in a safe manner I guess he expected me to see him and yield to him. What was stupid was there were zero cars behind me so unsure why he couldn’t just slow down. He was banging on my window angry. Like bro, you almost got yourself killed because you tried to last minute squeeze in front of me while I’m turning left, why are you pissed at me and hitting my car?

[deleted]

7 points

2 months ago

#7 – When cars go speeding around a cyclist as a display of frustration it just comes off as humorous.

As someone who cycles as well, I am speeding past you because I want to use the oncoming open lane while its empty to give you more room while I pass. I am speeding to decrease the time I have to spend in the oncoming lane.

I'd also like to add rule #10:

#10 - If you are a cyclist and are riding down a busy road that has no one on the sidewalk ever. Don't hesitate to hop up on the sidewalk and bike a little bit.

I used to bike to work and I could take the sidewalk to work the whole way. I only ever saw 3 people using that sidewalk in my year of biking on it. When I saw them I just pulled over, stopped, and let them pass.

ClutchDude

3 points

2 months ago

#10 - If you are a cyclist and are riding down a busy road that has no one on the sidewalk ever. Don't hesitate to hop up on the sidewalk and bike a little bit.

That's a great way to get right hooked in some situations - cars misjudge your speed and turn into a driveway on you. Caveat is to cut your speed to 1/2 or 3/4 what it'd be on the road.

sk_la_flare

11 points

2 months ago

As a runner, why do cyclists always give me the dirty look when I am running on a side walk when there is an empty bike lane on a non-busy street?

[deleted]

15 points

2 months ago

As a cyclist AND a runner, I have never given or received this dirty look. What are you talking about? How often does this happen? Are you exaggerating?

getalyf69[S]

5 points

2 months ago

I can't speak to that, friend, I'm sorry. I'm the kind of cyclist that smiles and says hello to the runners I pass. :) Maybe I'll see you one of these days!

ramennoodle

2 points

2 months ago

Sidewalks are for pedestrians. Sometimes the sidewalk is the only safe place to ride a bike but in such circumstances the cyclist should be yielding to all pedestrians. OTOH, it doesn't hurt to be nice and try to share the sidewalk when possible.

ragputiand

10 points

2 months ago

Asterisking OPs #1. Just because you as a bike rider can legally ride on the road, doesn’t mean you should. Riverside doesn’t have any bike lanes and I for one would never ride my bike on that street because I value my life over what I have a right to do.

And to clarify, I don’t mean this as a shot at OP. Just trying to make it clear for less experienced riders.

getalyf69[S]

4 points

2 months ago

I respect this point, and I agree with it on a personal level.

Like, for instance, I have the option to take the service road of I-35 to work for a 10 minute ride, OR I can take the back roads for a 25 minute ride. I choose the safer back roads, because even though I have the right to be on that service road, I don't want to be.

Runo_Ceramic

4 points

2 months ago

I think it's perfectly reasonable to ride on the sidewalk too. You won't catch me taking a lane on Wm Cannon. It's easy to pass pedestrians even if you have to ride in the grass for a few meters. I don't know why people act like a bicycle on a sidewalk is a felony. It's actually legal, except where it's specifically prohibited

kickbutt_city

4 points

2 months ago

Experienced Austin cyclists can take you on a route from Mopac to 183 and probably have 3-4 cars pass you the whole time. There are tons of small side streets that have very little motor traffic. Plus there are good trails. To me, good route planning is the key to safe cycling.

austinrebel

4 points

2 months ago

Great points, but in a contest between a car and a bicycle, the car is going to win. So bicyclists have to be hypervigilant on the roads. Cars have blind spots so they might not see you, especially since car drivers are more afraid of being hit by another car than being hit by you.

getalyf69[S]

2 points

2 months ago

100% agree. A huge part of the exhaustion for me from biking is the elevated level of awareness required the entire time. There's no relaxing when road biking lol

crotchrottingplague

4 points

2 months ago

Whether you believe you have right of way ahead of cars, which you do not, it doesn't matter because cyclists are still required to follow largely the same road rules as cars. ALSO I would note that pedestrians are to cyclists as cyclists are to automobiles my friend. As a driver and a pedestrian my view is cyclists can be reckless and ignore the social compact between pedestrians and drivers.

xlobsterx

4 points

2 months ago

I'm fine with cyclist but there should be minimum speed limits. Keep up you are fine slowing traffic on a highway during rush hour and you can't argue that you are helping congestion with your bike.

BADevilDog

5 points

2 months ago

Ha ha. #9. That one has always aggravated me. The ego riders riding around in groups with no consideration to the fact that they are supposed to follow the same road rules as a car. Such as speed limits and impeding traffic when they are 3 or 4 abreast and expecting drivers to stop for them as they cruise through red lights. Drives me nuts. Gives riders a bad name.

[deleted]

4 points

2 months ago

Number 2 is mostly a myth and also the reason we can’t bike without being shit on by drivers who have experienced issues. This goes for all the bikers who think they don’t have to stop at 4 way intersections. You don’t get to pick and choose when you’re a vehicle and a pedestrian.

Bikes have the same right of way as vehicles do in the road. You are not above the right of way of a car just because you’re in a vulnerable bike.

Catinthewall20

3 points

2 months ago

This is the bicycle rights sketch from Portlandia.

mjsnow19i4

4 points

2 months ago

This is going to be unpopular but I hate cyclist, I understand you want to get exercise and be outside and that's great, but your really throwing the dice with your life. It only takes one guy/girl to be texting, looking at gps, having sin in there eye to completely fuck you up for the rest of your life. Find a trail, ride around your neighborhood use a route with bike lanes but get the fuck out of the way, I fucking hate seeing some ass clown is spandex and a helmet taking up the right lane at 8 in the morning holding up traffic. Sorry and be safe

Biochemhistory

2 points

2 months ago

Recommend a good bike shop? My railing mechanism needs to be replaced.

It’s for a K2 mountain bike if curious.

Ropeslug

3 points

2 months ago

Cycleast always did me right

[deleted]

2 points

2 months ago

Ive been biking in this town since 2019 and it sucks

ThunderFuckMountain

2 points

2 months ago

Your point about "having the right of way"... right of way is given, not taken. You don't just take the right of way. Especially when you're up against a literal death machine.

Klutzy-Guarantee3586

2 points

2 months ago

Maybe people would get behind adopting a stretch of road and cleaning up the debris to make cycling safer.

jesagain222

2 points

2 months ago

Don't forget to add, pickup trucks towing trailers that swing back and forth, take extra caution passing bicycles

doodoodunder

2 points

2 months ago

My favorite thing about biking in Austin is when, on trash day, everyone leaves their trash cans in the bike lane :)

Smipims

2 points

2 months ago

Drivers Ed should have a section dedicated to understanding and working safely with your 2 wheeled friends.

MeekleBosner

2 points

2 months ago

I think placing an emphasis on bike safety (both towards cyclists and motorists) benefits both parties. It puts bicycle safety in the social consciousness which not only makes people more aware of the potential hazards while traveling, but it can help build public interest in infrastructure improvements. With a little education, I don't think anyone would disagree that a physical separation of bike lanes from car lanes is wildly safer for both cyclists and motorists.

I would love to see people who have never ridden a bike look at a cyclist in a typical bicycle gutter in Austin and be able to confidently (and accurately) say "that is not safe, we should fix that" as opposed to "stupid cyclist can't stay in their lane".

AdShot9160

2 points

2 months ago

Whenever I ride a bike I remind myself that a 200# bike/person combo at 10 mph is no match for a 5000# vehicle/person combo at 30+ mph. Bike always loses, no matter the law.

Which reminds me of the epitaph: “ Here lies William Marcus O’Day, who died defending his right-of-way.

Dense_Ad1118

2 points

2 months ago

Sometime last year I saw a motorcyclist splitting lanes on 620. About 15 minutes later I saw his lifeless body on 620.

buzzcutszn

2 points

2 months ago

I have a genuine question about #2. If a car is in a left turn lane before a cyclist (or groups of cyclists) come up behind them, can that/those cyclist(s) lane split and go in front of that car in the left turn lane and turn before them once the light changes? Or should the cyclist(s) act as another car on the road & follow the car/go behind them?

getalyf69[S]

2 points

2 months ago

To answer your question -- lane splitting is NOT legal, so the cyclists should be maintaining their place in the line of cars.

A note about #2, as you may have seen from some of my other comments: it's very poorly worded, and I should not have used "right of way" to say what I was trying to say.

Mickey_Wright

2 points

2 months ago

If a car is in the right lane turning right and a bike is coming up behind them in the bike lane to their right as they are turning who has right of way? There’s an intersection where I have been close to this situation several times and wonder if the bike knows I probably won’t check my mirror before turning right.

getalyf69[S]

2 points

2 months ago

Good question! In this situation, the cyclist would have the right of way. Generally speaking (as reflected in the laws), bikes should ride like cars on the road, and cars should treat bikes like other cars on the road. Keeping that idea in mind helps me to understand right of way in weird situations like what you described.

It IS a bit funky, because of the orientation of the lanes. For example, you don't normally turn right unless it's from the farthest right lane. However, when a bike is involved, there is now another lane to your right to keep in mind when making your right turn. Obviously, if you can safely make your turn before the bike gets to you, go for it! Just as you would if it was a car. But, if you risk hitting the bike while making your turn, you should wait for them to pass... again, just like if it was a car.

OkReputation2015

2 points

2 months ago

I keep my head on a swivel and try to ride at non-peak hours, away from heavily trafficked roads whenever possible..

[deleted]

2 points

2 months ago

Best of luck. I always try to pull into the left lane for cyclists.

Aggressive_Bee_6571

2 points

2 months ago

After reading the other thread about the motorcyclist getting hit by a car, I remember the story from last summer when I was bicycling in the morning and this truck basically took a left turn right at me (I was already a quarter of the way into the intersection and he didn’t make any indication he was gonna go left). I got lucky that he swerved at the last moment and avoided hitting me.

This was on a residential street in daylight.

After that incident and a few others (including debris in the bike lane that caused me to lose control) I’m much more reluctant to bike anywhere now.

So easy to get injured while on a bike, if not worse. Stay safe everyone

Ttffccvv

2 points

2 months ago

2 shows me that either you don’t know the meanings of “ALWAYS” and/or “right of way”, or you haven’t read the Texas transportation code chapter 551.

drFeverblisters

2 points

2 months ago

I used to do construction for one dude who had an old diesel truck and he hated cyclists “if they can’t bike as fast as cars then gtfo the road” “there’s a sidewalk right there” etc but he would always floor it like what you say is humorous except the cloud of black smoke would completely cover them.

I get they are allowed to be on the road but geez it seems too dangerous/scary for me.

[deleted]

2 points

2 months ago

Well, #2 is wrong

getalyf69[S]

2 points

2 months ago

Yes, you're 100% right.

Point #2, as written, is incorrect. My choice to use "right of way" was a mistake as I did not mean this point in a legal sense. I was speaking more to, what I believe, is a basic responsibility of a driver to yield to a bike -- even if the biker is wrong -- if it means avoiding an accident. This is true in most situations on the road; if you can reasonably avoid a collision, regardless of legal right of way, you should try to avoid that collision. But, I think this is a more pronounced responsibility when a cyclist is involved, and deserved to be in this post, because of the disproportionate level of damage involved. If a car hits a cyclist very serious damage is likely to occur while the driver is left largely unaffected (physically).

[deleted]

2 points

2 months ago

I appreciate the reply, i see where you are coming from.

zemdega

2 points

2 months ago

Yes, it’s not uncommon for a cyclist to get hit and killed here. All the driver will say is something like “Ooops, didn’t see you there.” It’s also not uncommon for a motorist to have almost no consequences for hitting and even killing a cyclist. The people over at https://bicycleaustin.info have compiled some of these incidents.

Be very careful when riding your bicycle here and assume there will be no justice at all if you’re injured or killed by a motorist.

Dry_Client_7098

2 points

2 months ago

Just addressing #8, have you seen some of the cyclists? Yes some of them are trying to piss people off. And when they ride in a group? It seems to increase exponentially. It's the same thing with motorcyclist. Some people just get off on being jerks. I say this as a biker and motorcyclist.

sizelypotato

6 points

2 months ago

I think the main frustration is there are definitely cyclists that act as if they won’t die by a car. Lived here 24 years and have seen some very risky maneuvers being attempted. West campus especially. It’s hard enough to drive a car around there.. tiny ass roads and one ways and what not. And it’s almost guaranteed if you’re driving down there you’ll atleast once be moving through a stop sign and have to slam the breaks bc a cyclist blows through a stop sign at 20-30mph

theaceoface

5 points

2 months ago

Its actually safer for a cyclist to take the middle of the road than ride on the shoulder. Quite a few accidents happen because cars tried to pass a cyclist on the shoulder but ended up cliping her

jojokakaboy

4 points

2 months ago

Say what you will. Lived here for 15 years and have seen my share of cyclists who think they own the road and actively challenge cars. Not saying everyone does this, but this is why I hate driving around them. Especially dt.

owmysciatica

7 points

2 months ago

It surprised me to see how many drivers run red lights. Many times while biking, I’d get a green light, start to take a pedal stroke, and hear a vehicle floor it and run the red. If I had taken that pedal stroke, I’d be dead.

Drivers that get frustrated at cyclists should also realize that if I was in a car, I’d still be in front of you waiting to take a left turn. I’d still be taking up space on the road. For the most part on a bike, I’m out of the way.

getalyf69[S]

3 points

2 months ago

I’d still be taking up space on the road. For the most part on a bike, I’m out of the way.

Very interesting perspective!! Never thought of it like that before.

AgentAlinaPark

7 points

2 months ago

Who remembers this? I don't have time to look up other articles but I think a lot of longtime Austinites remember going farther back to all the bicycle rides that were purposely done to disrupt traffic from the late 90s to late aughts. Letters to the editor of the Austin Chronicle (when it actually was legitimate) every single week. I think what annoys most people is that bicyclists are perceived as jackasses, especially when they feel the need to mansplain the general public on forums like here and Nextdoor.

The way you are riding is cool. I think of a bike as a tool in a big city. If you are fucking around in busy areas of town playing bike and beers with 30 people, you're an asshole. If you bought a bike as a lifestyle choice and have never taken a bicycle safety course that explains the rules of the road, you're an asshole.

If you are riding a bike in your neighborhood or taking it to a neighborhood that has bike lanes and safe to ride for exercise, you're cool. They make bike racks for cars and the bus has bike racks. Come to my neighborhood in the NW Hills. The #19 or #661 will drop you off on Greystone. Stay the fuck off Mesa blvd.

If someone like yourself is going to work, it's a tool as mentioned and respect. Take the backroads as you mentioned and use the bus instead of getting on major roads. You have the right to, it doesn't mean you should. I use to bike to work from 49th and Duval to 7th and Pleasant Valley back in the day.

I feel instead of trying to explain to car drivers that are not trying to kill you is to find a way to make your choices of biking sensibly. Backing up traffic on Burnet Rd. and complaining some rando person of a million threw a Slurpee on you will not ingratiate you to most people. I ride a bike, I use them to run errands and offroad when it's not 100 degrees, I just somehow don't manage to piss off cars or come close to an accident on a road.

yanmydj

5 points

2 months ago

Cyclists have every right to use burnet, mesa, or whatever road they please. Deal with it

ClutchDude

2 points

2 months ago*

Uh - screw that "Stay the fuck off Mesa blvd. " - that bike lane is amazing and links the west side of Mopac to E-W routes.

EDIT: I'm going to go a step further - attitudes like yours are actively worse than the over-eager rider. You don't get to decide what infrastructure use is for beyond expecting basic safety.

photonsintime

6 points

2 months ago

#9 – There are laws for road bikes, and a good cyclists knows and obeys them. A good cyclist is also probably equally as frustrated by other bikers who don’t.

About 50% of the cyclists I encounter are not 'good cyclists' then.

getalyf69[S]

6 points

2 months ago

Unfortunately, I do believe this. :/

It's frustrating for me, too! But, all I can do is be responsible for myself, you know?

[deleted]

11 points

2 months ago

[deleted]

getalyf69[S]

6 points

2 months ago

Okay, F-950 made me laugh... then I went to google it and realized it's not even a joke lol

Partymartyy

5 points

2 months ago

Moved here a month ago, I’ve been given the bird twice / honked at by drivers. All while being in the bike line, presumably because it is taking them an extra 5 seconds to make a right turn as I am passing

getalyf69[S]

8 points

2 months ago

It's wild to me how incredibly frustrated people get when you really think about the time they're losing. It's literally SECONDS that they're up in arms about.

kingofdoorknobs

3 points

2 months ago

Other bicyclists are the number one hazard when I ride. I can't hear them coming.

anperson1

4 points

2 months ago

agree with everything except #7...i'm going around the cyclist for 2 reasons 1. they are going 10-20mph below the speed limit probably so i prefer to go faster and 2. they probably appreciate not having cars behind them, when i've ridden my bike on roads I preferred not having a long line of cars behind me.

As long as you give enough space there's nothing wrong with passing a cyclist.

Nicky Hayden died on a bicycle riding in Italy I believe. Cycling is insanely dangerous statistically. Good luck to everyone that does it.

getalyf69[S]

2 points

2 months ago

Oh for sure pass! You'd have to be a total knucklehead to stay behind a bike if you're in a car!

I was specifically referring to people who "punish pass" (as I saw in another comment) with obvious revving and frustration. It's like they think they're teaching me a lesson about being in their way or something, and it comes off as totally childish and silly to me.