please please ride single file in piermont!!!

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Anonymous's picture

Piermont is electing its mayor next week and cyclists have become an issue. I chatted with one of the candidates (who is a cyclist) on this subject.

If we continue to ride double or triple and block auto traffic, there are going to be fines and other restrictions on cyclists.

Also Piermont only has one traffic light asnd I am urging my fellow NYCC members to stop when it is red (without bunching up!)

-NYCC's only Piermont resident

Anonymous's picture
Carol Wood (not verified)
And watch out for lunatics

"Three of us (riding single file) were muscled off Piermont Road in Nyack two weeks ago by two irate middle-aged women, first one in Mercedes and next one in minivan. The latter yelled at me (""What do you think you're doing?"" -- ""Uh, I'm riding on the side of the street"") and then stopped three times alongside me for god only knows what purpose. Third time I told her I was getting her license plate number, when my quick-thinking pals called me over to a side street to escape. (Survival tip: always carry a pen)

Thanks for the warning, Jay. I certainly will comply. But it isn't enough for those drivers who for whatever reason (unfaithful husband, lost opportunities of youth, mental instability) resent the free movement of bicyclists."

Anonymous's picture
Evan Marks (not verified)
carry a cell phone

Pull it out of your pocket and start punching in numbers. Doesn't matter if you're calling the police, the local deli, or your Aunt Tillie, just the act of dialing gets rid of unwanted automotive pests without unpleasant side effects.

Doesn't even have to be a real phone ;^/

Anonymous's picture
Natalia Lincoln (not verified)

"Likewise, on a (dutifully single-file) NYCC ride to Piermont, we were accosted by a driver with Jersey plates who leaned over her passenger to shout at us: ""Shouldn't you be riding on the SIDEWALK?""

Me: ""You're kidding, right?""

Woman: ""Get out of the street! You're creating a road hazard!""

So this person, who's too distracted by her indignant ignorance to sit up and look through her own windshield, is in charge of a ton of steel moving at high speeds. Who's a road hazard?!"

Anonymous's picture
Judith Tripp (not verified)
The same thing happens in Florida

Drivers seem to expect cyclists to ride on the sidewalks, and think they're committing an infraction by riding on the road. Is this a state thing? It's so weird.

Anonymous's picture
Carol Wood (not verified)

I was in Anaheim last summer with my Swift Folder. On one of the main drags, cyclists rode on the sidewalk like kids. It was creepy.

The lanes were narrow, but I rode in the street close to the right curb. Drivers were either impressed by my cheekiness or saw that I obviously wasn't from around there, and generally gave me berth. I don't remember being cursed out by anyone--but it was a Saturday afternoon, not weekday rush.

Further south, prosperous Orange County has good, extensive bike lanes, and drivers seem to respect them. But the more compact Anaheim, with a higher working-class population, could surely use them for basic transportation as well as fun.

The weirdest thing about riding around there was: Cyclists stop at traffic lights--even if no cars are within miles of sight. Maybe they don't want drivers to think they claim any special privileges.

Anonymous's picture
Isaac Brumer (not verified)

>>The weirdest thing about riding around there was: Cyclists stop at traffic lights--even if no cars are within miles of sight.

Ditto in Ottawa, serious cycling town!

Anonymous's picture
April (not verified)

The pedestrians don't cross the street in the middle of the block either. Maybe there's some correlation between the two?

Anonymous's picture
chris (not verified)

"In Seattle, riding on the sidewalk is perfectly legal. So different jurisdictions have different laws. It was interesting and refreshing to see all the multi-colored hair punks waiting at the red lights to walk with nary a car in sight. This was 5 years ago - perhaps they've gone to hell in a handbasket too. (They'd blame all the translpanted Californians and easterners.)

Some years back on W. 74th or 76th, a female driver screamed at the top of her lungs as she passed me, ""Get on the $#%-ing sidewalk."" Needless to say, I was startled and furious. As I came up to her at a traffic light seconds later, I can look back and say we are probably both very lucky the light turned green and she was able to escape my unknowable-in-how-far-it would-go wrath. (I was younger and more prone to retaliation then.)

So has anyone been yelled at by a man in a car to get on the sidewalk - or is this particular harassment peculiar to female drivers? (I only say this because I think mine is the 4th anecdote or at least 3rd and the others were female drivers too. Perhaps the men just come within inches or try to graze you.)"

Anonymous's picture
Isaac Brumer (not verified)

"Been told by men (mostly)
- to ride on the sidewalk
- to use the bike lane (where there was none)
- to go to hell
- that I'm an ***hole

Been told by an Atlantic City cop (after filing a report, for one of the above over his protests)
- to not ride in Atlantic City on busy weekends
- if I must ride in Atlantic City, to use the sidewalk

Have been swerved at

Have had a cup of liquid thrown at me (in lovely Elgin, IL)

Have had a Christmas tree shoved across my path (a bona-fide bike lane) by a vendor who didn't bother watching who or what was coming, who then justified his actions by saying that ""I'm required by law to have a warning device (I do, it's called 'Rudy the bell') and to warn people that I'm coming.""

I donate an extra $5-10 for each of these incidents."

Anonymous's picture
Isaac Brumer (not verified)
Warning: Manifesto

">>Who's a road hazard?!

You are.

You're too stoopid to get with the program and buy a car (or at least get outta cars way, because lord knows, people in cars always have important things to do and important places to go, whereas ""bicyclers"" are just playing around.

You're too arrogant to get your exercise in the park, or the gym, or the mall, or the golf course.

You're too poor to own a car and you're probably on public assistance, which means you have plenty of time on your hands, so get the &(*&(* out of my way, because I pay taxes and have important business.

You're a convicted DWI or are mentally deficient in some way, so you shouldn't be on ""my"" road anyway.

Because a bike messenger/delivery cyclist once sideswiped/nearly sideswiped me/my aunt/my aunt's friend/my aunt's friend's dog groomer's neighbor's cousin and I hate them.

Because the Thruway and Palisades, which are closed to bicycles are not adequate for my needs and I need to treat 9W/Hudson Terrace/505... as my private expressway.

Because ""everyone"" knows that roads are for cars. The only reason bikes are tolerated is because
- there are so few of them, it doesn't matter
- we've got to pacify those lefty-pink-tree-huggers-Frenchmen...
- someone forgot to erase ""bicycles"" from the traffic laws, one of these days...

[In case you haven't figured it out, I'm role playing. These are not my opinions, but things I've heard said.]

Wanna do something about ^*(*&) like that above?

1. Bicycle. Get your friends and their friends to bicycle. The more riders, the more advocacy.

2. Bicycle well. Give motorheads no excuse to dis you. When a motorist yells at you that ""you're obligated to follow the law"" smile and say ""I am following the law.""

3. If you don't already pay dues to Trasportation Alternatives ( or your preferred bicycle advocacy do so. If you already do, make an additional contribution of time or money and make it clear why you're doing it.

4. Be visible. The NYCC has ""adopted"" Rte 9W just south of Piermont. We clean it up four times a year. Please participate in our next cleanup (date TBD.) Our name is posted there. The choice of location is no co-incidence (the idea was mine, BTW.)"

Anonymous's picture
<a href="">Peter O'Reilly</a> (not verified)
Piermont and Grandview-on-the-Hudson

First off, I agree (pragmatically) with Jay that we should ride single file.

Adding something new to the thread, I find it ironic that Piermont and Grandview-on-the-Hudson (?) commonly fine cyclists riding double abreast because it blocks traffic when parking on that narrow roadway is allowed. That's most cumbersome and a real hazard.

Maybe they should start ticketing cars for not yielding to the right of way when impatiently crossing the double yellow line. Or even ticket for speeding! (Truthfully though I have witnessed speeders being ticketed) Cruising 15mph v. 25mph on such a short roadway boils down to saving seconds, not minutes. (Someone please check my math; no calcs made here)

That's quite a bit more dangerous behavoir than riding two abreast. The local residents whould be quite happy that bicyclists cause traffic to slow down. It makes things safer for their teenie-weenies. :-O

Some of us even ride near or at the speed limit, which is not _that_ hard as it seems given that one tends to have a nice tailwind in one direction along that roadway. Legally, I'd like to kknow how they can justify ticketing a paceline cruising at 25mph (more on this to come). So it all seems a bit folly to me.

It's also a breach of our rights and an unlawful one at that for a village to be dictating vehicular code. Rules of the road are statutory and heavily influenced by federal $.

I'm not willing to invest the time to protest, make noise, take on city hall, etc. For pragmatic, practical reasons, I'll just continue to ride single file for that 10/15/20 minute stretch and enjoy the views along the Hudson.

Anonymous's picture
Ohnothimagain (not verified)

The poster is right about the value of a group of bikes as traffic furniture, keeping the speed down. (That might, in fact, be the motivation for Grandview to prohibit two-abreast riding.) But drivers hate it. They can slow down to pass a parked car, even if they have to come to a complete stop, but following 3 bike riders at 18mph is forever. As has been stated many times before, the best reaction to the obnoxious driver is to smile and wave, and hope the lunatic drives into the river.

Anonymous's picture
<a href="">Peter O'Reilly</a> (not verified)
how about 4 bike riders?

Not two, but now 3 cyclists are now being discussed. Your comments is strawman logic. How many passengers (abreast) does a typical car hold? 3 of course. Point is a parked car is just as wide as 3 cyclists if not more. And those parked cars require one to pass in the other lane, so I don't see how following and passing 3 18mph cyclists is any different.
And no I don't recommend riding 3 abreast. :-)

No argument about your last sentence though.

Anonymous's picture
Ohnothimagain (not verified)

Peter--not disputing anything in your post, just pointing out the perception of drivers that being behind cyclists ( 1 or 4) at any speed is the worst thing that can happen to them. To their credit, on that road at least, they rarely pass slower cars or busses, keeping fatal head-on crashes to a minimum.

Anonymous's picture
<a href="">Peter O'Reilly</a> (not verified)
ah, got ya

I understand you and I fully agree with your comments. It's amazing how irrational drivers can be.

For instance, there's a local park by me with a roadway that cuts across it and is only a mile long. It's flat as a pancake and the speed limit is 25mph.

Sometimes if I'm feeling rather spritely and there's a nice tailwind, I can ride most of the one way stretch near, at or slightly above 25 mph. It amazes me how some folks will blast their horn in anger if I'm doing such in the middle of the single lane road.

I could be motorpacing behind another car *only* doing the speed limit and such would still be the case. I pull over to the shoulder and the car behind would tailgate the car in front and no longer touch it's horn. Go figure.

Being behind cyclists at any speed is the worst thing that can happen to a driver!

Anonymous's picture
Isaac Brumer (not verified)

One note of dismay. Assume that all NYCC members ride carefully and responsibly at all times. NYCC represents a fraction of the cyclists who ride to Piermont on any given weekend. A few months back, my wife and I drove a car up 9W on a Sat morning (to check out the Adopt-a-Highway sign) and saw numerous instances of cyclists driving erratically, swerving in and out of lane without signalling, riding 2-3 abreast, talking instead of paying attention to the road. From behind a windshield, it was not a pretty sight.

Anonymous's picture
Eto You-Know-Who'd-Lu (not verified)
2 contradictory folk sayings that seem to apply anyway

"1. ""If God had not intended to give Americans the divine right to drive cars and tell everyone else to screw off, he would not have given them gas pedals.""
--Heino, the Yugo factory worker

2."" There's nothing wrong with an arrogant driver in an expensive car that cannot be cured with a sharp key.""
--Raisehellfrida the Mud Maiden

Your Pal,

Anonymous's picture
don (not verified)
soda on my monitor...

...cut it out!

Anonymous's picture
Hank Schiffman (not verified)
Single Philo Kvetch in Piermont? (nm)
cycling trips