Jerk on a bike in Central Park this evening...

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Anonymous's picture

Whoever passed me on the right at around 6:45 this evening just before the turnoff to 5th Avenue almost accompanied me to the morgue. I signaled my turn. There was plenty of room to pass on the left. He came so close to a broadside collision is could hear the sound of the wings of angels, and I am an atheist. This fellow wearing a jersey with stars and stripes gives us all a bad name. One day he is going to take someone down with him and institute a tragedy into the lives of strangers.

Anonymous's picture
Nick (not verified)

You've been the victim of an A-hole cyclist who gets his jollies from 'buzzing' other cyclists or pedestrians. Have you ever noticed how these guys will pass you inches from your left or right when there is plenty of room to pass. A stick whacked to their head (hopefully they're not wearing a helmet) or inserted into their spokes should do the trick!

Anonymous's picture
Hank Schiffman (not verified)
If only there was justice in this world....

That's why I loathe jerks.

Anonymous's picture
phil (not verified)

"It's also why I no longer signal my turns :) I scan the relevant side fully like I would a car's blind spot, before I turn more than a foot from my current lane

Glad you are all right Hank! Hopefully it wasn't one of those ""buzzing jollies"", but just someone who will be taught by this close call... if not, then he really is the lowest of the low..."

Anonymous's picture
Carol Wood (not verified)
"""Be on your best behavior"""

"TA's weekly e-bulletin includes an article on park use etiquette. Basically, it's the universal Golden Rule overlaid with a few cultural standards--passing on the left, etc. (Have y'all signed up for the e-bulletin? It's free.)

TA's subscribers who will be reading this bulletin include cyclists and pedestrians. Of course they can't be more than a fraction of park users. (I'd like to see it given to runners in the parks.) And no doubt the jerks of whom Hank speaks here are immune to such advice. Still, it wouldn't hurt if the overall environment were less hostile.

Many moons ago in the A-Sig, Dr. Fishkin exhorted us to be ""cycling diplomats,"" a phrase that has always stuck with me. I manage to honor the good doctor's wishes about 75% of the time--not a bad rate for a flawed mortal being who bike commutes daily in Manhattan.

Rules, laws enforcement, culture, and our own behavior are all part of this dysfunctional mess. Chicken or egg? Both are rotten.


Anonymous's picture
Claudette (not verified)
"Can I get an ""Amen!?"" (nm)"

"Being new to this sport, I think many of these issues stem from ignorance rather than malice. People are just clueless, inexperienced or scared and don't think about others.

Consider the great number of AWFUL drivers on the road despite a licensing process where testing is involved. No license needed for cycling or skating or walking, so no way to inform people of the rules. And those who most need to know them are unaware of forums like this one.

What do we do? Perhaps a ""cycling safety"" day in the Park, sponsored by all of the city cycling organizations, where everyone in the Park can learn safe handling skills, etiquette, etc.

Just my two cents.


Anonymous's picture
Carol Wood (not verified)
Good idea

When I bought my 40-pound Giant hybrid back around 1997, I was in the park one weekend when the 5BBC had a table set up where they were doing bike checks. They made some adjustments to my bike, and I also signed up for the Five Borough Bike Tour--my longest ride since the early 80s. (I had stopped cycling for over a decade.) One thing eventually led to another. I don't think the value of this kind of personal contact can be underestimated.

Perhaps the NYCC could do some kind of outreach in conjunction with the NYC Bike Coalition (which includes other bike clubs). What we would need are three or so volunteers who have the time to spend one weekend day a month to talk to people in the park.

Time is the big issue; it depends on what the club's priorities are and what our volunteers can spare.

Anonymous's picture
Claudette (not verified)

"I've noticed so much chatter about how we're policed in the Park and about cycling rules made by people who have never sat on a bike.

Why not offer to police OURSELVES? I see those ""skate patrol"" people all over the Park during Summer weekends. It might be excellent PR for us (+/- other cycling groups) to have cyclists out there on occassion, clearly marked, who can help marshal other cylists/pedestrians/skaters and assist with mechanical problems, etc. Something of an educational and support outreach.

If we take the initiative and do this ourselves, perhaps the coppers would leave us alone.

Just another two cents.

Anonymous's picture
Steve (not verified)

When doing loops in Central Park are you really supposed to pass on the left? That does not really make sense because often the slowest bicycle traffic is closest to the rec lane (i.e., on the left).

Personally, if I am passing in the park I just look for open road. I also would look before turning left or right off of the park drive to make sure the road was clear.

Anonymous's picture
Judith Tripp (not verified)
Passing on the left?

No, you should pass on the RIGHT (the outside) in the park (unless someone is signalling a right turn in front of you!) On club rides, you pass on the LEFT (the outside). Not supposed to pass people on the inside (unless there's a good reason and you let them know in advance).

cycling trips