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Are Benicia Bicyclists Rude or Do They Break The Law?

Have They Given You the Finger…and Other Local Notes

So, I know a number of members of the Benicia Bicycle Club. I regard them as smart, aware, and thoughtful people. I was surprised then when people at coffee told me that bicyclists in Benicia regularly break the law and use their middle finger in, I was going to say, a derisive manner, but is there any other way to use that digit?

The club’s shirt is a very recognizable bright yellow, that, I think, anyone can buy and wear. One might mention that anyone wearing that shirt is sort of seen as representing the club, and it may be that all wearers aren’t as polite and mindful of the laws as I’d like to think.

These are the specific criticisms of bicyclists: not stopping at stop signs; riding 2-4 abreast; not moving into single file when there is a car behind them; using that infamous digit if a driver honks the horn or in any way interferes with the biker’s path, even if the biker has broken the law.

I’ve been a cyclist for years, though I haven’t been riding much lately. With age, I’ve moved from that bent over the bike position to an upright one. So, I’m not a speedster, but even I don’t typically stop at stop signs unless I see a car approaching. I wouldn’t think of doing that in a car!

We all share the roads and we all need to observe the same rules, as well as being courteous to our fellow travelers.  I’d like to hear from drivers and bikers as to their experience, particularly locally.

Very confusing to have a week of November after Thanksgiving. Other people were uncertain as to when the tree lighting ceremony would be. (It’s this Friday at 6 p.m.) The weather has been beautiful, though if the predictions are right, by the time you read this it may be wet, which may be beautiful as well. It’s in the mind of the beholder.

First Tuesday Poets meet at the library on Tuesday, December 4th at 7 p.m. I’ve suggested bringing a holiday poem—your own or someone else’s—and Christmas cookies, if you like. Anyone can share a poem. It doesn’t have to be your own.

Next Wednesday, December 5th at 7 p.m. at Bookshop Benicia, Cara Black, author of the Aimee LeDuc murder-mystery series will discuss her work, including her latest novel, Murder at the Lanterne Rouge in conversation with David Corbett, New York Times notable crime author.

And, if you want to enter the Love Poetry Contest, send up to three unpublished poems to dpeery@sbcglobal.net by November 30th. Put Benicia Love Poem Submission the the subject line. In the email, include your name, mailing address, and telephone number.

Insider November 28, 2012 at 06:42 PM
yes they do, especially the Benicia Bike Club, huge violators. Riding side by side one in the bike lane and one out of it. Blowing thru stop signs. Just amazes me how they glare at me dirty as I pass them. Just watch them out on Lopes road or East 2nd, they seem to forget that they are not traveling at 40 mph. I am an avid cyclist and it is a shame that a group of riders make us all look bad while they violate the laws, sneering at cars as they pass, while they chat side by side out of the bike lane, single file folks, "just do it"
Jonmc6 November 28, 2012 at 08:37 PM
In a word, yes to both. As a bicyclist for 25+ years, i'm still amazed at the ignorance displayed by some riders. The CA Vehicle code is simple "...A person riding a bicycle or operating a pedicab upon a highway has all the rights and is subject to all the provisions applicable to the driver of a vehicle..". In other words, yes you do have to stop at a red light, yes you do have to stop at a stop sign, yes you do have to stop for pedestrians in a crosswalk, yes under 18 a helmet is required,etc. Unless and until bicycle riders are willing to follow the rules they will get little respect from drivers. As for the amount of rudeness shown by some riders, it usually seems to expand in direct proportion to the price of the bike and the amount of Spandex worn.
Riley Willerson November 28, 2012 at 10:34 PM
Well Said Jonmc6. Benicia does have its share, like most cities, "Bike Snobs" other wise none as "BS" Riders.
Joe Feltcher November 29, 2012 at 03:44 AM
I don't have any issues with Benicia cyclists compared to the ones in SF or on BART. Benicia's biggest problem is irresponsible dog owners.
Babaloo November 29, 2012 at 04:35 AM
true,,i lov e when they walk their dog and the "relieve " themselves on my lawn. when i saw something they tell me to eff off. so i am pleased to let people know that i will walk my dog too. more often. :)
Joe Feltcher November 29, 2012 at 05:45 AM
My main issue is the dogs off leash especially at the Community Park where there is a sanctioned off-leash dog section. Unleash them THERE, not in the park proper. Also there are a lot of people in this town who don't clean up after their dogs either. That being said, I am sill more OK with bad dog owners than spousal abusers.
Riley Willerson November 29, 2012 at 12:39 PM
From Bikes to Dogs? You too should start your own talk show like "Click & Clack" endless grumbling about everything and nothing. Two grumpy old men wearing their slingshot T's, the compliant department of Benicia.
Lois Requist November 29, 2012 at 05:04 PM
You're right, RIley. I never know if the comments on my column will actually have anything to do with my column. Some of the comments about biking are more about lifestyle than bicyling. Spandex seems to trigger a response. Many bicylists are highly responsible, but when one, especially one wearing a yellow shirt, engages in bad behavior, it looks bad for the whole group.
Babaloo November 29, 2012 at 08:23 PM
The bikers are ok . Most of the time. I am not old , per say, just sexy. Now back to dogs. The park does have a designated place for dogs to play ie " the dog park signs", But bicyclists are always there . Confusing huh. At least the bicyclist cleans up after himself and doesn't leave a mess on my lawn. At least not yet . I do NOT support spousal abuse either. Any person who abuses their spouse needs to have the wrath of god come down on them.
ekatin November 29, 2012 at 10:24 PM
I've had no problem with the "Spandex" bikers, they mostly ride properly and safely. My issue is with the people who only occasionally ride bikes and think that there is no problem with riding on the sidewalk or riding against the flow of traffic, both activities being dangerous to others and the bike riders themselves.
s r November 29, 2012 at 10:31 PM
Some are rude and hog lanes, many speed thru stop signs and lights! Benicia bikers: be professional, polite and abide by the Ca Vehicle code. Kids are watching and many people will remember your actions and might not be so forgiving the next time you cut them off or suck up half the cars lanes!!
Barbara Wood December 05, 2012 at 07:23 PM
I have been a member of the Benicia Bicycle Club for a loooooong time. It used to be small. We were taught to follow the DMV code. The club has now grown. While I cannot speak for the entire membership, I know many of us "follow the rules." Are there cars coming when we "blow thru stop signs"? Do we move over upon hearing a gentle "beep" of a horn? Are we riding "with" traffic as opposed to "against" traffic? (We are vehicles, after all. Yes, same traffic rules) Are we riding as far to the right as is safe? Do we signal when turning? There is, however, NO MONOPOLY OF BAD MANNERS. Drivers, bikers, and even dog owners, pay attention.
Jason December 06, 2012 at 12:53 AM
1. Yes, but as long as you don't see anyone nearby, feel free to continue ignoring all traffic laws. That's never caused a collision in the history of mobile transport, so you should be fine. 2. Quite the opposite 3. Sometimes 4. Rarely ever 5. Never

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