Author Topic: North Dakota. WHAT is your problem?  (Read 4484 times)

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Offline Plantains

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North Dakota. WHAT is your problem?
« on: March 28, 2008, 01:24:11 pm »
So the past 2 weeks have been HELLISH for us cycling.

In the last week ALONE the cycling team has been honked at no less than 12 times. Been involved in at least 2 confrontations on University (where there actually ARE bike lanes) and been screamed at by countless passers by.

We found out that one of the drivers that was EXCEPTIONALLY vicious yesterday is actually a repeat offender. Cute blonde, red car, probably like an olds aurora or alero. I didn't care too much at the time until I realized its her second run-in. This means that there is a problem.

It was never this bad last semester. Toaster warned me and I always suggested he was over-reacting. Coming from NY I feel that Im prepared for peoples nonsense. But its pretty crazy.

I was more just ranting but I think I might actually see if we can get UPD involved. I think it might be helpful to have a UPD vehicle park in the bike lane say somewhere near gamble or the U (more people) with its lights flashing and just lay one of our crappy bikes down in the road ahead of it and get like a busted up helmet or something. So that it looks like a biker got hit. Maybe setup like a table or something there and pass out flyers to passers by on cycling awareness and perhaps rules of the road?

I really don't think that UPD would do it. But something needs to be done. This is the best I've come up with.


Thoughts?
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Offline Toaster

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Re: North Dakota. WHAT is your problem?
« Reply #1 on: March 28, 2008, 02:52:37 pm »
More of the same. I just got back from downtown and yet another altercation with senseless ND motorists. Here is what happened:

I'm waiting behind a red car (go figure huh, she was blond too, but this one was older) at a red light and the light turns green. The car doesn't go (as if it was waiting to make a left turn) so I pass it and continue straight. Then the car decides to go straight and starts to catch up with me. As we come to the next intersection where there is a stop sign, I take the lane in order to go straight, and stop. The car pulls into the lane of OPPOSING TRAFFIC in order to go around me and stops (so we are now taking up the entire street). She goes straight for a block, makes a left and then parks right on the corner, RIGHT IN FRONT OF A STOP SIGN! As she gets out of her car I say "hey I don't think that's a parking space, you're right in front of a stop sign, and you're blocking half of a driveway". She says "well, I'm just dropping something off". I say "and I don't think you need to be passing cyclists when they are stopped at a stop sign". she says "well, you were to the side of me, if you would have been in front of me I would have hit you". I remind her that I couldn't have been beside her because there was only one  lane of traffic, and that in order to get around me she had to pull into the opposing lane. Then I wished her good luck with not getting a ticket for her awesome park job, and went merrily on my way.

Dave, your idea is good but it only really gets the message out to people on campus. What can we do about an entire culture of drivers that are sometimes oblivious of, and overtly discriminatory towards cyclists?

I also think it's interesting that aggression on the part of drivers is largely a phenomenon of the spring and summer time. When I ride in the winter people are much more respectful. I get tons of smiles and waves. Once spring hits I mostly get the finger (but thank you to those drivers that are respectful, you are truly appreciated).

I think one of our best avenues to explore might be to talk to Kim Greendahl, who is the "Greenway Specialist" for Grand Forks. She is to be working on filming a TV spot about the Greenway and cycling in Grand Forks. I would be interested to find out if she is a cyclist herself and if she would be willing to help us put some sort of cycling advocacy program or driver education program together.

Those are my thoughts for now.


Yost
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Offline Meest

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Re: North Dakota. WHAT is your problem?
« Reply #2 on: March 28, 2008, 06:35:29 pm »
Most people up here have been brought up under the assumption that bikes are for sidewalks or on the side of the road. They are not on the same level as cars. While this is untrue, its the whole un-teaching that will take a long time.

As for the UPD and the bike with the fake accident, no offense but most people driving by would probably think it was some stupid biker that fell or was in the way of a car. Most of my friends that I know have no sympathy for people on bikes. They see riding a bike as a to poor to drive a car way of life. Not a save money and better for you way that we see it.

Offline Plantains

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Re: North Dakota. WHAT is your problem?
« Reply #3 on: March 28, 2008, 07:27:04 pm »
Dave, your idea is good but it only really gets the message out to people on campus. What can we do about an entire culture of drivers that are sometimes oblivious of, and overtly discriminatory towards cyclists?

Well... I know what you're saying, but we can't change the world without a stepping stone. And similarly to how people come to colleges to "better themselves and receive an education" (most people anyways  ::) ) I think that its a good place to start the education.

Meest, I agree with you also. But remember that we get picked on mostly when we're out on team rides. These bikes are certainly not for commuting. People are making fun of us because we look like idiots. I think alot of people would in fact think that it was some stupid biker. However... the key there is that they would actually think.

I think our advantage would be to have that table there and hand out the flyers. Its really funny how people perceive cyclists. No one thinks of us as some of the most fit athletes on campus. They don't think of us as total losers when they're talking with us. Most people that actually know us would probably never stereotype us as "cyclists". But on the other hand. Something has to be done. Whether it gets us laughed at or not awareness has to be raised. Hopefully our team can put up some good numbers this season and hopefully the DS will cover our results. The most common response we get is "UND has a cycling team?".

People will always hate cyclists. Similar to the way you hate that driver going slow in front of you. We are a part of traffic. People have to deal with it. I hate everything that critical mass stands for, but people are pushing me and Im from NY. Im liable to snap on somebody.
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Offline Sal Atticum

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Re: North Dakota. WHAT is your problem?
« Reply #4 on: March 28, 2008, 08:57:56 pm »
I snap every few months and swear loudly.
JUST EXTRA POLISH. I DO SOME WORK WITH EXCELL SO I KEEP THE CAPS LOCK ON :-P

Offline Toaster

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Re: North Dakota. WHAT is your problem?
« Reply #5 on: March 28, 2008, 10:40:26 pm »
Every few months?  I have to get my curse on at least once a day. Without some sort of release  I'd more than likely explode.
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Offline Plantains

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Re: North Dakota. WHAT is your problem?
« Reply #6 on: March 28, 2008, 10:43:16 pm »
^^^ He called his grandmother dirty names.

True story.
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Offline Sal Atticum

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Re: North Dakota. WHAT is your problem?
« Reply #7 on: March 28, 2008, 11:20:57 pm »
I've been trying to control myself.  My girlfriend is afraid I'm going to flip off someone she knows.
JUST EXTRA POLISH. I DO SOME WORK WITH EXCELL SO I KEEP THE CAPS LOCK ON :-P

Offline Sal Atticum

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Re: North Dakota. WHAT is your problem?
« Reply #8 on: March 29, 2008, 10:55:12 am »
We could buy a bunch of "Share the Road" stickers and a) hand them out to people who piss us off or b) stick them on random cars throughout the city.
JUST EXTRA POLISH. I DO SOME WORK WITH EXCELL SO I KEEP THE CAPS LOCK ON :-P

Offline Plantains

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Re: North Dakota. WHAT is your problem?
« Reply #9 on: March 29, 2008, 11:55:49 am »
Thats not a bad idea. I was thinking of getting some stickers that said something like. "I tried to kill a cyclist today" and sticking them on cars that piss us off. Since... we can usually catch up to most of the idiots.
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Offline Sal Atticum

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Re: North Dakota. WHAT is your problem?
« Reply #10 on: March 29, 2008, 12:13:59 pm »
Thats not a bad idea. I was thinking of getting some stickers that said something like. "I tried to kill a cyclist today" and sticking them on cars that piss us off. Since... we can usually catch up to most of the idiots.

That might work too.  I'd be down with that.
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Offline Toaster

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Re: North Dakota. WHAT is your problem?
« Reply #11 on: March 29, 2008, 06:49:47 pm »
how much dinero? i'm down.

I think we should get both stickers. I would be willing to slap a "share the road" sticker on my commuter. And I love the Idea of the "I tried to kill a cyclist" ones.
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Offline Meest

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Re: North Dakota. WHAT is your problem?
« Reply #12 on: March 30, 2008, 12:01:59 am »
hhhhmmm thats a lot less intense than what my friends did in graphics class in high school... You never saw so many "EAT SHIT" stickers on stop signs, cars, and buildings in your life.

Offline Plantains

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Re: North Dakota. WHAT is your problem?
« Reply #13 on: March 30, 2008, 02:06:37 am »
I feel like the classic "Eat Sh*t" sticker doesn't accomplish anything. I can yell that at someone.

The "I tried to kill a cyclist today" sticker is one of those things where if someone reads it they might be like... yo wtf is this guys problem. Hes running bikes off the road?

Or they'll want to high five him. Thats why these stickers should get placed on the paint. Straight vandalism.
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Offline Toaster

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Re: North Dakota. WHAT is your problem?
« Reply #14 on: March 30, 2008, 02:40:47 pm »
I think the Eat Sh*t stick accomplishes a lot depending on how you think about it. If nothing else it serves to break up the monotony of peoples commutes when they see one on a stop sign. More than that it might cause people to actually use their imaginations when they are wondering who put the sticker there and why. Is it a direct attack on motorists, is it an act of defiance against the stop sign's authority? Is it just a childish joke? It's up to the viewer to decide.

Obviously an Eat Sh*t sticker would not work for our purposes, but it's a funny idea none the less (of course, that's only my opinion)
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Offline Sal Atticum

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Re: North Dakota. WHAT is your problem?
« Reply #15 on: March 31, 2008, 09:14:36 am »


Seriously, is one of you guys drawing this comic?
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Offline Plantains

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Re: North Dakota. WHAT is your problem?
« Reply #16 on: March 31, 2008, 09:16:43 am »
BAAAAAAAAAAHAHAHAHAHAHAHA!
Alaska Unicyclist: if you ban me, i'll set your complex on fire.... just a heads up

 

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