The sad state of bicycling in SF

I've found myself choosing to walk instead of bike a lot more often lately, because when I walk, absolutely no one ever attempts to murder me, and I almost never end up screaming obscenities at strangers.

Sometimes it's nice to have a day with no screaming in it.

Yesterday some contractor-truck-driving motherfucker actually tried to squeeze me off the road, presumably for having the audacity to take the whole lane so that someone wouldn't turn left in front of me.

Biking in this city just gets more horrible every day.

Tags: , , ,

21 Responses:

  1. At this point, I'm convinced that nothing is going to get better until some politician's kid gets plastered on Howard Street. (ho ho ho, like any of them would let their kids bike in SOMA.) Howard + Folsom are effectively a divided 10-lane highway running through the middle of a city, and we're insisting that we can somehow solve that problem by painting the bike lanes new colors. Grade-separate the bike lines, restore two-way traffic, put in a median or GTFO.

    • Marten Veldthuis says:

      I suspect this is also part of the reason why over here in the Netherlands stuff is much better: everyone grew up biking. This means everyone knows what it's like to be a cyclist in traffic. Everyone knows their kids are also cyclists. This means that even people who now use only cars still have a shared understanding with the rest of the country.

  2. Jade Hoffman says:

    "Biting in this city just gets more horrible every day." --JWZ

  3. Other Jamie says:

    There is an asshole who delivers whatever to my local produce market.

    It turns out that we seem to coincide in our desire to use Howard St. I'm actually surprised that it happens so often.

    His apparent need to try to force me onto the curb is no longer surprising. That cops watching it happen, depressingly, also not surprising.

  4. Other Jamie says:

    Biking on Howard is, sadly, a reason to up your insurance policy.

    An asshole seems to enjoy trying to curb me every time he sees me. Which is much more often than I would have guessed.

    In my less socially adjusted moments, it makes me a gun supporter.

    • Dan says:

      I live in DC, where strict gun control laws which I'm in favor of, prevent people from carrying guns. Though after seeing this incident I think it should be mandatory that all bikers are armed. Drivers would think twice about cutting of a biker if they knew a Glock would soon be pointed at them.

  5. All urban cyclists should use helmet-cams / handlebar-cams. Same for journalists and activists actually. But for cyclists, the reasons are a little different. Primarily, it's a (possibly posthumous) defense against being blamed for a Single Witness Suicide Swerve. Secondarily, it's a business model. Once a week or so, edit together all your encounters with cager jackass. Post to youtube. Rack up millions of views. Profit! Well, that's my theory anyway. I haven't gotten around to getting myself a gopro so far.

  6. nooj says:

    I want a discreet thingy which fires rusty nails.

    • Jef Poskanzer says:

      Actually when the three-foot passing law goes into effect this September, I'm thinking bike gloves with metal spikes will become popular.

      • nooj says:

        Please. No cyclist is going to draw first blood.

        Assuring a safe exit is important. As is plausible deniability. Very few solutions provide both.

      • Mjog says:

        "See? If I can take out your rear view mirror with my ulock you really are too close."

    • cthulhu says:

      Maybe somebody needs to go all Pushcart War on the trucks...

      • nooj says:

        YES! How have I not read this book?

        • Wirehead says:

          That book is such a lovely piece of culture-jamming anarchistic propaganda (in a good way) that I'm surprised that parents ever let it get published.

  7. Joe says:

    Doubt it'll bother anyone, but the +38' at the end of the location tag makes Google Maps mix up latitude and longitude, and point to the Philippines instead of San Francisco.

    I can't shake the feeling I'm missing a joke here?

  8. Don Hopkins says:

    What a bunch of bagbiters! Chomp! Chomp! Chomp!