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April 23, 2018 · OPINION

I hate the Amish, farmers, equestrians and bicyclists

By Chris Malone
The Plains

A Facebook friend posted a link to a letter to Fauquier Now, “Winding roads too dangerous for cyclists,” and said she “despised” cyclists for making the roads unsafe.

For my part, I despise the Amish. They and their Mennonite brethren drive their horse and buggies on the roads, making them unsafe for my car. Why can’t they get with the 21st century, grab a cell phone and a car and get with the program?

I also despise the farmers for moving their equipment on the roads and making them unsafe for my car. Those tractors go about as fast as a bike. Why do they have to farm anyway? If they must farm, why can’t they airlift their hay making equipment between fields? I mean, I pay MORE in taxes to subsidize their land use, right? They should be making enough money to do that, right? Look at those big shiny trucks.

I despise the entire equestrian community. Their horse trailers and their fox hounds in the road slow my roll. Their farms provide scenery and open space that people come out HERE from THERE to visit and ride by, slowly.

I also despise the wineries. (See above, and just because.)

I despise the wildlife, the trees that fall in the storms, people who walk and run on the roads and make them unsafe. I guess you can say that anyone or anything that is on the road that may inconvenience me, or make me pay attention, or cause a slight delay in my progress — well, I hate ’em. They make the roads unsafe for me and my car and my cell phone and my schedule. And the deer and the possum and the fallen trees? NONE of them pay taxes. They shouldn’t be on these roads.

Mostly though, I despise cyclists. They come from “there” to ride on OUR ROADS, and they dress funny. I round a blind curve at 45 mph and there one will be, or two or three. I have to SLOW DOWN and WAIT until I can safely pass. Usually it takes about 30 seconds or so, sometimes longer, like 90 seconds to get a clear view in order to not pass into oncoming traffic. It’s usually about the amount of time I waste sitting in my car looking at my phone when I arrive at my destination. Don’t they know I’ve got stuff to do?

If only the countryside were subdivisions with sidewalks and bike paths and a Super Target instead of fields with cows and horses and farms and wineries and vineyards and horse farms. THEN we’d be happy. Then maybe the cyclists wouldn’t come here and take up my road and frighten me when I look up from my phone while doing 55 mph on a two lane country road. Give me more cars and stop lights and bigger roads with passing lanes and houses and traffic and congestion and noise and higher taxes any day. I’d feel much safer.

Open country roads and cyclists riding in the nice weather? NO THANKS. I simply cannot shoulder that burden. That is too much to ask. These are MY roads, not theirs. THEY cause the dangerous situations, NOT ME.

I have a family who cares about me and my safety. Obviously they don’t, otherwise they wouldn’t let them on the roads with my car. I’m a law abiding citizen, except when it comes to negotiating bikes on my road. That’s where I draw the line.

They’re going to have to pull my right to cross double yellow lines into oncoming traffic from my cold dead fingers. I don’t care what the law says. I say it’s the cyclist’s fault.

And they go too slow and dress funny. Like the Amish.



Member comments
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Observer · April 25, 2018 at 5:53 am
And those most vulnerable should follow the rules at all times.
Jane Doe · April 24, 2018 at 11:13 pm
Thank you for supporting my argument. Road safety is the responsibility of all users. Those who use it the most, should set the best examples.
Jane Doe · April 24, 2018 at 10:57 pm
Um, yes. Cyclists are a null hypothesis.
Observer · April 24, 2018 at 1:11 pm
>>>After all, the number of automobile drivers violating the rules of the road is statistically much greater, and the accident rates and fatalities prove this. <<<

It does not prove anything. There is much more drivers than bicycles on the road any given time. Did you ever study any math?
Jane Doe · April 24, 2018 at 11:04 am
If we want roads to be safer for all (interesting historical note: paved roads were initially designed for cyclists), we should put aside prejudices and personal opinions and look at facts. The vast majority of recreational cyclists obey the rules of the road. The most egregious offenders are city commuters, which is another topic and not relevant here. Yes, there are unfortunate exceptions, but the exception does not prove the opinion. After all, the number of automobile drivers violating the rules of the road is statistically much greater, and the accident rates and fatalities prove this.

When it comes to stopping at stop signs, the law does state that cyclists must come to a full stop. But, in the interest of their own safety, a full stop is not always ideal. Cyclists have much more situational awareness. They can see much more of the road since there is no vehicle parts obstructing vision, and they can hear oncoming traffic, so they are in a much better position to "roll through" a stop on a rural road or quiet street. As for stop lights, the law allows them to run a red if two minutes has passed with no signal change so long as crossing is deemed safe since they don't have the ability to trip the signal.

Most cyclists obey the laws. In the case of treating stop signs as a yield, yes that is technically disobeying the rules, but in most cases, it is done for reasons of safety and sensibility. And let's be honest, cars do the same rolling stop in numbers far greater than cyclists. Pot, meet kettle.

Let's have this discussion, but let's do so with proper facts and reason. We should be welcoming to visitors who want to enjoy the open air of our county and spend their dollars here. "Share the road" and "obey the law" signage would go a long way to reminding ALL users of our roads of their responsibilities. https://wapo.st/2vGxBIn
Observer · April 24, 2018 at 9:55 am
Actually, I do realize that. What you dont get is, that your rights as bicyclists do not have priority over my rights as a driver or vice versa. Bicyclists always think they can do anything - like crossing 605 and 29 in full traffic from corner to corner. If there is anybody on the road behaving like an idiot, it is more often than not bicyclist.

Yes, there will be times when you’re sitting at a red light all by yourself without a car in sight. There will also be moments when you’re about to break a course record, and all of a sudden a stop sign appears out of nowhere. Regardless of what you’d like to do, you should not ride through that red light or stop sign.

Disobeying traffic laws isn’t just dangerous; it gives motorists the fuel they need to act abusively and irrationally toward other cyclists on the road. Fits you like a glove, Bikesmayusefulllane.
BJ · April 24, 2018 at 8:20 am
This is someone saying how we all need to take a chill pill and look at the absurdity of demanding that cyclists get off the road. @ Bikesmayusefulllane - "would wine and moan..." drinking and riding is a no-no, or is that not in your rules....lol.

Blaine Johnson
Bikesmayusefulllane · April 24, 2018 at 8:14 am
The problem with Observer is he or she doesn’t realize the roads are for people of all forms of transport.
Following the rules of the roads for bicyclists is actually this
http://cyclingsavvy.org/hows-my-driving/
Observer and many others however would wine and moan at such an activity though.
Observer · April 24, 2018 at 5:38 am
Problem with bicyclists is, they believe the county is empty, local rednecks have no use for these roads and bicyclists can ride any which way they please.
I have no problem with bicyclist who behaves responsibly and follows the road rules and traffic laws.
Now events at Vint Hill that send hundreds of bikes down our roads and local citizen almost can't get out of their driveway, those are very annoying.
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