The Chainlink

Fellow cyclists:

We are all aware of some biases held by drivers about bicyclists, and it is safe to say that there is bad behavior from all road users at times.

BICYCLING magazine released a survey asking "How Safe Do You Feel When You Ride?" This survey focuses on driver behaviors experienced by bicyclists.

If you feel like contributing, the survey is online here:

Below are some comments I wrote at the end of the survey.


Bruce Tyler

In the last few years I have definitely changed my behavior as a cyclist in terms of stopping and waiting at red lights. I think it is good to show drivers we are responsible.  I do tend to roll through stop signs if nobody is there.  If there is another vehicle there I will act just like any other vehicle, wait my turn, and expect others to do the same. I have occasionally ridden into the path of a vehicle who didn't respect that it was my turn to go, but only if I am confident that I can make eye contact and be safe.

I do think that cyclists should obey the laws more than they do in order to be in a position to demand that police enforce laws on drivers of motor vehicles. We should stop at red lights and also at intersections with stop signs, or at least slow down enough to really be sure it is safe. I think that the "Idaho Stop" requires care. And it really annoys me when I see people riding in the middle of the road--sometimes right next to or even on the yellow line. That kind of behavior is just asking for trouble. That being said, a cyclist can't cause much damage or harm but a motor vehicle can.

Also, there is a culture, at least around Chicago, of lawlessness. Drivers go 10-20 mph over the speed limit with regularity. The sense of impunity here is overwhelming. Our two "cyclist" mayors have built lots of bike lanes but not much else to improve the situation for cyclists.

A few years ago when the proposal to install speed cameras around Chicago surfaced, I was initially opposed. Then, I started to reflect on my own driving habits.I realized how often I was speeding.  I started to consciously pay a lot of attention to the speed limit (ie. NOT exceed it) and noticed that other drivers were (and still are) constantly passing me or tailgating me and getting annoyed. I have since advocated for more speed cameras.

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I think you're on the right track. There are some things we can control directly, and others that we can't. I can't force drivers or other cyclists to follow the rules. But, I can follow the rules of the road better as a cyclist and try to model the behavior I would like to see drivers follow, hoping that it 'catches on' for others.

I agree.

I took te survey, thanks for sharing!



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