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Loaded horse trailer + narrow 2 lane road + bicylist = AAAARRRRRRRGGGG!!

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  • Loaded horse trailer + narrow 2 lane road + bicylist = AAAARRRRRRRGGGG!!

    My heart palpitations have ceased now, but had a nearly catastrophic event on a narrow country road this weekend: this 2 lane, hilly road is the only route between my farm and the trainer's barn that doesn't require trailering through busy city streets with a million stop lights. It is also apparently popular with cyclists.

    To forestall any provoked outrage from our cycling community here on COTH, yes, I understand you pay taxes and have "every right" to be on the road taking up a lane just like a car. However, physics have a way of messing up everyone's day.

    I'm hauling my 2 horse GN with both horses at the posted 45 mph speed limit and top a hill to find myself bearing down on a cyclist (no reflective gear or helmet--more of a recreational rider) and closing the gap in horrifyingly rapid fashion. I jam on the brakes and hear my horses whamming into their chest bars, and immediately try to go around him, only to be faced with oncoming traffic. I ended up in the middle of the road with about 4 ft of clearance between my rig and the cyclist and forcing the oncoming car to move on to the shoulder and we all squeezed past each other. It was absolutely terrifying.

    While I was technically at fault for the situation, I'm not sure how I could have handled things any differently. Any one else have this happen?

  • #2
    yes! terrifies me to think about it today.

    no horses, but an ancient flatbed loaded with hay bales. i also wasn't the one going around the bicyclists, the FIRETRUCK headed straight on in my lane was - fortunately that particular piece of road, a blind curve, has a wide level grassy shoulder.

    after getting around this clusterf*ck, my passenger, several shades whiter than usual, asked me if that just happened. i said yup, and i have no idea why several people, us included, aren't en route to the hospital...
    * trying hard to be the person that my horses think i am

    Comment


    • #3
      Ugh. I live in the middle of nowhere, with these narrow country roads you speak of and TONS of bicyclists. Fortunately, most of our roads are straight so you can see what's coming up but not always. I've certainly ended up cruising along at a blistering 20 mph behind a group of bicyclists (because they always seem to come in herds of 5-20 at a time down our roads) because there's either a car coming at me or I just can't see around them. It's definitely a pet peeve when they're riding 3 or 4 abreast and you're sitting on their ass because you're afraid to try to go around them because they won't even acknowledge that you, a huge red truck and 3-horse bumper pull trailer, is tailing them. They could at least move over instead of taking up most of the road.

      And don't get me started about when I brought home a green-broke three-year-old last year. I have no arena so I ride in a grassy area, yup, right by the road. The weird humming/whirring of a herd of bikes apparently sounds terrifying to a youngster. I have to keep my eyes open and if I see bikes coming I have to stop him and let him watch them go by and hope we're at least over the bolting/bucking that initially existed. Fun times!
      It's not about the color of the ribbon but the quality of the ride. Having said that, I'd like the blue one please!

      Comment


      • #4
        Originally posted by MediaMD View Post
        I understand you pay taxes and have "every right" to be on the road taking up a lane just like a car.
        Bicyclists pay no fuel taxes because bicycles consume no fuel.

        Bicyclists pay no license plate fees because bicycles are not licensed.

        Bicylists pay for no insurance because bicycles are not required to be insured.

        What taxes do bicyclists pay that give them the "right" to use roads? The laws that we have in the books now are the result of intense pressure by special interest groups who are getting a free ride from those who pay the freight in road use costs. Not only that, but a vehicle barely capable of moving out of its own way is no NO way safe to operate around vehicles capable of, and rightfully moving at, greater speeds.

        Originally posted by MediaMD View Post
        I'm not sure how I could have handled things any differently
        The only way is through legislative action to get bicyclists off the highways.

        Comment


        • #5
          Roads and road infrastructure are generally built and maintained using monies from a number of sources (could be sales taxes, property taxes, parking fees, etc.) Gas tax and licensing fees don't generally even come close to meeting the cost of maintaining roadways. You're also assuming that the cyclists don't own cars, which they very likely do.

          Not saying that the cyclist was correct in the above example, but when I'm hauling around here, I tend to come up over hills and around blind corners under the speed limit, since I do frequently encounter cyclists. That said, most of my near misses (and not-so-misses) have involved deer. Hope the rest of your day is uneventful!

          Comment


          • #6
            When you encounter a deer hitting it to avoid a front end collision is socially acceptable. Hitting a bicyclist is not so socially acceptable.

            Comment


            • #7
              Originally posted by EasternMkt View Post
              Roads and road infrastructure are generally built and maintained using monies from a number of sources (could be sales taxes, property taxes, parking fees, etc.) Gas tax and licensing fees don't generally even come close to meeting the cost of maintaining roadways.
              I don't have the time to disprove or prove what you say. However the funding works out does not change the fact that some vehicles are simply incompatible with motor traffic. Just because I pay taxes does not mean I should be allowed to drive a horse-drawn cart down I-75.

              Originally posted by EasternMkt View Post
              You're also assuming that the cyclists don't own cars, which they very likely do.
              So does that mean that I can buy a second car and just go drive it without a license plate and insurance? That's exactly what people who have a car and a bicycle do.

              Logic fail.

              Comment


              • #8
                The problem is that when they built many of these country 2 lane roads they put no shoulder at all on them. We had this problem on our roads in Missouri all the time. The roads were winding and hilly with no shoulder( paved or gravel) and just a drop off into a deep ditch. You had barely enough room for a truck , let alone a bicyclist or now an amish buggy. In Minnesota we are flat and the roads all have a nice wide shoulder so that when we encounter both of these road sharers it isn't a white knuckle experience.

                Comment


                • #9
                  Our local county roads are maintained by the County. They get their tax revenue from a number of sources, including property taxes. There are bicycle licenses (registration), and I fail to see how liability insurance goes to road maintained costs.

                  I live on a small, very curvy country road, that is frequented by cyclist (there are even races hosted on the road), and it is also the route to a popular horse camp, and the road is used by motorcycle clubs and people out driving their high end sports cars – and it is the route my to home.

                  The key to keeping everyone safe? (not that that it always happens, we have several fatalities a year) is to GO SLOW. Yeah it’s a PITA, but if I am hauling over Pescadero Creek Rd (no posted speed limit – a car can travel about 50 on it) I go crazy slow. Cyclist usually get booking downhill, in which case I stay behind them, at a good distance (if they wreck, I do not want to run them over!). Uphill – I have to wait until I have a line of sight and can pass.

                  I think cyclist do have a right to ride on country roads – just as much as we have a right to take oversided rigs and trucks and trailers on the same small roads. The key is cooperation. I will yell “single file! SHARE the road!” to cyclist that are rude and riding abreast, and I will also try to avoid running them off the road with a big ol’ truck and trailer.

                  Sorry for the fright OP! Sounds pretty scary.
                  APPSOLUTE CHOCKLATE - Photo by Kathy Colman

                  Comment


                  • #10
                    Since there are stretches of country roads around me that I ride my horse on, I don't have a problem with bicycles also using the road.

                    The only time I have a "problem" is when they run all the charity rides past my house. Those days there are several hundred riders out, and then it is an issue to get anywhere. But, as a friend pointed out to me, I don't have a problem with bicyclists, I have a problem with an event.

                    I do wish that they would pull over to allow car traffic to pass in a few cases, but in all truth, it is a minor delay.

                    Personally, I won't ride my bike on these roads, it is too dangerous and too many people are out there who are really dangerous, intentionally to bicyclists.

                    At least the bicyclists are more predictable than the deer.

                    I don't think that legislation is needed to keep them off the small roads. They are not allowed on the interstates, and I have not run into bicycles on 4 lane highways much either.

                    Comment


                    • #11
                      Driving too slow is pretty darn dangerous too.

                      Comment


                      • #12
                        I always find it pretty strange when horse owners have conniptions about slow moving road users.

                        I presume it means your horses never get out of an arena, because a separate set of grumpy suburbanites is out there complaining that horses have no place on roads that were built for speeding SUVs, and another set is out there complaining that slow farm trucks towing trailers have no place on roads that were built for speeding SUVs.

                        Comment


                        • #13
                          I've taken 4 years of monthly Driver Safety modules for the company car I have, the answer is:

                          Drive Defensively NOT Offensively. If it means driving slower so you can brake without endangering your animals, yourself, on coming traffic or the cyclist than that's what you have to do.

                          Very glad crisis averted. I have some curvy and hilly roads that I travel and drive slower.
                          \"You have two choices when a defining moment comes along - you can either define the moment, or let the moment define you.\" Tin Cup

                          Comment


                          • #14
                            I like that thought Saddle fitter, that we're not being discommodated by the cyclists so much as by an event. It's very true.


                            OP I am glad you just got a scare. I've come up on plenty of cyclists, and also large debris from poorly covered loads, deer, somebody's loose pony at 5AM, auto and motorcycle accidents, fallen trees and fallen phone poles/electrical wire, overflowing creeks, a herd of goats and the wierdest one was the guy with a beat up old pickup that decided the line of cars behind him was too close and needed some schooling. He sped up around a blind corner and then stopped dead in the middle of the road. That was truly freaky.
                            Courageous Weenie Eventer Wannabe
                            Incredible Invisible

                            Comment


                            • #15
                              Originally posted by caballero View Post
                              Bicyclists pay no fuel taxes because bicycles consume no fuel.

                              Bicyclists pay no license plate fees because bicycles are not licensed.

                              Bicylists pay for no insurance because bicycles are not required to be insured.

                              What taxes do bicyclists pay that give them the "right" to use roads? The laws that we have in the books now are the result of intense pressure by special interest groups who are getting a free ride from those who pay the freight in road use costs. Not only that, but a vehicle barely capable of moving out of its own way is no NO way safe to operate around vehicles capable of, and rightfully moving at, greater speeds.
                              But the facts remain - cyclists are absolutely allowed on these roads. They DO have to obey the same traffic rules as cars, though we all know they don't always.

                              The only way is through legislative action to get bicyclists off the highways.
                              These aren't highways, and they aren't allowed on highways anyway

                              Originally posted by tangledweb View Post
                              I always find it pretty strange when horse owners have conniptions about slow moving road users.

                              I presume it means your horses never get out of an arena,
                              Just how do you presume that? There are far more - and safer - ways to get out of an arena than to go riding down the side of a road. You know - trails? The pasture?

                              because a separate set of grumpy suburbanites is out there complaining that horses have no place on roads that were built for speeding SUVs,
                              Horses shouldn't be ON the roads in the first place, though I honestly don't know the legality - it's just not safe on many of these, and they can't get out of the way as fast as cyclists sometimes can. Add to that the stupidity of many drivers, and the unpredictability of most horses, and on or right by a road is not a safe place for most horses and riders. OTOH, many back roads have wide, safe shoulders, which shouldn't be any problem for any motorist, until they make it one by screaming by yelling and banging on the side of the car, or worse, throwing things at the horse

                              and another set is out there complaining that slow farm trucks towing trailers have no place on roads that were built for speeding SUVs.
                              It's not the Country Folk's problem that the City Folk moves out into the country and then complains about the country.
                              ______________________________
                              The CoTH CYA - please consult w/your veterinarian under any and all circumstances. - ET

                              Comment


                              • #16
                                Originally posted by JB View Post
                                But the facts remain - cyclists are absolutely allowed on these roads. They DO have to obey the same traffic rules as cars, though we all know they don't always.


                                These aren't highways, and they aren't allowed on highways anyway


                                Just how do you presume that? There are far more - and safer - ways to get out of an arena than to go riding down the side of a road. You know - trails? The pasture?


                                Horses shouldn't be ON the roads in the first place, though I honestly don't know the legality - it's just not safe on many of these, and they can't get out of the way as fast as cyclists sometimes can. Add to that the stupidity of many drivers, and the unpredictability of most horses, and on or right by a road is not a safe place for most horses and riders. OTOH, many back roads have wide, safe shoulders, which shouldn't be any problem for any motorist, until they make it one by screaming by yelling and banging on the side of the car, or worse, throwing things at the horse


                                It's not the Country Folk's problem that the City Folk moves out into the country and then complains about the country.
                                Hacking on the roads is the ONLY place we have to hack. Do we make sure to be courteous, yes, do we expect idjits? ABSOLUTELY. Do we hack anyways, Yup. as safely and as thoughtfully as we can but it's our back roads also.

                                We have a group of professional cyclists that are great but then you have the weekenders.....can't say enough bad things about those as they don't stop at the stop, don't ride on the correct side of the road, don't ride single file and lay their bikes down on the pavement when they want to look at the pretty reservoir and take a rest. I mean, really???? And while I appreciate that it can be an event that's a problem, I do have a problem with tour companies making money off of our roads with the poorly run bike tours and idjits that pay for them.

                                off my soapbox.

                                Comment


                                • #17
                                  Originally posted by caballero View Post
                                  I don't have the time to disprove or prove what you say. However the funding works out does not change the fact that some vehicles are simply incompatible with motor traffic. Just because I pay taxes does not mean I should be allowed to drive a horse-drawn cart down I-75.
                                  Your argument was about funding, not about compatibility of different types of traffic. But FYI, bicycle traffic is not generally permitted on interstates.

                                  Originally posted by caballero View Post
                                  So does that mean that I can buy a second car and just go drive it without a license plate and insurance? That's exactly what people who have a car and a bicycle do.
                                  Uh, no... you made the argument that the cyclists didn't pay taxes and that these taxes somehow confer a right to use the roads. I pointed out that they certainly do pay taxes that fund roads. That has nothing to do w/ the licensing/registration requirements on different types of vehicles. I don't have an issue w/ the license/registration of bikes, although I don't think that one would gain all that much in doing so.
                                  Last edited by EasternMkt; Feb. 4, 2013, 09:44 PM. Reason: typo and clarity!

                                  Comment


                                  • #18
                                    Originally posted by trubandloki View Post
                                    When you encounter a deer hitting it to avoid a front end collision is socially acceptable. Hitting a bicyclist is not so socially acceptable.
                                    In "some circles" insert evil laugh.
                                    Come to the dark side, we have cookies

                                    Comment


                                    • #19
                                      Originally posted by flashwhitelock View Post
                                      Hacking on the roads is the ONLY place we have to hack. Do we make sure to be courteous, yes, do we expect idjits? ABSOLUTELY. Do we hack anyways, Yup. as safely and as thoughtfully as we can but it's our back roads also.
                                      I know, sometimes that's the only place to go

                                      We have a group of professional cyclists that are great but then you have the weekenders.....can't say enough bad things about those as they don't stop at the stop, don't ride on the correct side of the road, don't ride single file and lay their bikes down on the pavement when they want to look at the pretty reservoir and take a rest. I mean, really???? And while I appreciate that it can be an event that's a problem, I do have a problem with tour companies making money off of our roads with the poorly run bike tours and idjits that pay for them.

                                      off my soapbox.
                                      Our professionals aren't even always courteous Some of the groups have huge egos and think they have the right to ride 2 abreast - sometimes even coming OUT of single file as cars behind approach - and discuss whatever while going 25mph. I sometimes think the least professional ones around here are the most courteous because they're the ones scared to death of getting hit.
                                      ______________________________
                                      The CoTH CYA - please consult w/your veterinarian under any and all circumstances. - ET

                                      Comment


                                      • #20
                                        Originally posted by Pennywell Bay View Post
                                        In "some circles" insert evil laugh.
                                        Ouch.

                                        I knew of a couple of fatalities, two separate incidents, one in which a guy going to work on a dairy farm cut the corner and killed a woman cyclist and the other in which a different guy driving a hay squeeze turned in front of a cyclist and killed him.


                                        Both cyclists were people with a wide range of interests, well educated, well regarded in the community, one was an engineer, big obits and a lot of my friends knew them or had been involved in some activity that they were a part of - they were missed.
                                        The drivers were caught and their lives and their families' lives were never the same, their employers lost a worker, their kids lost their dad to the legal system, their wives lost a husband and companion and co parent, it was just bad all around.

                                        I don't mean to pick on you in particular PB, but to me it's just not funny, not at all.
                                        Courageous Weenie Eventer Wannabe
                                        Incredible Invisible

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