Saturday, September 19, 2009

Have some manners!

After the sorry excuses presented in my last post, the stars aligned and I was able to get one ride in this week. Hooray! It was a bit of a game time decision to go for the bike commute since the morning preparations that day were moving along a bit ahead of schedule.

It wasn't all gravy, though. I lost a good 5 minutes on my drive time since I had missed a turn I should've and could've made to get to the park-and-ride lot where I leave my car. I also got a bit nervous when it appeared that the lot was nearly full. Thankfully I did find a space to park and started to unload my bike. I hadn't really prepped much for the ride, so I did a quick check of tire pressure. Sure enough, the tires were a little soft. There went another couple minutes lost as I aired up the tires. With that done, I was ready to go, and set off down the road.

The ride into work was pretty uneventful. I did see a few cyclists going in the opposite direction, though encountered no one riding the same way I was. A couple of the guys gave me a friendly head nod, as to say, "Hey there, fellow comrade in cycling, way to go!" I reciprocated by signaling with a thumbs-up to say, "Hi, brother. Ride on!"
I saw a couple others, but they didn't appear to notice me across the street (it is a wide street) or were too focused to look over and seek any human connection with me. Some of those times I, admittedly, was also too focused on the ride to look over. I arrived at work in good time, but because of the initial delays before the ride, was a couple minutes later than I hoped to arrive.

On the ride back I saw a couple other cyclists on the opposite side of the street. No exchanges of recognition occurred. That is just fine. I don't mind either way, but I do try to be polite and acknowledge other riders when the opportunity presents itself.

Another thing that seems to happen on my rides home from work is that I inevitably get passed along the way by stronger riders. This includes, basically, everybody. This day was no exception and at some unknowing point this guy whizzes by. Scared the crap out of me. He then practically cuts me off to return to his position in the bike lane. This act was as to say to me, "You are too slow, and I'm an ass. Therefore, slow poke, I will pass."

I have no problem with the passing me, in general, but it is the doing so unannounced that is a bit irksome. Out on the trails I have noticed that riders are generally courteous enough to declare their existence and desire to pass. This has not been my typical experience on the roads. Why must roadies be so rude? A simple "Passing on your left!" or "Here I come!" or "Asshole coming through!" would suffice. Or, God forbid, get a bell (admittedly I do not have one - yet - but I'm so slow there is not such a pressing need). Anyway, if everyone could just show a little courtesy if you come upon slower riders, like me. Thanks.

(This was Bike Commute #3)


  1. Eye contact is typically an invitation to greet people on the street, yes? I also have no problem with people wanting to go about their business on the street but...

    I often cross paths with an old guy walking his terrier in the morning when I'm walking Mochi. He looks at me. I wave. He looks away.

    There's also the old man walking his grandchild in a stroller. He looks at me. I wave and smile. He looks away.

    Assholes. Am I wrong?

  2. Well, if it was me, sorry. I generally don't announce passing because it seems to me that it's ruder, like honking to get someone out of my way. I try not to cut in too fast, sometimes I have to if traffic is heavy.

  3. @Rich

    Eh...I'm just whining. Maybe I should just get used to it. I'm sure the dozen or so people who've passed me on my bike route have meant no harm. For me, I think I'd just like to know someone was coming by.

  4. I'll have you know, that I do not align myself with such rude "roadies". However, it is fun to joke with my one friend when he doesn't want to ride with me. I claim he is denying me because my rides are too easy (40-50 miles with 3-5,000' of climbing) and therefore I call him an 'elitist' and I'm just a rookie. I try to say "On your left" as much as possible and give people plenty of room when merging back. However, all bets are off when the rider I'm passing has earphones on. I do not condone the use of headphones when riding (even on the bike path) and therefore have no sympathy when passing these people. Just my useless thoughts. You're doing great! Keep it up!