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FYI - sent this to our local bike shops and the ride leaders that I know about in the area. I'm trying to get the word out to other local groups. FYI - last year, Bicycle deaths in Georgia from car strikes were up 28%. Thoughts?

All:

I'm a local cyclist and have a concern. I wanted to reach out to those of you in the local cycling community that may lead a Sunday group ride through parts of Cherokee County and/or North Fulton. This past Sunday (Father's Day), there was a large group of cyclists, 25 - 30+, riding in a pack going north on hwy 372 (Ballground Hwy) between Hwy 20 and Hwy 369. It was sometime between 9:45am and 10:30am. I was out on a motorcycle ride with another rider. We came up on a slow moving traffic jam of approximately 6 - 8 cars/trucks traveling north on 372, behind the pack of cyclists. The concerning part is that the riders were riding all the way across the lane, 3 - 5 riders across in some places. Cars could not reasonably pass. This went on for a while. The cars/trucks following were getting visibly frustrated. I found a few safe places to pass on my motorcycle (thin profile and great acceleration) and worked my way up to the lead rider. I tried to use courtesy and told him that I was a cyclist myself and informed him that he had a group of cars behind him getting angry and that his group was not "singling up" He replied that they could ride in twos if they wanted. I told him that his group was riding as thick as 3 - 5. He told me he would pass word back to slim down the group. My buddy in the back on his motorcycle never passed everyone. He stayed behind the traffic jam and the cycling pack. I drove ahead and waited at our next turn which was 369. He took a good while to get back to me. He said those cyclists never thinned their pace lines but stayed in one big wide group. My riding friend was very angry at their lack of courtesy. He said "no wonder some people get so ticked off that they lose it and swerve towards cyclists"

We all have friends or know of folks who have lost their lives or have been seriously injured from car/truck drivers while on their bicycles. Up to 1 out of 8 or so drivers of vehicles are dealing with some clinical emotional issues. When a group of cyclists act rude in an area, this sometimes pushes those with emotional issues over the line. They sometimes take it out on some poor cyclist in the future.

I just wanted to reach out to you folks to see if this could have been any of your rides, and/or to possibly ask you to re-emphasize good group riding etiquette to your ride leaders. Courteous group riding will go a long way to helping minimize dangerous angry car/truck drivers in our area.

Thanks for your consideration.

Sincerely,
 
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