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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
I'm relatively new to road biking and have noticed some interesting things and wondered if y'all had some input/explanations.

1st: Why does it seem that most cyclists stop at stop signs/stop lights when it is obvious that no vehicle or person is traveling with the green light?? I've gone past several little groups of riders looking like automatons while they wait for the traffic signal to tell them it is "OK" to proceed. On several occassions I believe I've heard curse words hurled in my direction as I speed off into the distance. Is this some kind of unwritten rule?

2nd: What's the story with drafting when you are not in a group? Is it OK to pull in behind someone and steal their effort? I've had this happen to me on several occassions and my visceral reaction is a negative one. Not sure why, but I think a general aversion to freeloading is part of the answer. Also, I find if I fart, the slacker usually takes the hint.:D

3rd: Why do some riders in packs wear the exact same outfits? Were they at the same bike shop sale?
 

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1. Running stop signs/light looks bad. My rule is that I'll do it if no one is around to see (i.e way out in the country). Otherwise I play nice in traffic.
2. Out on the open road, it is polite to ask if you can sit in behind another rider. In races of course it is expected. A century ride is not a race, but it is somewhat expected there as well. It is good manners to pull through and do some work. I prefer to have strangers ride side by side and chat, but if someone asks nicely and it is obvious that I'm stronger, I'll pull them around.
3. members of the same racing team.
 

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Answers

1. The reason they stop is 2 fold. First it is a good practice to obey the rules of the road, a good safety practice. Secondly when motorists see cyclist blowing off the rules they must obey, it does not endear us to them.

2. Drafting on a group you do not know usually requires an invitation or offer. No offense, but I don't want to ride with someone who is careless or may possibly cause me to crash.I rode with a guy this weekend who proceeded to look back when someone yelled car back and caught the wheel of the bike in front, nearly crashing into me. When we helped him up he proceeded to tell us about all his latest crashes. I rode away solo after getting him set.

3. Riders wearing the same kits may be from a club or team or may just like the clothes. Doesn't much matter to me what anyone wears. My buddies who don't ride kid me about wearing the cycling clothes, I could care less, if they rode they would understand.

Just my opinion
 

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The stop sign answer would be obvious if you worked at a level 1 trauma center like I do. Cyclist vs SUV. Watching a young man in neuro ICU for month on a ventilator after a crash should pretty much answer that question. It ain’t pretty w/ infections & bodily functions – lots of cleaning of nasty mucus clogged tubes, PEGs w/ diarrhea, etc. Then there is the brain damage when they wake up.
Why would you be drafting if you aren’t in a group?
Ok, the pack colors question is easy. Strength in numbers. Working together in uniform motion to achieve better results for all requires team effort & colors identify team. As in heards of animals, an individual must conform or they are rejected. A phrase from the art world: “The whole is greater than the sum of the parts”. Gestalt.
 

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The stuff above is spot on. I'd like to add that when I see the fast guys from the university cycling club (Cat 1-2) I do try to keep up with them, they think it's kind of funny, I'm trying to keep up with their freakish pace, then figuring out that it's their recovery day, fun stuff.
 

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Lemme answer #2 with some experience gained this past Memorial Day weekend.

Communication is key when you ride up to a cyclist ahead of you. Don't just assume that they will have no problem or won't give you some choice words if you wheelsuck.

One additional thing I learned this past weekend is that even if you stay 20 feet away from their wheel as a sign that you don't want to draft/ride together, they may still have a problem with that.
 

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#1 Green means stop, Red means go
#2 Only draft when you are riding all by yourself
#3 Maybe they are twins.
 

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Totally agree with the above. Cyclists who pass me while I'm stopped at a stoplight bother me, because they set a bad example for drivers who witness it. It's the law and cyclists want the drivers to respect them for following the law (at the same time helping drivers to understand that bicycles are vehicles requiring the same courtesy as cars, while following the same laws as cars).
 

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i'll just address #1

you are an ambassador for the sport. we have enough of a credibility issue as it is. in every state i know of bicycles are treated as legitimate vehicles, that means all of the responsibilities as well as all the rights, and thank god for that. don't be a jackass, a motorist sees you running a red light one time, and you've just undermined the good example i've set by them seeing me obeying the law a hundred times, the same law they are obeying. if you blow a red while i'm stopped at it you won't like what you'll hear from me either...
 

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I'm pretty surprised that these questions, the tenor of which is overall condescending, are really sincere.

1. An "unwritten" rule? Really? Actually, in all 50 states, the requirement that bicycles are subject to traffic control devices is written, not unwritten. Now, I've been known to make a "California stop" through a stop sign or sneak through a low traffic red light, but last thing I'd do is suggest--as you do--that those who do different are "automatons."

2. Drafting not in a group. I've seen some post as though it is fine, but the majority view (and mine) is that to ride within the 12 inch danger zone of a stranger's rear wheel requires permission.

3. Matching clothes are generally club, charity ride training team, or racers. Care less about what others wear.
 

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Oh yeah, 12 inches is too close without permission, I was talking about a yard or too a the least. Takes much of the wind resistance out while maintaining a margin of safety. Any closer than that and you'd better be either a friend or wearing a number.
 

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Rule #1

If the etiquette described in previous posts doesn't convince you to stop for red lights, then how about a $271 ticket. That's what you are risking in CA. I got one a few years ago one early Sunday morning on deserted (except for the cop I didn't see coming) city streets.:rolleyes:
 

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it's a bill that states, basically, if motorcycles (and bicycles now that someone grabbed the legislature's ear) stop at a light and there is no cross traffic they can go through the red. it has to do with the sensitivity of the traffic readers in teh pavement.

i think there is a thread about it in the commuting forum?
 

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saddle tramp said:
There's a pending law in WIsconsin that says motorcycles can roll the red light if no other traffic is around...
Sweet! Being both a MC rider and a cyclist (albeit in CA) I applaud that. Just like bicycles don't trip green lights in a lot of places, neither do MCs.

To the OP: man! What a nice troll. Good one. Got lots with tha bait!

M
 

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many states have a time limit after wich you can run the stop light because you cant trip it.

Ever since i have started putting both wheels on the center cut of the sensor i have had REALY good success at tripping them though. It is only a problem if they have re paved the road.
 
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