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Discussion Starter #1
I just moved to a city of 500,000 from a small town so most of my riding has been solo. I have been on a few small group rides and have enjoyed riding with other people.

Yesterday I was driving down a busy two lane road when I saw about 60-70 riders traveling the other direction. They were riding about 15-17 mph, talking, riding 4 to 5 wide and taking up half of the lane. They had traffic backed up for about a mile. Is this normal for a group to do this or were these riders being rude?
 

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No, they were being pretty much being a**holes. Here in Vegas the shoulder is wide enough to accomodate a group riding 2-3 abreast most of the time. Where it does get narrow the group will narrow down to a single pace line. Back when I was racing, at the most we rode 2 abreast but only where we could without causing any problems.

Just before I got out of racing there was this guy that started racing and granted he was a strong rider but he was also very much into how great he was. He developed a following of 10-12 guys and they would ride together all the time. I ran into them a few times up in the hills when I was on my motorcycle. They would be scattered all over the road and they displayed that roadie arrogance that everybody likes to harp on. They would almost refused to get out of the way for the longest time. They must have had some close calls because all of a sudden they tightened up their group.
 

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Discussion Starter #4
golzy said:
It may have been a small "critical mass" ride or a local version of it.

http://www.chicagocriticalmass.org/
I moved to Sacramento a few months back and really enjoy this cycling friendly community. Comming from a small town of 5000 people I don't have a lot of experience riding with a large group of people in busy traffic.

I've heard of cyclist getting run down in high traffic areas and I didn't like the look in some of the drivers faces. I want to make sure I'm never in a situation were I am part of a group holding up a mile of traffic.
 

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Really common around here, causes lots of problems

That's a big problem in Reno. We had a sunny morning today, one of the first we've seen this year, and the roads were full of cyclists in full superhero gear riding three and four abreast.
I live in a rural area about 10 miles from town, on a popular cycling loop, and the shoulders are fine for one rider but too narrow for two. Instead of riding single file and avoiding trouble, a lot of riders make a point of going side by side, deliberately slowing traffic, apparently to assert their right to the road. I write a column about it every year ("Single file: How hard IS it?"), and every year a local club starts a letter-writing campaign to get me fired because I "don't respect the rights of cyclists." I see them on the road nearly every day, either from my bike or car, and they bring about 75 percent of their problems on themselves. They're always talking about drivers "trying" to hit them. I ride the same places they do and very rarely have a problem.
 

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Lately

down here in SoCal some of the ride group organizers are cracking down. They are DQ'ing some double century riders and are telling others that they will be sagged. I personally seen it happen on two different rides. It 's starting to have an effect. They aren't going after the two abreast as much as the 3 and 4 that won't break it up. I find it amazing that otherwise smart people can't see the danger in this or the fallout it has when it impeads motorists. We can share responsibily.
 

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I hope I'm not the cyclist the frustrated driver decides to mow down because some other jacka** can't share the road like we expect from responsible motorists.
 

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nocwrench said:
I hope I'm not the cyclist the frustrated driver decides to mow down because some other jacka** can't share the road like we expect from responsible motorists.
It astounds me that anyone would even remotely imply that it is someone else's fault when a motorist intentionally puts another life in danger with his vehicle. Do you really believe that the motorist has a divine right not to be inconvenienced on the road? Is it the fault of the boss who just fired the guy who is now mowing down a dozen fellow employees with automatic weapons? - TF
 

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Philosophy vs Practicality

TurboTurtle said:
It astounds me that anyone would even remotely imply that it is someone else's fault when a motorist intentionally puts another life in danger with his vehicle. Do you really believe that the motorist has a divine right not to be inconvenienced on the road? Is it the fault of the boss who just fired the guy who is now mowing down a dozen fellow employees with automatic weapons? - TF
Clearly a jackass cyclist is not at fault when a fellow roadie gets run down. Philosophically and legally I agree that a cyclist has a right to the road. The fact remains, however, that I am not going to win a philosophical argument with the grill of a Hummer. Cycling in a city the Bicycling magazine called one of the three worst in the country has taught me to be practical and respectful in my relationship with our four wheeled friends.

Whether cycling, walking, or driving, I continue to be irritated by the cyclist who chooses to ignore, or is simply ignorant of, the relationship he or she has with other cyclists. Everytime a cyclist antagonizes a driver, or rides without a helmet, or takes a leak on someone's garden gnome, it affects the way all cyclists are percieved. While this cyclist may have a right to behave in this manner, it strikes me as selfish at best to ignore the impact these actions have on the cycling community.

This forum is as much for philosophical debate as it is for practical advice, so fire away. I plan on riding into the sunset. If that means I have to make concessions to three ton machines and their irrational operators, so be it. I don't poke snakes or throw rocks at beehives either, though I suppose I have the right to do so.
 

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My Feelings Exactly

atlroadie said:
Whether cycling, walking, or driving, I continue to be irritated by the cyclist who chooses to ignore, or is simply ignorant of, the relationship he or she has with other cyclists. Everytime a cyclist antagonizes a driver, or rides without a helmet, or takes a leak on someone's garden gnome, it affects the way all cyclists are percieved. While this cyclist may have a right to behave in this manner, it strikes me as selfish at best to ignore the impact these actions have on the cycling community.QUOTE]
This is put very well and reflects my feelings precisely. We have a number of clowns in my own club who even ride outside the bike lane because they 1) are fearful of getting a gravel and/or glass flat, or 2) feel safer doing so (for reasons that make sense to them, but not to me). Funny thing is, these riders are usually the ones who have the stories about the inconsiderate, hostile motorist. I won't ride with them anymore.
 

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Rollin' Stones
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Which do you think is worse?

Going from small city to big city or vice versa? I have been in bigger cities for about 10 years now after being raised in a town of less than 500. Now when I go back to visit and take my bike people stare like crazy to see a cyclist in rural Iowa. When I told my wife she just laughed, "to these people you are a man in tights with no super powers!" Yeah, she got me pretty good. :)
 

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I ride with a small group of guys frequently, actually it was last year, we haven't gotten it together yet this year. We're not too serious or into hammering each other into dust. One day one of the fellas brings a new rider (on a mtn bike with slicks). He's fine on the city streets but we usually ride a two lane hwy (50mph speed limit) for about 2 miles that has an 5 ft shoulder. Suddenly this guy swerves to the opposite shoulder (wrong side of the road) and refuses to rejoin the group. It's his opinion that this is an unsafe road and that he wants to see the oncoming traffic.

He's 100% wrong but trying to talk some sense into him is impossible. Some cyclists with group mentality are the same way. I don't think anywhere in the country you can ride with multiple riders abreast, well below the speed limit, for an extended time, while impeding the flow of motor traffic and not be in violation of the law. But if you try to tell that to a group of cyclists there's always a few who will insist they have equal right to the road and the cars should yield.

My father used to say, "you can't reason with a block of wood, or anyone who has sawdust for brains."
 

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Rude drivers.

I do not justify riding in such an unsafe and rude manner, but this is exposing a challenge to those in charge of our roadways. The road cyclists are increasing in numbers and they are definitely making a statement: give us better access to safe roadways! I believe that we need to UNITE in one voice and agreement, and push the bike access/safety agenda to our respective lawmakers. I help pay for our road systems, and I want safer access to them in my bike! (I even want a port-a-potty every 25 miles, he-he, instead of taking a nature break at the risk of getting caught in an awkward position/moment).We need to promote a culture of fitness, so we become better role models for the upcoming youth, our children, that are doom to succumb to the catastrophic consequences of an atherogenic diet and a sedentary lifestyle.We should be more PRO-ACTIVE in this matter, IMO.
leatherneck said:
I just moved to a city of 500,000 from a small town so most of my riding has been solo. I have been on a few small group rides and have enjoyed riding with other people.

Yesterday I was driving down a busy two lane road when I saw about 60-70 riders traveling the other direction. They were riding about 15-17 mph, talking, riding 4 to 5 wide and taking up half of the lane. They had traffic backed up for about a mile. Is this normal for a group to do this or were these riders being rude?
 

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I've never been in favor of appeasement and I believe it's a red herring issue to blame cyclist behavior for rude, illegal, and dangerous behaviors committed by automobile drivers. How often do we see cars rolling stop signs or driving over the speed limit -- at far greater consequences than minor infractions made by cyclists. Drivers are going to be angry at cyclists whether they are single file or taking up a lane if they have the propensity to be so. The advantage of taking a lane, though, is that drivers don't try to pass to closely. The dotted line is there for a reason: pass when it's safe and in the other lane. If cyclists are worried about the legality of riding double file, then they should ride a rotating pace line -- in most places it's legal to be abreast of another vehicle as long as you are involved in a pass. As far as I'm concerned, the cyclists who are doing a disservice to others are the ones who ride far to the right and encourage motorists to pass under dangerous conditions. They teach motorists to ignore and discount cyclists and encourage them to endanger the lives of other cyclists. I'm not a real supporter of critical mass, but let's put the blame on the people who endanger our lives -- dangerous or ignorant motorists.
 

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TurboTurtle said:
It astounds me that anyone would even remotely imply that it is someone else's fault when a motorist intentionally puts another life in danger with his vehicle. Do you really believe that the motorist has a divine right not to be inconvenienced on the road? Is it the fault of the boss who just fired the guy who is now mowing down a dozen fellow employees with automatic weapons? - TF
I believe if everyone follows the rules of the road properly, we don't have to worry about incoveniencing each other. Four years ago I moved from a densly populated area with the worst cyclist fatality rate in the country. I was in physical altercations nearly everyday. I know I have the same right to the road as the motorist, and tried to convince them when I caught them at the red light. You begin to realize you are fighting a losing battle and it's not worth dying over. So when I see fellow cyclists being inconsiderate to motorists I know why they are so irritated with me even though I'm doing nothing wrong. You can't have it both ways. Don't expect motorists to respect your right to the road when you are not respecting theirs.
 

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If you really feel so strongly about your position, here is an analogy
for you to consider:
If someone comes up to you with a loaded gun why don't you just impede his progress and make him angry. I am sure he will understand your right to share the sidewalk.
Not me pal,
one day while cycling I may have my back in front of some jerk with a temper, or some jacked-up drugie, a jerk using a cell phone driving with one hand, or just a nervous
husband trying to get his pregnant wife to the maternity room.

I will live to ride another day. You my friend, takes his life and puts it in another
person's hands. You will never see the person or car, or hear the bullet that takes you out.
It is just not worth it.
 

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Yup, Exactly

nocwrench said:
I believe if everyone follows the rules of the road properly, we don't have to worry about incoveniencing each other. Four years ago I moved from a densly populated area with the worst cyclist fatality rate in the country. I was in physical altercations nearly everyday. I know I have the same right to the road as the motorist, and tried to convince them when I caught them at the red light. You begin to realize you are fighting a losing battle and it's not worth dying over. So when I see fellow cyclists being inconsiderate to motorists I know why they are so irritated with me even though I'm doing nothing wrong. You can't have it both ways. Don't expect motorists to respect your right to the road when you are not respecting theirs.
Additionally, in the motorists' defense, 99% have never been on a road bike, so would have absolutely no clue why any bicycle rider would intentionally impede traffic by refusing to let them pass, particularly if there is ample room for single file riding along the shoulder (and/or, of course, a bike lane).
 

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Perfect Example in Marin Co, CA

Road cyclist said:
If you really feel so strongly about your position, here is an analogy
for you to consider:
If someone comes up to you with a loaded gun why don't you just impede his progress and make him angry. I am sure he will understand your right to share the sidewalk.
Not me pal,
one day while cycling I may have my back in front of some jerk with a temper, or some jacked-up drugie, a jerk using a cell phone driving with one hand, or just a nervous
husband trying to get his pregnant wife to the maternity room.

I will live to ride another day. You my friend, takes his life and puts it in another
person's hands. You will never see the person or car, or hear the bullet that takes you out.
It is just not worth it.
I'll go out on a limb, but here goes. There was a story last week of a rider who banged on the window of a Golden Gate Transit bus's window for allegedly "crowding him." Well, the bus driver showed him: Ran him over and destroyed his expensive bike. The bike rider, fortunately, was not seriously hurt, and refused medical treatment. But what if the rider had not been overly aggressive (and simply put up with having been "crowded")? Both would have gone on their merry ways. But as it turns out, the bus driver has resigned, and is being brought up on criminal charges. Maybe good news there. But the bike rider could also be dead now.
 

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100% agree

ru1-2cycle said:
I do not justify riding in such an unsafe and rude manner, but this is exposing a challenge to those in charge of our roadways. The road cyclists are increasing in numbers and they are definitely making a statement: give us better access to safe roadways! I believe that we need to UNITE in one voice and agreement, and push the bike access/safety agenda to our respective lawmakers. I help pay for our road systems, and I want safer access to them in my bike! (I even want a port-a-potty every 25 miles, he-he, instead of taking a nature break at the risk of getting caught in an awkward position/moment).We need to promote a culture of fitness, so we become better role models for the upcoming youth, our children, that are doom to succumb to the catastrophic consequences of an atherogenic diet and a sedentary lifestyle.We should be more PRO-ACTIVE in this matter, IMO.
Advocacy is imperative. I would never suggest that we stop trying to make the roads safer and more enjoyable. I just can't see how that happens by banging on windows and pissing off drivers.

Speaking of advocay, check out some goodness we were abel to get done here in ATL. One small pedal stroke for a city...

http://www.ajc.com/news/content/metro/stories/0308legbike.html

http://www.georgiabikes.org/Portals...c6475cdb7ee7/Georgia Rides To The Capitol.pdf
 

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leatherneck said:
I moved to Sacramento a few months back and really enjoy this cycling friendly community. Comming from a small town of 5000 people I don't have a lot of experience riding with a large group of people in busy traffic.

I've heard of cyclist getting run down in high traffic areas and I didn't like the look in some of the drivers faces. I want to make sure I'm never in a situation were I am part of a group holding up a mile of traffic.
Leatherneck,
I've lived in Sacramento most of my life and from what I've seen is that cyclists are getting more rude all the time. I've noticed many packs of riders clearly riding in the car lanes when there are designated bike lanes. Most of the time the cyclists are 2 or 3 cyclists wide. They usually don't move to single file even when they know there are cars back. Being an avid cyclist myself, this behavior really pisses me off much to the point that I now usually ride solo. If they wonder why people give cyclists a dirty look they should realize that their actions or inactions are part of the problem.
Many cyclists on the American River trail are also a problem riding two or 3 wide even with cyclists/pedestrians coming the other way. Last year I was heading one way on the trail and I saw a pack of riders coming the other way. They were riding double wide coming into a curve. As I entered the curve, one of the idiots in the group decides to pass and ride 3 wide. We collided and my shoulder was injured . I know this doesn't happen all the time but certain individuals can ruin it for the rest of us whether we are cyclists or not. Time to stop my venting.
 
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